Saturday, September 23, 2017

Painting Furniture

Table after cleaning and sanding

First coat of chalk paint

With two coats of chalk paint

With one top coat, then a light application of Antique glaze

Antique glaze all over the table
First of all, this is a lot of work, a ton of steps, so if you are contemplating this type of project please consider you need time. As in over a week.

The steps I took are, and all of this was researched on the internet prior to applications:
1. clean the wood with Krud Kutter or denatured alcohol mixed with water
2. lightly sand the wood with 220 grit sandpaper
3. wipe the dust off with a damp rag
4. with a good quality bristle brush, apply first coat of chalk paint. I used General Finishes in Key West Blue.
5. Let that dry for 4 to 6 hours, then lightly sand again. Wipe down with a damp rag.
6. Apply second coat of chalk paint. If desired, you can sand and apply a third coat, but I did not.
7. Due to a busy life, I let the table sit at this point for a week. The paint did harden and sink into the wood. Had I not wanted an antique appearance, I would have needed a third coat of paint. Instead, I applied a light coat of General Finishes Satin top sealer. Let it dry 2 to 4 hours.
8. Without sanding, I very lightly applied and wiped off an Antique Glaze from Lowe's, which was the only glaze product I could find. It is thick and dark. You can't apply this directly to the chalk paint or the chalk paint will absorb the dark and not wipe off. Glazing is a technique I learned from a series of Donna Downey videos on abstract painting with acrylics. Apply the glaze, wipe off with baby wipes for a painting. On the table, I used a damp rag. The glaze medium allows you to keep working, in that if you want to wipe more off, you can within 30 minutes. If you want to apply more for a darker appearance, you can. Glaze must now dry for 24 hours.
9. I will then lightly sand, apply the second coat of top sealer, wait 2 to 4 hours, and repeat. The goal is to have 3 coats of top sealer because it is a kitchen table and will be used daily.

Thoughts: no way will I used this process on the 4 or 5 chairs. Uh, NO!! This will become a hobby, not a project. So, after consulting with Cathy who painted her kitchen cabinets. I went to Sherwin Williams yesterday and purchased a primer, and a quart of high performance acrylic enamel that does NOT need a top sealer. If I prep the chairs correctly, by cleaning with Krud Kutter and sanding, a good coat of primer will seal them. Let that dry for at least a day, then start with the enamel. The chairs are going to be an off white.

I have spent less than $100, and will have furniture unique to my home. Pictures of the finished kitchen will be posted. To make myself move along with this, I have decided to set the chairs up for painting in the art studio, taking up the center space of the room. That will do it. If I have to walk around those suckers, they WILL get done! Plus it keeps the chairs away from the dogs, as the door to that room is closed if I'm not in it. I do have sealed dog hairs in the table.

My house, my dogs. Life is good.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Art Journaling

Smaller Dylusions journal

Oh, Aunt Cathy!!!
The above art journal spread was started with colored pencils, then water color, gouache, and some acrylic inks. The lettering is pen and marker.

We ran by Cathy's to drop off something, and she was throwing out the wading pool. Amos and Otis wouldn't get in, so she was tired of storing it. I snatched it up, brought it home and started to fill it. Jake immediately took a drink, got in, laid down and realized it was a bit chilly. The hose was still running. Has not been back in it yet. Yet. Going up into the 90's today. We shall see.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The Mississippi River south of Nauvoo, IL.

a park in Nauvoo, IL.

Pat, ice cream, and carved pumpkins. We were at the Halloween parade. Nauvoo, IL.

The Mormon Temple in Nauvoo, IL.

Mississippi river at Dubuque,  Iowa

One of the historical homes we toured in Galena, IL.
In October, 2014 I drove to the Chicago metro area to pick up my friend, Pat. We then drove to Galena, IL. Stayed there for a day and a half, then started south along the western edge of Illinois to Nauvoo.  The GPS we were using took us into Iowa for a large chunk of the trip. It was scenic, but long. GPS will do that.

The first 2 days were rainy, a little chilly and a ton of dense fog. Once we started south, however, the sky cleared and it was perfect fall weather with beautiful color. One of my favorite fall trips ever. If you have never been down the Mississippi river in Illinois/Iowa, check it out. We tried to follow the Great River Road most of the trip. An interesting drive.

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Art Journaling

Balzer Design stencil of buildings was the base

Done with gouache only, no watercolor, no pens. A challenge
Be Kind.

Be Gentle.

But kick some ass when you need to.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Not having a good time

My new computer desk that isn't a desk at all

Love the top design

This is a new 9x12 rug that tried to kill me yesterday

Autumn leaves at Danville, IN. park October 2014

Stream outside of Nauvoo, IL., October 2014
This past Friday I had the living room floor repaired. It took all day. Not with the guy working, with me waiting for the guy(s) to show up and work. There are several things wrong with what happened, but the floor was repaired to my satisfaction. However. Yeah, however, I will not hire this man again.

In preparing the living room, I rolled up and tied the old 9x12 carpet, and dragged it out to the garage. Going in the trash. I bagged up the old pad, also going to the curb, and cleaned. My thoughts were I would just use throw rugs. Uh huh. That was MY thought. Jake, the rescue dog who happens to be one of the luckiest dogs alive, had other ideas. When given a treat after coming back into the house (let us out, Mom, so we can come back in, eat, then go back out), he walked around the living room with the treat in his mouth. Then would turn and look at me. The expression on his face was "Where do you expect me to settle to snack, Mother?" Eventually he would land on a throw rug. And sigh. I swear I am not making this up.

Yesterday I took the dogs to the Puppy Playground, drove to a local store that sells bound remnants at fantastic prices, and bought a new 9x12 with a new pad. The very nice business owner loaded it in the car, and off I went. The new rug is much thicker than the old one, and therefore much heavier. I am 4 years older since I made that purchase. Holy Hannah, I thought I was going to drop dead in the garage. Took me quite awhile to work the rug to the point I could pull the roll out of the car. The end landed on the floor, and the dirt and I had an agreement. I would vacuum the rug, because I sure in hell could not lift that roll of carpet and carry it. I dragged it into the house.

At one point, with the new pad down and taped together, and the roll sitting there, giving me the evil eye, I called Cathy. She couldn't come help until later in the day. We agreed on a time,  I thanked her, and hung up. I have told Cathy that one of the reasons we are such good friends is that we are both stubborn as shit. I had that rug unrolled and in place in 20 minutes. I then drove to teach a Silver Sneakers exercise class.

The new table: I had a very old laminated and steel corner table my husband had bought me from Sam's Club. There really wasn't anything wrong with it except it was ugly, and I wanted rustic. Found this table at an outdoor Vintage Market in Plainfield, IN. on Saturday. Two kids helped me load it in the car, a neighbor helped me unload it, and it was done.

Except for Gracie. The side of the old desk to my left formed a "Gracie cave". She would lay down on the bare floor, back against the wall, and her brother was never allowed in this space.  The floor is still there, the wall hasn't moved, just the old desk, and you would have thought her best friend died. She paces, she circles, she looks at me with those pathetic eyes. I got down on the floor with her, made her lay down in the exact same spot. Still, "it's not the same, Mom!!!"

Serenity now. Tranquility. Pretty fall trees and quiet streams......

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Art Journaling

Gouache in the flowers on top of acrylic and gesso

A little of everything

When pissed off, journal!

Just playing with colors and materials
Had one of those days yesterday. So between text messages and working on various home projects, I went into the studio to do a little journaling, release some of the angst. It helped.  Working in the art journal always does, and I so need to remember that from this point forward.

The "frustrated" spread is water color first, then gouache, then some markers and pen work. I also used acrylic in her hair through a stencil. Just wanted to grab whatever came to mind and put it on the paper. There are times that is the best way to work.

Enjoy this summer like weekend.

Friday, September 15, 2017


My Gracie girl on the bed

She was actually turned away from me, so I held the phone in my left hand and snapped

Best product ever. Thanks to Cathy

All prepped and ready to be painted
So. For whatever reasons, both dogs are now afraid of the phone in front of them. No, do not take our picture Mom. We don't want to be on the blog.


We had a 2 story Sears store in Park Forest, IL., where I grew up and lived as an adult prior to my marriage. They had a furniture section, and somewhere in the mid 1970's, they started carrying oak reproduction furniture. I fell in love with this table and the accompanying chairs. At the time I had a townhouse, and a good job. And a Sears credit card was born. This table has a leaf, and with the leaf in it and the purchase of 2 additional chairs, it became our kitchen table in Crete, IL. after we were married. It has never been refinished, and has been through the wars. 3 teenage stepchildren, grandkids, various moves, and now sits in my kitchen. 2 of the 6 chairs were thrown out, 3 more need to go. But the table is still sturdy, just needs updating.

I probably would not have started this project except Cathy is in a painting frenzy right now. She has painted her family room, kitchen, a bathroom, and is now on her kitchen cabinets, all in the past 8 days. If Amos and Otis, the dogs, and Callie, the cat, sit still long enough, they will all end up being a shade of grey. Cathy told me about Chalk Paint, specifically General Finishes brand. She also told me about Krud Kutter. This cleaner takes all the grease, oil, old paint splatters, whatever is on your wood that you don't want on it, off. Look at the rag in the 3rd photo. You spray this stuff on, let it sit a few seconds, then start to rub it off. Works better with a green scrubbie type of deal. This was the first step. Then I watched a video on YouTube that to get the very best application of any General Finishes paint, you should "buff" with 220 grit sandpaper. I did that, twice on the top. Then I sat on my kitchen floor, and walked my butt around the table, sanding all those parts. Yeah. Then I got up and went to work to teach an aquatics aerobics class.

Today we paint. Except now I don't know if I like the color I purchased. General Finish Chalk Paint is $15 a pint, as is any good quality chalk paint. I purchased a pint of Key West Blue, and seriously doubt it will be enough to do the entire table. I see a trip to an Ace Hardware today, where they carry another line of chalk paint. Keep telling myself this is cheaper than new furniture. Also keep telling myself that I am seriously nuts.