Jillian, Isaac, and I went to another estate sale a few weeks ago. I know. Big surprise. Has there ever been a piece of non-descript furniture that you look and look for but just can't settle on one?
I've wanted a picnic table every since we moved from Michigan to Wisconsin but never found one I was willing to pay for. They're kinda expensive. Or maybe I'm just cheap. But either way…I FOUND ONE!
I walked right past it not even noticing it on the way in.
We looked around for a few minutes and then got in line o pay for a few little things we found, an ax for Adam, a jack knife for Isaac, a few this's and thats. Then Jillian said, "Hey, did you see that?"
She pointed out a picnic table – with a $20 price tag. I walked over and grabbed the tag and got back in line. Not 5 minutes later a lady asked me if I took the tag to the picnic table and I showed her getting an, "Ugh" from her.
Some might say that I should leave it as is.
But I had another thought and of course I have to always make it my own. It's the destiny of those of us who paint. I suppose you would need to understand the mind of those who create or make new. Well, it's a deep subject…
The furniture flipping obsession.
First you see a piece of furniture and imagine how it could be "better." If it has aprice tag on it, it gets worst. You imagine buying it and painting it and either keeping it or selling it. If it's a good price, you buy it and take it home, depositing it next to all the other pieces that are waiting to be flipped. I'll show you how I did it – it was one of the easiest projects I've ever done.
Sand it down to get rid of the flaking paint and give you a smoother surface. Wipe it down with a damp rag to get the dust off.
Mix up Old Fashioned Milk Paint – one jar of Soldier Blue and another of the lighter blue, Slate. Paint one layer of Soldier Blue and let dry. Let a little of the original red show through. We're going for a layered look.
Distress down to the medium blue and even more to bring out a little bit of the original red.
Topcoat with (afflink) Varnish one thin layer to seal the paint before stenciling. This will provide you with a barrier between the stencil paint and your base coat, protecting it from mistakes. I like to sandwich my stenciled motifs between layers of topcoat.
Stencil a couple of different (afflink) motifs all over in coordinating teals, overlapping just a bit.
Take a high grit (afflink) sanding sponge and distress both motifs by brushing the sanding sponge over the motifs only one way, lightly. Doing this will give you an instant aged look.
Stencil (afflink) "Together" in the middle, spreading it out to cover more of the table than the original layout. After stenciling the smaller motif, take the brush around the edges of the boards to highlighting all edges to add to the layering.
Too often we save our artistic endeavors for furniture INSIDE our homes. This time I added a little bit of art in our yard. I look forward to the next family picnic where I can use my new picnic table. I need to find some benches or chairs to match…
Some would say, "I liked the "before" picture better." Yeah. There is always one who does. But when I find a piece that I don't like and can see it better – can see it in a way that makes me smile inside my head, then I have to make that image real. This time it was super easy. Every once in a while it is.
Often I see carefully laid out designs on a piece and think, "I would never try to do that." Though perfection is an unrealistic goal, some of us try to reach it. Too often. But sometimes a controlled randomness is much more desirable. In this case, perfection was imperfection. Randomness actually ends up being my perfection.
What have you done for yourself lately? Do you take your art outdoors?
* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy anything after clicking on one of the affiliate links, I receive a small commission of the sale. The cost to you is the same, and I only link to items that I think would benefit my readers. Your support of this blog is greatly appreciated. This was also a sponsored post. Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company graciously supplied the products to redesign this table in exchange for an honest review.
We found an antique parlor table at an auction in Stevens Point. It was one of those days that turned out to be very profitable. We got good prices and I fed my furniture flipping addiction. Many things didn't sell that day, and we watched as the auctioneer helpers tossed dozens of unpurchased items in the dumpster. It was sad to watch.
We left with a van full of great furniture for our new FB store The Red Shed. My SIL and DH had the privilege of loading the van while my DD and I stood and watched.
Not only was it old and in need of repair, but it was just plain messed up. I could easily see its potential so I was glad when I won the bid.
We took it all apart.
OK, my DH took it all apart, and repaired all the joints. I scrubbed it with Krud Kutter, scraped it and sanded out the scratches on the top, down to bare wood. The wood underneath was beautiful.
The table didn't fit the antique lover's romantic vision of a
priceless piece of history that no one can ever paint or get rid of.
I want to show you the reality of most old pieces of furniture. They aren't magical. They aren't untouchable. They aren't more important than people.They are just pieces of wood. Some are banged up, some are in perfect condition. But all are just things. This is just a side table in need of help.
Do you paint antiques?
If you are of the persuasion that antique furniture should never be painted, that's great. If you are willing to paint anything to make it fit into your own style, that's great too. There is room for everyone. Just remember whoever owns the piece decides what to do. Don't brow beat those who have differing opinions. It's ok to be different from your fellow artists. Just do what makes you happy.
Whatever you decide to do, clean, repair and prepare the piece.
One of the most important parts of restoring furniture is to take a step back and meticlously clean and repair it. Take your time and don't rush. Know that you have done all you can to make your piece stellar. Too often people rush and get all artsy and don't do the piece justice by preparing it properly. We've all heard, "No prep!" Don't believe it.
You need sand it if there is the least bit of shiny finish to give it tooth. You also want to take off imperfections to give it a nice surface.
We kept the top separate from the bottom and skirt (the part that hung down from the top) so I could have an easier job of painting and glazing. We found some beautiful wood beneath all that old finish and stain. I stained the top with (afflinks) Java Gel and painted and glazed the bottom and skirt with Old Fashioned Milk Paintand Acriglaze.
OFMP: "Our Milk Paint is environmentally safe and non-toxic. There is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry. The paint is safe for children's furniture and toys, and can also be used for interiors of homes of people who are allergic to modern paints."
This is a company that you need to take a serious look at. The paint is different from all the others – it's non-toxic.
The paint is more natural than traditional paint, non-toxic, can be mixed to just about any color variation, and can also be used to tint glaze and be used as an aging dust (can't wait to try that!). This paint mirrors the paint used hundreds of years ago and doesn't fade over time because OFMP Company researched the recipe and produces it as they did in days of old. You can control the thickness and layer it as many ways as your imagination allows for a unique look.
Basically, this paint gives you creative license. Score.
Since I'm now an official OMFP blogger, I'll be bringing you many projects painted with Old Fasioned Milk Company Products.
This was my first project using this paint. At first I was a little frustrated, but once I got a handle on it, I began to really like it! I especially love the idea of mixing my own colors.
There is a bit of a learning curve, so I'll share some of the things I learned.
1. When mixing the paint, do it gently because it will get bubbles. If you get bubbles, let it sit for a bit to "unbubble." It's too hard to paint with bubbles.
2. It takes a bit to dissolve the powder, so be patient. Start out with warm water. I let it sit a bit after mixing to give it time to dissolve. If while you paint you get a bit of undesolved powder on your piece, just keep painting and smooth it into the rest of the paint. The varied tones are part of this unique paint. Go with it.
3. It is best to mix up what you need each day. OFMP has no preservatives so it doesn't last like other paint after it is mixed. If you want to keep it for the next day, put it in the fridge to keep it fresh. You can expect it to last about a week or so. I didn't put it in the fridge and on day three it was unusable.
4. If your surface isn't bare wood, use (afflinks) Extra Bond in your first coat if you want good adhesion. Mix your paint and add Extra Bond to turn it into a primer. Then subsequent coats can be straight OFMP. The first layer with Extra Bond won't cover well (nor will the next layer if you keep using it), but it will prime the surface. The next layers of the regular mixed milk paint will do that for you.
5. You can use the (afflink) Acriglaze to make your own tinted glaze. It didn't dissolve well right away when I mixed it so I went ahead and used it while it still had a little undissolved paint powderfor special effects.
At this stage, it gave me the exact look I wanted – it turned out better than I expected. How often can you say that? Don't be afraid to experiment. I just brushed it on over my homemade antique white until I liked the look. It was very easy to work with.
6. Use the clear untinted (afflink) Acriglaze to add your final finish to protect the milk paint. I used a microfiber covered sponge from the dollar store (3 for $1). I just wiped it on. Easy.
Acriglaze is a good idea because you want your piece to last until your great granddaughter wants to do something different with it. It's good to pass down furniture to your kids. It helps them appreciate history.
Just don't be shocked when she paints it hot pink.
You should consider giving true milk paint a try.
It's fun to work with and a very good quality paint that is a good choice if you prefer to keep harmful chemicals out of your home. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have any questions about the Old Fashioned Milk Paint. I'll be giving you more tips as I go along and learn more about this paint.
Meanwhile, come say, "Hey" at our new FB furniture store, The Red Shed.
NOTE: This was a sponsored post. Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company graciously supplied the products to flip this table in exchange for an honest review, and that's what you got! Thanks for reading! * Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy anything after clicking on one of the affiliate links, I receive a small commission of the sale. The cost to you is the same, and I only link to items that I think would benefit my readers. Your support of this blog is greatly appreciated!