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I spray. I'm a sprayer. Eveything you will ever need to know about painting with a sprayer ever in the history of life. May 28 2015

Ok, that title may have been a bit of a stretch...
But I will try to hit on the important stuff.
 
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You will decide at some point to get a sprayer.
You will buy your sprayer. You will wake up one Saturday with bright eyed, high hoped dreams of firing up the sprayer and finishing all the projects your husband is sick of tripping over in your garage. This will probably not happen. Just know that. At least not at first.
The reality is that your sprayer will take some getting used to. I always recommend spraying a couple of gallons of straight water through your sprayer, adjusting the the settings and flow so that you are very comfortable with it.
 
You will want to take time to become comfortable with it before you begin painting. Trust me on this.
 
I use a couple of different types of sprayers. Mostly I use the Homeright sprayer that we sell. It doesn't require a compressor. Just plug it in to the wall and paint.
(It DOES require all of its parts, though. Which I couldn't find the day of this tutorial. Go me.) 
So I busted out the canister and gun style compressor sprayer I also occasionally use. About $60 at Harbor Freight. Compressors are loud and the accompanying sprayer is harder to control than the Homeright unit. But the techniques are the same so its not really life or death.
 
But unless you already own a compressor with the capacity to run a gun, I recommend a self-contained unit.
I filmed this while painting my dining room chairs. They have a brushed on coat of high bond that had been left to dry overnight, and I sprayed Snowflake over that.
 
A few important things to remember:
~Thin coats are better.
~It will be splotchy looking. This is normal. It levels out as it dries.
~It uses more paint than brush painting.
~Fairy Chalk Mother's needs to be thinned at the 1 cup paint to 1-2 tbs water ratio and mixed WELL
~Straining your paint before using it will save a lot of time if there's anything chunky in your paint that might clog your gun.
Strainers made specifically for narrow paint containers are easy to find at a hardware store or online.
~Overspray is real, folks. Take care unless you want a painted car or driveway or house. The mist travels far, also. Be aware of that.
~Save some of your mixed paint for later touch ups.
 
Thinning paint
Mix all of your paint at once in a container that you can close while you're not using it. Paint should be thinned by 1-2 tbs per cup of paint. Pour the water into the paint and stir really well. It takes a while for the water to be fully incorporated. Strain this mixture at the point you add this mixture to your sprayer receptacle. I am cheap and stingy with my paint, so I usually only fill the cup part way. And I always end up having to refill more than I should. The texture and consistency of the mixed paint should be like "melted milkshake", to borrow a phrase from my friend Sausha at Sweet Pickins milkpaint.
 
 
Spraying
Work in short, even strokes, watch out for your cord, because it will touch your wet paint as you work if you don't, and it will ruin your day. Trust me on this.
Drying
It will take a while for your sprayed piece to dry. You added a lot of water to your paint, which changes the chemical drying properties of the paint. Be patient with it. Plan accordingly. Don't spray if its cold, or if it won't be dry before the sun sets.
Cold air+sprayed paint+no bueno
As always, I am open for answering your questions. I want you to feel confident and successful  with using our paint!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

High-Bond Confessionals: a step by step hutch makeover with photos and video, Part ONE April 30 2015

This hutch is big, and solid, and amazing.

The finish is shiny and in amazing condition...

 

And dated.

 

And it GOTS TO GO.

Single step paint means just that. Very little prep is required, except when the existing finish is very shiny. Paint needs something to adhere to, so its always a good idea to either lightly sand shiny pieces, or use our amazing bonding primer. *product plug*

 

Getting started

I began by removing hardware. I'm forgetful and my garage is very unorganized right now, so I am extra careful to remove hardware in sections, and label it well.

 

Hutches have very precisely hung and balanced doors, which usually support the structure and stability of the entire top piece, so you always want to take extra care to use the hardware in the exact places it was removed from when reassembling, so having the pieces well labeled is a must!

Trust me on this, you will thank yourself later for taking this extra time to label and work in sections.

Clean=Best

Lets face it, most of what we paint has been previously "loved", and has the dirt to prove it! Dirt and grease will affect your finished product, and it will prevent a good paint adhesion, regardless of what kind of paint you use.

Clean with what, you ask?

Lets not over think this part. Soap+water+plenty of dry time=best.

Mr Clean, or any old household cleaner in water is fine, just make sure you let your piece dry well, a few hours or so, depending on the amount of water you use to clean.

Shhhhh, I will tell you a secret, though...

Disinfecting wipes, any brand, are AWESOME for cleaning prior to paint. They contain alcohol and surfactants, which work like a solvent, and leave your project piece clean without the dry time.

 

On this piece, I wiped the entire piece with Clorox wipes. It took a few minutes for it to be completely dry.

NEXT UP: PRIME

I SHOULD have primed from the inside out.

I SHOULD have combed my hair.

I SHOULD have cleaned my garage.

But I didn't.

So here you go anyway!

Primer is meant to go on thick and smooth. Long strokes are important, and take care to smooth out brush strokes. I sprayed the final paint on this piece, but the brush marks from the primer still would have shown through had I not been careful to smooth any strokes out.

 

 

Notice that I'm not going for thick, heavy one-coat-to-cover coverage.

It's ok if it's streaky. It's just the first coat.

And since this is the first coat, take care to avoid drips and brush marks that aren't smooth.

And fix things like this.

Don't be discouraged with your first coat being thin. It's supposed to look like this, I promise.

High-bond takes a while to dry and cure. Give it at least 3 hours. Overnight is better.

Once it's dry, paint over as usual.

(I will cover that in part two of this post)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Brush care : down and dirty October 19 2014

Let's talk about brushes!

I've been asked about brush care a lot lately.
(DISCLAIMER:: My least-thorough child washed these brushes last, so they aren't perfectly clean)

So boom. Here you go.

I use a couple of different types of brushes. Primarily natural hair bristles brushes, and synthetic. They both clean very differently!

Oh and wax brushes. They deserve a mention here, too.



Natural hair brushes are just that-natural hair. Hair that needs conditioned once in a while, just like your own hair. For that reason, you should avoid using regular soap.


When I paint with a thick, dense hair brush, I try to keep the paint just on the tips of the bristles if I can help it, because they hold a lot of paint. And my patience for washing out brushes is about this long, *hold fingers an inch apart*.

After I finish painting with a hair brush, I try to unload all of the paint before I start washing, by brushing it out on something. (A paper towel works). After that, I fan out the bristles and do a fast initial rinse.
Then I put a drop of Murphy's oil soap, (about a half a teaspoon), and work it in well. I usually smoosh the brush around in my palm under the running a water a bit to work it in. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. (Super boring) fanning the bristles under the running water helps speed up the washing.
Rinse until no more color comes out. Then hang dry. Sometimes, if I need the brush, I wrap it tightly in a towel and squeeze out as much water as I can, and then paint.

Now how about synthetic?
Part of what I love about superfine synthetic brushes is that they are easy to clean!
I also unload as much paint as I can, and I do pretty much the same thing that I do with a hair bristle brush, but I use regular old dish soap instead of oil soap. Fan out the bristles, put in a drop of dish soap, work it in, and then rinse well.
Make sure the bristles are all straight and smooth and hang dry!

Now on to wax brushes...
It's pretty frustrating to get ready to wax something only to realize that your brush dried out and has dandruffy wax flakes.


Wax brushes are a giant pain in the rear to clean. Wax+water=no bueno

So here's what I do. First off, I have a brush for clear wax, and brush for dark wax, and a brush for mixed light and dark, so I don't have to clean between projects. I keep them tightly wrapped with plastic cling wrap between projects so they don't dry out. Once in a while, though, they DO dry out. and it is the WORST.

To clean, pour a little bit of vegetable oil on a paper plate. About a tablespoon. Then smear it around with your wax brush until the oil is all absorbed into the brush. Continue working it around until the bristles are soft. Then rub the brush on a scrap cloth for a minute or two to get the excess dirt/wax/veg oil off, and you're done!

Once in a while if you do really have to clean a wax brush with soap and water, so use Murphy's oil soap in place of the vegetable oil, and rinse well and then hang dry.

Note that they don't get completely clean, but it will be considerably cleaner than when you started.

-MJ

One hot blonde.. a start to finish paint tutorial! September 21 2014

This is the easiest hobby to get into, but it's also one of the most overwhelming to know where to begin, I think.
Amiright?!
Soooo... I had this cute little Mersman end table in my stash that I decided needed to be Blonde.
It was a little rough. I gave it a bath with Mr. Clean and water, and then let it dry.
After I removed the hardware, I noticed that it had some holes on the top and some marks where the handles were.
I gave those spots a quick sand, and then filled them with my favorite filler.
After it dried, I sanded the patched spots.
And dusted it well.
I shook my paint well, and put on a coat.
It took two coats to cover this piece.
FCM paint is going to take a little bit longer to dry between coats than traditional paint, so be prepared :)
And now for the finish...
I decided to use a little dark glazing wax, and finish with spray shellac.
I'll cover dark waxing in a later post, but for now, I'll just tell you that I rubbed it on and wiped it back off strategically. Vague enough?
The thing I love about my dark glazing wax is how pretty it is and how easy it is to use!
I gave the whole thing a coat of shellac, and let it dry. Then I put the hardware back on and it was done!
The whole thing took me about 3 hours, mostly dry time there.

Why FCM paint? September 14 2014

I've had a lot of questions about why this paint is "better than regular paint like we all used to use"?

 

Here's why.

Latex paint is basically a thin plastic and rubber based film that you're spreading on your surface. If you use plain old latex paint on a previously finished surface, its got nothing to bond to, and will eventually peel off in large sheets.

 

Trust me. I know this for a fact :)

 

FCM paint, however, is a specially designed polymer blend that has a little bit of texture that sticks well to previously finished furniture.

 

They don't even compare!