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ajrsmom 02-26-2004 12:52 PM

Painting on Wood
Printed from the Family Corner Creativity Newsletter

Painting On Wood
The popularity of tole and decorative painting has exploded in recent years. With many small craft shops and large craft supply stores now offering classes with experienced teachers, even the most 'uncreative' person can learn to paint like a pro. The new painting supplies and innovative patterns available today all but beg people to pick up a brush and give it a try, and once certain techniques and methods are learned and the finished product displayed most newbies are hooked on this gratifying hobby. There is something extremely satisfying about saying Yes, I made that myself!

The following are a few tips and/or tricks I have learned or stumbled upon since I began painting to make the job go faster, better or easier.

Always varnish or shellac then lightly sand knot holes - there's nothing worse than having worked hard on a project only to discover a short while later that a knot hole bleeds through.

For patterns that are used often cut them out of card board or plywood with a scroll saw - this saves your tracing pattern as well as a lot of time.

Instead of a paint pallet or margarine lid I use plain old wax paper folded in two - no messy clean up - just throw it way.

If you use a large amount of paint as I do, consider buying your most used colors in quarts - many paint stores will now mix to match, this saves a great deal of money in the long run. But be sure you'll use it all in a timely manner as it will dry up over time.

When painting a large number of small items, stack the items in piles that are comfortable to hold in one hand and paint all the sides at once - a real time saver!

When staining a large number of small items, try using a small strainer and dipping them into the stain.

If you use a brush to stain with, wrap in plastic and store in the freezer for next time - just let it warm up and it's read to go! No clean-up.

When basecoating use the largest brush possible - I prefer the foam brushes for this as they leave fewer stroke marks.

For large projects consider a small sponge roller for basecoating - this saves a great deal of time and gives a really nice finish

Save those old toothbrushes for splattering your projects.

Don't have a checkerboard stencil? No problem - just cut a sponge into a small square, lightly dampen and use it as a stamp.

Beware if you are using a permanent ink marker for your line work - many will smear if you use a brush on varnish - try using several light coats of spray varnish instead.

A plastic runner is great for drying items - just place the 'toothy' side up - this will prevent marks on the backs of your projects.

ALWAYS finish the backs of your projects - they're really not complete unless you do.

And a few more tips for when your project is completed:

Take a small dent out of wood by placing a damp cloth on top of the mark and iron on medium - it really does work!

Vodka or rubbing alcohol will take paint out of clothing and carpets.

About the Author
Caroline Dick is a professional decorative artist. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, Bryan and two children, Melissa and Cory.

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