Archive for ‘Technique Thursday’

April 19, 2012

Technique Thursday: Create a Chalkboard Surface with FolkArt Chalkboard Paint

Have you crafted with chalkboard paint before? If you haven’t it’s something you should consider. Chalkboard paint allows you to create a chalkboard writing surface on wood, terra cotta or other materials. FolkArt Chalkboard Paint is great for decorating furniture, party favors or gifts. Below we are going to show you how to create a chalkboard surface.

Lightly sand project surface (if needed).

Base-coat with a FolkArt Acrylic Color. Let Dry. Mask off area where you will apply Chalkboard Paint with tape.

Apply 2-3 coats of FolkArt Chalkboard Paint. Let dry between coats. Peel away tape while paint is wet.

Condition by rubbing entire surface with chalk and erase.
Your surface is now ready to be used. Enjoy!
April 5, 2012

Technique Thursday: Essential Mod Podge Techniques

Prepare your surface. Almost any surface can be used to create a decoupage project. Suitable surfaces include wood, paper mache, terra cotta, tin, cardboard, glass and craft foam. Only SOME plastics are suitable for decoupage – we recommend testing a small area before completing your entire project to make sure that the Mod Podge will adhere.

Base-coat your surface (optional step). Many items need to be base-coated before decoupaging if your surface is unfinished. We recommend FolkArt or Apple Barrel Acrylic Paints for base-coating.

Prepare Items to be Mod Podged. Here a few tips you should know before beginning.

  • Fabric – Wash and dry the fabric (do not use fabric softener). Iron and then lay out on a covered work surface.
  • Wax paper is preferable for covering your table. Using a brush, paint a light coat of Fabric Mod Podge onto your fabric.

Allow to dry. This will allow you to cut the fabric like paper without frayed edges.

  • Paper – Most items, especially thicker papers, are ready to be Mod Podged as is. If you are working with thinner sheets of scrapbook paper, it may help to spray your paper with a clear acrylic sealer before Mod Podging. Spray both sides and allow to dry before using.
  • Tissue Paper – There is nothing that you need to do to prepare tissue paper, but just be advised that because it is so thin, it is very difficult to Mod Podge without wrinkles. The good news is that wrinkles are typically part of the charm of using tissue paper and add a little character to your surface. Mod Podge tissue paper carefully so that it doesn’t tear. Cut out your paper or whatever it is that you are planning to decoupage. Experiment with design elements to determine the layout of your piece. Add interest to your design by using large and small pieces, layering and overlapping elements and coordinating colors.

Adhere each element with the Mod Podge finish of your choice. Always start with the underlying design elements and work your way upward. Apply a medium coat of Mod Podge to the surface. Too little Mod Podge and you will get wrinkles – you can always wipe away excess Mod Podge. Place your item(s) to be decoupaged on top of the Mod Podge and smooth thoroughly.

Keep smoothing until all of the bubbles are removed.

When working with large pieces, smooth from the center outward. Air bubbles can be removed with the Mod Podge Tool Set. Use the squeegee with smaller items such as trays – it was developed specifically for getting into corners.

Use a brayer for larger items such as furniture.
Add a protective coat of Mod Podge to your project using a sponge or flat brush. Allow to dry and then repeat. The number of coats you finish with is up to you, but we recommend at least two.
For a very smooth finish, wet a piece of #400 grit sandpaper with water and sand lightly between coats. Wipe dry and polish with #0000 steel wool on the final coat.
March 29, 2012

Technique Thursday: How to load a flat brush

Often times when people begin crafting they usually learn through a process of trial and error. Those that have been doing this for a long time became better over time, and never actually received much instruction in the very beginning. We here at Plaid like to try and help those new to crafting, by offering simple guides to crafting techniques. Today we want to show you how to load a flat brush.

Step 1

Dampen the bristles of brush with water and blot on with a paper towel. Stroke bristles through the edge of the paint puddle, applying slight pressure and pulling color away from the puddle.

Step 2

Flip the brush over and continue to into the paint puddle filling both sides 3/4 full. Work paint into both sides. The paint should fill the brush.

Step 3

The paint should be smooth and even in the brush, with no blobs on the edges or the sides.

Brush loaded with too little paint.

Brush loaded with too much paint.

Brush loaded correctly.

March 1, 2012

Technique Thursday: How To Use FolkArt Extreme Glitter Paint – Basic Instructions

Have you ever used FolkArt Extreme Glitter Paint? In case you have not here is a little information about this amazing paint. Add an elegant, fine glitter finish to your next painting or home décor project with FolkArt® Extreme Glitter. This brush-on glitter paint lets you add eye-catching glitz and shimmer to terra cotta, wood, paper mache and other porous surfaces without the mess of traditional glitter and glue. Use these 3 simple steps to add FolkArt extreme glitter paint to your next project.

Step 1: Lightly sand project surface (if needed).

Step 2: Base coat with a FolkArt Acrylic Color.

Step 3: Apply 2-3 coats of FolkArt Extreme Glitter. Let dry between coats.

We love to see projects our readers have created. Please feel free to post craft projects to our Facebook fan page to share. Have any projects where you have used, FolkArt Extreme Glitter Paint? We’d love to see them.

February 23, 2012

Technique Thursday: Letter Stenciling with Martha Stewart Paint

We here at Plaid produce several craft products as you already know, but we also love to help crafters at all skill levels learn and understand how to use different craft techniques. Today we would like to show you how to perform letter stenciling. Stenciling with letters is a very traditional technique that has been used for many years. It is a great way to decorate any surface, and add something extra to any craft project.

Plan the spacing of letters before painting in stencils.

Create a tracing paper template for correct type alignment. For straight lines of type, use a straight edge or level and pencil to draw a guide line. For curved lines following an oval edge, place the oval object on tracing paper and trace a line following the outside curve with a pencil. Then place the tracing paper on top of your surface and position the curved line where you want the type. For circular lines, position a nail or thumbtack at the center of the circle. Loop string around the nail, tie the other end to a pencil, and draw a circle or arc. Place paper template as guide on surface; slip stencil between template and surface, align stencil and tape in place.

Line up the first letter and hold it in place with tape. Mark the registration with pencil. Paint the first letter, then remove stencil. Let dry. Use the registration mark and guide line to place the second stencil. Repeat the process for each letter. Once the paint is dry, erase any guide marks.

June 30, 2011

Painting on Styrofoam

Welcome to another installment of ASK PLAIDIE LADDIE!

Plaidie Laddie
Plaidie Laddie, loyal Plaid pooch and one of our blog contributors, wants to answer your most burning painting questions. Every week he’ll pick a question out of his virtual mailbag and answer it (with a little help from me, since he only has paws).

“Dear Plaidie Laddie, I love all of the cute styrofoam projects that turn up on Paint Me Plaid. I’ve tried a few of them, but I can’t get the seem to get the same great color saturation that Julie and the other designers get on their projects. What’s the secret?” Tammy from Georgia

There are really two secrets to painting on foam:

  1. Use Apple Barrel paint. The bold colors and the shiny finish look great on styrofoam, plus the paint is inexpensive so even if you wind up using several coats of paint to get the look you’re looking for, you aren’t breaking the bank to complete your project.
  2. Use a spouncer!

Spounce Pool Blue on the styrofoam.
Spouncers are able to really grab that styrofoam and deposit paint in all the nooks and crannies. If you’re more comfortable using a paint brush, we recommend that you use a bouncer to basecoat your surface and then use a regular paint brush to add detail, much the way Julie did in her “You Mean the World to Me, Dad” project.

Paint the countries of the globe.

June 23, 2011

How to Use a Liner Brush

Welcome to another installment of ASK PLAIDIE LADDIE.

Plaidie LaddiePlaidie Laddie, loyal Plaid pooch and one of our blog contributors, wants to answer your most burning painting questions. Every week he’ll pick a question out of his virtual mailbag and answer it (with a little help from me, since he only has paws).

“Dear Plaidie Laddie, I’m seeing some great projects with details that have been added with a script liner. I’m used to flat and round brushes, how should I use the script liner?”  Kate from Kansas

That’s a great question! Script liners are easy to use, but they aren’t used the same way bigger paint brushes are.

First, hold the brush the way you would a pencil.When you put your brush on your surface, don’t use a lot of pressure. Then pull the brush, the paint will follow. Be sure to keep it on the tip, barely exerting any pressure.

Pull the script liner.
If you need help keeping your hand steady, use your little finger for balance.

Use your little finger to steady yourself.
It is best to use this brush with thin, “inky” paint so that it really flows as you pull the brush. The best way to achieve an inky consistency is to add FolkArt Floating Medium to your paint. This will thin the paint without compromising the quality, durability or appearance of the paint.

Have fun!

May 5, 2011

Sanding Basics with Chris Williams

Get ready to prep your wood surface.

Many crafters and painters are curious about sandpapers, sanding tools and why we sand a surface to begin with.  I thought I would share a little of my Sanding 101 knowledge with you. 

So, just what is sandpaper? Sandpaper as we know it today is made of these components:  paper or fabric backing, grit, and the adhesive to hold the two together. When rubbed against a surface, sandpaper will smooth rough areas. Sandpaper can be purchased as flat paper, in rolls or belts.  It can also be purchased in the form of a sanding block, disc or sponge. I found an article on which states that sandpaper can be traced back to 13th century China where it was made of crushed shells, seeds and sand. It wasn’t until 1834 that a patent was processed for the first mass-production assembly, when finely crushed glass particles were used and the product was known as glasspaper!  However in 1916, the 3M Company began developing different abrasives for different types of surfaces as well as improvements in backing.

read more »

April 21, 2011

Decorating Easter Eggs

Welcome to another installment of ASK PLAIDIE LADDIE!

Plaidie Laddie, loyal Plaid pooch and one of our blog contributors, wants to answer your most burning painting questions. Every week he’ll pick a question out of his virtual mailbag and answer it (with a little help from me, since he only has paws). This week’s question:

“Dear Plaidie Laddie, Can I use FolkArt paint to decorate my Easter eggs?”
Easter Chick Painted Egg
Yes! FolkArt paints can be used on wood, ceramic or glass eggs. You can even use it on blown eggs. Since real egg shells are porous they may require more paint to achieve bold colors, but they’ll look great either way.

March 24, 2011

How to Paint a Realistic Flower Pot

Welcome to another installment of ASK PLAIDIE LADDIE!

Plaidie Laddie, loyal Plaid pooch and one of our blog contributors, wants to answer your most burning painting questions. Every week he’ll pick a question out of his virtual mailbag and answer it (with a little help from me, since he only has paws). This week’s question:

“Dear Plaidie Laddie, I’m learning how to paint. Can you give me some tips on painting items to look more realistic? ” -Darian S. from California


realistic painted flower pot

Dear Darian, thank you for your question!  We have a blogger friend named Colleen from Mural Maker who loves painting realistic items with our FolkArt paint.  She gives lessons on her blog, showing people how to paint items more realistically – the pot above only uses three paint colors!  Colleen shows the step-by-step photos on her blog, and she has several more painting lessons here.  Take a peek at her blog entry on the pot here when you have a chance.  Painting realistic items is much easier than you think!

Sincerely, Plaidie Laddie