Month: April 2017

How I Recycle Old Furniture Easily

How I turned this piece of Furniture into this piece of Furniture- Easy Upcycle 

Whether you call it upcycled furniture, recycled furniture or repurposed furniture, there is just something about taking an unused possession and giving it new life. I made sure to put the word Easy in the title because I finished this in a few hours in one day. One day! I love projects like that.  I also made sure to make the Decoupage as simple as possible. For instance, you can buy the pretty pink fairy rose paper right here: https://www.zazzle.com/pink_fairy_roses_tissue_paper-256783409162144145. While you’re there, please check out my other papers. I design my papers specifically for decoupage, transfers and mixed media work. I even let you know it’s ok to use my images to sell your work-as long as you are not mass producing anything. If you’re selling at craft shows, or on Etsy-or in other words using your own talented hands to create, then have it at! I am adding more and more designs every month. I can’t wait to get to the Coast and snap up those nautical themed images. I will spend a whole day just taking pictures. O.K. I will break for a latte and some food, but that’s all. 

Simple Decoupage and Easy Painting on furniture

As you’ll notice in the video I used this brush http://amzn.to/2qg0fIC  and I would say that I can’t begin to tell you what a difference this brush has made, except that I can! This is the beauty of the blog post, I can add so much more in here than I can in the video. This brush is firm, it’s sturdy and it’s perfect for applying chalk paint or the wax that goes over the chalk paint ….but wait!!! I am often asked if it’s advisable to use wax over decoupaged chalk paint, and it is n o t. You can apply the wax to the rest of the piece of furniture that you are repurposing but you would want to stick to a matte varnish over the decoupaged part(s) of your furniture. Like on this Stool, you would only want to add wax over any part of this stool underneath the seat top. By using about 3 coats of this varnish, http://amzn.to/2p587zf You can protect the decoupaged surface for years to come. I have been trying out varnishes as well as Decoupage glues for years, and if you want a totally flat matte surface, this is the stuff. 

And what can I say about chalk paint? From the velvety smooth finish that goes over your project to the simplicity of painting it on, I mean come on, I don’t have to sand anything??? I couldn’t believe that when I first got this paint. After using it for years, I can say that it’s all true. Once in a blue moon I’ll hear someone who says that they do not like chalk paint. I doubt they have ever used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, since the color selection alone is amazing. Annie’s paint is not that readily available though. I have to travel a half an hour which isn’t so bad, to buy it, but before that? I had to travel at least 2 hours to buy the paint here in my state. I think you can order it online and that’s even more expensive so I wouldn’t go that route. Instead I experimented with a lot of other chalk paints and found this one by Home Decor to be a very good option. http://amzn.to/2p5ddeH Folk Art has done their homework and created this nice sized smooth chalk paint in a lot of very pretty colors. No sanding required. I know I have already mentioned that but I used to spend hours and sometimes a whole day sanding an older piece of furniture. Not only was it time consuming but my arms got sore. It was probably a good workout but I would rather stick to my yoga. 

I know I’ve mentioned the painting and the top coat (varnish) but let’s go into the decoupage a little bit. Did you ever notice that sometimes people will give you instructions and say, “It’s so easy!” Yet what they don’t realize is that since THEY have been doing something for years, it IS easy to them. I hesitate to use the word easy for that reason. The decoupage process of today is easy though. I suspect that some people think it’s a complicated art form. It certainly sounds highfalutin. While decoupage can involve some very intricate cutting of patterns, the decoupage that I teach is of a much more practical nature. I also like to make things simple. I want to enjoy myself-not get frustrated. That’s why I have started my own line of papers also. For this week’s project I used this paper,  https://www.zazzle.com/pink_fairy_roses_tissue_paper-256783409162144145     and you’ll notice that I have several other papers you can use. Since the paper is tissue paper, it’s a bit more sturdy than napkins but not quite as thick as regular paper, making it very easy to work with. You cut out the image and paste it down. That sounds really simple right? There are a few more tricks to it but even if you don’t think your first project is sheer perfection….it will not take long before you feel very talented. The best part though is you will create and have genuine one of a kind pieces of furniture. I always did so well when I sold my furniture through boutiques, consignment stores and word of mouth. The biggest hassle was schlepping it to the destination. Some pieces took a couple of months to sell and more than one boutique went out of business before a piece or two sold. That meant I had to then cart them back home. Luckily my husband’s business requires him to have pick up trucks. I was hooked after I found a lovely old vanity in a Salvation Army store. The surface had crayon scribbles all over it, a few kids stickers that were half on and half off, on it, and a few decent scratches. Those were the days before chalk paint when I spent a few days sanding. I also had to use very hot water to first soak off the stickers, then remove the tacky glue left behind. I used a trendy (at the time) soft yellow paint, then decoupaged the surface using a botanical print with matching colored flowers over white lattice. I paid 7 dollars for that piece. Seven Dollars! I sold it for 300 dollars. I was then hooked on decoupage and upcycling. Of course I began to decoupage everything else that I could get my hands on, and as you can see, I am still working on furniture pieces. Here are the other items you’ll need to complete this project. The Fine artists brush set link that I list is for a set of brushes to apply your decoupage glue and it costs less than six dollars. You don’t need (or want) an expensive brush to apply your glue. All of the links below go through Amazon so if you’re a Prime member you get free shipping. 

Decoupage Glue                                                                http://amzn.to/2oxQXLS

80 grit sanding block (to age the piece)                            http://amzn.to/2p5uYuc

Fine Artists brush set                                                         http://amzn.to/2oxUCtd

Chalk paint brush (listed above)

Chalk paint                                                                          http://amzn.to/2pnnX8Z

Liquitex Matte Varnish (listed above) 

Decoupage scissors                                                          http://amzn.to/2oND3Bl  

Saran Wrap                                                                         http://amzn.to/2pnzAfT

** Felt Guards                                                                     http://amzn.to/2oxXrKB

** Chalk paint Wax                                                              http://amzn.to/2oy3AGP

 

** = optional.. If you’re going to use the chalk paint wax you will need two separate brushes to apply the chalk paint, then the wax.  You can watch the video here!   https://youtu.be/XOhZ92Z1m48

                                                       

 

 

How I decoupaged my Plywood Floor

Where do I begin with today’s post? This was quite an undertaking but now that it is finally done? I couldn’t be happier. You can watch the video to see how it’s all done but I’m happy that I can add some more comments here about my floor. Before I go on I want to add the link to the stencil from Royal Design Studio that I used. https://www.royaldesignstudio.com/products/springtime-in-paris-lettering-stencil. The name of the stencil that I used is called Springtime in Paris-but if you would just like to have a look around this beautiful site, you can head on over to the home page and have a gander.  https://www.royaldesignstudio.com I am going to include a few pictures of the floor so you can see it under different lights. Here is how it looks at night under a light.  You can see the rich royal blue color and the contrast of the metallic silver French Script a lot more clearly now.  Before I began this project I knew it was going to require a commitment from me-I needed to commit a lot of time but I didn’t know how much. For this reason I procrastinated for years-literally.  When we moved into this house there was carpet down on the floor. Wall to wall carpet. I remember when a fastidiously neat cousin of mine had her carpets removed to have new hardwood flooring put down. She had the carpet removed from the least used room in the house. The carpet that she steam cleaned regularly. She was so embarrassed by how much dirt and dust there was on the floor once the carpet was pulled up. The padding beneath the carpet looked pretty bad too. Possibly from the steam cleaning? The steam got into the padding and how could it completely dry? Yuck…  Around that time I was living in a house in this adorable quiet and safe neighborhood. I used to jog a couple of miles a day. For some reason though, when I got back to my room I would always start to wheeze.  Not while running, not right after running, but only when I got into my wall to wall carpeted room. I knew the rugs in this room were old but only after I moved out did I realize how old they were. They were making me sick. Back to our present day home… I knew that a man lived in our house before we moved in, and eww, the thought of all of the hair, dander and spray that didn’t quite make the throne in the bathroom used to make me gag. I did the black light test over the rug and knew it had to go. I had no plans or money in the budget to do anything to the bare floor but I didn’t care. I justified that I would find the money, do something myself or just not allow anyone in that bathroom. I did do a faux marble technique over the plywood. It actually looked like marble except for one big problem-it looked like marble painted over plywood.   I never ever liked it. So the bathroom did become the room that was only seen by us. I knew that the cure for plywood was thicker paper over it. I had seen the paper bag floors done on youtube. I was impressed by a few of them but I also felt so limited. What if I didn’t want an amber hued floor in there? Especially one that looked like faux leather? I wanted  more of a romantic feel to the master bathroom, and so? My idea was born. 3 years ago. Life happened in the interim and I found myself saying ” I don’t have enough time” throughout all of my days, not just some days. I was doing too much, not finishing enough and certainly not feeling satisfied. It was only after I took a break from making weekly youtube video’s that I realized just how much time I was spending on the videos. It was preventing me from doing so much of everything else. I loved making the videos and I put in about 3 years of weekly videos without ever taking a vacation. Missing only a couple of weeks at different times due to people passing away.  My poor husband lost both of his parents last year, and while trying to keep up with my video’s and blogging, we also had to clean out a whole home with decades worth of memories, clothes and furniture. We had to of course still take care of our own home too. . But I digress. Somehow thank God!-this floor is finally done. You do need to know that there are different grades of plywood. I’ve seen some people paint plywood and it looks lovely, but it’s not as  bumpy or rugged as the plywood on my floor. I’ve also seen some painted plywood that doesn’t look so lovely. Since my plywood is a bit bumpy too, I can see a few ridges in my finished floor. But I don’t mind them at all. I will also be adding a few throw rugs and they will cover up some of the “not so perfect” spots. That said, I did mention that I would put the link to the woman’s blog post (from the site Domestic Imperfection) about her experience with top coats over paper floors. Here is her link. http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2014/04/the-paper-flooring-experiment-part-iii-sealer-options/

Now let me list the supplies you’ll need and the links to those supplies.

Contractors paper                                           http://amzn.to/2nGfA8B

Matte Paint (chalk paint is great)                     http://amzn.to/2opMXK6 I used a little more than a quart

Metallic Paint                                                  http://amzn.to/2pv7Hzl Used less than 1 container. 

Cutting Razor                                                  http://amzn.to/2oAGP3T

Stencil Brush                              https://www.royaldesignstudio.com/collections/decorative-finishing-tools/products/chalk-paint-brush-medium

 or Sponge roller brush                                http://amzn.to/2nGdqpP

Low Tack Tape                                             http://amzn.to/2nGjU7Y

Coarse Sanding block                                http://amzn.to/2pvlK8f

Dirt Devil Electric Vacuum                        http://amzn.to/2o8fXUP  Only 19.99 and is a best seller! I use mine without the handle. & by the by? This is perfect for cleaning up around the litter box. I do not like to use the house vacuum for the kitty litter. 

Decoupage Glue 1 Gallon Matte Mod Podge   http://amzn.to/2pvAdAK      I used only about a half gallon. Make sure you get the size needed for your project.   

Angle Paint brush                                       http://amzn.to/2nGfIF5 For less than 6 dollars this was the best investment! 

Fine Artists brush                                      http://amzn.to/2pvgfGG

T Square Ruler                                          http://amzn.to/2pvw3ZK

Top Coat Paint -brush                               http://amzn.to/2o7K0gc      

 Fine Mist Bottle                                        http://amzn.to/2pve6uo  

Water Wiz Applicator                                http://amzn.to/2oZn4Un  This was perfect for applying the Varethane that I used. 

Varethane                                                 http://amzn.to/2opImYv I used a quarter of the gallon of this. And I’ll be adding at least one more coat. 

Don’t forget about things like tacks, sponge brushes and  a few lint free rags. This is a gloss varathane that I used and you may want semi gloss, satin or matte. I’m not sure if this company makes a matte finish but make sure you ask your salesperson how all of these work. Tell them what is most important to you. Drying quickly? Heavy traffic? Easy to clean? Fewer Coats? You may want to do your own research on a top coat since the blog post I have shown is from a few  years ago. It was where I started because it made me ask other questions that I would not have known to ask. If you go to a quality paint store, there are usually very qualified people in the store that are trained to know which products will work best for you. Some of the floor top coats even state on the can that they should not be used over paint. Some say that they dry to a nice amber hue. Amber hue? On my blue floor? No way! So I had a lot of my own research that needed to get done too. This is one of the most satisfying video’s I have ever done, but I can only say that now that I am done. Now that I am done with my blog post, I can finally feel good about having completed this floor which had been on the back burner for so many years. Have fun my friends!