Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DIY: The Pantry Finish

What better place to use leftovers then in a pantry. 

During our kitchen re-model we used space from our walk-in pantry to accommodate moving the refrigerator (now the fridge is flush with the counter top and looks built-in).  This meant removing shelving and a wall mounted spice rack.  Sure it was another space that was patched and dusty but it also presented an opportunity to clean, re-organize, and use some up some left-over products. That is the fun thing about a small space-You can do bolder finishes for a bigger impact with a little product.

I began by wiping off all the drywall dust and rolling a coat of Taupe Setcoat on the walls and the ceiling. This is a weird pinky purple beige that I don't use a whole lot. I selected it since I had some open and in the end the little bit that showed actually worked with the finish.  Next I used a sea sponge roller to apply Venetian Gem Belissimo in Sage.  Belissimo is a lighter creamier version of Faux Effects' Venetian Gem Plaster.  The Sage is a pretty grey-based pale green.  I covered about 80% of the base color, letting the plaster peek as I rolled it.

I rolled 3 walls before I went back with my trowel and flattened the peaks.  Belissimo is easy to roll in this application.  I love using Venetian Plaster as a base in finishes because it is saturated color, dries within an hour and is well-sealed when dry.

I opted to go with a silver metallic since the light fixture we put in the pantry has a rubbed black over silver. 
First, I troweled a high/low coat of Silver Palette Deco on the ceiling.  My ceiling had a drywall seam line and I am too lazy to mud and sand it properly so I thought I would use left-over plaster to build a finish over it.  Plus the Silver Palette Deco gives a nice glow under the future layers.

On the walls I alternated Silver Palette Deco and Silver Sharkskin using a sea sponge roller to create connecting areas.  You could substitute Silver Super Hide Metallic or Silver FauxMetal for the Silver Sharkskin.  Why use two silvers?  The Palette Deco is shiner and the Silver Sharkskin is more matte.  The Palette Deco will repel glaze and the Sharkskin will absorb the glaze.  Plus I had both.  The finish could be done just using one product and still look nice. 

Finishes like this are meant to go fast even though there are several layers.  The key is to not over-think the base layers. Yes, the finish will look spotty at first. Don't waste time making the base plaster and the silver pretty-these layers are about getting something up that looks random and organic.  Once I got the silvers applied I was able to apply my next layer on the first wall.

This is the layer where you finesse the finish by sea sponge rolling more Sage Belissimo to soften both the silver layer and any of the base paint.  Again, I rolled to leave peaks and came back later to lightly trowel them down.  The set time on the plaster keeps me from just smudging it. 

For the ceiling I troweled a tight layer of Rhino Lusterstone over the Palette Deco. Rhino is a new Lusterstone color that is a blue-green grey.

I did all the above layers in one day over 200 square feet of ceiling and wall space. I used a quart of Setcoat, a quart of Belissimo, 3/4 quart of Silver Palette Deco, 1/2 quart of Rhino, and 1/4 quart of Silver Sharkskin.

When I thinking of a pattern for a kitchen pantry, a checked one is what comes to mind. But we live in a contemporary home and a check is very traditional.  So I selected this slightly Moroccan pattern from Cutting Edge Stencils to give me that checkered tablecloth look while keeping it more modern. This stencil comes with a ceiling topper which makes it so easy to get right at the ceiling line to lap your pattern.

Hint:  Go all the way around the room with the topper first. This will let you know where to "fudge" your pattern in the most inconspicuous place and will allow you to work on several walls at a time while you are waiting for pattern areas to dry.

I mixed some Aquawax with Wheat Metal Glow (1 pint Aquawax : 1/4 cup Wheat) and added some very fine silver glitter from Michael's (1 TBSP).  Aquawax is a great choice for metallic stenciled patterns because you can roll it, it dries quick, and you can see through it to under layers.

While my wall pattern was drying, I troweled a tight layer of Palette Deco Pearl over the ceiling for added reflection. The Pearl Palette Deco over the Rhino gives the impression of old tin.

I always have some American Walnut Stain & Seal and FX Thinner left over from cabinet jobs.  I prefer using this mix as my glaze over products such as wax and venetian plaster that are slicker and want to repel glaze mediums.  The stain will bead up slightly-pad with a dry cloth to soften.  The stain mix will bond hard to the surface without any additional topcoat.  The warm brown of the stain really changes the color of finish and livens it up!

Since I am working on my Martha Stewart Merit Badges (don't laugh-this is a real thing) I decided to organize my new pantry.

I am good on the scissors and the cupcake but that metal thing that shoots steam has me stumped.

Next it was time to organize the pantry. I think Bruce deserves a nice space to store his ingredients since he has decided to take up cooking as a hobby.

I guess we didn't need that steamer after all.

A nice oil painting of an orange to remind of what fresh fruit is and that scurvy is bad.  You can see in the background my OCD in full action with the shelves all matching and bowls in ascending heights.

The black piece was actually the top of a buffet that I bought at a flea market years ago when it was painted purple.  I did a black rub back to silver and it fit perfectly to hold vegetables and fruit (see that painting really worked).  Lazy Susan's (need to ask Wiki how that name came about) and clear containers make it easy to locate pantry items. And just a reminder that this.....

did not happen on 12/21/2012.  I know that when you saw the Slaton pantry with actual food in it you thought for a moment that maybe the world did end.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stocking Stuffers for Decorative Painters

Remember how Burgermeister Meisterburger made all the children get rid of their toys, so Jessica told the kids to hang out their stockings and Kris Kringle would put the gifts in the stockings? Well then you are old like me but you know some of the best things come in an old sock...

Or maybe not?

My Mom is always good at getting fun and unusual things for our stockings (yes, I still put up one as does Bruce, and our dogs). In this spirit, here are some recommendations for stocking stuffers for the decorative artist in your life or to share with the loved one that wants to "stuff your stocking."

Artist's Loft Brushes. Michael's. Under $5 for a pack of 3.  I love these brushes and use them in all of my cabinet classes.  The soft bristles are perfect for brushing wiping stains and concentrate colors.  The dense square shape make them a great choice for detailing and tipping raised panels and decorative elements of furniture.  Look for them in brushes located in the Artist Supply section of Michael's and not the Craft section.

Airbrush cleaning brushes.  Under $5.  Harbor Freight.  We carry these in the studio for our finishers and they are a necessity for cleaning HVLP guns.  The tiniest brush is perfect to unclog the small hole in the aircap that often gets forgotten.

Fine Glitter and beads.  Under $10 (shipping costs vary).  There is no better time to give someone the gift of glitter or beads.  For color variation and quick shopping try Michael's where you will find Martha Stewart and Recollections glitter/beads in the scrap booking supplies.  I like the microbeads and the very fine glitter.  Tinsel glitter is fun but looks a little like moldy hair in a finish. This glitter is not coated and will shed some color in your medium (glazes, waxes, plaster, etc...) For great customer service and coated products that will withstand alkyds, give Cero Glass a call at 931-490-8030 or visit the web-site  You can get real glass glitter from Cero and products come in many sizes.  Just make sure you give your glitter in good packaging-this stuff is like parsley-it shows up flicked all over the place.

Spray Texture Touch-up gun. Under $15.  Hardware Stores.  These pump guns used to touch-up textured walls/ceilings are hard to find so buy a few. Usually locally owned hardware stores or Ace Hardware will have them.  These are perfect for blowing the glitter or beads that you  purchased into your finishes-especially over your head.

E-6000 Glue. Under $10. Craft and Hobby stores.  Hands-down the best crafting glue there is!  For the finisher that likes to add assemblage to your canvas art this is a must have glue.  I've glued heavy metal letters, gears, and wood molding with this product.  It is an epoxy glue so it does stink but it dries hard without foaming like some other super stick glues.

Whizz Rollers Black Foam Sponge Contractors Pack. 10 for $28.95. We carry these at Surfaces but you may also find them at some paint stores.  This is the application tool for water-born paints, topcoats, and Wundasize.  White high density rollers often foam with water-born products (especially if you thin the product with water).  These rollers minimize foaming and the concave tip makes it easier to get into edges and tight spaces. Convex (curved out) rollers catch in these areas and will tear leaving foam in your finish.

Handy Paint Pail Covers. Under $4 for 2 pack.  Paint Stores.  Little Shower caps for your paint containers!  Great for when you mix custom glazes on the fly in whatever bucket you have handy. I seem to have the empty container but never the right lid. Fits tighter then cling wrap.

Rubber Horsetail Brushes. Under $4. Tractor Supply.  We've been using these nifty little brushes for years.  Molded out of rubber to fit a hand, their use is to groom the mane and tail of a horse. We use them to shape plasters and glazes.  The tips are super durable and come in different sizes plus the shape is comfortable in your hand. Since there is no handle they are easy to get into awkward spaces as well.

Japan Blades. Set of 4. Under $20. Faux Finishing Retail Studios including ours.  Actually made in Germany, these are a staple for the Decorative Artist.  The flexible blade is great for tight back fills of plasters and the square shape lends itself to shaping products.  The perfect tool for cleaning or buttering a larger trowel.  Plus they are useful for scrapping product off your sample surface area when cleaning.

Motsenbocker's Liftoff Hand Cleaner and Conditioner.  14 fl oz. Under $5.  Home Improvement Box Stores. We also carry it at Surfaces.  Speaking of cleaning! You can either give the gift of latex gloves or this hand cleaner.  Made by the same people that brought you Latex Lift-off Level 5, this product cleans your hands really well (including Stain & Seal) without drying them out thanks to Lanolin, Vitamin E, and Aloe.  It is also a nice cleanser for stencil brushes-it has orange pumice in it.  Added bonus-it does a great job of getting rings all sparkly.

Rubber Application Triangle. Under $30. Faux Finishing Supply Studios including ours.  This is a nice little tool that many finishers do not have.  The perfect size, shape, and material for troweling in sinks, around columns, and over stencils.  The rubber is also a nice choice for very light plasters where you don't want any carbon marks.

Specialty Rubber Rollers. $18-$19. Surfaces Fine Paint and Prismatic Painting.  OK, I admit it. These look like something for the person who has been naughty!  I've featured these rollers in many of my classes and blog posts as a way to add fun techniques to many plasters, foils, and waxes.  Made of a durable rubber, these rollers may be easily cut to fit into tight spaces and several of the shapes are non-directional making them practical for many room situations.  Available in Alligator, Loops, Bark, Patchwork, Spots, and Threads.  The Alligator is the only one that comes with a handle.

4" Stub Roller Cage. Home Improvement Stores. Under $5.  Buy your friend a few of these to go with their Specialty Rollers. Plus these little handles fit small paint rollers that are perfect for small rooms like powder baths.

Paint Church Key.  Under $2-usually free. Paint Stores.  It opens paint cans and beer bottles-what more do I need to say?

A Surfaces Gift Certificate. Any amount.  Most gifts that keep on giving require the involvement of the IRS or the local Heath Department.  Not so the Surfaces' gift certificate.  Maybe someone thinks you've been good (or bad-we don't judge) and knows you deserve a class in 2013.  Just let us know the amount and we will process and mail the certificate that will be good until the time the recipient chooses a class or classes.

As I said in the beginning: some of the best gifts come in a stocking.