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Astar's craft: French antique paint finishes - 5 August

French antique paint finish

I think of all the paint finishes I do this French antiquing or aging technique is one of the best. I've used this method to revamp my very old and dated 80's bathroom cabinet, chairs, bedroom draws, pots, containers and numerous other 'things' in need of a do-up around our home.

It's very easy and once you've mastered the technique, as indicated, can be extremely useful on many surfaces

Garden or cutlery box
Things to gather
* Object to be painted - I purchased unpainted wooden garden or cutlery boxes from spotlight. They also have a wonderful selection of heavy duty cardboard based objects which can be painted using this technique as well&
* Paint brushes
* Wooden decorative 'wood flourishes' - these little wooden swirls or designs are perfect when it comes to adding additional textural interests to plain surfaced objects&They can also be purchased from Spotlight.
* Renoir 3 D stickers - they come in many designs in many colours - especially vintage silver. These are the little wee detailed extras which will further enhance completed work. I selected a pack that contained tiny silver leaves&
* Water based acrylic undercoat
* From Porter's Paints Anzac Ave Auckland ph: (093776008) - you will need a tin of both Low sheen acrylic paint - colour - Old Church White (which is the base colour) + one called Antique - sort of a grayish/beige shade - which is the high lighting or aging shade.
* To protect finished work - a tin of water based sealing vanish
*Soft rags
*Water for clean up.

1. Undercoat object to be painted.
2. When dry apply two coats of base coat - old church white& allow each coat to completely dry before applying next coat.
3. Take the antique or beige colour and randomly with roughish strokes apply to top coat.
4. Before it has time to dry, take a rug and wash most of the beige shade off - to just show hints of the colour.
5. To protect work, apply several coats of acrylic water based vanish.

OR if you want to add additional relief textural properties to your work,
* Before step one - use full strength PVA glue to the back of the wooden swirls and fix directly onto unpainted objects, then proceed with undercoat, base and top coats.
* To further embellish using the silver 'peel and stick' stickers - with lots of lots of care simply, peel to detach from sheets and press to apply on areas you want to highlight.

French parlour plant garden
These mixed fern and ivy gardens complete with birds nest and birds were once very popular in French homes around the time that Marie Antoinette graced French society.

Things to gather
I mentioned that Spotlight have a selection of heavy card board objects - for this segment I found a large plain brown box - it's measurement are - 30cm high x 21 cm square at the top and 16 x 16cm at the base. Doesn't look much unpainted but an excellent container once dressed for this design.
The foliages to be used - I've selected artificial maiden hair ferns, ivy, moss and little birds nest and birds.
Plus grey floral foam to fill container.

1. Insert foam down into container to come about 2" beneath rim.
2. From this point there are no hard and fast rules, it's simply a matter of placing plants to create a lush lavish green indoor garden effect.
3. The bird's nest can be position in the middle or slightly off centre then the birds peppered through design as if they just landed.
If you didn't want to use birds, try butterflies.