Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Paint Velvet Chairs with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

We do a lot of custom paint jobs at Maison Decor.
One of the current projects in house is a pair of Victorian chairs
with velvet upholstery.  Velvet wears like iron, its pretty hard to wear it out
and often you will find pieces in great condition, but you just don't like the color.
These chairs belonged to a young couple who inherited them from a grandparent
and they plan to use them in their dining room at the ends of the table.
However they wanted a color that went with their decor, and thats where we 
stepped in....with our Annie Sloan paint brushes and Chalk Paint!
 Lightly mist the surface of the upholstery with water, then paint in your choice
of color.  These chairs were going from chartreuse green to Napoleonic Blue.
We recommend lightly dipping your brush into a cup of water, then straight into
the paint can, then onto the surface of the fabric. It should take two or three coats doing
it this way, so as not to overburden the fabric with thick layer of paint.
This will help reduce any cracking that a heavy layer of paint could produce.
Velvet is a lot trickier than regular fabric, as it has a nap.  So work your paintbrush
with the direction with the nap, so it lays down.  
 In this photo you can see the first coat has been applied to the chair on the left.
Let the coat totally dry out, then lightly sand 
in the direction with the nap, using #500 grit 
sandpaper.  Then it is time to do the second coat.
This photo shows the second coat has been applied.  
The color is richer and there is none of the
green color showing through anymore.
  If there is, do another layer, let dry and then sand again.
 After the paint is all dried, and you have sanded the surface 
very lightly with #500 grit to make it nice and soft to the touch, 
its time to wax it!  Yes~you will wax your fabric. 
 But this is going to be a little bit different than waxing a piece of furniture. 
 You will want to make a 50/50 blend of wax and mineral spirits
 so it is light and will not overburden the fabric.
Using a plastic wine cup, I mix it up by eye, and then spread 
it using one of our wax brushes.
Just rub it all over the fabric, wiping off the excess with a clean lint free cloth. 
 Don't leave any excess wax on the surface of the fabric, work it in,
 and wipe it back, one section at a time. 
 It will leave the fabric looking and feeling like leather!
Here are the pair of chairs,
 all set to take their place at the head of the table!
Looking quite marvelous, and oh so much
 less expensive than a trip to the upholsterer!
Thats why I love to call Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan:
"Upholstery in a Can".
You can sit on it after the wax cures, 
and you will not have paint or wax coming off on your behind. 
 I know, as I have been sitting on my waxed dining room chairs for 
over a year now.   Its true, Annie's paint is really special.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Potpourri Post~Don't miss it!

Its been a long time since I have blogged, so I have a lot to share.
 We have been busy little bees in our shops! 
 Justin's shop, Pioneer Goods Co, got the green light from the
 City of Boston so he is up and running now too in Boston's South End
 at 764 Tremont. Its been a long road, but that kind of explains
 why there has been little time for blogging. 
 So this is some of what has been happening:
At Maison Decor in Reading we have been doing a little redecorating around
the shop.  We started by painting our giant paint cupboard.  Gina gave it a paint job
with Old White using Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.  This just gave it a completely
different look.  The cabinet was painted in a brown color that was not Chalk Paint,
and after being asked a billion times what the color was, I decided it was time to 
make it over using Chalk Paint.  I love how it looks now. 
Very cottage, a little bit Shabby Chic
and altogether, its lighter and brighter. We kept the Antoinette color in the background
where all the shelves are.  Consider using a contrast color or accent color inside
your pieces that have shelves or interiors that are seen.  Its an easy way to make a piece
look a little bit more special and custom.
Here is Gina going at it. It took her about one hour to do the entire cabinet.
One coat pretty much gave total coverage!  I did some light distressing
and clear wax and a touch of dark wax to finish it up.
 We have been doing some custom jobs as well, including this pair
of Victorian chairs.  We are not painting the frames, just the upholstery,
They were chartreuse velvet chairs and the client wanted them in a rich royal blue.
Spritz the fabric with water then start painting. I dip my Annie brush into a cup of water,
then right into the paint can and onto the moistened fabric. We did two coats, painting
with the nap of the velvet.  Don't try to completely cover the colored upholstery in one
coat. Be patient and do it two or three times using watery brush to lighten the weight
of the paint on the fabric.  
 Gina is laughing here, because I asked her to pose for this pic and had
her scrunch down...anyway you must work the paint into any tufted areas
or between any folds.  Annie's paint brush is great for this!
This photo shows the first coat completed on the left.
See how you can still see bits of green coloration coming through the blue?
That is the way you want this process to work.  It takes time, but results are 
no expensive upholstery job required.  After the painting is finished we sand lightly
with 500 grit with the nap, then wax with a 50/50 mix of Annie's clear wax and mineral spirits.
 The resulting feel of the fabric will be like leather.  I will show the waxed chairs next time I post.
In other big news for our little family business, Justin's shop is finally OPEN!!!!
 Here is a shot of his Boston neighborhood shop.  Little iron garden fencing surrounds his store.  Its so cute and quaint looking. Its on the corner of a busy street and has great visibility.  We hosted an event last Friday night, a Tintype Portraiture Event with itinerant traveling photographer Giles Clement, from Oregon.  It was a smashing success!  Follow along with a few pics below as I show off bits of the event.
As I walked in the doors, the place was already a beehive of activity. 
Giles had set up a mini studio in the rear of the store.
At the back end of the store you can see Giles camera and there he is off to the left
pouring this solution over the piece of tin that will eventually hold the image.
Its super fascinating to watch in person.  This couple is about to get their picture taken.
 Here is Colin posing for his portrait.
 This was his portrait! I love how intense these images look on the tintype.  The eyes
seem to be the central focus of the image.  We had a portrait done of me with my sons and dad
too, so it was three generations.  Pretty incredible.  And you only get one shot, its not like digital where it can be redone or fooled around with~Giles was great at capturing your group at the exact moment.
I watched him getting kids and dogs and groups...all with beautiful results!
 The tricky part about groups is that the camera focuses on one plane, so Justin reads a bit darker being in the back. Even my dad looks darker in the front, while Colin and I are lighter.  Very interesting process.  You watch it develop right in a tub of solution before your very eyes.
 This is Justin's portrait.  So handsome and his eyes are just killer in this medium.
We brought Dillon in for the event as we wanted a true family portrait lol! 
He was great!  So laid back but in this pic looks like he was itching to get 
inside to see what the hubbub was all about.
Posing with the dog was a bit of a challenge. We had to put him up on a piano
bench, then Mr. Maison Decor had to scrunch down to be included in the shot. 
 Dillon was busy looking all around, and so it's amazing that Giles captured him looking right at the camera!  I think tintype is why the phrase "capture" was invented for photography.  
 So the party and event at Pioneer Goods was a bit hit! 
Thank you to everyone who came out that night
 and supported Pioneer and Giles Clement.  Small businesses rule!!
 We had lots of families bring their little ones, 
and now they will have portraits that will last a lifetime and more.
 Pioneer Goods is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11-5 at
 764 Tremont Street if you would like to visit. 
 Follow along on Instagram at PioneerGoods 
for all the latest information.  
If you did you would know that Pioneer is also an
 Annie Sloan Stockist and we just stocked up on  Chalk Paint supplies.
Justin is also head of our Mora Clock division and he and his team have done an
outstanding job on getting clocks hand finished and shipped out to our clients.
Here is one in a Rhode Island home, photo courtesy of its new owner.
Our Maison Decor Mora Clocks have had such an upsurge in popularity
 and we are excited people are loving them as much as we are!
 This one is waiting to be picked up by its owner.  Its rare that we actually have
one in our shop as we need to send them out as soon as they are finished.
We had fun putting together a garden party dinner table setting in Reading.
Mix your vintage tablewares with modern paper cutlery placemats that we carry.
How fun is this? Its charming without being too granny.
Here are a few pics of a few more displays.
We mix in vintage furnishings like these in newly covered toile seats
with new items, like our Park Hill candle line, 
for a refreshing and fun shopping experience.
There is always a new look in our shop and we cannot tell you
how many times we hear, "it looks so different in here"!
 Our vignettes and accent pieces are ever changing and sometimes sell the day we put them out.
As you may know, I am a HomeGoods Pinterest Designer and this centerpiece was one I put together
using a HomeGoods metal orb with a HomeGoods floral wreath that has tiny little lights woven into the wreath with a battery pack. 
 I put them together on a vintage silver tray for a summery centerpiece.
Imagine changing it out with a twig wreath for the fall and some mini pumpkins tucked inside the orb. And then again at Christmas, refresh with some greenery cut from Balsam.  
So easy to do and not a big expense either.
 We have this great dining room set of 6 chairs and an octagonal table.
 Its five feet in diameter and is getting a lot of interest~
most people love the idea of sitting at a round table.
 We post our furniture online and you will see these pieces with their pricing there.
These are the latest additions to our shop~
watermelon pink velvet chairs. OMG, I LOVE these chairs!!
I don't expect them to last long, but who knows...
maybe its just me that loves them.

Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their Pinterest Designer board, Happy by Design. Link above. 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tintype Portrait Event at Pioneer Goods Co

Check it out!
Look who is coming to our Boston store,
Pioneer Goods next Friday night!
 In the tradition of artists and tradesmen of generations past, portrait photographer Giles Clement is taking his studio on the road. Clement uses the tintype method of photography to create unique silver images on sheets of black metal. Tintyping was popular in the late 1800’s, but was quickly abandoned as less difficult and more reliable methods of portraiture were invented. Clement’s camera equipment is antique – some of it more than 160 years old. In harmony with old methods and equipment, he uses modern lighting and technologies to capture the faces, and often the souls, of a new generation of artists, inventors and pioneers. 
He will be stopping through Boston on July 18th and is being hosted by Pioneer Goods for an evening of tintype portraiture. We invite you to join us from 6-9pm and to have your portrait taken in the way of your great grandparents. Clement will be taking 4x5 inch tintypes for the price of $50. Each plate will be carefully rinsed, scanned into a digital file and then ready for pick up the following day at Pioneer. The plates themselves will last for hundreds of years and are a great way to capture yourself in a timeless and beautiful way.
So head to Pioneer Goods Co at 764 Tremont Street this Friday
July 18 from 6-9 to grab a drink, check out our cool store and 
get your portrait done, old school style!
You will be glad you did!
Mr. Maison Decor and Dillon will be getting their 
portrait done, so if you want your pooch included,
don't leave him at home.
To read more about Giles Clement
visit his website here.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

My dining room and a painted cabinet

How to embellish your furniture with graphics using a transfer method.
The drawers on the cabinet have a french script.
We use this dining room cabinet to store all of our day to day bills and papers.
This is the before photo of our painted cabinet.
I used Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan for the first coat in the color Louis Blue.
 Next, I toned down the blue by dry brushing a mix of the 
same blue lightened with Pure White.
After that I added some graphics using a transfer method to add a bit of subtle
detail on the bottom of the cabinet.  
I chose some French graphics that I found on
She has free graphics and you can print using a laser jet printer.
Next  apply the graphics with Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel or similar product.
Let the image dry onto the piece overnight (very important), then remove the white paper 
with a damp scrubby sponge and the graphics are revealed!
By lightly scrubbing off the paper, the image will be seen.
The graphics float on the gel base that you used to "glue" the paper in position.
 Its pretty easy and the results speak for themselves.
 I used French font for the drawer faces and then a
 decorative image and more font for the center two cabinet fronts. 
 Highlights of Silver Gilder Paste around the edges add a touch of glimmer.
 This room has a mix of silver and gold and different shades of blue. 
 Like you, I am sure you need
 to find storage that works, and has both a purpose as well as looking pretty.   
Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope my painted cabinet
inspires you to look at old pieces with a new eye for design and 
how you can make these pieces work for you and your home.
Our French Library Cabinet has made our 
dining room a place of order once again!

Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their Designer program on their Pinterest board, Happy By Design
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