Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY Milk Paint for Newbs (Mixology 101)

On the last post having to do with my attempt at trying milk paint for the first time, this is where we left off:

As expected, milk paint is unlike anything I've used before, but so far it looks like it's coming along ok.  I'm putting another coat or two on it Monday, a finish, and then the knobs, and that'll be it!  Crossing fingers for no problems!

I went into this project optimistically, as most of us do when we're rarin' to go on something new and exciting.  There had been many hours reading the Miss Mustard Seed (MMS) blog, watching her videos, watching other videos from people who had used it and their blogs...I felt prepared!  But boy oh boy, I was in for a learning curve...

Milk paint is different in that in comes in a powdered form.  You spoon out the amount you need (something you can only take the guesswork out by doing lots of furniture), add water and mix it until it becomes smooth.

Yet, like mixing specialty drinks, there is an art and a science behind mixing milk paint.  I would say this is the hardest and most important step of the process, and as a newb, also the most perplexing.  But more on that in a bit.

First, a few more "before's":

Though they say that there's no need to even sand the wood before painting, the buffet was semi glossy and I wanted to be extra sure no paint would chip.  There were also some places that needed some wood filler where some old fixtures and screws had been, so I just went at it with a sponge sander.

wood filler
I made up a mix and added the bonding agent that prevents the paint from chipping (I will have to try it without the bonding someday tho, as there are some beautiful looks you can get).  Soon I was happily painting away.

After the first coat of paint had been applied and allowed to dry overnight, I examined the buffet the next day and felt that I seemed to be doing a-ok; the paint was a little on the thin side with coverage on the wood, but from what I had seen and read on the MMS Blog about the subject, I was expecting it to be that way and to need two coats.  Better yet, the bonding agent seemed to have done its job as I saw no flaking.

I gave myself some pats on the back for being a fantastic newbie at this milk paint stuff, and got to work on mixing the 2nd coat.  This is where it all went downhill...

I applied the second coat and everything looked normal.  Yet when I came back an hour later after it had dried to check on it, what do I see but speckles all through the paint!

They didn't seem to be air bubbles, as the paint was still smooth to the touch.  Not knowing what else to do, I sanded it all down to the first coat (and some areas frustratingly became thinner than the first coat) and re-tried it with a new brush.

Later I came back to check on it, and same thing!

So I sanded it all again (I got quite a workout with my arms on this project!) and tried with a whole new batch of paint mix.  Even before it dried one could tell that I had still had a problem.

Frustrated, I took a few days after this to recharge and rethink my approach, researching to find what I was doing wrong.  Finally, after lots of dead ends, I came across this blog entry from Makely Home that showed various coats of milk paint in a goldilocks fashion, from too thinly mixed to too thick, and then just right.  From what I could tell, I had been mixing the paint too thinly.  Breakthrough!

Whipping up another new batch, I set to work.  However, as I painted I worried that I had perhaps made it a little too thick this time around...

...but it ended up working out so much better!

dontcha just love all the layers of color the paint gives?!

After a very light sanding in some places I added hemp seed oil as a natural finish and sealant, which magically changes the matte dusky light blue to this lustrous dark blue you see below.  It's amazing to see the immediate transformation in the color as you rub the oil in. (you can also use different kinds of furniture wax to get other "looks" to the milk paint color)

darker area is where the oil has been worked into the wood - look at that color already!
Above: left side without hemp oil, right side is with
bottom drawer with hemp oil, top without

I used a brush for the oil, though in the future I'd recommend getting a round bristle brush, as most of the motions are in a circular direction as you work it into the wood.  I didn't use a cloth because when I tried it, it got lint all over the wood.  Talk about scary.  Thankfully after the oil dried/cured (best to let it dry overnight) I was able to brush it off.

Now, all said, this is not to scare you all away from milk paint.  No way!  It's fantastic stuff once you get a feel for it.  But it's something that you'll have to learn only thru experience, and that takes time and mistakes along the way (though hopefully you can learn somewhat from mine!).  But hey, we learn best through failure!

As you can see in the "after" pic (see more pix here), my stubbornness perseverance and work paid off!  It's beautiful, and I love how phenomenal of a transformation it is!  In retrospect, the milk paint is rather forgiving once you get the right thickness, and I really love that the product is made of all-natural ingredients.  I want to continue to try out other milk paint colors on more pieces and get a real feel for the stuff until I feel I can consistently use it well.  I also recently discovered that General Finishes has pre-mixed milk paint (and have great colors!), so I REALLY want to try theirs out.  Anyone out there have experience with them?

Hope this helped take the mystery out of the process of milk paint for y'all!  Show me your creations if you decide to take on a project of your own!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Say Hello to Artissimo Blue Buffet

It's done!

As you may or may not remember (I know it's been awhile!), I fell in love with this buffet table at an estate sale, and decided it was the perfect candidate for me to try milk paint with for the first time!

At first I was bent on making it be an emerald green color, but I had trouble finding a milk paint color that had that kind of tint, often looking too "grassy" or in the olive family.  Karl and I both like blues, so "Plan B" became blue.  I went with Miss Mustard Seed's Artissimo Blue, and I adore it!  It even changes color a little in different lighting - sometimes it's navy blue, other times I see almost a deep turquoise coming from it.

It was a learn-as-I-went process for a noob like me, so I'm really glad it came out so well in the end!

I'll be going into the whole "how-to" process in tomorrow's post, including some major failures and woes I came up against during the course of painting it.  So pop back over here Thursday to check out the whole story and avoid my mistakes! [edit: see the complete "how-to" for milk paint here]

See you then!

Shared On: thediydreamer, elizabethjoandesigns "your designs this time", elizabethandco, cozylittlehouse, domestically speaking "inspire me monday", modvintagelife, niftythriftythings, savvysouthernstyle, thededicatedhouse, aprudentlife, astrollthrulife, frommyfrontporchtoyours, livingwellspendingless, awesomethingstuesday, whimsywednesday,theturquoisehome "work it wednesday", igottacreate, 733blog's "inspire me wednesday", somedaycrafts, beyondthepickettfence, allthingswithpurpose, dolendiaries "hit me with your best shot"

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Awesomeness

It's Friday!  We've been experiencing beautiful Fall-like weather all week, and this weekend looks to be no different.  Perfect weather for a short hike, visiting a farmer's market, napping in a hammock - you get my drift.

I'm starting a new series in which I'll be dedicating a post once a month to pinterest faves to share with y'all, starting today.  May some of these inspire you too!

photo by missakassim
Awesome beautiful spot. [Balaa, a 3-level waterfall in Lebanon]

Awesome spiral staircase.

Awesome pebble bathroom flooring.  [love this!]

via House Beautiful
Awesome colorful and summer-y dining room.

via Design Manifest
Awesome kitchen.  Love the contrast between the bottom and top cabinets, as well as the layout. [check out the whole 'before and after' renovation of this kitchen by Design Manifest here]

Awesome late-summer/early fall outfit. [what is with her expression tho??]

via The Bungalow Company
Awesome Craftsman style home.  I've loved Craftsman for years, and would do a cartwheel if ever I got to live in one.

via Cote de Texas
Awesome arbor-covered alley.

Awesome hall.  Just love the amount of light, the exposed beams, colors...

via dar anima
Awesome room.  Great colors, and a swing seat would be so much fun.  I thought it was a living room, but then found out it's a kids' room - how cool is that?  It makes me like that wolf cubs picture even more.

via swordsswords
Last but not least, awesome gadget: sword umbrella.  You know you want one.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Celeric Root Fries

I talked about trying celeric root for the first time when I used it as icing for the meatloaf cupcakes recipe.  Recently I have been experimenting with other ways to use this potato-like veggie, my first being fries.

For those who don't know, I have a nightshade allergy, meaning I can't eat potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers without getting ill.  I've tried sweet potatoes as a substitute for fries, but as much as I try I just can't say I like them.

Happily, my first experience with celeric root fries has been rapturous.  I'd argue that they are even more flavorful than potato fries.  Not to mention, Paleo-friendly foods are oftentimes great for keeping flare-ups down for people with autoimmune dysfunctions such as Celiacs and Crohn's.  Seriously folks, give these babies a try.

To Start:
Except for how you need to cut out the heart of the celeric root before beginning, you make these the same way you do potato fries (see video below for how to cut it).

You'll Need:
- celeric root bulbs (I'd say 1 bulb per person, but these were so good I ate 2 of them myself)
- extra virgin olive oil (buttery)
- parsley
- salt & pepper

Cut the celeric root and making the pieces into fry shapes.

Have a bowl with a few tbsps of olive oil and about 1 tbsp of parsley nearby to dip the pieces into the bowl and coat them.

Lay the fries out on a cookie sheet and spritz some salt & pepper over them, then bake at 350 F for about 15 mins, then flipping them over to bake for another 15 mins or until golden brown.


Shared on: glutenfreehomemaker, vegetarianmama

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What I'm Digging - Summer 2014 Review

It's time for the annual summer What I'm Digging roundup, where I give some of my current entertainment addictions!  I'm hoping some of these things are new to you too, because I have this problem:

So although I can't be creepy and watch you watch these things (or listen to them), I still want to share the awesomeness! (and then be nice and let me know what you thought in the comments, ok?  Ok.)


1960-1970's Guitar Rock Jams  

apart from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, i've never been much of a fan of any music from these two decades. however for reasons i cannot explain, i'm digging "the sound" more this summer.  my playlist is steadily growing a nice repertoire of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder (how can you not get up and dance when "Sir Duke" comes on?!), Rare Earth, Traffic, and some hits of the time such as the Animals "Don't Bring Me Down" and the Knack's "My Sharona". funny thing, my wardrobe has taken a slight 60's/70's fashion turn with a few vintage pieces i've added too - i'll blame it all w/ getting a Mini.

Taeyang's album "Rise" 

If you've not taken the opportunity to expand your understanding of Kpop beyond Gangnam Style, this is one to try.  i've had this album on repeat for much of the summer.  Taeyang is from the group Big Bang, a hugely popular boy group known in most of Asia.  he has a velvety hip hop voice that croons like Usher or Nelly, and if you watch some of his music videos, an amazing dance talent.   he's definitely his own man with a unique vibe and style, so go ahead, give the music a listen.  my only critique is that they should have kept "Ringa Linga" a single and left it off the album, as it doesn't quite gel with the feeling of the rest of the album.  but since that's nitpicking, imma gonna get back to playing it...again...  9/10.


Top Gear (BBC)

We don't get "normal" TV, just Netflix and the interwebs for all of our shows, and we've been steadily making our way through seasons of Top Gear BBC now that we've stopped trying to like Doctor Who ever since Clara came along.  If you like cars, non-PC humor, and juvenile pranks coming from three grown men, this is the show for you.  I don't think there's been a single episode that has not made me laugh.

The Paradise (BBC)

Also discovered The Paradise BBC on Netflix and we're making our way through the second season.  The story takes place in 1870's England and centers around the lives of the people who live and work in the first English department store. I'd say the best thing is the characters aren't cliche.  In fact you sometimes hate a character in one episode and emphasize with them in the next as you learn their personality and motives.  I love that.  The story has smartly escaped some pitfalls as well that befall too many episode plotlines that leave you frustrated with the characters' inability to communicate or ask a simple question that would solve everything. I haven't seen Downton Abby, but if you liked that, you'll probably like this series as well.

Boy Meets World

need i explain?  gotta have some throwback in the mix!


Personally, 99% of the time I abhor and stay the heck away from reality shows.  However, not this one.  First it helps that it isn't American, but Korean.  In Roommates, 11 Korean celebrities (actors, singers, comedians, athletes, etc.) who have been living alone now live together in a house and learn to become a family.  If this were an American show, the roommates would be seen constantly creating drama and bickering, being selfish, backstabbing, and being neurotic and narcissistic.  Thus, this is why I appreciate the completely refreshing 180 of these celebrities in Korea.  They're humble, genuine, vulnerable, creative, and they really strive to understand one another.  I've grown to love them all.  The show balances well between some heartbreaking insights into the lives of these people and what they have gone through (or are going through), and some outrageously hilarious adventures.  It's a feel-good reality show with palpable honesty.  The show started early this summer and is still airing future episodes.  If you'd like to catch up, you can watch all the episodes (free) on Drama Fever.

Running Man

Maybe I should rephrase and say that I run away screaming at the prospect of watching 99% of American reality shows, because Running Man is a reality variety show, and a darn funny one.  Think of it as a cross between SNL and The Amazing Race: it's a weekly show with the same cast, save a guest star or two appearing in each episode, and it has everyone running around finding clues and competing in crazy quests.  They keep it fresh every week by changing the rules as well as location.  Sometimes there's teams, sometimes there's a mole, and other times it's every man for himself.  What I find most hilarious about it is that the rules can be bent; truces and cheating in order to win can be done, but always in a comical way, because the main goal of the show is to be funny, and it delivers.  You will be laughing.  A lot. Again, if you'd like to watch the episodes (they're ongoing), you can watch them free (w/ subs) on Drama Fever.

FOOD: P.F. Changs since discovering this restaurant while visiting my brother and sis-in-law this past Spring, i've been there no less than a half-dozen times, and never been ill.  not only do they have a legit GF menu, but it's got CHOICES.  and they have sauces.  even more spectacular?  they have not just ONE, but TWO incredibly delicious desserts that are GF/DF!  in fact, the desserts are not a GF version of the actual dessert they normally offer, but the actual dessert is something that both non-GF and GF eaters alike can devour!  i'll usually order several more of their chocolate dome cake to take home with me, because dude, where else do you get GF desserts like that?! Chocolate speaking of the chocolate dome cakes at P.F. Chang's...i know this is something that a stereotypical female will have as a lifetime "like", but until the last few months i've never been a chocolate fan.  for the most part i've always strongly disliked the stuff, even the smell of it.  i did grow to like brownies and chocolate cake by the time i was in college, but that was the extent of it. however, since eating the chocolate dome cake at P.F. Chang's, i've been on a hyper-chocolate craving frenzy!  granted, it's still not full-on chocolate bars, but the fact that i'm craving chocolate at all is a new experience for me.  and it demands i listen to it like nobody's business.  if only it were easier to find dairy-free chocolate...  :)

What have you guys been finding this summer?  Any goodies to look forward to this Fall?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Buffet Table Makeover Teaser

Hello!  We're back from our vacay and it's a new month!

If you remember the buffet table I found at an estate sale this past June, I chose it as a perfect candidate for trying milk paint for the first time.  The buffet has been finished for some time, however I have to move a piano out of the house before I can give this baby a proper makeover introduction.  As that last detail to take care of will be happening soon, here's a sneak peak of what's to come!

Can't wait to show y'all!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bon Voyage! (Quick Break!)

Hi all!  Just wanted to give y'all a heads-up that I'll be on vacay until the end of the month, so there will be a short hiatus while the hubs and I are away.      

Take care till then!  :-)
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