Welcome to Art Apprentice Online’s DIY and Home Décor Blog…
If you’re like most of us, we love our homes, love to garden, love to be creative and enjoy playing in the so called sandbox! Come by for a visit, share your ideas and give us your feedback and perhaps we’ll all pick up a tip or two!
Faux Finish Painting for an Old Treasure While searching for a wooden surface for faux finish painting, I came across an older acrylic painting I had forgotten all about. It’s a tropical rain forest scene, framed with a 4” wooden frame, seen featured in the graphic below. I thought it would work for what I had in mind, and might also be a fun addition to my patio wall. The natural color choice for the picture frame would be either a green or a bright turquoise to match the rest of my ‘found’ patio treasures. I wasn’t sure of the faux finish I would use, so decided to start by painting it a solid color to start. I selected one of the Chalky Finish Paints from DecoArt Americana. What I love about these paints is their ability to cover just about anything, their ease of use and easy soap and water clean up. I didn’t have to do any preparation or sanding or scraping…just clean off and begin… The old picture frame was already painted in a dark olive green, but it looked very dated and tired. Time for a face lift! I chose the paint color treasure and a bright green to use for a little accent color and for extra punch! A Happy Accident – Creating a Worn Look! As I was repainting the old wooden picture frame I accidentally dripped water across the still wet surface. You know what?…Sometimes the simplest mistake can make for an interesting effect…I grabbed a damp wash cloth and quickly wiped it across the water, but it removed the water and the wet paint. What remained was the previous dull green color showing through. It looked great! The worn look was exactly what was needed to enhance the project, so I deliberately continued to wipe out small areas …going with the grain of the wood and worked my way around the frame. The overall faux finish painting effect is a slightly weathered look…just the right amount of distressing to add some visual texture and interest. The point is…every fault can be a fashion! When things go awry, don’t sweat it…go with it… So here’s the Accidental Process for the Faux Finish Painting ! LOL! Clean your surface Use a soft wide brush to apply the base color chalky paint. Remember this is going over another color. If you are starting fresh…paint the first coat in a desired color as it will show through when you wipe off the second color. While still wet, use a damp wash cloth wrapped around your forefinger to wipe out some areas. As you wipe out or remove the color, go in the same direction as the wood grain. Make each wiped out area a different size, try to avoid making a set pattern. Space them differently around the frame or on your chosen surface. Dry well. If you wish to add a third color, like an accent color…thin your chalky finish with some water, use a clean brush and wash onto some selected areas. Finish with the cream wax finish. This process would work with any combination of colors and it’s fun to experiment. Chose from a wide selection of the Chalky Finish Paint sold at the Art Apprentice Online Store and have fun with Faux Finish...read more
Wind Chimes are Fun to make For those of us who love a little bling, the garden and patio are not off limits. After all, what’s a girl to do with all those pretty beads? Ok I’m out of the closet…truth be known…I’m a beadaholic! I’ve developed a bit of a bead fetish, and wanted to make wind chimes for the patio. Where to begin? I needed it to sparkle in the sunlight, add lots of color and make a pretty sound. What were my options? Beads would give me the colors, crystals or glass would add twinkle and metal would make a pretty sound! Oakie Dokie! I had a plan! Over the years I have also amassed quite a collection of old silver things: from trays, to candy dishes, little canapé servers, teapots, sugar bowls, creamers, candle sticks and the rest of the hoard. You just never know when you might be needing a silver thing or two! I now have big trunk full of old silver things. After a quick search, some candle sticks, a candy dish, and a sugar bowl fit the project and I was in business! Directions and Supplies for your Twinkling Wind Chimes Pin nose pliers Stainless steel wire – (you don’t want it to rust) Large metal rings (the kind you use for key rings) (dollar stores) Old silver items – cleaned so they will sparkle in the sunlight. Colorful plastic beads (if they are going to be exposed to weather buy inexpensive beads)(dollar stores) Trinkets – I used found shells and old crystals. I also had metal letters from the Alphabet, so used one for each member of our family. I attached these at the end of each stringer. Fishing nylon 10lb test Scissors Jingle bells – I had some from Christmas decorations. Glue – E6000 – Industrial strength adhesive (keep out of reach of children, its poisonous) How to make Wind Chimes? I went to the dollar store and bought all their pretty beads. They had quite a nice assortment and all were either acrylic or glass. I didn’t want to use expensive beads. I think I used about $10-$15 worth of beads overall. You can even use shells or beads from old necklaces…whatever will work and add sparkle. Not wood, they won’t last in weather or harsh heat and humidity. Assemble the hanging part like I did, anything that that gives you an umbrella shape so you can attach the large key rings to the outside. I used the silver candy dish upside down. Now observe that the main piece for me has a delicate lacy pattern around the outside edge…this way I didn’t have to drill holes, they were already there. Inside the candy dish (remember it’s upside down), I glued the silver sugar bowl using the E6000 glue. (Read the gluing directions well) Apply glue to both surfaces, wait a while and then stick them together. Wait a few more hours until they are set in place and won’t come apart. I used the handles of the sugar bowl to wire the first upside down candle stick in place. Think of this like a bell chime. It swings freely in the center of the sugar bowl. Wind Chimes need to chime! I spaced the key rings around the outside and attached...read more
Bohemian Chic livens up an Old Chair. When you least expect it, the creative bug bites you. In this case, I’m not sure if it’s the bug, or just the need to use what we have or get rid of it! Use it or lose it as the saying goes. This old chair has been sitting in the storage shed for years. Covered in dust and chipped paint, it was time to do something with it…Always loved the style of chair; it has good bones and is comfortable. I really didn’t want to part with it. What to do with the chair? I love the Bohemian look…Bright colors… kind of gypsy-ish, even borderline hippie! The colors of the DecoArt Chalky Paint would give me the look I was after. Bohemian Chic is what I like to call this one! Selecting the Chalky Paint Colors It wasn’t hard to decide what colors to use…are you ready for this? No… not turquoise, but red-orange! Yes it’s a great complement to the color turquoise and red orange always looks good outdoors. Since my other patio rescues were in turquoise, the red orange color family would be a great fit. This chair was destined for my studio patio. Gather Supplies and Get Ready to Begin Painting! The supplies were easy to locate; sand paper, a few old brushes, a Styrofoam meat tray for mixing colors, old wash rags, a jar with water and of course the DecoArt Chalky Paint Finish. The colors I started with were Cameo (red-orange hue), Heritage (bright orange) and of course there had to be a little Treasure (turquoise) for the accent color! Time to clean and remove any remaining flaking paint; it also needed a good scrubbing, and a light sanding to ready it for painting. After a couple of hours the chair was all set to go. Begin with the Cameo Chalky Paint Color for the Base The chair was completed painted using the Cameo color as the main basecoat. After that application was completely dry; I randomly painted the Heritage Chalky Paint over the top of some areas. This Heritage is a much lighter value orange color… I used it very sparingly. It was applied with a wet brush to thin the paint a bit. While still wet, I used a clean damp cloth to wipe off the ancestral, just leaving a thin residue behind. You can see it in the close up images below and above. I rubbed the edges of the arms and some of the slats to take it right back to the Cameo base color. Select an Accent Color to give it Punch When I completed this second step, I began working with the accent color which was the Treasure (my favorite hue). Once again, the paint was randomly applied with a large brush. It was added to the spindles on the back of the chair, to some of the seat slats and also on the legs. As soon as I applied it, and while still wet, I took a damp cloth and wiped off the bulk of it. Just a little remained to break up the solid appearance of the red/orange hues. It was the perfect complementary touch for this chair. If you have creases or cracks, even better! On completion I applied the liquid wax finish. To match the rest...read more
This Re-Purposed Dresser gets a new life with Chalky Paint Colors When you’re on the hunt to re-purpose a piece of furniture, it doesn’t get much worse than this! At one time this was a sturdy oak dresser for a child’s room. Years ago, it ended up in my husband’s garage and was used to store boat stuff. As you can see it looked pretty darn sad! Determined I wasn’t going to buy anything new, I searched through our garage and found this old piece. “Oh my!” was my first thought. How on earth could this ugly relic be salvaged? I was on a roll… I bet I could cover up all the stains with the new DecoArt chalky paint colors! Oh well, if it fails back to junk storage once again. No real loss! Always Start with a Good Clean Surface After dragging it halfway across the garage, over steps and around corners we made it outside and onto the patio! Along with the spiders, cobwebs and crunchy dead critters stuck to the bottom corners! Ahhhhhhh! Yuck! Cleaning and a light sanding, time to work on this ugly puppy. The painting supplies were very basic; a couple large flat brushes, old cloths, and Styrofoam meat tray for blending the colors. I grabbed latex gloves to save the nails, a plastic drop cloth to save the floor and of course the DecoArt Chalky Paint Colors. Since this was to be used on the patio, I wanted it bright and cheerful. For those of you who know me, the chosen color palette was naturally going to be somewhere between aqua and turquoise. Are you surprised? Apply the Chalky Paint Colors working Wet in Wet Different from the application I used on the garden angel, this was going to be a more dry brushed and brighter color. See the close up image above showing the effect. I used basically four colors, and opened all four jars on my workbench. The dark blue, turquoise, light blue and a bright green. I began by randomly dipping my brush into one color at a time, worked in an area about the size of a salad plate. I dipped into the next color working fairly quickly and blending the two colors together working wet into wet. I didn’t wash my brushes between colors, this helped transition between colors and created a softer effect. Create Interest with a Dry Brushed Effect Once this all dried, I went over some areas of the piece with the round brushes used for dry brushing and a little of the lightest blue color. This gave the surface a unified yet weathered look. Letting the dry brush skip over the surface with some of the other colors also added extra interest and a little detail here and there. I let this dry really well, that’s very important. At the end I sealed the surface with the finishing wax. Time to enjoy My Out Door Garden Room This little up-cycled and re-purposed treasure now serves as a simple patio display piece outside my art studio. A far cry from the ugly ‘before’ shot. It has added an extra burst of color to the patio and I love the way it looks against the bright colors of flowering pots and planters. I...read more
Copper Patina Inspires Chalky Paint Ideas The arrival of the new DecoArt Chalky Paint Finish was exciting…The first thing was trying them on something to decorate the patio outside my art studio. Ah Ha! I had the perfect project in mind. While visiting France last fall, I was taken with the beautiful statues that adorned the old courtyards and fountains of the villages. They seemed to be everywhere. The copper and bronze metal statues had aged beautifully, showing off the blue green patina we all love. While cleaning up the corner garden this spring, I found my forgotten little angel well hidden under an overgrown rose bush. Once beautiful, made of white stone composite, she sat between pink rose bushes. Sadly over the years she didn’t fare well. The birds pooped on her no matter what I did. One time my husband and son even used her for target practise with a paint ball gun! Can you imagine? Poor little thing, I gave up on her and she slowly disappeared under the bushes along with the bird poop, and splotches of red and green and yellow that didn’t wash off like they said it would!! Chalky Paint finish here I come! Garden Angel gets a Good Cleaning before Chalky Paint Finish! My angel was about to be transformed with chalky paint! In my excitement I forgot to take the step photos to show how pathetic she looked before her transformation. Next time I will. I set out to give her a good scrubbing with the garden hose and a wire brush. Once the gunk was gone, then another scrubbing with dish detergent, a good rinse and dry well in the sun. Creating the Patina with Chalky Paint Once she was dried I painted her with several shades of aqua and turquoise which I randomly mixed from a few of the colors. I used a couple of large flat brushes to apply the paint, which by the way I loved working with it. It is smooth and creamy and gives wonderful coverage. Once the whole statue was painted I began to layer thin applications of a lighter value of the chalky paint, controlling it to stay out of the crevasses and creases. If you study the first image, you can see the brighter color remaining in the creases. I used a large soft brush to soften any hard edges. Add Detail Touches of Metallic Paint Luster to Mimic the Old Copper Oxidation Once happy with the overall coverage, I began to work with the DecoArt Metallic Lustre creams. I used the Iced Espresso color to create a very soft lustre here and there. You can see the brownish hue on the edges of the wing feathers. I applied this sparingly with an old stiff brush. I decided to take it a step further. Returning to the chalky paint, I put about a spoonful of the lighter colors in a little plastic container, and thinned with a little water. This made the palest blue…Very slowly, I drizzled this with an eye dropper and let it follow the path of least resistance. (like it would in nature). I let it run and pool where ever it landed. This added detail replicates the natural oxidation streams found on old copper or bronze statues. You can see the details in the images below. I have to admit, I am in love with the...read more