October 31, 2012

Happy Haunted Halloween and Late Night News


This Thursday, November 3rd from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM is
Late Night on the Ave!

What's in-store?  Another BIG draw and great savings on our November paint
Colour of the Month 
Watch tomorrow`s blog post for details!

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October 30, 2012

Quick and Easy Halloween and Fall Decor: Chalk Painted Pumpkins

Halloween is days away (hours, really) and you haven't had time to jazz up the place?  SO busy you haven't been able to sit down to decorate pumpkins with the kids?  Here is a quick and easy answer...

Chalk Paint™ your pumpkins!

This well-loved paint comes in a myriad of colours (including Barcelona Orange and Graphite, if you prefer a traditional Halloween look), dries quickly and clean-up is a breeze.

Following are some pics to help you get started... paint, stencil, bedazzle, whatever your imagination can conjure up all this project takes is a little Chalk Paintby Annie Sloan, a brush and a few minutes of your time.

Apple Box Boutique
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October 26, 2012

Upcoming Giveaway -- The Mystery Revealed

We've received heaps of enquiries about what it is we will be giving away once we hit 50,000 Pageviews, so here is the mystery revealed.

Thank you for all of your feedback and while Annie Sloan books and brushes were a favourite as well, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint narrowly won the vote!

Help get us to 50,000 Pageviews and the Giveaway winner will be announced -- here's what will be in the basket:

Your choice of: 

1 Full-size Package of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

 4 Milk Paint Sample Sizes 
so you can try out multiple colours (each sample is enough to paint two coats on a small side table)

  Bonding Agent
so you can choose fabulous chippyness or a smooth, adherent finish

Furniture Wax
for a velvety protective finish

How to Win

1)  Comment below to be entered, then share our Blog so that we can get to 50,000 Pageviews and our Giveaway even faster

2)  Like us on Facebook and comment there about this Giveaway to receive a second entry

Feeling Inspired?  Here is a sampling of projects using

Sea Rose Cottage
 Just (re)imagine the possibilities! 

Apple Box Boutique
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October 24, 2012

Chalk Paint™ & MMS Milk Paint: Two Talented Sisters

We receive heaps of questions about the difference between Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint and Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan, so it is always nice to get someone else's take on it. Stephanie of Me and Mrs Jones wrote this fun (and accurate) article comparing the two and we wanted to share it with you!

Happy reading!

chalk paint™ & milk paint: compare/contrast

there seem to be lots of questions lately about how these two mediums compare. since we’re now carrying both at the studio, (and clearly, i adore the two paints, and the creative, generous women behind each brand) here is mrs. jones’s take, for what it’s worth.

to me, they’re like two talented girls from the same family…both environmentally gentle, water-based materials chock-full of pigment. in each line, the paints can be easily intermixed to create new colors and layered to fabulous effect. both sand out like silk, and finish beautifully with waxes, glazes, gilding, lacquer, hemp oil, and burnishing paste. they can used just as you like: thinned out as washes, or thickened to slather on, adding texture to your surfaces. both paints stencil brilliantly. they distress in gorgeous, authentic, but varying ways. and, like sisters, they have differences too.

chalk paint™ is the conscientious older sib in this scenario. her steady temperament can always be counted on. her gorgeous hues and consistency are unfailing from one can to the next, she won’t fuss at you for applying her in a variety of conditions, and her adherent quality is completely reliable. her color palette is sophisticated and elegant (perhaps it was that semester abroad?) though she can go all country on you, too, if you let her. she ages very softly and gracefully, looking all the better for just a little gentle wear.

milk paint, on the other hand, is the darling but slightly unpredictable little sister. you’re always going to have fun with her, and there are times that she’ll stick right to you, but other moments where she may chip, crackle and flake out a bit (though in a most attractive way.) mix her with water when you’re ready, but don’t expect her to be tamed – she may leave in her wake streaks of undiluted pigment, or slubby little bits where she refused to blend in. you’ve got to admire her spirit…she’s going to do her own thing, and she’ll look fabulous in the process, in slightly clearer and more american farmhouse/vintage-y colors.

if you like painted furniture – especially if you enjoy painting it yourself – you’ll need to make the acquaintance of both of these lovelies at your earliest convenience.

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October 22, 2012

Reimagined Monday: If Milk Paint Freaks You Out...

Marian Parsons, aka Miss Mustard Seed, is nothing if not open and honest -- if you read her blog you know exactly what I mean, and if you don't, it's a great place to visit.  Today's Reimagined Monday entry is no exception as Marian takes us through the process of working with MMS Milk Paint as she reimagines a beautiful antique wardrobe.

Taking the worry out of working with this traditional style paint and aptly titled, here is Marian's project, compiled from several posts on her blog...

If Milk Paint freaks you out…

…this post may help prevent that.  Hopefully.

Let me start by saying that I love Milk Paint and I’m currently selling Milk Paint under my own brand.  That doesn’t mean that I think everyone else will love Milk Paint as much as I do or that I think it’s perfect for every painting situation.  I love it, but I can love it realistically.  So, when people tell me they are scared to try it, I understand.  It comes in powder form, which is different.  It has a different texture, which is…well…different.  It doesn’t behave the way modern paints do.  All of those things can freak people out.  BUT, it’s an amazing paint.  Everything that makes it different also makes it special.

I think the key to loving Milk Paint is understanding it.  I think it might help to show a piece in progress, so when your milk paint starts to look different from the other paints you’re used to, you don’t freak out.

This is my subject.  A 100+ year old wardrobe.  She’s a beauty.

One of my readers sent an amazing picture to me showing a fireplace surround she painted in Tricycle, Typewriter, then Shutter Gray.  It looked amazing, so I’m ripping her off.  :)  I told her I was and I’ll show you the piece she sent me.  (By the way, she doesn’t have a blog or I would link to her.)

Anyway, here is how the piece looked with one coat of Tricycle.  I decided not to paint the door panels, since I’m going to paint those in Grain Sack and they won’t get distressed a lot.  I did add the bonding agent, because I didn’t want chipping.

I used a fairly thin coat, since the final color isn’t going to be Tricycle.

I then painted on a thin coat of Typewriter over the Tricycle, again leaving the door panels unpainted.

…and now Shutter Gray…

See.  This is the stage of the game where some people might freak out.  It looks streaky.  The finish is uneven.  I’ve said it before…there is almost always a point as I’m working on a piece of furniture when I hate it and want to haul it to the closest thrift store just to get it out of my sight.  I resist that urge, though, knowing it’s going to look amazing in the end.

Now, I have no idea how this cool texture happened.  It looks like crackling, but it’s smooth.  That’s just how it happened and I’m sort of digging it.  It just goes to show how unexpected furniture painting can be.  I am afraid I’m going to lose it with the second coat, but we’ll see.

So, if you’re working on a piece and it looks like this about halfway through, don’t fret.  It’s going to look much, much better once it’s done.  Just get through the ugly stage.

I also wanted to show what the paint I was using looked like.  This is paint that was mixed up about ten days ago with the bonding agent added.  I left it sitting on my workbench covered with plastic wrap.  It was thick and the pigment was separated, but I added more water and stirred it around.

 It was a little lumpy, but went on smooth.

So, if your paint looks like this, it’s okay.  If latex paint looks like this, something is wrong, but it’s okay for Milk Paint to look a little funky.  Just remember it’s different.  And the differences are what make it a great paint.

I applied a second coat of Shutter Gray Milk Paint and painted the door panels and side panels in Grain Sack.  It doesn’t look a lot like Grain Sack, though, because some yellow from the original wood seep through  That doesn’t have anything to do with the Milk Paint, but the piece of furniture.

If it really bothered me, I could seal it with poly and paint it over again, but it doesn’t bother me in this case.  I then sanded the finish with a fine grit sanding sponge…

…then a medium.  With a fine sanding sponge, I was able to wear away some of the paint to reveal the layers underneath.  It’s very subtle, but looks great.

I used the medium grit sanding sponge to scrape away some of the paint.  I did get some chipping, but that’s because the finish underneath chipped and took the Milk Paint along with it.  Again, I just went with it.

Distressing really brought out the character in the old wood.  I then waxed the piece in Furniture Wax followed by the Antiquing Wax, which settles in the nooks and crannies, but isn’t too heavy.

I especially worked it into little holes and grooves….

 …and wiped away the excess, leaving the Antiquing Wax just in the recesses.

Here it is…

 I purchased this wardrobe from an antique furniture store and it was beautiful to begin with, but it felt very dark and heavy.  The wood was also not in the greatest condition, so I didn’t feel too bad about painting it.  This one is an oldie.  It was originally a wardrobe that would easily break down into flat parts, so it could be moved in the days before we had U-Hauls at the ready.  Someone glued/screwed it all together at some point, though.

This is the fireplace surround that was my inspiration for the finish…

Mary and her husband painted it in Tricycle, followed by Typewriter and lastly Shutter Gray.  I love the layering and how the distressing and the antique wax made this surround look authentically aged.  It’s just gorgeous.  (And speaking of gorgeous finishes…check out the corner of the table shown on the far left of the before picture!)

I used the same paint colors on my piece, except I added Grain Sack in the door and side panels.

You can just see hints of red and black in the distressing…

I kept the original hardware, but removed the back plates, which looked a bit too ornate for the piece in my opinion.

I really love how this piece turned out.

I hope walking you through the process of painting and finishing this wardrobe will make you a bit more comfortable with giving Milk Paint a try!
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