You may be wondering: What the heck has Courtney been up to lately? She hasn’t posted a new project on here in a few weeks. That girl is crazy!
Well, friends, life is good. Very good. I have been celebrating (1 high school + 2 pre-school graduations) and traveling (to Boston and Albany) and spitting (Unicorn Spit) all over the place.
Unicorn Spit is the non-toxic rainbow gel stain and glaze we carry at our shop All Things New Again in Leesburg, Virginia. You can create some exuberant looks on furniture with it—bold, colorful, crazy looks like this. (You can see the full tutorial on creating the starburst design here.)
But what if you need to tone down all of that crazy?
Can you use Unicorn Spit on “real life” furniture you enjoy in your home? The answer is Y-E-S!
For example, instead of staining wood regular ol’ brown, you can now choose blue (and hot pink) like I did on this little table for my living room. Or you could choose green or red or whatever color(s) match your decor.
The magic of Unicorn Spit is that you can apply color on bare, sanded down wood and still see that beautiful wood grain coming through like you do with traditional stains.
If your furniture doesn’t have a nice wood grain, you can still use Unicorn Spit. Just paint it first! That’s what I did with this mid-century table. I wanted to tone down some of my usual C-R-A-Z-Y and create a softer, more elegant look that would fit with many decorating styles.
Here’s how I did it:
I started by painting the entire table light gray. Next I opened up all of my jars of Unicorn Spit and went to work!
(It is actually more like playing. I just dip my fingers right into the product and start finger-painting. So. Much. Fun.)
I’m sorry I don’t have any “process photos” because my hands were covered in Unicorn Spit. I was too lazy to go inside for a bowl so I squirted some right on the palm of my hand and mixed up new colors right there.
SPIT TIP: Keep a box of baby wipes in your Spit Kit for easy clean-up.
If you really hate to get dirty or you are working on a rough piece of wood and don’t want to get splinters, please use a paintbrush. I like the way Unicorn Spit feels. I like the way it smells (like jasmine) and I like to move it around with my hands.
Unicorn Spit is non-toxic and was invented by the art director at a facility for adults with disabilities. She wanted people who could not hold a paintbrush—either from old age or injury—to be able to enjoy creating art.
My process for this table was simple. I dabbed a little Unicorn Spit on the edges of the table and spread it across with my fingers. Keep dabbing. Keep spreading. Overlap. Blend. Add more colors. Add some more. Squirt with water if needed to help the Unicorn Spit spread around better.
Keep playing around until it looks beautiful to you.
SPIT TIP: When your entire tabletop is covered with Unicorn Spit, stop and let it dry. Then come back and DO IT AGAIN! Add more colors on top of the work you just did. Don’t worry about matching colors or coordinating. Just dip your fingers in and go! The more layers of different colors you build on top of each other, the cooler your project is going to look in the end. If colors start to blend too much or look muddied, stop and let it dry some more before continuing.
I think I did about three different layers of color on this table. The layering is what gives your project dimension when you seal it and makes it look like you are some kind of crazy-cool-wicked-talented artist—because you are! (Yes—YOU! You can do this too. I promise.)
When you are finished creating, seal your work with an OIL-BASED sealer. A water-based sealer will “re-activate” the Unicorn Spit and all the colors will run together in a blobby mess. It is important that you use an oil-based sealer because it will preserve your awesome design and make all of those layers of color seem like they are just floating on top of each other. I used Minwax Polyurethane—3 coats. Follow the instructions on the can.
SPIT TIP: Your Unicorn Spit design will change colors slightly when you seal it. Match the paint for the rest of your project after you seal the spitted areas with the oil-based sealer. I originally painted these table legs light gray. After the polyurethane dried, I realized a darker gray would look better against the design. I re-painted the legs—which was a total pain—but I’m glad I did. The table looks more elegant now. Save yourself some work and wait to to choose your paint colors.
I have another Unicorn Spit project in the works …
These matching side tables were on my Paint Project To-Do List. Wait until you see what I do with that section in the middle—next week on the All Things New Again Blog. Sign up for our e-mail alerts so you don’t miss it.
Have a great week!
All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique in Leesburg, Virginia (about an hour or so west of Washington, D.C.) We offer our own eclectic brand of hand painted furniture, several lines of easy-to-use paint for your next DIY project (including Unicorn Spit) and furniture painting classes.
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