Sunday, September 23, 2012

Show & Tell at FPC Ladies' Fall Luncheon

Let's just say that public speaking has always been a little phobia of mine.  When my sister messaged me last Monday asking if I'd consider doing a presentation at her old church in Salinas, I was a little hesitant.  Okay, a little panicked.  What would I talk about?  Would I ramble?  Would I make any coherent sense?  Would I be staring into an audience of bored women?  Would I be sending them home with anything practical and useful?  Yikes, the pressure!!!

I asked what they wanted my presentation to be about.  I think the answer I got was something like, "I don't know; show them what you do."  So I decided on a little show and tell and answer the questions I am most often asked with a little "antiquing demo".

Saturday 9:00 a.m., with my truck loaded I picked up mom for a road trip....Salinas or Bust!

Grabbed sis on the way and the "crew" and I arrived in Salinas to sunshine!  Yeah!

A quick unload and setup and we were ready to go.  

Each table was sponsored by a different hostess so every table was uniquely decorated.  What a great way to see a variety of tablescapes.  I loved this idea!

We had a great lunch with friends which kept my nerves at bay; thank you team!

As it turned out, my plan was a little ambitious for a short presentation.  I did get through my most often asked questions but barely made it through a rushed antiquing demo.  As for the show and tell, it became more of a browse if you want after the luncheon.

I did have a packet prepared highlighting my most used paint and finish techniques with my favorite products pros and cons so hopefully I sent the ladies away with something useful and at least inspired a little creativity.

Since I had hoped my presentation would have allowed enough time to show the samples of the different paint techniques, I decided to post them here as reference.  Some I have blogged about and can post the link to that blog while others I may only have pictures of because they were done before I created this blog.  However, if you start following my blog you'll see all the techniques I try from now on!

Following are the steps I take with almost every project, regardless of the finish I'm starting with:

1.            Scrape:  If there’s loose paint or de-laminating veneer, I like to use a five-in-one tool to remove anything that want’s to come off any time soon.  A five-in-one tool can be purchased at any hardware store in the paint department.  It has many useful purposes and I like it better than a putty knife because it’s firmer.  Refer to the post One Way To Rehab Delaminating Furniture for before photos.

2.           Sand:  If minimal sanding is required, a sanding sponge works well.  For bigger jobs, I choose a palm sander to get the job done faster.  This may require a bit of fine tuning depending on the grit of paper you start with.

3.           Paint:  Once your project is prepped, you’ll need to decide on your next step.  If you started with stained, unfinished, or painted wood but want to change the color, you’ll be painting for your next step (with or without crackle).  This is where it gets a little complicated.  There are several techniques that will help you on your way:

a.   Latex Paint:  I like to use left over paint mixing up my own unique colors.  If you don’t have leftovers, you can always find “oops” paints at any store that mixes paints for a fraction of the cost or go to Habitat For Humanity or Last Chance Mercantile to find inexpensive leftover paint donated by someone else.  If you took a look at One Way to Rehab Delaminating Furniture, that was a project using leftover latex paint and then a wax finish.

 b.  Spray Paint: Spray paint is a quick and easy choice for difficult to paint things like chairs with lots of spindles or turned legs.  However, because of the thin layers, it handles wax as a final step a bit differently than brushed on paint. 

This black ladder back chair was spray painted, then sanded just a little for a distressed look.  You can see on the lower front spindles that the solvent in the final wax step actually wipes away the paint if you let it set too long.

The seat was made from my dad's old ties.  I twisted and wove them for a very strong seat...and it's hard to tell they were ties.

c.   Milk Paint:  Old Fashioned Milk Paint is a product I like to use when I want to layer color on quickly and have a truly “old” looking finish.  I like this paint for several reasons.  You mix just what you need so there’s no waste, it’s environmental friendly, cleans up with water, dries fast, you can mix your own colors, it’s easy to store because it’s a powder.   They also have a crackle medium I like and a sealer if you don’t want to use wax.  Although, it takes the wax better than any other new paint.  The post I did on How To Build A Bench With A Barn Red Finish gives a very detailed How To on using milk paint, crackle, and wax.

d.  Wash:  If you started with stained or unfinished wood, a wash may be right for your project.  A wash is basically thinning latex paint with water.  I like this technique because it dries really fast so you can layer on multiple colors (or not) and then sand and wax for a nice faded and aged driftwood effect.  See Chair-y Chair-y Quite Contrary for complete instructions for creating a washed paint and wax technique.

4.           Antiquing:   After you’ve finished the painting step, you’re ready to “antique”:

a.   Sand:  This is a very important step and one of my favorites.  After you’ve added paint, you want to sand back through some of the layers of color exposing the variety of color and in some areas all the way through to the natural wood.  Focus on edges and details because this will bring the character of the piece forward.  If you've taken a look at the How To Build A Bench With A Barn Red Finish and Chair-y Chair-y Quite Contrary posts, you have a good idea of how fast, yet important this step is.  

       You might also want to take a look at the post Jewelry Duty to see what happens if you mess up this process and need to make a quick fix.

b.  Stain and Seal:  Depending on the final use and durability you’re looking for, there are a couple of choices:

                                             i.     Gel Stain:  This is a product by Miniwax and readily available in a variety of colors.  My favorite is Aged Oak.  This product is a stain and sealer in one.  It is applied with a brush.  On the plus side, it leaves you with a lasting durable finish.  On the downside, you will see brush marks unless you keep working the brush with feather-light strokes as it dries.  Once you see the brush strokes soften you can stop but then there’s still drying time.  To see photos of a project I did using Aged Oak Gel Stain, check out my Vintage Vanity post on JunkMarket Style. I also used Gel Stain in the Globe Lamp post.  You can use Gel Stain to "antique" objects besides just furniture.

                                          ii.     Wax:  This is the product I use the most.  I use Fiddes Supreme Wax and my favorite color is Rugger Brown.  It is a similar product to Briwax’s Dark Brown.  Fiddes contains less solvent and is little more environmentally friendly.  Wax can be applied with a brush or cloth.  Simply brush on, wipe off the excess, then buff to your desired sheen and wipe with a clean cloth.  On the plus side, this is the quickest stain and finish I’ve found.  It’s easy and there’s virtually no drying time.  On the downside, it is a wax and it does contain solvent so you have to be aware of how that will react to applying it to a painted surface.  Because it is a wax, it will absorb over time and depending on the location of your project, may need to be reapplied at some point.  The nice thing is that you can just reapply without refinishing the whole project from start to finish.  Since this is the product I use most, you'll see it used in How To Build A Bench With A Barn Red Finish and Chair-y Chair-y Quite Contrary.  You can also see how it looks on an old door in Don't Pass Up An Ugly Door and on an old steamer trunk (yes, it works great on old rusty metal and worn leather) in the post, Steamer Trunk Bookcase.

 Well, I hope this post offers a little useful information.  It's a complicated subject because there are so many products and ways to use them together.  Every project is unique depending on what you start with and when you're dealing with "junk" the sky's the limit! 

I'll copy this post to the "finishes" button at the top of the blog for quick reference as you work on your projects.  Happy Junkin'!


  1. What a fun day it was! And you did a great job, given the time restriction. It was a proud moment for Mom & I both.....showing you & your talents off to all our friends :) Love you, sis!


Post A Comment