Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Which Paint Brush is the Best?

In my opinion the proper paint brush is very important to achieve the best results when you are painting. But which ones are the best? I have two favorite brands that I use daily - ChalkPro and Global Art. On this post I am going to tell you about ChalkPro paint brushes. 
I use nearly all of this line of brushes because I think they are the best. ChalkPro has 3 sizes of waxing brushes. These brushes are round and flat so you can push the wax into the wood and crevices. We sell ChalkPro brushes really well in all of our locations. As in all natural bristle brushes you can expect a little shedding when you first buy your brush. I suggest that you wash the brush with brush soap and use a steel brush to comb through the bristles. This will help eliminate some of the shedding. After each use if you will wash your nice brushes with soap they will last forever. I use Miss Mustard Seed's Brush Soap on all of my brushes and not only cleans them but conditions them. After I wash and comb the brush I place a paper towel around the bristles to help keep the shape. Natural bristles can become dry and unruly just like our hair!
Remember we sell brushes at each of our locations and online. Visit for all your painting needs. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Remember These Guys?

Open House at Fresh will be November 7th and 8th. We are gathering our Christmas decorations and preparing the store for a fun two day event! We have several surprises that I will be sharing soon regarding Fresh's Open House. So mark your calendars and be sure and stay tuned for more information. 
As most of you know my mom, Nelda, paints cypress knee Santa's and these guys will be coming back to Fresh this holiday season. Each Santa is hand painted and a one of a kind piece of art. Mom does a fantastic job painting these fellows! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

CeCe Caldwell's Retailer Training and Two New Colors

Sharon and I traveled to McKinney for a retailer training where I taught an advanced finish class. We met about 30 fellow retailers and shared ideas and tips with each other. Sharon learned some good information about social media and tips on the new products. 
Our hosts Donna and Wesley Haile own and operate Doozie's Corner. Donna and Wesley have a beautiful store and treated us with delicious pastries and coffee Monday morning. After our first session of classes we went next door to The Pantry where a tasty lunch was served. These two sure know how to treat their guests. 
We started classes again at 1:00 and finished up around 4:30. I enjoyed meeting everyone and I hope everyone walked away with new ideas and ready to put in action what they learned. Downtown McKinney is such a neat place with plenty of shops and eateries. If you are near the area I highly recommend it! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Finishes by Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

There's a new finish from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint that is a very nice brush on finish called Tough Coat. It's a non-yellowing water based poly that goes on smoothly and leaves a matte like finish. 
For a durable finish that can also be used on outdoor projects you may want to try Tung Oil. Tung Oil can be applied with a brush or soft cloth and needs to cure for several days. 
Everyone has their favorite finish and it depends on where the piece will be used. Is it going to be in the kitchen where it will need to be durable enough to withstand spills? Or will it be in a low traffic area where it's not necessarily going to be used but more of an ornament. I suggest trying each finish on a sample block to see how it looks and feels. Good luck with your next project! You have many choices out there as far as paints and finishes. I'm always glad to help you make decisions on your painting dilemmas. 
I'm finishing some of my projects today and I will post some pictures later of this chest of drawers. Happy Hump Day!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Miss Mustard Seed's Finishing Products

 The Miss Mustard Seed products are some of the best products that you can use. There are 18 great colors to choose from and six finishes. I am going to introduce you to three of those today. Milk paint is in a powder form and is mixed with equal amounts of water. It usually takes two coats of the paint for a full coverage. Milk paint works wonderfully on raw wood but it can also be used on furniture that's finished with a little prep work prior to painting. After you choose your favorite color and paint your project you will need to decide on a finish. If you like a wax finish you will love the Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Wax. It's a nice buttery wax that is easy to apply and dries quickly for a beautiful finish.

 If you are wanting to antique your project you cannot go wrong with Miss Mustard Seed's Antique Wax. It's a dark wax that gives that dramatic effect that is so popular. I love using it on any decorative areas on furniture, picture frames, etc. It is also great for an all over look on your furniture. Antiquing Wax dries quickly and buffs into a nice matte finish. I like to use a waxing brush to apply the waxes but you can also use a soft cloth.

 One of my favorite finishes offered in this collection is the all natural Hemp Oil. Hemp Oil is a pure oil that will give paint a rich deep color with a flat matte finish. After you have painted with milk paint or a chalk based paint, apply the Hemp Oil. Let the oil dry for several hours so that the wood has time to absorb the oil. Remove any excess oil. It is also great on your wooden bowls and butcher blocks since it's food safe. 

 The Miss Mustard Seed's Color of the Month is Typewriter. Grab a bag of the paint and start slinging some paint! You will be addicted just like I am. It's super easy and fun.....

Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Strip a Table Top

The past few days I have been trying to whip out several projects at one time! I worked on a five drawer English chest of drawers in the garage, a shelving unit in the kitchen, and a rose painted table. 
The table had hand painted roses on the top and I thought they were very well done by an artist but there was a large spot in the middle. I'm not a big fan of stripping furniture but I knew I couldn't just paint over this top because of the roses. I did a little research on different types of strippers and decided on Strypeeze. I bought gloves, a mask, and goggles and started working. It is very important to protect your skin and eyes from the chemicals that are in most strippers. Here is what the table looked like before I started the process.

I think the roses must have been done in an oil based paint and possibly a little Gesso. They were very textured. I put my first coat of Stripper and some of the poly came off but most of the roses were not budging. The directions said to leave it on for 15-20 minutes and use a flat utensil to scrap off the "gunk". 
Since the roses were not budging I repeated the process but this time I left it on the table for 20 minutes. I took the knife and the roses gave away a little more but were mostly still there. So I repeated the process again. This time leaving it on for 30 minutes and FINALLY the roses were gone! After I scrapped all the "gunk" away I wiped the table top down with paint thinner. I let the thinner dry and sanded the top with my orbital sander. The imprint of the roses is still there but it's smooth and my paint will cover that. I'm not sure what color the top will be but it's ready to have a nice new look. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are you Decorating for Fall?

We have been decorating the store with Fall decorations for several weeks and I've added a few pumpkins here and there at home. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I always welcome cooler weather and the beautiful warm colors that come with this season change. Since our summers in Texas are so hot and humid I think the cooler temps give me extra energy and a boost! I worked on several projects yesterday and will reveal those in a few days. But today I'm sharing a few pictures of fall decorations. Today is a short post because I'm spending the day with my sweet Mom and my beautiful sister - fun times for sure! Have a terrific and thankful Thursday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Up Cycled Treadle Machine Drawer Front

I've had this old treadle sewing drawer for a while and I decided to paint it with Grain Sack by Miss Mustard Seed. The old treadle machines have a small accessories drawer in the center of the cabinet. I added cup hooks and up cycled this one into a wall hanging. This would be great for cups at the coffee bar or a jewelry holder. You could place your rings or earrings in the drawer or coffee spoons, sugar packets,etc. If you've up cycled one of these please share!
 I used a sanding block to scuff up the front of the drawer before painting. I applied two coats of Grain Sack Milk Paint and then used my heat gun to achieve a little chippiness. Finished it with Antiquing Wax also by Miss Mustard Seed. After letting it dry I buffed with a soft t-shirt. I need to add a couple of wall hangers to the back and it will be ready to put in use. 
 Today I'm working on a English chest of drawers so stayed tuned for that make-over in a few days! I am loving the cool weather - even though I rarely paint in the garage I am today since it's so nice out. Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chippy Goodness with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

I took a small unfinished pine stool and turned it into a cute chippy painted stool with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. This painting technique is called "driftwood" and it's easy to accomplish with this paint. 
I always try to start painting my projects with them upside down. Why? I think it's easier to get all the grooves and not miss any places that are hard to reach. This picture of the stool upside down struck me as funny this morning - it looks like a turtle on it's back! Do you think it does?  
The first coat of milk paint is Miss Mustard Seed's Trophy(dark gray). I painted a ratio of 3:1 to make more of stain with this color. You can see in this next picture that the grain shows through the stain which is what I wanted.
Let the thin coat of Trophy dry. Then take a sanding block and wet distress with Miss Mustard Seed's Hemp Oil. Sanding with the Hemp Oil will make a very smooth surface and the oil will seep into the wood. 
Next you are going to mix Miss Mustard Seed's Grainsack into a thick mixture. You want it thick enough (almost like a paste) to cover the first coat of Trophy. I used my heat gun to create crackle and chippiness at this point while the paint was still wet. Lastly, I sanded the top again and then finished with Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax. I love the way this wax gets into the crevices of the crackle and chippy paint. The legs are finished in Trophy and Hemp Oil. If you have any questions on this technique send me a message and I'll answer any questions you may have. 

 And here is the finished stool - Chippy Goodness!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fresh Fall Decorations

Sharon and I have been rearranging, decorating for fall, and adding more treasures! If you've ever visited Fresh our home store you know that everything changes quite often. I love decorating for the holidays at Fresh and even though our Fall season rushes into the Christmas season it's a nice feeling to pull out those warm colors and begin spreading a little color in the store. 
We have added a small area in the studio where we are working on adding more DIY items and products. One new product we love is the Miss Mustard Seed's German Glitter. The glitter is gorgeous and you can make great crafts with it. We are glittering pine cones, snow flakes, and anything else we can get our hands on. Glass glitter sparkles more than the plastic glitters and makes a project look so much richer. Stop by to see the other new items in this cute little nook. 
We are now offering some very nice kits for our Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paints. These kits will get you started with everything you need to paint a project. These kits will make great Christmas gifts for the painter in your family! 
This is a little hint of some things fresh at our store! Visit us on the website: 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Third Day in Toronto at The Home Show

My last day in Toronto was spent with fun and fantastic retailers of the Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paints. Jennylyn the President of Homestead House shared the story of the family owned business that she heads up. The business is in the heart of Toronto and has recently expanded into a new building. She stated that they are a mom and pop ran business that prides itself in hands-on manufacturing.  Jennylyn told us that she contacted Marian about trying the milk paint by Homestead House.  Marian tried the paint and loved it and from there Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint was branded!  I think it's amazing that two people conversed over email and such a great product was born. That's the short version of how Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint came about. If you're not already a follower of Marians blog here is the link There are great tutorials on her website for using the paint and I love her blog postings. Truly an inspiration for anyone that loves to re purpose, decorate, and the do it yourselfer! 
The next speaker for the day was Marian and she told us about the new products - Tough Coat (a clear coat that doesn't yellow), Brush Soap, and The Look Book. She was very informative about the products and other retailer tips. 
Laura Distin was the last speaker of the day and she shared tips on social media. She is a regional trainer and owns a shop in the northern part of the states with her husband. 
I came home even more excited about this paint with tons of information and ideas. I boarded my plane at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning and headed back to Dallas where my daughter picked me up around 9:30 a.m. It's so wonderful to take a trip but it's also so good to be back home! Never a dull moment for this girl - next morning I left early to go on our annual junking trip with Sharon. If you would like to try MMSMP we love to ship paint and products from our website:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Toronto and Miss Mustard Seed

After leaving my camera behind in Toronto I am a little late posting about my incredible trip to Toronto and working with Marian Parsons aka Miss Mustard Seed. My trip started with flying out of DFW on Thursday morning and landing in Canada that afternoon. The city of Toronto is beautiful and the weather was perfect.
I decided to grab something to eat in the hotel restaurant and get settled into my room fairly early so I could be ready for the big day on Friday! I must admit I was so excited about meeting Marian and the staff at Homestead House that I had a hard time sleeping. I woke up early and began to get dressed for the day and realized I had not packed a brush! How could I forget a brush of all things?Somehow I "finger" combed my hair and styled it the best I could, slapped some make-up on and headed out the door. 
The first person I met was Megan one of the employees for Home Stead House. Megan filled me in on how we would work the booth and what to expect at the Home Show. She was so cute and sweet! I put my apron on and was ready to talk paint! 
Just a few minutes later Marian and her mom arrived and I introduced myself to them. Marian and her mom are so nice and down to earth. 
It's a good feeling to know that someone with such a big heart and so much talent is the person behind the brand - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. 
I worked with Marian and Megan the entire day on Friday. Marian signed her Look Book for shoppers, she answered questions, and demonstrated the milk paint. I loved listening to her answer some of the same questions I get asked about Milk Paint versus other paints. I'm a firm believer that I am never to old to learn and this was a great learning experience for me. After a long day of working and meeting some wonderful people I took a cab back to my room and had a nice dinner. I will post what I did on day three tomorrow, so stay tuned for my next post on this dream come true trip.