Chalk Paint® and General Finishes Products- Stunning Piece by Nicki!

The Purlple Painted Lady loves a good “Before & After” story.
Here is one worth the time to check out that was done by Nicki.  Nicki has a Facebook page called The Grateful Painter.  Hop on over to her Facebook page and show her some LOVE by LIKING it-  it will be worth your time because she is very talented and puts a new spin on using Chalk Paint®.
The Purple Painted Lady General Finishes Glaze High Performance Chalk Paint Nicki whole dresser
Nicki wrote me saying one of her favorite Annie Sloan colors is Duck Egg.  And The Purple Painted Lady totally agrees because it is a universal pretty color.
Nicki wanted to try a “faux finish” with Duck Egg- so this is what she wrote me:
I chose Annie Sloan Old White and French Linen to compliment it.  
Duck Egg Blue Sample Board Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  The Purple Painted Lady
French Linen with both Clear and Dark Wax Sample Board - Copy
Old White Sample Board - Copy
Annie Sloan’s paint brush works well for this technique because it has a bit of a “domed” flat top.
The Purple Painted Lady small Annie sloan Chalk Paint brush domed top
First, I poured a small amount of each color onto separate paper plates.  
(Paper plates, wet wipes, plastic spoons- have lots of these in your “painter’s tool box.”)
This is important because you only need a small amount of paint on your brush (and clean up is a breeze… just toss the plates in the garbage when you’re done!). 
I dabbed a bit of each color on my brush at the same time and kind of stippled it into the wood. Rather than brushing it on where you use the sides of the brush in a swiping motion- instead I used the top of the brush and a stabbing motion (that sounds kind of scary!). (think of stipplingor pouncing like when you are stenciling)
It took about two “coats” of this technique to cover the piece.  I even painted right over the drawer pulls!   
Once it was dry I used steel wool to slightly soften the paint.  I didn’t use sand paper because it was important for me to keep the texture created from stippling. 
I sealed the piece with three coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat using a Foam Brush.  I like using a foam brush because there are literally NO brush stokes!!! 
General Finishes FLAT Top Coat The Purple Painted Lady
Once the top coat was dry-  I added the glaze.  I chose General Finishes Glaze Effects in Pitch Black.  (ps The Purple Painted Lady sells this)
Run a foam brush along the edges (only do small sections at a time.. NOTE!!! This can get messy!) and then wipe away the excess using an old t-shirt. 
The Purple Painted Lady Foam Brush General Finishes
This product spreads easy so a little goes a long way!  After wiping most of the extra glaze off I buffed the rest into the surface.  The small crevices created while painting grab a hold of the glaze giving it an “antique” look.  This product is quite fool proof!  It may look intimidating but if you feel like there is too much on your piece just wipe it off with a wet rag (I did this a lot with this piece!)  Make sure to put the glaze into every corner, along each line and in every little crevice!  
I had seen a dresser that Tricia, The Purple Painted Lady had posted with big gorgeous lettering on it.  (HERE IT IS)
CoCo dresser with Dark Wax and email
In fact- if you want to read on how The Purple Painted Lady created the dresser immediately above- click HERE.
When I say it was gorgeous, i mean GORGEOUS!!  She inspired me to try a bit of stenciling.  I ordered mine on Etsy from a shop named Drexart for only $35! 
The Purple Painted Lady Nicki Counahan  Raw Stencil
Not only are her designs beautiful, she changed the wording for me and emailed me samples before sending it out! 
The Purple Painted Lady Nicki Counahan  2 CLOSE UP
Let your glaze dry overnight before using your stencil.  I applied stencil adhesive that I bought from a craft store— this made it so much easier!  I taped the edges (use blue painter’s tape, NOT masking) onto the piece just to make sure it was extra secure. 
Next, use a flat top sponge and dap it into your paint (I used Annie Sloan Graphite).  It is important to have VERY LITTLE paint on the sponge (bleed through happens when there is too much paint!).  I lightly dabbed the sponge onto my stencil and then removed the it promptly after.  This gave me time to clean up the bit of bleed through I had while the paint was still wet.  I found these amazing little Qtips in the beauty aisle that have a pointed end and they were PERFECT for evening out the lettering.  This piece had a lot of wood detailing between the drawers so the scrolls from the stencil were definitely not perfect!  I used a tiny paint brush to fill in the details where the stencil couldn’t reach.   Once I was happy with the finished product I let the piece dry overnight and then added one last coat the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat to seal in the glaze and Chalk Paint from the stencil. 
If I share any advice on Chalk Paint with a new painter it would be to JUST GO FOR IT!  One of the things I love most about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it is so easy to wipe away or paint over.  Using simple techniques like distressing, waxing and glazing has camouflaged so many of my screw ups and made them look intentional!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  There are a ton of experiences painter like Tricia, The Purple Painted Lady on Facebook forums that love to help newbies!  Be confident, have fun, and enjoy what you are doing!  The most beautiful pieces I’ve seen are from people that genuinely love what they do!!
Here are some additional STENCIL TIPS from The Purple Painted Lady:
Get paint on the brush and then blot some off…remember we are stenciling and do not want to have that much paint on our brush that it squirts under the stencil. Then with a vertical up and down motion- I blot the stencil. When it comes to stenciling- here are some tips to help you:

Stenciling Tip 1: Use a Professional Tool
Stenciling brushes are round with short, stiff bristles. Use it in a quick up-and-down movement to dab paint onto your stencil. This helps prevent paint getting under the edges. Never apply in a circular motion. A sponge or small roller works well too, but I prefer the brush.  As Nicki stated above, Annie Sloan’s domed top brushes are ideal also.

Stenciling Tip 2: Work from The Outside In

Start panting on the edges of the stencil, working into the center, rather than from the center outwards. Again this helps prevent paint getting under the edges as you’re less likely to accidentally bump the brush against an edge.

Stenciling Tip 3: Less is More
Don’t overload a brush with paint as it will bleed under the edge of the stencil. Load the brush lightly, so that the ends of the bristles are covered evenly- blot or wipe off any excess on a piece of paper or cloth.

Stenciling Tip 4: Think Thin
You will get better results by applying two thin coats rather than one thick one. Wait for the first to dry before applying the second. Do not remove your stencil until you are absolutely sure you are done.

Stenciling Tip 5: Get Sticky
Keep a stencil in place by taping it at the top and bottom with a piece of tape. Painter’s Tape works best as it’s very easy to remove and should not pull off any paint from the surface.

Stenciling Tip 6: Go Multi-Colored
To use more than one color in a stencil, use tape to mask off areas of the stencil you don’t want in a particular color so you do not forget and get carried away with the wrong color.

Stenciling Tip 7: Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re using various stencils together, first try it out on a piece of paper. It’s far easier to find out that something isn’t working at this stage versus having to try to correct it when you’re painting on your final surface.

Stenciling Tip 8: X-rated Stencils
Old x-rays are great for cutting stencils, so if you were unfortunate and have some – put them to good use.

Stenciling Tip 9: Wash Regularly
If you’re doing a repeat design, wash your stencil regularly in warm water to keep the edges free of paint. If there’s some paint on an edge, you won’t get a crisp edge to your painted stencil. As paper stencils don’t lend themselves to washing, acetate stencils are better for repeat designs. With a paper or card stencil, wipe off the excess paint, then leave the stencil for a bit so the paint on it dries, before using it again.

Stenciling Tip 10: Store stencils Flat
A stencil, obviously, needs to be flat to be usable. To stop it from buckling, put it between two pieces of cardboard and store it somewhere flat.

The Purple Painted Lady is so proud of Nicki (The Grateful Painter) and what she accomplished!  I am also honored that she shared with me that a piece I did inspired her.
When her and I started to correspond- it made me think about a video I saw on how sometimes- there are things we do, say or an event we participate in- that in general – is something we process in our history and just an ordinary moment.  But, to someone else- that “moment” could have impacted them in a great way.  Hopefully- the way we impact people is always for the better.  I watched a quick video the other day about basically just this.  It was called a “Lollipop Moment.”  If you have a second and want to see it – check it out HERE.
As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady to be your one stop resource!
Now- let’s be honest- there are many places to buy from- what sets us apart is WHY we are here.
And the answer to that question- is that we are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  And, just so you know, when you place an order with The Purple Painted Lady:
*  If you order before 3pm EASTERN TIME anyday Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that same day.
*  We ship orders out every sincle week day all over the US.
*  We offer the lowest flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.
*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!
And- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you.  (my shameless but honest plug)    Here is a link to our on-line shop=>
: )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=>    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)Thanks so much to Nicki and you for taking the time to visit our page!

Cleaning Furniture & Cabinets Before Painting

I think we all scavenge Craigslist for incredible finds and sometimes we find the most gorgeous piece- minus all the crud covering it. Or- it is just a piece that needs to be cleaned prior to painting. And I always recommend cleaning down cabinetry in the kitchen, bath, or laundry room prior to painting. No matter the painting occasion, this is what I do at The Purple Painted Lady:

Using old towels or t-shirts cut up- I apply a little odorless mineral spirits on it and then wipe down the piece.

OPTION 1: The rag should be slightly damp, but not dripping! I like to use “real” Mineral Spirits..meaning not the “green” Mineral Spirits that have that milky white appearance. I personally feel it does not work as well as the original Mineral Spirits.

Take your rag and place it on the opening of the Mineral Spirits. Flip the container a couple of times in different areas of the rag. (Think like how you would put nail polish remover onto a cotton swab or ball)

With a tiny bit of Mineral Spirits on your rag, rub the piece in the direction of the grain of the wood. The mineral spirits on the rag will remove grease or dirt. Again, I always do this prior to painting a cabinet job. In the bath- I wipe off residual toothpaste and in kitchens- the cabinets near the dog’s food dish or garbage can are the dirtiest. Such as life though- and we all live in our homes versus using them as a show room.

After wiping down your piece with Mineral Spirits, give it a bit of time to allow the Mineral Spirits to totally evaporate prior to painting. (If you are doing a few pieces- by the time you finish cleaning the last piece- the first will be ready.) Or, if you are a patient person, clean the piece then give it a day before painting. (I never do this- but then again- sadly patience in not my strongest virtue. I wish it was!)

The washing with Mineral Spirits will remove any residual oil or grease from the wood if there is any. Mineral spirits will evaporate from the wood completely without leaving any residue. This is the purpose in waiting some time – up to a day after cleaning with mineral spirits… for the mineral spirits to evaporate.

Some people recommend using TSP to clean your furniture- and that is fine too. I personally- have had many customers have issues with this method since they do not thoroughly rinse the furniture or cabinets with water or denatured alcohol after using TSP. I get emails asking, “what did I do wrong? The paint is peeling.” 9 times out of 10- it is because of this!

So I prefer to just use odorless Mineral Spirits. With that said- DO NOT USE THE “Environmentally Green” brand of Mineral Spirits!

Mineral Spirits are a staple in my painting closet and I always have it on hand. Also- if you make a glaze out of your wax using Mineral Spirits- I recommend staying away from the “Green” Mineral Spirits – which has a milky white look to it.

TSP was commonly used prior to the 1970’s to clean walls prior to painting them. The reason for cleaning with TSP was because it etched the gloss of oil based paint, making it rougher so that the next coat of paint would stick better. If you have an oil based paint on your wood, then I’d clean them with TSP if you intend to repaint that wood. But, there is no point whatever in cleaning bare wood with TSP, or latex painted wood with TSP.

If you do use TSP, then I would also clean the residual TSP off the piece of furniture with a clear water wash or denatured alcohol.

Use Denatured alcohol. Create a ratio of 60/40 = alcohol to water. Then as stated above, moisten a rag (not soak it.) Wipe down the piece of furniture or cabinets, and then let dry.


Personally- I stay true to using Mineral Spirits again. It is ideal to clean a surface free of any waxy or oily/greasing substances. But Chalk Paint® in general has great bonding capabilities.

But if you cannot purchase Mineral Spirits where you live, or have personal reasons not to use it~ here are some additional options:

Cleaning with one of the following (they are all biodegradable and grease cutters) … Motsenbocher’s TSP Substitute, Dirtex, or Krud Kutter.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW = is that it is extremely important to rinse away any cleaning material to neutralize the Ph after you have cleaned the furniture. That is because you do not want any residual cleaning product left behind. You also want to furniture to be dry when you start to paint.

Hope this little post was interesting and helpful!