Thursday, February 27, 2014

Say "Hello" To My Little Friend...

Well, he isn't exactly my friend, but he a special dog to someone! Which is why I was asked to make a custom painting of this sweet dog!

My client gave me this shot of Tucker
She mentioned how special Tucker's little horn, eyebrows were to his owner. So I made sure those were on the painting. I went with a little bit of a mod feel here, so it was playful, yet still manly enough to stick in a grown mans house :)

I had so much fun painting this guy...Animals are one of my favorite things to paint. Helps when my subjects are so darn cute! 
Got a pet? Need a painting??

Monday, February 24, 2014

White Primer VS Gray Primer

For years now, if you needed a primer, there was only really one or two options, usually a Kilz product, and in oil or latex. Some stores carry there own version of these, but I have found most people tend go with the bigger name here. 
These days, more and more people are taking on projects themselves, and doing the whole DIY thing. So it's best to really know what is out there, and what works best for different projects before you get started.

I tend to shop at Sherwin Williams for my paints, as it is close by, they are trained in paint, so they actually know what they are taking about (no offense to the box store guys), and in my opinion a better paint than the local hardware store stuff. Some companies have comparable this will at least help you get started. Check out some info here, on how to get discounts, and coupons on their paint.

All these paints below, can be found at any Sherwin Williams Store. 

First we look at your WHITE Latex, and Oil-Based. 

--A good basic LATEX primer that works well for a slight color change is the "Drywall Primer". This just helps your original color not peek through, or change the tone of your top coat....."Dry Wall Primer" $24  

--A  LATEX primer  for covering up colors that are several shades darker than your new color.... "Multi-Purpose Latex" $33. This is a thinner paint, and may take 2-4 coats to cover a darker color. This paint is messy stuff, lots of splatter, so prep well.

--If you are doing a paint or plaster treatment over a wallpaper, you have to use an OIL-based primer, to lock in the paper, so it doesn't peel or bubble. This creates a very hard solid surface...."Pro Block Primer". $28. This is a contractor paint, so you wont find it on the shelf, they carry it in the back. 

--For covering up over minor mold, water damage, or stains you will need a heavy ACRYLIC-ALKYD primer made for this, one that keeps it from bleeding back through....."Multi-Purpose Water-Based Acrylic-Alkyd Primer ". $33. This is a water-based acrylic-alkyd primer...this means, it cleans up with water, but acts as an oil for the hardness and durability. 
--This primer is also good for prepping raw wood (it will need a light sand before the top coat).

--For covering up heavy mold, water damage, or stains, you will need to use and OIL-based primer, one that will lock it in, and be the best coverage so that doesn't show back through..."Multi-Purpose". $42

--For priming raw wood with heavy knots and tannin stains, a SHELLAC primer can be used  just in certain spots, this primer is also good for covering orders and smoke damage......"White Pigmented Shellac Primer". $52 Because this is a shellac, it cannot be cleaned with water, and it's stinky. 
This is the name of the product at this moment, this product is being changed to a water-based formula with no actual shellac in it....It will be called "White Synthetic Shellac" but it is not in stores yet. 

 There is also a spray can version of this paint, which is good for the smaller projects. 

--For painting any kind of furniture, I always recommend using an OIL-based primer. Most furniture pieces are sealed with an oil-based sealer, or a wax, and occasionally, a latex-based sealer. An oil-based primer will ensure a good solid bond to any slick surface. If the furniture your painting is going to end up in a white or cream color, a white primer is good....For smaller pieces, a spray can will work "ProBlock". $4

For larger pieces, "ProBlock Primer" is best. $33

--For a zero VOC option in LATEX.... "Harmony Wall Primer" $44.
 This paint has order eliminating technology, and helps improve indoor air quality, so it is a good paint for small areas with little ventilation . It also has anti-microbial properties to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the surface, perfect for bathroom walls. Also if your very sensitive to paint smells, this is the primer to use for most of the LATEX projects.

Next, the GRAY Primers in Latex and Oil-Based.

--For covering up walls that are dark, or rich in color, a gray colored primer works best. This hides the tone of the color underneath best. With a white primer you will need 2-4 coats of primer, to cover blacks, and reds. With the gray primer, you may only need one coat...."Mutli-Purpose Water-Based Acrylic-Aklyd Primer". This can be tinted in all the gray tones (see color chart below). This is the only primer that will tint to the darkest of the gray primers, the P6.

--When painting deep or rich color top-coat, having a gray tinted primer works well here . The color is more uniform, and true to the paint chip sample. The biggest bonus, less coats of your top color. A good basic primer for this is the...."Multi-Purpose Latex Primer".

--The same goes for painting furniture. When covering over a dark wood tone, or using a dark or deep top color, the gray OIL-based primer is perfect (see cabinet photos below). This stuff is awesome! Wish I would have had this years ago. The paint is very heavy bodied, and has great color coverage. It didn't make a splattery messy like the latex does either. 

Here are the gray color choices P1-P6. 
All of the primers can be tinted with these colors (with the exception of the P6)

The question then do you know which color of primer to choose for your paint color? 
Luckily, Sherwin Williams made a pretty fool proof system. On the fronts of some of the paint chips, there is a "P", which indicates it will need the tinted primer (not all of their paint chips types, have these on the front). On the back of the Sherwin Williams paint color chips, they have a P1-P6 number printed on them, if it is needed. 
On the pictures below, the "P" is circled, as well as its primer color suggested on the back 

I was surprised at the level of tinted primer that was needed for the colors. Like how a lime green color, needed a deep gray primer. 

Let's say you have your favorite color picked out from some other brand, then what? 
Take your paint color chip to Sherwin Williams, and find a color that looks close, use their guide listed,  for the color of primer to use. 
No number on the back? Then you can just use the plain old white, or none depending on the surface. 

One of the last things I want to clarify for you, is about OIL vs LATEX Primer.
This only applies to primer....
You can use a latex, or oil based primer, and put LATEX paint on top. Just because you put oil primer down, doesn't mean latex paint wont adhere, quite the contrary. 
If you are using an oil-based top coat, like for cabinets or furniture, I always say OIL is best for the primer. 
I know oil is stinky! And messy!!  Wear gloves, and a mask if you have to, and make sure you only clean up with the right products (paint thinner, mineral spirits, etc.). Or try the Mutli Purpose Acrylic-Alkyd for the durability, without the mess. 

Here is a recent cabinet project I did, using the ProBlock Primer Oil-Base, in the color P5.

These cabinets were originally white...and not in great shape. A light wipe down with a cleaner, and a little bit of sanding on any chipped areas, got them prepped.  
This was with just one coat of the primer (sorry for the grainy Ipad photo, but you can see how good it covered).

For the next coat I used a deep brown tone "Griffin 7026". I used Sherwin Williams, "Solo" latex paint here. I don't normally like to use latex on cabinets...but if you have to, this is the one to use . 
It has good coverage, and is great on wood (overkill for use on walls). This is the contractors version of this paint, at around $40 a gallon. 
The homeowners version of this is called "Pro Classic", which runs around $68 a gallon. 
If you don't see the Solo out, just ask for it. 

This is only 1 coat of the brown. If I would have used a white primer on these white cabinets, I would have needed at least 2 coats of this brown paint to cover. 

Cabinets with the glaze.

I know there are alot of primers to choose from, and it can be overwhelming, so I hope this helps you in your future paint projects. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Grassy Nightstand Makeover

These days, things around my house, seems to take 4 times longer, than they should really take me. I get 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there...but rarely ever a solid block of time to get a project, much less a room done. It used to really bother me, I felt like every room in my house, still needed work. In all actuality that IS still the case. But I think I feel a little more accomplished doing several little things each day or two, rather than one room in a couple of months. That may just be my exhaustion talking!
As I had told you before, I was making over my youngest's, bedroom. I know, I know, we haven't even lived here two's the constant re-decorator in me. 
In the fall, we purchased her a toddler bed, so the room had to change along with it. It sort-of looks complete, but needs a couple finishing touches. Should be able to show the big reveal next week sometime. For now, I wanted to show you the grassy nightstand makeover. 

I searched for months to find a table that was just the right size. Toddler beds sit really low to the ground, so the table also had to be low, but not to wide for the proportion of the space. 
I ended up making a simple table, with a top, and screw on legs from Lowe's.

I started with a coat of blue spray paint, then gave it a coat of white paint. Once dry, I sanded down the edges a bit, so the blue would show through. The blue itself would have been much to bright.

Against the white bed, It now seemed a little to simple in her room. Yet, I didn't want a  color that would take away from her bedding, and art on the wall. I kinda went with a nature theme for her room, and by nature, I mean...I imposed my freaky bird love on her :) I did add flowers and such, to detract, but mostly so my husband wouldn't commit me. So I thought the night stand would be the perfect spot to bring the nature back in. 
I always love to add greenery, and texture into my decor, it really warms up the space, and this did both. 
This would work for any kind of outdoor, camping, woodland, or floral themed room.

Here's what I did...
I started with the round nightstand.....but this would also be cute on a coffee table in a playroom, on a low window seal, or even on the back of a toilet tank, with some flowers sprouting up, or bugs walking along it. 

The plastic grass is from Hobby Lobby. They come in these 12" squares, and are about $5 a piece. This is part of the Easter decor..but during most of the spring, they have these in stock. I used three pieces, for this project, and still had left overs.

 I didn't want this to be glued directly to the table, so I needed to attach the grass to something else. 
I happened to have a plastic desk pad from Ikea,  from my older daughters room. It's clear, so you can still see the table underneath, and hefty enough, not to slide around. Projs Desk pad, they run about  $6. 
I cut it into the shape of the table top. You could use chip board,  poster board, with double stick tape, or even cardboard painted with the tables color. 

Next I cut the grass pieces. Laying them on the table to see where my cuts were. Since the tufts of grass were in intersections, you may need to use some weird cuts to fill the space. 

Using a hot glue gun, I attached them to the plastic pad. 

Once the main areas are done, you may end up with some sparse areas around the edges.

I just cut small sections, and filled any bare looking areas.

And VOILA..... A Grassy Nightstand

Here's a sneak peak on how it was finished off. 

 The lamp was from Target, about 12 years ago :) The awesome little bird is from West Elm. 

This plastic grass, is good for all sorts of projects, check out these other fun ideas....

This was at my old house, in my sons nursery. I used two sheets of grass, to stick the diaper basket and wipes on. Made the changing table a bit more fun and quirky. See the whole woodland  nursery here.

Who doesn't need an ottoman made of grass??? 
Just don't make this if you have pets....they may get the wrong idea. By GH Designs.

Grass Charging Station, by Kikkerland...Simple enough to make I'd think. 

Wearing it....Earrings??
Ummm, maybe not.... By Ashley Jewelry

No water that's my kind of grass!!