Saturday, July 7, 2012

Absorbing and doing

I have been busy watching online art classes and doing a few projects around my home.  I haven’t had much of a schedule-it is so easy to slide into that when my kids are home during the summer break.  As a result things that I wanted to keep up on have been neglected including this blog. 
My son and his family are here visiting and before they got here I wanted to make sure I had my grandson’s rocking chair ready for him.  He’s only 9 months old and still too young for it, but it was one goal I wanted to finish. 
I found a great deal at a thrift store while I was in Tennessee.  The proportions for a child’s rocking chair are a little different than what I have normally seen.
I have seen several blogs featuring chalk paint to refinish furniture.  It gives a soft pastel look that I normally would not want, but figured this rocking chair would be a good candidate to try this out on.  There are several DIY recipes out there and I ended up using a little water and unsanded grout for mine.  I also read about using Vaseline to give a more realistic look of distressing. 
I wiped down the chair with a little Krud Kutter and rinsed with vinegar.  The finish had a rough texture to it and I wasn’t concerned about the paint sticking.  My husband then gave it a good spray coat of some blue that we had on hand.
I waited until it was completely dry-it may have been a little soft in some areas.  I then took a small amount of Vaseline and went around the areas that I thought would normally get the most wear and tear.  Since I was painting on the chalk paint with a brush I didn’t want to drag the Vaseline all over into areas I didn’t want it so my layer was very thin.
I put on two coats of the chalk paint and let it dry.  The areas where the Vaseline are separate a bit like crackling.  I had intended to use a fine steel wool to remove the paint in those areas, but could not fine where we put it away.  I opted to use a fine grit sandpaper instead of making a run to the store for steel wool.  The painted Vaseline comes off very easily and leaves a smoother transition somewhat like a watercolor.  I took some areas a little further and removed down to the bare wood.  I’m pleased the result and it was easier and quicker with this method.
I wanted the chair to have a matching cushion and graphic with my grandson’s name.  I had hoped to find a sweet nursery rhyme type fabric to give me some inspiration for the color and what to do for the font and graphic.  I just couldn’t find what I had in mind.  I found some nice fleece fabric and made some basic cushions with some tie quilting to hold it all together and give is some more definition.  I found a sweet silhouette of a pied piper with a squirrel following behind at the Graphics Fairy.  I uploaded to my Silhouette Cameo software and figured out my dimensions from there.  I could have used the negative and painted it on, but I decided the vinyl may pull the paint away especially since the paint had not cured for awhile.  So being in a hurry I decided just to put the positive part on with some black vinyl.  I was a little crooked in my placement-it will have to do for now.  It’s one of those things that bother me every time I look at it.  All in all I think it is a very sweet little rocking chair, and now I just need my grandson to hold still long enough so I can get a picture of him in it.

*I think he likes it!