Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Your Painting Questions...

Coastal Star Monday Questions for Kim

Sorry I am a day late!  Two weeks ago, I started having cold symptoms and yesterday was treated for pneumonia... already feeling better and ready to get back to work.  All of them!
Don't forget to email/message me your questions for the next Q & A blog!  I love getting your messages!

I see the expensive round brushes for sale, does it matter what paint brush I use?

Well no, you definitely do not NEED a round brush to "chalk" paint.  This is one of those areas where it becomes personal preference.  And honestly, I believe it is just another way for some chalk paint companies to rack up sales.  That being said, I do love a round brush, although I primarily use them for painting, not waxing.  I use the large round brushes for covering lots of footage quickly on large pieces.   You can really get moving with these!  I do use the small round brushes for applying dark wax, particularly when doing lots of detail work in crevices.  For small piece painting, I use the Blue Hawk 2" slanted brush with the blue rubber handle.  The rubber handle is so kind to my arthritic hands!  When you paint a lot of volume like I do, this is important.

How do you clean the round brushes, they look nice, but I'm afraid I would use once and then ruin the brush if I don't clean it properly?
To clean all of my brushes... I use lye soap, or plain old blue dawn dish detergent.  And if I use it for wax, I don't wash everytime, I keep it in a ziploc bag. But only if I will be using it again soon. Really, I use those brushes for painting more than waxing. I generally use lint free cloths for waxing. My brush cleaning strategies... First I use hot water to rinse out all paint until the water runs clean.  Then I massage blue dawn or lye soap into my bristles.  Then I soak in a coffee mug with hot water overnight.  In the morning I just rinse clean and hang to dry.  I haven't bought brushes in ages... they just keep getting better.

 I’m seeing tiny specs of dust and particles under the wax or Polyurethane and can’t get rid of them – 
You need to sand.  And to prevent this from happening, yes, sand in between each layer.  If you take your time and pay attention, you may find there is always going to be hair and dirt in your paint finish.  Sanding in between each coat really reduces this.  

I want a dark waxed look to my kitchen table.  Can I poly over wax?  No.  And I don't recommend using ANY wax on a surface you will be wiping down constantly or in a high traffic area.  Poly to protect your surfaces.  You may look into different ways to use glazes, but I never recommend wax on a kitchen table. 


Monday, January 11, 2016

Coastal Star Monday Questions for Kim

Here is the start of my Questions for Kim series.  Thank you so much for everyone who responded!  What fun!  Email or Facebook me your questions to be included in the next Questions for Kim blog!

I'd really like to spend a little time talking further with you about your business, how you've grown it, some do's and don'ts etc. I really need to begin expanding my vision for my own small business and feel a bit lost with where to place my efforts. 
I love to mentor new painters!  I do offer a personal one on one service.  Online or in person, I will meet with you and discuss building your business using my experiences and lessons I have learned from courses I have taken.  Includes Membership to special FB group that will work together and discuss your businesses.
Private Initial consult $95/hour
Private Half hour session after Initial Consult $30

Email me at to get you started and schedule our initial consult!

 How much would you charge to paint a full size bed? I want it in a neutral color. 
Email me a photo of your  furniture that you would like to freshen up. We will discuss colors and find a great fit for your home interior. Based on labor & materials I can give you an estimate per piece via email. We will then schedule a drop off/pick up time. Allow 2-3 weeks for completion.

  If you get too dark wax happy is there a way to correct it or tone it down?  Absolutely.  The key is to wax correctly to begin with.  Always apply clear wax first.  This enables your dark wax to "move"  If you apply dark wax first, the paint grabs it and the dark wax will stick to it, keeping you from being able to manipulate it the way you want to.  You can always add clear wax after the dark as well to work as an eraser and take away excess dark wax.  Clear-dark-clear.

I painted my table but after a few weeks the paint started peeling?  What did I do wrong? The most common mistake I find is not cleaning your piece well.  Always use a degreaser.  NO paint will adhere well to grease.  And just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. 

How do chalk paints do on laminate furniture?
If it is laminate or has a shiny surface, the paint will not adhere. Do a sample if you are unsure.  I always prime my laminates, no matter what brand or type of paint I use.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Review and what will change for Coastal Star decor in 2016

Happy Anniversary to us!  Coastal Star Decor just turned 3 years old today!  Still, just a baby.  
But boy have we learned a lot in those 3 years.
There are some changes happening, mostly from learning the business and trial and error.
My First Show a few years ago -Langley Raceway
First off, I will be specializing more on certain things.   I was all over the place for this last year and a half.  Teaching, booths, shows, in stores, custom work, painting restaurants and businesses, social paint nights, you name it... I did it.

Large restaurant job I tackled

 But I did these things on purpose to see what works, what fits my style, what I do and don't like to do.  And most importantly, what is profitable.


I painted anywhere they would let me

I also learned that this is a tricky business.  And one that, as an artist, I don't really have the stomach for.  There is a lot of dog eat dog, and wolves in sheep's clothing.  Friends that are only friends if you are renting from them or purchasing their product.  (Hint: if your relationship with me is strictly business... that is great.  Don't pretend otherwise.)  And people that copy, or run their business as a direct copy...I just don't know...Even naming their business eerily close to mine... hmmmm.... 
I just don't have it in me.  

I love to hear that I have inspired others, but inspiration and copying is totally different.  I could go on, but that's not moving forward.  Integrity has always been a big part of my business and will continue to.  I can't sleep at night any other way.

How about turning a profit?  Yes, I run my business to turn a profit.  Yes I am an artist.  Yes, I would love to give all my things away.  I just can't afford the time to do that.  I am an artist, and a mom, and a wife, an employee, a sports enthusiast, and a beach lover... many things that claim my time.
 I know you have a hard luck case and want me to paint this dresser for free or next to nothing.  But that, in addition to the charities I already support...  All of a sudden I don't have time to paint for profit!  I have also had to leave and trim down my presence in many places because of not being able to turn a profit there.  Does that mean it is a bad store?  Of course not, and I have never sold in a store I didn't make checks from every month..
  Just means it didn't work for me.  And that I sell things to make profit.

 Yeah, keep reading...

Ok, Y'all... here is the core of what I have learned.  All of my friends that paint furniture and flip for business, here is free intel.  Really... and I mean REALLY look at your bottom line.  Write down your numbers, and account for all of your expenses.  How much $ are you really making?  A $1500 monthly check from a store... Isn't $1500.  Take out your rent, store percentage, inventory cost,  credit card cost, cost of supplies (be honest here/it is more than you think), gas and time from moving your inventory (from find to storage to painting to store), time for Phone calls/emails about your piece (will you take $15 less than listed?), reinvesting in your business(cards/signage/advertising).  Your time... unless you are a "paint slapper" and don't take your time to ensure a quality job.  (Hint:  If you are using the same painting procedure regardless of what furniture you are painting, you may be a paint slapper) Your check just shrunk.  Considerably.  Is this a hobby business for you?  Great, take your $200 for a month's work and enjoy.  No sarcasm intended here.  A hobby business pays for your habit, and there is NOTHING wrong with that.  But to live on this, while those hobbyists are pricing their items so low that you just can't compete.  Well, here come the bad stomach ache again.  LOL

Now that I have learned my lessons, what's on the docket for 2016?  I can't wait to show you.  Custom work has turned out to be one of my loves.  I will continue doing customs.  I will continue  my presence in a few select stores.  I plan on providing quality furniture with one of a kind artwork.  

Providing one of a kind decor pieces. 
 Not created to sell as bulk, but creating found objects into useful current decor.  
And the art.  I will be celebrating my love of art and continuing to teach One Stroke Painting.  


Coastal Star Decor
Continuing the blog?  Yep, planning on it.  Even starting a weekly "Ask Me" blog.  Send me your questions... I will answer them weekly on my blog every other Monday.  And to those of you who have missed my regular blogging... how kind of you to reach out to me to tell me just that!  I have been so touched by the "Where are you"s and my favorite... "I need my Kim fix".  Thank you all so much for your support.  In response to your sweet messages and comments, this year my blog will be more about my observations and experiences and growing as an artist/person than strictly painting.

And thanks to the friends and loved ones that I have made in this business.  I have met artists and business owners who have just really shown me about the type of person I want to be when I grow up.  My customers that follow me to stores, lessons, and art shows... I love you dearly.
 I have made life long friends that I am not sure what I ever did without them. 
 Thank you for your support in 2015 and GET READY TO ROCK 2016 WITH ME!
Let's CREATE the life we want in 2016!

The possibilities are endless