Before and afters and a little about plaster paint....

I'm sure you would loooove to see some before and afters...unfortunately, I still forget to take "before" pictures of a lot of the stuff I do!!!  Major annoying! 

I went online hoping to find a picture of a maple doll rocker...thought I might "borrow" a picture so you could get an idea of what this little rocker looked like "before." Nope...nada.  I couldn't find one picture of anything really similar.  So close your eyes and imagine an orangey maple rocker with a broken leg and wobbly arm.  Dirty, scratched up, nothing you would dare want your precious baby putting her dolls in! Yep, that's it, which is why I got it for a song at a garage sale. 

Most broken wood pieces are fairly easy to fix if you have some wood glue and clamps. AND all the pieces are there.  It is a little more difficult when you have to actually manufacture missing pieces...doable with a little more skill than most have. 

But when it is just a chair with loose joints or maybe a "fractured" leg, it's fixable! 

A good scrubbing, a little glue, a little patience, and some paint.... cute as a bug! 

It is difficult to "stage" kid's stuff when you no longer have little kid's stuff around.  I am sure there is a stuffed toy or doll somewhere in my attic...but who really wants to crawl up in the attic when it is 100 degrees out just to stage a picture.  I have a stuffed panda (Pickles) on my bed, but my grandpuppy ate his nose so he isn't very photogenic. This is a doll's let's just pretend there is a doll sitting in it!

I do have a "before and after" of a little welcome sign I did.  You can find this stuff for pennies...some of you may not be old enough to remember the "country" style that was all the rage in the 80s and early 90s.  Ducks, pastel pinks and blues, Waverly floral wallpaper, little hearts everywhere.  Nice. 

But you can salvage a few things from that wonderful era ( how I loved that decade....the clothes, big hair, chunky jewelry.... "Dallas" wannabe living at it's finest!) 

I just brushed it lightly with a little plaster paint, hit it with some sand paper and then coated it with a light stain with some poly in it to seal it and give it an "aged" look.  Easy smeasy.   

I think they call this "upcycling."  

I also redid this old wooden tool box...very "vintage."  I bought it at an auction and it was kind of a hunter green (no "before" picture...grrrr).  It hasn't sold so I brought it home and painted it with some homemade plaster paint.  Light sanding and a little wax....perfect for a table display.   

(Not only do I not have live plants in my house, I have very few "fake" ones...I think this may be all I have.  I just got tired of the live plants dying and the fake ones getting all dusty.  So this is as close to "staging" displays as I get. Again, pretend there is a beautiful seasonal floral thingy in it!) 

Which reminds me...even if it hasn't rained in over a month, don't leave a box of Plaster of Paris sitting outside on your work table.  Just in case it does rain.   

I now have a chunk of for a door stop, but little else.  Kind of like washing your car....leave out your supplies and you can almost bet it is going to rain! 

That reminds me as well....I have talked about using the homemade recipe for "chalk/plaster" paint.  I have used both the store bought paint and the homemade paint.  I'm not sure I notice much difference other than the store bought is mixed and ready to go.  And it keeps, whereas the homemade pretty much has to be pitched if it isn't used right away.  But I like the homemade for several, I can mix it with ANY latex paint I have on hand or find on clearance and it is a bit cheaper. 

I use kind of a "pinch of this, fist of that" recipe. (Kind of like my cooking!)  My best advice is to Google "homemade chalk paint recipe" and do a little research and experiment....find what works best for you. 

But I will give some advise if you are going to make your own.  Use the Plaster of Paris seems to work the best.  

Mix the plaster powder with water FIRST and mix it VERY well...make sure it is smooth with no lumps. I use a big old glass measuring bowl and a rubber spatula.  I use about 3ish tablespoons of Plaster of Paris mixed with enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter, then I add about a cup of latex paint.  The little sample pots you buy at Lowe's are about one cup. And if it is too thick, just add a little water!  Sometimes it thickens a little more as you paint...just add water and mix well!

Most people who use chalk/plaster paint seal their paint with wax.  I am just now experimenting with wax.  The thing that bothers me the most about it is if you ever want to repaint the piece in the future, you have to remove all the wax.  Whereas, if you just spray it with a clear coat it can easily be painted in the future.  Either way, you have to seal your painted piece after using chalk/plaster paint.  Of course I recommend sealing any paint with a clear coat!  

I'll share more about the wax affect after I have played with it a little more!  This week I am tearing a utility room off the back of my manager's house and adding supports for an open porch so I am not accomplishing a lot at home during the week...just to hot and tired when I get home.  Again, wasps, spiders and creepy crawlies just love to hide in walls and crevices.  You would think I would learn!  

Oh, and since this is my third time in as many weeks to have a little run in with a rusty nail, I guess it is time to get a tetanus shot. What a pain...literally!