Monday, January 19, 2015

A long, long time ago...

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I painted a desk and chair and then I got busy, and it got cold and snowy.  The poor desk and chair were never, ever photographed.  Sad story, huh?  Many times they even sell and there is not one photo to show that I toiled, fretted, and sweated over a piece of furniture.  I have forsaken before photos a lot, but I almost always try to take a picture of my 'babies' before they leave home.  Well, the sun came out for a brief bit, warmed the earth and I moved one of those pieces into my booth and it caught it's 15 minutes of fame.

Here is the sweet little Dixie desk and chair that I painted last Fall.  The color is Amber Waves of Grain, which is reading a bit brighter than it is in person.  It is a rich yellow, but not as neon as I am seeing it on my monitor.  Beautiful lines, plenty of storage and finished on all 4 sides so it could float in a space.  So pretty with it's original hardware.  I especially love it with the globe shaded lamp on it.  The lamp is painted in Surfboard, a gorgeous light aqua.

It is one of the pieces I moved into the new space (#43, Utah Ave.) at the Brass Armadillo.

Here's how it looked when I left.  I'm rather hoping there are a few things that have found new homes tonight.  Have a super week, go create!
Joining the party!

Elizabeth and Co.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Re-do the Re-do

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Not every piece is going to be easy to transform.  Some days you are more inspired than others.  Some times the inspiration turns into a fabulous new creation, sometimes not.  I have those moments and most of you have had them too.  Here's my story of one of "those" days.

I have a nice Ethan Allen long, low dresser with a worn finish outside, but super clean and in good condition otherwise.  Simple right?  I thought so, and no I did not take a before photo because I just never seem to remember them these days.  My apologies. :-)

I chose a deep dark brown base of American Paint Company's Wild Horses.  Love that color for a base.  On top I painted a couple of coats of Smoke Signal on the body and Limoge on the drawers.  New hardware and voila`, finished right?
Not bad, but kind of blah, drab, and boring huh?  It just didn't inspire me.

I had tried a new (to me) technique to get a linen look to the drawer fronts.  It felt and looked cool in person, but the effect is totally lost when you look at it like this.  Then I messaged a fellow APC retailer, Shelly Andrade of Shizzle Design and whined about my blah piece.  Shelly was kind enough to quickly throw up some photos of dressers she had painted with plain flat front drawers.  They were fabulous, and inspiring!  If you have never followed Shelly you MUST check out her blog.  She and her sister Cathy do the most amazing things with their projects...Shizzle!

So back to work and here is what I came up with using Shelly's projects as my muse.

Now, there will be some of you, hello Mom, who probably won't like this any better than the first result.  Or maybe will like the first result even better.  But for me, it is heaven to see so much depth on those drawers now.  I have not mastered that technique by any means, but it was so fun to try it out.
Now you can see the linen patterns I had created on the base coats.  In addition to the Wild Horses, Smoke Signal, and Limoges I now have Freedom Road, Desert Cactus and more Limoges on the drawers.  I hit and missed painted I dry brushed, and sanded, I washed and I wet distressed.  I probably could have played for another week on these.
So which version do you prefer?  I wish I had some nicely styled photos for you, but the workshop is too full to set it up, the weather is too cruddy to take it outside, and my house is in full winter dark (with Christmas Decor still up, the shame of it all) to take a proper photo.  I will sit on this for a while and then decide if I want to change the body color a bit or maybe just layer on a different coat of paint.  You might get to see the Re-do of the Re-do of the Re-do.  It happens.

Have a super fab weekend!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

We've MOVED!

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Well the booth has moved anyway.  The Twice Nice booth at the Brass Armadillo has moved to Utah Avenue, booth 43.  It's where you will find the American Paint Company paints/finishes, and some furniture pieces, and some other cool things I find along the way.  All I have are lousy cell phone photos, but what the hey, I'll show you anyway.

We started with dingy brown walls first thing this morning.  2 hours later we had this.
A nice start.  We placed 2 large book page panels on both ends.  That was a fun project.
Bleh picture!  We made it this far before we decided to call it quits for the day.  Here are some equally awful pictures for you to look at our progress.
Admit it, I make you feel better about your photography skills.  Is it the iPhone or is it me?  I'll need a new phone to know won't I?

Anyway, lots more things to take down for the walls, and a desk to float in the middle and fun, fun, fun!  Stop by and see the booth local folks!  Pick up some paint and find your future project right there in the mall.  Wouldn't the legs on the Gate leg table look great painted?!

If it seems quiet over here, find the Facebook button on my sidebar and visit me there.  I'm getting the hang of it and posting there more frequently.  I can also be found on Instagram.  I KNOW, shocking huh?  Just started over there and I hope to remember to use it frequently ;-).

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Painting Cabinets

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I've talked about painting my kitchen cabinets since before we even moved into our current home.  There is nothing wrong with them.  They are a quality, 19 year old, golden oak stained cabinet.  The rest of our trim and doors are also oak.  It's just a lot of oak for me personally.  I have looked at many different paints to complete this task over the years.  We've found some really good option, really good colors, just not a really good time.  It's a big job!  It will take time to clean, prep, and paint a full kitchen.  Then more time for things to cure.  Last winter I bought hardware...this winter I'm trying to remember where I stored it.  Uh-oh.

Up to this point I was shying away from using the no prime Clay/Chalk type of paints in my kitchen. Hello, chalk and clay are porous, and hello again, there are five of us of varying ages, skill levels, and general neatness that use this kitchen every day.  I was not going to do ally that work only to find someone managed to smear peanut butter on a door front while searching for a plate.  I may have changed my mind.

I retail American Paint Company paints and products.  This Fall they released a new product called Hard Coat.  Everyone who used it raved about the look, feel, and durability.  I decided to test it out on a spare kitchen cabinet I had picked up.  This was a small oak raised panel door.  It was raw wood so some slight difference from my own golden oak stained cabinets.  With all existing cabinets I would recommend a thorough cleaning with TSP or another degrease/degloss type of product.  Life happens all over our cabinets...just saying'.

I painted 2 coats of Home Plate, a creamy white, a coat of Hard Coat, taped off glazed 1/2 of my board with our brown glaze because I can't decide if that's what I want to do on my own cabinets, and finished with another coat of Hard Coat.  I did also do some light distressing to see if I liked that.  Then I sat it aside and ignored it for a month.  Paints and finishes need time to completely cure to their test their permanent durability.
See all those products on and around the door.  That's what I used to test the durability after the door had cured.  I used the wooden handle on the paint brush and scratched it around.  I used the paint key and scraped it all over.  I took the screwdriver and drew circles on my door.  Now, I could dent the wood, but no paint or finish came off that I could find.  Hopefully most of us would not use these types of tools on our own kitchen cabinets, but I wanted to see if paint would start to flake off.

Probably one of my biggest fears though is the dreaded food stain.  So I put a glop of mayo, salad dressing, olive oil, and spaghetti sauce on my door and left it for an hour or so.  Then I wiped it off with a damp cloth.  (You would not want to clean your painted or stained wood with Clorox wipes or other strong cleaners, just warm, soapy water is good!)

You know what, I was so pleased to find that none of those products created a stain, or appeared to penetrate through the Hard Coat at all!

I have decided that I'll start in the bathrooms and work my way up to the large kitchen project!  Hard Coat is an awesome product and I'll be using it a lot, especially on table tops.  I am so excited to be able to paint with our Natural, No VOC paints on these indoor projects!  And I'm super stoked about Hard Coat, which definitely lives up to it's name!

For the locals, I stock Hard Coat in the booth (#208) at the Brass Armadillo, and I have some at the workshop here at home.  Let me know if you have any questions!

It's that time of year when we look to freshen up our homes.  Let's get busy!