Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Week

Anyone who checks in often has probably noticed a hush that has fallen on Chair Notes for the last week. I have been consumed with finishing my curved rodback settee. I had a deadline to meet, partly imposed but mostly my own and the finish took a great deal more time than I expected (I shouldn't be surprised). The whole gruesome tale is that I painted the piece black on red only to find that I had changed a light active curvaceous settee into a dank still corpse! I stood back, looked at it, and realized that it bore no resemblance to the image that I have had in my head for years. I suppose that I let the deadlines scare me into a conservative choice and found the piece deserved better.

So what do I do. I wash down the entire piece, careful not to soak the joints, scraped down the seat and begin the process of achieving a finish that will add to the piece. For this I turned back to the first chair that I made, the little green birdcage. I followed the process of painting the settee yellow with about 4 thin coats of light green over top. After much wrestling, the paint came out beautifully. Slightly mottled, translucent and rich. Whew! Lesson learned.

I will get some studio shots done tomorrow but he is a preview of the results.

One of the great developments to come out of this detour is the addition of the anti-foaming agent sold by the Real Milk Paint Company. I ordered some to try out and used it (even though this piece uses the Old Fashioned Product which is more translucent). It changed the whole game. By putting a drop, yes a drop, in the jar, the bubbly water mess became a super smooth, easy to apply, less drippy paint. I even skipped the filtering step! I am still new to it and plan to play some more, but I encourage folks to give it a shot, it definitely seems to tame the beast.

I do plan to speak more on the milk paint issue and brand differences when my exploration yields more decisive and definable results. They are different and seem to be suitable for different intended results. But regardless, this anti-foaming agent is along for the ride.


Herman Veenendaal said...

Beautiful work Peter. How do you mix the milk paint? With a mixer? A blender? I usually use an electric mixer and like you find the bubbles a nuisance. I'll try the anti foaming agent soon.

Anonymous said...

Pete, could you clarify a bit the statement that you "even skipped the filtering step"? Does the anti-foaming agent affect the solids that are normally filtered out? Or do you let them sit at the bottom of the jar? Or what?

Like many, I suspect, I have a love/hate relationship with milk paint. Sounds like this product might eliminate most of the "hate" side of things for me. I'll try it. Thanks!

greg said...

Did you strip it all down to bare wood? Or did you catch yourself before the whole thing was done? Can you give some details on how you accomplished the stripping? I've never found milk paint willing to let go once it has set up.