We had a little taste of spring a week or so ago with our temps nearing 60 and even some rain. The rain washed away the last of that pesky snow cover making it really feel like spring. Of course, February is far too early for spring in Minnesota, right? Winter came back with a vengeance for some poor souls south of here in the form of a foot of snow, but at my house we barely even got a dusting. However, we did get some cold gusty winds, officially bringing an end to a false spring.
I don’t know about you, but that little bit of spring-like weather has me longing for gardening season.
Since it’s way too early to start that, I decided to turn an old bucket into a flower container instead.
I’m going to take this wonky old thing with some paint splatters and a warped bottom (hey, wait a minute, that sounds like me!) …
And turn it into this …
For now I have it filled with cut flowers, but when spring really does arrive I can plant it with some pretty flowering annuals.
The first thing I did was clean it up by scrubbing it with a little dish soap and water just in case there were any oily residues on it. Once it dried, I painted it with just one coat of Fusion paint in one of their newest colors, Brook.
This is such a gorgeous color. It’s coming across as quite minty on my computer screen, but it’s got a little more blue in it in person.
I wanted to add a little extra pizzazz to my bucket, so I decided to use Fusion’s Transfer Gel to add a French graphic.
This stuff is so fun to play around with. If you haven’t tried it, you should.
Here’s how it works.
First of all you need an image to transfer. You can using any image printed onto regular paper with a laser printer. It can be color or black and white. The printer toner is what will transfer, so whatever color you see on your paper is what you’ll get in your transfer. Important tip: keep in mind that you will get a reverse of the image you see on the paper. So if your graphic has words in it (like mine does), you’ll need to print a mirror image. Personally I always have a hard time figuring out how to print a mirror image on my computer, so I have a bunch of reverse graphics saved on pinterest just for this purpose. You can also find lots of great reverse images on the Graphics Fairy website.
The French beekeeper’s letterhead graphic that I am using today came from Graphics Fairy, and here it is …
Once you have your graphic printed, trim all the way around it. The less paper you leave behind, the less paper you’ll have to scrub off your finished product.
Next, brush some transfer gel onto your surface (in my case, the bucket) where you want to put the image. You just need a thin-ish coat, not a thick gloppy coat. I use an inexpensive chip brush to do this, but one of those cheap sponge brushes will work too. Then place your printed graphic image-side down onto the gel. Be sure to press down and smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles using your finger, sort of like wallpapering or decoupaging. Important tip: do not put transfer gel over the top of your paper! If you do, your paper will be permanently adhered to the surface. You do not want that.
Then let your transfer dry overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Now it’s time to remove the paper leaving the image behind. First wet down your paper and give it a couple of seconds to soften up. Then using a cloth start to gently rub away the paper. I find it best to use a terry washcloth for this. You want something with a little texture to rub off the paper, but not too much (like a plastic scrubby) so that it scratches off the design. Frequently move to a new spot on your cloth as your cloth gets full of paper. I use a gentle circular motion which seems to work well. Important tip: while the paper is wet it can be difficult to see if you really got it all off. But no worries, once it dries you can see any remaining paper more easily and then you can just go in again with your damp rag and rub that off. Also, the gel can take on a milky appearance when it gets saturated with water. Don’t worry, it will dry clear again. This step in the process is where you’ll really appreciate working with Fusion paint rather than a chalk paint. It holds up to the application of the water, whereas a chalk paint will wipe right off along with the paper.
If perfection is your goal, this technique might not be for you. As you can see above, most of my graphic transferred but there are spots that didn’t quite make it. I like a more distressed, worn look so this is ‘perfect’ for me.
And that is basically it. No need to put a coat of anything over the top of this.
Currently Reclaiming Beautiful is not stocking the Fusion transfer gel, but if they get a few requests for it they will add it to their next Fusion order. So if you want to give this product a try, be sure to let them know. You can send them a message on Facebook here.