Hi there–happy Monday! I have a special post today, involving some free products that I received from HomeRight, a company that manufactures quality paint sprayers and spray tents. They gifted two products, which I’ve always wanted to try, to me (and 49 other bloggers) at the Haven blogging conference I attended in July. I used them both on today’s project: a vintage French provincial nightstand makeover.
Until the conference, I had never even touched a paint sprayer, but HomeRight had one set up right in the hallway at Haven, and I had the chance to test it out. The idea of being able to quickly paint several projects at one time was extremely appealing to me, and by using the sprayer in conjunction with a very large spray tent, I’d have a protected area to paint in.
Day 1: Painting the Vintage French Provincial Night Stand
So here I am, looking very glamorous in my HomeRight #paintallthethings t-shirt provided by the company–with my tent assembled, my paint sprayer out of the box, pre-assembled, and my French provincial-style night stand (a $5 garage sale find), ready for her coveted, Adirondack Girl makeover. Unfortunately things didn’t go as smoothly as planned…beginning with the spray tent and having absolutely nothing to do with the product itself but rather with the user, that is, me.
Here you get a sense of just how big the large paint tent truly is. I had planned to quickly paint several projects right in a row with pretty pale blue paint. Focusing on just how much painting can be accomplished in a short period of time with the “right” tools, like a paint sprayer and large tent, would be the focus of my post. However, as I mentioned, things did not go as expected. To keep it simple, I’m going to give you a list of what NOT to do when attempting a project like this one. Ready?
- Instructions: Don’t throw away the instructions for setting up the spray tent. As easy as it is to set it up, and it is easy, if you’re not the most mechanically intuitive person, you need those instructions. Fortunately, I found a video that Gail at My Repurposed Life put together providing some great instructions and set up took just 5 minutes. Phew.
[Hint: Set up is easier with a friend, like most things in life.]
- The Paint: Don’t under any circumstances use homemade chalk paint with your paint sprayer. I promise you, things will not go well. In fact, if you use unsanded grout to make your own chalk paint, as I do, at first things will work fine, but then the spray action will stop and after fiddling with it repeatedly, you’ll realize you’ve done something terribly wrong. You’ll then run into the house to try to remove all of the gunk from your beautiful new piece of machinery, which I learned can be done, but only if you are quick and persistent. Phew.
- Weather: Check the weather before you decide to leave your tent up with your half-painted furniture inside of it, because it might rain, allowing water to puddle around not just the legs of your piece, but the drawer you left sitting out. The moisture might warp the drawer. I’m just saying, it might happen.
- Electrocution: Do not use your paint sprayer while standing in puddles of water left by heavy rain because you might electrocute yourself, even though I may or may not have actually done this myself. Use your noggin.
- More Weather: Check the weather. Because I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I left my tent up for a second night, hoping to paint more things after the puddles had dried up. It’s just that mother nature sent gale force winds and blew my tent down. So yeah, check the weather.
So painting on Day 1 ended with me cleaning all the congealed chalk paint from my sprayer and then realizing that I had a meeting I had to run out to. I figured I’d finish the paint job the next day using straight latex paint, no unsanded grout thank-you very much.
Day 2: Finishing the Night Stand
On day two I filled my paint sprayer with latex paint straight from the can, with no additives or fillers and it worked like a dream. Seriously, I asked it where it had been all my life. It only took a few minutes to finish painting the piece, but then I realized that I was standing in two inches of water and that wasn’t too smart. (See point 4 above: Electrocution)
So as soon as I finished painting the stand, I emptied and cleaned my new best friend, aka the sprayer, and then laid out the tent and plastic drop cloth (my “floor”) to dry. From there I went about my business, planning to paint more later on. Didn’t happen. Before I went to bed though, I popped the tent back up into position and laid the drop cloth down again so it would be ready for the next day.
Day 3: More painting planned
On the third day, I awoke only to discover that my tent had blown down (photo above right) and the drop cloth was nowhere to be found (sorry to the dear neighbor who had to deal with that mess). All around me the wind was blowing like crazy. I’m afraid I have to admit that I was pretty much done with painting, for the moment anyway. I was extremely thankful that I had, in all my clumsy ridiculousness, been able to complete at least one project, one that I’m very happy with. [Kitchen cupboards are next!]
She’s wonderfully curvy, just as you expect a French provincial piece to be. I gave her a little distressing so she won’t get too full of herself.
I’ve seen some furniture painters paint the “indents” with white paint, which really compliments these pieces well. However, I don’t have such a steady hand when it comes to details like that so I decided to make those elements stand out by sanding them. It’s good to know your own limitations.
The distressing (with ordinary sandpaper) actually took much longer than the paint job. The last step involved applying a coat of paste wax that I then buffing out after letting it dry for 15 minutes.
I think the distressing was well worth the effort. Do you agree?
I considered cleaning up the handles, using my tarnished metal cleaning techniques, but decided I preferred leaving them as is since they complimented the distressing so well.
So I had quite an adventure with my new painting tools, but am SO grateful to HomeRight for giving me the chance to try out these two truly wonderful products. Because of my own series of rather silly mistakes, I had a bit of a learning curve, but I know that next time (sooner, rather than later), I’ll be a pro.
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