Friday, February 28, 2014

More Than Just Paint!




I have been really wanting to review chalk paints for a while now. I have been chalk painting since last summer (2013) when I first discovered it, and I have used both CeCe Caldwell's and Annie Sloan as well as made my own DIY chalk paint via the plaster of paris method. So I decided to conjur up some thoughts and put them together in cohesive sentences!

First up on the ole' chopping block is CeCe Caldwell's. Let me first say, I love that this paint is made in the great U.S. of A, being an Army wife, I really try to buy "Made in the USA" as much as possible, it's not always applicable... I mean I drive an import.. I can't help it.. don't judge... back to paint.. 



CeCe Caldwell's is all natural and green, that's huge these days, everyone wants to be enviromentally friendly, even their packaging and labels are made from recycled goods. It's non- toxic, no VOC's (which is the headache causing fumes) and no solvents. This stuff is gentle enough to paint baby furniture without worrying about the little one sticking toxic paint into their mouth.. which you know they are going to do. I've seen cribs look like they have been mangled by wild beavers.. not that I have seen tame beavers but you catch my drift. This stuff is SAFE!

So that's all great, but how does it perform? Well, I will tell you, it's really smooth, and as you probably have already heard, chalk paint can go on anything.. metal, already painted wood, laminate, fabric, glass, plastic, etc. and you don't have to strip, prime or prep!!  CeCe's covers really well too, once you you get your first coat on, and usually you only need one coat, you will notice this finish is very muted and chalky like. Your probably thinking "yeah of course, it's CHALK paint" and I get why you would think that, but I have only seen this result with CeCe's. After the paint has compleley dried, you will want to seal your piece, I always use wax, unless it' a large dining room tabble top, then I poly that sucker. Once you apply the wax, your paint deepens to the beautiful rich color that was originally on the swatch or top of the can.

But here is where I have a problem, I never get an even finish with CeCe's. My first piece I sold was that Teal dresser/buffet,I did a custom blend with CeCe's Maine Harbor Blue and their green color ( I can't recall the name), the color was gorgeous but it streaked like crazy, some parts were really dark and some were light after the wax was applied. But, it was gorgeous on that dresser,and it sold like that, however, I don't want that finish on every piece I do. I decided to give it a another try, I painted at least three more projects and everytime the finish was uneven. Now I will say I have seen other people's projects and there gorgeous, but for some reason it just never works for me? IDK 

Maybe you will have better luck with it?



Next up is the DIY Plaster of Paris recipe.

After spending nearly $40 a quart on chalk paint, I was desperate to find an economical alternative. I am super cheap when it comes to certain things, I will drop serious money on purses (I believe their heirlooms) and people laugh when I say that, but it's true! Anyways, I really wanted a way to lower my costs to profit margin on my painted furniture. 

So, I headed to my local Hobby Lobby and bought a big ole jug of Plater O' Paris with an even bigger grin on my face, cause I was gonna make my own paint and say "shove it" to the name brand chalk paint! Unfortunately, I am firm believer of "you get what you pay for."  I did the recipe just like it said and the finish turned out grainy, I could literally see the plaster in it, it doesn't wet distress like the name brand paints and if you knick it, it can and will chip off in chunks... basically what I am saying is it SUCKS! If your doing a project and it's just for you or a friend/family member that really doesn't care, and by care I mean not supper picky about the finish, then by all means use it, it really is good enough for that, it covers well, it's a good price point and you can manually sand it to distress it. But in my opinion,if you are trying to sell your pieces for more than a couple of nickles, then splurge on the good stuff. In the long run it will pay off and you will be much happier and your customer's will appreciate your standards for quality.



So last but certainly not least is Annie Sloan. Let me say I am not an Annie Sloan rep or any chalk paint rep for that matter, just an avid user....Annie Sloan Chalk paint is based out of the UK. I think it came to the US about 3 years ago? It is eco friendly, not as eco as CeCe's though. It does have a warning on the can to use adequate ventilation, but I have never had any issues with paint fumes, never the less, always you use common sense. The coverage is phenominal, I have noticed certain colors cover differently, I don't know why, I had just bought a can of English Yellow, it covers really well, but it's consistency and texture seems a little different then say Paris Gray? It's weird, maybe it was just a certain batch? Not sure. The finish is gorgeous and in my opinion you can't get any better than Annie Sloan Wax's. Once you apply the wax it slightly and I mean slightly deepens the color, unless you use the dark wax, in which case it will deepen and age the overall color. My finish with Annie Sloan has always come out even and perfect, wet distressing and sanding is a breeze, color washing is easy, layering easy, I mean honestly other then the steap price, I can't say enough about this paint. And since I mentioned the price, I bought a shipment of ASCP online last summer, I just restocked my colors last month (Jan2014)and I still have some colors left over from the summer batch. I have probably painted at least 12-15 pieces of furniture, ranging from a small side table to an 8 drawer huge dresser. So this paint lasts a long, long time!! It really is well worth your money and you can't beat the quality.

My next company to try is Webster's Chalk Paint Powder, it's suppose to be awesome and you can mix it into any latex paint. I'm hoping to try it in the next month or so and I will get another review ready.

What is your favorite chalk paint? Have you made your own?

Happy Decorating,

xoxo~Summer

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The Painted Fabric Chair...


Ok, so.... unless you have lived under a rock, you have probably heard about painted fabric. Just kidding about the rock comment, maybe you haven't heard? That's ok, because now your horizon's have just been broadened! But just incase you have heard, you may be thinking, SO..... how is this tutorial any different then the others, well it's really not, it's just on my blog and the way I did my project...ha! If your interested.. then keep reading:)


Here are the chairs before, I actually got two for a steal of a deal! I really think it was the buy of 2013..

But maybe your not sold yet? Maybe your main concern is how does it feel? Is it crunchy, flaky, stiff? Well, the answer is NO to all three, I'm not going to lie, it's not as soft as regular fabric, obviously it has had a coating applied to it. But it is not as stiff as you might think, nor does it flake or come off onto your clothing. Let me share with you what I did and what worked for me.

There are two types of paint you can use.. well actually three.  First, you can use chalk paint, chalk paint is incredible and it is alot softer end result then the latex or acrylic, and it can cover anything and everything. Second, Acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. I haven't done this, because most of the tubes of acrylic are really tiny, and I know they only cost like $.99 but still, I don't want to have to buy a thousand of them... The third kind is latex paint, that's right just plain old paint that you may already have out in the garage.
 

I have painted fabric with both chalk paint and latex paint. The paint I used for the chair pictured above was a latex paint that had a satin finish and I mixed it with the fabric medium, even though it said to use with acrylic. So far I haven't had any problems with it.



Mix a ratio of around half paint to half fabric medium, you can
purchase the fabric medium at your local craft store, I just eyeballed it. I didn't do exact measurements and it turned out fine. Some people wet there fabric down before they paint, I have done both, but with this project, I didn't wet it. I just painted straight onto the fabric. With the latex paint method, it's really just that simple, once the first coat dried, I went back over missed spots.

The fabric on this chair had a raised pattern so I had to really get in there with my brush and get after it to get it thoroughly covered. Once your chair is covered, you can choose to do a polyacrylic coating, polyacrylic is like polyurethane only it's acrylic based(like you couldn't figure that out) and not supposed to yellow, if you are painting your fabric a light color, I don't recommend it, I have always had it turn slightly yellow on me. On this chair, since it had a satin finish, I did not use a poly coating.I painted the wood trim with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Provence, now all I need is to wax and it will be complete and ready to go to the shoppe!


Do you feel a project about to emerge? Or maybe you won't pass up that awesome french chair with ugly fabric at the thrift store, because it would be too expensive to reupholster? Now you have an economical solution to update some outdated pieces.
What will you redoux? Happy Decorating!



xoxo

Summer



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