Tole Painting Secrets, Tips and Techniques

Did you ever wonder why, when you followed all the instructions exactly, that your painted piece just didn't look like the designer's original? Haven't we all!

Unfortunately, some designers, while extremely talented, just don't tell us all we need to know. They leave important stuff out! Silly details, like how they actually did it!
Here are some secrets, tips and techniques I have discovered.

Secret #1 - How to paint those beautiful faces with the soft look of oils (works with florals, too).
The secret is the "Three Brush Technique". Here's how it's done. Basecoat everything. To do all shading and highlighting, do the following:
Select three brushs, usually two flats and a scruffy worn out filbert (DM Stippler works great, too). Load the first flat with Plaid (FolkArt) Blending Gel and brush generously on area to be shaded. No puddles, but don't be stingy. Lay the brush down.
Pick up the second flat and load with Plaid Blending Gel and wipe off each
side on palette paper. Touch lightly into paint, and tap a few dots on area. Lay the
brush down.
Pick up scruffy filbert, (leave dry) and holding upright, "fluff" the color
around and into the area to be shaded. What a soft, beautiful look! Th
is technique
works extremely well when doing cheeks on any type project, too.

Secret #2 - Painting those soft fuzzy snowmen, elves, etc. Different designer, same as Secret #1

Secret #3 - Combing Hair
Add a few drops of Jo Sonja's Flow Medium to paint and stir with brush handle end. Load tip of comb (rake) brush, wipe off lightly on each side, hold brush upright, rest the side of your hand on surface, and with a VERY light touch, comb the hair in the direction it grows. Short choppy strokes don't work. Keep the stroke as long as you can. Filbert Comb works best for me. Finish up with a few "wispys" using 10/0 liner.

Secret #4 - How to Protect an Area from Paint.
Ok, you need to comb Santa's beard, but you don't want any of the beard strokes to
get on the toy doll he is holding. After all, you just spent an hour painting that doll!
Just brush Aleene's Liquid Masking Tape on the toy doll, let set a few minutes, and brush on beard. When beard strokes are dry, using your finger, just roll off the liquid masking tape. Hurray! Toy doll is clean and beard is done! Oops, what are those little rubber balls left in the brush I used for the liquid masking tape? No problem, just wash brush with a couple of drops of liquid dish soap and it's as good a new.

Secret #5 - Cleaning that Ugly, Horrible, Dried paint out of Brushes 
I have to give credit to my daughter, Cyndie, for this one. She accidentally discovered the answer to that "age-old" question, "How do I get the dried paint out of my brush?" Would you believe, Dow Bathroom Cleaner "Scrubbing Bubbles"?
This stuff REALLY works. Wet your brush, squirt in some Dow, massage bristles
and rinse. If it's really bad, do it again! Leaves brush soft and clean!

Secret #6 - How to get paint out of your clothes
This one works about 90% of the time and is worth a try. Vodka.

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