Posts Tagged distressing paint effects

Products of a Butterfly Mind

I know I said I had the dressmaking bug again but I confess I got distracted by another pastime last week.  My neighbour is doing up her house and bought some chalk paint and it inspired me to do a bit of painting, distressing and general messing about of my own.

I blame it on the fact that I am a Gemini. which if you believe in such things, means you are interested in lots of different things and are easily bored or distracted.  It also means I am coming up for yet another birthday which despite me always saying ‘it’s better than the alternative’ , is still slightly depressing

No chalk paint involved here but I was experimenting with transferring graphics and I printed this onto some 100% French linen.  I was using TAP (or transfer artist paper) which was recommended on The Graphics Fairy blog (thanks to her for some of these graphics) but I think, because of the darkish colour of the linen, the transfer edges didn’t go completely transparent so I stitched around the outline to make it look as if it were meant to be there all along.  Then I made a cushion out of it – as you do.

French Typography CushionFlushed with success, I put a graphic on one of my vintage French tea towels.  I can’t decide whether to do some of these to put in my handmade shop or whether people prefer them plain as they are in my vintage shop.  I think maybe I’ll just do a couple and see how they go.

VIntage French Tea TowelI paid 50 cents for this block of wood with a hole drilled through it in the local charity shop – believe me, you are not as surprised as the bloke who works there who probably thought I’d picked it up off the floor somewhere –  just for the purpose of testing the claim that you can use the paper to transfer onto wood.  The wood is very rough so the image looks distressed which is sort of the look I was going for.

Transfer on WoodThen I tried it on a plain bread board which had a much smoother grain and I did it over a layer of chalk paint and then distressed it.  Again, some of the transfer didn’t come off completely but it is supposed to look aged so it worked for this project.

Vintage French BreadboardI wanted to try out paint and graphics on a piece of furniture so I picked up this little table for 4 euros in the same charity shop and set to work to transform it.  I think it had been cobbled together from parts because the central twisted stem was quite lovely smooth wood whereas the base and top were not such good quality and rougher.  The good thing about the Annie Sloan chalk paint is the fact that you don’t have to do any preparation before using the paint – apart from making sure the item is clean and free of loose bits – which is music to my ears as the preparation is the boring and hard bit.  I wondered if it really were true and had my doubts about the smooth wood as there would be no ‘key’ for the paint to hold on to.

chalkpaintProject1aHowever, it did paint over very well.  Below is the table with two coats, the first being ‘Duck Egg Blue’, the second ‘Emile’.

Chalkpaint Project 1b  I did start to distress it a bit but Mr. T. was very distressed himself about the purple colour so I went over it all with ‘Old White’ and then gave it another bit of stress.

Chalkpaint Project 1cI put a graphic in the centre – well, I say centre but I was actually about 2cm too much to the right.  So, a lesson learnt for next time.  I didn’t use transfer paper on this but another  method where you cover your paper or cardstock with a layer of ‘school’ glue which is washable, print your image onto it then put a layer of modge podge (I used Decopatch glue as I am in France) on the wood and press the image down.  After leaving it to dry overnight, you wet the paper and then start to peel or rub it off and voila!  I think this is a good method for anything where it doesn’t matter if the item has a distressed look but I’m not sure I would trust it (or me) enough to do it this way on anything more formal where you want a crisp, sharp image.

Chalkpaint Project Close upThis is a little sleeve board I found whilst on one of my foraging trips.  I love the ornate wooden base.  I might actually leave the original linen on the top but make a loose cover and use it in my workroom.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to chalk paint it even though there are quite a few things around the house I do have my eye on.

Antique Sleeve BoardAnd just to show I haven’t completely abandoned my sewing machine, I was in my workroom the other day and suddenly had the urge to make a nightdress – it just came to me.  I drew round one of my old nighties and made a new one.  This is the toile really but I might be able to wear it.  I have learnt that I need to use a ‘drapier’ cotton or cut it on the bias next time but, apart from that, I was quite pleased.

DSC_0001Haven’t washed it yet, hence the fold line near the bottom but you get the idea.

On a final note which, as so often in my blog, has nothing to do with the rest of the post, my 3 new chickens, Milly, Molly and Isis(!), have started to lay, bless ’em.  I hadn’t even bothered checking the nesting boxes yet as I thought they were still a bit young but, when I did, there they were.

Fresh EggsOf course, they didn’t lay them directly into my Nigella Lawson style beaded bowl – they are not that obliging – but I thought it made a better picture than the inside of a nesting box.  See how thoughtful I am.

Have a good week!

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Ugly But Cute

I’ve never been one for dolls.  I had a Sindy  but I don’t think I ever liked baby dolls much and the porcelain ones give me the creeps.  In fact, the more lifelike they are, the more scary I find them.  Hooray then for monster dolls.  With faces only a mother could love, they aren’t scary because they don’t look like real people.  Although, thinking about it……….

I think I’ve already shown you Sylvain, my Junker Jane voodoo doll, now I’ve got Brittnay, a seriously distressed creation from Jennifoofoo.  I ‘ ve crackle glazed  a picture frame, as I’m on a ‘paint effects’ mission at the moment and, whilst I’m waiting for the lovely print to arrive that I’ve ordered to go in it, I’ve posed the monsters inside.

What a Picture


All that remains  is to hide them before Mr. Tialys comes home and confiscates my cheque book.

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A Distressing Weekend

Before you start to worry about me – I mean distressing with paint.  Well, I was a bit distressed that the dancing dog didn’t win ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ but I’ll survive.

I’ve got a set of 4 dining room chairs which I had previously reupholstered but they are so delicate that if anybody suddenly throws their head back and does a big belly laugh, the chair surrenders.  This most often happens when I am serving something up at the dining room table that hasn’t quite turned out like the photograph in the recipe book  not, as I would prefer you to believe, that my conversation is so uproariously funny that my dinner guests are wrecking dining room chairs on an almost daily basis.  No, out with the delicate, in with a nice sturdy, rush seated chair.  I usually like to nurture the wood that a chair is made from but, in this case, the wood wasn’t particularly attractive so I decided to try out my distressing skills.  It didn’t turn out badly but, unfortunately, the chair now looks too distressed to go in a formal(ish) dining room.    So now I have yet another chair that I have bought, altered, fiddled about with, that doesn’t quite go in any of my rooms but I have to find a place for somewhere.  Ho hum.

On safer ground, I thought I’d combine my current obsessions for paint effects and letters (see my letterpress woodblocks) to good effect and distress an ampersand.  And why not?

Distressed Ampersand

 What do you think?  I used gold paint for the undercoat which actually might have been a bit of a waste of expensive  paint as I’m not sure you can really tell it’s gold but, hey, I’m experimenting.  Must paint those shutters – they’re not even supposed to be distressed.

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