Antique Nativity

Our 10 piece resin Nativity Set looks a bit intimidating, but you don’t have to paint every detail in a different color. With only 5 paint colors, I painted this nativity in no time at all. Even a beginning painter can accomplish this look with minimal issues, if any at all. This painted up fairly quickly, so you could paint one for you and one for a friend. This was so much fun and I love how the antiquing medium really settles into the folds of the robes and rough details of each piece giving it a shaded and vintage look.

Here is what you will need:

Nativity Set – Set of 10

DecoArt Americana:
Light Buttermilk
Raw Sienna
Burnt Umber

DecoArt Extreme Sheen Metallics:

DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray
DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray
DecoArt Staining & Antiquing Medium
Soft rags or paper towels
Gloves if you prefer

Start by painting every piece with Light Buttermilk. This may take two coats to get the complete coverage, but if it isn’t perfect that is okay because it will be hidden by the antiquing medium in the last step. When the Light Buttermilk basecoat is completely dry, it is time to start painting your other colors. Paint all of the faces, hands, feet, and the body of baby Jesus with Mocha. Let dry. Paint all of the hair, beards and the straw roof of the stable with Raw Sienna and let dry. Paint the crowns, gifts, and the halo on the angel with Bronze.

Make sure to let this dry. Then spray with a light coat of the Sealer Finisher Matte Spray.

Mix Burnt Umber and the Staining & Antiquing Medium according to the directions on the back of the bottle. You will need quite a bit to cover all of the pieces. Begin by brushing the mixture onto your first piece, making sure to get in all of the deep grooves and folds. Take your soft cloth or paper towel and gently rub off an excess mixture where you don’t want it to be. Work one piece at a time and continue till all of your pieces are antiqued to your liking. After antiquing, I usually let the pieces dry over night to make sure they are good and dry. Then finish with a coat of Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray.

See, wasn’t that pretty simple? Now you have a beautiful nativity to display in your home this holiday season.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Quick and Easy Turkey!

I have painted our resin Mr. Turkey many different ways, but this time, I wanted to try using just one paint color and a little Metallic Lustre to mimic a larger turkey that I saw in Home Goods last Fall. This is a project that absolutely anyone can do with success!

All you will need is:

Americana Decor Chalky Paint in Everlasting
DecoArt Metallic Lustre in Burnished Brass
any paint brush
soft rag
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray

First paint the entire turkey in Everlasting. Let it dry and then decide if you would like to do a second coat. Once the turkey is covered the way you like him, it is time to grab your soft rag. Lightly touch your rag into the Burnished Brass and then gently start to rub it on the turkey here and there. This will accent all the carved details on him. Remember to start light, you can always add more Burnished Brass if you want to.

Once dry, spray with your favorite varnish. I chose to use a gloss for even more shine, but a matte varnish will work just as fine.

That is it! A quick project that even the most novice painter can do.

Have fun being creative!

Happy Fall, and happy painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Wedding Chalkboard Signs

Photos by Dan Rice

Chalkboard lettering

Love and Cupcakes upclose

Love and Cupcakes


If you’ve ever been on Pinterest you know that people planning weddings can’t get enough of chalkboard signs. They are EVERYWHERE. Signs that welcome guests, signs with jokes, hashtags for Instagram, etc. Whatever you want to say it always seems to look better on chalkboard!

Rewind to earlier this year when my sister asked me to create chalkboard signs for her wedding in July. I was really excited to go for it because I had never tried doing a DIY chalkboard design before. Like some of my other art projects my perfectionist side got the best of me and the project became a little complex. However, this post is not going to dwell on all of those details. Instead, I’m going to explain the easiest way to create custom chalkboard art.


The quick and easy version: chalkboard paint on wood using chalk markers for lettering

Chalkboard Paint – Deco 2 oz #13509 or you can use Clear Chalkboard Coating – 8 oz to turn any wall color or painted surface into a chalkboard (any medium to dark colored background will work well, it doesn’t have to be black!)

White Graphite Paper 18×36

Bistro Chisel Tip Chalk Marker – White #70277 and Bistro Fine Point Chalk Marker – White #70276

Almost any surface we carry in our signs category on our website will look great with chalkboard paint. Our Tabletop Sign and our Narrow Table Top Sign would be perfect since they don’t need to be propped up or hung.

Note: if you still want to use picture frames like I did you must use a primer on the glass first before applying the chalkboard paint: JoSonja Glass/Tile Primer


If you choose to paint one of our surfaces than the process is very simple. Sand the surface if desired and then apply two coats of the chalkboard paint. If you have a design picked out, transfer it with transfer paper. Then begin your lettering. I loved using the bistro chalk markers because they look like chalk when dry but there is zero mess and your beautiful design won’t smear.

If you like the look of the framed pictures than you will need to prep your surface by cleaning the picture frame glass with rubbing alcohol or a glass cleaner like Windex. Rinse it well. Then lightly sand the glass or use steel wool. Next, apply two thick coats of primer. Paint in one direction for the first coat and then the opposite direction for the second. After you’ve primed use two coats of the chalkboard paint. Then transfer your design and fill it in!





Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Santa doesn’t always have to be red.

Santa is traditionally red and dont’t get me wrong, I love Santas all decked out in red, but for our 2018 Santa I wanted to do something a little different. I sat looking at my paints trying to decide, do I go for a green or blue color scheme…I just kept pulling colors out, and finally decided on blue!

This jolly fella has lots of detail, but I chose to do the majority of the shading and highlighting on Santa, and not focus on the smaller items in his bag.

So, let’s begin!

Here is what you will need:

2018 Santa

DecoArt Americana:
Antique White
Baby Blue
Uniform Blue
True Blue
Winter Blue
Light Buttermilk
Snow White
Honey Brown
Lamp Black
Raw Sienna
Midnite Blue
Milk Chocolate
Santa Red
Hauser Medium Green
Antique Maroon
Yellow Ochre
French Grey Blue

DecoArt Extreme Sheen Metallic Paint
24K Gold

DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter Paint
Sizzling Red
Ice Crystal

Basecoat as follows:

Antique White – Pants
Baby Blue – Jacket
Mocha – Face
Uniform Blue – Cape and hood
Neutral Grey – Beard, mustache, hair, and eyebrow undercoat (Beard is stroked with a comb brush and Light Buttermilk and then again lightly with Snow White)
Lamp Black – Boots and belt, snowman hat and buttons
Espresso – Wooden staff
Buttermilk – Fur trim on coat and cape
Honey Brown – Bag
Light Buttermilk – Snowman and base
Avocado – Tree
Hauser Medium Green – Front package (ribbon is Santa Red)
Santa Red – Back package (bow is Snow White)
Persimmon – Basketball (lines on ball are Lamp Black) and snowman nose
Antique Maroon – Scarf on snowman

I always like to start with Santa’s face, that way he looks a bit more cheery as you finish the rest of him. Shade Santa’s face with Raw Sienna lightly around the outside, around the grooves of the nose and above and below the mustache. Eyes are painted Snow White, then paint a small section with Uniform Blue, add a Lamp Black pupil and a highlight dot of Snow White. Blush the cheeks and paint his tongue Melon. Add a highlight dot to both cheeks with Snow White.

Shade Santa’s coat with True Blue under the beard, above and below the belt, down the sides next to the cape, above the fur on the coat and next to fur trim on the arms. Highlight the center of the arms and main portion of the jacket with Winter Blue. For his cape and mittens, shade along the fur and around the bag, and in the folds with Midnite Blue. Highlight with French Grey Blue. The pants are shaded next to the jacket, above the boots and in the folds with Cocoa. Then highlight with Buttermilk. Boots are highlighted with Neutral Grey. Shade the fur trim with Yellow Ochre along where it touches the coat, cape, and bag. Highlight with Snow White down the center of the fur. I added a light touch of Marigold highlights to the wooden staff, this is just to give a little interest to it. Paint Santa’s buckle and buttons with 24K Gold.

Now for the bag, shade with Milk Chocolate along where the bag touches the cape and mitten, and in the folds. Highlight with Marigold. Highlight the tree with Margarita. Star is 24K Gold. Blush the snowman’s cheeks with Melon, mouth and eyes are Lamp Black. For a little extra touch, I added Emerald colored glitter paint to the tree and green package. Then I add Sizzling Red to the red package, and Ice Crystal to the snowman.

Finish with your favorite varnish.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

2018 Snowman Recolor Idea

For me…sometimes painting resin is a calm and refreshing break from following line drawings and patterns. It is a time that I just let my creativity go and not worry about anything. I just pick my color scheme and set to work, sometimes I choose not to do much shading or highlighting…other times I shade and highlight everything.

With our 2018 Snowman, I decided to do a combination…I shaded and highlighted the snowman but did everything else just as a basecoat. He painted up very quickly and I think he turned out pretty darn cute too!

Here is what you will need:

2018 Snowman

DecoArt Americana
Deep Midnight Blue
Light Buttermilk
Snow White
Lamp Black
Uniform Blue
Country Red
Antique White

DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter Paint
Black Ice
Sizzling Red
Ice Crystal

DecoArt Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray
Papillon 10 Piece Resin Brush Set
Papillon 4 Piece Highlighter Set
Papillon 5 Piece Deerfoot Set

First, start by using your Deerfoot brush and stipple the entire body and head of the snowman with Deep Midnight Blue. Let it dry completely. Next, stipple over the blue with Light Buttermilk and let it dry. Once the head and body are completely dry, it is time to add a little bit of shading. Using Deep Midnight Blue, shade around the head under the hat, around the nose, above and below the scarf and around the ties of the scarf, in the grooves of the arms, around both the inside and outside of the wreath, above the boots, and between the legs. Then lightly stipple the center of the head and down the arms and around the main portion of the body with Snow White. Carefully stipple a little into your shading, just to soften it up a bit. With a highlighter brush and Melon, brush in some rosy cheeks. Paint his nose Persimmon. Eyes, mouth, and eye brows are Lamp Black. Add a highlight dot to each of the mouth circles and the eyes with Snow White. Add a small dot on the outside of each eye with Lamp Black.

The main portion of your snowman is done, now we just basecoat the other areas and not worry about any shading and highlighting.

Lamp Black – Hat, boots, and buttons
Uniform Blue – Hat band, scarf, mittens
Antique White – Mitten trim, and scarf fringe
Country Red – Bird and all the berries (bird eyes are Lamp Black with highlight dot of Snow White)
Avocado – Wreath and holly on hat
Light Buttermilk – Snow
Marigold – Bird beak

After all your colors are dry, it is time to give them a little sparkle. Add glitter to the areas as follows (if you really want them to sparkle, you may want to apply several coats):
Black Ice – Hat and boots
Emerald – Wreath and Holly leaves
Sizzling Red – Bird and berries
Sapphire – Hat band, scarf, and mittens
Ice Crystal – Snow

When dry, spray with your favorite varnish and enjoy!

Remember, if you don’t want his scarf blue, you can paint it any color that you want…let go and have some creative fun!

Happy Painting!


Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Cactus Flower Pumpkin

Hi guys!

I have officially become a crazy cactus lady. I can’t seem to say no to those cute little succulents at the hardware store! My collection has quickly grown and when I realized our Tall Pumpkin is the same shape as some of my beloved succulents I knew I wanted to transform it into a cactus. With a few colors and a thick coat of Patio Paint Clear Coat my Cactus Pumpkin is ready to join my succulent collection.

I base coated the pumpkin in Irish Moss and let it dry. It took me two coats to get a nice, even coverage. Using a 1″ Angular Shader brush, I added shading to the indents of the pumpkin and mopped up excess paint with a large mop brush.  To add more dimension, I highlighted the sections with lemonade using a large highlighter brush.  I drew out some flower petals towards the top of the pumpkin to add a pink cactus flower. Basecoat the petals in Cool White. Let dry and basecoat with Dragon Fruit. I added some yellow towards the center of the flower and tip of the stem with Lemonade and blended some Cool White in the tips of the petals. Using an Identi Pen, I outlined the petals to add some dimension. For the spines, I used a 6/0 Script Liner and Cool White to make random x’s.

To protect this project from the sun and weather, I added 2 coats of Patio Paint Clear Coat. To add some extra shine I also added a coat of Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray. Can’t wait to add this cute project to my succulent garden!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Staff Projects, Tutorials

Merry Christmas Sign

The holidays will soon be here, and that is just crazy to think…I mean, where did this year go? Anyway, with the holidays just around the corner, it is time to get cracking on all of those holiday projects! This Merry Christmas sign that I created is quick and easy and is great for gift giving or to sell at your next bazaar or craft show. With just three stencils and some paint, you too can create this festive sign.

Here is what you will need:

Narrow Table Top Sign

DecoArt Americana:
Antique White
Light Buttermilk
Santa Red
Hauser Dark Green
Snow White

Identi Pen Black
Americana Doily Stencil
Christmas Curly Words Stencil
Pines & Holly Background Stencil
DecoArt Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

I chose to reverse the sign so that the base is at the back, that way it was easier to apply the stencils. First, sand your wood and then wipe the dust away. Paint the entire sign with Antique White. Let it dry. Lightly sand again with a piece of brown paper bag to smooth out the grain after painting. Wipe off surface. Paint a second coat of Antique White and let it dry. take the doily stencil and lay it on one side of the sign…lightly stipple over the stencil with Light Buttermilk. You just want a hint of the design, so make sure to tap out your paint on a paper towel before going to your surface. Carefully lift your stencil up and move it to the center of the board, overlapping is fine. Repeat the stippling again with Light Buttermilk. If you have a small odd space that the stencil didn’t reach, lift the stencil up and move it again to fill in the space. Let it dry. Shade around the outside edge of the sign with Cocoa.

When the background of your sign is dry, lay your stencil with the holly branch onto the right side of your surface.  Make sure to check your placement with the words “Merry Christmas” on your Words stencil. Then stipple/stencil over the holly and stem with Avocado. Then pick two holly leaves to stencil in the upper left corner and repeat the stipple/stenciling process with Avocado. Shade one side of your holly leaves with Hauser Dark Green. Highlight the other side with Margarita. When dry outline your leaves and add a vein down the center of each leaf with your Black Identi Pen. Lay your stencil in place for “Merry Christmas”, make sure you have it positioned where you want it and then stipple/stencil the words with Santa Red. Carefully lift your stencil up. Remember when stenciling to not have your brush heavy with paint. Using the back of your paint brush, add dip dots in Santa Red to create the berries. For the berries in the upper left corner, use a larger paint brush handle. Let the berries dry completely and then add a highlight dot to each one with Snow White.

Finish with your favorite varnish.

Now you have the perfect holiday sign that can be completed in just a few hours.

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

Fall Angel

This little lady is perfect for all seasons, but I couldn’t wait to get her decked out for fall! With just a few paint colors, you too can create this lovely fall project in less than a weekend!

Here is what you will need:
Angel with Heart #80851
DecoArt Americana:
Celery Green #13208
Mocha #13060
Honey Brown #13163
Persimmon #13516
Espresso #13261
Tangerine #13012
Light Buttermilk #13164
Marigold #13194
Weathered Wood #84146
Identi Pen Black #70830
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray #70836
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray #70835
Staining & Antiquing Medium #84126

Basecoat the main portion of the dress  with Persimmon,let dry, then highlight here and there with Tangerine. The lower portion of the dress is Celery Green. I painted the the stripes on the dress with a 1/2″ Comb Brush alternating colors of Persimmon and Espresso, these colors are watered down, you don’t want them too heavy. Paint the sleeve trim, belt, and center portion of collar with Espresso. The trim around the collar is Celery Green. Face, neck, and hands are painted Mocha. Hair is Honey Brown, highlighted with Marigold. Paint the strap and the heart Espresso. Once the heart is dry, brush on Weathered Wood and let it dry completely. With Light Buttermilk, paint over the heart. Let it dry completely. You can choose to add some lettering to the heart, or just let it be…with a pencil, I lightly wrote, with my own hand writing, “Fall”and then outlined it with the black Identi Pen. Spray with Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray. Then mix Espresso and the Staining & Antiquing Medium together (following the instructions on the back of the bottle), apply with a brush all over your angel. With a soft cloth, wipe off the antiquing medium from the areas you don’t want it to be. When everything is completely dry, varnish with Acrylic Sealer Finisher Gloss Spray.

What a fun and easy project that will get you in the mood for fall. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did when creating her.

Happy Fall and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects

New products from Jane Davenport!


I am an experienced painter but at aspirational watercolor artist. It is so pretty, but i never seem to have the patience to drag out the water, brushes, paints and wait for the layers to dry. Once I saw our new Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and Watercolor brights, I knew i wanted throw my caution to the wind and finally dive into watercolor painting!

The great thing about Jane Davenport’s books are they are essentially artsy coloring books. Her book,  Whimsical Girls, features lovely line drawings of beautiful ladies just begging you to add some color to their lives. I chose 3 of my favorite pages to start playing with these great products.


I started with the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers to add some base colors. They are so easy to use and would even be convenient to use on the go. I added additional layers with the Jane Davenport Watercolor Set – Bright. The paints are highly pigmented and really are so easy to use. A big plus to me is the packaging is really gorgeous!

Once these pages were dry i added some neon line work with our Gelly Roll Moonlight Bold – 10 pc. Set. Overall, I am no longer no longer afraid of watercolor! I can’t wait to continue painting these beautiful pages!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, New Products, Staff Projects

It’s Fall!

Yep I love fall! I have said that many times in the past fall themed blog posts! There is just something about this time of year for me…is it the colors, the crisp cool air, kids going back to school, sweaters, apple cider, boots, carving pumpkins…maybe it is just all of it that I love so much! With that wonderful change in the air, I love to fill my house with warm colors and projects that just make me feel the season all around me.

Sometimes projects don’t need to be very complicated to add to the joy of the season. Inspired by many ideas on Pinterest, on a daily basis…I saw a charming pumpkin made from just a chunk of wood and thought, I can make that with our Basswood Rounds!

I love the way this Fall Pumpkin Sign turned out…and I hope you will make one for your home this season too.

Here is what you will need:
Basswood Country Round – Medium
Vertical Plank Ornament (this is for the stem)
Fall Word Mix Stencil
DecoArt Americana Paint:
Papillon Deerfoot Brush Set or a stencil brush
Papillon Shader Size 20
Artificial fall leaves
Ribbon in fall colors
Hot Glue Gun
Fine grit sandpaper
Dura Clear Matte Varnish

Sand the surface if you think it feels a little rough, and wipe away the dust. Follow the natural rings of the wood. I followed the furthest ring that would also leave me a decent natural edge by the bark…with your flat brush and Persimmon, paint the center of the surface. Let it dry. If the grain of the wood has raised, sand lightly and wipe away any dust. Paint a second coat of Persimmon.

After your basecoat is dry, it is time to stencil. Take your stencil and center the word “Fall” into the middle of the area you painted. Using one of your Deerfoot brushes, or a stencil brush…pounce your brush into Espresso, then tap onto a paper towel to remove some of the paint, then start pouncing over your stencil. You don’t want too much paint on your brush, as it can seep under your stencil and not give you a crisp edge. if your edge is not perfect, that is ok, this is supposed to be a fun and rustic project.

As your stenciling is drying take your Vertical Plank Ornament and paint it Avocado. This may take two coats, paint both sides. I chose to use the side without the grooves for the front of my sign. Let dry.

Once all pieces are dry, use your shader and the Dura Clear Varnish and brush on the varnish to the stem and the entire from of the sign. When the varnish is dry, use your hot glue gun to glue the stem to the back of your surface making sure to center it. Then glue leaves and a bow to the front for the finishing touch.

See wasn’t that fun and easy?!

Happy Fall Everyone…and Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Painting, Snapshots, Staff Projects