Friday, January 13, 2012

Unique Paint Texture ... And Trying to Avoid It

It's about time I start working on some of my own projects again, instead of just going to flea markets and looking at Pinterest and other blogs to see what everyone else has been up to.

So this weekend I'm putting away all the Christmas storage bins in the basement and reorganizing to make room to get started. 

I actually have a fairly nice craft/workspace down there, for a basement. But my preferred place to paint is in the garage, for a variety of reasons, one of which I'll explain below. That worked fine until last year when I amped up my furniture painting and started doing it year-round. With the winter weather that doesn't work. 

Here's the thing: At home I'm never alone. I'm not talking metaphysically--I'm talking fuzzy.

We have three dogs --


And large


They are all lying next to me as I write this.

And we have three cats --
Beautiful & crazy

A lump of love


A sweetie, but I can't find a good photo (she doesn't pose like the other two!)

They are all furry.  And they all shed that fur.  It doesn't matter what supplements I give them. It doesn't matter if I've just brushed them with the furminator for an hour and accumulated a 4-ft. pile of fluff--hair will still come off of them.

As you can imagine, this can be a problem around wet painted furniture.

The basement is two of the cats' lair. They can go wherever they want in the house, but we've designated a couple of "cats only, no dogs allowed" areas to give them their own space.  They find Pepper annoying. Although he is smaller than all of them, he thinks he's in charge and has to prove it.

(In case you're wondering, the other cat, Mari the crazy one, is truly a bit disturbed and doesn't get along with the other two, so she has her own "wing" of the upstairs where the dogs can't go.  We make sure everyone gets attention though!) 

Last winter, I started out painting in our family room because I hadn't organized the basement yet. That flat-out didn't work.  The dogs would come check it out, then flop on the floor next to me.  Flopping means fur floating.  Floating fur lands on wet paint.  You get the picture. It got old. The wagging tail of a Golden Retriever is not a good mix with wet furniture either. Trust me on that one.

I thought about trying to market the furniture with a "unique textured technique," but I didn't think anyone would go for it. Plus I didn't like having my stuff all over the place if someone came over.

So I cleared out the basement and moved downstairs. By that time I had discovered chalk paint.  Since chalk paint dries quickly, and the cats didn't shed as much as the dogs, the fur issue was alleviated a bit.

But apparently they still wanted to make their mark ... little kitty foot prints.  All over the top of a dresser I was working on.  Luckily chalk paint is non-toxic!  But it meant I had to sand and start all over--I figured a cat foot pattern would be about as popular as dog tail hair texture. I was not a happy camper. Nope, not a bit. The cats on the other hand seemed quite proud of their handiwork; purring and rubbing against my legs while I cried.

Not wanting to go through that again, I have a plan for this year: I bought a stand fan, and I'll leave it blowing over whatever piece I'm working on if I'm not in the room.  That should keep the kitties away from it.  Fingers crossed.

If any of you have any other ideas, let me know! In the meantime I'll be clearing and cleaning--and hopefully painting soon!


  1. Our cats and dog aren't allowed in the basement (too much potential mayhem down there for them in this old house), so painting in the basement for me is usually done without incident. The other evening, though, two of the cats got locked in the basement (daughter left the door open while she switch her laundry). I discovered this pretty quickly and no harm was done. The next morning, I saw that one of the cats had checked out the table I was working on ... there were kitty prints in the wax along the top. Bad kitty.

  2. I paint outside. But I live in the south where it's usually pleasant most of the time. Not right now. It's in the 30s. brrrrr which is why none of my projects are being worked on.

  3. i am SO with you! i have two dogs and one who sheds like no other. i can't stand when i finish a piece, and then i notice it... in the right light.... there is a dog fur on my newly finished dresser. ARGH. another coat.

  4. I wish I had something to offer. I don't know if the fan will work because it may cause any fur or dust further flying about the room. I will mention this to my son who does costuming and works with wet material and paint, and has a dog. I think a fan on either side of your work pointed away might work better, but I will ask him and let you know.



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