Sunday, July 30, 2017

Chalk Paint!

Wow, chalk paint! Where has this been all my life???? Last weekend I took a chalk painting workshop and OMG, this stuff is amazing. So what, I hear you asking, is so amazing about it? Well being a fairly spontaneous and "instant results" type of person, this stuff is just made for me. It requires little, if any, prep to provide the most fabulous opaque coverage in one or two coats.

I was able to repaint this rather aweful yellow/orange pine drawer cabinet in 2 coats WITHOUT ANY STRIPPING, SANDING OR OTHER PREP. Yahhh!!! I decided in the morning to revamp and 1 1/2 hours later I had a brand new piece of furniture, fresh and modern. WOW!

The drawers are decoupaged with hand printed gelli printed papers colour matched to the charcoal paint and with touches of turquoise. Much better in real life! I am THRILLED and plan to move onto revamping bedside tables to match my own bedroom now. 

I even MADE MY OWN CHALK PAINT as I didn't want to travel for hours to purchase and my local paint store had very limited colours. I purchased the white chalk paint ($42/750 ml) and decided to experiment by making the charcoal colour. Very easy - 1 part Plaster of Paris dissolved in equal part of hot water. Stir to dissolve and add to 3 parts desired colour of latex paint. I was lucky enough to pick up the charcoal paint in the "mismatch" bin at the hardware store for $10 too. I noticed NO difference between the commerical and homemade paint, so I think I will be making my own in any colour I need from now on. So much cheaper.

If you want more info on chalk paint, use Mr Google or Pinterest to learn more than you ever wanted to know. LOLS You do need to finish with either wax or varnish. I choose to finished the top of the cabinet with varnish for a tougher surface and the rest with wax.

I am now looking at ALL my furniture with new eyes. LOLS Look out!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Well it is SUCH a long time since I have posted here and it seems I have come full circle and back to......Gelli printing once again LOLS

I have been running a few local classes lately and wanted to share gelli printing with my students, but the cost of the plates (particularly in Australia) are a bit prohibitive, especially for those just starting out. So I was racking my brains for alternatives other than the homemade ones and as the cogs turned, it occurred to me that perhaps silicone mats would work. I first ordered a silicone cooking mat and it DID work, but was very thin and had no "bounce" like the gelli plates. Mmmmm....almost but not quite!

So I kept thinking and one day I was in a $2 shop and saw a silicone insole for shoes. Had an "ahaaaa!!" moment and took one home to try. It also works but is very small, although oval is handy! Then I started to research just about everything made of silicone and eventually arrived at {{{drum roll please}}}.......... the sticky, non slip dashboard mats made for phones as per pic below. OMG they work like a dream and at $2 I can give every student one to use! They are also approximately the same size at ATC's so are perfect for experimenting. You can buy them online at Ebay and Aliexpress for starters, but Mr Google will help you find them - Sticky Dashboard Phone Mats.

So here is the proof!

This pic shows a very basic 2 layer print of orange, overlaid with blue where I simply scratched a design into the blue layer before printing over the orange. The details is AMAZING!! And just with normal acrylic paint too - not open acrylics. There are a few things you need to know however. The mats are SUPER STICKY when you first get them so you need to mount them onto a piece of persplex or similar and then push the mat onto some lint free material to DESTICKY them. That's a word isn't it? Then spread the paint onto the mat with your finger, as your brayer is likely to stick to the plate at first. Do this a few times and it becomes much less sticky and behaves brilliantly!

And this is what I did with the print. Masking off the shape of the goddess I then added painted and hand drawn elements with pens, paint and stencils. Stay tuned for future posts if you want to know more about how to do this!