Friday, September 30, 2011

How to get perfect painted stripes.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I am crazy over stripes. Any time a client is at a loss for what to do, I always throw 'stripe it' out there. It's quick, it's classy, it's my "go to" way to bring a room together.
This week I made a little discovery about getting perfectly perfect stripes. I was doing a horizontal stripe project in a 3 year old boy's room. I had several rolls of Frog Tape for delicate surfaces (the yellow NOT the green), and 1 roll of 3M Delicate Surfaces Painter's Tape (blue, with an orange middle).
Let me back up and tell you first about the base coat. Lately I have been using a lot of Sherwin Williams' Durations paint, in the Matte finish, and this project was no different. The Matte finish dries relatively quickly, and I feel like roller marks and brush strokes are kept to a minimum.

With my basecoat only hours old, I was able to tape right on it and my tape stuck. Both tapes we sticking just fine with minimal burnishing.
Since I was applying 4 different colors, in 4 different sizes, I taped all of the largest sized stripe. I lightly brushed over the edges of the tape, with whatever color would be adjacent to this stripe.
Why would I do that? So that anything that did bleed under the tape, would be the color of the stripe adjacent to it...making any bleed unders invisible. I hope that makes sense.
Once my 'seal down' coat was dry, I rolled on the paint with a 6 or 3" whizz roller. I continued this process with each of the 4 colors. (Typically 1 of your colors will be your bascoat color)

When I pulled my tape down the next day, I was so happy to find that I had no visible bleed unders. I also didn't have any areas where my basecoat pulled up. I have never had that experience with any other paint besides Durations Matte. I have to say I prefer the Frog Tape, only because it gave me completely crisp and perfect lines in the corners of the room and at the ceiling line. So high five Frog Tape! I did not have to eat into my profits at all with any kind of touch ups whatsoever.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Scrappy

I've been seeing a lot of this 'covering walls with reclaimed wood scraps' going on lately.
It's a great way to keep some junk out of the landfills, and turn said junk into a great looking feature wall. I love heavy texture, and this is a relatively easy way to get some crazy-heavy texture on the walls. The biggest trick is finding enough of the wood to cover the wall you hope to cover. Pallets are a great source of wood, but you could also find reclaimed painted panelling, old flooring, barn wood... vintage yardsticks even ( although you would need a bajillion of them!)

Once you have found an abundance of material, the wood will need to have the nails or staples removed, rough edges sanded and I would also suggest sealing all surfaces of the wood with a matte sealer,such as Aquaseal or Dead Flat Varnish ( both by Faux Effects International) .

If you can't find the chippy and peeled off painted look that you want, create your own! You could use crackle mediums, wax or Vaseline to create a resist, and good old fashioned sanding for a look like this. When I am asked to create an authentic layered/peeled paint look, I frequently trowel on thin layers of venetian plaster over a basecoat of the same color as the plaster. Once the plaster is dry, I sand the entire thing, heavily in some areas to reveal the underlying wood. After wiping off the dust, I glaze the whole piece with a thin brown glaze for an authenticly aged look.

This project could be duplicated using staircase spindles, chair backs and other miscellaneous wooden parts, attached within a grid work. Gingerbread house parts can be easily found at most lumber yards. Once applied, the entire work is sprayed white, or any one color for that matter.

This project appears to have been completed with a few different sources of wood.

Not sure if this is actually reclaimed wood, it's very uniform and clean looking. I love the layout and linear appeal.

Here, plywood panels stained in 3 different shades were randomly applied to the walls. Plywood comes in a variety of thicknesses, even rolls of veneer thin sheeting is available.

Your project is largely dependent on the source of wood you find. There is sure to be a measure of serendipity to a project like this, here it looks as though the walls were covered with the backs and insides of large furniture pieces!

For a more modern take, varying sized bits of MDF were applied to this wall, and then sprayed glossy white. I LOOOOOVE this one! When painting an entire wall of applied wood a single color, don't forget to caulk any 'cracks' prior to painting.
This idea inspires me to buddy up to a carpenter and score some sweet scraps!