up­cy­cle some French coun­try charm

Up­cy­cle jars and tins into dec­o­ra­tive ves­sels with a touch of French coun­try flair.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - With MARSHA SMITH

“Cre­ate a dis­play with con­tain­ers of dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes to add depth, height and in­ter­est to your home decor.”

Giv­ing a shabby chic look to cho­sen or re-pur­posed ves­sels is in­cred­i­bly easy and in­volves us­ing acrylic or even chalk paint in only two con­trast­ing colours. You can use white paint for your top coat or choose a favourite pas­tel shade.

1 Clean ves­sels in warm soapy water, mak­ing sure you’ve re­moved any residue, then dry com­pletely. As glass and metal are non-por­ous, you need to cre­ate some “tooth” on the sur­face by giv­ing the con­tain­ers a good sand with the sand­ing block. Wipe away any dust, as you don’t want this in­ter­fer­ing with your paint fin­ish. 2 Us­ing a paint­brush, ap­ply a coat of black paint to cover the en­tire ves­sel. Do not over­load with paint as this will cause it to crack and po­ten­tially peel off. De­pend­ing on what you are paint­ing, you may like to paint a few inches of the in­side too. I did this for the metal ob­jects, but not the glass ones. Be­cause you are paint­ing a non-por­ous sur­face let the paint dry com­pletely overnight so it ad­heres well. Only one coat of black is re­quired. 3 When the paint is com­pletely dry, rub the sur­face of your ves­sel with can­dle wax. You don’t want to cover it com­pletely – just rub the wax ran­domly all around, mak­ing it more con­cen­trated on some ar­eas and leav­ing oth­ers with no wax at all. 4 Paint a top coat of white (or pas­tel) and let it dry be­fore ap­ply­ing a sec­ond coat (pic A). Leave overnight for both top coats to dry prop­erly. 5 Us­ing your sand­pa­per block, dis­tress the paint fin­ish by gently rub­bing over ar­eas of white paint. It is now that you’ll see how the waxy coat comes into play. It helps to re­move the white paint with­out re­mov­ing the un­der­coat of black. Sand some ar­eas more thor­oughly than oth­ers, so the black un­der­coat is more ob­vi­ous – this will cre­ate that beau­ti­ful shabby chic ef­fect. When dis­tress­ing, bear in mind where the la­bel will go. You don’t want too much black un­der the let­ter­ing as that would make it harder to read. 6 Once you’re happy with the look, you’re ready to ap­ply the Frenchin­spired la­bels. Free print­able la­bels are avail­able through the­graph­ics­fairy.com. Print la­bels at your cho­sen di­men­sions onto the wa­ter­slide pa­per us­ing an inkjet printer. Print onto the smooth eggshell sur­face of the pa­per (see pack in­struc­tions). 7 Cut out your shapes as close to the printed edge as pos­si­ble. 8 Soak the print-outs one by one in ap­prox­i­mately 2cm of cold water for about a minute (pic B). The top layer of pa­per will start to sep­a­rate from the base. When this hap­pens, peel away, dis­card­ing the base, and stick the trans­fer to your ves­sel. The great thing about these wa­ter­slide de­cals is the abil­ity to re­po­si­tion them while still wet, so if you haven’t got it right first time there’s no need to panic. As it dries, the back­ground will start to change from trans­par­ent to white. This will not be seen if you’ve painted white as your top coat. If you have used a pas­tel colour, it will be­come trans­par­ent again when you ap­ply the var­nish sealant. 9 Pro­tect your project with a clear-fin­ish sealant. This can be acrylic or oil-based. Notes: Be­cause of the acrylic paint, avoid get­ting the ves­sels wet – use them for dis­play pur­poses only. They look great as hold­ers for faux or dried flow­ers or as stor­age for kitchen uten­sils. To clean them, sim­ply dust with a dry cloth. If you are un­able to find wa­ter­slide pa­per, you could print the la­bels on or­di­nary pa­per and stick them on with Mod Podge - it won’t have the “stamped on” ef­fect that the wa­ter­slide pa­per gives, but if you use white paint and white pa­per, it will still look great.

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