July 21, 2013

D I Y Decorative Painting Finishes

Hello Everyone
We are taking a break from the series on Keri's patio allowing her to catch up with the construction.

So let's talk 'Decorative Finishes'.
If you have followed me you will know that I am always seeking painting finishes for refurbishing furniture bits. I have "smuggled" oil paint home from Europe, taken classes, tried Annie Sloan, read endlessly and experimented. You should see my "failure" piles........so sad!
All that has changed with one ingenious woman, Amy Howard.

As a renowned interior designer, Amy ventured into furniture design (wouldn't that be interesting?), couture furniture to be exact, known for their authentic patinas of age.

Eventually Amy decided to share her love of finishes with the public, offering for sale the products she and husband Gene formulated for the furniture line.
MY OH MY, are we ever fortunate.........my hunt is over!
Amy's trade marked
                                       "Rescue, Restore and Redecorate" 
mantra, encourages us to update items in our homes versus replacing, rescue from Goodwill's, garage sales, and generally societies throw aways. And for this non-painter.......it's easy!
The signature piece is the One Step paint. And it means what it says;

                  No sanding.......No stripping.......No priming
Just paint over a clean piece. What can you paint?
    wood...concrete...metal...laminate (really)...plastic...glass...fiberglass..............

Look around you, what can be freshened up?

Yes, even kitchen cabinets for a finish like the pro's, with a hard and durable surface
LACQUER! IN A CAN!! No drips or paint and roller marks......WOO HOO!!

Revive furniture, spray paper lamp shades
 Take existing furniture to a new level

Treat yourself to a lacquered front door, like the doors of Europe. This will be my first home project

The Toscano pigment powdered paints are for an authentic Renaissance finish. These are the paints of Amy's couture furniture line

Layers and depth of interest

Highlight a piece with interesting details

Learn and reproduce the look of age and wear. Amy went to a Bodega in Tuscany to learn the authentic techniques of the Renaissance artisans. Every step and product was made by hand. These skills are brought to us in bottles and cans; gesso, boule, layering, gilding, waxing

Gilding.......with ease add a brilliant finish or add a suggestion of gold or silver

Turn a 1900 era brown wood mirror into a Louis Phillipe styled stunner. Have you looked lately at the price of these?

I saw this chariot in a Memphis parking garage. Could this be gilded?!


Do I ever love this product, Zinc Solution.
Turn ordinary and inexpensive galvanized metal (left) into the look of old Parisian Zinc (right)                                      
 This is not a wipe on finish but an oxidation process that penetrates the metal and permanently changes it's composition.
 Durable and safe enough for kitchen or bathroom counters
 Take an ordinary table with nice legs. Engage a sheet metal worker to create a "cap" to place over the original table top, add Zinc Solution and viola.......what a transformation!
 A zinc backsplash, or bulletin board

Ok, there are antique mirror solutions for aging mirrors, and there is Amy's Mirror Stripper. Create with ease in 2 steps a look of age. You control the amount of "age" desired, easily!
 In small individual panes
 Or the whole piece of mirror
Upcoming are stencils for this look
As a stocking retailer, I had the good fortune of going to Memphis to train with Amy herself. As this product is soaring in popularity Amy will no longer have the time to personally teach her retailers. At last spring's Highpoint Market, HGTV awarded this line with "Best Product of the Show!"

Suddenly, I want the world to stop so I can do nothing but paint, friends are sick of hearing about paint, my eyes are constantly searching for things to paint. Well of course I say, I am now a decorative finish artiste!!!



Hope to see our locals. Coffee and refreshments in the morning classes. Wine and refreshments in the evening classes

July 11, 2013

Pull up a Chair

It's a new world out there, the choices for decorating our outdoor spaces are endless. Just the furniture alone can be dizzying with all the choices. Yes, we have gained another "room" to decorate. Let's look at our options
I'll start with my favorite, concrete, and in particular Faux Bois, French for "fake wood"

Yes, indeed, this is concrete.
Long term durability propels this design forward. With the addition of colorful cushions for comfort and for "pop" personalizes this into a winner.
Only to be topped by stone
 Metal; wrought iron, cast aluminum, zinc

Tolix chairs; stackable and available in a multitude of colors
Here is one of many I purchased for the Geneva shop. Originally from Marseilles, France, I questioned the seller on how he had such an enormous stock. "Easy, all the cafe's along a certain stretch were replacing their chairs, I bought them all".      
This is what replaced them! Horrors!!!

Powder coated finishes make these maintenance free
Metal frames combined with other materials. Butterfly chairs are the whole package; stylish, lightweight and reasonably priced
Cast aluminum wing chairs
 oh so island feeling and fresh

Wicker, natural and synthetic. 
Original wicker is not hardy to the elements, best on a covered or screened porch.
Today's synthetic wicker has made enormous strides combining real wicker and resin
 I found this at Highpoint market
 Here is a close up of the old fish scale pattern, chipped and worn to great effect, a magnificent replica of a victorian chair.
 Clean lines enhance the garden arena, but do not take away or wave, "look at me", particularly important when there are so many "stars" vying for attention in the setting
The exquisite pattern up close

Teak, durable, and classic. If left to age gracefully in it's natural state you will have a weathered gray patina. Should you choose to paint, always use a solid colored stain. As stain fades, you need to only re-apply. When paint wears, it peels.

Whatever you choose, may it provide you with relaxation, contentment and joy as you survey your surroundings and say "Well Done!"

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