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Folk Art Painted Finishes and Mossy Skulls

Disclaimer: The products used in this post were provided to me free of charge by Plaid Enterprises.  I have not been compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

As I’ve whined about noted previously, the challenge for me of late is to find time to step away from being a little factory, to get to just play and make things that aren’t “potential products.”

One of the great things about being a Plaid Ambassador is that, when I find that time, I am surrounded by potential projects that they have generously provided.

They have given me a great selection of their Folk Art Painted Finishes line of paints including:   Barnwood (my previous project), concrete and….moss.folk-art-painted-finishes

Now, I must admit that when I opened the box  and saw “moss” my first thought was “and why would I want to do that?”  I have enough trouble with actual moss cropping up – fake moss seemed like an unnecessary addition.

But then Halloween season happened and I discovered that I was brimming with sort of odd, creepy Halloween ideas and that one of those ideas required fake moss!!! Huzzah!

So, you may recall my ugly, 1970s porch light had conked out recentlyporch-light

and rather than throw it away I thought I might be able to do something with it.  Blog-reader (and genuinely very cool lady) Denise came up with a fun suggestion that sparked an idea.  I didn’t use the broccoli but I did keep it green!

The Painted Finishes come in two colors:  Light Moss and Dark Moss and applying them is quick and very, very easy (I say this as a person who is deeply unskilled at faux painting techniques)folk-art-painted-finishes-technique-moss

After removing the glass and cleaning the porch light I went over it, as directed, with, well…. lets just call them splotches…..of the Dark Green Finish using the Painted Finishes Shortie Brushes.8b62e23f0ba81b7b9dfc8274c86f5e02

folk-art-painted-finishes-halloween-decoration-projectThen, while the paint was still wet I went back in with the light green color.folk-art-painted-finish-moss-halloween-decor-idea

The paint has some texture to it and when you combine them it really does have depth and realistic, mossy, look.

I did the same technique on the decorative crown and on a little round – I-don’t-know-what-it-is-nor-why-I-have-it decorative piece of metal that I wanted to use for the base and as a holder for a tealight.create-faux-moss-look-with-folk-art-painted-finishes

With the addition of a small, plastic skull from the .99 Store I had a suitably unnerving centerpiece/diorama

The moss technique looks good in broad daylight (I think I did a better job on the sides than I did on the crown thingy but i can always go back in and touch up)faux-moss-technique-with-folk-art-painted-finishes-tutorial

But when darkness comes and the candles get lit ……halloween-decoration-easy-skull-centerpiece

(although I may have freaked out my neighbors since I photographed this on the driveway and it looked  like I had invested in some random, disturbing shrine.)

I don’t think the plastic skull was actually made to be a illuminated  and doing so revealed a very odd/bad/splotchy paint job that really like!

halloween-skull-project-by-cheltenham-road

But, in conclusion, I have to say I’m a fan of the faux moss! halloween-decor-by-cheltenham-road It took, literally, 5 minutes to apply, dried quickly and looked great. It would be easy to apply to a terra cotta pot that you wanted to give a bit of age to.  Or maybe a faux brick wall.  I’m now kind of flooded with ideas for things that NEED to be mossy.

Happy Halloween Season everyone!

 

 

Folk Art Barnwood Painted Finish Technique, Stenciling and Mean Elementary School Teachers

easy-two-step-technique-to-create-an-aged-barnwood-effectDisclaimer: Plaid has provided me with the tools and materials for this project.  All opinions, however, are my own.

The folks at Folk Art have made a line of water based finishes that mimic the look of Concrete, Moss, Rust and Barnwood.

I’ve been itching to try out the Barnwood look.   I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to try it out on.

As usual I dithered a while and finally decided to use it on a simple crate.

But, as my plan evolved I realized I needed to face and overcome a longstanding fear:reasonable-vs-unreasonable-fears-list

I’m not quite sure why I find the idea of stenciling intimidating but I’ve kind of avoided using stencils all this time.

However, Plaid has sent me hundreds of stencils.  It appears that they too think I should get over myself.

To create the crate I used:diy-antique-crate-supplies

  • (2) 3.5x 1/2 craft wood strips cut to 11.5″ long
  • (2) 3.5×1/2″ craft wood strips cut to 7″ long
  • (1) piece of fiberboard for the bottom cut to 6 3/4″ x 12 1/4″
  • screws
  • brad nails (not pictured)
  • Hammer

To create the Barnwood  Paint Effect and Stencil I used

barnwood-stencil-supplies

  • Folk Art Barnwood Tint
  • Folk Art Barnwood Wax
  • Folk Art Milk Paint Brush (Folk Art Shortie Brushes are recommended for this technique but I didn’t have one on hand)
  • Craft Stick
  • Soft cloth
  • Folk Art Acrylic Craft Paint (Imperial Red)
  • Folk Art “Farmers Market” stencil
  • Plaid Stencil Brush

I will confess I was surprised to find out that “Barnwood” did not mean it was red.  But despite that initial hiccup I discovered that using the finish to creating the Barnwood look was a very easy two step process.

  • I sanded the unfinished wood and applied a coat of the Barnwood Tint
  • Once that had dried (four hours) I went over the surface with a coat of Barnwood Wax.
  • I wiped away any extra wax  and then went back in with a craft stick and scrapped away any excess wax allowing what remained to settle into the grooves of the wood (Note: one of my boards turned out to be a little warped so rather than the stiff craft stick I used a small piece of cardstock that had a bit more flexibility and that worked great).
  • Once I was satisfied with the look I set it aside to dry for 24 hours.faux-barnwood-painting-technique

I was impressed with the result.  There are lots of colors and variations and each of my four pieces ended up looking a bit different which really adds to the look of it.

two-step-barnwood-paint-effect

Then came the stencil!

My practice runs did’t bode well.  There were lots of leaks and blobs and fuzzy, unsatisfactory results.

However,  once I began actually following the instructions (which is a totally cool thing to do – you should try it!) and realized that when they say “you want your brush almost dry” they REALLY mean it I achieved, instantaneous Rock Star stencils.

I was killin’ it!!!! stencil-project

(I was not “killin’ it” however when I failed to center the the words on the wood.  Lets just chalk that up to over-excitement shall we and move on?).

As a matter of fact I was so pleased with how easy it was I stenciled all the other sides as well which wasn’t part of my initial plan.

Assembling the box was just a matter of screwing the sides together and using a few brad nails to attache the bottom.farmers-market-stencil-project

I actually took these final pictures in front of my rather aged backyard fence which I think looks pretty much exactly the same as the “Barnwood” paint!aged-barnwood-technique-tutorial

As an added bonus I had to buy all these vegetables for this picture.  So I will be eating vegetables!

(also, ice cream was on sale so I will be eating ice cream!)

All in all I’m pretty pleased with the Painted Finishes technique and I’m looking forward to trying out (and reporting back) on the other finishes.

And I am now all about stenciling!

The entire line of Folk Art Painted finishes are available and Michaels and JoAnn’s as well as via the Plaid web site (I do not receive any remuneration if you click that link)

*Mrs Gombert:

Tall.  Red, beehive hairdo.  Stern expression.  Limited sense of humor.  Name that sounds like a Middle Earth creature who, at first seems nice but soon reveals an evil plan: The Gombert.

I think she scared everyone but I earned a special place in her dark heart when, one day, after being given what I thought was an unreasonable amount of homework I quite innocently asked why “she got paid if we did all the work?”

OK, as an adult I recognize the flaw in my thinking (teachers please don’t email me) but, as a kid, it made sense to me.  However, this statement caused Mrs Gombert to become somewhat unhinged when it came to me (I once got detention for looking out the window!) and I lived in fear of her for the rest of the year.

She’d be on your list too.  Maybe even above spiders.

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Image Transfer Tutorial

 

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Tutorial with Image Transfer by Cheltenham RoadAs I mentioned in my previous post my Halloween Candle Holder project went waaaay south the first time (graphic transfer was pretty spotty, I put one of the images on upside down etc etc) BUT attempt #2 seems better so I thought I’d do a little step-by-step to detail my learning curve.

I started out with my basic, scrap wood candle holder.  To make it:

  • I cut three strips of plywood to 12×2″ size
  • Glued them together using wood glue and clamps
  • Sanded it smooth with my handheld circular sander
  • Drilled 3 holes in the top using a 2 1/8 Forstner bit
  • Plywood Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadAnd, finally, painted it with some orange craft paint allowing the wood grain to show through a bit
  • NOTE:  It really is orange!  The color keeps changing in the photos but I swear it’s orange!Classic Halloween Wooden Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

After the paint dried I sanded it again, by hand, using a 220 grit sandpaper.

  • This 2nd sanding is key – and I think skipping it was big part of my previous fail.  A super-smooth surface lends itself to a good transfer.

After that it was on to image transfer.DIY Halloween Centerpiece Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

For this step I had my minwax Polycrylic (Satin), my images, printed in reverse on plain old legal paper, a brush, some paper towels and (not pictured, sorry!) a brayer/roller.

My “images” are just a combination of text and some clip art – (mostly from The Graphics Fairy)Vintage Halloween Design Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

I don’t know if anyone would want to do this exact project but if you do here is the reversed print sheet in a high resolution download: Vintage Halloween Graphic Reverse Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

After applying a good layer of  polycrylic – (good coverage ensures a good transfer)Vintage Halloween Image Transfer Tutorial

I placed my image, face-down, on top and, using the brayer/roller thingy pressed it into place, smoothing out wrinkles and squeezing out excess polycrilicHalloween Candle HOlder Tutorial

(and this is where you’ll want to have the paper towels on hand to clean up any drips)

This is another key step.  You want to press down hard and make sure there is really good contact between the paper and the wood.  Roll  in all directions to make sure you get good contact everywhere.

Drying Time:  I live in hot, dry Southern California so I just leave my stuff in the sun for a few hours.  If you’r in a cooler or damper climate you might want to let it dry overnight.

Then, using a pretty wet cloth just gently rub away the paper to reveal the image.Image Transfer Halloween Candle Tutorial

Now here is the part about image transfer that doesn’t seem to get mentioned a lot.  Yes, the graphic transfers but there is also always a super thin layer of paper left behind.  When you first rub it with the damp cloth everything will look great and then, when it dries you’ll get this:Halloween Candle Block

You can do another round or two of rubbing with the damp cloth to remove more paper but you’ll never totally get rid of all of it.

But, not to worry, once you seal it the white paper fades again.

So, on you last pass with the damp clothImage Transfer Halloween Candle Holder

use a dry cloth to get rid of any excess moister and immediately seal it with poly (or Mod Podge or any other sealer) and you’ll be good to go!

Vintage Halloween Graphic Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadSo, the first time I tried this I ended up with a bit of a mess of poorly transferred graphics.Classic Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

My fixes solved that problem but, this time around, they transferred so well that I had to go back in and “distress” some of them with sandpaper to get the  look I wantedImage Transfer Tutorial for Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

I do promise to get off the plywood candle holder kick soon but, even if you have no intention of doing it I hope these projects at least spark some ideas.

And if you DO make one -please send pics!

 

How To Repair Damaged Furniture

Fix Damaged Furniture with BondoThis is the promised follow-up post about poor, patient Geralyn’s little sewing cabinet thingy.

As you may recall – it was in pretty bad shapeSewing Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

Iffy finish and a big chunk taken out of the wood on one corner.
Damaged furniture fix-up tutorial

As you also may recall, several years ago I did a post about repairing damaged furniture with Bondo.Fix damaged furniture with Bondo

It is actually my most popular post!  Which is awesome because nothing says “I’m totally killing it with this blogging thing” like having your most popular post be five years old.

Anyway, I knew I would use Bondo again but I doubted Bondo alone would be a sturdy enough repair to allow the little door to hinge open as it was supposed to do.Bondo Can

So, using an old furniture-fixer trick, I just glued a tooth-pick in the the hollow cavity where the old screw went.Fixing damaged corners on furniture

The toothpick will fill the void and give the new screw something to dig into.  And the wood glue provides a bond that is actually stronger than the the real wood.

After the glue had dried thoroughly, I mixed up the Bondo and applied a pretty generous amount to the damaged corner.  Bondo for fixing furniture

The great thing about Bondo is that, once it dries you can sand and shape it to match pretty much any contour (which I did but nelected to photograph) and then paint over it for a pretty seamless fix.Furniture Fix up with Bondo

After that it was just a matter of drilling a pilot hole for the screw and I was done!fixing up damaged furniture

Folk Art Milk Paint Furniture Makeover by Cheltenham RoadAnd then I got busy (on the other side) with the image transfer and the edge sanding (you can see the details of that effort HERE)Image transfer for vintage sewing cabinet by cheltenham road

OK, to be honest, while I’m satisfied with how the repair looks and functions (and I think Geralyn will be too), I’m still a little anxious about the long-term durability of this fix.

The Bondo trick works great on corners or damaged legs but the fact that this little piece has to “hinge” open is a different kettle of fish.

So I’m going to urge Geralyn to make the part with the new graphic on it her main point of access – just to be on the safe side.

Up next time.  Some new Halloween projects!

Sewing Cabinet Makeover with Milk Paint and Mod Podge Transfer

My name is David and I am your Plaid Craft Ambassador.

I promise to keep things civil, try to hear all sides of the argument and I hope we can come to some consensus on the issue to prevent an outright craft war.

OK, actually, I want to reiterate that Plaid provided me with craft supplies for this project but all the opinions and experiences are my own.  Other than receiving the craft materials I was not compensated for this project and any  links I provide are purely to be helpful – I don’t receive an affiliate kick-back or anything.

All the products I used are new(ish) and are now available in most craft stores or via the Plaid Enterprises site.

With that out of the way lets get on to the project.

Geralyn asked me if I could fix up this woebegone little sewing cabinet thingy. Sewing Cabinet Makeover Tutorial

I happily said yes, put it in the garage and then pretended not to see it for….. several years.

As you can see it was damaged on that front corner and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

So I kept hoping inspiration would strike (or that Geralyn would forget about it).

Happily it struck!  (and I don’t know if Geralyn forgot although if she didn’t she did display great patience)

But that repair is the subject of different post.

So, just bear with me as I fast-forward.  I fixed the problem and now it’s time to spruce the little guy up a bit.

I used the following productsSewing Box Makeover Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

  • Folk Art Milk Paint – Petticoat
  • Folk Art Milk Paint Bonding Primer and Sealer
  • Mod Podge Transfer Medium
  • Folk Art Milk Paint brushes
  • A reverse printed image from the Graphics Fairy
  • Glass cleaner
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • damp towel (for the image transfer part)

After cleaning the whole piece with glass cleaner (new idea for me but recommended by the Folk Art directions and it worked quite nicely) I primed it with the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

The Primer goes on with and looks slightly milky but dries clear.  Actually, it almost made me not want to paint the thing because it made the finish look much better….but where’s the fun in that?

Up next, my first experience with milk paint.

Like all of you I’d heard about it for a long time but hadn’t tried it.  Plaid has come up with a version that comes pre-mixed and ready to go.

I brushed on an initial coat using the designed for the purpose.

A minimum of two coats is required for this paint and, as you can see, the first coast went on a bit streaky.
1st coat

But, it’s ready for it’s re-coat in 30 minutes  and the second coat gave a beautiful finish.Folk Art Milk Paint Furniture Makeover by Cheltenham Road

Up next was the image transfer.

As you know I’ve experimented with a lot of different image transfer techniques.  What I’m discovering is that each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages and I like having kind of an arsenal of options at my disposal.  I’ve had very satisfactory results with Mod Podge Image Transfer in the past – it’s easy to work with and produces the perfect, slightly distressed, vintage look I wanted.

I printed my image in reverse on my laser printer.

To do the transfer I lay a good thick coat of the transfer medium over the printed side of the paper*sewing case makeover with Mod Podge Transfer by Cheltenham Roadand then place it, Mod Podge Side, down on the surface of the furniture and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

You also want to have a damp towel on hand to clean up any excess MP Transfer that squeezes out because it’s much harder to clean it up when it dries.

I applied it to the cabinet and let it dry overnight (the long drying time is the only disadvantage of this technique – I’m just seldom that patient).

(*spreading the transfer goo on the paper can be a bit messy.  Mod Podge makes a really great silicone mat that you can buy – you can kinda see it in my picture- that works great and is easy to clean up.  If you don’t have that (I bought mine a few years ago) though, lay down a piece of plastic wrap or something to protect whatever surface you’re working on)

The next day I dampened the image with a cloth and then, using the same damp cloth gently rubbed away the paper to reveal the image underneath.Image Transfer with Mod Podge Transfer Medium by Cheltenham Road

With all of these transfer techniques keep in mind that you’re not transferring just the image but also a super thin, pretty-much transparent layer of the paper that the image is attached too as well.  If you rub too hard you’ll just rub off that thin layer of paper along with your image (I did that in one spot you’ll see in a sec) so “gently” is the key word here.

Once I was satisfied with the look of the transfer I sanded the edges of the whole piece using 120 grit sandpaper and then gave the whole thing a protective sealing coat of the Folk Art Bonding Primer and Sealer.

Image transfer for vintage sewing cabinet by cheltenham road

You can see, in this pic, where I got a bit to agressive with the rubbing right there in that black circle at the end of the word “Barbour.”  I think it just adds to the distressed, vintagy look but it is a goof.
vintage sewing case makeover by cheltenham road

I think Geralyn will be pleased with the look.

So, I’m happy to report that my first experience with Milk Paint was pretty great.  It went on smoothly, clean up was easy and I really like the look.  This is particularly good because, as you know, I have A LOT of it!Folk Art Milk PaintSo I’m looking forward to more projects (and to mixing my own colors which is, apparently, an option).

I will share a post about how I fixed that banged up corner soon.

David

 

 

A Sudden Vacation

As my Instagram followers know I actually left the house recently!

Friends somewhat randomly scored a suite in Las Vegas and it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse.

I did almost refuse it though because, well, here’s the deal.

I don’t like Vegas.

I’ve been there three times and pretty much hated it each time.

It’s not really a mystery why Vegas and I don’t get along.  I’m insanely cheap pretty frugal.

When a friend asked me if I planned to gamble I had to be honest and say:

“I don’t even like to spend money when I’m guaranteed to receive an actual product at the end of the transaction. “

So it’s not really Vegas’ fault.

But this time I did Vegas on my terms!  And I had a blast.

What are my terms you may ask?

Let’s just say my favorite part was the Neon Museum.

They’ve gathered all the old, discarded neon signs from all the casino’s and resorts. Las Vegas Neon Museum They’ve restored some and plan to restore moreNeon Museum Boneyard Las VegasYou can take a tour of the “Bone Yard” which, as you can see, is a giant, vintagey, chippy paint, letter lovers PARADISE!!!The Neon Museum Las Vegas Nevada

(I highly recommend the tour  – just don’t do it in the summer.  It was 114 degrees that day…..)

Also, in a town full of fake (fake New York, fake Paris, fake Rome, fake Egypt) I found an authentic, from the 50s, greasy spoon diner with a terrific staff and great(ish) – it IS a greasy spoon after all -food.  Vicki’s Diner is a hot pink, retro throwback.Vickis Diner Las Vegas

And I discovered an unexpectedly huge antique mall that was full to overflowing with cool stuff.  (I didn’t really peg flashy Vegas as a resource for vintage but I was wrong).charleston-antique-mall

And I couldn’t pass up the Mob Museum!Mob Museum Las Vegas

Housed in the old Post Office it also offered huge banks of these awesome old PO boxes.Las Vegas Mob Museum  I want a wall of these in my house.  You know, for storage….

So, I managed to go to Vegas and neither gamble nor drink.

Because that’s the kind of crazy hedonist I am!

But now I’m back home and working on Halloween!Vintage Halloween Decor by Cheltenham Road

Getting ready for the first of two big shows.

Up first Midsummer Scream in Long Beach!  It’s a huge show and the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday July 30 and 31st.MidsummerScream Long Beach

And up next?  My first Craft Ambassador project.

Yardstick Tray and an Easy Image Transfer Tutorial

Easy Image Transfer on WoodOK, I realize, this project sorta falls under the  “yes you CAN do that but..why?” category.

And I wouldn’t argue too much with that.

BUT!

I have my reasons.

OK, to start at the beginning.

My sister who was either trying to inspire me or make me insane pinned  this terrific project from Betsy at My Salvaged Treasures  to our shared Pinterest board.tray tutorial from My Salvaged TrasuresLike all of her stuff it’s super cool and very creative.  And, of course, I immediately HAD to make one.

Stumbling block?  Not enough yardsticks.

And unfortunately, I live in an area where anything remotely inexpensive, cool and popular instantly goes from affordable to crazy.  So old, beat up yardsticks in LA cost $12 each which sorta takes the fun out of it.

BUT!

I had just learned a new image transfer technique via The Oracle at Delphi The Graphics Fairy.  It’s quick, easy, pretty affordable and GREATLY lessens the chance of me burning down my house!

I’d tried it on my new, stained, candle holders and it worked greatTea Light Holder by Cheltenham Roadand I wanted to try it out on a painted surface so why not make my own yardsticks?

Here is what I used

  • 5″ Poplar craft wood from Lowes 2 pieces 16″ long and two pices 11.5″ long
  • 1/4″ MDF for the base A piece of 1/4″ MDF cut to 16×11
  • a section of metal roof flashing (also from Lowes)
  • E6000 Glue
  • Red craft paint
  • Wood stain
  • A scan of a yardstick
  • Polycrylic
  • Wood glue
  • Metal shears
  • Pin Nailer (not absolutely necessary)

I painted the craft wood with some slightly watered down red craft paint and then, when it dried, I went over it lightly with a bit of wood stain just to give it an aged look.  Here is the before and after.Painted Slats for DIY Ruler Tray

A light sanding blended the two even better.

I then cut my roof flashing to size and, using the E6000 glued it to my MDF base.Image Transfer and a Rustic Ruler Tray by Cheltenham Road

I scanned the yardstick that I had and, using Photoshop removed everything but the numbers.  Then, for fun, I added my own text.  RULER NO BACKGROUND 4TH STREET MASTER

Here is the blank version if you’re keen on doing something similar.  Just right-click to download the high res version

ruler no background appliances

I reversed it and printed it out on legal sized paper using my laser printer

Now the new transfer technique.

It’s the same as all the other ones except you use PolycrylicPolycrylic

You simply brush on the PolycrylicImage Transfer Technique Using Polycrylic by Cheltenham Road

Lay your image downEasy image transfer to wood technique by Cheltenham Road

Use a roller or an old credit card or whatever to smooth out and get a good seal between the paper and the wood, and set it aside to dry.

It’s sunny and hot here so I just left it outside for 3 hours.

Then you just use a damp towel and rub away the paper to reveal the image (I forgot to take a picture of that part.  Trust me.  It’s just like all the other wet paper rubbing I’ve done.  Like this)Image Transfer using Wall Lenk Tool

After that  I just glued and pin-nailed my sides into place around the base and gave the “yardstick” a sealing coat of Polycrylic and I was done.DIY Yardstick Tray by Cheltenham Road

So, I know what you’re thinking.

“You just went through all that to make….a yarrstick?  I mean, it looks exactly like a yardstick.  You just made something you can buy.  Your sister has succeeded.  You’re insane”Image Transfer Yardstick Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

And you are correct.

BUT!

This told me that the transfer technique works great on painted surfaces.

AND I am no longer subject to the tyranny of the Yardstick Pickers of Los Angeles.  HA!!! I can make my own yardsticks and I can make them say whatever I want them to say and I  can make them whatever color suits me!Image Transfer Technique Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

See?  Victory!

Actually, I just like that I have another easy  technique in my arsenal for image transfer.   Polycrylic is readily available and pretty affordable (you don’t use much) and it really allows the wood to show through.  This could be used for any kind of graphic transfer and, trust me, I have a lot more ideas coming down the line with this technique.

 

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