Blog Tips for Restoration and Painting

9. February 2018

A Poem for Baltimore

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 04:15

Because I am so sad about some of the things that are happening in Baltimore, I would like to share a poem I wrote back in the 1990s when I first heard that a child was caught in the crossfire.  It is called:

There’s Children at the Crossroads

It’s a city scape and the air can’t breathe
Smoking high with no relief
There’s children at the crossroads
Playing in the streets
There’s children at the crossroads
Feeling all the heat

Night is falling to its knees
Hidden in the darkness
Huddled in retreat
There’s children at the crossroads
That no one sees

Fleeting through the shadows
Through the human freeze
Escapes the frigid body
Of a spirit incomplete
There’s children at the crossroads
Praying for relief
There’s children at the crossroads
And a mama’s grief.

Mary Mayhew

17. July 2016

Sketching a drawing on canvas

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 03:57

Sometimes it is great to use vine charcoal for a sketch on canvas because it wipes off and/or erases easily but my favorite to use if the work needs to be tight is watercolor pencils on canvas after the canvas has been primed with gesso.  You can block in color outlines using aqua pencils and they wash off easily if you want to make changes, and when painting with acrylics, they blend right in.

12. October 2012

Clear Gesso

Filed under: Tips for Painters — admin @ 16:12

I recently attended a class to bring me up to date on the new acrylic products offered on the market.  I was told by a Winster Newton spokesperson that it is chemically compatible to paint your underpainting in acrylics if you apply clear gesso over the acrylics before applying oil paint.  I’m going to give it a try.

5. October 2012

Information on modern paints

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 18:31

A great website I have found for information on artist’s paints is:     Truly, it is worth checking out!

4. October 2012

Best Palette Sheet

Filed under: Tips for Painters — admin @ 19:08

May favorite palette sheet is aluminum foil layered over an old cookie sheet.  To save paint overnight, I cover the paint with plastic wrap.  When I’m finished, I toss both.

3. October 2012

The Magic of Magic Markers

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 14:11

So, have I used magic markers to touch up furniture?  Yes, I have, particularly on edges.  Because of the solvents in them, they amalgamate with furniture finishes.  Therefore, you must be very careful and I suggest only using markers on the edges of furniture where the finish has been rubbed through.

2. October 2012

Care of furniture

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 02:51

In my experience, the best way to care for antique furniture or really any furniture with a varnish, shellac, urethane or rub-oiled finish is to paste wax the piece every six months, or if you’re not quite up to that, how about once a year?  I like to apply the paste wax with some OOOO steel wool.  It is very fine steel wool.  I rub the steel wool into the wax and then apply a thin coat in the same direction as the grain of the wood.  I find applying the wax in this manner also removes dirt due to the light abrasion.  With that in mind, I would never apply the wax to a high gloss lacquer finish in this way; instead, I would use a soft cotton pad.  All paste wax has some solvent in it, and this helps clean the furniture as well. Of course, if the piece has a fair amount of dirt on it, a little 409 and a damp sponge and paper towels go a long way in cleaning (always test a spot first to make sure it doesn’t harm the finish as it might if the finish is shellac), for most other finishes, that’s the best way to clean them. After you apply a thin layer of wax, buff it out and your piece will look lovely.  The wax will add moisture protection and prolong the finish you have on your piece.  What it will NOT do is become sticky or discolor your piece over time, something that often happens when some of the “polishes” on the market are used. As with all tips, proceed with caution and remember, I do not take responsibility for anyone’s work but my own.

26. September 2012

Tips for hanging pictures

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 18:48

When hanging pictures, it always helps to have a level, whether it is the old fashioned kind or the new laser type.  Regardless of which, I always need to mark the spot and I have found that watercolor pencils do a good job of this and what I like best is that after you mark the spot, you can remove the mark made by the watercolor pencil with a damp towel.  Most art stores as well as Michaels Arts and Crafts stores sell these pencils and often you can purchase them individually.  I suggest buying a color slightly darker than your wall color so you can easily see the mark.

The wonders of shoe polish . . .

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 01:31

Let’s say you are having company and your furniture is a bit chipped and you want to spruce it up.  Go to the grocery store and purchase some brown (or black) paste shoe polish (it’s tinted paste wax).  Rub a bit into your chips, buff it, and fa la, it will look pretty good.  Just make sure you wipe all the tint from the wax from any surface where people can rest their clothing (or hands).

25. September 2012

How to remove water rings from table tops:

Filed under: Tips for today — admin @ 01:14

Yes, those nasty little water rings that appear on furniture:  What are they?  How can you get rid of them?  First, let me tell you what those little rings are:  They are moisture drops trapped in your finish and what needs to be done to get rid of the moisture is to iron your table.  Yes, that’s right and it can be a little tricky.   You’re going to need to get some good quality paste wax and apply it generously above the spot, then take a piece of old fashioned wax paper and place it over the paste wax.  Next place a cotton towel over the wax paper and on a low setting iron your table checking often to see when your white spot disappears.  Take your time.  The heat will force out the moisture.  Patience and caution is what you will need most, you don’t want to scorch the table or melt the finish.  I’ve had the spots leave in as little as five minutes.   Once the spots are gone, wax your entire table with paste wax and buff it out.  As with all tips, I take no responsibility for the work of others and make sure you always test an inconspicuous area first. Good luck.

Written by:  Mary Mayhew

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