Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bye Bye Kandinsky

Hello (knock off of) tribute to Ford Smith.

This sad Kandinsky print has been a staple in my home for years. I love it-I really do. But the print has been through a lot, not to mention that the frame wasn’t really the correct size for the print and the frame is a little thin for its scale.

About 6 months ago I found an awesome frame at Goodwill. Have I ever told you I love Goodwill? I do, I love it. The frame contained one genuine-God-awful-blue-and-white-floral-print. I immediately decided to buy the frame and paint over the print….But what to paint? Obviously I would copy something….because copying is what I do best. Ford Smith is a favorite artist of mine. So I chose this print to copy.

Gorgeous colors, modern, fabulous, did I mention it has gorgeous colors? I LOVE red and turquoise….watch the transformation.

"See ya" ugly flowers

I love cleaning my brushes in pretty little Mason Jars

Getting Closer

What happens when I neglect my household responsibilities to paint.

Just a reminder of what I was copying (for my own personal use of course)

The finished product-ready to hang.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Product Test-Leather Refinishing

Before our children were born we bought some very nice, expensive leather furniture. It didn’t seem expensive at the time. When two adults are working and have minimal expenses and no kids….buying aniline leather (no protective coatings) seems brilliant. And for two year we kept it in pristine condition….but now-after 2 kids, careless guests, dogs, cats, vomit….well you get the idea-our leather-while still in good stable condition (comfortable, not broken etc) looks like…well…it looks like crap. There is no other way to say it. I have spent a few years looking at various refinishing products on the internet and finally I decided to take the plunge. I ordered a small kit and decided to practice with the ottoman.

The kit included a leather cleaner, dye, and a protectant along with gloves a scrub pad and a sponge.

Here is an example of the sort of stains we are dealing with.

Step one is to use to scrub pad to gently rub the cleaner into the leather. This “cleaner” didn’t really clean the leather as in it didn’t remove and stains of spots, but rather it seems to remove any finish or coating and prepare the leather to take the dye.

The Next step was to “dye” the leather. I say “DYE” because the product more closely resembled watered down paint-not dye. I put some of the product on my hand and let it dry- I could easily wash or scrape off the “dye” and easy removal is not a typical trait of dye.

Here you can see that I have “dyed” part of the sample and left part the original color.

It takes several coats but eventually you build up enough color to cover any stains or spots on the leather. We used a color darker than the original leather, hoping for better results.

After about 4 coats I felt I had covered most of the stains.

When the “dye” was dry I added a protective coating-like a leather conditioner.

The finished job looks nice except we don’t like the color we picked.

I am also concerned-see the wrinkling in the leather when I push on it-the leather is no longer as supple as it once was. The leather also has gone from having beautiful natural variations to looking a little more like cheap leather or vinyl.

I can see where this product and process could be very beneficial. If you have on old piece of furniture that you won’t use often-this product can give you a good look-however after about 2 weeks of use-the ottoman shows many scratches and it seems as if some of the color is fading. I would rate this product 3 out of 5 stars. We are still deciding if we want to refinish all of our leather or learn to love the stains.