Don't let the finishing part of a project stop you. Finishing and sealing your projects is easy once you know what to use. The easiest way to finish a piece by far.....is by using a polycrylic. I use the one above and you can find this at any hardware store. You can use this on chalk paint, stains, acrylics....
Use a foam brush. Soak your brush and go from left to right - always finishing in one long smooth stroke from left to right. Don't glop it on. Do one thin coat and don't play around with it. This sets pretty quickly so don't keep going back and forth and back and forth. Go back and forth, get good coverage and then do one final stroke and move on. Do not go back and touch up after the poly has settled. If you miss a spot - get it on the next coat.
For the tops of your pieces......once you get your first coat on, let it dry. Come back with 400 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the top (going left to right). At this point, it won't look good. Don't fret! The second time you do this, poly and sand, it will look better. Third time......a charm! On your third time....do not sand! Just poly.
I do three coats on the top of a piece and one for the sides. I don't sand after my single coat on the sides. It doesn't need it.
I've been working on this sweet little Alice in Wonderland chest for awhile now and she is finally complete. If you want to see how she started out, you can see this on a previous post here.
I started this off with checks on the front and all along the top portion of the chest.
Then, using the same colors in the checks, I brought in some stripes. Don't worry about being too perfect, that's what brings character to the piece.
I also added small checks on the bottom so there is a coordinating pattern with the top. Gold leaf was added to the legs and small sections on the sides. If you want to learn how to gold leaf, you can look at my post Gold Leafing. It's a great accent that looks beautiful on furniture. :)
Then I added a classic check pattern on top and pulled in the colors from the piece throughout.
Here is how she looks finished. Well, minus the knobs that will go on the drawers. Those are coming...
This is a great little accent piece that will create a lot of charm in a room. It shows you that you don't have to paint a chest all one color. Create patterns as you go. It's so much fun!
One of my favorite movies of all time is "Gone With The Wind." It's about love, loss, struggle and hope. One of my favorite lines is at the very end.... Scarlett finally realizes that Ashley only ever truly loved her sister Melanie. She races after her husband Rhett to plead with him not to leave her. She tells him that she now realizes she was in love with him all along. Panicked, she asks, "Where shall I go, what shall I do?" Rhett responds with the famous line "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."He leaves her.
She is devastated, broken and alone. Weeping, she hears her fathers words reminding her of "Tara", her home and what is important to her. As she realizes that she still has Tara, it is here that she finds a glimmer of hope. All is not lost. She will go home and figure some way to get him back. In the midst of her heartbreak...she finds the last words of the movie, "After all.....tomorrow is another day."
It's a great message. Sometimes we get so caught up in what has happened today and what we didn't do or wished we had done that we worry and torture ourselves with our own bad thoughts. We lose sight of the fact that there is hope. It is in this hope that we can take steps to be in a better place tomorrow.
No matter where you are and what is happening, find that glimmer of hope. Tomorrow can and will be a better day. :)
Several of you have asked how I get the colors in my checks. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can pull through as you go along and make your initial checks or you can make your checks and add color after.
Here is an example of a piece where I added the color after the checks were made.
I used cream and gold paint and pulled the gold through onto my checks. Add the color wherever you think it will look best.
You can see the color transforming the black and white.
Add whatever colors you want to accent with. Before you know it, your piece will be created to fit your own space.
That's all there is to it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.