Playing Around

jumpingOffCliffFree falling into the world of new products is … well… it’s rather fun.  It starts to get your creative juices flowing.  And then your imagination goes into overdrive.

Just what the doctor ordered.

(said the actress to the Bishop).

Most of you know that I use Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel a lot, but  I’ve also used their top coat, Crackle Tex, and Scumble, and I wanted to try something completely different. So, I asked them if I could write a blog about one of their products – and, rather surprisingly, they said Yes.   Now the problem with doing a blog post on a product with the full knowledge that the company will be reading said blog post is that, in that back of your mind, you’re really hoping that the product doesn’t suck.  (please baby Jesus, don’t make it suck).  And guess what?  It does not suck.  Not only does it not suck, it is rather quite lovely.  I think I may be hooked.  Well played, Artisan Enhancements.  Well played.

So let’s talk Artisan Enhancements VP Antico.  P1070246I’m guessing that the VP stands for Venetian Plaster (but I have been known to be wrong on many occasions).  When applied to a surface it can give the impression of honed Venetian plaster.  The other really cool thing about this product is that you can add it to paint, and it suddenly gives your paint finish beautiful texture.  I could have messed around all day with this stuff.  Again, well played, Artisan Enhancements.

I bought this piano stool sometime last year.  BeforeI loved the glass claw feet, but I hated the bumpy shellac finish (it looked like it had a bad case of the measles – so not in demand these days).  I especially hated that the top seat was missing;  thus leaving me with a big hole in the middle.  Unless you’re looking for a place to shove a bunch of flowers, a hole in a seat is a bit of a nuisance.  It was a ‘given’ that this would be my next victim.  How could it not be?


Was it possible to make it look any worse?  We will see.

Opening a new can of new product is really exciting.  This is what it looks like.   Yum!VP1

It’s like uber-expensive rich, thick face cream.   Wrinkle-filler, hello??  With this stuff, I swear I could probably look like a 20 year old 30 year old 40 year old (let’s be realistic here, kiddos).

But I digress.  Back to painting with this marvelous stuff.  Given the bumpy, chicken poxy look of the piano stool, I knew that I wanted to use the VP Antico as a paint addictive.    I had painted the stool with a base coat of Old Violet Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  (I picked my colors based on the fabric I was going to use:  Annie’s French Hens fabric).  Yes, there is a method to my madness, most of the time.  I wanted the top coat to be Olive chalk paint.   You could use a brush to apply it if you wanted to, but I used this cool tool called a Color Shaper.  P1070249It’s really flexible and great for pushing medium through stencils etc.  I personally think it would also be great for giving people ‘dope slaps’

(Fake legal Disclaimer: The Paint Factory does not endorse/nor encourage using Artisan Enhancements Color Shaper as a Dope Slapper).

The instructions are pretty straight forward.  Put the product on, let it dry, sand it.  The End.  I skim over the instructions essentially because I am the worse kind of student.  I tend just do my own thang.  I prefer to learn from using the product.   I added Olive in with the VP Antico. mixingThis is the first coat, lots of different thicknesses.

I have to tell you, at this point I was very unsure.

first coat

But, it would work. Right? And if it didn’t? well, I’d just destroy all evidence of the project.  That simple.   I waited about 10 mins, and added a deeper mix of the Olive/VP in different areas.  And then I got the dope slapper  color shaper and just lightly played with the product, smoothing it out in places.  Such fun to manipulate product.   This is a shot of the product almost dry.  Lots of variation in color and texture.

This is a good time to grab yourself a glass of wine.

At this stage, I had switched from ‘panic’ mode to ‘I think it’s going to be OK’ mode.    Once it was completely dry I set to work.  The paint ends up looking like old fashioned gesso, really thick.Before sanding  I decided that to smooth some of the texture out a bit I would use a razor blade.  I love texture, but I love the appearance of  ‘smooth’ texture, meaning that  I like to see varying tones in my paint.  A lot of the time when I’m trying to get texture, I use my razor blade to lightly shave away the paint.  It works so well, give it a go!   Obviously the lighter areas here are the ones that I have smoothed out with the blade.  Then  light sanding.  smoothing outNow I did want a real chippy, aged look. And so how did I achieve that?  Well, with a screw driver!  I really just tapped the edges of the paint, in random areas.   Then I waxed.   I love how it turned out.   I think most of us fight with the idea of having pieces becoming too contrived, not authentic looking.  I love the idea of chippy finishes, but I also like the idea of being able to control where the chipping happens, and I especially like the idea of being able to play around with the thickness of the product.

Was I happy with VP Antico.  Very.  See for yourself.

french henChippy goodness Four

twoafterSo my quest for jumping in at the deep end (or over the edge – depending on the day), and swimming amongst fabulous new products continues.  As of today,  I’m holding myself above water.   I’m more intrigued than ever to see what else is out there in the great world of creativity.

I love this journey that I stumbled upon.  And, truthfully,  I really don’t care to ponder about the eventual destination,  I want to enjoy the journey itself.

For the ride. thelma-louise-thunderbird-blog

And I want to share in the joys.   To free fall.

Care to join me?

{insert catchy ending phrase here}

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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