Before and After


This mixed media project started with a curbside find.  Poor outdated little thing!  In the picture, I have started with a coat of artist white gesso on her

How many times might you have looked at one of these 1980’s cast offs in the thrift store?  Well, I thought I might be able to do something to her to give her a lovely make over.  With Christmas coming, I got to work.  I did a cut out on my scroll saw to accommodate a miniature frame, creating a shadow box effect for a Tim Holtz Idea-ology Birdcage.   I used a mixture of Delta Ceramcoat navy and Gleams 14k gold acrylic paint to create my own version of a colored metallic paint for the base color which created a shimmery teal color which made me happy.

Today, after a mixed media application of a sculptured head that I wasn’t completely happy with,  a variety of materials; Creative Paper Clay used in an Iron Orchid Design casting (on the head piece) and vintage buttons castings, several Artminds laser cut wood scrolls from Michaels, beads, microbeads, rhinestones, a Vintaj brass bird whispering in her ear, and bits from my collection of cast offs, with metallic gold highlighting and Thicketworks DIY rust paste, I’d say she was looking a lot better.

Isn’t that rust paste gorgeous?

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

Eagles-Already Gone

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It’s been some time since I made a post about our DIY renovations.  There’s a reason for that.  We are slow.

But, today I’ll show you the painted faux bricks on the kitchen walls.

I’ll admit, I’ve grown a little weary of French Country shades of grey.  My Pinterest  page is full of the rooms of white and grey, but I just can’t make it work with the items my husband and I have collected over the years.  Sorry, we like color.

I started with some paints that I had in the basement left over from painting my bath.  That was before I found French Country, it’s more of a Tuscan feel.  The colors, available at Home Depot, were Behr’s Chai Spice, Warm Earth, and Home Decorator’s Collection Chenille Spread, which is an off-white. I also used some Valspar’s clear glaze,  and Mystic Sea paint available at Lowes, but any paint glaze would do.  For the base coat, I mixed one part Chai Spice and three parts white primer and rolled that on.

Making a Faux Brick Stamp

I created my own brick stamp using, of all things, adhesive backed craft foam cut into brick shapes and adhered to a piece of cardboard.  This worked really well.  The bricks are about 3 x 5 and 6 inches.  I staggering the ‘bricks’ for a realistic effect, measuring so the staggering is the same distance on each row.  That way, the bricks will ‘fit’ together when you stamp on the wall.  I left about a quarter inch between the bricks to represent the mortar.

I distressed the edges of the foam using the edge of a scissors blade and added some distressing to the inside of the rectangles by scratching with the end of the scissors.  This gives your stamping an uneven impression, which is what you want.  I made other stamps of various sizes to fill in spots which the large stamp didn’t reach, and one with bricks side by side for the top of the doorway.

Remember when you stamp on the wall to leave the quarter inch space between the bricks to represent the mortar.  I eyeballed keeping the rows straight, and I did a pretty good, but if you’re not comfortable with that, use a straight edge and level to draw a few guide lines on the wall before you start.  Start at the top of the wall and work your way down.

Stamping the Walls

Put a bit of the Chai Spice and Warm Earth in a paint pan. With a mini roller, roll on both colors at once.  It doesn’t matter if they mix.  You want a variety of color going on your bricks.

Roll and stamp, and sometimes you can stamp twice with one roll, giving a more subtle coloration.  If you feel the color is too dark, no worries!  The next step takes care of that.

Adding Subtle Textures

Once the bricks are dry, add a layer of white wash.  I used about a quarter cup of Valspar clear glaze mixed with about three fourths cup of Chenille Spread, and used a natural sponge to wipe a thin coat of the mixture on the wall.   Pounce with the sponge to give a slight textured look.  This will be very subtle.  Don’t go for big details.  Each layer adds more to the look.

When dry, using a 1 inch flat artist brush, I went back in with the Chenille Spread/glaze mix and added a fine line to the top and one side of each brick, blending in with the existing whitewash in the mortar line.  Decide which side of the brick would be facing the light and do the same side on all the bricks.  Highlighting and shading add depth.  With a small piece of natural sponge, shade the opposite side and bottom of some bricks with Warm Earth and Chai Spice on some other bricks.  Again, a very small amount of paint and a light touch.  If you find you got too heavy handed, as I did, go back and lighten it up by applying a small amount of Chenille Spread/glaze mix on a small sponge.

Also, pounce more Chenille Spread on the areas of your bricks that didn’t fully stamp to simulate weathered whitewash.  You can add as much or as little as you like.

The colors still appeared too uniform in color, so I took a stamp I made of one brick, rolled some of the Warm Earth and randomly stamped a few bricks, repeated with the Chai Spice, and then with the Chai Spice/primer mix.  This should be done sparingly!  I also intentionally did not press on the whole stamp on some of the bricks so they only partially stamped.  Back up frequently and look at your wall to determine where you think it needs some variety.  Don’t overdo it!

Making It Real with Patina

After all that is done, I used a small amount of Mystic Sea on my small sponge and added tiny pounces of it here and there to represent a bit of lichen growing on the bricks.  You can use any light blue or green color that is to your liking for this.  That color is just what I happened to have.

Here is a before and after of the progress so far.

My next post will give you an update of the cabinets painted with Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint!  Love this stuff!

This was a long post!  Thanks for hanging in there and reading it!

Lisa

Here’s what I’ve been working on lately. Please disregard the plywood floors but that is what is allowing me to use my dining room as my work space right now, until we get our new floors in!

 
Not really Mixed Media, more decoupage, but I really needed to work on some of the projects cluttering the garage. I don’t love decoupage and now wish I had done a transfer instead.
I used some images from the Graphics Fairy, but the main image is an illustration, which was the inspiration for doing this desk this way, from the late 19th century by Albert Robida called “Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000.” I found it on a site called The Public Domain Review which has some really interesting images. Once I saw it, I knew I had to use it somehow.
This is so not my usual style which is more French Country and Cottage. When I had the top done, my husband came home, and I thought I would get “the look,” you know the one that implies, “God, what is she thinking?” But he surprised me by saying, “You’re not selling this one are you? That’s so cool!” My #1 fan.
So OK, I guess I have to keep it even if it doesn’t go with anything else in my house!
Here’s what it looked like before.

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My latest project was a makeover for a sad little box that I got at the thrift store so long ago and sat in the basement forever.  I think I paid less than $5 for it and it is a good thing because the supplies cost a little more than I would have liked.

But, boy, do I love the results!

ugly-duck-box

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

picmonkey-image

Here is the before.  Sad little duckies…..

img_0943I took the whole thing apart, removing the hardware and peeling off all the lose paper.

img_2717What a mess!  But in that mess was pure French gold!

I applied plain brown kraft paper to the inside of the chip board pieces using a watered down wood glue.

img_2718And added a French script fabric to the outsides and trimmed with a faux leather fabric.  Both of these fabrics were on the clearance rack at the fabric store.

I reused some of the hardware, which I repainted with a faux rusty effect using black and copper spray paint.

Added black upholstery tacks  found at the hardware store to the faux leather strips and Voila!  Ugly duck to French swan!

ugly-duck-collage

 

 

Doesn’t every kitchen need more storage?  I have this alley way of a galley kitchen that is sorely lacking in the storage department.  So what to do?

I ‘inherited’ this extremely ugly but utilitarian storage cabinet.  Oh, no! There was no place in my renovation plans for something like this!  Here is a cabinet that is exactly the same as the one I had.  No, just no.

old-pantry

So, in shopping for a replacement, this was on  my pin board:

And this one:

No, can’t justify paying those prices for a pantry cupboard, not while we are still in renovation mode.  And we scrounged the thrift/antique places with no luck in finding a suitable replacement, at the right price, without having to do some work on it.  If I had to paint it, might as well paint the one I have.

So, after some chalk paint, some graphics magic from the Graphics Fairy, and some added molding,  voila!  Old store sign fancy pantry!

Old Store Sign Pantry

Old Store Sign Pantry

 

Before and After

Before and After

Still have to add some handles, but so happy with it!

#GraphicsFairy

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My daughter didn’t think I’d want it back.  In her defense, it was a mess. One of the drawer fronts was fallen off, the back was in pieces, it was dark, dirty and scratched up.

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It just had not fared well with a house of kids and cats.

So it took the four hour ride home with me and sat in the dining room for a couple of months before I got to it. And naturally, I didn’t take ‘before’ photos.  Just cuz.

But here are some in progress shots.  After I removed about a hundred nails. And filled in the scratches on the top with wood filler. And sanded the h+++ out of the whole thing.  And replaced two of the drawer bottoms.  And put the whole thing back together with new glue and nails.

IMG_2600We had a whole pile of old maps from National Geographic Magazines.  I glued (mixture of wood glue and water) some inside the drawers to add some character. I guess I have been in a traveling state of mind lately.

IMG_2601I also had removed the brass hardware off the drawers and gave them a cleaning.  I used an internet tip about using mayonnaise to clean the brass.  It sounds weird, but it really worked.  Put it on, let it set for a bit and scrub off.  I left a little of the patina on because I didn’t want it too brassy, shiny.

IMG_2602.JPGPainted the sides of the drawers to match the top using my home made chalk paint recipe with a sample jar of Behr color called Harbor, although I didn’t want a nautical look, I liked that the color matched the maps. (click the link to find my recipe on that post)

IMG_2605I used a compass image from the net and enlarged it using Block Posters, a free site that allows you to enlarge a photo. The image must be in a format that they accept.

I used carbon/transfer paper to trace the design onto the dresser top and then painted in the design.  After the paint was dry, I sanded it lightly to give it a faded look and then added stain because the paint was a little too bright for the look I was going for.  I just put a little stain on a paper towel, rubbed a little on and buffed it in until I got the effect I was looking for.

IMG_2606.JPGLeaving the wood natural, I added a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic to the whole thing, and a couple extra coats to the top.

So with the compass, I decided to use the popular saying from Lord of the Rings, but when I looked up the poem for the proper wording, I found the actual first line, and thought it appropriate for the piece. “All that is gold does not glitter.”  It seemed to fit.

IMG_2694I guess my advice is don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into something that looks like it might be worth the effort.

IMG_2693IMG_2692.JPG

(I do not have affiliates.  I provide links so you can see what products I used)

Thanks for reading,

Lisa

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It doesn’t take a lot of fancy, expensive paints to make over an outdated chandelier.  Don’t let them fool you!  You can get great results from simple, cheaper options.

Chandy Finished makeoverSo, if you’ve been looking into doing this, you have probably found other blogs who have used various name brand chalk and metallic paints. Here are a couple I loved, Diane’s at In My Own Style, and Amy’s at Maison Decor, and a zinc look makeover from Leslie at Colorways, whose chandelier’s style is much like mine was.

Sometimes you have to leave your chandeliers attached to the ceiling while you paint, but we were moving our light (along with the dining table) across the room so it was coming down, making the make over so much easier.

I also love to take apart my electricals and play with them!  I get so excited to start my projects, I always forget the before pics, but you’ve seen enough of these outdated shiny brass chandeliers, haven’t you?

My chandelier being taken apart.

My chandelier being taken apart

But take pictures of any funky ways things are assembled, like the way this wire goes around this part, so you can reference them when you put it all back together.

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

 

I took the whole chandelier apart and taped up the sockets to keep the paint out.  Then, started it off with a shot of Rustoleum antique bronze spray paint…. not much of this shows at the end, but I like having that dark base.

Then, I started layering my home-made chalk paint.  Here is my recipe:

Chalk Paint

For the painting process, I have some pictures from a lamp I painted the same way.

Shiny brass lamp to make over

Shiny brass lamp ready for make over

The paint I used on this project was made with a sample of Behr Chenille Spread, which is an off-white.  I used a chip brush and instead of stroking it on, I stippled it, which is a fancy way of saying I dabbed it on.

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Next came a bit of blue chalk paint, this is called Provence Blue.  I used this sparingly.  I wanted to simulate a patina on old metal.

If you do too much, don’t worry.  Just put more white on top.  I would also use a paper towel and dab off if I put too much on.  I liked how that gave it more texture.

The next layer is a bit of brown spray paint.  I kept the can about 18 inches away and let it sputter so it spattered on the pieces.

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Again, with the white, and if I wasn’t quite happy with it, I just kept adding layers until I was.  There is no right or wrong with this, just do what makes you happy.♥

To add a little shine, the last layer was a Ceramcoat Gleam acrylic craft paint in silver that I had on hand.  I used a foam brush to put it on and then used the paper towel again to rub it in.

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Silver acrylic paint rubbed on as final layer

Silver acrylic paint applied on as final layer

Now to assemble the chandelier parts back together.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the original composition of the pieces.  I played with how they went together.  The top pieces were put back the way they had been, except I turned them upside down.

On the bottom half, I wanted to eliminate the big round piece.  I just didn’t like it.  It is easy to change things up this way.  I had some threaded rods from other lighting projects, but you can buy some different length rods at the hardware store in the lighting parts department.  Lighting nipples

So I just played with the pieces and the rods until I got something I liked.

The chandelier is now going to be a plug in instead of hard wired. (The outlet was wired to a wall switch, so we can flip the switch to turn it on)  I added the chain and attached the new wire to the existing wiring in the chandelier. Wire and chain can be purchased by the foot at the hardware store.  Adding the new wire is pretty easy to do.  All the wires to the various arms of the chandelier all come together in the center.  They were held together with pigtails (those little plastic caps).  Unscrew the caps, remove the old wire that went up to the ceiling and attach the new wire, re-attach the caps.  Done!  Thread the wire through the chain.  There are plugs that you can add to the other end of the wire to plug into the wall.  Ask a person at the hardware store to help you find these.

I also added some bling with glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems.  I used a small drill bit and drilled holes in to candle holders so I could attach the bead drops I created.

Look at the bling!

Glass beads attached to the candle holders

Glass beads attached to the candle  holders

Completed chandelier makeover

Chandelier make over

 

 

 

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