Thursday, July 28, 2011

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Canada

It's finally available in Canada, and more to the point, in Southern Ontario- that amazing paint that everyone in blogland has been talking about- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  And the funniest thing is, the store that carries it is located in Bath near Kingston, Ontario, just minutes from where my husband's family live - in fact,  the store is on the same road that his brother and sister-in-law live on, and where his family home was, and still is located .  Is this not a small world ????  I've been trying to decide if I wanted to spend the money to order it and have it shipped from New Jersey, which was the closest location to me I could find, but now that problem is solved.  If you wait long enough, good things usually happpen.

 I know, I know, stop talking already and tell us where it is.  The store is called The Melon Patch, and here's the link to the web-site and Blog here.

Now, unfortunately, I live 2 hours away in Toronto, but, it's still better then having to order it from the States and having it shipped across the border.  I can just have one of my family members pick up the paint for me and get it when I go to visit- I'm so excited to try it out.  I've already pre-ordered some paint and wax- they sold out of the Old White in just one week, and the owner of the store-Elizabeth is going to email me when it arrives.

Here are some pictures that I borrowed from the Melon Patch Blog, of finished items using the paint.

I can't wait to show some pictures of my own items once I get the paint.  I hope all you bloggers in Canada will check out the Melon Patch site and blog- they will ship anywhere in the world.  And I hope this little bit of information will be of help to a lot of people.

Until next time.  Au Revoir!!!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shabby Chic Beadboard Sign DIY.

Well, I've been very busy with my new job, so I haven't had time to make any entries  for quite a while, but I did manage to make some cute vintage-look beadboard signs over the last month.  I had lots of extra beadboard left over from my Armoire makeover. I've always loved vintage signs and have wanted to do a project like this for a while now. Here are  the photos of the finished signs in my garden, and home , and then I'll give you a breakdown of the items you need to DIY these yourself, and a quick tutorial.  They're  really easy and fun to do. The possibilities are endless- just let your imagination and creativity guide you.

In the garden
Le Jardin Sign

Close-up of detail.

Close-up of crackle detail

Close-up of painted and distressed detail

Here's a list of what you'll need to complete these projects:

Beadboard or wood in desired size
Acrylic or latex paint ( One dark and one light if you plan on doing the crackle effect)
Paint brushes- foam or bristle
Stencil brush
Lead pencil
Antiquing medium or glaze
Old tee-shirt rags
Raw umber or other dark brown color acrylic paint ( to mix with antiquing medium)
Crackle medium
Stencil or font from computer ( for lettering)
Images from computer ( for Rosemary and Lavendar images)
Sandpaper ( and palm sander if you want0
Hammer or screwdriver
Decorative upholstery tacks
Matt acrylic sealer - spray or brush on.
Twine or ribbon for hanging

I used pine beadboard for my project and acrylic craft paint, so I didn't need to prime the wood beforehand. Once you decide on the size, sand the edges of the wood or beadboard for a worn , soft look. Then brush with one or 2 coats of paint.  If you plan on doing a crackle effect, use a dark coat first, let dry, then coat with crackle medium- all over or just in small areas as I did on my large  Rosemary and Lavendar sign.  Once the crackle medium is dry, brush on a light color over the crackle medium and the cracks will begin to show almost immediately.  The thicker the paint, the larger the cracks. It's really important to only brush once over the crackle medium, or it won't work, so I suggest practicing on a scrap first until you get the hang of it.  Of course, you can skip this step if you want, and it still looks good.  Let the paint dry thoroughly. 

If you're using  a stencil, dip the stencil brush in the dark acrylic or latex paint, and rub most of it off onto a paper towel.  Then using a swirling motion, and barely any paint, fill in the stencil letters.  This will give it a soft, worn look.  If you want to use a font from the computer, you'll have to do a few extra steps.  Once you have the lettering the way you want it, rub the back side of the paper all over with the side of the pencil, then place your lettering on the painted board and trace the lettering.  This acts like carbon paper, and you'll get an outline of the lettering.  Then usung a small craft brush, carefully paint the lettering.  Don't worry if you don't get it perfect, because you're going to sand it and distress it later, and it will all get worn down anyway.  Let your lettering dry.  If you want to add any other decorative stencils or hand painted details, do this now as well.  Let dry.

Now for the fun part.  Take a hammer or srewdriver and start hitting the wood anywhere you want to create dents and crevices.  You can even use a metal chain.  It's a good time to get some of your pent-up frustrations out.  Go as crazy as you want - or not - whatever you like.  Anywhere you have a dent will get filled in with antiquing medium later, and take on an aged look- like dirt has collected over time.  When you're happy with your dents, or have all your frustations out, mix your antiquing medium with the raw umber paint, at a rate of 4 parts antiquing medium to 1 part paint.  You don't need a lot, so don't mix up too much.  Paint over the whole sign with the antiquing medium,using a foam brush, and then using a damp t-shirt rag, wipe off most of the antiquing medium, using a light circular motion. Wherever you have a depression in the wood, the dark color will stay, and the raised parts will get wiped almost clean.  The harder you wipe, the cleaner it will get.  You may have to rinse of the rag a few times and keep working  it until you get the look you want.  If you take too much off, you can always go back and add more.  Once you're happy with the effect, let it dry several hours or over night.  Now , sand the edges and corners, as well as some sections on the actual sign.  If you have hand painted any areas, make sure you go over them so they look aged and worn.

If you are using the decorative upholstery tacks, hammer them in where ever you want them.  If the tacks are too long, you can cut off some of the pointed end with wire cutters, hammer them into the wood, and then reinforce them with hot glue or carpenters glue.  Once everthing is the way you like it, spray the whole thing with acrylic sealer and let dry.  I used garden twine to hang my signs for a rustic look, but you could also use ribbon or picture hangers.  Or just lean it against a wall.

That's it.  Enjoy and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!