Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Ode to Milk Paint.....

Let me tell you about the little affair I have been having for the better part of a year now......with milk paint. I have cheated on my milk paint, with chalk paint, and, with much regret, I must say that the chalk paint, to me, was just not worth it. Now, maybe it is that I just don't have that much experience with chalk paint....perhaps if I got to know it as intimately as I have gotten to know my milk paint, I would feel differently, but, for now.....milk paint is the only one for me.
Let me tell you a little bit about why I love this paint so much...I originally bought my first bag of milk paint because in the Pinterest world, it was all the rage. Because I primarily paint furniture intended for children, I was immediately attracted to the fact that there were no chemicals in it. No chemicals is a very good thing. Milk paint is mostly made of milk proteins, clay, limestone and natural pigments. So, not that you should eat your milk paint, but, if your teething child decides to chew on his dresser, I think he will pull through...
Now, my love was not immediate....when I got that fist bag (yes, it comes in a bag) of paint, I thought well, what the heck am I supposed to do with this? So, I watched a few You Tube tutorials on how to mix it....and, frankly, none of the videos made it seem like it was particularly know, kind of like the difference between cooking (where you just toss some spices and herbs in the pot) and baking (where every measurement has to be exact). So, I got out a styrofoam cup, a measuring spoon, warmed up my water and mixed it up. And, it was a clumpy mess. So, I added a bit more water....and, it became a watery clumpy mess. The paint just didn't have the consistency that I would associate with paint. It wasn't smooth. It was grainy looking. It looked....wrong!! But, impatient as I tend to be with these things, I dipped my paint brush in and painted my little rocking chair that I had. The paint moved easily over the wood. It dried quickly. But, the magic didn't happen until I sanded that first coat. After sanding, this little chair started to look pretty good. So, I painted another coat, sanded  again was so pretty!! The sanding is a lot of work, I'll be honest, but, you can sand milk paint down to the point that it feels like glass!! Here is my first little chair....
Now, lets talk about that "chippy" look. Here is another one of my 9000 reasons I love this paint so much. Who doesn't love an authentically aged piece of furniture. I think it looks so much more authentic when the paint just chips where it feels like it. I have no control--well, I have a little control over where the piece, but, it sure is awesome to see what it is going to do all on its own....and, the better sealed a piece is before painting, the more chipping it will do!! Take a look at this chippy love!!

So, you don't love how chippy this is? Or, you have a piece that you think that a more even color would be better? Well, here is what I have found. Sanding a piece before painting is key. Milk paint will penetrate into naked wood much better than a finished surface. So, yes, you are going to have to sand that baby down. They do have a bonding agent that you can also add to the paint that helps the paint to adhere to the surface and minimizes 'chipping' factor. Here is a piece that I did with the help of a lot of sanding and a bonding agent....

And, finally, for today, one more reason why I adore this paint.....well, its kind of cold outside and I am kind of a wimp. And, with no chemicals there is no, my kids are now sharing their play room with me so that I can continue to paint these beautiful pieces indoors all winter long!!

Thank goodness that I found a paint that works for me!! Have you tried milk paint yet?  Tell me what your thoughts you love it or are you a chalk paint lover? I'd love to hear what you have to say!!

Thanks for reading:)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For the Love of the Child.....

For the Love of the Child....

Today I am writing with some very exciting news....For the Love of the Child has officially become a reality!! I will be opening my vendor booth inside D'vine Designs Antique Store in downtown Perrysburg, OH on April 1. I have been so busy with furniture rehabs and my sewing projects that my blog has seen very little action in the last few months....however, its all for a great cause. Thank you to all that have given me such support and inspiration. I very much value all of the feedback that I have received and have considered your advice at every turn.
So, what exactly is For the Love of the Child? Well, that is a good question as it took me many months to finalize the direction I wanted to take it. Lets start with the name.....last Labor Day weekend my children had gone to the cottage with their grandparents as my husband and I worked all weekend. In our childless down time, we decided that it was a good time to refinish my oldest child's furniture. Seeing so many tutorials on Pinterest and the like, I really thought it would be an easy thing to do....come on now, the tutorials make it sound so simple!! Well, in assembly line fashion we lined up his bed (which my husband built), armoire, dresser and bookshelf. Long story short, what seemed like an easy thing to accomplish over a long weekend in between our work shifts, ended up being a monsterous undertaking. I would get home at 3 AM to find my husband sanding the second or third layer of paint, I would then sleep for four hours and take over while my husband was at work....etc....we kept saying that it was, "for the love of the child," that was keeping us see his little face light up when he came home and saw his 'new' room!! We were a sleep deprived mess by the time the kids came home. However, somewhere in all that hard work, I found some peace....yes, this was hard work, but, it was enjoyable work. And, I couldn't help but think that I could not be the only parent out there that couldn't find the 'bed in the bag' look that fit either of my boys' personalities....that I could make something better than what I could buy, but, who has the time? I decided to make the time....and that is what my store is all about. For the Love of the Child is a culmination of vintage inspired looks and furniture. It is the handmade items that you wish you had time to do. I have made the time to rehab (thats my husbands part) vintage furniture, paint it with child safe paints and finishes and put it into your hands with love from our home to yours. I do the same with vintage inspired, boutique-styled clothing and baby gifts as well. Don't you just love a well made handmade gift?  I know I do.....and, lets be takes time.....and we don't all have a lot of time these days. So, let me take time out of the equation for you and put a beautiful, vintage-inspired collection together for your baby, toddler or child. Or, allow me to put together a lovely shower/new arrival gift for the newest love of your life.....thats what I do. And, that is what For the Love of the Child is all about.
We are a green company. I recycle old vintage items and restore them back to beauty. I only use milk paint and child safe finishes and wash all fabrics in Dreft. No chemicals are used on our products. Not even a dryer sheet. My fabric softner is Epsom Salt with a couple of drops of chamomile essential oil for fragrance. I promise that your child is safe with me.
If you live in the Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan area, please stop in to the physical store. If not, you can find me on etsy.....and, eventually I will have a website up and running for custom orders. You can also communicate with me via email at I so look forward to working hand in hand with all you parents out there that desire a little more than what your local 'baby' retailer offers. 
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I am beyond excited to have finally put enough pieces together to have a booth!! Please leave me your comments and feedback....that's what helps me grow!!