Thursday, June 30, 2016

Annual stay-cation!

Now that the school year is over, I've finally been able to take some much needed time off. I usually take the week after graduation off because let's face it - I'm pretty tired from photographing all of the end of year events at my school.

When I was young, my family would pile into the car and drive to Florida. While I'd LOVE to go down to Florida and visit my family, it's just not something that's in the cards right now (I did manage to squeeze in a much-needed spa day though!). However, I am using the time to be productive around the house (which, after looking back at my Facebook posts over the years, is apparently what I do whenever I take time off) and so far I've been able to complete a good amount of tasks.

I finally painted over the stenciling on the bathroom walls and installed the trim around the vanity mirror. I still need to putty the miter joints, but it's looking better all the time.

Yesterday I managed a good scrubbing and polish of the living room hardwood floors. Despite being scratched nearly to oblivion (thanks to my two dogs, three cats and two people) the floor looks a lot better than it did. I use the Holloway House floor finisher for high traffic floors and it looks lovely. Because I have a lot of furniture, it took nearly two hours to do the whole room as I had to move the furniture to one side of the room, do two coats, then move it to the other side, and do the two coats on that side. Lesson learned - it would have been a good idea to have the hubs move the very heavy and solid furniture (sofa bed and large, heavy dining table) because I'm quite sore today.

One of my favorite things to do when on stay-cation is to paint. I've fallen head-over-heels in love with chalk paint and I'm thankful that my local arts and crafts supply stores carry a wide variety for me to try. I've had very good luck with the Folk Art brand and am very fond of the castle grey color. It's a nice warmish-greige and looks lovely when antiqued. (I used this color on my two cane-back chairs and plan to use it on my French provincial dresser that I'm using at my television stand)

I haven't tried Annie Sloan, mostly because I don't know of a distributor close to me, and secondly, it's pretty expensive stuff. Since I'm working on multiple house projects, I'm trying to keep costs relatively down. Plus, the Folk Art chalk paint has worn fairly well so far. I've also used Americana Decor and I like it okay, but it's definitely a lot thicker than the Folk Art brand. I find it works a lot better if you have a damp brush, otherwise it can be a bit cakey.

Speaking of Americana Decor - I'm using their "vintage" color for my next chair project.

I think it's a lovely color - very similar to the Palladian Blue color I have on the walls, which makes it a nice color for my dining chairs. My grey cane back chairs have cushions the same color, so it all ties in nicely. 

I think I will keep it simple for these chairs and just distress them a little and add clear wax and be done with it. I'm still on the fence about adding a design or not to the chairs. They're fairly simple, but I don't want to "over-do" it with them.  

As you can see in the photo - I've used these chairs in many many many painting projects. There are paint splatters all over them. I found the easiest and fastest way to get the paint off of these chairs (mind you, these are cheap-o chairs I got with a dining set at Walmart 7 years ago, so I wasn't worried about anything happening to them) is to use Goo-gone and a putty knife. This combo gets the paint off really quickly without having to sand the globs down. (It also got paint, dried putty and even dried mortar off of my floors). After I wiped up all the dried paint, I gave it a good clean with an all-purpose cleaner and let it dry. 

I applied two coats, and like I said, with the Americana Decor paint, a damp brush works a lot better for a thin, even coat. I applied two coats to the chair, letting it dry completely between coats. 

The next step depends on a few things. If I want to add a design, I'd go ahead and do that. I have a few ideas in mind - maybe something with stripes, or something like Miss Mustard Seed's designs (I seriously love everything she does - especially the adorable hand-painted dressers) or even use my stencil on the seat. Again, still on the fence. 

Once a design is painted, then you can distress and clear wax. I I don't decide to do a design, I'll just distress and clear wax. After clear wax you'd antique if you wanted to, but I'm not planning on antiquing these chairs. 

I'm hoping to finish two of the chairs today, two tomorrow, and then possibly start the dresser on Saturday. So. much. paint. I may even get around to doing the molding for and painting another door.