When cleaning make sure you get all of the paint out of the brush, all the way down to the ferrule. It is important to use the brush basin and rake the brushes over the bottom of the basin. This allows for the paint to be released from the bristles and ferrule. It is important to get all of the paint out because if it dries up in the ferrule it can cause separation of the bristles or inability to form a good chisel edge.
After you have used the brush basin to remove as much paint as possible, it is then necessary to clean the brushes with a mild soap or brush cleaner. Work a small amount of cleaner into the bristles. Then place brush back into basin and rake across the bottom to remove cleaner and excess paint.
After you have cleaned the brush in the basin, squeeze out the excess water. Pull the bristles between your fingers to re-form chisel edge. You may need to do this a couple of times.
Finally, to dry brushes, place them in the slots of the brush caddy (bristles facing downward) or hang them to dry. Make sure that your bristles are not touching a surface when drying.
Folk Art paint works great on candles because we don't use water that would just bead up on the wax.
When selecting colors, keep in mind that Thicket green matches most decorating schemes better than any other green. Wine colors like Berry Wine are used more often than red shades. Be careful when using purple, most people either love or hate this color.
When painting on fabric, 50/50 heavy weight tees work best, as they tend to hold up better with washings. The colors will stay more vivid on a 50/50 cotton-poly mix than on a 100% cotton tee.
Wash and dry the garment or item according to manufacturer's instructions before painting. This will remove sizing and excess dye and guard against shrinkage after painting. Do not use fabric softener. Iron garment so it's smooth. If an item is never going to be washed, such as a lamp shade, there is no need to prepare it in this manner.
It's a good idea to plan the placement of your pattern before you transfer the pattern or begin painting. Pin the pattern where you would like it to go and observe the placement, adjusting as needed.
For painted clothing, try on the garment and stand in front of a mirror to view the placement. When painting on tee shirts, place the design high enough on the chest area so that if the shirt is tucked in, the design will still show. Adjust placement if needed.
To transfer a design, place the item to be painted on your work surface and lay the traced pattern in position on your project. Slip graphite paper between pattern and item. Trace pattern with a stylus to transfer it.
Use a shirtboard form inside the garment so you'll have a firm surface for painting and so your paint won't bleed through to the back of your garment. Use masking tape to fasten excess fabric to the back of the shirtboard, out of your way. Your painting surface should be taut and flat, but not stretched out of shape.
Load your brush with paint. Dip the tip of the brush straight down in the Textile Medium. Return to your palette and work the medium into the brush. Repeat this step every time you feel that your brush is getting dry. If your fabric is very porous, you may need to do it every stroke. Test your fabric before painting your design.
Textile Medium allows the paint to stay wetter, thus aiding you in you brush strokes. Do not follow the instructions on the Textile Medium bottle when painting the One StrokeTM technique - if you do, your strokes will be very muddy.
When painting large design elements (a full rose, fruits, etc.), basecoat the area with the principal color, then double-load your brush and paint as usual.
Let painted garment dry 24 hours. Place a pressing cloth over painted design. Iron 30 seconds over pressing cloth, with iron on highest appropriate setting for fabric.
When sponging on a faux finish, follow these steps:
a. Dampen a household sponge.
b. Pounce half of sponge into one color and the other half into a second color.
c. Pounce sponge onto surface of project, remembering to move your hand in different directions so as not to create a pattern of any sort.
d. Do not over pounce or you will lose the variation of the two colors. You want the finish to be distinct in the two color differences.
e. Reload sponge as it begins to lose its color.
f. A good point to remember here is that using the sponge is similar to pouncing the scruffy brush and you don't want to muddy up the look.
g. A scruffy could also be used for fauxing small projects.
When painting floral designs it is important to visualize where the flowers are coming from in order to achieve a natural look. Is the design on a growing vine? If so the flowers and leaves grow out from it. Perhaps the design is like a bouquet that someone is holding in their hand. The flowers and leaves would flow out and away from the center. Keep the design in mind and you won't have flowers and leaves appear to be coming from no where
You painted the design and you think you want it a little fuller looking but you don't want it to look heavy. Fill in with shadow leaves or shadow flowers. Take your brush that is loaded with paint and wipe it on a paper towel to remove the outside paint. Then work your paintbrush into a puddle of floating medium to make a muted color. Use this puddle to paint shadow leaves or flowers for a soft fuller look.
Need help with flower placement on the pieces you are painting. Lay out your design like a florist. Decide if you need an "L" shape, a "C" shape, an "S" shape, an arch or a round shape. Once the shape is decided on place your larger flowers where the focal point is then fill in with smaller flowers and leaves away form the main element. Like a florist you can add a background of leaves, then the main flowers and finally finish up with the smaller filler flowers and leaves
When selecting glass pieces, be careful to choose pieces that do not have glued joints if you plan to set the paint with heat. For example, some cake dishes have two parts that are glued together. Heating these pieces in the oven will loosen the glue and will cause your piece to come apart. Use Folk Art Enamel paint for glass pieces. After letting your paint dry for at least an hour, put your piece in a cold oven and heat to 325 degrees. Cook your piece for 30 minutes at this temperature, then turn off the oven and leave glass piece inside until it is cool.
When painting strokes for the first time, be sure to paint very slowly, feeling the movement and pressure of the brush and always watching the outer edge of your stroke. Your painting will look better once you've learned to paint your strokes more quickly.
Rubbing alcohol is used to prepare glass surfaces for painting with Enamel paints (it removes any oils that your hands may have left on the glass). it is also great for cleaning dried paint out of your brush. Soak bristles in alcohol for a few minutes - do not soak brushes overnight. Rubbing alcohol also works well to remove dried paint from reusable teaching guides, carpet, and clothing.
Scruffy brushes come in numerous sizes. Remove the brush from the packaging and form the natural bristles into an oval shape by gently pulling on them. Then, twist the bristles in the palm of your hand until you have shaped the bristles into a nice oval form.
The scruffy, when fluffed, is used for painting mosses, wisteria, lilacs, certain hair and fur, fauxing and shading textures. This brush is not used with water. When cleaning this brush, pounce the bristles into the brush basin; do not rake them so as not to break the natural bristles.
Enameled tin should always be sprayed with 2-3 coats of lacquer (allow to dry between coats). Galvanized tin holds up best, without scratching, when sprayed with varnish.