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!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Christmas at Fresh

Fresh is decorated for Christmas with lots of goodies for the shoppers. We are so thankful for our little shop on College Street in Jasper Texas, where people say such sweet and complimentary statements about our store. We want you to know that we really appreciate your business and those kind words do not go unnoticed. After working very long and late hours to get our store ready each month for our customers it makes us beam a little inside when you say those things.
One of our most common questions at our shop is "What are your hours"? We have kept the same hours since we opened almost two years ago but we know it can be confusing. We are open every Friday, Saturday, and Monday except during Canton Trade Days. We also open by appointment, but we ask that you give us at least a two days notice.
We are planning more painting classes for the new year, so if you would like to take one of our classes look for a new schedule coming soon. Like us on facebook to keep up the latest news here.
Again, thank you for shopping at Fresh!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stenciling a Suitcase

I could spend a fortune on pretty stencils! I enjoy stenciling furniture, signs, suitcases, and pillows. I tried to stencil years ago and I really didn't have much success with it back then. That was before I knew the correct way to stencil and I must say there is an art to it. After taking several classes from excellent teachers and watching tutorials I feel comfortable now. 
Here are my tips for stenciling:

1. Tape your stencil with Frog tape or Blue painters tape. This is to prevent your pattern from slipping. 

2. Use a stencil brush which you can buy at Hobby Lobby. They usually come in a set.

3. Pour a small amount of paint on a paper plate. 

4. Take the stencil brush and dip it into the paint. 

5. This is very IMPORTANT -  take your brush and tap it on the paper plate to remove most of the paint that you loaded onto the brush. This prevents bleed through which is one of the common problems with stenciling. 

6. Take the brush and start stippling the paint onto the surface. Use a up and down motion as you stipple the paint. 

7. When you reload your brush you will need to tap the brush again to remove the paint. Too much paint will cause your pattern to bleed. 

8. After you have the stencil painted then remove the pattern carefully.

Where can you purchase stencils? There are several good places online to buy them, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, and JoAnn's. 
Here is a suitcase that I stenciled a few weeks ago. This suitcase was painted with CeCe Caldwell's Seattle Mist. For the stencil I used Pittsburgh Gray by CeCe. Suitcases are usually easily found for a reasonable price at Thrift Stores. Sometimes they are not in good shape on the outside so it's a great project to paint and transform.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mid Century Make Over

CeCe Caldwell's Cinco Bayou Moss and California Gold is what I used on this Mid Century Chest Make Over with Endurance for the finish. I used Modern Masters Metallic paints for the Zinnia stencil. And on the hardware I updated with gold leaf. Mid Century furniture is very hard to find but this chest was in near perfect condition and I couldn't wait to paint it! The weather here in Texas has been perfect for painting so I took advantage and finished this piece today. A few weeks ago I posted a picture of this chest before I painted it and it was a light wood color and the hardware was a dull worn metallic. I'm posting the "before" picture at the end of this post. If you have a painting project but are not sure where to start I can help you. Email me or stop by and let me help you get started. 
I am reaching a milestone with my blogging and for those of you who follow me stay tuned for a giveaway very soon. More details to come on what I will giveaway and if you are not a follower then join so you can participate in the fun!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

More Brush Talk

A few weeks ago I posted about Chalkpro brand brushes that we sell online and in our shop. We also sell another brand of brushes that I highly recommend - Escoda Brushes from Italy. They have all natural boar bristles with a nice wooden handle. The bristles are rounded and make it easy to paint spindles and other hard to reach areas. The Escoda brushes are available in several sizes but my favorites are #4, #6, and #8. If you are on Facebook you can go to the Escoda Facebook page and find out more about these nice artist brushes. If you enjoy painting furniture or signs you will love these brushes. Take good care of these fine brushes and they will last a lifetime. I use my Miss Mustard Seed's paint soap to clean all of my brushes and I've had them for several years. And remember natural bristle brushes will always shed at first. I suggest that you wash them and brush them with a small metal brush before using them for the first time. This will help with some of the shedding. 
Brushes are part of your tools that you use everyday for painting, so treat yourself to a few of the best brushes. You will not regret it!
I compare them to my nice scissors that I have invested in for sewing over the years - they are sharp and make cutting fabric so easy!

Fresh had a wonderful Open House this past weekend and we appreciate all of you who came and supported us. We are so excited about the shops that line our street! Looking out the window and seeing shoppers walking from shop to shop was such a pleasure. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ironstone Painted English Chest

One project finished and several more to go! I knew when I purchased this small chest I would paint it white with a little BLING. I lightly sanded with a sanding block before painting with Miss Mustard Seed's Ironstone. My first coat of paint was Grain Sack by Miss Mustard Seed and my second coat was Ironstone. Why? On Marion's blog she suggests that if you are using Ironstone it's best to use either Grain Sack or Trophy as your first coat. This helps the Ironstone with coverage. I've used Ironstone before and it takes several coats otherwise. 
The hardware on the chest was beautiful but there was one problem - one was broken. So I decided to use the original hardware on all the drawers but on the top drawer I would purchase new ones(with a little Bling)!
I also painted the original hardware with Ironstone to give it a different look.
I painted the drawers first and then the sides and front to see how the paint would react to the surface. I was surprised at how much chippiness I was getting but I loved it! I added Bonding Agent for the top only because I didn't want any chippiness there. I used Tough Coat to finish the chest. Tough Coat is a non-yellowing poly that works great to stop further chipping. I love how this make-over turned out and I am moving to my next project.