Decorating Furniture: Antique and Country Paint Projects

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Overview

  • Antique Treatments
  • aging by simple burnishing
  • crackle for paint and varnish
  • antiquing by stripping paint
  • a serpia-stucco aging technique for an Italinate period piece

    Country Treatments

  • freehand folk painting
  • English country designs
  • stenciling a Victorian floral pattern
  • decorating with vines and leaves

    Paint

  • how to paint backgrounds
  • sponging
  • basic block printing
  • freehand embellishments
  • stains
  • all about paint and craft supplies and their properties

    Also included: a full section on making and repairing chair seats and cushions

Antique and
Country Paint Projects
is part of a four book series on Decorating Furniture based on Sheila McGraw's highly successful Painting & Decorating Furniture (pb: 1-55209-380-8) that has sold over 40,000 copies. Booklist called this volume "Quite probably the best general instruction on furniture decoration that exists."

With these four books as guides, anyone can decorate furniture like a professional. Each book contains complete, easy-to-follow instructions and hundreds of step-by-step color photographs. The extensive range of projects and techniques provides something for every taste. Other books in the series are Découpage, Paint and Fabric Projects (pb: 1-55297-616-5); Stencil, Paint and Block Print Projects (pb: 1-55297-617-3); Texture, Paint, Ornament and Mosaic Projects (pb: 1-55297-618-1).

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Editorial Reviews

Country Almanac - Jim Carlson
Individually or as a set, these books will serve as a resource and inspiration for home decorators.
Arts and Crafts
Step-by-step instructions and beautiful, close-up photography.
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal - Linda Turk
A terrific guide to the process of salvaging old or unfinished furniture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552976159
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/7/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

The most original and imaginative ideas are made easy with these masterly guides to decorating furniture. Sheila McGraw, an illustrator and designer, is an avid home sewer, decorator and painter. She has written six craft books, including Papier-Mache for Kids, a best-seller that won the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award, and illustrated Robert Munsch's international best-seller Love You Forever. She lives near Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

  • A Brush with Destiny
  • Using This Book
  • Choosing Your Furniture

Tools and Materials

  • Adhesives
  • Deglossing Agents
  • Manual and Power Tools
  • Metallics
  • Painting Tools
  • Paint Products
  • Paint Removers
  • Specialty Products

Painting Basics

  • Preparation
  • Priming and Painting
  • Brush Painting
  • Roller Painting
  • Spray Painting
  • Staining Wood
  • Varnishing

Projects

Cupboard Love: A Traditional Quebec Treatment for an Unusual Folk Art Cupboard

Crackle: Aging Artfully with a Simple Recipe for Crackle

Country Folk: A Country Chair Is Charmed with Decorative, Effortless Hand Painting

Tabletop Rose Bower: Misty Rose Stencils Bedeck a Wooden Table

Keeping Time: A Charming Rocker Reveals Its Pastel-Painted Past

Botanical Design: Grapevines and Pressed Leaves Produce a Crafted Cabinet

A Florentine Finish: Washed in Stucco and Sepia, a Pine Cupboard Turns Classic Treasure

Natural Tendencies: Bedstands Go Country with Natural Branches and Rich Color

English Country: A Hand-Painted Trife of Berries, Bees and Bric-a-Brac

The Cupboard Was
Bare
: A 1930s Baker's Pantry Is Stripped to Rich Wood and Finished with Traditional Hand-Painted Panels

Creating a Scene: Folk Painting Creates a Versatile Seasonal Scene on a Dropleaf Table

Seating: Sitting Pretty with Professionally Crafted Cushions and Seats

  • Basic Seat Cushion
  • Piped Seat Cushion
  • Woven Seat
  • Backrest Cushions
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Preface

Introduction

Genuine antiques, newer furniture that has an antique finish, and furniture painted in the country genre all emanate great warmth. Well-worn patinas or folk-style paint jobs possesses character and a sense of history, hearkening back to a slower-paced time. They invite touching, and they put people at ease. This is what makes rustic antiques rare — and expensive. So, incongruous as it may sound, we make our own antiques. The new techniques developed for this book allow you to antique virtually any piece: brand new, vintage or languishing somewhere in between. New products and fresh approaches allow the neophyte painter to achieve a piece that is authentically aged looking or painted with stunning country motifs. And while some treatments are more appropriate to some finishes than others, there are so many flavors from which to choose, including the romance of Victorian, the geniality of rustic, the Italianate look of stucco and the charm of English Country.

A Brush with Destiny

Many a furniture painter sets out with the simple intention of slapping a fresh coat of paint over a time-worn piece of furniture, only to have inspiration strike. The surprise result is a beautifully hand-painted work of art, a family heirloom to be cherished for generations. The flat planes of furniture — tabletops, drawer fronts and the like — present endless opportunities for decorative and pictorial techniques, while the three-dimensional form is sculptural in nature, offering many angles for viewing. Painting and decorating furniture is creativity in the round. Often the busy grain of wood, an unsuitable finish, or simply the familiarity of a piece of furniture can obscure these qualities until you stand before it, paint and brush in hand.

Using This Book

Whether you are new to antiquing and country painting, or are highly skilled in the craft, this book will show you clearly and concisely everything you need to know. Beginners are shown the basics, including simple foolproof recipes for impressive treatments like crackle, distressed paint and easy freehand paint techniques, while the advanced crafter will revel in innovative application techniques. This book is more than a simple instructional guide; we have compiled a wealth of information to lead you through the maze of paints and tools available and show you how to manipulate and combine materials and techniques for wonderfully creative results. Check the Tools and Materials section, to acquaint yourself with the many easy-to-find and easy-to-use materials available at paint, craft and art supply stores. Unless absolutely unavoidable, only low-toxicity, water-based products are used and recommended. Water-based paints have evolved into easy-clean-up, simple-to-use, durable products.

Painting basics such as brush painting, roller painting, spray painting, staining wood and varnishing are covered, as is performing a basic paint job for those who simply wish to paint their furniture a solid color. You'll also be referred by your project instructions to these sections as required. They provide a gold-mine of basic, common-sense advice and time-saving tips.

To choose a treatment for your piece, flip through the book to find ideas that appeal to you, keeping in mind that the finished look should complement your furniture and that the projects are in a progressive order of complexity, starting with the simplest and becoming more involved as you go through the book. These advanced projects are not necessarily more difficult; they may simply require more steps, drying times or tools.

Measurements are listed in imperial units, with metric conversions following them. To make the instructions less cumbersome, the conversions are often rounded. A quart-sized can of paint is listed as a litre, for example; a yard is converted to a metre. The projects work whether you use the imperial or the metric measurements. Finally, don't let the toy penguin who appears in the Before pictures throw you. This little fellow is working for scale, providing a point of reference. Without him, the size of a cabinet or some other piece of furniture could be hard to judge from the photo.

Choosing Your Furniture

Perhaps Aunt Flossie left you a four-legged monster. It's probably a sturdy, well-built, solid piece of furniture — better quality than you can purchase today. And it's free. Instead of relegating the monster to landfill, transform it to suit your decor and get ten or possibly a hundred years of use from it. If you don't have an Aunt Flossie, garage sales and flea markets are often treasure troves of old furniture. Another possibility is unpainted furniture — especially the knockdown variety, which is ideal for painting or staining in multiple colors. And don't throw out that plastic laminate furniture. Even recently manufactured melamine-over-chipboard furniture can be transformed with specialty melamine paints.

Just as the world is divided into cat lovers and dog lovers, it is also divided into furniture painters and furniture refinishers. Refinishers feel that wood and its grain are sacred, and that every stick should be stripped and refinished. Painters, meanwhile, believe that wood is simply nature's plastic, to be transformed into painted masterpieces. The truth is somewhere in between, and this book should help balance the two points of view. Virtually any style, type and finish of furniture can be painted, including wood, metal, melamine and all previously painted, lacquered and varnished pieces. But please: don't paint over genuine antiques or other pieces that have historic or architectural integrity, including classics from as recently as the 1960s and 70s. If you suspect your furniture has value, have it appraised. Often, you can simply take or send a snapshot to an appraiser or an auction house. If it turns out that you own a classic, but the style is unappealing to you, sell the item rather than paint it. Antiques with original paint should be left intact original paint on an antique, no matter how worn, adds to its authenticity and value.

If you wish to cut down on preparation time, look for a well-proportioned piece that is solid and has a stable finish. Beware of furniture with worm holes, especially if you see sawdust on the floor around the piece — a sure sign of bugs. When they move in, these boring guests will literally eat you out of house and home. And while you can't expect perfection — the furniture is supposed to be old and worn — try out all moving parts to determine the aggravation factor of drawers that bind or doors that stick, especially if the vendor has them taped shut. Remove drawers to check that dovetalling is intact and that the bottoms don't sag. If chairs or tables have wobbly legs, check that they can be fixed. Bypass the item if the legs have already had surgery but are wobbling a second time.

If you are planning to apply a smooth high-gloss treatment, choose a piece with a solid, even finish in good condition. Try the fingernail test. Scratching with your fingernail should not lift the finish. Pieces with dents, scratches, cigarette burns and water or other surface damage require a busy-looking, low-luster finish to distract from the imperfections. You may wish to steer clear of pieces with water damage that has lifted veneer. Loose or raised veneer must be removed and the scars repaired, a job that requires some skill. And take a tape measure be sure the piece fits its final destination and can be maneuvered through doors and up stairwells.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Genuine antiques, newer furniture that has an antique finish, and furniture painted in the country genre all emanate great warmth. Well-worn patinas or folk-style paint jobs possesses character and a sense of history, hearkening back to a slower-paced time. They invite touching, and they put people at ease. This is what makes rustic antiques rare -- and expensive. So, incongruous as it may sound, we make our own antiques. The new techniques developed for this book allow you to antique virtually any piece: brand new, vintage or languishing somewhere in between. New products and fresh approaches allow the neophyte painter to achieve a piece that is authentically aged looking or painted with stunning country motifs. And while some treatments are more appropriate to some finishes than others, there are so many flavors from which to choose, including the romance of Victorian, the geniality of rustic, the Italianate look of stucco and the charm of English Country.

A Brush with Destiny

Many a furniture painter sets out with the simple intention of slapping a fresh coat of paint over a time-worn piece of furniture, only to have inspiration strike. The surprise result is a beautifully hand-painted work of art, a family heirloom to be cherished for generations. The flat planes of furniture -- tabletops, drawer fronts and the like -- present endless opportunities for decorative and pictorial techniques, while the three-dimensional form is sculptural in nature, offering many angles for viewing. Painting and decorating furniture is creativity in the round. Often the busy grain of wood, an unsuitable finish, or simply the familiarity of a piece of furniture can obscure these qualities until you stand before it, paint and brush in hand.

Using This Book

Whether you are new to antiquing and country painting, or are highly skilled in the craft, this book will show you clearly and concisely everything you need to know. Beginners are shown the basics, including simple foolproof recipes for impressive treatments like crackle, distressed paint and easy freehand paint techniques, while the advanced crafter will revel in innovative application techniques. This book is more than a simple instructional guide; we have compiled a wealth of information to lead you through the maze of paints and tools available and show you how to manipulate and combine materials and techniques for wonderfully creative results. Check the Tools and Materials section, to acquaint yourself with the many easy-to-find and easy-to-use materials available at paint, craft and art supply stores. Unless absolutely unavoidable, only low-toxicity, water-based products are used and recommended. Water-based paints have evolved into easy-clean-up, simple-to-use, durable products.

Painting basics such as brush painting, roller painting, spray painting, staining wood and varnishing are covered, as is performing a basic paint job for those who simply wish to paint their furniture a solid color. You'll also be referred by your project instructions to these sections as required. They provide a gold-mine of basic, common-sense advice and time-saving tips.

To choose a treatment for your piece, flip through the book to find ideas that appeal to you, keeping in mind that the finished look should complement your furniture and that the projects are in a progressive order of complexity, starting with the simplest and becoming more involved as you go through the book. These advanced projects are not necessarily more difficult; they may simply require more steps, drying times or tools.

Measurements are listed in imperial units, with metric conversions following them. To make the instructions less cumbersome, the conversions are often rounded. A quart-sized can of paint is listed as a litre, for example; a yard is converted to a metre. The projects work whether you use the imperial or the metric measurements. Finally, don't let the toy penguin who appears in the Before pictures throw you. This little fellow is working for scale, providing a point of reference. Without him, the size of a cabinet or some other piece of furniture could be hard to judge from the photo.

Choosing Your Furniture

Perhaps Aunt Flossie left you a four-legged monster. It's probably a sturdy, well-built, solid piece of furniture -- better quality than you can purchase today. And it's free. Instead of relegating the monster to landfill, transform it to suit your decor and get ten or possibly a hundred years of use from it. If you don't have an Aunt Flossie, garage sales and flea markets are often treasure troves of old furniture. Another possibility is unpainted furniture -- especially the knockdown variety, which is ideal for painting or staining in multiple colors. And don't throw out that plastic laminate furniture. Even recently manufactured melamine-over-chipboard furniture can be transformed with specialty melamine paints.

Just as the world is divided into cat lovers and dog lovers, it is also divided into furniture painters and furniture refinishers. Refinishers feel that wood and its grain are sacred, and that every stick should be stripped and refinished. Painters, meanwhile, believe that wood is simply nature's plastic, to be transformed into painted masterpieces. The truth is somewhere in between, and this book should help balance the two points of view. Virtually any style, type and finish of furniture can be painted, including wood, metal, melamine and all previously painted, lacquered and varnished pieces. But please: don't paint over genuine antiques or other pieces that have historic or architectural integrity, including classics from as recently as the 1960s and 70s. If you suspect your furniture has value, have it appraised. Often, you can simply take or send a snapshot to an appraiser or an auction house. If it turns out that you own a classic, but the style is unappealing to you, sell the item rather than paint it. Antiques with original paint should be left intact original paint on an antique, no matter how worn, adds to its authenticity and value.

If you wish to cut down on preparation time, look for a well-proportioned piece that is solid and has a stable finish. Beware of furniture with worm holes, especially if you see sawdust on the floor around the piece -- a sure sign of bugs. When they move in, these boring guests will literally eat you out of house and home. And while you can't expect perfection -- the furniture is supposed to be old and worn -- try out all moving parts to determine the aggravation factor of drawers that bind or doors that stick, especially if the vendor has them taped shut. Remove drawers to check that dovetalling is intact and that the bottoms don't sag. If chairs or tables have wobbly legs, check that they can be fixed. Bypass the item if the legs have already had surgery but are wobbling a second time.

If you are planning to apply a smooth high-gloss treatment, choose a piece with a solid, even finish in good condition. Try the fingernail test. Scratching with your fingernail should not lift the finish. Pieces with dents, scratches, cigarette burns and water or other surface damage require a busy-looking, low-luster finish to distract from the imperfections. You may wish to steer clear of pieces with water damage that has lifted veneer. Loose or raised veneer must be removed and the scars repaired, a job that requires some skill. And take a tape measure be sure the piece fits its final destination and can be maneuvered through doors and up stairwells.

Read More Show Less

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