Tuesday, June 30, 2009

~WHAT PAINT IS BEST FOR COTTAGE FINDS and Other Vintage Treasures?


I started selling my wares on eBay in late 2002 and offered up my first hand painted item early that next year. Although I primarily sold hand-sewn pretties in the beginning, I found myself growing a bit tired of only offering things made of fabric. The thought of including hand painted finds was very exciting to me... So~ that is what I did. I learned to paint!

The first few things I painted for sale were simply dreadful. THEY WERE! I'm not showing you the photos of the first keepsake box I painted because it was honestly that bad... What I have learned since that day I didn't get out of a book. Instead I figured things out through trial and error and to spare you wasted hours and heartache I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned.

1. Be it wood or metal, PRIME FIRST! I've shared this with you before and I can't stress to you enough how important it is to NOT skip this step. I use ZINSSER PRIMER for all things wood because it is the best at blocking old stains and those colors from China that ALWAYS bleed through. Nothing blocks everything, but this brand is the BEST I've found! If you are painting metal, use a metal primer from Krylon or something comparable (like Rustoleum).

2. When painting wood you have the option after priming to either use a flat paint or a satin paint. If you opt to brush paint (which I love!), almost any Behr Paint is good (Home Depot) or Valspar (Lowe's). I use Interior Paint as almost everything I paint is for the inside. But...you can use exterior...it's up to you. I personally use Satin. I like it better and it has a very soft sheen. Flat absorbs my decorative paint far too quickly for my liking~ When I use satin paint I lightly sand with an extra fine sandpaper. This helps prepare my item for decorative painting.

3. When painting metal (anything from old lamps to jar lids, etc.) remember this. Most of the quality spray paint on the market today just recently changed. Krylon (spray paint) could once be used on objects within minutes of the initial painting and then recoated as one desired. Not any longer! Now if you wait more than an hour to repaint you are instructed to wait about two days for the paint to cure before recoating again. If you don't WAIT then you run the risk of your painted object wrinkling and flaking. IT WILL WRINKLE and fixing it is a pain (and that is if you even can)! Trust me. I hate the new stuff and I rarely use it anymore. If I do then I'm VERY careful. Krylon comes in lots of colors so you'll have many to choose from. Additionally...I've grown VERY frightened by the poisonous fumes flying through the air I breathe. I value my health more than ever these days... so, if I can paint with a brush, I do! My health is worth the extra time it takes and I love the results...


4. I use sponge brushes! Again, I've shared this before and sorry for the repeat to those of you who have heard me say this over and over! They are cheap, give a good coating with less brush marks and when you are finished (or it gets gunky), toss it out and grab a new one. They come in lots of sizes! I like Lowe's Sponge Brushes better than Home Depot's...they are not made by the same manufacturers!

5. Craft Paint is pretty much to your liking. I use several brands but my favorite is Folk Art. I love how it blends and I love being able to custom mix/blend my favorite shades. I do not use white craft paint or other craft paints to base coat my items. I was never happy with how it covered so now I only use paint with the latex additive.

6. If you like things "shabbied up" then after your item is thoroughly cured you can rough up the edges, corners and trims. I love this look but I know some of you do not. When something is heavily distressed it will show a great deal of the wood (or original coloring underneath). Light distressing usually shows only the bare minimum of wood. You can dis
tress metal, but be careful. Metal (even when primer is used) can sometimes chip when you don't want it too...


7. Clear coat! I use Polycrylic non-gloss sealer. If even a satin sealer offers up a bit too much shine I use a LIGHT dusting of spray sealer (Krylon). Spray sealers will change the color of most brush paint!!! Remember though...nearly all the sealers out there will YELLOW! To this day I haven't found one that doesn't! Do not use VARNISH... If you are afraid that your newly painted pretty might turn color...skip the sealer and just use wax.

8. One other option for painting your pretties is to use a paint gun. When I have lots and lots of pieces to paint this is the option I use. However, using a spray/paint gun is a huge mess and the clean-up is rarely worth the results. I still love brush painting best!

Hope you enjoying the information about painting! Now...go out and get your favorite paint and get started!

Blessings to you as you wile away the hours painting your own special finds...Rebecca


Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Thanks for the great info!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these tips, Rebecca! ♥

Tanza said...

Ooohhh ~r~,
You're sooo SMART !! Nooo.. Don't make me paint.. I want you to do this for meee. I'll wait for you.. Darn you for leaving and teasing with these such pretty, charming finds... If I lived closer, you know I would be a knocking today before you left, to get some of these.. You are amamzing !! Okay, my sweet friend, enjoy your next few days.. Know I'm thinking and praying for you all !! I'm off to the "bu" soon, and we'll chat when I return..
Have a glorious fun, day, and drive.. huggers ~tea~xo

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for the tips. I struggle with painting on slick surfaces. (It drives me nutz!!) LOL!!

blushing rose said...

Your sharing is greatly appreciated, Rebecca. Your talent is beyond words. Your creations are breathtakingly exquisite. You are simply precious ... TY. TTFN ~Marydon

A Southern Rose said...

THANKS FOR ALL OF THE TIPS! I needed them! I painted a framed picture yesterday because I didn't like the brown frame. Now I have to go and buy a razor to get the paint off of the glass. I tried not to get it on the glass but it happened anyway. Oh well...live and learn. Maybe I will paint something else this afternoon. I would rather brush it on than spray too.

Lee Laurie

Anonymous said...


Sue said...

Dear Sweet Rebecca,
I am going to try and finish this comment through many tears , I am so thankful for the tutorial on painting as I have been trying to find the courage to try and do some artwork. I have never thought I had this artistic talent. I so enjoy seeing the things that gifted women such as you create. Thanks so much for this I will be coming back to this post often as I attempt to find what I can do. You have been so helpful!

Now, what has really touched my heart is the story of your fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, I cried all the way through it, what an awesome tribute to and awesome lady!
I too am reminded of some wonderful teachers that saw something in me and cared enough to share it with me. I want always to be an encourager, and to watch what comes out of my mouth. The Word is so true There is Life and Death in the power of the tongue.Thank you for sharing.

I must apologize for being so late in visiting, as I have been under the weather, and finally went to see the doctor,and am now feeling much better.Nothing serious, just got into some plant and had a reaction.
I so enjoy reading your posts, I feel such peace when I am here, and I know that it is the peace of God.
Have a wonderful 4th of July with your loved ones.

Barb said...

Rebecca, your tips are great! I love Folkart paint also....the ONLY one I use for decorative painting.

I love to do decorative painting and not any other kind. I am the downright messiest painter in the entire world! I end up with far more on myself than the furniture or the walls!

Ron and I are discussing painting a hutch black and I want to lightly distress it. He thinks that is awful so it will take a bit more time to convince him. Ahhh, husbands and wives....isn't it fun?

Love your post.


Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

You are so wonderful to share all your secrets. I love everything you make.

Déjà View Designs said...

So funny that you are posting about paint! Debi and I are covered in paint and primer! We just got 21 old windows that are in dire need of some fresh color.

Your work just stuns me!

Absolutely gorgeous!

Juli @ Deja View Designs

June said...

Hello Rebecca, Your tips arer great. I love to brush paint on too. I only use a paint sprayer when my girls, who paint a lot of furniture, make me. I like the finish so much better when it is brushed on. It does take patience, but it is worth it. Thank you for sharing, dear one.

Eclectic Chic Style said...

I always enjoy your tips and tricks of the trade. Now if you could just teach me to paint beautiful roses like you do, I would paint everything in sight! ;)
♥ Teresa

Sandra said...

Rebecca, thank you so much for your tips! I love love how you paint!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Most Beautiful One! You know so much about painting and I thank you for all the tips! I love what you do and you really are talented!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Oh HOW I needed some of that information. I am going to do a set of bar stools the kind with backs...they are blond. I will primer them..and..I was going to spray paint them but am thinking better of it. I really am terrible about wanting to speed things up.
so... :) Is that little cloche for sale. Just askin" ... :)
Lots of love and hugs,
P.S. I don't think I will ever be able to think of your story..and not cry. I cannot thank you enough for sharing it so beautifully. I love you, sweet friend!

Lori said...

Wonderful to read your painting ideas and suggestions. I have 3 good size pieces coming up to do and will use the priemier! I'm glad you mentioned about the spray paint changing and wrinkling, I thought it was me! I have always sprayed with good results, this years new paint is horrible! What do you think is the culprit? Thanks again for the info! Lori

fannipauline said...

For the person that has to scrape paint off with a razor blade. Try putting a thin coat of vaseline on the mirror and the paint will not stick. I have painted for 30 years, but don't much anymore as my hand is not as steady as it use to be, I also have painted many vintage train cases, but at 79 I am beginning to slow down somewhat.
Hope my hint will help you some.

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