Favorite Things: Tools of the Trade

Class is in session!

I thought this week I’d focus on things that I work with, i.e. my tools.  Good tools make work a little easier.  Great tools make work less work –  fun, almost.  Here’s a list of things that I LOVE.  heart and paintbrush

{This is obviously a static list, because I’m always finding new things – as I keep reminding my husband}.

*And, I just to let you know, this is not a sponsored post. Sadly, no money or goodies have been exchanged during the making of said post.  BUT – I want to put it out there ‘into the universe’ that I am very willing to accept large amounts of cash ( $20’s preferable) for a mention on this sensational blog. Rumor on the street is that I have high standards and equally high morals.  Nonsense! I can be bought!

So moving right along…

Favorite Paint:  Well, duh, you all know I’m going to say Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ™, right?  The first time I used it I painted my kitchen cabinets.  I don’t start small.

Go big or Go home.

Never been as clean!
Never been as clean!

After that, I was pretty much hooked.  It became my drug of choice.  I cut my teeth on it.  I know how it works.  I just love it. I refinished my cabinets almost three years ago, and I’m still on the original coat of wax.

Favorite Glaze: This is a hard one because I love two glazes.  Both by General Finishes: One is Van Dyke glaze. It gives the effect similar to dark wax, but it’s easier to put on – and it gives a beautiful sheen to the paint.  The other contender is Winter White Glaze.   Painted over graphite, it can give the illusion of metal.


I painted ‘Swoony’ chair in Winter White.  That’s all the frame needed.  Just that ‘something’ to bring out the detailing.  Swoony – I still miss you.

Favorite Top Coat:   Usually if I’m using ASCP paint, I use ASCP wax (except for outdoors).  DO NOT USE IT OUTDOORS!  It will bubble. If I want something more durable, then this is my new love.  I really like the idea of a flat finish, but it’s impractical with snot-nosed kids around. Modern Masters Dead Flat Top coat is what you/I need.  If you remember I painted over ‘Scary Bathroom Clown’ with Modern Masters metallic paint, and then finished it with the Dead Flat finish.  It’s drop dead gorgeous.  No more scary bathroom clown.

scary clown words

Favorite Image Transfer Medium: Hands down it has to be Artisan Enhancements. Love Love the stuff.  I have tried Mod Podge, and it does work. But, if I had to choose between the two, AE would win – easily.   Yes, it’s more money -but it’s worth it.  The images are just clearer. Simple.  I bought my first can from Robyn Story, (back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper).  And I’ve loved it ever since.

Tools for Wax:  You can spend a lot of money on brushes.  And money is money, honey. I have one big ASCP wax brush.  Big splurge, but I love it.  I have a small Waxman brush, that I never use.  Complete waste of money.  For smaller pieces, I use a regular ‘cheap as chips’ chip brush.  Very cheap economical, it doesn’t hurt when you throw them away.  Easy.  I also love using Steel Wool pads 0000 for putting on dark wax.

Favorite Buffer:   I have a few things.  If I have a big piece that I want to buff up (and seriously, who doesn’t like something ‘buffed up’ – wink, wink, say no more) I use these two products together.   They create the most beautiful shine.  I figured that the nylon shoe liner ‘thingy’ has to work for something, because they certainly don’t work staying on your feet! shoe brushliner Steel wool pads also give great shine (just wait until the wax is really dry – otherwise you’re just wiping it off).  Lastly, brown paper sandwich bags!  And you thought they were for school lunches!

OK, this item is going to be a new Favorite.  I haven’t tried them yet, but I know I’m going to love them!  I’ve been waiting for the right piece to come along, and I do believe I just found it.  The dresser that I just bought is missing some detail work.  It could be a travesty. It really could.  latest acquisition


I have found the right ‘tool’ to make this sucker become a beauty! Efex latex mouldings.

EfexKiller!  Robyn Story included a few of these babies in the blog giveaway.  Latex moldings that you can glue to your piece of furniture? Genius.  Robyn is an enabler (and I say this with love). But she has great products. I’m excited about trying them out.  Furniture doesn’t need to be naked anymore!

Favorite storage ‘thingy’:  As much as I love ASCP, I hate that the paint goes crusty on the top of the cans. Drives me nuts!  I honestly don’t think I have one can that actually closes shut.  I’ve seen a lot of storage ‘solutions’ on-line.  At first, I order six of these Fifo bottles.  Really good. However, I have since found these from Paint-EZE that I love because they have the measurements on the side!  paint eze

My next favorite thing is pertaining to upholstery. Absolutely nothing to do with painting. But, I’m starting to do more and more upholstery (which I’m sure is a little scary for my upholstery instructory).  After all, he was the one that declared my upholstery skills as ‘reckless’.  And yes, that makes me kinda proud.  If you think you’re going to be doing quite a bit of upholstery, it’s worth getting one of these staple guns.


Don’t waste your money on the hand held staplers that you can find at Joann’s etc. They will never give you enough tension for a completely smooth finish.  I splurged and bought myself this Italian Dreamboat: A Fasco Staple Gun.

…And finally, my last (but not least) favorite thing that makes work fun, is thinking about: Idris.    Idris paintingBecause I love paint.  But paint is paint.  But there’s more to life.  And if I only thought about paint, then I’d be a sad puppy.  and I don’t want to be a sad puppy.  I want to be a happy menopausal, brush welding crazy lady. And therefore I can choose the tools that will make me happy.  And there’s my list.

 (insert catchy ending phrase)

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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