I was excited as many of you were when Fusion’s new Lisa Holmes colour collection came out, I could hardly wait to get my hands on them. I was attracted to the Darkest colour Twilight Geranium and decided to do a special piece for a blog post.
Well, the colours have been out a little while and this post is late because the piece seemed to take on a life of its own! I had to search for a plain piece as I knew I wanted to try a new product that was out called Woodubends. They have all the properties of wood and can be moulded to any contour once heated. They come in over 3000 designs.
I also trialled another new ( to me ) product called Unicorn Spit. It’s a water-based highly pigmented gel stain and Glaze. I wanted something shimmery and glittery to add to the design I had in mind and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I enjoyed working with it and love the easy clean up and the variety of colours to choose from. It did need to be sealed with an Oil-based varnish, and gloss is suggested to bring the colours to life.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a nice Stag 3 door 3 drawer sideboard, which is plain, Perfect! I painted the entire piece in Twilight Geranium and decided I wanted a mermaid design on the front. I used my 15yr old overhead projector to outline the design. Once that was in place I filled in the design with all different Woodubends. It was fun! I used a heat gun ( although ) a hairdryer works, to heat them to fold the design around the side and up over the top.
When the design was completely filled I painted over them with the same colour and used the Unicorn Spit straight over the paint. The stains were more vivid than I thought they were going to be but I loved the effect they gave and they blended to create other colours! I did a Facebook Live showing the process on the tail if you’d like to see. Click here to see the FB LIVE
Once the entire Mermaid had been finished I sealed with Fusion’s Stain and Finishing Oil all in one in the natural to seal in the Spit and make it waterproof. I also used a little Gilding wax in Gold to highlight the mouldings adding another dimension. This project from start to end has taken around 2 weeks. I think I’ll be a little less ambitious the next time! 😉
Over all I’m really pleased with how she turned out. I love the colours and the slight shimmer and think she will make an amazing statement piece. The Background of Twilight Geranium is perfect to showcase all the details and sure to be one of my favourite colours. Using the Woodubends was fun and I think I should have a workshop soon. Let me know if you’d like to come along. SHOP ALL THE COLOURS IN THE FUSION RANGE HERE
So what do you think? Do you love her as much as I do? Leave me a comment and let me know
I often listen to podcasts while I’m working as I know many of you do too. So I was really thrilled to be asked to be a guest on The Workshop Podcast by my lovely friend Jacquline D’ath.
Jacqueline is the founder and owner of Homeworks Etc, a creative lifestyle store. She has an online coaching programme a course and membership forum for DIY workshop entrepreneurs.
I meet Jacqueline at the Fusion Conference and retreat a few years ago. She is dynamic, positive and Professional, but don’t let that fool you, she is really good fun to be around……. all I’m going to say is Air guitar, Niagra Falls and Limo! … we’ll leave the rest to your imagination!
On the Podcast, we talk about building a community and why it’s essential and rewarding if you have a business. Tips to grow your Facebook community and lots more. Check it out below.
So, you have been painting furniture and flipping it for a while, you are earning money and even have your Facebook page set up. You are sharing your stuff to the world on your socials but you’re just not growing as fast as you’d like? You are in the right place I have been helping other paint pros grow their Facebook reach and likes, getting more people looking at their stuff!
Top 10 tips for growing your biz on Facebook.
There are many features on a business page that sometimes gets neglected or overlooked, check yours and make sure you are getting the most out of your Facebook page. Facebook is THE best free tool for your business and with 2 Billion people on Facebook, can you afford not to be on there?
1. PROFILE AND HEADER.
If I landed on your page, would I know within seconds ( cause that’s all you have) what you do, sell, offer? Does your picture tell a story about you and your biz? You haven’t got much time before your potential customer moves on so grab their attention with a quick flash of what you offer. Consider making your header in a photo editing program such as Canva to make a professional impact. My other top tip is to make sure your header is optimized for mobile, most people use their phone to make sure you can see all the important stuff on mobile view.
2. LINK TO PERSONAL PROFILE AND CONTACT DETAILS.
Having set up your business page, one can assume you want business right? Well if your business isn’t attached to your personal profile and you post on Facebook and in groups about your services and/or products, how will they find you? Most groups only allow you to post as a person so how will potential customers know what your biz is called or how to find you if you haven’t linked your personal profile to your biz page? Your contact details including website phone numbers and email addresses need to be up to date. Including your other socials.
3. BUSINESS HOURS AND LOCATION.
If you have a physical location like a shop or workshop maybe even a warehouse. Use the map feature that FB has provided in the about section of your FB page. Make sure your opening hours and any other relevant info is clear and updated regularly.
4. STORY AND ABOUT SECTION.
Let people know the story of your business, share how you evolved and make sure you list your services and products. Add a picture and maybe something personal ( if appropriate for your biz) Use this as a resume page let your audience know your skill set. Brag a little.
5. CUSTOM TEMPLATE
Did you know in settings you can change the template your page is built on to best suit your biz? You can choose different templates including restaurants, shopping, services video format and lots more. You can find it in settings under templates and tabs. You can also add and delete tabs which appear on the left-hand side of your Facebook page on a PC view or across the top of the page under your biz name in mobile view. These tabs include which order you viewers see your page info like pictures, your shop or even your email sign up.
6. CALL TO ACTION BUTTON.
A call to action button usually sits on the top of the page right under your page header. You can set it to say message us or shop or even direct them to book an appointment with you. Maybe you have a group? it can direct them to your community and a few other options too. Having a Call to Action button is asking your audience to take action on the things that are important to you. To change the CTA hover over it and the options will pop up.
7. SET UP YOUR MESSENGER.
There are a few messenger services including the one FB provides us with. I use ManyChat and it’s one of the best tools for growing your audience on FB. It collects subscribers and gives me instant access to my audience. I broadcast to my subscribers 1/2 times a month giving them interesting updates painting tips, tricks, and tutorials. ManyChat does so much more than that but as a tool for collecting your audience, it is the best! I have a bigger ManyChat subscriber list than I do email and I have had my email account for 5 years. Setting up even the FB messenger service lets your audience know you are a serious biz and that you value them contacting you.
8. CUSTOMISED USERNAME
Having a unique username makes it easier for people to find you. It will appear below your page name and makes it easier for people to tag you ( @ your business username ) To create a username for your Page: Click Create Page @Username on the left side of your Page Enter a username If the username is available, click Create Username If the username you want is not available or not approved, you’ll need to choose a different one.
9. POSTING ON YOUR PAGE.
You need to show up! you should decide on a schedule of times thats best to post on your page. You can find when your audience is most active the insights of your page. It shows you in graph form when your people are active on FB, giving you the optimal times to post. When posting on your page you should try to vary your content. FB offers options to make this easier for you, from a status update, a picture adding a video and even going LIVE.
10. BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY.
Your page should be your stage to build your community. FB values connections between people. We sometimes forget because we are running a business that FB is a SOCIAL network, so be social and work towards building connections with the people who follow and like your page. Have fun!
Want to grow your Facebook Page?
It can be tough to get your page in front of new people and doing all the steps above sends signals to FaceBook that you are serious. There are numerous different tips and trick to grow your reach and page numbers and you can find a lot of them for free online in groups and other communities.
The problem we have as small businesses is that we are time poor, so getting all the free tips in the order you need them and using them can be time-consuming and frustrating. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get it all in one place?
I also had this problem when I wanted to take my business to the next level so I got help, If I’m sure of anything, it is that you can only take your biz to a certain point before you need help. I joined a tonne of free groups and read everything I can find but all the info was messy and there was no step by step out there.
I took the plunge and got professional coaching .. lots of it! I did a select few courses and learned all the skills I needed to grow my biz online and it paid off! My page numbers grew my reach grew A LOT. I grew my page by 8 thousand like and increased my reach to 2 times the amount of page likes in a very short time. Now it isn’t all about the likes it about reaching your people with content they want and marketing your business.
The coaching and training I have been doing for the last 2 and a half years have given me lots of opportunities. I have built messenger Bots for over a dozen businesses big and small, I have taught breakout sessions at an industry conference on Social Media for small businesses for 2 years running. I have a group where I help other furniture painting business owners just like me grow their reach and page and I LOVE it. Here is what a few of them have said about the group.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and even set the group up so I could practice my skills. I have loved every minute of helping these fab ladies grow on social. I have a real passion for helping others and igniting that spark we need to move to the next level! it’s invigorating. So I’m taking the plunge and opening up a membership group where I will help you continue to make a positive impact on Social Media and grow your business!
So how will it work?
You’ll join the private Facebook group where you will get bite-sized weekly training, including optimization, content creation, and content strategy, actions that can be taken with quick results.
You will learn what Facebook wants and how you can implement that to see quick results. We will learn all about page insights and how to use them to grow your business.
I will do a monthly live call where you can get your questions answered in real time and we will have regular Hot Seats with you about what’s next for your business.
There will be a resource section with helpful tools all online businesses need. Most importantly of all, you will be surrounded by like-minded creative biz owners all working towards the same goals.
Almost a year ago I painted the outside of the shop in a custom mix of Fusion’s Midnight and Liberty Blue. It was a straight 50/50 mix. Fusion mixes so well together that making a custom colour is simple and easy. The colour turned out beautiful and it looks great with the Signage.
Did I use a conversion primer?
I get asked this often, as the shop was originally painted in an oil base paint. Firstly lets just quickly and simply go over what a conversion primer is. When painting over oil base the best practice is to use a primer that will help the water base adhere to the oil-based paint. To do this conversion primers usually have an acrylic base for best adhesion and the great news is that Fusion is made with industrial grade acrylic and so there is no need for the extra product. #winning
The prep to get the exterior ready to paint was simple and quick. The paint was in good condition, flake-free and all intact so all we did was wash really well and let it dry. The custom mix covered in 2 coats and was dry to the touch quickly. The project from beginning to end took a whole day.
So how has well has Fusion held up?
My front door has a few marks on it but it is the only way we can bring furniture in and out and I wouldn’t be able to guess and how many pieces have been through that door over the year! I often line furniture up outside the shop in good weather so it gets some wear but the paint is still in tack with no chips or dings in the finish. Fusion Mineral Paint is UV stable so it doesn’t fade in the sun making it perfect for outdoor projects such as garden sheds or maybe your front and back door. Even your plant pots could get the Fusion treatment.
Using Fusion Outdoors.
All in all, I would highly recommend using Fusion for your outdoor projects. The exterior of the shop took less than 2 pots so that’s £43.98. This makes it much more economical than traditional exterior paint. It also was a quick project. Just imagine, If you were painting a front and back door you would only need 1 pot for that price you could change the colour every year 😉
Mixing Fusion Mineral Paint to make custom colours is simple! they blend so well together that a few stirs of a paint stick or a quick shake of the pot and you are done. Really it’s that simple, and to make your life easier Fusion have come up with 32 recipes to help you decide. HERE.
Deciding when to paint ‘good wood’
All the furniture items we sell in the shop comes from France, my dealer is a fantastic picker and always comes back with great pieces. When they arrive they are all brown and unpainted and we often get people in the shop saying “are you really going to paint that?’
Now if they are in great condition and functional I will leave them for a few weeks in the hopes that someone will snatch them up, but more often than not, they are almost ignored. It’s a strange thing because as soon as it’s painted people see it as if for the first time. If I had to guess I would say 99% of the pieces I sell are painted, but when you consider the alternative of being thrown in landfill I’m happy to get my paintbrush out.
I mixed Fusion’s Ash and Coal Black in equal measures, I wanted it darker than Ash but not quite black. It’s a colour I will definitely use again it is rich and just scrummy! I poured mine into a little paint pale/bucket and just mixed with a stir stick, it mixed like a dream. I also added in some Fresco as I knew I wanted this piece to have some distress on it. Using the Fresco keeps the paint real flat/matt and actually makes the paint super hard.
This piece had no wax and the varnish was intact and good, so I cleaned using TSP and lightly sanded using Sandi Hands. Two coats of paint were applied with my favorite Staalmeester brush and I added a little Gold Leaf to the front of the spindles on the doors. I then used Help Oil to sand the piece all over and cause a little distress here and there. ( you can see a quick video demonstration here of Hemp Oil sanding )
This piece had been on the shop floor for weeks maybe even months and no one had looked at her. After I took these picture I positioned it in the window at the shop and it sold the same weekend! The customer was very happy as she had been looking for the perfect piece for a while. I also had 3 request for this custom colour too, so a great weekend all in all.
Have you tried a custom colour? I’d love to see your pictures
I started this series as an indulgence, I thought I could convince the people I admire to talk paint with me live on Facebook…. guess what it worked! I thought it would give me interesting content and I’d get to chat with some amazing people.
So for those of you who don’t know, every Monday night on my Facebook pageI interview professionals and influencers from the paint world. We chat about how they started in the biz to what keeps them inspired.
I’m not one to name drop but my very first guest was Jennylyn Pringle creator of Fusion Mineral Paint! I know cool eh? We also had an extra guest pop on and chat Loree Pringle Jennylyn’s mother and president of Homestead House company you can find that interview here.
My second guest was Quitta she is a furniture artist over at All Shabbed Out her work is passionate and colourful and just jaw-dropping. We had a real giggle and have become texting buddies. I’d just love to go visit her one day maybe she can teach me how to be an artist 😉 watch it here.
Wendy Batten was my third guest on the show and she is an inspirational entrepreneur, Wendy runs a coaching program for paint retailers in bricks and mortar stores as well as a studio in her home town, which by the way is the prettiest I’ve ever seen. You can catch a glimpse of that over on her Instagram stories. Watch the interview here.
My last guest this month was Jay Blades, many of you might know Jay from the TV, he is on a couple of programs Money for nothing and The Repair shop. We had a great chat and you all enjoyed it so much he’s promised to come back on later in the year! We covered lots of subjects including where he thought the whole upcycling industry was heading… you need to see this one.
So the Paint Talk got off to a great start and the feedback has been off the charts so thanks for tuning in, if you haven’t you are missing out. The next months guests are just as impressive so stay tuned.
Orange pine is probably the most common type of furniture that is first on the chopping block for a makeover. Its sturdy and usually well made but the colour pine goes over the years is just unattractive.
I had this chunky pine dining set in my stash ready for a makeover and thought I’d try something a little different. I usually work with large extendable French oak dining tables and I almost always strip the tops and paint the chairs and bases. I wanted to do the same with this set but when it was stripped the top was so orange I knew I had to think of something else.
Stain and Finishing Oil to the rescue.
The whole set was stripped and I used mineral spirits to remove the wax that was on top. The base luckily didn’t have any wax on so it was a clean with Fusions TSP and a light sand all over with a 240 grit Sandi Hand ( you gotta check these out! Prep made easy! ) Once that was done it was clear the top was going to need painting or some finish on it as it was just ugly orange.
Stain and Finishing Oil all in one actually does exactly what it says on the tin…. imagine that! So on prepared wood it will stain it and top coat it all in one application. Unfortunately it’s not available in the U.K. but I acquired some when I was in Canada for the Fusion Merchant Retreat and decided to put it to good use.
I wanted to cover the orange top so I knew I needed to either use a darker colour like Cappuccino, black or a different sort of finish was needed. Now I had seen Loree ( HomeStead House Paint Co ) do a blend effect with a couple of the SFO so thought that might be a good place to start. I choose Driftwood and White because I was going to use Little Lamb for the base and chairs and thought it would match good.
Blending the Stain and Finishing Oil.
I started by pouring on the 2 colours and I used more than required as I wanted a solid colour not a stain, this should be used as a wipe off application so I knew I would have a long drying and cure time by leaving a lot of the product on the surface. I just blended the 2 colours by dragging my brush up and down the length of the table until I was haooy with the way it looked.
I had to clean up the edges and there was a lot of waste but I knew it would look fab. The SFO continued to soak into the wood for a while and it looked a bit different everyday until it was dry. It took around a week to be dry enough to put it in the shop and its has over 8 weeks now and it feels hard. This finish was design for floors so it’s a tough hardwearing finish perfect for dining tables.
We even used it in our Christmas window and got a lot of compliments. I’m really pleased with how this turned out. The dry time was worth the wait! Drop me a comment and let me know what you think?
If you liked this post feel free to give it a share 😉
I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas and enjoyed the time with your families. New Years is just a few days away and I’m excited about what the new year holds.
A lot has been happening here this month. We will be working on an improved website experience for you and have some really cool and interesting things coming up in January.
One of the exciting things happening in January is I’m starting a Paint Talk with the Pros Live interview series over on my Facebook page. Starting January 7th I’m going to be chatting to pro painters and industry influencers from all over the globe! I’m so excited.
Is there someone you’d love to know more about? I have a list of people who I’d love to talk to, but I’d love to know yours. Just hit reply or contact me over on FaceBook to let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Do your friends tune out when you talk about paint and your latest project? Do their eyes roll back in their head? hah you know what I mean we are passionate about our passion, right? If you are anything like me and love to talk paint this will be for you! Go here to get all the updates and the latest guests. You will not believe who the FIRST GUEST will be!! EEkkk so exciting!
You have asked and so we will deliver. Starting up in the New Year we will post a schedule of workshops. I’ll still be doing the online virtual classes and of course, I have some video tutorials you can purchase from here.
Bring your own piece.
This class you bring your own small piece, we then spend the day learning about Fusion Mineral Paint and techniques and application. We enjoy a lovely lunch and you then choose your technique and your colours and leave with your small piece painted and the knowledge and confidence to Paint your future projects Beautiful.
The Gold Leaf class is always a popular one and the results are amazing. We will use it in a variety of ways that enhance your furniture including traditional, modern and even on glass.
Take A Seat
A take a seat will be the ultimate workshop, you can choose from our stash of chairs and we will be painting the chair in Fusion Mineral Paint and the seat cover will be traditionally upholstered and covered in a piece of premium fabric. The day includes lunch, refreshments and a gorgeous location.
Get the workshop schedule
We have more workshops in the pipeline so stay informed via Facebook messenger with a detailed schedule and special prices GO HERE
The messenger Bot will then send you out all the info you need.
I get a lot of emails and inquiries asking lots of question about using Fusion, I try to address them all, but some Q’s get asked more than others. The most FAQ is ‘What is the difference between Fusion and Chalk Paint?’ I wrote a blog post about that here. The next most asked question is …
Fusion has a built in top coat so why would you need Tough Coat? Good question! Fusion Mineral Paint is famous for its built in top coat. It has a waterproof, scrubbable and non-pourous surface when dry, so why the extra step? Well there are a few areas that I always top coat like a dining room table top and a girls dressing table top. You could also argue that kitchen cabinets need it too, I have a post all about that you can see it here.
Fusions Tough Coat Matte Wipe on Poly.
When using Tough Coat, it’s best to leave your paint to dry overnight before use. The paint is fragile to water while drying and applying the Tough Coat too soon could reactivate the paint. The Tough Coat has matting agents in the formula and those need to be reincorporated before you use it. We don’t want to introduce bubbles so roll the bottle to mix or take off the lid and mix with a stir stick.
When your first coat is good and dry ( maybe 1-2 hrs or less ) you can apply another coat. Don’t be tempted to go back over it as it can hold texture. Wipe on and leave, any gaps you have missed in the first pass can be got on the second coat. Using Tough Coat over dark colours such as Midnight Blue or Ash and Coal black can sometimes leave a haze, this is the water evaporating off the paint and getting trapped under the Tough Coat.
I have managed to avoid the hazing by letting the paint dry for a good couple days ( the longer the better ) and using very thins coats with good drying time in between. Alternatively you can use Fusion’s Stain and Finishing Oil all in One for dark colours. SFO is an Oil based top coat and is applied in a very similar way to Tough Coat. We don’t have this product in the UK at the moment but it is available to purchase everywhere else.
How far does it go?
Tough Coat is a matte poly and comes in a 500 ml bottle it will cover approx 75 sq.ft (7m2), this will of course depend greatly on your application. It’s a thick formula so if applied with a brush won’t go as far as if applied with a damp rag, sponge or applicator pad. A bottle of Tough Coat lasts me a very long in the shop and I paint almost everyday! This is because most surfaces just don’t need it when you use Fusion Mineral Paint.
I hope this answers most of your questions? if not shoot me an email or comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
This piece was in good condition and very pretty with all its carvings. It’s Oak and my dealer got it from France where almost all my stock comes from! I know I’m very lucky to live this close to the coast, and we do get some gorgeous pieces in.
I started as I do with all my pieces by cleaning them with Fusion’s TSP it’s a concentrated solution and you only need 2 capfuls in a litre of water to get your furniture squeaky clean. Next up I gave it a light sand with a 220 grit Sandi Hand, just to give it a key. Keying the piece took all of 2 mins and the analogy I use for my customers is to use the sand paper like it’s a cloth and wipe the piece all over! that’s it … easy peasy.
Choosing a colour
Lots of my painty friends always say how lucky I am to have the full Fusion Mineral Paint UK range to choose from but I’m telling you it makes it more difficult to choose! I wanted to keep the top in its original condition but the bottom needed lightening up. I ended up choosing Algonquin, Cathedral Taupe and Plaster. These 3 colours together are fab and I think they work really well, Plaster is a real favourite of mine.
Dry brush layering
This technique is simple, quick and uses very little paint, I use it a lot because it’s so versatile and goes great with lots of colour combos. I did a kitchen dresser in Algonquin, Champness and Putty a little while ago, you can read about that here. For this piece, I started with the Algonquin by using a dry brush ( almost ) all over and repeated this with Cathedral Taupe and Plaster. You are not looking for full coverage at all. It should just be on the large flat surfaces and you should still be able to see the dark wood through it. To get the right amount of paint on your brush I just load it up as normal and wipe it off on a cardboard square.
As you can see once you layer the dry brushing you get this really cool effect. The great advantage to doing it this way is all the antiquing is already done, or at least it looks that way. As I didn’t reach the crevices while I was dry brushing the paint hasn’t reached the recessed areas, keeping them the original dark colour. So simple to do.
It looked pretty good as it was but I was going to wax the top to give it a bit of extra life so I added a small amount of Antiquing wax to the corners and crevices to give it some more age. The hardware was given a touch of Chocolate to maintain the dark iron colour that was already there and that’s it! I think all in all it took around 1hr to paint and maybe half hr to clean and prep and of course not much paint was used with this technique. A quick Makeover that looks interesting and unique.
What do you think? Is this a technique you would try?