Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

As most of us are this time of year, I've been busy trying to squeeze in last minute preparations for Christmas. So not much painting or crafting going on here at the Walker house! I wanted to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I'll be working on new workshops and projects for 2015 and sharing soon. 
Take care and God Bless you - Nancy

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CeCe Caldwell's Stain put To the Test

CeCe Caldwell's Stains are amazingly simple to use and the best part "no stinky smell". Remember this little table?

The top was not in bad condition, just a few scratches so I wanted to leave the top unpainted. I didn't however like the color of the top of the table, so I decided to put the CeCe Caldwell's Stain, Kukui, to the test. Not only did I not like the color but I didn't want to strip the top - being lazy I guess. I had just finished stripping the top a desk and you can go here to find out how to strip and stain.  I sanded the edges a bit with a sanding sponge to remove the turquoise paint that accidentally worked it's way to the top! I then stirred the Kukui stain and applied my first coat to the top with a soft cotton cloth. Wait no stripping first? I must admit I was a little skeptical about this but I could not be more pleased with the final result. Here is a picture of my first coat of stain - 

The wood grain immediately popped and the color was so much richer - just what I was hoping for! And that was just the first coat. After letting that dry for a couple of hours I applied the second coat. Here is a picture of the second coat of Kukui -

I did apply one more coat which I would recommend for extra protection. If you reach the enhanced color that you like after one or two applications of the CeCe Stain put a couple of coats of CeCe Caldwell's Endurance on top. Do you have some projects that need just a little "face lift" - this could be your answer. You can order our stains here from our web store or stop by Fresh and pick up a can of this amazing product!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paint Couture Make Over

I mentioned previously that we are now carrying several brands of paints in our store. Paint Couture is one of those brands and it's an acrylic based paint. I bought this antique two shelf magazine table a few months ago at an estate sale. 

I've seen quite a few of these type tables but not one with shelves in the middle. The top was in fairly good condition so I decided not to paint it. I painted the bottom of the table in Paint Couture's "Moxie By the Sea". Paint Couture has some of the most gorgeous colors so it was really hard to choose! The 8 oz. jar of paint was perfect for my table. I must admit I won't be painting a table with so many crooks and crannies any time soon! This one was a killer but I love the final result.

Paint Couture needs a 24 hour drying time between coats of paint, glazes, and lacquers. It's not a chalk type paint and should not be confused with them. So remember the curing time for this paint is EXTREMELY important. After I painted two coats of paint I lightly sanded with a sanding sponge. After 24 hours I applied Satin Sheen by Paint Couture. You should wait 4 hours between coats of Satin Sheen, if applying more than one coat. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mother Earth Make Over

I've been painting with Mother Earth paints and the silky smoothness of this chalk enhanced paint is amazing! I finished the chest of drawers with Vintage and then added a glaze and some cute hardware. 
As you can see in the picture there are many colors to choose from for your projects. You can purchase quart or sample sizes in Mother Earth. The Bees Wax finishes are great for a hard matte finish and it comes in a dark wax for aging and antiquing. 
But if you would like a durable finish with a beautiful sheen then you will love the Satin Top Coat by Mother Earth. 
I painted two coats of the Vintage and then I used CeCe Caldwell's Glaze tinted with Virginia Chestnut. Satin Top Coat by Mother Earth was what I used for the finishing coat. You can wet distress the Mother Earth paint since it is a chalk enhanced paint. I distressed very little on this chest because I thought less was better on this piece. I am working on a the twin bed that will be painted in Mother Earth Charcoal. If you have questions about any of our products please ask I love talking paint. I will post that make over in a few days! Stop by  Fresh and see all the new products!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Metallic Desk Make Over

Another project completed! I posted last week about this mahogany desk make over. You can go here and see the prep process prior to painting it. I used several different paint products to take this desk to a new level. 
First I stripped the top of the desk and you can go here to read about that. After stripping the top I used CeCe Caldwell's Kukui stain. I applied three coats of stain with a soft cotton cloth to give it a deep dark brown color. You should allow 2 hours between coats. This stain has no smell and there is no need to add a top coat.

The base of the desk and the drawers were painted with Modern Masters Silver Opaque. I painted the base with two coats of the Modern Masters Silver but the drawers were painted with only one coat of the metallic. And then painted with Mother Earth chalk enhanced paint in the beautiful color - Charcoal. The hardware was painted with the Modern Masters Metallic Silver. I also added CeCe Caldwell's graphite wax to the detailed areas of the desk. The drawers were finished with Satin Finish by Mother Earth. 
You may wonder why I painted the drawers in the metallic paint before painting with Mother Earth Charcoal? The desk was Mahogany wood and most of the time it bleeds and I wanted to be sure and seal with the metallic paint before painting with the chalk enhanced paint. Metallic paints are great for sealing wood. 
Here are more pictures of the finished desk - this is one of my favorite make overs and I hope you are inspired to try something new! What are you working on this week??? 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stripping Paint from Hardware

Do you have hardware that has thick old crusty paint built up on it? Did you know there is an easy way to get this off?

The hardware on the desk that I am working on didn't have crusty paint but it had a dirt build up that was disgusting! A few months ago my nephew asked me if I wanted a crock pot that he had used to clean the old paint off of his kitchen hardware. He bought an older home and was redoing the kitchen. I had not heard of this crock pot method of cleaning hardware until now. This is the link that gives a great explanation of this method of cleaning. You can go here to read more on the crock pot stripping. 

Today I put my hardware in the crock pot and covered it with water and turned the temp knob to "high". After several hours I checked the hardware and it was clean. I poured the hot water off and laid my hardware on a towel to dry. After the hardware was dry I used Modern Masters Silver Metallic to paint them. 

The desk is coming along nicely - today I painted the base Silver Metallic and the drawers were painted with Mother Earth Dolphin. 
Mother Earth is a new paint line that Fresh is now carrying. This paint is silky and dries quickly with a beautiful smooth finish. Stop by and let us introduce you to this great product! We know you will love it as much as we do.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Strip a Desk Top

Yesterday I posted about a mahogany desk that I planned to strip the top and paint the bottom. So today I started the make over. I've posted a few times on how I strip my furniture and I am always researching different ways to take off paint or finish. Today I decided to take my sander and sand the top and get as much of the finish off as I could. Actually this worked really well. I used 100 grit sand paper on my orbital sander(the lower the number, the coarser the sand paper). Below is a picture of how the desk looked as I was sanding.

After I sanded for about 30 minutes almost all of the finish was removed. I then took my favorite stripper and painted it on the top to remove what little was left. The edge of the desk needed to be stripped too so I painted some of the stripper on the edge and used a steel brush and steel wool. There was a deep scratch that I smoothed out with the sander and I'm hoping it will not show once I start to add my stain. It feels smooth to the touch so I think it will be okay.

Once I had all of the finish removed I took Mineral Spirits and a soft rag to remove any remnants of the stripper. I am going to let the wood dry over night before I add the stain. Here are the products I used today to strip the desk top. 

I removed the hardware from the drawer fronts and cleaned the fronts with Simple Green. After these dried I applied Modern Masters Silver Metallic paint. The Modern Masters Metallic paint is as smooth as butter and I love painting with it. I'll post pictures tomorrow on my progress of this mahogany desk make over. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mahogany Desk Prep

I'm working on a mahogany desk that I bought a few weeks ago. I am going to paint the bottom. The top I am going to strip and stain. I really love that look on certain pieces of furniture. The top on this desk has some pretty deep scratches so I will also do some sanding after it's stripped. I've mentioned bleed through in some of my posts lately and I'm fairly certain this mahogany desk will be a bleeder. So I am going to prep the bottom part prior to painting to try and prevent any bleeding. 
I have mentioned several techniques you can use to prevent this problem but I haven't mentioned that you can also use a metallic paint to seal the bleed through. I use Modern Masters Metallic's, spray on metallic's, and Martha Stewart's Metallic's. Any one of these will work so it's strictly up to you and what you like to use. I'm leaning towards the Modern Masters Metallic for my desk. 

Here is a BEFORE so you can see what it looks like - see all those scratches. I'll be back with more pics for this make over. 
I was excited to be featured on West Furniture Revival. You can go here to look at all the great Monday Make-Overs that Lauren featured. It's a great blog to follow so check her out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Leather Inserted Table Make Over

Have you seen the two-tiered tables that have a leather insert on the top? These tables were popular in the early 1900's. I wanted to cover the leather with CeCe paint and I chose Destin Gulf Green for the top but I left the legs dark mahogany. 
After I finished applying two coats of Destin Gulf Green I wanted to add a stencil to the top. I used Modern Masters Metallic paint for the stencil. I had a little trouble centering the stencil but finally got it right(with help from my husband)! Remember when you are stenciling to tape the stencil down and use a pouncing stippling type motion when applying your paint. Less paint on your stencil brush is better. You want it almost dry so that you won't have paint bleeding under the stencil. I use a paper plate and a paper towel to "pounce" the brush to remove excess paint.
I love using glazes so I decided to glaze the table with Virginia Chestnut to give it more depth. With CeCe Caldwell's glazes you tint them with the paint.
The leather insert was easy to paint over and I like the new look much better! And now I'm moving on to the next make over.....

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Beauty of Fall

We have a beautiful tree in our front yard that we planted when we first built our home in 1982. We actually planted two Flowering Pear Trees but Hurricane Rita took the other one several years ago. The leaves are so colorful in the Fall and when Spring arrives it will be full of white blooms. It's one of my favorite trees that we have planted over the years. Our house was built in a pasture so all of the trees were planted the year we built. I looked out the front window Wednesday and thought it looked so pretty and I grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. I'm so glad that I did because today I noticed that most of the leaves have fallen and it's not near as pretty. 
Our two daughters arrived late Wednesday night to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with us and the weather could not have been prettier. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at my Mom and Dad's home in Buna. My sister and her family drove in from the Houston area and we spent the day visiting and catching up. We also celebrated my Mom's 80th birthday with a cake and all the trimmings. Our family meal for Thanksgiving consists of fried turkey (my husband injects them with his special potion and they are super good), chicken and dumplings, green beans, several salads, chicken dressing, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie layered dessert. 
Needless to say it was superb and I ate entirely too much! But I enjoyed the fellowship, food, laughter, and fun with family. We drove back home and relaxed by the warm fire that night. Life is good......

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so many things to be thankful for that I can't begin to list them all. I'm most thankful for my Lord and Savior who unselfishly saved me by his grace and walks with me daily. 
My sweet mother turned eighty years old yesterday and most of you know how much she means to me. She helps me with projects for the store and anything else I get myself into! So of course I am thankful for her and all she does for me. Family is so important to me and I never take it for granted. I'm looking forward to this Thanksgiving holiday where we can all get together and visit and enjoy the blessings of life. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

I'll be back next week with more "before" and "afters" - 

Fresh Finds, LLC

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dealing with Bleed Through when Painting

How do you deal with bleed through when you are painting? You may be asking what is bleed through? First, bleed through happens when you paint wood that is dark and you notice splotchy spots that tend to appear shortly after the first coat. I've had bleed through with Mahogany and Cherry woods. This can happen for several reasons - old varnish, the wood tannin's,or grease or oils that were trapped. I think that when you apply the paint and it begins to dry it pulls them to the surface. Here are a few tips on what I do to deter this problem.
I clean the wood surface with Simple Green and let it dry for about an hour so that it is completely dry. You can take a poly such as Miss Mustard Seed's Tough Coat, CeCe Caldwell's Endurance, or a spray on Poly that you can find at a hardware store. Are you guaranteed that it will not bleed when you do this? Personally, I have had success doing this step but some of my customers have still had bleed through occasionally. SO if you still have bleed through after doing this step then your piece is really a "free" bleeder so you are going to need something stronger such as Kiltz Oil Base Primer. 
What if you did all of the above and you still have bleed through? This is the worst case scenario and honestly I have never had it happen to me but there is always a first time. I would apply a tinted glaze to the piece to cover the spots. I love glazes and if you haven't tried them I recommend that you try some.  
After you have prepped your wood you are ready to begin painting. With milk paint or chalk+clay paints you will need two coats of paint and then your choice of finishes. Do you prefer a brush on poly or a hand waxed finish? Both are a matter of choice and what YOU like best! And yes there are brush on finishes in both lines of paints. Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint has the new Tough Coat that is a clear non yellowing poly. This is a great brush on finish that is easy to use. 
CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay Paints have three brush on finishes - Endurance, Satin Finish, and the new Flat Matt. All great finishes for your project!

Endurance Finish

Tough Coat Finish

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint versus CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay?

I bought this twin bed not too long ago and I am ready to paint it but I'm not sure which paint that I want to use. The bed is actually in great condition but I think it will be fun to paint. The wood appliques are so pretty on this set. 
We are getting ready for our family Thanksgiving so I'm trying to finish up most of my painting projects so there will be room in my kitchen(where I paint mostly) for cooking and eating! I'm going to be posting several projects that are ready to be painted as soon as I decide on the color and paint. 
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint will give me that chippy look if I decide to use her paint. Or if I don't want the chippy look I can add Bonding Agent to the milk paint and get a nice smooth finish. 
CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay paint will give that textured finish that you get from the mineral based paint. No sanding, no prep, two coats of paint, embellish with glaze, metallic wax, and a finish. 
What color should I paint this twin bed? Which paint should I use? Ugh, Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.......
Stay tuned for the end result of this project in a few days. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

Have you tried Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paints? I LOVE painting with her paints and using her finishes. She has written a great instructional book entitled, The Look Book, that is perfect for the beginner to get started. We sell these in our store and online. I have been painting with Milk Paint for sometime and I learned so much reading this book. The pictures are beautiful and very inspiring. Today I am posting a few of my favorite pieces that I have painted in Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. 
The first piece is an oak buffet painted in Tricycle. Curio was used on the top and then finished with Hemp Oil - 
The second piece is an old radio cabinet that I think would make a perfect coffee bar. Painted in Mustard Seed Yellow with Furniture Wax and Antiquing Wax. 

And the third is a stool from Ikea that was painted in Kitchen Scale with a stained top. 

I would love to help you with your next painting project so contact me through email or stop by the store. Our website is for all your painting needs and instructions. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Start with Something Small - CeCe Cinco Bayou Moss

Right now could not be a better time to start a painting project. I know, I know, it's cold outside and you don't want to be out in the elements painting! Well, you don't have too, our paints are all natural and you can paint inside year around if you want. There are many advantages painting with all natural paints and that is just one. 
What else? It's not harmful, easy clean-up, and a little goes a long way.
One sample of paint will paint a small table or stool. 
So if you have been contemplating painting with this miracle paint grab a small piece of furniture and get started.
This small table was painted in Cinco Bayou Moss with California Gold. I layered the paints and then finished the top with antiquing cream. The base of this table was in great condition so I didn't paint it.
Do you recognize this table? In an earlier post on stripping furniture this table was the one with the painted roses. Remember?

Normally I don't strip before I paint with the chalk and clay paint but the roses were painted with a textured type mixture and I wanted the top to be smooth. Even after stripping the top you could see the imprint of the roses so I sanded it smooth and then painted.

Check out our website for instructions and ordering. We also have classes at our main store where we give you one on one instructions on how to use our paint lines. Happy Painting!!!