August 22, 2014

Three Ways to Fix (or Prevent) Your Worst Painting Nightmares

One might assume while looking through Ask for Roses that every piece of furniture I touch magically turns out how I envision it the first time...let me assure doesn't!

There are all kinds of mistakes that occur--no matter how much planning and care go into a project, human error just wins sometimes.  And that is okay.  One of the benefits of my "Trash to Treasure" rehabs is that I am working with a piece of furniture that I received for free, so it has no sentimental or monetary value to me.  This gives me a little more courage to expiriment and not obsessively worry as much as I would if I were painting a table my mother gave me.

Case in point: the Graphite and Pure White Side Table.  My original idea was to paint the bottom of the legs gold.  I didn't want to use gilding wax, partly because I didn't think that would have the right effect and partly because the tiny pot of gilding wax costs $20.  My solution was to order an inexpensive craft paint that was meant for wood.  The reviews assured me that I would experience a glimmering metallic effect after painting and it worked beautifully on wood.

Would you like to see how that reality played out?

Translate: streaky matte gold paint brush lines.  And this is after two coats. Fortunately, I had the thought to just paint two sides of one leg and see what happened instead of painting all the legs.  Which brings me to:

 Tip #1: If you're experimenting with a new technique, start in a small area first.

The fix for this?

Two quick coats of Annie Sloan's Graphite on this one leg and then two coats on Pure White on all the leg bottoms.  And the result?  A table that looked great and an unnoticable once-was-gold leg.

Tip #2: Be flexible with your vision.

Instead of throwing a tantrum and trying to figure out a way to make the gold work...I just re-evaluated, made the decision to use white (because I had a can of white already available) and no one was the wiser.  In fact, if I wasn't writing this post, would you even know?!

And moving on to one of my favorite pieces of all time: the Washed Armoire.  However, there was a moment when this was not one of my favorite pieces of all time.  And that moment occurred as Kern was putting the doors back on the front (we had removed them to repair the hardware and to paint) and we realized that I had painted the front of the door Louis Blue and the French Linen/Paris Grey wash was on the inside.

Cue black clouds and silence.  To make matters worse, I was almost out of paint.  Lots of deep yoga breathing (that's not technically a tip, but consider it a bonus).

Tip #3: (Preventative) If you take furniture apart, label fronts, backs, sides...anything you are painting different colors.  Even if you think there is no way you could possibly confuse it.

I pulled all of my supplies back out and went to work re-painting the front and back.  I had just enough to finish both sides!

Which door was the disaster?!  (Hint: the one on the left!)

The bottom line to the great world of crafting and DIY is that some things will go wrong.  Some projects will not turn out as planned.  You may even have to walk away, leave the project for a day or two and return to it with a fresh mind.

If you're lucky, maybe you'll even have a few good stories to tell!

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