By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Home Style in Shinnston recently celebrated its 7th anniversary and during that weeklong celebration, visitors to this specialty home décor shop no doubt learned by reading the store’s wall-size chalkboard that owner Melissa Aldridge is going to be “teaching” again!
Craft classes resume this month after an almost five year absence with an autumn centerpiece as the first scheduled project and a fall lamp post project as the second. Folks seem to be pleased to see the classes return because the first class this evening is full, and only one spot remains for the second class on October 11th. If you have missed these opportunities, try again in November for more holiday projects.
Of GREAT interest is the newest tutorials Melissa is offering which premier the introduction of a new product she was sought to carry – “Rethunk Junk” – a new paint on the market that makes re-doing old “junk” and turning it into treasured, functional pieces a whiz! This paint product works well on wood, metal, glass, pottery, and more – even fabric, believe it or not!
Georgia resident Laura Whitlow has always had a passion for painting things and giving them new life! After trying out all kinds of paints, she finally asked her husband, who owned a chemical company, to invent the right paint for her. She gave him a very specific ‘wish list’! She wanted a paint product that was easy to use, didn’t require much prep work, wouldn’t require waxing, would be easy to apply, would adhere to almost anything, would dry quickly … and something without an odor! After much trial and error, he fulfilled all of her wishes … and “Rethunk Junk” passed the test! It is now on the market nationwide – along with a full accompanying product line!
Home Style in Shinnston is the only retailer for these products in the state of West Virginia! And Home Style owner Melissa Aldridge says it truly is something that even a novice painter will enjoy.
“Lots of people often have items in their basement or attic that are not in use but could be if it matched their décor or if it didn’t require so much work to sand and prep it for a re-do project,” she expounded. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to ‘rethunk’ an antique heirloom because it would depreciate its value, but some old things just lying around can be transformed from drab to fab with these products and can really become cherished and usable pieces!”
Tedious scraping, sanding and priming a piece to be redone is the most difficult chore and probably the biggest reason people leave that “junk” stored in the attic! But Rethunk Junk requires none of that. It is a simple process. Preparing the piece to be redone is as easy as just cleaning it and removing the hardware. Then you spray on a prep, wait a couple of minutes and wipe it off. You’re ready to paint!
Paint is applied with a brush – perhaps requiring two coats – and have some fans running to help it dry quickly. Then you have additional options: the piece can be distressed soon after painting; it can also be glazed to give it an antique look; and a tough top coat can be brushed on if the piece is going to get hard use and needs to be very durable. Whatever you do – even a combination of the above – can all be done in a day and be in use the following day!
“Truly, there is NO odor,” Melissa continued. “Clean up your brushes with water, and you’re finished! It is that easy, and the results are magnificent! Rethunk Junk products bring new life and new USE to what may have been considered merely old junk. The transformations are amazing.”
Melissa says that thus far, everyone who has participated in her Rethunk Junk classes has brought in furniture pieces – usually smaller ones – to try the products. If you have a small end table, a small chair, a plant stand, a wooden stool … those are ideal. And it doesn’t have to be real wood; pressed wood is fine as well; however Melissa warns that unfinished bare wood pieces will be more porous and use more paint.
It gives people a good excuse to start visiting garage sales or flea markets in search of something to “rethunk”!
Rethunk Junk comes in nearly 30 colors and several stain choices as well. Melissa has one sample on hand that exhibits both paint on the bottom of the table with a stained top – a beautiful combination. There are also three metallic finishes that can be applied in three different finishes – gold, silver and pearl.
“Touches of these finishes add a little sparkle to a piece and might be suitable for something for the holidays,” Melissa added. “And it is trendy enough that it is a favorite of the younger generation in particular.”
Melissa intends to incorporate some of the Rethunk Junk products into some upcoming craft classes as well.
Stop by Home Style and ask to see some of her Rethunk Junk samples. You will be amazed … and you’ll leave “rethinking” where you might locate some stored junk that can become part of your home’s décor!
If you’re REALLY interested in a re-do that will be an economic savings, kitchen cabinets can be rethunk as well! It may take a little more time, but it has been done. Bring a whole new look to your kitchen with some paint and new hardware! A class may be offered for this as well in the future.
Melissa has purposely scheduled upcoming classes on different days of the week and different times of day to accommodate those who have busy schedules and those who work. Classes are $75 for two hours of instruction during which time you can bring a piece to transform. Participants will receive a quart of furniture paint in the color of their choice along with a mini bottle of the Prep, and a small bag of goodies. Any additional products you might like to apply will be sold to participants at a discount on the day of class..
Just bring an old piece of furniture – one small enough for you to carry … and with the hardware removed – and two 1” or 2” bristle paint brushes. Wear painting clothes! And come prepared to have a great time making your junk functional!
Class sizes are small and limited to six or eight people so that individual help can be given if needed. Classes must be prepaid. Call to reserve a spot! Upcoming Rethunk Junk classes will be offered on Sunday, October 9th from 2 to 4 p.m.; on Saturday, October 15th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and on Monday, October 24th from 6 to 8 p.m.
“I think that sometimes we act too quickly throwing things away,” Melissa concluded. “Everyone has a little bit of creativity in them, and this is so easy! It’s a great creative outlet and people are both surprised and proud of the results when they rethunk an old piece and bring it back to life with these products.”