DI-WHY?? (stencil-style)

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trawling Pinterest for inspiration on how to make my TV cabinet repaint a bit more interesting. I came across some lovely pictures of painted units on my hunt and narrowed it down to 2 options:

1. Use wallpaper or contact paper to cover the panel in the doors or the back of the shelf section.

I really liked this idea and it seemed easy but I was a bit worried the paper might start peeling off and look awful fairly quickly.

2. Stencil!

This involved painting and I had a little pot of Rust-oleum chalk paint in ‘flint’ that was begging to be used so I decided to go with this option.

How hard could it be? In fact, I remembered helping my mum to stencil a border around the kitchen when I was a teenager (all the rage back then) so surely I already knew what to do? One fact I forgot was that my longterm memory isn’t so great.

I found a stencil online from ‘idealstencils.co.uk’ and even bought some Rust-oleum ‘quick drying low tack adhesive’ so that I could do a really professional job. Nothing could go wrong! This TV cabinet was about to be transformed…

Due to impatience (previously mentioned) I looked at lots of pretty pictures of amazing furniture but didn’t really read in detail how to actually DO stencilling. It seemed pretty straightforward. Big mistake!

Error 1 was to happily paint the adhesive directly onto the cupboard door and stick the stencil on it (thinking I was following the instructions on the back of the tin correctly). Almost straightaway I started having doubts. The areas to be stencilled felt pretty sticky (not paint-friendly) but  I optimistically assumed the adhesive would magically disappear when needed or have no effect on the paint so I carried on. Error 2: I chose a mini roller for the job, partly because it was new and cute and I wanted to try it out. Then the nightmare began. Each time I rolled the paint up and down it slipped on the adhesive and disappear in patches. I tried a brush but that was even worse so went back to the roller and just kept on waiting a bit, trying again, waiting a bit etc. until I had a vaguely even covering of paint. Surely it would all turn out ok? (sometimes I take a while to catch on). Due to all the coats of paint I didn’t dare take the stencil off straight away so left it overnight to dry.

In the morning I proudly lifted off the stencil to find – Tada!! This awful mess…

Drawing (2)

Left with no other choice I used a sander (and sharp finger nail) to scrape it all off, touched up the peeled off white paint, painted another coat of white paint and was ready to try again (all this with 2 children running around.) This time I did a little research, painted the adhesive onto the stencil (correct!), left it to dry for a bit (correct!) and selected a round brush with a dab technique (correct!) A few minutes later this was revealed…

Still a lot of marks from bleeding paint!! Aggghhhh!! And then I had to deal with more bleeding from 3-year-old’s teeny tiny papercut that went everywhere (will it teach her not to snatch things from her brother? Unlikely.)

Despite having the right technique, I needed a fair bit of practise to get used to using the right amount of paint on the brush. Fortunately, I have finally had some good results so hope to post the finished result soon. I’m also waiting for the arrival of a ‘paint pen’ which I’m hoping to use to do some border work on the unit (fingers crossed for no more DI-Why?!? issues).

The take away message is that stencilling is not easy, or at least not for impatient not-very-artistic beginners like me!

Fireplace makeover: total repaint

When I moved into my 1930’s house of horrors (virtually untouched since the 1970’s) I quickly realised I would have to wait a few months to do anything about the decor. All of the windows need replacing and we also have an extension to plan.

This means there’s no point stripping wallpaper or painting walls. And I have to put up with carpets like this…

IMG_8402

At least it matches all the red wine I have to drink to put up with it!

To keep myself busy I turned to smaller projects. The first thing that I couldn’t put up with was the fireplace so I made the decision to paint the dark wood white, hoping to see a big improvement. I used Rust-oleum satin finish furniture paint in ‘Cotton’ which doesn’t need sanding or priming so after a quick dust and a wipe down I got to work. At first it looked like this…

fireplace 1

After the first coat…

fireplace2

The wood surround needed several more coats, which took a while. In between painting I did some research and discovered an amazing paint for the brass bits called Rustins heat resistant black paint (matt finish). Unfortunately I got a bit impatient, as I couldn’t get hold of a heat resistant primer quickly enough, so I just painted it straight on to the metal. It has held up pretty well since (from a distance) but I will definitely use a primer next time as small bits have started to flake off despite very careful handling.

5 coats (yes 5!) of Rust-oleum and 2 coats of Rustins later and ‘ta da!…

IMG_8990

After all the work I was pleased. But I still hated the marble!

After a bit more research I decided to take a risk and get the paint out again. This time I opted for Rust-oleum chalky finish furniture paint in ‘Anthracite’. Again I didn’t prime but just got the brush out and started painting. Here’s the fireplace after the first coat…

IMG_8998

I found this type of paint to be thicker and to dry fast so the second coat was a bit stressful, but in the end my ugly fireplace turned out like this…

IMG_9013

So much better! In fact almost beautiful. What do you think? Now I just need the rest of the decor to match. And next on the list of furniture to paint is the pine cabinet to the left.

As I was really worried about chipping it I finished the marble by using Rust-oleum furniture lacquer ‘Clear’. I have to say this was very difficult to apply and I wouldn’t use it again in a hurry. It made the overall grey colour quite a bit darker and also now looks a bit rippled in places. As it’s a fireplace I think I get away with it but I finished the rest off with Rust-oleum furniture finishing wax ‘Clear’ which was easy and quick to do.

All in all I’m very pleased with the result, especially as it’s only the second furniture painting project I’ve ever done. Now I’ve got the bug!

IMG_9858

Check out the carpet! Outdated but perfect to use for worry-free furniture painting.