Monday, July 15, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: From Trash to Display-Ready

 I love that it is now chic to take trash and other cast off stuff and turn it into something that can be useful in my home. There's a lot of product on retail shelves that I think is cool, but the price tag generally is not. So I shop the damaged, super discounted stuff that's a bit banged up. Here's one of my favorite techniques to make it "home" ready.

I use paint, tissue paper and rubbing alcohol to turn trash into shabby/cottage chic treasures. This technique works great because it hides a lot of problems, gives the item texture and depth and involves some of my favorite products. By the way, did I mention it also lets me play with rubbing alcohol (see post, "My Love Affair with Alcohol")?

What you will need:

Acrylic paint (can either be spray or liquid)
Mod Podge
Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
Foam brushes
Item of your choice
Tissue paper or dress patterns
Masking tape
Satin varnish (optional)
Paper towels

Step 1: Clean your item so the paint will stick. Remove hardware or use masking tape to protect it.

Step 2: Apply a base coat of acrylic paint to your item. You can try this process without this step, but I like to do it just to remove the "noise" of the background. For example, I was worried that the black pattern on my tin canister would bleed through, so I took my trusty Krylon spray paint and got rid of it.
I tore strips because my canister is curved and I didn't want too much texture in the tissue paper.

Step 3: Glue your tissue paper/dress patterns to your item. As you glue, you will notice that there are wrinkles in the tissue paper. This is exactly what you want. I go over the wrinkles lightly the Mod Podge to tack them down a bit and I use my finger to press them down if they are too wrinkly.

Step 4: Let dry.

Step 5: Apply your liquid acrylic paint in a thin coat and let it dry a bit.

Before you start the distressing process, please make sure that you are in a well ventilated area!

If you are using a tissue with printing on it, you will want some of the pattern to show through for added texture.

Step 6: Spray the paint with the rubbing alcohol. Be generous with it and spray the alcohol until it looks really wet. Give it just a minute to "eat" the paint. I usually count to ten. Then start wiping off the paint with a paper towel. Sometimes I rub it off; sometimes I dab it off.

What I love about this is that you can fix whatever mistakes you make. If you take off more paint than you intended, just reapply the paint and distress again. Let it dry completely before you do this again. 

Step 7: Varnish. I like the feeling of depth that the varnish gives my canister.

Note that this technique is not food safe. It is just to make things pretty.

This is so easy and yields some really great and unique results. Give it a shot and let me know how your projects turn out!


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