Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How to paint on slate the right way

Paint on slate - how to tutorial

If we were to tell you the most common questions we get asked here at You Can Folk It, it would be how to paint on to different surfaces.  Within our kits, you receive the materials that are best for beginner projects, mount board and wood.  We chose these because they require no preparation beyond base coating and they are a delight to paint being small, manageable (thanks to the flat, smooth surface) and easily replaceable should you be unhappy with the finished result (though we have never met a customer yet who doesn't love their first project).  

Our recent tutorials have given you step by step instructions on how to paint on to plastic and glass objects that are often available and begging to be reloved instead of being thrown away.  However, what about slate? There are so many different slate products in the high street at the moment, from notice boards to coasters, placemats to photo frames.  With their rustic look and hand crafted appeal, they make the perfect addition to any home.  

So, if you want to add a few hand painted details, what do you need to know? 

1.  As with any surface, to help the paint adhere to your project as much as possible, you need to make sure that your surface is clean and free from dust and dirt.  You can do this by simply wiping down the surface with water and a lint free cloth.  

2. Being a porous surface, to paint on to slate you do not need a primer as the paint will adhere to the surface easily.

3. You can base coat your slate if you wish.  To create a matte finish similar to the natural slate, choose a beautiful shade of Chalky Finish paint.  
4. Plan your design around your surface. The natural characteristics of slate means there may be areas that you would not be able to add designs as easily as you hoped.  Think about this when you are designing your patterns.  

5.  As slate can be easily scratched, in order to protect your project from signs of wear and tear, the best way to finish it is to apply two coats of varnish.  Even though you are varnishing your project, there is no need to compromise on the matte finish.  Seal your slate using two coats of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish and leave to dry.  

Please note: We recommend leaving your project to cure for a few days before using them.  While paint and varnish can feel dry to the touch, they need a few days to cure completely.  

Happy Folking, 

Carol x 


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

How to create storage that gets noticed

Making something out of nothing can feel so satisfying.  We are in the process of relocating our office at Folky HQ and we are rediscovering old boxes, bags and jars that we squirrelled away to paint another day.  As we need more storage in the office we thought we would get to transforming them and with Mother's Day later this month in the UK, we thought that there was no time like the present to share a fantastic project that can be used on any old glass jar or bottle.  The fantastic thing about projects like these is that if you make a mistake or you aren't 100% happy with your finished jar, all you have lost is an old jar.  

What you will need: 

An old jar or bottle
1:1 solution of Vinegar and water
A lint free cloth  

Before you start to basecoat the jar, you need to ensure the surface is absolutely clean. Although it is tempting to miss this step out, it really does guarantee you create the best finish. Use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down your glass. We have a lot of natural oils on our fingers that can ruin our finished piece so be careful not to handle the glass after you have cleaned it. 

NOTE: The ultimate grease remover is pure alcohol called Isopropyl. It is worth investing in some if you wish to paint a lot of glass and can be bought from Pharmacies. 

We could have chosen DecoArt Chalky Finish to basecoat our jar which would not require any Paint Adhesion medium to adhere to the glass.  For this project however, we used paints straight from our Series 1 Starter kit, including the Lamp Black to create a bold background for a striking project. To prevent the paint being scratched, add DecoArt's Paint adhesion medium to your Lamp Black (1:1 - you will not lose quality in colour or consistency) and using the sponge from our Starter kit, paint directly on to the plain glass. 

Once the paint has dried, using your traced pattern and transfer paper, transfer your design guide onto your surface - (don't forget any lids you may have if you wish to keep it). 

Begin to paint your design on to the jar.  You may wish to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer to prevent unfortunate smudges.  We painted our Bluebirds design using the paints provided in the Series 1 Starter kit. The instruction booklet and DVD from the Bluebirds add on kit takes you through, step by step, which colours to mix and how to tip your paintbrush to paint the two tone bluebirds.  

Once you have completed your design, sit back and admire your project and wait for the paint to cure.  Once your paint has cured, fill with pens and rulers, knives and forks at the dining table, flowers or indeed make up brushes as we have done here.  

We are big believers in documenting your painting journey to allow you to look back and enjoy seeing how far you've come since you first fell in love with Folk It.  So... if you have created this project for a loved one or if you're not 100% happy with it and do not wish to keep it, why not take a photo of it and add it to your painting journal to remind yourself of your creations.  

Things to remember.....

All paint needs to cure. A cured paint will be solid throughout, not just dry to the touch. Acrylics often feel dry a few minutes after being painted but in order to cure, it usually needs a couple of weeks. Factors such as humidity, number of coats and thickness of paint will also influence this time. A slick surface will mean paint is easily scratched off after a couple of days but becomes more robust after a couple of weeks.
Always remember, your painted objects are like a car. Scratch a car with a key and paint will come away. Similarly, if your object is scratched with some force, because it does not have that 'key', some paint will be removed, regardless of the paint used.  

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