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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paint Brushes 101

 Natural Hair Brushes
The natural hair in natural hair-brushes usually comes from Chinese (sometimes called Chinese brushes) hogs or from badgers. Natural hair paintbrushes work best with oil-based paints, although this means they need to be cleaned with paint thinner.


Synthetic Hair Brushes

Synthetic hair means the bristles are made from polyester or nylon. They’re much rougher than natural hair paint brushes.  These brushes are used with latex paints.

 

Natural fibers work best with oil-based paint, while synthetic bristles perform well with latex paint. 

Most paint is now latex; you asked for a gallon of paint they would automatically give you latex paint. Oil-based paint used to be the norm and higher quality but because of EPA standards and technology latex paint is better for the environment and higher quality.

Foam Brushes
Foam brushes are well suited to intricate work such as painting molding or window casings. I use foam brushes exclusively for oils and stains. These brushes are normally good only for one use, as they're hard to clean and easy to tear.

Rollers
Rollers are great for large surfaces, such as wall painting. However, they are also great for small areas like furniture because they don’t show brush strokes. They have a shorter lifespan versus brushes but the top layer dries quickly and makes it a better option.





Cleaning Brushes:
Cleaning your paint brushes immediately after use is the smart course of action.

For water based paint (latex), first, remove any excess paint that is still on the brush by wiping it on a old rag. Then, run cool or slightly warm water over the brush until the water dripping from the brush is clear. Gently press the brush bristles against the side of the sink or other hard surface to remove excess water. Allow the brush to dry.

For latex paint put some soap in a bucket of water and then clean the brush in that bucket. (Please avoid washing the paint down your sink if you have a septic system. The chemicals in the paint can really do some damage to your system and could get absorbed into groundwater, contaminating your well.)

If you have waited until the paint has dried fully before you clean your brushes, you will need to use a special solvent that was formulated to remove latex paint. A painter mentioned recently that he uses rubbing alcohol to clean up dried latex paint - this might be something you can try in a pinch.

Oil based paint simply will not wash out with water no matter how hard you try. It is basic science – oil and water don’t mix and the oil just repels the water. You will have to use a chemical based product, such as paint thinner, to clean your brushes. Make sure you wear protective gloves and have plenty of ventilation before you start as the fumes can be very toxic in a confined space.

You will need a metal container, such as an old coffee can, the paint thinner or other solvent and a rag. Put a few inches of paint thinner in the coffee can, dip the brush in and move it around a bit to make sure the thinner removes the paint. Make sure you get rid of any solvent on the brush before you pull it out of the container.


Friday, August 1, 2014

CHEERS to ONE MILLION

Yes, today is a celebratory day. I checked my blog views to finally see that Decorella has passed ONE MILLION page views. I used to get excited if I had 100 page views in one day and would be over the moon. Now, I think I've circled the moon several times. I cannot believe what an amazing group of blog followers that I have. Thank you for the continued support, ideas, conversations and inspiration. My followers are the reason that I continue to paint, upholster, make and create all things DIY. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Vintage Vanity Makeover: Guest Project

I am excited to share this project by my friend Rachel G. Rachel and I lived together our freshmen year of college at the University of Tennessee. We were meant to be roommates, both adventurous and colorful. We won the best dorm room for our creative DIY decorations. We had so much fun. Rachel received this vanity from her husband for her birthday. She sanded the peeling imperfections to create the perfect vanity.  She did a great job!!







Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Backyard Citronella Mason Jar Candles

This week's post is all about an easy to do project. I love being outside in my recently renovated backyard but I hate the bugs. The bugs love me. With just a couple of easy to find items, you can create your own citronella candles from mason jars. I estimate that each costs $3.75 and will last you the entire summer. 

I imagine these to be perfect for a backyard wedding. They can serve the purpose of table decor, yet they keep the bugs away from your guests. 

Items needed:
Mason jar(s)
Citronella oil (purchased at Kroger but can also be found at Lowe's or Home Depot)
Rosemary (substitute any herb that smells good)
Lemon slices
Floating Candle
Ribbon (optional) 


Load up your ingredients in your mason jar (or decorative vase), oil, rosemary and lemon slices before topping with your floating candle. In just order three minutes you can have the perfect outdoor centerpiece that does double duty! The smell is fantastic and will keep you outside for hours on end. 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Make your Own Pinata

Pinatas are incredible expensive and while being honest, rather boring when bought in-store. I will show you how to make your own custom pinata in just a few hours and for less than $10. 

Supplies Needed:
Large Cardboard Boxes (Think packing boxes)
1 or 2 Light-Cardboard Boxes (Think cereal boxes) 
Heavy-duty Scissors
Shipping Tape
Glue (I used Elmer's)
Tissue Paper or Streamers

First disclaimer, my photos start with my "5" pinata and then switch to my pyramid pinata since I wanted to finish my "5" pinata on the Fox Morning Show. 

First, draw your design on your thick cardboard. Use the first piece to trace onto your back pieces to ensure that are a consistent size. 
Next, cut your thinner cardboard boxes (cereal boxes) into several strips 4 inches wide. You can go wider but I wouldn't suggest going any smaller. 
Then, begin to tape your 4" strips onto your think cardboard to build the 3d design. 




Next, cut your tissue paper into long 3" strips. If you are using streamer paper, then your work here is done. 
Next, cut uniform cuts into your 3" strips. I had a pair of herb sheers that I used, I know it's cheating but I admit that I've never used them in the kitchen.
Starting at the bottom of your pinata, glue one strip at a time onto your pinata. I spaced them out out 1 inch per strip. 


The final steps include stapling rope or string onto your pinata to hang it and stuffing it with candy. I haven't stuffed mine just yet (with adult airplane bottles, ha ha) but I will cut a small hole into the side and then hot glue back together.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Make Your Own Music Festival Headpiece

Modern day music festivals still look like a picture from Woodstock, tons of hot sweaty music lovers embracing the outdoor elements to hear world-class music. My favorite part of any music festival is the fashion. Music festivals are the place where almost anything is acceptable, although not all outfits are award-winning. I prefer to be fashionable, comfy yet feminine. The stable piece to any look is a flower headpiece. I made mine for Bonnaroo 2014 in just under $7.00.

Items Needed:
Green floral wire ($1.50)
Pliers (I owned)
Hot glue gun (I owned)
Assorted plastic flowers ($5.50, although you can easily use real flowers from your garden or florist)



Use the floral wire to make the shape around my head. 

Next, I cut off the flowers from the wire stems. 

The last step is to begin to build your headpiece by hot gluing your flowers as you desire.