Category Archive: My Portfolio

My latest Rub n’ Buff transformations

I’ve had these ornate candlesticks for a while now. I originally found them at one of my local antique malls for only $12.00 for the pair. I not only loved their style but I also adore anything with crystals so I just had to get them! I find that since it is so dark here in the winter, crystals add a wonderful sparkle and light to my home, which is a necessity for me.

 

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When I purchased these candlesticks they were actually a dull silver in color and I found them a little too plain for me. Last summer I decided to pretty them up with a couple of coats of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  As you can see, they actually looked quite nice in that color but I still thought they needed something more to help show off their details. It was Rub n’ Buff to the rescue!

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may have seen my previous tutorial on how to use Rub n’ Buff to give brass an aged patina. I had used Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to tone down the brightly-colored brass on my vintage globe and give it a time-worn looking finish.

Rub n’ Buff is actually one of my favorite products for transforming something from boring to fabulous in less than 10 minutes with only a cloth or a fingertip. No other supplies needed! Another reason why I love it so much is because it can applied to many different surfaces such as metal, wood or even plastic without having to prime or sand.  Check out all of the gorgeous colors to choose from too!

  Rub n' Buff Color Chart

Although Spanish Copper is my favorite color to use so far, I had been dying to try out my recently purchased tube of Patina Rub n’ Buff on my candlesticks.

 

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Here’s a close-up of one of my candlesticks after using the Patina Rub n’ Buff.  I love how all of the details just “pop” now!

 

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This photo shows the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ so you can really see the difference. Depending on the lighting, ‘Patina’ rub n’ buff can read as a lighter turquoise blue like the photo below or more of a deeper blue as shown above.

In these photos, I also had to include my vintage picture that you can see in behind my candlesticks. Its frame was also updated with Rub n’ Buff and you can read more about it further down in my post.

 

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It only took me about 10 minutes to apply the Rub n’ Buff on to the raised areas on my candlesticks and then buff them to a beautiful shine. What a quick and easy transformation!

 

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As you can see I used very little of my tube on this project. This $6.00 tube of Rub n’ Buff goes a very long way. There’s enough there for many more projects in the future!

 

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Here are my candlesticks with their jewelry added back on. Just the way I like them!

It’s strange that in this photo it looks like each candlestick is a different color. I can tell you that in real life they are exactly the same color. They received the same finish so they have to be. I’m blaming this one on the weird lighting in my living room.

 

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This is my favorite photo because it shows the aged finish close up. Where I have applied the Rub n’ Buff a little heavier in spots; lighter, highlighted areas were created. This helps to add more depth to the finish and bring out the details even more.

 

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Of course I had to also show you a close-up of the “bling” too!

 

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While I had my Rub n’ Buff out, I found this picture (below) that I wanted to makeover. It always seems to happen that way. I end up walking around my house looking for other potential “victims”. This stuff is so addicting once you start using it. You’ll want to Rub n’ Buff everything too!

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This vintage picture was one of my finds from the The Elizabeth’s Antique Collectible Show & Sale this past spring. There was just something about the image that drew me in. The handwriting below the drawing says “Munich” as in Munich, Germany. I’m really not sure how old it is but I thought it would be a nice one-of-a-kind piece of art to add to my collection.

 

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I didn’t really care for the color of the original gold frame though so I applied one coat of Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to darken it. I wanted my frame to look like brass that had gone through years of oxidation.

 

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After applying the Spanish Copper, I left my frame to dry for a few minutes and then I used a soft cloth to buff off any of the excess. Next I added a tiny amount of the Patina color on to my cloth and used it to apply highlights to the raised edges of the frame here and there. In person it looks a lot like the finish on an old tarnished penny. So pretty!

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Have you used Rub n’ Buff before? If you have what are your favorite colors to use?

What do you have around your home that could use some Rub n’ Buff ?

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

 Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – Power of the Paint Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Saavy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin’ Up With HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~

 

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Poster-sized art canvas & do inkjet image transfers really work?

Since sharing my How To Guide for Transferring Photos to Canvas many months ago,  I have received quite a few comments and e-mails asking if the transfer method that I use would also work with images printed from an inkjet printer. Honestly, it’s been hard for me to respond with a definitive answer as I only ever use laser printouts and photocopies for my transfers. I have had such amazing results when using laser images, so why mess with a good thing?

Well, my curiosity got the best of me when I purchased an inexpensive inkjet printer for my office about a month ago. Why not use my new printer to try out an inkjet transfer or two? Then I would know for myself whether or not inkjet transfers actually work and I could share my results with you.

Below, you will see the French art canvas that I ended up making using my inkjet printer. Now I have my proof that inkjet image transfers really do work!

 

Read on to find out how I made this piece of art and how you can make your own too.

 

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I have written this tutorial specifically for transferring images to canvas using an inkjet printer but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make this piece of art using images from a laser printer. You totally can!  To use a laser printer, just follow the steps below until you get to my photo with the white star on it that reads “Inkjet Transfer Tutorial”. Then click on over to my laser transfer tutorial HERE to finish off your canvas.

Whether you use an inkjet printer or a laser printer, I would suggest that you print out a small test image from your printer first and then try transferring it onto a piece of cardboard before moving on to the large-sized canvas in this tutorial. This way you can make sure that the image from your printer will transfer properly and that you are also comfortable with the transfer process.

 

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • an inkjet printer containing regular 20 lb. photocopy paper (not glossy paper)
  • a 16″x20″ artist’s canvas (fits image template below)
  • a wooden frame to fit (optional)
  • the Lovely French Label image from The Graphics Fairy HERE or my modified image below
  • Golden Soft Gel Medium (I used semi-gloss)
  • matte Mod Podge or Krylon’s Matte Spray Sealer
  • white acrylic gesso
  • acrylic paints in the colors of your choice. I used DecorArt’s Americana “Driftwood” and Americana “Neutral Grey
  • fine grit sandpaper (I used 400 grit)
  • an assortment of paint brushes
  • ruler, pencil, and scissors
  • painter’s tape (I used Frog Tape)
  • plastic plate/tray for paint
  • rubber brayer or flat spreader
  • paper towels and rags
  • disposable latex gloves
  • plastic drop cloth to protect your workspace

 

I found my this gorgeous French label image on The Graphics Fairy’s blog that I thought would be perfect for this project.  I loved the look of this image but I wanted the colors to be a little more subtle so I used the Eye Dropper and Flood Fill tools in my Photo Impact program to change its colors.

Below you will find my modified image for your use. It has been saved as a “mirror image” so that when you print it out and transfer it to canvas, the text will be facing the proper direction. The only thing that I ask is that if you use or share my modified image that you provide a link back to this tutorial. Thanks so much!

 

Milk Painted Lamp (Original Graphic from The Graphics Fairy)

Right Click Photo to Save Full-Sized Graphic

 

In order to print out your image so that it will fit your 16″X20″ canvas, you will need to print it out in Poster mode. This means that your image will be scaled to fit your canvas by printing it onto four separate letter-sized pieces of paper which you will then piece together to make one large image.

 

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Here’s how to print out a poster-sized image using Microsoft Paint.

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First, open up your saved image from this tutorial into your Paint program. Then click on File—>Print—>then Page setup.

 

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Click on Portrait, center it both horizontally and vertically and also fit the image to 2 by 2 pages (this will give you 4 separate printouts). Also, make sure you have selected letter size paper on the top right. Then click on OK to save your settings.

 

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To preview how your print out will look, click File—>Print—>Print Preview.

 

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Click on Next Page and you will see that your image has been split into 4 separate parts. Before printing, check to make sure that you have selected color for your printer. You may also want to set your printer to Best Quality printing.

Next print out your image. Leave your printouts to dry for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

 

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Carefully cut off the “inner” edges of your printouts exactly on the edge so that when you put them all together they will line up properly (see photo below). I like to use my handy, dandy Fiskars paper trimmer (I can’t cut a straight line no matter how hard I try), but you could also use a pencil, a ruler and an Exacto knife if you don’t have a paper trimmer.

 

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Assemble your printouts on the floor face-up. Try to match up the design as closely as possible. Use a low tack painters tape such as Frog tape (as shown above) to help hold the pages in place well enough so that you are able to flip your image over onto its back side without anything shifting out-of-place.

Then flip your image over and use small pieces of tape to tape your image so that it is sturdy enough to be turned over again without shifting  (see 2nd photo below for an example). TIP: Don’t over tape because you will need to remove all of the tape during the transferring step.

Check the front side of your image again to make sure that everything is still lined up correctly and then carefully remove the tape from the front of your image. Leave the tape on the back side of the paper.

Next, use a pencil and ruler to mark off a 1/4″ border of white space all the way around your image and then cut off the excess with your trimmer or exacto knife. Be sure to erase any pencil marks on your image or they will show up on your finished picture.

 

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Paint your canvas with a fairly dry brush using the steps above. Let the canvas dry in between coats. When I say paint “randomly and vertically” I mean that you will be brushing on the paint vertically on the canvas and randomly (here and there). You want to end up with a striated look (different shades of painted lines running vertically through the canvas).

Also, if you don’t have on hand the colors I have mentioned. No sweat! Just use what you have. This paint finish works best with similar colors that have different tones to them, (light, medium and dark) so that there is a subtle contrast showing between the striations.

 

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Transferring such a large image to a canvas can be a little awkward because the large-sized paper can flop all over the place. I am going to share with you the best way that I have found to easily line up an image onto canvas. This step requires a few more minutes of preparation but it will give you great results and help avoid a lot of potential frustration.

The first thing you will want to do is to center your image face-up on the top of your painted canvas. Measure from the black edge of the outside border of your graphic to the outer edge of your canvas. Do this on all four edges to make sure your graphic is even all the way around and completely centered on your canvas.

Next, add a strip of painter’s tape to each side of your image leaving up to a 1/4″ of space between your image and the painter’s tape. Try to keep your border as straight as possible. (see above photo). Basically what you are doing in this step is making a frame of tape around your image so that you can easily line it up inside this taped frame. The frame helps to keep your image straight and prevents gel medium from getting all over the rest of your canvas.

 

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Usually when I do my canvas transfers, I add my gel medium to the printed side of my image and then place it face-down on my canvas. Because this image is so large, what works best is to add the gel medium directly on to the canvas and then place the image face-down on top of it.

Using a large paintbrush, coat your canvas with an even coat of gel medium. You need to work quickly because the gel medium needs to be wet for the transfer to work. If it starts to dry in one area, quickly go over it again with your wet paintbrush.

Line up your image face-down over top of the painter’s tape frame that you made on your canvas. Quickly place your image down onto the wet gel medium and use your hand to smooth out the wrinkles. IMPORTANT: Once your image has been placed down onto your canvas it cannot be moved.

Next, use your brayer to roll back and forth over the back of your image, smoothing it out. Go over your entire canvas 2-3 times in both directions.

Wipe off any excess gel medium immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel and carefully peel off the painter’s tape frame around your image and any tape on the back of your image. Leave your transfer to set for a few minutes.

 

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NOTE: If you are transferring a laser printed image please refer to my laser transfer tutorial HERE. The steps that follow are for inkjet transfers only.

You can see (above) that with inkjet transfers, the image comes immediately through the paper when you are rolling over it with a brayer. Unlike laser transfers, where all you can see is your white piece of paper with a faint image coming through.

And the missing spot above? This is where I carefully tried to remove the painter’s tape on a spot wet with gel medium. To my surprise, the inkjet ink had already transferred to the canvas after only being attached for 2 minutes.

 

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Next, to expose your image you will need to immediately peel off the paper while your transfer is still damp. Use the pad of your finger (preferably wearing gloves) to gently rub across one spot on your image. Then find an edge of paper that is lifting and peel it away. Continue over your entire canvas peeling off the paper while the transfer is still damp.

To remove any residual bits of paper you can use a soft rag to gently rub them away. Don’t do like me and use your hands to rub off the paper unless you want your hand to be stained purple like Barney. Oops!

My purple stained hand would not come clean despite thorough and repeated washings, but by the next day it finally faded away. I would suggest that you use gloves as inkjet toner ink is probably not the healthiest thing to absorb into your skin!

 

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Ha! I did not realize until after I had taken this photo of my purple-stained hand that I managed to create a little friend in the photo. My daughter said it looks like a dog. Me, I think it looks more like a giraffe.

 

My final tip for you is that whatever you do, DO NOT wet your canvas with water like you would when doing a laser image transfer. Inkjet printer ink will run if it gets overly wet which you can see in my final canvas and closeup in my photo below. Don’t do as I did! As long as you remove the paper backing from your image while it is still damp from the gel medium you should get a fairly clean image.

I should also mention that sometimes especially near the edges of your image, some of the image may rub off (see the bottom of my image below). This is the nature of inkjet transfers, which just adds to the aging of your canvas in my opinion.

Once you are happy with how your canvas looks, leave it to dry for at least an hour. When it is dry, your image will look hazy and you may see residual paper fibers. At this time you can use your gloved hand to lightly rub in a circular motion over top of your canvas which will help to remove any remaining fibers. Don’t worry about the residual paper fibers too much! Once you clear coat  your canvas almost all of the residual fibers will disappear and your image will be crisp and clear again.

To seal your canvas, spray it with 2-3 coats of clear sealer such as Krylon’s matte spray sealer (my favorite sealer) or coat it with a few layers of matte Mod Podge.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I have an abundance of wooden picture frames in my basement from years of thrifting. I ended up finding the perfect sized frame to fit my canvas. I love when that happens!

This frame was originally a dark teal which didn’t really go very well with my new canvas art that I made, so it too got a makeover. Sorry, I totally forgot to take a before photo of the frame to show you.

 

 

To age your own frame, first lightly sand it with 400 grit sandpaper to give your paint some tooth. Next, paint it with a coat of white gesso. Follow with a coat of a medium or dark gray craft paint. Leave it to dry, then add another coat of white gesso over top.

 

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Next distress your frame randomly with your 400 grit sandpaper exposing some of the original color and gray layer underneath.

To protect what you have done, either coat it with two coats of Mod Podge or a paste wax.

 

Your French art canvas is now done! You can sit back and proudly look at the beautiful large piece of art that you have made for your wall for very little time and money! Or you may be like me and have all of the supplies already on hand. In that case this art won’t cost you a penny to make!

 

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Now that I have done an inkjet transfer myself, which transfer method do I prefer?

If I were to choose my favorite method, I would have to say that laser transfers still win hands down. Inkjet transfers are a much quicker method of transferring but laser transfers give a much more vibrant, flawless image. Inkjet transfers will give you more of a subtle, aged image.

Have you tried both inkjet and laser image transfers before? Which do you prefer?

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – Power of the Paint Party ~  The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin Up With HOH ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ It’s a Hodge Podge Life – It’s a Hodge Podge Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~  What About Co – Show Off Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Keeping It Simple Crafts – Motivate Me Monday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Blogger’s Party ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – Table Top Tuesday ~ Skip To My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ To a Pretty Life – All Star Block Party ~ Thrifty Decor Chick – October Before and After Party ~ Krafty Kat – Gettin’ Crafty With It ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ Fox Hollow Cottage – Power of the Pinterest Party ~

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Drum table with raised stencils

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a great weekend so far.

See the vintage drum table below? My Mom gave me this table over a year ago and it has sat collecting dust in my basement until about a month ago when I decided it was about time that it received a makeover.

I cannot lie. Refinishing this table has been a real struggle for me! It has taken me over a month to finally finish it and it is has seen no less than 4 different finishes during that time. Really, for only a small table? Well, it has been one of those projects! You know, one that you procrastinate on because your indecisiveness is getting the best of you? Lately, this has been happening to me more than I care to admit!

So when I had set out to work on this table, this is what happened…

First, I stripped the top of the table because it originally was in terrible shape, as you can see below. I then stained the top with my favorite whitewash stain. I really was loving how it was looking so far. Then I primed the base with gray primer and painted it with two coats of creamy-gray paint. Something just wasn’t right with this look. Moving on…next I glazed the table with a burnt umber glaze to try to bring out some of the details on the pedestal base. Nope, not working either. How about a coat of watered-down homemade chalk paint? A little better, but still not there. Lastly, there was the gray glaze that I made with watered-down acrylic paint that was applied over top of everything and the distressing that I did. Now we’re talking! So I thought…

The more I looked at this table, the more I wasn’t totally happy with what I had done. Don’t you just hate it when that happens when working on a project? At this point I was about to give up and just sell this table instead of keeping it for myself. I had already put so much time and hard work into it, not to mention the supplies that I had used up. After a glass of wine and a bit of contemplation, I decided to take a step back and let it sit untouched for a while until I had a vision as to what it should be like.

 

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This table sat there for a couple of weeks until one day last week when I had a “Eureka” moment! The reason I didn’t like this table was because it was too plain. I thought that the french-style top was really cute but the base and legs weren’t anything special to look at. How about if I added some wooden appliques around the drum of the table to give it some style? Hmmm…that wouldn’t work because the table is not totally flat. Well, how about doing some raised stenciling around it instead? Perfect!

Here is what my table looks like all finished! What do you think?

 

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As, you can see I carried the stenciling all the way around the drum. I decided to not stencil the drawer at the front because I thought that it would compete with the handle that was there. I also added one raised design to each side of the legs to give them more interest.

 

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It’s hard to tell here, but in real life it almost looks like this table is covered in embossed leather. Very cool!

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Here you can also see a close-up of the whitewashed stained top that I did.

 

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I found out that it is very hard to photograph a whitewashed finish without it looking all washed out! In person, this finish is greyish-white with grey streaks running through it and touches of greyish-yellow here and there. It am so happy with how it turned out!

 

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In this close-up of one of the raised stencils you can see that I also used a bit of crackle medium. I made sure that each raised stencil was a little bit different looking. Some have cracks, some don’t. Some are more aged then others, some aren’t. No two designs are exactly alike!

 

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Here on the pedestal, you can see the distressing that I did but not so much of the gray glazing that is there. It is much easier to see indoors where the sun doesn’t wash out the finish.

 

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I painted over the original brass drawer handle with gesso and crackle medium. After the crackle medium had dried for at least an hour, I put on a light layer of gray craft paint to bring out the cracks. I added more white gesso to the raised parts of the handle to highlight. Finally, I coated everything with a layer of Mod Podge for protection.

 

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Last month, I had shared how super easy it is to do raised stencils in my Decorative Book tutorial. You can find my step-by-step guide HERE.

For my decorative book project I had used Golden’s Light Molding Paste to do the raised stencils. For furniture though, you will want to use something that will not crack or chip off. You want it to stand up to everyday use. For raised stencils on furniture, you will want to use Golden’s Molding Paste. It is much heavier in weight and texture than the Light Molding Paste and much more durable.

 

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 This is the cute little stencil that I decided to use on my table. I covered over the small flowers with happy face stickers (that’s all I had handy at the time) so that the molding paste wouldn’t seep through when doing the raised stenciling. I thought the addition of the flowers would just make my table look too busy and I liked the simplicity of the medallion by itself.

 

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To stencil my table, I first found the centre of the back of the drum and made a small pencil mark. I made sure my stencil was level and then used my Anthropologie membership card (again, all that I had handy) to spread on the molding paste. It’s just like icing a cake! I carefully scraped off all of the excess medium back into my jar and then lifted my stencil up from one end in order to not disturb my pattern.

As I mentioned in my previous tutorial, molding paste is a PITA the get off your tools if you let it dry. You will want to wash your stencil and tools immediately with soap and water before moving on  Also, it may make your stencil all cloudy so don’t use this medium on your prized stencil unless you don’t mind it getting a little messed up. My stencil is still useable. It just doesn’t look pristine anymore. It doesn’t bother me!

After I did my first set of stencils, I left them to dry, which only took about 20 minutes. Then I worked on the opposite side of the center stenciling in the other direction as to not mess up my fresh stencils. I placed my stencil over top of one of the previously stenciled designs and continued on. This helped to keep my stenciling in a straight line.  By the time I got to the last set of stencils on each side I found out that this stencil fit perfectly within half a centimeter from the end on each side. No cutting needed and no half design to deal with.  This was the perfect stencil for this project.

 

 

After I finished all of my raised stencils I let them fully dry for about 2 hours before painting. To paint my raised design I first glazed it with medium gray craft paint. Then I re-applied my stencil over top of my raised design and stenciled on a coat of white gesso. I then applied crackle medium randomly and once that was dry I sparingly glazed over the cracks with more gray craft paint making sure to wipe away the excess immediately.

Finally, to protect my table, I coated it with three coats of my favorite clear finish sanding in between coats.

 

This drum table was a labor of love for sure! It is definitely a keeper now!

 

If you are interested in replicating this finish on one of your own pieces, I have included the products below that I used for this makeover. If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may notice that I have again used some of my tried and true finishes when refinishing this table. You can read more about my absolute favorite products to use when refinishing furniture HERE and HERE.

 

Drum Table with Raised Stencils Product List:

Table top:

Circa 1850 Soft Strip, Minwax Whitewash Stain, General Finishes High Performance Waterbased Topcoat in Satin

Table base:

Water-based Glidden Gripper Primer tinted in Behr Dark Gray, Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray paint, white acrylic gesso, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, Minwax Polyacrylic Topcoat in Satin

Raised Stencils:

Golden Molding Paste, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, white gesso, DecoArt One Step Crackle Medium, Minwax Polyacrylic Topcoat in Satin

Drawer Handle:

White acrylic gesso, DecoArt One Step Crackle Medium, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, Matte Mod Podge

 

 

Have you had a chance to try raised stencils before? Either way, I would love to hear about what you think of my table, so please leave me a comment below. I appreciate that you take time out of your busy day to leave me your thoughts.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ I should be mopping the floor – Mop it up mondays ~ Craft-o-maniac – Craft-o-maniac mondays ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Six Sisters Stuff – Strut Your Stuff Saturday ~ Between naps on the porch – Metamorphosis monday ~ Sumo’s sweet stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ Skip To My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Tuesday ~ Springtown Home – Tricks and Tips ~ A Stroll Thru Life – Table Top Tuesday ~ Not Just a Housewife – Show Me Whatcha Got ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Primitive and Proper – POWW Party ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Addicted to Decorating – Addicts Not So Anonymous Link Party ~ Miss Mustard Seed – Furniture Feature Friday ~ Doodles and Stitches – Fabulous Friday ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ What About Co – Show Off Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Five Days .. Five Ways – Feature Friday ~

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How to transfer images to wicker

Good evening! I hope you are doing well.

I picked up this little storage chest about seven years ago from one of my local fabric stores and since then it has been put to good use! It has provided me with some great storage for my sewing supplies, art supplies and most recently some of my scrapbooking tools.

It’s hard to tell in the photo below, but this organizer has six long drawers which give me loads of storage space for all of those itty bitty things that are easily misplaced around my house. Don’t you just love it when storage pieces are not only functional but also look beautiful at the same time? I know I do!

Well unfortunately, I didn’t find this chest beautiful to look at anymore. For the past few years I had kept it hidden in my craft room closet because it was not something that I wanted out where everyone could see it. It wasn’t really ugly; I just found its finish a little boring. Time for a makeover!

 

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The one thing that it did have going for it was the decorative handle on the top. Amazing!

 

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Anyway…

Here is what my storage chest looks like now after its makeover.

What do you think?

 

 

I really am in love with it and the French vibe it has going on!

 

To transform this piece, I first painted it with a light gray whitewash, transferred images to the top and then gave the brass hardware a white and gray aged finish.

 

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Did you know that you can transfer images onto wicker? I wasn’t sure it was possible before I set out to work on this piece. Actually, I have transferred images to many surfaces before, but never to wicker. Why? Because I just couldn’t quite get my head around how I would transfer onto a textured surface. I decided to give it a try anyways and as you can tell from my after photos, my experiment was a success!

 

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Now that I have shared this with you, just think of all of the wicker items around your home that you can give a makeover to!

How about using this technique to transform a tray for the top of your dining room table or a basket for storing towels in your bathroom? You could even add some text to your transfer to personalize it. So much fun!

 

Now some of you may ask me, what is the best type of wicker to transfer to? For a successful image transfer onto wicker you will want to use something that is tightly woven and is fairly even in texture. If you were to transfer to a piece of wicker as shown in the photo below you most likely wouldn’t get good transfer from it. Why? Because this type of wicker is not flat. It would be impossible to have your transfer stick down firmly and evenly and you may lose some of your image in the process. We wouldn’t want that now would we?

 

  wicker

Do not use this type of wicker!

 

Here’s how I did it:

 

Supplies You’ll Need:

    • your wicker item.
    • a laser photocopied or laser printed image. I used the Engraved Roses printable from the Graphics Fairy found HERE.
    • white acrylic gesso.
    • acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice. I used DecorArt’s Americana “Driftwood”.
    • Golden Soft Gel Medium. I used semi-gloss.
    • OPTIONAL: Rub n’ Buff in the colour of your choice for the hardware. I used Antique White.
    • Krylon Matte Finish clear spray sealer or Mod Podge.
    • fine grit sandpaper. I recommend 220 or 400 grit.
    • medium sized paint brushes for applying paint and gel medium.
    • a spray bottle and tin foil.
    • ruler, pencil with eraser and scissors.
    • a plastic cup and a plate/tray for paint.
    • rubber brayer or flat spreader.
    • paper towels and/or a rag.
    • dish scrubber.
    • plastic drop cloth or newspaper to protect your workspace.

 

 

Directions:

 

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Step 1: Preparing and painting your wicker

    1. Determine If your piece has an existing topcoat. If it does give it a light sanding prior to painting and wipe off the sanding dust. If you have unfinished wood then give your piece a wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or grime.
    2. For a white-washed paint finish, mix up about 90% gesso with 10% Driftwood acrylic paint in a plastic cup. Make enough for 2 full coats of paint.
    3. Paint 2 coats of the white-wash mixture on your piece. Let it dry between coats. You will find that the finish will look somewhat uneven when everything is dry. This is exactly how you want the finish to look.
    4. To age your piece further, mix up some of the driftwood craft paint with water on a paper plate until it has a very watery consistency. Brush it on randomly, working on one section at a time while lightly wiping it off while it is still wet. Leave the gray wash layer heavier in spots.
    5. Finally, you can age your item even further by sanding off some of the paint on the raised edges to expose the undercoats and original finish.

 

bamboo-organizer-whitewashed

 

Now we come to the next step (my favorite part!); image transferring.

 

While writing up this tutorial I have tried to be as brief as possible as I have shared how to photo transfer in several other posts. Honestly, I find it hard to be brief when I want to make sure that I don’t leave any important information out. That said, if you would like even more information about transferring, you can find my original tutorial, How to Guide: Transfer a Photo to Canvas HERE.

 

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The Engraved Roses image used in this tutorial came from The Graphics Fairy.

 

Step 2:  Preparing your image for transferring

    1. Measure the space where you would like to put your image. Re-size your image to fit using your graphic editing software.
    2. Print out your image on a laser printer or print it out on your inkjet printer and bring it to a Staples to have it photocopied with a laser copier. If you plan on using text in your transfer you must print your image “mirror image” mode. Both color or black and white images transfer well.
    3. TIPS FOR CUTTING OUT YOUR IMAGE: First draw a box around your image using a pencil and a ruler leaving 1/4″ of white space around the edge on all four sides. Then trim around all of the details (leave 1/4″ border) but leave a small straight edge on each side of your image (see image transfer photo below). Having a slight straight edge on each end of your image will help you to keep everything straight when you place it face down to transfer. Also, be sure to erase any remaining pencil marks.
    4. Once cut, figure out if your image will fit on your piece or if you need to do any further trimming.

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Step 3: Transferring your image

    1. Place your image face-up on a piece of tinfoil. Open your gel medium container and have your paintbrush, brayer and a damp rag close-by.
    2. IMPORTANT: If you have “holey” wicker like I did, you will need to add on a layer or gel medium to fill in the holes prior to adding your image so that there is a flat surface for your image to transfer to.
    3. Using your paintbrush, apply gel medium to your wicker in the general area where your transfer will be applied. You want all of the holes to be completely filled with medium.
    4. Immediately coat your image with a even layer of gel medium all the way out to the edges. Carefully pick up your image by the edge and place it face-down exactly where you would like for the transfer to go. NOTE: Your image cannot be moved once it is stuck down so work quickly and carefully.
    5. Use the palm of your hand to smooth out your image then use your brayer and roll over your image in all directions with some pressure so it is stuck down firmly. Wipe up any excess gel medium with a damp rag.
    6. Leave your transfer to dry overnight.

 

Uh ohhhh!  For some reason, a few of the holes where I had added a thick layer of the gel medium ended up turning yellow. Definitely not the look I was going for. If this happens to you then you can easily paint over the yellow spots once they are dry with your gesso-paint mixture. Phew! All hidden now!

 

image-transfer-onto-wicker

 

Step 4: Revealing your transferred image and touch-ups

    1. To reveal your image, lightly spray your dried transfer with water. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Using the pad of your pointer finger, lightly rub back and forth over your transfer in one spot. The paper backing will start to roll up and your will see your image coming through.
    3. Work over your entire image removing the paper in one section at a time until your image has been completely exposed. Keep the section your are working on slightly wet.
    4. Let your transfer dry slightly and then rub the palm of your hand across it to remove more of the paper fibers. Rub gently and be careful near the edges!
    5. Remove any remaining paper fibers by lightly rubbing over your transfer in a circular motion with a damp kitchen scrubber. Use your hand to feel for more fibers. Repeat as necessary until your transfer feels smooth
    6. After it is fully dry, use your gesso-Driftwood paint mixture to touch-up any areas of your wicker that have yellowed, are too shiny or are too distressed for your liking. You can also put a very thin coating of this mixture over top of your transfer to age it slightly as long as you wipe it away immediately with a damp cloth.

 

 

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The above photo shows the transfer while it was still wet. The photo below shows the transfer after it has dried and I have done the final touch-ups and aging.

 

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One thing I should mention is that there may be a opaque (hazy) layer of gel medium surrounding your image even after you have removed all of the remaining paper fibers. The gel medium does not dry perfectly clear. If this bothers you then you can coat the wicker with a semi-gloss topcoat which will help to disguise it a little more. I was going for a matte finish on this piece and the haziness didn’t bother me so I decided to leave it as is.

 

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Step 5: Painting and aging the hardware

    1. Make sure your hardware is clean and work in a well ventilated area.
    2. Rub on the Rub n’ Buff with a rag or gloved finger leaving some of the original finish showing through in spots.
    3. Leave it to dry for 20-30 minutes.
    4. Buff off the excess. Reapply as needed.
    5. Dab your finger into your Driftwood gray craft paint and rub off the excess onto a paper towel. Apply a light layer to the hardware randomly to give the appearance of age.

 

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Step 6: Protecting your hard work

    1. After everything is dry, protect your painted piece with at least two to three coats of a clear spray sealer such as Krylon’s Matte Spray Sealer or a Matte Mod Podge.
    2. Leave it to dry overnight before use.

 

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Well there you have it. It’s so easy to transfer to wicker!

This project took me only about 30-45 minutes to finish (not including drying time) and didn’t cost me a thing as I already had all of the supplies on hand. Too bad I didn’t do this years ago!

 

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Of course I had to take a photo of the message that my Mom had left me on my chalk board when she stopped by the other day. It says “Je T’aime Beaucoup”  which means “I Love You Very Much” in English. Awww… wasn’t that sweet of her?

 

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While you are here, I hope you stick around and check out some of my other previous tutorials. Also shown in the photo above is my Large Picture Frame Turned Chalkboard tutorial which can be found HERE and my Milk Painted Lamp tutorial that can be found HERE.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with H0H ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party ~ What About Co – Show Off Friday ~ It’s a Hodgepodge Life – It’s a Hodgepodge Friday ~ Frugal Friday – The Shabby Nest ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Craft Envy – Saturday Spotlight ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Party ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Blogger’s Party ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~

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How to give brass an aged patina

Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you like…

Do you ever have those moments where you happen to find the exact thing you are looking for while out shopping?  If you have, then good for you!  I, on the other hand, rarely find what I am looking for.  Whatever it is that I want is no where to be found!

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday, I decided to pay a visit to my local Antique Mall.  I had my heart set on finding a world globe that day.  Yes, I am a little late to the “globe decor party”!  Better late then never, I say!  I didn’t want just any globe though.  I set my sights quite high.  It had to have an antique look to it and it had to be pretty enough to be out on display; either on my desk or on the top of my bookcase. No plastic, tacky globe for me.

I did my usual loop of the store.  I found one globe but it was plastic.  Strike one.  I was just about to leave and saw another globe behind the sales counter.  Bummer!  It was on hold for a customer.  Strike two.  That’s ok, it was a little too big anyway.  Then the stars must have aligned for me when I had decided to do one more pass of the last aisle.  What did I see in one of the booths at the bottom of a shelf tucked behind some wicker baskets?  You guessed it!  The perfect globe for me!

Well, it was almost the perfect globe for me.  I loved that the base was brass, it was also the exact size that I had wanted, the color of the globe was antique looking and it was in great shape with only a few minor scuff marks.  And the best part of all… it was only $20.00!  What a steal for sure!

So what was the problem then? I just wasn’t loving the color of the brass.  It was way too shiny and it made the globe look so cheap.  I wanted it to look like an antique that had been sitting around in someone’s study for a long time collecting dust.  I wanted its finish to look almost like an old penny.

After bringing it home and giving it a good cleaning, I contemplated about what I would use to get the look I was going for.  Why not use my favorite Rub n’ Buff in Spanish Copper?

 

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Have you ever used Rub n’ Buff before?  If you haven’t you are missing out!  This stuff is amazing!

 

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Amaco’s Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff

 

You can even tell by my sad looking tube of Spanish Copper above that it has been well used.

 

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You know the one important thing that I forgot to do when working on my globe? I forgot to take a before photo showing its shiny brass finish. Oops!  You can still see a little bit of its former self near the left arrow above.  Don’t you just love it now that it has received a little makeover with Rub n’ Buff?

 

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Spanish Copper gave my globe a gorgeous aged patina.  It only took about five minutes of my time to achieve this new look. Time well spent for sure!

 

 

If you haven’t had a chance to try out Rub n’ Buff yet, it is very easy and straight-forward to use.  You just do what its name implies… You rub and then you buff. That’s pretty much it!  I made a set of tips for those of you that are interested.  In case you think you might mess this up somehow.  Believe me, you won’t.  It is that easy!

 

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Two things that  I forgot to add to my list above was to make sure to give your piece a good cleaning before applying the Rub n’ Buff just to make sure all of the grimy spots have been taken care of. Also, a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. You need only to use it sparingly.

Finally, to protect your finish you may want to consider adding a coat of wax over top or if you are applying to something that will be getting a fair amount of use and handling, you will want to seal your finish with a few coats of a protective topcoat.

 

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I just love my globe now!

 

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I also picked up this little wooden cutie that Saturday as well. I was thinking about painting it white or cream but I think I may leave it just the way it is. What do you think?

 

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It must have taken someone a lot of time to carve this.

 

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I hope I have inspired you to give Rub n’ Buff a try sometime. Maybe you have some bright, outdated brass candlesticks, light fixtures, picture frames or ornate mirrors that could use a little bit of Rub n’ Buff.

So far my absolute favorite color out of the 16 colors Amaco offers is Spanish Copper. I also used it to give some interest to the hardware for my thrifty dresser transformation HERE. Other colors of Rub n’ Buff that I have collected are the antique white, the autumn gold and the silver leaf. I have used them to give some patina to many items in my home.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

Disclosure: All of the thoughts and ideas expressed in this post about Rub n’ Buff are 100% my own and are of my honest opinion. I have not been asked to give my opinion on this product nor have I been compensated in any way.

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with HoH ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Link Party ~ At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party #65 ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ What About.co – Show Off Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Beneath My Heart – Best DIY Projects of July Linky Party ~

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