Since my friend K bought an apartment, I’ve been planning to do this project for her housewarming present. I tried and tried to get her to tell me what color scheme she was planning to have in her kitchen, but she gave me nothing. So I went for something really cool and suitable for our friend – neon (it’s trendy as well!). She’s the kind of person you just don’t give something plain, boring and store bought. She has four cool retro suitcases as her TV-stand, why would I give her anything less awesome?
I presented my idea to Madiken, she approved and helped me pick out the colors and then came to my aid before it was time to go to K’s place. I planned this for months and still ended up stressed to get it done in time. Typical…
The paint I used was extra resistant acrylic spray paint (Dupli-Color Platinum in white, neon orange, neon yellow) and finished off with a layer of acrylic spray lacquer to try and make sure the paint doesn’t flake or wear off.So, without further ado, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide to making these. What’s most important is being patient and doing really thin layers of paint – if you hold your spray can too close, you’ll ruin the paint and will have to redo the entire thing – not to mention a thick layer will mean that the paint will crackle when it dries. Follow the instructions on the can and you’ll be just fine!
1. Start off by polishing the cutlery so it’s nice and clean – I used Commandant 4 (a polishing paste) for this.
2. Then use fine sanding paper, wet it and wet-sand the bits that you’re about to paint. If the surface feels coarse and looks matte, you’re done sanding. This is to ensure that the paint sticks.
3. Now take your masking tape and cover the parts you’re not going to paint. Look at the design of the handle, if there’s a line between the handle and the blade, that’s where you want your tape to start. Make sure you’re consistent with how you tape on each piece you’re doing. I strongly recommend only painting the handles – this way they’ll look good a lot longer and take a lot less damage from teeth and sponges.
4. Once you’re done taping, you need to clean the parts you’re painting from dust, fat etc. Take an old cloth and any kind of solvent (petrol, white spirit, nitrobenzene etc.) and holding the piece by the part that’s taped, wipe the surface that’s about to be painted.
I stuck the cutlery in a flowerbed to dry. 🙂
5. You’re ready to paint – do it outside. Put on gloves and decide how you’re going to work – one by one or in batches. I did them one by one because I figured it was easier holding them in my hand and doing both sides rather than laying them down and doing them in batches, painting one side at a time and waiting for it to dry.
6. Very. Thin. Layers. I can’t stress this enough – hold the can at least 30cm from the cutlery and let the paint dry a bit before you do another layer. Start by doing the white, covering the handle entirely (don’t forget the sides, they’re easy to miss!) and letting it dry for a while. DO NOT touch the paint to see if it’s dry if you’re not wearing gloves – your fingers are oily and the paint won’t stick to an oily surface. When the white has had time to dry, start with the neon. Again – very thin layers, not only because it’s the right way to do it, but also because it’s hard to get a good ombre effect. So if your first layer of color covers the handle, you won’t be able to bring the white back out.
7. Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before you do the lacquer (you can skip this bit if you’re just making the cutlery for decorative purposes). After you’re done, you want to let the cutlery dry for as long as possible.
8. No dishwashers and no scrubbing if you want your beauties to last long!
We made a little lidded glass jar to go with the cutlery. 🙂