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Monday, April 8, 2013

Of Posies, Paint and a Project Completed

More changes at Muse Cottage ...

We finally completed a project.... well another project.  I am so excited. Ok yes, the fence is basically completed, but the yard is far from it, and as far as inside all our projects have been put on hold because of the outside work we have been doing. However, if you recall from two previous posts, we had started on one, and well, I am happy to announce it is finished! ( See part one HERE and a tidbit of part two HERE)  First my posy pic for you.... 

Hubby always buys me posies when we go
grocery shopping... my choice...last time Lilacs,
this time Tulips in this lovely pink with a tinge of Orange.

Yesterday started out as most days off for my hubby, with a list of things that we had to do. First on the list was grab coffee and bagels at Noah's bagels, YES that is a priority on his days off. Then it was off to go grocery shopping...the only thing that makes that bearable is that hubby always buys me posies for the cottage, either cut or potted. This time it was cut, and I choose Tulips. They are the most scrumptious color of pinky orange! Anyway, in between all the different stores we had on our list to go to, I asked if we could stop at the hardware store, it was on the way to The Dollar Tree after all. So we did just that. I had wire fencing on my list, to hopefully keep the neighborhood cats out of my flower garden, as they are using it as a litter pan. We needed a new door bell, anti-bug light bulbs and though he did not know it till it happened, we were going to buy paint, Plaster of Paris and furniture wax.... I wanted to finish a least one thing inside besides the tile entry. Lucky me, he was ok with that. I told him I needed a blog post and that I was not going to be cooking or baking or gardening, so the fireplace was it. I wanted to make our very own Chalk Paint (recipe at bottom) , and I did not wish to buy actual chalk paint as it was not in our budget and for such a small project there was no point. I had read a blog, Knick of Time,  recently that gave the recipe for making my own and figured it was easy, and I could get everything while we were out,  so that was the plan. 

The color I finally landed on... a nice gray...
could not resist the word French in the title.
The sample pots are always flat, and that is key
for a good matte finish 
Once we finished with the grocery shopping , got home and tackled a few other little things that needed attention, we got to work... I was so excited. I had been reading so many blogs and looking at projects, all involving chalk paint and the finish it achieves and had been living with the fireplace half done for a while now, and to think it would be done in one evening was making me giddy. So I got in my work clothes and hubby did as well and we got to work.  Usually with chalk paint you do not have to sand... from what I have read, but as one part of the fireplace was covered in semi gloss, and another was covered in oil paint, we wanted to give it a bit of "tooth", so before taping we sanded the whole thing lightly. It was not much more work and was worth it. Make sure you wipe with a damp, then dry cloth to remove the dust before painting. 

Hubby taping. We choose to upgrade to
Frog tape, it worked great, BUT we still
got some bleed through in spots... hard to
avoid since we have rough textured walls
*sigh*  But worked better than the blue tape!

All taped, and painted with two coats of the home-made
chalk paint, applied with foam brushes. Hubby and I both painted, and it dried fast,
so it was not long before I could do more steps.

I sanded .... blur is from the action shot he took LOL
I wanted to add a slightly aged look, nothing over the top,
just enough. 

I also added a washed down streaky coat of blue paint...
I used Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint in China Blue, flat finish.

You can kind of see the hint of blue here in the details /crevices 

Here you can see the results of the aging
using the blue craft paint and the sanding,
The color deepened after waxing... read on...
 After all the painting, sanding, aka "aging" it was time to use the wax. We choose to use Minwax in the natural, I will live with that finish for awhile and then decide if I want to age it more with an antique wax over that in places. Hubby was nice enough to "wax on, wax off" for me, as I was plum tuckered out from the painting and sanding and the long day it had already become.
The details after waxing. You can see that some of the wax gets
caught up in the crevices and adds a nice aged effect of it's own,
and using the wax will protect the finish and make it easy to dust.
Oh and it softens the look of the paint as well as has a slight sheen.

Our reward after the project.... wine and chocolate !

The final results, in the light of day.... What do you think???? 

Now, I know what you are going to say, "All that work, and you put the TV in front of it??" The God's honest truth is I hate the TV there, BUT there is not a single place in the living room to place the tv, there are too many doors and windows. Any other place would not line up with the furniture and how it has to be placed. We did try mounting it, but it bugged both my neck and my eyes ( it is a fibromyalgia thing) and so it had to be come down. Tv is how hubby and I relax, and the fireplace has been tiled in ( by us) since there are few burn days in our area and so it was of little practicably of it being there past interest in the space... oh and a mantle to decorate.  Anyway, I think the French Gray blends well enough with the brown gray of our IKEA TV stand ( Though now that I have painted the FP, I am considering painting the stand the same color!!)  and goes very well with the gray in the tile as well.  I can hardly wait to see how it will go with the white bead board wainscoting and robins egg blue walls we plan to do in the future.  

Home Made Chalk Paint
How we made it . 
1 small jar of  flat  ( VERY important and KEY to success!!)) sample paint, just under a cup
One and a half heaping tablespoons of Plaster Of Paris ( if you use more paint say 1 full cup or two, adjust the ratio. You kind of have to play with it, perhaps try a sample board to see
if you like the finish) 

We took the plaster ( make sure to wear a face mask when using the plaster till it is combined with the paint) , mixed it into a small amount of water, adding a bit at a time 
until we had a slurry made , not too watery, not to thick . We added that mix to the paint
that we had in a small plastic container and mixed well, the mixture will be thicker than normal paint, but not so thick that it does not go on smoothly. 

The paint did not dry out after an hour of being in an open container, and even this morning, when I opened the container it was workable. So that was great! A lot of the home made chalk paint recipes out there, from what I have read dry up and thicken up far too fast. 
It will dry fast upon applying however, and that was great for finishing the project quickly!
Again read the blog Knick Of Time for a much better description that I probably have supplied.

***On a side note. Just today, I read the blog Pink Postcard , the blogger wrote of creating home made chalk paint and she did not use the Plaster of Paris since it is known to have agents that can cause cancer, so she ordered and used a new product called Websters, that is not dangerous to use and she got lovely results.  It was a bit more pricey than what I spent, but for safety of health it is worth it if you are going to do a lot of projects and will be exposing yourself to the fumes from the plaster. 

1 comment:

  1. I admire all your hard work! Love the color you chose. You got a lovely result. Good tips on the chalk paint. I think it's becoming a sort of rite of passage. *smile*


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