Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Stenciled Table and What Not to Do

They say we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.  I know that by watching TLC's "What Not to Wear" I learn how to avoid fashion faux pas.  Well this week's project went wrong a lot before it finally went right.  So, to help you learn from my mistakes, I'm going to tell you "what not to do!"

I found this great library table at a flea market.  I knew when I bought it that I wanted to stencil a design on the top.

So I gave it two coats of CeCe Caldwell's Antique White.  I decided to cut a stencil with my Silhouette Cameo and had heard others talk about using contact paper instead of the expensive stencil vinyl so I decided to try it.  Cutting and applying the stencil in sections is tedious work, but I knew it would be worth it.  I taped off a border with blue painter's tape so I didn't have to worry about the stencil going to the edge.

Then I mixed a little white latex paint with CeCe Caldwell's Carolina Sun Yellow to tone it down some and painted the stenciled areas.  The best part is always pulling the stencil off to reveal the final product.  Here's what it looked like when I pulled the stencil off:
Beautiful, right?  ARG!  At first I thought it was because I used contact paper instead of stencil vinyl.  I was cursing that decision! Then I realized that the painter's tape also pulled paint off.  I've now concluded that it must be a characteristic of the CeCe Caldwell paint.  I've stenciled this Harlequin Table and this Moroccan Lattice Table using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, painter's tape, and stencil vinyl.  I had no problem with them.

Lesson #1:  If you're going to stencil using an adhesive, don't use CeCe Caldwell paint.  It's great for lots of applications, but this isn't one of them.

I also discovered that the contact paper left a sticky residue all over the table top.  I usually use Goo Gone to remove sticky tape residue so I thought I'd try it on the table.  I squirted some on a rag and rubbed a small spot.  It took the sticky off, but left a greasy spot!  UGH!

Lesson #2:  Don't use contact paper for a stencil unless you're willing to deal with the stickiness.  Also, contact paper isn't see through and makes it tough to match up the design.

Lesson #3:  Don't use Goo Gone on painted surfaces.

So what's a girl to do???  Well, I grabbed a small brush and proceeded to touch up all of the places that were missing paint.  I knew that CeCe's paint would paint over wax so I tried it on the oily spot.  That did the trick!  Again, tedious work.  But it looked ok when I was done.

I loved the way it turned out, but the white was too stark.  I also still had a sticky table top.  I decided to wax the top and see if it would somehow cover or dissolve the stickiness.  I gave it a coat of clear wax and that did the trick! I contemplated using a glaze.  I worried that if I used a glaze on the table top it would accentuate the places that had lost paint.  I thought it would look funny if I used it everywhere but the table top.  I ended up with a compromise.

I grabbed a small craft brush and applied Howard's Golden Oak wax to the rope detail and crevices on the legs, then wiped it off.  It was enough color to emphasize the details, but not so much  to make the piece look disjointed.

FINALLY!  The table was done!
This is exactly what I envisioned when I started.  I just didn't know it would take hours to get here!

I took it into the shop yesterday and got my display set up.

I know I'm not making any money on this table after the number of hours I poured into it.  But I've ended up with a beautiful table and if you've learned anything from my mistakes, it's all worth it!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bee Stool, Round 2

Who knew such a simple project would become so complicated?  A few weeks ago my husband brought home this stool.

I had the idea of using a Graphics Fairy image on the seat.  I tried a new transfer method using Mod Podge.  It was a miserable FAIL! 

 You can read more about it here.

Anyway, I sanded it down, repainted the seat, and decided to use the Chartpak Blender Pen recommended by Rosemary at Villabarnes.
That was an adventure in itself!  I went to my local Michaels store to buy the pen.  They didn't carry it, so I bought a different brand.  THAT didn't work!  Like Rosemary said, it's got to be a Chartpak!
I was at a conference in Austin and decided to look at a "big city" Michaels.  They didn't have it either.  Rosemary suggested I try Amazon.  Found some there for less than $2 each but Amazon wanted $4 per pen for shipping!  Ridiculous!  So I contacted the company directly and was able to order from their website.  For less than $2 each I decided to go ahead and order several and save on shipping.  If you're having a hard time finding them, you might check Hyatt's Art Supply.

Anyway, the pens arrived this week and now that my grandson has played and gone, I decided to finish up this project that seems to have gone on forever!

I had printed out the flipped image from the Graphics Fairy on my ink jet printer.  Then I took it and had a copy made.  You must use a copy that comes from a toner print machine.  

This really was as simple as Rosemary suggests!  Place image face down, rub the back of the image with the Blender Pen, and voile!  

This is what it was supposed to look like the first time!

So what would I say is the secret to the success of this project?

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