Button Painting and recovery update #693

You can paint on any smooth surfaced button...glass, plastic etc. I prefer mother of pearl buttons because I love their luminosity. 3/4 to 1" are the best size but 11/4-1 1/2" are the easiest to start with. I also prefer a little thicker button with a self shank or metal shank but they are difficult to find and often expensive. For a long time I used ones with holes and filled the holes with a white filler from the hardware store. Now I have a goodly supply of antique ones I use exclusively which are marvelous but difficult to find. Notice the rose painted on the red button and likewise roses painted on black buttons are stunning...

No matter how loud I yell and jump up and down saying prepping the button is absolutely critical for the optimum result... people ignore that first step.... I can instantly recognize who has ignored this prepping as their paints are globby on the surface of the buttons... Yuk, Yuk, Yuk......

First glue the button to a scrap of felt. This felt gives you a handle so you do not touch the button itself. You don't want the oil from your fingers to get on the button....

Sometimes I bead around the button and you need the felt and sometime I remove the felt and put a gold edging on the button. If you want to bead around the button after painting you can really secure the felt with glue at this point..but if you are just using the felt as a holder, glue lightly so you can remove it....Once dry fill any holes in button with any white putty from the hardware store.

Now for the most important prep steps. Sand the button lightly with extra fine sandpaper and then you have two options:

1. Brush a very thin layer of blue wash ( acrylic paint mixed with water) over the button.

2. Lately I have been using a wash of alcohol inks because they are more transparent..

Either wash must dry or cure. I leave it sit overnight. The sanding and the wash coat gives the button a tooth or surface that makes painting so much smoother and easier and it is thin enough to let the luminosity of the button shine through.

Your button should look like this at this point and you can trim the felt closer for beading when the actual painting is done!

Below is a picture of all the buttons I prepped ahead of time for the workshops at the retreat... That indicates how important I feel this step is... I will be prepping buttons for the CQ Adventure classes and also will put this on a separate page as I continue this tutorial onto the painting phase...

Update: I've done no stitching as I had planned... On top of the terrible headache the pain medication leaves me tired and dopey and I am having double vision which Dr. says will go away as I heal.. So I am prepping some buttons and other light tasks to keep busy plus sleeping a lot... And as you suspected Morris is giving me lots of loving care and doggy kisses on my glasses and forehead.


Pat Winter said...

I hope you feel much better soon. Nothing like a little hobby to pass time when feeling icky. I love your buttons as you already know. Now, is it possible to purchase a bird button like the green beaded one? I would only purchase it, no freebies wanted. Thanks for considering.
Feel better,
gentle hugs and smiles,

Cathy said...

I'm sorry to hear you are not feeling well yet. Wish I had some herbal potion I could send your way but I don't. No, I'm not a witch...just use old herbals and grow my own herbs...not the smoking kind although "hemp" does grow wild here in Iowa. Anyway, take care of yourself.

Thanks for the button tutorial. So what do you do if you can't paint even a stick figure? I don't think all the button prepping in the world would help with lack of painting skills!

BTW, I sent my "Seams Only DYB" to you today a little early since I have a heavy load at work plus will be expecting company to be in town soon for an upcoming wedding of my niece so I wasn't sure when I could get it mailed if I didn't do it now.

Take care, Cathy L

Marilyn said...

THanks for posting more on button painting. I did some butterflies, and yes, I did do the prep step. Glad to hear Morris is looking after you.

Allison Ann Aller said...

I am late to this party but I am so intrigued by this as well as in awe of your painting.
Thanks so much for sharing your information...You must use size 00000 brushes, eh?

I do hope you feel better very, very soon! xxoxoxx

Cathy K said...

Take care of yourself, Dear One. Wish you were feeling better, but I guess all things take time. Seems like you are handling your down time as well as possible, with plenty of TLC from Morris (and hopefully Ron too!). I’m working on Leslie’s block now, but won’t be sending it on until next week. I’m hoping you’ll be back to good health by then! Love & hugs, Cathy

Carol said...

Good Morning Gerry
Sorry you are not feeling swell yet.

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I am hopping up and down to have it. Very generous of you to share.

Get Well Soon.

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Hi Gerry, Pat Winters introduced me to you blog and I've read this far and I have fell in love with all your painted buttons. I paint roses and have for years, sold on ebay, but never painted on buttons. But I am going to give it a try. I love your blog. Hope you will come visit me.
Hugs, Pat

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