Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Painting fabric on chairs and random stuff

It just seems strange to paint fabric I admit~
but I have been thrilled with the results every time I try it.
 Here is the before and after of a french chair. Side by side this pair used to be the same. First thing I did was to paint the entire thing in a coat of Old White Chalk Paint®.  Then I did one more after it dried.
The upholstery was a quilted style heavy fabric in gold.
It really take more paint to cover fabric than it does wood.
You can water down the paint a bit, but not a lot.
After it dries sand it lightly with 500 grit paper so it feels 
soft and smooth.  Yes, it sands nicely and feels so soft!
Next step:  I waxed it with a mix I made out of Annies soft wax 
and mineral spirits.
Just making the wax a little easier to spread over the fabric
 I added about 1 part mineral spirits to two parts wax in a plastic cup. 
 It has the consistency of soft butter.
 This photo was after I used it...but this is how I applied the 
softened wax over the seat. Just like you would wax a dresser,
 rub it in and around and spread it nice and evenly. I did not
 have to remove any excess as I applied it carefully without globbing it!!!
After waxing it feels kind of like a soft leather! 
Its quite amazing...a little dark wax to the chair frame 
and this chair has a whole new look!
Pretty french chair in Old White!
 This is the cabinet I made for a shop display for the 
Pearl Plaster and all that other good stuff~
 Finishing up this mammoth brass chandelier~I keep working on
 it and working on it...it might never be done! Just kidding Melissa!
 This pretty vanity will be the next piece to get the 
Maison Decor treatment~what color do you think it should be?
 A faded blue mora clock heads out to her new home~
 on the heels of this cream colored mora!
I think the easter egg colors look so pretty on these clocks.
A student from Sunday's class fell in love with my Silvery Grey Sideboard.
She came in my shop today and bought it!
Its so exciting for me to see one of my creations go home with someone.
On another note~this sideboard was painted by one of my 
students, Eugenia! I think she did a fantastic job on it. I think she said
it was Olive, but it kind of looks like Chateau Grey....
Whatever it came out really cool.
Thats it from my little corner of the world~
hope you are getting a chance to flex your creative muscles~
'cause it feels sooooo good!
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Friday, February 22, 2013

A few favorite before and afters! Boston hours change

Note: Store hour changes for Boston only~
Effective February 22, 2013

Remaining the same 
FRI 11-2
SAT 11-3

Hands down, this chair is my favorite makeover project!
I loved how it came out so much I painted another one and took them
home with me for my dining room.  
The before chair is a tired faux leather chair with great bones.
Read how I used Chalk Paint® to recreate the chair here.
Another fav was this glamorous coffee table!
From rags to riches! 
I hated selling this pretty music cabinet.
These are the  pieces I fall in love with!!!
Dings dents and crooked hardware aside...
 A thing of beauty is the end result!
More about creating an antique French look for the music cabinet transformation here.

I've seen a lot of these at auction and I scoop em up!
Knowing full well that 1970s gold and cream paint job will soon be history.
Voila! A dramatic change and it turned out gorgeous!
I don't think I have blogged about this one yet as I just did it
and it sold quickly.  So the information on this how to is essentially
a Graphite Chalk Paint base with a dry brushing of Pearl Plaster by
Artisan Enhancements, then Clear and Dark waxes. 
It came out stunning!
Meanwhile back at the Malden store during the week, 
Justin and I can explore more creative techniques as well as do the necessary but mundane things
like getting orders placed for inventory and moving furniture and displays around.
Pretty soon the  Maison Decor Dream Team will be full time!
Colin comes home every weekend now, but its just not enough!!
After he graduates college in May he will be a permanent fixture.
This Saturday he will get out our furniture deliveries before the snow flies.
Another storm is predicted and it may force cancellation of my Sunday 2/24/13
workshop, which will be a first. All attendees will be 
getting an email the night  before as to the class status.     
          Kingsley will be IN THE HOUSE next week as well!
I will be babysitting my little granddog while son #2 Brandon
hits NYC with his GF Mimi.
Then I will be off for 5 days to Colorado on a creative retreat
with Robyn Story of Robyn Story Designs! A few other Annie Sloan galpals
are invited as well to Robyn's home where we plan to spend the majority of
our time in pajamas doing some painting, talking, drinking, and chilling out.
This Annie Sloan retail business is quite an undertaking and 
all of us need some R&R.                                                                                                                                     

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Looking for Chalk Paint® and more?

 When you walk in the shop at Maison Decor Malden 
there is no mistake about it~
we sell Annie Sloan's famous bestest paint in the world~!
Chalk Paint®!
We are the ONLY paint that can be called Chalk Paint!!
Pretty darn cool~Annie worked awfully long and hard for the last twenty years
with this marvelous paint she invented~and now that it has found popularity
the wanna be pretenders are comin' out of the woodwork!!
So I am PROUD of Annie Sloan! And PROUD to sell her paint,
as she so fondly calls THE BEST PAINT IN THE WORLD
We sell it in Boston too at 524 Harrison Ave!
 Anyway~so when you walk through our Malden shop door you will 
always find different set ups due to the fact that 
we sell everything that isn't nailed down basically....
but at the moment I have a big sideboard that holds a
 ton of samples done in all kinds of colors and finishes.  
Many shoppers find this helpful to look through to find the
 finish they hope to recreate for their own projects.  
We have all the colors straight out of the can painted on 
wood samples so you don't have to just pick a color from 
a color chart.  If you want to go a little further you can select 
from samples that show things that have been antiqued and glazed and crackled too.
 Now that Annie Sloan has got the official registered trademark 
under her belt she has given us a new logo too. 
 Look for the circle with ANNIE SLOAN STOCKIST on it~
it comes in different colors, but the design is the same. 
 She thoughtfully made it available in different colors to
 fit different shop's decors.  I used some of Artisan Enhancements
 transfer gel to put in on this vintage frame~
 The other stuff in the shop is the latest projects we have using Annie's paint, 
like this fabric and cane backed french chair. I still haven't finished it, 
but it is at the point where it is ready for waxing and maybe something else. 
 The pretty dresser sold and will be headed out of the shop next 
Tuesday making space for new vintage pieces to display.
 While you might run across some home decor items in the Malden shop,
 we are mostly the go to place to see projects of all kinds, 
like painted chandeliers, painted furniture of course,
 and tons of things to inspire the DIYer who is looking for help, 
ideas and answers before they begin their own projects.
 One of the newer things we have added to this shop is the 
Artisan Enhancement line which works nicely with our beloved Chalk Paint®.  
 The Easy Crackle is my latest fav~and I have been 
cracking it up around here!! This is a sample board showing how the 
Easy Crackle reveals the under color of Old Ochre after
 it has been covered in Paris Grey.  I finished it off with 
Clear and Dark soft waxes by Annie Sloan to create an antiqued look. 
 The doors to this music cabinet were given the Easy Crackle treatment.
 They also got a dash of Pearl Plaster for that luminescent pearlized look.
You will get plenty of choices to pick from if you are looking 
to add a little extra character to your painted furniture. 
 Come look at our specialty samples to help you decide. 
That way you don't have to guess what it will look like! 
You can actually handle pieces of decorative wood moldings
 in all kinds of colors and specialty finishes like gilding waxes, 
pastes and the Artisan Enhancement line.
How about doing your closet doors with some Easy Crackle and Chalk Paint®?
I thought the basic white latex painted door would be a good foil for adding Easy Crackle
and then a layer of Duck Egg blue paint....look at the crackly finish!
It adds character to wherever you add it~
I have some clients who are doing  over a set of builder basic hollow core
closet doors in their bedroom right now.  The plan is to make them look like aged
antique paneled doors.  They will be doing Graphite base 
with Paris Grey and Easy Crackle just like my Music Cabinet doors.  
So stop by our shop~its more like a furniture art studio!
This Sunday I will be having an Advanced Techniques class in washes and glazes
with ten ladies~we SOLD OUT in record time....that tells me you guys are looking
to do more with what you have~and its just so easy to do 
with all of these great products and a little know how!
Our next Advance Techniques class will be using the Artisan Enhancements line.
I'll be headed out to Colorado at the end of the month for some one on one
with one of the founders of the company for some hands on learning~more on that later!!
And to wrap it up if you have an extra minute head over to my son Justin's blog,
he wrote about his dear old mom today. 
For workshop information and registration go here

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Remembering a most Romantic Valentines Day

Long before this Valentines Day  2013 there were some unhappy times.
I had a failed marriage of 20 years and I was recreating my world
as a single mother of three sons, trying to make a new home for us
and working very hard to pay the bills and all that goes along with that.
So when Valentines Day rolled around today I was reflecting on 
what it means to be loved and to share this day with someone in the truest sense.
I feel so happy and fulfilled having my husband for my partner~
and I won't forget about how it was Valentines Day in 2003.
My little story setting is this:  I purchased a duplex and the boys and I 
lived in one side while I had a tenant living on the other.
It was a small but cute house that I had fixed up and we got 
comfortable and cozy in our new space.  However I was sad as that 
Valentines day approached to be alone without a love in my life.
Valentines Day is the day that is a relentless reminder of how 
great it is to be in love and part of a couple.
Little did I know my youngest son Colin was well aware
that on this day of romance and flowers his mom was going to 
be shut out....I just wish I had a photo to share, but since I don't I will try to describe it 
so you can be there with me in my mind as I go back that morning.
My little bedroom was painted a light apple green with white lace panels hanging from 
the two corner windows so it would be as bright and cheerful as it could be. I had a silver iron 
bed that I found at Bombay company and I dressed it in white matelasse spread.  
~china cabinet I used to use as a clothing closet~
The closet was so tiny I bought a tall skinny french china cabinet to store
all my sweaters which I folded and sorted by colors.  This china closet is now
in our dining room, as is the bombe chest I used for my dresser.  The small rooms was tight 
quarters with these three pieces but it was pretty and romantic.  There was a bathroom inside the bedroom which was pretty neat, as this house was built in 1889~and originally it was the only bathroom 
in the house.  So it felt very English to have this vintage bath right off my bedroom. 
So anyway, this Valentines Day I was just determined to get through it.  I would
solider on with the belief that my Mr. Right was out there somewhere....
I started my day with a lovely hot shower but I couldn't dismiss the melancholy.
After showering and toweling dry, I wrapped my towel about me and one for 
my hair, turban style and exited the tiny bathroom...and as I opened the door
I saw the sweetest thing EVER!  
My littlest son Colin was on bended knee with a small black velvet box.
He was 12 years old.  He said to me, "Will you be my Valentine?"
Awww, my heart just melted~it was the sweetest thing I think any of my kids have
ever done for me.  My heart melted and I felt so lucky to have such
a thoughtful and caring son.  I think of him sharing this special
holiday someday when he marries a lucky girl.  Yes she will be lucky indeed.
Inside the box?  

A pair of cubic zirconia diamond earrings!
He wanted to buy real diamonds for me he told me, but 
I told him that these were more special than real diamonds would ever be.
In just two months time I would meet my forever man, David.
I call him Mr. Maison Decor on these pages~but Dave is 
one in a million and I am so lucky to have found him.  That Christmas in 2003 I snapped 
a photo of him at our duplex kitchen table (we only had two rooms on the first floor,
an eat in kitchen and a tidy living room). I was falling madly in love
with him and hoped he was falling for me too.
Look how young Colin is next to Dave.  Brandon stands next to Colin~
they are wearing their neckties that was always our Christmas Eve tradition.
Dave would become their beloved step-dad in two years time. 
My days of bouncing around from house to house with my sons as 
a single mom trying my best to make a life for us all,
would soon be coming to an end.  
We would be a real family with a happy ending!
So believe in love~
because it really can come true!
Happy Valentines Dave~I love you!

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