…DIY Materials Series: the rest of the list

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Is it already Friday?! Stuff moves quickly when there’s no snow on the ground! Here’s a list of some other important DIY materials that I use almost ever day:

1. Paint – refinishing paint, Chalk Paint, spray paint, latex paint, stain

2. A finishing wax or poly

3. A tape measure

4. Painter’s tape

5. Drop cloths

6. Sand paper & a sanding block

7. Screw driver/screws

8. An electric sander is helpful

9. Work clothes

10. A good camera to document your work.

But, what I want to spend my last day in the series on is YOU. Because being creative it not about having the most expensive materials, all the materials or even knowing all there is to know about your craft, it is being open to the process. How do I open myself up and get excited?

On an ideal painting day, you will see me in spattered paint clothes under a big, warm sun with a steamy cup of tea in a beautiful tea cup and fun music playing. Actually, the music part is debatable because I love listening to Car Talk and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me on NPR on a Sunday afternoon.

I think it’s important to stay in tune with how you are FEELING when being creative. Treat yourself well. Don’t steamroll yourself. Got a headache? Then lay down for a bit. Need groceries? Get it done first. Your time being creative should be enjoyable. That is my goal after many years of doing it the other way. Let me tell you, pushing yourself past your limits is what burns creative people out. Put yourself on the top of that list. You will reap greater rewards.

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…DIY Materials: razor blade

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I heart a sharp blade. Maybe that’s where my son’s love of anything fierce comes from. In all seriousness, I use a razor blade almost every single day for many reasons.

You want to get a razor blade that has some type of handle. Don’t use just the blade for obviously reasons. Here are a few things that I use my blade on:

1. Scraping mirrors and windows. I do not tape mirrors or glass. I prefer to scrape afterwards.

2. Scrape off dried paint clumps or drips.

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3. Cleaning a very dirty piece of vintage furniture that has sticky, gooey stuff that you are not quite sure what it is. Scrape it off.

4. An X-Acto blade is also really helpful for cutting images clean and straight. Got something you want to frame? Don’t use your scissors or tear, use a blade.

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Make sure you have a new, sharp blade. There is NOTHING worse than trying to work with a dull blade.

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I hate that some blades come in neon orange because to me that just screams my son’s name. Speaking of which, I hope you don’t mind me wishing Reid a very happy 5th year. This is what joy looks like to me.

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…DIY Materials Series: Brush

Brushes are important when you are refinishing furniture. You need several. They need to be handy too. I find that I work with several at a time depending on the amount of pieces I have going on at once and I also have several sitting in a plastic princess cup in my sink waiting to be washed.

Dry Brush – to wipe off areas that have been sanded; wipe away spiderwebs and dirt from older pieces; wipe down shelves

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Painting Brush – you may need 3 or 4 painting brushes if you brush every day. If you find one that you like, get at least 3 of them.

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Wax brush – As you know I do not use a brush anymore when applying clear wax. I do use one for dark wax most of the time, however. It needs to be small and controllable.

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Old brush – old brushes with caked on paint are just pretty. Put them in a can or in your kitchen in a bouquet to look at and remind yourself of all your hard work.

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I think my brushes are the most important tool that I use. They do wear out and so it is important to make sure that you replace your worn ones with brushes that work. I don’t always want to spend more money on more brushes, but your work will go smoother if you have a good, new brush.

I clean my brushes now with dish soap. I then wrap them in paper towel to dry. Easy.