Archive for the ‘going green’ Category

“. . . on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was held, one of the most
remarkable happenings in the history of democracy. . . ”

-American Heritage Magazine, October 1993

I feel so blessed to be a part of a time that is taking into account our beautiful world.  This place has and never will stop amazing me.  Our environment is a precious and beautiful place filled with mystery and inspiration.  My partners and I are trying every single day to make Patina Designs and Lulu Painting full”green” painting companies.  Here are a few of things we have been doing to help our environment and the environment at our clients homes.

  1. USE THE INTERNET:We no longer print out paper recipe cards for classes and demo’s that we are instructing.  We put the recipes on-line for folks to look up at their discretion.
  2. VOC FREE PAINTS:We use low VOC or NO VOC paints.  These are paints that do not contain toxic amounts of cancer causing  volatile organic compounds.
  3. WASH WHAT YOU HAVE:We wash out all our brushes, rollers, naps, trays, and paint cans, so as to not over use products that end up in landfills.  Some of us have paint brushes that are 3 years old and still work like new.  It can be a pain at times but its worth it in the long haul and also helps with costs!
  4. RE-USABLE JARS: We use old glass pickle jars and plastic yogurt containers to mix our color samples or glazes in.
  5. RECYCLE:We recycle our clients paint cans for them.  How many of you have old paint just sitting in your basement unused and collecting dust.  By bringing these unusable paints to a recycling center folks who are thrifty can pick them up for next to nothing to be used.
  6. RE-NEW:We re-paint cabinetry.  This is our hottest selling service right now.  Folks seem to be using what they have and making it how they want rather than wasting money on NEW, and putting the old in a landfill.  We can take any dated, ugly kitchen, and make it gorgeous!
  7. RECYCLE WORK SITE TRASH:We recycle our old paint cans and water bottles from work sites.  We have a lot of trash that builds up on a work site but a lot of it can be recycles if you just take the time.
  8. WASH:We run our rags through the wash instead of throwing them away.
  9. SUPPORT “GREEN” BUSINESS, (or at least ones that are striving to be that ways)We support Sherwin Williams by purchasing their recycled brushes, trays, and rollers instead of purchasing ones that are not made from recycled materials.
  10. GET CREATIVE:We cut up our rags from old sheets and towels instead of purchasing a bag of them at the paint supply store.  All of us have old towels or cloths that could be used as rags.  Why on earth would you buy rags when it takes two seconds to make your own?

What are some ways that you help to make your business or life a little better for the environment?  Do you have any other suggestions for us?  We like to think that we are very crafty but there is always room for more!  What other ways do you think we could help make our painting company even “greener”?

To view one of my many green DIY projects please read: https://lulupainting.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/painting-and-stenciling-a-bench-for-steph/

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YES YOU CAN deck your walls out with paper bags if you so choose!!!  Here is one of the many paper bag finishes offer at  Patina Designs.  Terri created a leather look by crumpling up the paper, then treating it like wall paper to adhere to the walls.  Finally, Terri glazed and added some metallic stencils in a random pattern for more DRAMA!!!!

Yay for going Green!

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Silhouette & Cork


Wood Icing Textura Paste
black paint
silhouette stencil
Stain and Seal Van Dyke Brown
chip brush
plastic bag
a putty knife

1.) Paint door black and allow to dry

2.) Tape off the areas that you want the black to shine through and apply the silhouette insert where you want it.

3.) Spread the texura base over the entire area and then place plastic over the wet product and pull off to leave peaks and craters.  Make sure to remove the tape immediately.   Pull out your silhouette stencil.

4.) Allow to dry over night and then sand down so the product has smooth edges.  Remove Dust.

5.) Apply stain using a chip brush and then wipe off remaining stain with the rag.

6.) Seal the door after it has dried with c500

All of these products are available at the Plaster Center!!!

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This Terri’s famous Coffee Grounds Plaster Recipe.  I think you’ll find it quite easy,  and hopefully enjoy yourself when your resorting back to your inner child.  This recipe gives you permission to play with your food once  again…

Here is what you will need:

A trowel
Veniciano Lime Based Plaster
coffee beans
stir stick
coffee bean grinder or blender
coffee maker
sugar and cream to taste

1.) Grind up your coffee beans for your morning pot of coffee.  After brewing remove the coffee grinds and and grind them a second time in the blender or coffee grindercoffee-2

2.) Pour yourself a cup of coffee, mix cream and sugar and enjoy

3.) Run the grinds through the coffee maker again..Remember to empty the pot so as not to overfill.

4.) Grind for a third time, and re-run through the coffee maker again.  You are breaking up the beans with heat and moisture.  The more you grind and boil them, the more of that natural coffee colorant is going to seep out to help color the plaster.  The beans should be soft and paste-like.

5.) Mix the grounds into your plaster and stir till completely mixed in.

6.) Use your stir stick to load your trowel and and put your trowel on your first coat onto the walls.  This is your base coat so do not worry about making it perfect.

7.) After plaster dries, trowel on second coat with desired technique.  Remember to push hard on the beans to break up even more pigment to get a nice rich color.

enjoy the aroma while it lasts…it goes away once the plaster dries!!!

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Last weekend was like a magical omen from the thrift store gods….Jake and I had been planning to drive out to S R Harris to find some cheapo fabric to make curtains for the living room.  After running a few errands we decided to head over early and try and find something to keep us occupied in Brooklyn Park until the fabric store opened at noon.  Honestly, I don’t know what we were thinking…finding something to keep you occupied in the far out burbs is pretty unrealistic.

So we drive out there at 10:30, locate the place and figure we will venture off…  and then this is where all thdsc02957e magic happened.  I uttered the magical words ” I wish there was just a gnarly old thrift store filled with goodies for us to oogle until they open”.  And then KABOOM. I look to the left…THERE IT WAS… A gnarly thrift store…filled with goodies…

We pulled into the parking lot at 10:59 I walked up to look at the door to see what time they opened, and the sign read 11:00.  We waited all of one minute and then went in to enjoy all the store had to offer.

To the right is the $7.00 chair we purchased.. Its Monster’s (cat) favorite new place to sit and I plan on painting the arms and legs a nice neutral tone to clean it up a bit.

We also bought a rad big comfy, brand spanking new boxy looking black  leather chair for $20.00.  Normally I don’t care for leather furniture but this chair is actually perfect for our office.

Among other things I couldn’t resist the little owl salt and pepper shakers for a client who collects odd little items like that…We also got empty frames for our living room, a wicked retro blanket for the guest bed, and Jake found some shoes for $3.00.  It was such a pleasant surprise and we will definitely be going back to oogle goodies!!!

If you wanna partake the place is located at:


8501 Wyoming Ave. Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

enjoy!!!!  xo lulu

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Dear Benjamin Moore,

I love you!!! I love you for working so hard to create such splendific paints that have unbelievable coverage, no odor, beautiful colors, and are 100% VOC FREE!!!!!! Cue… NATURA!!!


Benjamin Moores latest paint innovation is modeled after Aura..which I’ll have you know is my numero uno paint!  It has a similar coverage..minus all the bad stuff like the Volatile Organic Compounds, which have been linked to cancer.  Its offered currently in over 3,500 wear-resistant hues.   All this, and  it still cost s about $15 less than Aura. Woop Woop!!!!  Contact your local Benjamin Moore paint supplier for more info on this savvy paint!  Love, lulu

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Next Thursday, April 2nd, Peg, Terri and I with Patina Designs are going to be conducting a seminar called “Paint It Green” for the MAFCS annual conference.  Here is the invitation for you!!!  I’ll hope to see you there. xo LULU


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