Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lap Desk

I've tried this post twice already. It's going to work this time right? Three's a charm?

This is a Lap Desk that I painted this time last year as I was preparing for the time that I would be recuperating from surgery. This was something that I didn't even know I needed until I saw the unfinished desk at Hobby Lobby. I normally use a 12 x 12 clip board when I color on my lap. Obviously this was better. duh! ( --any excuse to spend money is something my dad or my husband would insert here. :)

So anyway, I'm finally getting around to showing it to you so I thought I would talk a little about it.
I really enjoy painting on wood. I don't know why, I just know that it is relaxing. I didn't stamp too much on wood until I discovered clear stamps. I tried before with wood stamps and marginal success, but placement was no guarantee and sometime not fixable. This is one of the first projects I did with clear stamps and I was very pleased. But, the big floral stamps you see on this lighter purple side aren't clear. Since I was overlapping anyway, it didn't matter. This set is called Designer Sketches. The butterflies are wood mounted also, but I think the rest of the stamps are clear sets.
I use inexpensive craft acrylic paint, foam and craft paint brushes, a sealer( Modpodge or Craft Varnish) This time I also used StazOn Cotton White ink and in just a few places Brilliance Silver.

 I usually sand the craft wood to prepare it. Although it is usually pretty smooth when I get it, I like to smooth out any rough edges and prepare the entire surface to accept the paint.

Patience is rewarded. I used at least 4 thin coats of paint on this instead of one or two thick coats.
Craft paint dries fairly quickly-- just enough time to go and throw in a load of laundry or make a sandwich or start the dishwasher. I walk away from it for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.
I leave the varnish or sealer for longer-- before cooking dinner or before bed. Check the container  package for instructions.
Stamping with paint requires a little diligence in the clean up. I use a foam brush to apply a thin coat of paint to the stamp. After stamping and repeating maybe two or three times if necessary, I clean the stamp using a toothbrush and water to prevent any paint from being permanently embedded in the crevices.

For the lighter side of this desk, I stamped the flowers in darker purple and then came back with the white paint. I did this with the butterflies to create a shadow. As you can see on some of the images I used very little of the white paint on the brush because I was going for wispy translucent look. Even still a lot of paint isn't needed and in fact too much will distort the image. I used StazOn for the words because any amount of paint was too much for this job with those fine word stamps. On a very few of the accent images I used silver Brilliance.
To get the streaky look on this side, I loaded the brush with the dark purple and just before applying it to the final coast of the desk I dipped the brush in a lighter color. I was very careful not to blend the two colors together.

To seal the piece, I used a craft varnish. If you are painting a surface that will be used to write or color on, it should be extremely smooth. You can make the surface smoother by sanding after the varnish had dried and before applying another coat. You may need to repeat these steps up to 4 times. If you don't do this, you may have brush strokes show up in your future coloring ( ask me how I know this?)

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.


Wendy said...

This is gorgeous, Jacki! Useful can definitely be pretty!

Have a great day!

Stacy said...

What a fun project. Thanks for sharing :)

Fran said...

This lapboard is beautiful! Love the color and the cheerful almost floating design with the flowers and butterflies. Really, really nice. TFS how you made this. Very inspirational!