The 30 dollar paint brush

So, I must start this post with an admission.  I admit fully that I have never taken a class with Annie Sloan nor any of her stockists.  It would probably be very useful to take one of those’s on my to-do list.

After doing a dozen projects with Chalk Paint, I decided to actually purchase one of the $30 brushes by Annie Sloan for waxing. For those of you that don’t know about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – there’s no sanding or prep that goes into whatever you are painting.  It goes on with pretty decent coverage and you can control if you want it to look totally shabby chic or new and shiny.  After you paint, it will have a matte look and you will want to apply the Annie Sloan wax.  The wax comes in Clear and Dark.  You can use one or both!  I am still playing with how to use the wax and I don’t follow any of the directions for application or the buffing after.

I scored this awesome piece of furniture from my in laws and hauled it back from Tennessee with me last week.

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I planned to paint it a cobalt blue color to compliment the dark coral color on my dining room walls.  Annie Sloan calls the paint color Napoleonic Blue and it’s my new favorite.  This is after one application (remember – no sanding!  and this sucker was LACQUERED!)

Featured imageThis is after the second application:

Featured imageAnd the third:

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I would also like someone to notice my hack – using my daughters mega blocks to lift the feet up for a better paint job.

Featured imageAfter the 3 coats of paint and very little drying time needed in between, I decided it was time use this fancy brush and begin my waxing.  I was told by the lady at the store, when purchasing said brush that I needed to wash it first and pull on the hairs because it was a natural brush it would lose a few.  A few. So I did that and then mixed some dark and some clear wax.  I mixed it in a plastic bowl with a plastic knife.  I dabbed the brush in the wax and started applying in a circular motion on one of the drawers (to practice on).  I immediately noticed all the little hairs coming off and started freaking out.  I started pulling with a tshirt rag I had on stand by to see if I could loosen anymore.  They weren’t all long bristles, mostly tiny and short ones.  What in the world?!  I stopped after the one drawer and cleaned my brush with dishsoap and pulled and pulled to loosen any more bristles and didn’t see anymore coming out.  I had to wait for the brush to fully dry brush side down/up right before completing anymore waxing.  Long story short, the bristles kept coming – it was a total pain in the ass and I hate the 30 dollar brush.  But I will say this – I used a lot less wax and after going over it with a spare tshirt rag, the bristles did come off.  Here’s a few pics.Featured imageFeatured image

Part 2 of the waxing is the buffing.  I think the instructions say to go back after an hour or something.  I have always found the wax to be way too tacky to mess with it that soon.  I have always done my buffing with a tshirt rag and always wait 24 hours.  I get a nice sheen on the piece with rubbing off the excess wax from the day before and it seals the paint in as well as the dust and moisture out.  I did notice when plucking all the hairs out of the wax with the brush, it seemed like I could go back and buff with the brush itself.  I was getting a slight sheen almost immediately so I decided to wait my 24 hours and go back with the brush to buff.  This blew up in my face because there goes the freaking bristles ALL OVER my newly waxed piece.  it was a mess.  I then thought, I have 3 options:  a brush, a tshirt rag and a not-so-tough ocello bristled sponge:

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let’s pretend this picture doesn’t suck – it is the hairy brush, the tshirt rag and the bristled ocello sponge.

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see the hairs?!

The Ocello sponge was my savior in this.  It had just enough scrub action to remove the excess wax and all the little tiny hairs but not too rough because it has plastic fibers that do the scrubbing.

Ok, that’s my PSA of the day.

This is how the beauty turned out!

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Blood, Sweat, Tears and a Burn

So, again my Tuesday is spent carting the girl to dance classes in the morning and then to get the car serviced.  We made it out earlier than I thought and all I could think about was blue velvet.  Blue velvet, you ask?  Yes. Blue. Velvet.

I had thought about changing the color palette in the dining room for some time now.  The dark coral walls called out turquoise to me originally, but I just never felt it was right.  I redid my hutch back wall in the previous blog with suttle notes of cobalt blue.  Now, it’s time to bring the color to my curtains.  Curtains, which I can now call drapes because they certainly look fancy now that they touch the floor.  Hubba Hubba!

I purchased my curtains on Amazon because I liked the ivory color to them with the copper trefoil pattern.  They worked but were missing something.  I saw multiple pics on pinterest about lengthening curtains and decided I needed blue velvet to do just that.  And today was the day.

I started my project by measuring each curtain panel width and the remaining distance to the floor.  I got approximately 14″ tall and 55″ wide.  I then added 3 inches to each measurement and cut 4 peices of velvet for each panel.  I will add here that I was really trying to get every measurement perfect and failed miserably.  It didn’t matter one bit.  I will also add that my helper in this project did not, thank GOD!, injure herself on the very large and sharp fabric scissors but did trip on the curtain rod.  3 meltdowns and one busted lip later, I am happy to report she is fine.

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I then took each end and folded it in. You can waste a bunch of time trying to iron your edges perfectly and then go back to hot glue, but it is a WASTE OF TIME.  Just put a small squiggle of hot glue along the edge and fold over approx. 1 inch.  Press and grab the iron to go over a few times.  Looks great, eh?

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Now here’s m02242015 cell phone pics 1149y warning – watch out for the iron.  IT’S HOT!

I was working quickly and reached over the iron to grab the hot glue gun and seared my forearm.  OUCH!

I was able to continue after having my own little temper tantrum and bandaging myself, because I am afterall – a nurse 😉

So, after you make your hems on the sides and bottom – don’t bother with the top hem because it’s going to be hidden behind the curtain.  Just take the curtain down – flip it over to the back side and do a little hot glue at a time and iron, to ensure it holds.  Then, when you’ve got the entire length glued – do another layer of hot glue to any remaining loose fabric, as shown here:

02242015 cell phone pics 1150     Iron again and let cool completely so you can hang it.  Give it a good tug before you hang up to make sure it’s not going to come loose.  It should be stuck together very well, even with a heavy fabric like velvet.

You like?

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Where’s the snow?

I’ve been patiently waiting for a major snow storm to trap us inside for days so I am forced to face several projects I’ve been putting off.  I would like to watch a gazillion you tube videos on how to use my sewing machine and then make amazing drapes for all over the house.  I would love to do the same with crocheting.  Do you know how much I could accomplish?

Until then, I have two tables in our family room that need the tops refinished.  I love that all our inherited wood furniture in our family room matches but the tops have water stains and deep scratches.  I’m thinking of sanding them down and doing a dark – almost black stain.

I also just decided to add some life to my dark coral walled dining room.  I completed a hutch for this room a year ago, but never was happy with the hand stenciled back.  It took me so many pain staking hours in my cold garage and I hate it.  You can see the holes for the shelf supports and it just looks bad compared to the outside.  I painted it in Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint and used a combo of Clear and Dark Wax on the wood as well as the handles.  I’ve been told it looks very Italian Renaissance.  I’ll take it!  Anyway, I would like to complement the dark coral walls with a royal blue.  I just ordered a shower curtain – yep! – shower curtain on Amazon to Mod Podge to the back of the hutch and some blue velvet to add to the bottom of the curtains.  I will also be inheriting a piece of furniture from my in laws in a few weeks that I plan on using as a server in the dining room and will possibly be painting it Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue with Dark Wax and gold gilding wax accents.  I can really see the blue making this area elegant.

In the mean time, today I made a memory board for one of my nieces in turqoises, lime greens and coral.  And I made a chalkboard frame for the other in deep, dark purple with gray ribbon.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings ;O)

I call this Tuesday

This is my first entry.  I’ve thought about this blog for a long time and decided I don’t have 5 minutes to type anything.

I have mile long to-do lists that I give myself to improve the beauty of my home, create the ultimate dish (with zero calories of course), or create the most beautiful furniture from a family heirloom.

Today, I attached a piece of wood to an old cabinet my best friend purchased for her teenage son to make a media cabinet.  I cut the top with a circular saw, screwed it in, sanded the whole thing, screwed some wheels on the bottom and put a coat of glossy black paint on it.  All the while, my 3 year old was riding her tricycle around the garage.

This, mind you, was between ballet and tae kwon do.  I’m not saying I’m super Mom, nor am I super Woman.  I feel like I neglect my child half the time to work on my projects.  I sometimes feel bad for not giving her constant attention, but realize she needs to learn to play independently.

I then, finished painting my daughters former nursery.  I covered the pink walls with gray and added crown molding.  Turns out, I picked out the wrong molding or the right molding and just installed it wrong.  Anyway, it looks fine.molding

I made a fantastic stew – let’s call it Curry Chicken Peanut Stew.  First, let me start by saying I am trying to use up everything in my pantry and freezer so we can go full on Paleo.  Ok, now with the stew – I took 2 frozen chicken breasts that were premarinated in red curry and lemongrass.  I put them, frozen, in the crock pot and turned it on high.  I poured in a can of pumpkin, a can off coconut milk, a can of warm water, 2 spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter, salt, garlic, frozen carrots and frozen spinach.  It needed a little more salt – but boy, was it delish!


I forgot to do the laundry.