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Accents of Yellow
Many summer porches and living rooms are decorated with a blue and white theme. This year, when you reassess your home, consider adding something yellow, such as botanical printsto the walls, a few pieces of pottery, a vase, pillows, or a scatter rugto liven things up.
New Life for Old Furniture
Faux painting techniques are popular for finishing country furniture. Give new life to old kitchen chairs by sponge or spatter-painting them with yellow and white paint. Chairs in almost any condition can be made to look good with either of these techniques. If the chairs are already painted, you don’t have to spend hours removing the paint. Begin by sanding lightly all over to remove any flaking paint. Then coat each piece of furniture with Bin or Kilz sealer (available at paint stores). Let dry overnight. This enables you to apply paint or other finishes without removing what was already there. A word of warning: These products have an oil base and cannot be washed from hands or brush with water. Use rubber gloves when applying and a sponge brush that can be thrown away once the job is done. Cleanup must be done with mineral spirits or turpentine.
How to Sponge-Paint
Give the piece a coat of white latex paint and let dry. To sponge -paint you’ll need a natural sponge (not the kind used for washing dishes), that has big crevices and is sold in paint and home centers. You’ll also need rubber gloves and a small can of yellow latex paint (or acrylic in a tube). Dip the sponge into the second color and tap off the excess paint onto newspaper. Then simply pounce all over the prepainted chair. Continue to pounce the paint all over in a random pattern, leaving some areas of white here and there. The objective is to keep it subtle. The second color shouldn’t be too obvious. You want to blend and soften as you continue to apply the sponge. Many novices make the mistake of thinking the two colors should contrast greatly. Sponge-painting done expertly is quite subtle and, when finished, has a softly textured, mottled appearance. This is your goal. Stand back, look at the piece, and continue to go over it until it has that subtle, blended appearance. When finished, let dry. Then coat with a water-based varnish. If you use a polyurethane it tends to yellow the finish, and if you’ve used a blue paint, it can sometimes turn it green.
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