Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oh, Hey there Union Jack...finally.

I have been wanting to paint something with a big 'ol Union Jack flag on it for the last two years...but I kept coming up with reasons not to do it.  I've really gotten into a groove of a solid piece, painted distressed, in and out-- like this little music cabinet I did a few days prior to the Union Jack (it's Tricycle MMS Milk Paint).

The massive basement/garage clean out I've been working on though finally pushed me to do it.  I spaced, and didn't take a before picture, but trust me when I say this vintage buffet was begging for some love.  I picked it up for free out of someone's garage, covered in dirt, and plopped it in my garage where it stayed until last weekend.  I pulled it inside and started playing with it.  I thought I'd just do it with a navy- stain the legs, maybe stain the framed inset (it's the only detail on the buffet).  It didn't work.  It just was so blah. (And ALL of my pictures are terrible phone pics right now... so sorry!)

There was just nothing special about it, so I started looking at Union Jack dressers online again.  My mom stopped by and told me I should do it, and when Mom says to do something, I usually do.  I went ahead and covered the inset piece in blue, and started measuring and taping.  I used the template below, and did a bit of algebra to figure out how wide my lines should be.

Since my buffet was longer than would correlate to the flag, I made my "x" from the horizontal measurements for my vertical ones as well so the flag wouldn't be misshapen.

If it's been a while since you've had an algebra class- I'll give you a little refresher.  This is using the measurements along the side.  Your equation will be:
10x+2x+6x+2x+10x= The height of your flag on your dresser (mine was 22.5)
x=22.5/30= .75

So, when I measured every line, I multiplied the individual measurements by .75

I hope that made sense.  When you calculate your measurements you'll use your own dresser height, so your numbers will come out different, but this is how to actually figure them out.

Measure, mark, and tape.

After getting to this point, you use a very sharp knife to cut out the tape that's on the inside of the cross, then paint.

After the paint has had a chance to dry, you'll measure again and tape off where your red should be.

Paint inside your lines, and remove your tape.  I always remove my tape while the paint is still wet.  This gives nice crisp lines and reduces the chances of pulling paint off with the tape.  At this point you'll probably have a few bleeds here and there that you will need to touch up.  After you do that, you'll be at this point...

You'll probably have a hard time not staring at it forever and thinking about how awesome it looks.  I know I did.  It's such a bold design.  I really love it.

I went ahead and distressed the tops and sides like I normally do, and lightly distressed the front to tie it in, but not so much to ruin all that work I just did!

Then I flipped it on it's back, and sanded and restained the legs in a dark walnut color.  I sealed the whole piece with four coats of semi-gloss polyurethane, and added the original, cleaned up hardware back onto it.

It turned out fabulous, and I'm glad I finally decided to paint one of these!

For those who may be wondering, the blue is Valspar's Jazz Club, the red is also Valspar in Front Door, and the white is Ben Moore's Decorator's White.