Friday, May 18, 2012


Is there any place better to wile away the summer heat than on a porch. I don't know about you folks, but sitting on a porch in the summer is equivalent to stting in front of a roaring fire in the middle of winter. Instead of being mesmerized by the crackling flames and a single malt scotch, I'm in lala land while reading my shelter mags, slow sipping a margarita. Its pure bliss...not kidding.

If you were around this blog last week, you will know that I had some summer porch readiness happening. I BADLY had to paint our wicker furniture. It took a long took a lot of dibby dabbing....which you can more read about here.

Before the dibby dab process
The paint is finally dry and our front porch is ready for some  L A Z Y  summer action....sounds like an oxymoron, is not.

I believe that the exterior of your home should be a reflection and extension of the personality and decor of the interior of your home. Let's face it, the curb, the walkway the lawn and front door should all say WELCOME and therefore so should your front porch. And just to be clear....this also goes for your veranda, patio and deck and even balcony ...wherever they are situated on your property.

The wicker is painted in BM Wenge. I wanted a rich, dark neutral background for the green and white seat cushions and pillows. I knew I wanted green and white on the pillows and cushions because our kitchen, which can be seen through the front door and down the hall, is also green with white trim.

I'm a big fan of million bells....they love our southern exposure, look super pretty and the red/orange are the exact hit of colour I want in my exterior room. 

I added more red /orange pops of colour with a few more accessories....and you guessed is another colour seen through my front door. 

scored these pretty red/orange candle holders  on the right...

An inexpensive indoor / outdoor carpet grounds the space. How about the folliage in the background. FAKE I tell's all FAKE...but really good FAKE. It's been repurposed from the large living room in our previous home and it provides a certain amount of extra privacy, not to mention a great backdrop.

Light, is an important element in any space. Natural light is abundant here in the day, obviously.  In the evening though we can turrn on overhead pot lights and a pendant close to the door.  But candles are my light of choice on the porch...lots of candles that add that perfect amount of ambiance required when sipping my wine and listening to the crickets,  savouring the glorious warm summer months .... before I find myself back inside, gazing into a roaring fire.


Monday, May 14, 2012


I have  had a paint sprayer. I'm reluctant to admit defeat and pronounce had, but my paint sprayer is MIA, AWOL, taken a where to be found. I discovered this two weekends ago when I was loaded with all the paint supplies I needed to spray paint 6 large pieces of wicker furniture.  We had been bringing the pieces to the cottage during our recent weekend cottage trips as there is abundantly more room and a garage in which to paint successfully.

I had used the paint sprayer once before to paint Gramma's Vanity I knew I could make quick work of repainting our wicker furniture with the said paint sprayer. 

The wicker in question has been on our front porch for 4 summers. We had bought these pieces several years before, in a natural finish for the screened porch at our previous home, but the natural finish was not going to cut it on the new porch so I had them professionally sprayed in Wenge. is pronounced  WEN GAY...not WENGGGGG.....who knew?

Because the furniture is on the porch year round, and suffers the onslaught of bitter, windy, Ottawa winters and gaziilion degree, humid summers, over time, it started to chip.....jeeeeese I hate I would touch up until it became evident that touching up was not going to cut it any longer. I only need this furniture to get through 3 more summers tops at which point, when we move to our condo...oh ya, we bought a condo with a big balcony (stay tuned) ....we'll purchase proper outdoor furniture. 

Now when I bought the Wenge paint 4 summers ago, I bought it from supplier A, but supplier B is right around the corner from home, I was in a hurry, so I had B whip up a quart of the same colour formula....or as it turns out....close enough after he added black three times.....well ... kinda close. I also wanted to prime all the pieces with a similar coloured problemo? .....and I also asked the pro at B which size brush I should problemo?  However, the entire time I'm buying the brushes and paint,  I'm wracking my mental pausal brain trying to figure out where my paint sprayer is.

Back at the cottage, I'm psyched and prepped for painting wicker...albeit, without the paint sprayer. I have token spray washed all the pieces to sort of clean them. I'm secretly hoping that any lingering dirt, which will be painted over, will actually bind the wicker and perhaps slow down the rate at which it is starting to unravel . I open up the quart of base coat......annndddd.... it has not been is white...I mean white and my top coat which is dark dark brown, is now going to have to be topcoatS to cover the white primer. "poop de do". Long story short....I  didn't sweat the small stuff .....

unravelling wicker 

uh oh.....


Primer done. Lunch time...Top coat. 

backs are all remaining original...due to lack of paint sprayer
Now that  'matched' paint is  c l o s e  in colour, but not identical... It has more red in it despite the 3 generous squirts of black added by the pro at B. But I actually like it and I'm only compromising a little on this. It's slightly richer, has more depth than the original 'wen gay'. 

Have you ever painted wicker dark brown, that has been primed in WHITE, with a 2" brush.  It takes time. There is no such thing as nice long easy strokes.....that primed wicker is THIRSTY and soaking up that chocolate paint like a dried up sponge in August.  Did I mention we had friends coming for dinner that evening? Geez's not like I'm around the corner from paint supplier A B C or D and can buy more paint oh and by the way... a BIGGER brush.   I'm in the boonies. Super beautiful boonies, but still the boonies.  

nice, long, easy, strokes = not so nice

This is when I had to get creative and invent my own painting technique. Let me introduce you to the 'dibby dab' method of painting.
1. load your brush 1-2" up the bristles with paint
2. don't wipe off excess...just let drip into can
3. quickly bring loaded brush to WHITE primed wicker
4. now dibby dab into all those bazillion nooks and crannies that are hallmarks of know what  I mean...
5. make sure you get the bristles right down in there...come on squish that paint much out of frustration because your paint sprayer decided to live somewhere else as the need to get the paint down deep. 
6. change the direction of the brush slightly so you get the other nooks and crannies in the other direction
7. realize that the quart that you thought would cover 6 pieces of 'wenge' primed wicker will now become a quart plus a gallon. 
8. It's May....I wish I could say that NO blackflies where harmed during this project....but if the dibby dabbing happened to catch one or two ...or a hundred, what can I say....their problem, not mine!

long strokes on the left ... 'dibby dabbed' on the right 

I knew I could only bring half of the furniture home at a time. The rest I would paint the following weekend (this past weekend) after I blasted the pro at B for not priming my paint like we had discussed, and recommending I use a 2" brush. 

I find it extremely interesting that the white primer had no issues getting way down deep into all those wicker hills and valleys....but the brown paint was stubborn, wanted to stay on top and leave little specks of white primer showing.

patience is a virtue...patience is a virtue.....but a paint sprayer would be better!

BEFORE ... thinking I'm going to be using my paint sprayer 

AFTER...two full coats of paint and many touchups...sans paint sprayer

stay tuned for the styled porch pics ...coming this way soon

oh...and if you see a rogue paint sprayer with spattered blue's mine.

Maureen at Modecor Muses: May 2012

Maureen at Modecor Muses