Friday, September 19, 2014

Trick For Spray Painting MDF

Have you ever spray painted MDF? It sucks, right? MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. For those curious minds, there is a Low Density Fiberboard (A.K.A. particle board), and a High Density Fiberboard (A.K.A. Hardboard).

 I don't use MDF often and the few times I have, I used a roller or brush to paint it. When I went to spray paint the letters on my Backpack and Homework Organizer, The letters were cheap ones I found at Wal-Mart for $1 a piece. I realized spraying MDF is nothing like wood. The porous nature of MDF soaks up a good deal of the paint, wasting product and leaving a blotchy finish. It is especially bad with gloss or metallic finishes. So what are you to do? Sometimes a project just NEEDS spray paint!

After about 3 wasted coats of paint on my letters, I tried something new and it worked great! I decided to try it again on a test board so I could show you what a difference it makes. 

I figured, I would account for the worst-case scenario. I grabbed a can of super cheap, glossy red spray paint (also $1 at Wally World).

I tapped off half of the board, and gave it a couple heavy coats of paint.

Even with multiple coats, and my best wax-on-wax-off technique, this is what I ended up with. A blotchy mess.

Here comes the secret ingredient: Shellac. This stuff is amazing. I've talked about shellac's amazing tannin blocking ability in this post. I figured, its good at blocking things from coming up, it would probably prevent stuff from soaking in too.

I tapped off the crappy, blotchy side of my test board and sprayed one, heavy coat of *shellac on the bare MDF.

Once dry, I lightly sanded the board, wiped it clean and added two coats of the glossy, cheap paint. You can see the difference the shellac made.

Looking closely, the difference is dramatic. The paint is actually red, not a faded, pinkish color, and the sheen is even and glossy. If I wanted a mirror like finish, I could sand the paint with high grit sand paper and finish it with a high gloss lacquer.

While we're talking about *shellac, I HAVE to share what I learned about this stuff. Have you ever Googled "shellac"? Umm, do you know where is comes from? According to Wikipedia:

"Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes, which are dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac."

Female insect secretions people. I researched some more and it's true! Better yet, the same stuff that was used to coat wood paneling in the 60's and was pressed into records before vinyl, is currently used to coat food. You know that glossy coat on chocolate covered raisins or store-bought apples? Yep, female insect secretions. 

Let's be honest, I'm not about to stop eating shiny food, but it is interesting to know where is comes from. Buy yourself a can of shellac. Its awesome stuff for a DIYer too. 

*This post contains affiliate links

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Outside [The Box] Link Party #2

Welcome  to Outside [The Box] Link Party #2! Last week was a HUGE success! Thank you to everyone who linked up their fabulous projects. Let's party on with a new, awesome craft, art, home decor, or DIY project. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

If You Like Me, You'll LOVE Them

Being a blogger, I kinda feel like its my job to read other blogs and stay up on what's new (that's what I tell my husband anyways). I often get asked which blogs I follow. I follow a wide mix of different blogs; some DIY, some craft, some home design, and a couple recipe. When it comes to DIY and furniture, I have my standbys that I make sure to read everyday.

I thought you all might appreciate learning about these talented ladies. Make sure to stop by their blogs, and prepare to be inspired! 

Ana White is the queen of furniture blogs. She has inspired thousands of women to pick up a hammer and start building. She is epic! On her site, you can search through hundreds of clear, easy to follow furniture plans, for FREE. She provides everything you need to get started, plans, shopping list, and even a cut list. 

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet from Laminate Bedside Table | The Painted Hive

I absolutely adore The Painted Hive! Kristine has fabulous taste in furniture and design. Not only does she refinish and build amazing furniture, but she takes some of the prettiest photos in the industry. You need to check her out!

That's My Letter is a blog I've followed for a loooong time. Jaime is one of the sweetest ladies in blogland, and builds like a boss. In addition to providing furniture plans and project tutorials, she also offers small sewing projects. I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of sewing, but Jaime inspires me to bust out the sewing machine from time to time. 

Want to spend hours upon hours browsing through beautiful, free furniture plans? Well, you can do exactly that at The Design Confidential. I want to be the author, Rayan one day. I took a Google Sketch-Up class from her at SNAP, and have been in awe ever since. She has designed hundreds of furniture plans. If you want to build contemporary, or Mid-Century furniture, The Design Confidential is the place for you.

Build your own DIY nightstand bedside table

Odds are pretty good that you've seen some of Jen's work floating around on Pinterest. She is way cooler than me (a professional singer and songwriter), and has built some pretty sweet furniture. I always get excited when I see she has a new post. 

Are these women amazing or what? Stop by, check out these bloggers and you will totally be ready to pick up a power tool. 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Outside the Box Link Party #1

Happy Tuesday everyone! I have some exciting news to share. I've teamed up with 5 of my blogging buddies to host an awesome new link party! Never heard of a link party? Simply put, a link party is a chance for you to upload a photo and a link, sharing a recent project of yours, You don't have to be a blogger to share! Feel free to upload an Instagram or Facebook page, just make sure to follow the guidelines below. Have fun, and welcome to the party!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Talkin' Tools #4: Angle Grinder

Man, its been a while since I've written a "Talkin' Tools" post. To find my other tutorials, click the "Talkin' Tools" tab. After sharing how to build an Easy Industrial Coffee Table last week, I realized I need to explain grinders a little more but first, I want to announce the winner of the Finish Max Pro giveaway.

Friday, September 5, 2014

50 DIY Industrial Decor Ideas

Okay, I'll admit it. A lot of my work has "a look". What can I say? I'm a vintage industrial junkie. After browsing the web, it looks like I'm not alone. Worn wood and metal seem to be popular these days. I've compiled my 50 favorite DIY Industrial Decor Ideas to share with you.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

EASY Industrial Coffee Table (No Welding!)

I often get asked what is my favorite piece of furniture I have built. Although there have been many pieces I've loved, I am especially proud of my World Market "Aiden" Knock-off. This is the first piece I welded by my self, and it totally fits my style.