I thought it was about time to give you another look at some of the Old Things New projects I’ve been doing around my house.
Yesterday I sat out on my back deck enjoying the warmth of the sun shining down upon my skin and warming me all the way to the bone. I love it when the weather is in the 70’s and all of the trees and bushes in my neighborhood are bursting into bloom. It really is the most beautiful time of the year here in South Carolina. I knew I had things to do but I couldn’t get myself up and motivated until I began to feel the burn on my fair arms. Alas, I am “pigmentally challenged” (my hubby’s name for very white) and I can only stay a short time in the sun without sunscreen.
I got a call from one of my doctors this morning and it turns out I’m Vitamin D deficient. So much so that she is starting me on prescription strength Vitamin D! Hallelujah! This might be just the excuse I need to spend more time lounging in the sun – with my sunscreen of course 🙂
So this is one of my French Country style bar stools and this is how they looked before. The wood color was kind of orangey and didn’t go with the look I’m trying to achieve in my kitchen. The wood is hard but not anything special SOOO . . . chalk paint to the rescue!
I started by painting the chairs a light color first and then trimmed them out with a darker color. I had Home Depot color match Annie Sloan Chalk Paint’s Country Grey and French Linen (I have an ASCP color card and I take that to the store whenever I want to get a color match). I purchased sample size containers and used my favorite homemade Chalk Paint Recipe.
I finished up with my new favorite wax mixed with stain for added color (this gives it the same look as a dark wax and, like dark wax, any excess color can be removed by rubbing clear wax over it). Can you see the sheen on the chairs? They also have a very smooth feeling finish which I like better than the finish I get with soft wax.
By the way, I may have heated it just a tad to make it a little softer for mixing and applying. Shhh . . . this may be a dangerous thing to do . . . at least as dangerous as things get in my world 🙂
I did use some soft wax though, on the leather chair seats. Unfortunately, I splattered the seats with paint when I was painting the caned backs. The seat surfaces became dull when I cleaned off the paint so I decided to see what a little soft wax would do.
Now – the wall color – the yellow in this room is still bothering me and I’ve been picking up paint swatches with thoughts toward a future change. I’m leaning toward Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. Sigh – not until I whittle down my long list of to-do’s though. Priorities you know 🙂
Now it is on to outdoor projects. Filling planters with flowers, cleaning patio furniture, scheduling a lunchean on my deck. What Spring projects are you up to where you live? Is your weather warming too or are you still in a winter chill? Time flies so quickly and we will be feeling the heat of Summer in no time at all.
Do you ever have times of feeling SUPER motivated . . . with great bursts of energy to tackle projects you’ve been carrying around in your head? Times of enough forward incentive to conquer two, or three, or six undertakings at the same time?
That’s what sunshine does for me.
When it’s dreary and drizzly outside my window I seem to lack ambition but with the long sunny days of summer here in SC I’m on a roll!
As promised in my post Adding the French Country Look to Your Kitchen, I’m back to share:
For this project I’m using some items I had on hand from previous projects (items the course teaches one to make from scratch), Americana Decor’s Chalky Finish paint in black and white Liquitex Gesso.
On a pre-cut board from Michael’s I began by painting on a few layers of Gesso and then layers of black paint, drying between each coat with a hair dryer.
Can you see all the cool cracking caused by my hair dryer? Next I took a cheap candle and smushed it on the surface, wherever I wanted the black paint to show through my top coat. Note the big chunks of wax left behind.
I painted over everything with Behr’s knockoff of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) color Country Grey. This color and all the remaining paint colors used in this tutorial were mixed with my Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe #3. One coat covers well but I used two for an even more layered look.
Lettering was next and this picture on Facebook was my inspiration.
I eyeballed the picture and drew it by hand on a piece of paper about the size I thought would work for my sign. You could use a stencil but I rather like the not-so-perfect, hand lettered look.
After a bit of drawing, erasing and drawing again I was finally happy with my penciled lettering and transferred it onto my board. Tracing with graphite paper is one way of doing this or, if you are too lazy to go looking for the graphite paper up in your craft closet, a simple Typography Transfer tutorial can be found HERE.
After transferring my letters I lightly distressed the board, mostly around the edges, and used a knife point to “pick up” the paint that was over the wax, revealing the chalky black beneath.
This extreme close-up shows an example of the kind of depth you can achieve with layers of paint and wax.
The next step was to dry brush around the outer edges of my board . . .
. . . using Behr’s ASCP knock-off of French Linen.
Painting the lettering was done with a tiny brush and a steady hand . . .
. . . using Behr’s knock-off version of ASCP Greek Blue.
The shadowing was not done in an ASCP color but is a Behr sample that I bought to try on a BIG future project (one of the things I’m working on this week).
This is a picture taken during the shadowing process. I had to keep reminding myself that my shadows needed to fall to the right and below my letters. No worries about perfection though because any goof is an easy fix with more paint. Wink, wink!
After lettering I used my tiny brush to freehand some embellishments on my board. Not worrying too much about keeping things uniform or perfect makes it super simple for anyone to do!
Finally I waxed my board to protect it. I added dark wax first . . .
. . . then a little soft wax to “erase” some of the areas I didn’t want to be quite so dark.
I used dark wax only on the sides, allowed all the wax to dry for an hour or so, then buffed the entire sign to a nice sheen.
That’s pretty much it . . . MY favorite tips for creating Rustic French Signage. Below are several shots of La Creperie Bleue on display in my French Country decorated kitchen.
Cute “vintage” signs are sold everywhere right now and I have one that you may have seen in my last post. I like it a lot but I’d much rather have something that is original and not mass produced. Maybe you’ll try your hand at creating some rustic signage of your own. If you do I’d love to see pictures or answer any questions you might have along the way.
If being crafty isn’t your thing but you’d love to check out some beautiful rustic French signage to purchase, I think you’ll be delighted by what you see at my friend Janice’s online shop, French Velvet Horses.
Janice’s heart goes into everything she creates and that is the mark of a TRUE artist!
And now, since we’re lovin’ on all things French lately, a little language lesson:
Blessings to you my friends and *bonne nuit!
*Bonne nuit – That’s good night before going to bed, which I’m not, because I’m on to another project while the motivation is strong!
French Country Style board on Pinterest.
Timeworn, aged, faded, shabby. All words to describe those well-worn flea market baskets that catch my eye and pull at my heart. So I was excited a couple of years ago to receive my mother-in-law’s old wicker laundry basket. Mr. OTN, who is no youngsta’, has memories of being pulled across the floor in this basket by his older brothers.
How sweet then, that it came home to live with us. Here is a picture of said basket as shared in our Den Reveal last Fall. It is perfect just the way it is and I wouldn’t think of touching it with a paintbrush!
However . . . some of the baskets I have around my home are neither old nor precious, so this past week I decided to touch up a few of them with paint to give them that well worn look that I love.
Ageing baskets is one of the quickest and easiest projects you’ll ever do!
First, a “before” view of the baskets I painted . . .
. . . and here they are “after” painting.
On my powder room trash can I used my Homemade Chalk Paint recipe and paint that Home Depot mixed to match Annie Sloan’s chalk paint color French Linen.
For this flower basket I used Home Depot’s match to Annie Sloan’s Country Grey.
For the rest of my baskets I layered both colors, French Linen and Country Grey, by dry brushing on alternating layers of paint. You can see the beginning of that process below.
French Linen . . .
. . . followed by Country Grey.
I simply kept layering alternating colors until I liked what I saw. My kitchen baskets were sealed with a bit of dark wax for added protection and to age them even more.
These are the Home Depot colors I used.
That’s it. A simple afternoon project that makes a big difference in how things look.
I’ve been adding a few new touches to my kitchen and my aged baskets fit right in. I’ll be back later this week to share more pictures in Adding Personality to a Kitchen. Until then, thank you dear readers for stopping by. I hope you have one fantastic week!
This is the “before” picture of a buffet that we found at a great local antique/junk store. It was very dark in the store and the buffet was kind of hidden behind a lot of other stuff so I wasn’t sure of the condition of the piece until Mr. OTN brought it home. I thought the burled wood on the drawer fronts might be worth restoring but it is veneer and had a lot of hairline cracks on the surface so I decided to just paint over it.
Here is the “after” of my gorgeous new buffet. I used two tones of grey, painting on the darker color first and then adding a color wash of the lighter grey. I then used white wax as a finish. I have a ton of “how to” pictures and also some other shots of the piece so read on please . . .
I began with a color I had custom mixed at Home Depot to match the Annie Sloan chalk paint color French Linen. I buy the sample sizes and make my own chalk paint. I’ve tested and reviewed several home made chalk paint recipes and my favorite can be found HERE
After the first color was dry I painted on a wash of Home Depot’s version of ASCP Country Grey. This was also made with my home made chalk paint recipe and watered down quite a bit so it would wipe off easily.
Here I’ve wiped it off using one swipe of a crunched up paper towel. The important thing here is to use a new surface of the paper towel for each swipe. Otherwise you’ll be putting paint from the paper towel back onto your piece of furniture and it sort of ruins the look you’re going for in a wash.
After everything was dry I used some Miss Mustard Seed white wax to seal the paint. It is a different look completely than some of the pieces I’ve done with dark or clear wax and I really like it on this piece. According to the ASCP website you can add white chalk paint to clear wax to get the same effect.
I’ll be moving a Craigslist dining room table and chairs into the dining room for our Thanksgiving dinner. They too are in need a lot of work but just a good cleaning will have to do for now. Chairs take hours and hours to paint and, as my sister said, “Don’t worry about the house. FOOD is all that is important!” Haha! Food AND family. I’m so happy that my sister and her hubby are coming out from SoCal for the holiday and also that we’ll have our dear college friend Holly here with us as well.
By the way, remember the old tarnished brass hardware? I rubbed just a touch of Martha Stewart’s Metallic Craft Paint in Silver over the metal. Not too much as I wanted the dark color to still show through.
I’m pretty happy with this piece and I’m excited about my vision for this room. I’m not sure what colors I’ll use on the dining room set. Maybe the same colors but in the reverse order for a completely different look with the same color base. I’ll have to do some experimenting to see what feels right.
Here’s a sneak peek at my inspiration piece. Curious? If you’d like to see more pictures of this piece and hear the story behind it, please join me tomorrow for Freedom Friday – On Becoming The Person You Were Created to Be.