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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Little Stepper Step Stool

If you have small children or grandchildren, you know they always want to be a foot taller so they can help with the baking or reach things that are too tall for them.  I never pass these up when I find them.  Even adults like to keep them handy.  This cute little step stool was spotted at a neighborhood sale. 
 I could see immediately past the outdated crackle finish of yellow paint over a purple base.  Don't get me wrong, I love things with porcelain cracks the make things look genuinely old, but this wasn't it.
 I painted the whole stool in Colonial Red American Accents by Rustoleum.  This is my red.  It looks great under a glazed stain or just wonderful simply sanded back like I did on this project.

As always, when I stencil something, I map it out on paper first.  Although this takes a few extra minutes, it's worth it to see how the letters will fall and makes centering your words easier.
 For this piece, because I was doing it with children in mind, I did the printing a little more whimsical, not in a straight line.  I like a light ivory craft paint for lettering because I want my things to look old, and stark white is just too new looking.  If I am going over red or black base paint, I do the lettering with the stencils, let it dry and then go back with the stencil and go over my original image.  That way I get a good solid letter.  If you are in a hurry, a blow dryer works great to dry the stenciling.
 Now that the basic lettering is done,  I go back and fill in the gaps from the stencil to make it look "less stenciled."  On this piece I stuck with the primary colors to do the shading.  I actually took a small paint brush and just painted down the left side of the letter and the bottom.  That lifts the letter up a little bit to give it dimension.  On something like this, you probably could outline the whole letter.  It's just a matter of preference.
 When all the wording was completed, I took my mouse sander and sanded with medium grit paper.  This let the original yellow come through and since it was so heavily crackled to begin with, the crackled appearance came through but now it's giving the piece a great aged patina.  The project is done and now I have a cute Little Stepper that looks very vintage and worn.  I sealed it with a coat of Deft lacquer spray.  It's ready for lots of fun uses.

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