A Lost Art & An Amazing Story

16 Sep

From the 18th to the 20th century many settlers to the United States of America were of Germanic decent. In fact, they were the second largest group of immigrants, coming in behind the English.  They settled in and around Philadelphia and Germantown.  One of the many things they brought and contributed to the “new world” was their art.  Today we’re focusing on their grain painting technique.  They used this painting technique to decorate commemorative objects- for special occasions like births and marriages, but also to enhance everyday items, things they would use in bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms.

“All reveal a sense of joy and desire to ornament and embellish the objects which enhanced and enriched daily life.” http://www.readingpublicmuseum.org/pdf/Cultural_celebration_booklet.pdf

Not many artists today have this skill- it is becoming a lost art. But we happen to know one of them- Heide Drewes!

Look at these beautiful pieces she has done using the Penslyvania Dutch method of grain painting:

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I especially love the before and after shots of the medicine cabinants- it shows how much this pairing method can add in depth and decoration.

Both of Heide’s parents were German bakers, and they spoke the German language in the home.  She remembers growing up surrounded by objects and traditions from Germany, handmade, hand painted items from the Black Forest, the fairy tales and stories her dad read to her from The Brothers Grimm, and Steiff animals. Her introduction to grain painting is a wonderful story of chance, here it is in her own words:

” I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and one of those things actually happened at a farm auction about 35 years ago! While waiting to bid on a pair of hand embroidered pillow cases, bidding was going on of items piled on a flat bed farm trailer, filled with a lot of primitives and farm tools. One item caught my eye, a small wooden carrier with a handle across the top. I thought “oh, how neat” and perfect for country primitive decorating! The item was held up high… too high to see what it held and the auction help never held up what was in it. I held up one finger to bid one dollar, no one else wanted it and it was MINE… and it WAS meant to be mine! For when it was handed down to me, I could finally see what else my dollar had bought… old graining tools!

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Steel combs of various widths and sizes and old wood graining rockers that mimic wood grain patterns. I felt a revelation when seeing all of this, and chuckled because I knew this little wooden carrying box was waiting for me to find it and make use of it and it’s contents! It had old gray paint, but I painted it mustard with green trim soon after getting it. It would be a few years later, in 1990, that I would be introduced to Old Village Paints and their brown graining liquid, by a wonderful woman I had recently met… and have a chance to use the old tools. She had all the colors of Old Village paints chosen and bought, to have her old wooden floors painted… and also wanted to use the graining liquid to add details in places. So that was my first experience with Old Village Paint’s fine and time tested products, and I began using old techniques as used on early grain painted furniture that I saw in books and magazines, and then developed my own idea of using the graining liquid to make scenic landscapes, to make very special, one of a kind pieces of furniture and at times picture frames. The rest is history as they say…” Heide

Thank you Heide for sharing this story with us! Heide is teaching a workshop on grain painting this Saturday at Roger S. Wright Furniture in Pennsylvania, the class is full, but we’ll share photos!

Bed Frame Redo: Crackle Paint Project Success

9 Sep

Erin, from Harleysville, PA decided to step outside of her comfort zone while re-doing a hand-me-down bed frame she received from a friend.

Erin loves antique finishes, and she was planning to use neutral colors on her project, but she saw some  Old Village Paint colors she really loved and “I decided to go bold!” Erin said.

Wanting a vintage look she decided to not only paint her headboard and footboard, but also give them a crackle finish. “I knew I liked the affect, cause I had seen it. And then I watched the video Laney had done. It was easy.”

(Laney Landis, Old Village Paint owner, has several “How To” videos on You Tube. Here’s the one that shows her demonstrating the crackle effect. ) 

First Erin sanded the glossy, dark bed frame to prepare it for the paint. She used an electric sander on most of the surface, saving the more difficult hand sanding for the curved end posts that the electric sander couldn’t handle.

Then Erin painted a yellow base coat, then the clear crackle coat, then turquoise on top.

“I was nervous about messing it up.” Erin confided. But the video and directions on the cans of paint helped.

“It’s the first time I’ve used Old Village Paint, and I really loved it!”

Here are some photos of the bed frame that Erin painted.

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Way to go Erin! We’re proud of you for trying something new, and delighted that you love the finished product!

cracklebedcloseup cracklebed

JOY! Stencil with Goopy Paint

2 Sep

Stenciling was a popular interior decorating technique in early American homes. It stretched limited resources (paint), and added beauty to bare walls. Our new product Goopy Paint makes stenciling super, super-duper easy! You won’t believe how nicely the paint stays put.

There are lots of places you can find stencil patterns. Look at this lovely one we found at Wall to Wall Stencils. It’s a historic sampler,

12.25″ Tall x 16.25″. Wouldn’t this be beautiful in a little kitchen nook, or on a board above your hearth?

Historic Sampler

Historic Sampler

Here’s a simpler stencil, if you’re a colonial decorating buff you’ll already know that pineapples were a very popular motif because they symbolized hospitality. pineappleHospitality was highly valued in colonial life, and if a family could afford it, a pineapple would be placed at the center of a table when guests visited, and then eaten for dessert.

Here’s a stenciling project that was done with our Goopy Paint: look at those nice clear lines!crowimage

Goopy paint comes in three colors, British Red, Picture Frame Cream and Wythe Chest Black. Goopy paint is thick, and your stenciling project will result in a slightly raised or “embossed” pattern. We hope you enjoy using Goopy Paint for your next stenciling project. It’s amazing!

Here are some instructions for an embossed finish.

Raised Embossed Finish

  1. Press the stencil to the area you wish to emboss.
  2. With a spatula scoop out some goop and carefully apply it to the stencil to fill in all the openings to the edges.
  3. Let it settle for a few minutes then gently remove stencil and let it dry.
  4. Paint any Old Village Buttermilk or Vintage Paint colour you choose on top and allow to dry.
  5. Sand gently to reveal edges of your embossing.
  6. Wax (if desired) with Schrack’s Cream Wax either Dark Brown or Clear. Or Antique with Old Village Brown or Black Antiquing Liquid.

Beautiful, Historic Milk Paint

26 Aug

What is milk paint? Milk paint is a natural, water based paint made incorporating milk and pigments. It offers a huge range of uses. You can use it to paint or antique furniture, paint or stencil walls, or to achieve a variety of painting effects like splattering or stippling.

Our milk paint colours dry to a beautiful matte finish that does not hide the texture of wood. Multiple coats will build a longer lasting and more opaque film. By adding water, a transparent stain effect can be attained.

buttermilkpaintsJust look at these beautiful colors!

Milk paints have been used since long before paints were mass produced, and people recognize their look as historic because they have seen them on walls and furniture in historic homes.

Here are a few beautiful examples from a site I found “Brushstrokes By Maryanne” 

Another artist has created some beautiful work using milk paint–Heide Drewes. Heide is a professional arts and crafts painter from Northwest Ohio. Her talent was recognized by her teachers in third grade, and she has continued drawing and painting for pleasure (and profession) ever since.   When we heard she had used all 24 of the Old Village Buttermilk paints on this cabinet we wanted to share it with you.
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The cabinet is five feet by two feet piece and was commissioned by a doctor and his wife who love period furniture.  Some of the detail work is based on real flower species, and others are from Heide’s imagination.

I asked Heidi why she chose Old Village Paint for this project:

“First of all, it’s very convenient that they sell the colors in the two ounce bottles.  I can try out what I like, and get good value for my money.

Second, the richness of the colors is amazing.  It’s the high pigmentation they use.  For this cabinet I did two coats of the pumpkin color, but the rest is just one coat!

The quick drying time is another huge factor for me. And finally, the easy clean up.  It’s a soap and water clean-up!”

Heide painted this floral design in keeping with the historic tradition of the Pennsylvanian German artists. The striped pattern you see bordering the cabinet doors is a graining effect she created using  Old Village Paints #1232 Graining Liquid.
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Now that you know about milk paint, and some of its uses, maybe a project idea is taking shape in your mind. Let us know what you’re thinking, we love knowing how our customers are using our paints!

How To Pick The Perfect Historic Bathroom Color

19 Aug

We’re back, with another post in our new “Pick the Perfect Colour Series.” And we’re writing to those of you who are decorating historic homes or wanting to create a primitive, historic or antique look in your bathroom.

Bathrooms can be a little tricky to decorate authentically, because, not many homes may have had indoor plumbing during the time period you are trying to represent. Believe it or not in 1940, only half of rural American homes had indoor plumbing.

So how do you choose an authentic bathroom color that will work in your home? Here are some tips:

1. Do some research. What colors were popular in homes during the time period you are trying to replicate? Make some notes about typical colors and color combinations.

2. Dream. What three words would you like to describe your bathroom? Peaceful, fresh, and calm?  Striking, warm and lush? These words should help you choose between the typical colors used in the time period you are hoping to replicate.

3. Sample your choices in person. I know I sound like a broken record, but you need to order one or two paint samples. You’ll be surprised at how different the color looks on the walls of your bathroom than it did on your computer screen! Even if the color is perfectly represented online, it will have a unique hue depending on the light from your windows, and light fixtures. Does it look beautiful in your bathroom, and match the time period? We have a winner!

4. Aim for continuity. It would be a little weird for you to have a really fancy Victorian bathroom if the rest of your home is decorated in a simple white early Colonial style. Unless you are planning on re-doing the entire home, choose colors that echo or complement what you already love and enjoy in your home.

Here are a few photos for fun and inspiration!

Primtive Bathroom

Primitive Bathroom

Primitive Bathroom. The sink in this bathroom is an amazing center piece, and it really shouts primitive. The cream walls are a nice contrast to the blueish plank that they’ve used.

Victorian Bathroom

Victorian Bathroom

Victorian Bathroom Green was a popular color in Victorian times, and they’ve used it as a subtle backdrop here to lots of other items that point to that time period. The beautifully shaped mirrors, details on the legs of the vanity and window all say, beauty and attention to detail, hallmarks of the Victorian mindset.

Colonial Bathroom

Colonial Bathroom

Colonial Bathroom Can you feel the warm breezes of the South by looking at this picture? I can. I love the contrast of the bright white to the hardwood floors. And the print on the skirt below the sink, the mirror, fixtures, even the plant, and shutters are nice colonial touches.

We hope this helps, as always, feel free to contact us with questions or for ideas, or ask the entire Old Village Paint Community your question in the comments section. They are amazing! Happy painting!

 

 

Goopy Paint Is Here and Getting Rave Reviews

12 Aug

We love that you love our new Goopy Paint! We’ve been selling it, and teaching classes with it, and you guys are telling us that you are loving it!

Here are two things you can do with Goopy Paint.

1) Make any item look antique! Goopy Paint comes in three colors: Black, British Red, and Picture Frame Cream.

Goopy British Red base coat, Antique Yellow On Top.

Goopy British Red base coat, Antique Yellow On Top.

First, you add one, or all three of those colors to the item you are antiquing. Goopy Paint is thick enough that the colors won’t run together, so you can add one, both, or all three in one step. Second, you let the Goopy Paint dry. Then, you add a top coat of Old Village Paint, covering the entire piece, including the spots you painted with Goopy Paint. Finally, when you sand the piece, the spots where Goopy Paint was standing up, and you’ll see that color underneath. Suddenly, it looks like you have an antique piece that had many different paint colors used on it over time, (as many as four different colors) and you only painted two layers!

2) Create a raised stencil. goopypaintstencilGrab a stencil and some Goopy Paint. Use an icing spatula to spread it over the stencil. When you peel the stencil off, you are left with a slightly irregular, raised effect. It’s beautiful! Use it on walls, floors, furniture, mantels, doors, endless possibilities!

Try Goopy on your next project. You’ll be hooked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paint It Prim Classes In August

5 Aug

Hello wonderful Old Village Paint customers. We love meeting you, talking to you on the phone, and reading the emails you send us. You guys are amazing!

This August, Old Village Paint owner Laney Landis is teaching four classes on “Painting it Prim.”

These hands-on classes will show you how to give any item, new or old, a primitive or antique look. So you can take a chair, or trunk, or end table, and make it look like you just discovered a treasure in your attic, even if you just bought it last week.

laneylandisWe’ll be using Buttermilk paints, the all new and much raved about Goopy Paints, and maybe some Latex paint too.

We’ll provide some fun primitive items to practice on: like this pumpkin and crow for painting at Katie’s Kreations.katieskreationspumpkin

 

Here are the spots we’re teaching on our New England Tour
Call for the Class near you. Cost is $47. Our classes are very hands-on and we have so much fun! Bring your smock! Call 800-498-7687 to sign up.
 
Laney shares: “We had a wonderful Paint It Prim workshop at Katie’s Kreation! Met lots of new friends and painted lots of different techniques!!! Now we’re off Brambleberry Market in Carabou Maine for Wednesday night workshop!”
 
Painted Goopy Tan with Black on top, using a wire brush to age.

Painted Goopy Tan with Black on top, using a wire brush to age.

Using a chain to do some distressing.

Using a chain to do some distressing.

Saturday, August 2nd ~ 2-5 PM (We had a great time!)
Katie’s Kreations
607-687-7411
188 Front Street
Owego NY 13827
 
Wednesday, August 6th ~ 6-8
Brambleberry Market
207-786-8784
25 Sweden Ste D
Caribou ME 04736
 
Saturday, August 9th ~ 1:30-4:30
The Bear Necessities
207-689-5838
35 Vernon St
Auburn ME 04210
 
Wednesday, August 13th ~ 6-8
Pepin Lumber with Tole Booth and the Elizabeth Shop
401-769-8128
830 Cumberland Hill Rd
Woonsocket RI 02895
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