Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dragonflies, frogs, and lillypads

    I was asked if I would repaint a dresser for a family expecting a new baby girl.  I could pick the colors, using this adorable blanket for inspiration, and the knowledge that her new crib was butter yellow.
    While I am always drawn to blues and greens, I felt that the pastel colors would be better and less likely to overwhelm the blanket, and the butter yellow of the crib.  I took the blanket with me to Lowe's thinking that I would pick up small pots of paint that they normally have made up, but they didn't have any.   I was probably able to pick out colors that better matched the blanket by having them custom mix it anyway.
  
    The dresser was painted brown with black handles.  I felt that the best method to remove the paint would be to strip it, as some of the corners and edges were rounded from previous sanding.  In the end I had quite a bit of trouble removing some of the paint with the different strippers that I used and eventually did some sanding too.  I chose the yellow with green accents for the outside and the light lavender on the inside for a bit of a surprise.  I felt that painting the hardware white would give it a really fresh look.  
    I feel like I learn something every time I do a new project.  I was prepared to have to do extra coats of paint to cover with such light colors.  Despite always waiting at least a day and sometimes many, between coats, I had some problems with blocking.  Occasionally paint will become a bit sticky, from moisture between layers and this is called blocking.  I have heard people say the pieces they paint never dry and after placing something on a painted piece, when they lift the object, small pieces of paint come off.  In reading about it some  painters said that they sand and start over, and some said putting some talc on it will sometimes absorb the moisture.  For most of my pieces I custom mix non-sanded grout, or plaster of paris into the paint for a chalk-type paint.  Occasionally, I don't.  With this dresser I didn't, and I reasoned that wiping the places down with a small amount of unsanded grout would make more sense than talc.  I found it worked wonderfully, although I did sand a few places also.  I added a back to it, and will put in a tension bar for hanging little dresses on.
    I love how this turned out, I hope the owners are going to be happy with it!
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8 comments:

  1. this turned out beautiful. I live in the humid South and it is hard to get paint to "cure". I am careful with latex in heat - i only do small pieces I can bring inside. You are right about adding the non-sanded grout - the paint sticks and stays stuck!

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  2. It looks very pretty. I like the surprise lilac color inside. Yes, the weather can be quite a problem when it comes to painting.

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    1. Thank you Mary K! This piece made me smile, it had such happy colors!
      Marti

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  3. Intersting bit about the 'blocking' or paint lifting. If you are in a hurry and can't let paint cure between coats---you can use flat spray paint as a base coat. While this isn't ecologically sound, there are sprays that are okay for the environment. The flat spray will seal, sticks to almost any prepared surface and accepts brushed on paints afterward. I used to do a whole driveway full of furniture at one time..and used sprays first to tighten up bare woods and give a base for doing crackle and distressing. Upside I found it gave a great base for just about anything. Again...Flat spray paints. Thanks for the post and your chest looks great. Sandi

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    1. Thank you Sandi! Great tip, usually drying isn't a problem up here, as this is referred to as the "Arctic Desert" but I will keep that in mind for those days that do get humid!
      Marti

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  4. Lovely makeover, Marti. Your customers must have been so pleased :) Thanks for sharing your work at Vintage Charm!

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  5. Thank you Diana! They were happy, and I am currently working on another piece for them.
    Marti

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