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8 Essentials for Painting Furniture

Friday, December 30th, 2011

It’s no secret I love to paint furniture. Call me strange, but I find fixing up and painting an old piece therapeutic. What was once a hobby is now becoming creative outlet and a small source of income for me. I’ve picked up a few great pieces from thrift stores in the last two weeks that I can’t wait to paint, so while the hub and I were running errands the other day, we made a stop at my local True Value Hardware for a few supplies. Our conversation went something like this: 

“I just need some paint and Floetrol for those pieces in the garage”  and he asked, “Have you written about that?” and I replied “Yes” and he said “Well have you showed them what you’re talking about?” and I said “Yes” and he said, “You should make a video” and I thought well I’m not prepared for that and he said “Just do it” and so I said, “OK”.  So what was supposed to be a quick pit stop turned into an impromptu tour of a few aisles of the paint department at my local True Value and the eight essentials you’ll need for a basic paint job on a piece of furniture.

Let me preface by saying there are several techniques for painting furniture and many many products to choose from. I’m a fan of a quick spray paint job and also the latest sensation, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I’ll continue to use those products in the future. There are also glazing and distressing techniques and more advanced tools you can use like a sprayer (I got a Wagner for Christmas and will be trying it out soon) and all of that will make a great eBook someday.

But for those of you just starting out and not knowing how to navigate the aisles of a home improvement or paint store and also staring at a piece you’ve scored and just want to change it up with a coat of paint, here are eight of my essential tools for a basic paint job on any piece of wood or laminate furniture.

I apologize for the the distracting conversation and 80s rock in the background, but this was spur of the moment. Feel free to name those background tunes in the comment section if you can! 

 

 

Like I mentioned in the video, both water based Minwax Polycrylic and Varathane are great for satin to gloss sheens but for a matte or hand rubbed finish turn to waxes.  Fiddes & Sons, SC Johnson, Minwax, and Briwax are just a few you’ll find on the shelf depending on where you shop. 

More great makeovers coming in 2012, can’t wait!

 

True Value Blog Squad legalese: “I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”

 

 

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Ten Basics for Better Home Photography

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I’ve had a few emails recently requesting I write up a post offering tips for taking better pictures of interiors. I really don’t consider myself an expert by any means in the field, but I have learned over the years how to take a pretty good picture of a DIY project, vignette, or room reveal.    

I wrote an article last year about better blog images, and it was mostly about moving out of automatic settings and into manual mode. It’s a good read, and today’s post really piggybacks off what I wrote last year.  

As decorators and home bloggers, we are constantly surrounded by gorgeous interiors, whether it comes from shelter magazines, other blogs, or the newest sensation, Pinterest.  The bar continues to be set higher when it comes to photographing our projects and our homes. Don’t be discouraged by this, feel the opposite. Any novice can improve his or her ability to take great images of homes, projects, or spaces with patience and practice.  I know. I’m proof.  

I look back at my pictures from a few years ago and I cringe.  Just take a look at this and you’ll see what I mean. Back then I knew nothing about photography beyond the simple point and shoot. But I realized that I had to better my ability to take decent  pictures if I was going to grow as a blogger and have my work recognized and featured. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and along the way I’ve taught myself a few of the basics of better photography.     

So to answer the questions of a few readers, I’ve narrowed what I’ve learned to these ten very basic tips for taking better images of your interiors or projects.   

 ten basics for better home photography

 

1. Invest in a Good Camera

I’ve read a few posts here and there from bloggers who use a regular point-and-shoot camera, and yes, I do believe a more basic model has the ability to take a really good picture.  So does my iPhone.  However, a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) is the best ticket to high quality interior photography simply because it allows the user to manipulate the amount of light that enters the lens.  And if one thing is true, a great interior shot is all about proper light.     

Both Nikon and Canon offer excellent choices, personally I use a Nikon D90 and I stick mostly with two lenses, my 18-55 mm lens (the standard one that came with the camera) for close ups and a Tamron 10-24 mm lens for larger room shots.  A great camera will do most of the work for you, so I consider it a worthy investment. 

 

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