Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Charlotte, NC for a Rustoleum Blogger event. Peeps from Rustoleum, Lowes, and DIY blogs all met up at the gorgeous Duke Mansion to learn more about Rustoleum’s latest and greatest products. Since I know so many of you already love Rustoleum (hello spray paint!), you’ll be excited to hear about their newest stains and a MATTE polyurethane! Finally! I think 99% of us were ga-ga over this low sheen protection option for our projects. Sometimes a girl wants to gloss-it-up and sometimes she just wants a matte finish, am I right? We deserve options—and now we finally have some!
The event started on Wednesday evening at the amazing Duke Mansion. I flew in a bit late so didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to stroll the grounds and neighborhood, but from what I did see it’s a gorgeous bed and breakfast. My room was ginormous and I could have happily moved in and been quite comfortable. I would love to come back with Matt sometime for a visit.
That evening we kicked off festivities with a cocktail party and meet and greet. It was fun to meet Kristi from Addicted 2 Decorating in person! I’ve known her online for a few years but have never had the pleasure of chatting with her in person. She’s adorable and delightful and has a great laugh. Traci (Beneath My Heart) had her laughing most of the trip! The other lovely ladies pictured below are our hostesses from Rustoleum. They worked so hard to plan an event for us that was both enjoyable and informative with a quick turnaround of 24 hours. After conference planning with Haven, I know first-hand that event planning is No. Joke. I sincerely appreciate their hard work!
The next day it was time to get busy! We learned about the latest colors in stain (Driftwood–a pale gray; Kerrington–an expensive looking luxurious brown; Weathered Gray–a dark gray). Rustoleum demonstrated how to properly “water pop” your wood before you stain, how to stain, and how to poly. Water popping is just wiping down your freshly sanded wood evenly with a damp rag. This opens up the pores of the wood and “primes” it to catch the stain better. If you unevenly water pop your wood then your stain will go on unevenly. You can shake a can of stain but never shake a can of polyurethane because it puts bubbles in the poly that will appear on your project. Stir poly with a stir-stick and don’t overly-poly your project otherwise you will end up with smudges. One more tip that I learned was to “flood” your wood with stain and leave it on for a few minutes. I’m more of a put-on-and-immediately-wipe off kinda girl, but the flooding technique gives you a much richer color.
The new stain is amazing because it dries within ONE HOUR! I don’t know if you’ve ever stained something before but this turn around is amazing. I’ve never stained something and had it dry this quickly. You can see my board in the picture above. I flooded it with Weathered Gray stain and I don’t think I left the stain on long enough, or properly water popped it to begin with. My board wasn’t as dark as I liked, so I went over it with some Ebony stain and loved the end result. I’ll show you my board in an upcoming project! I used the Matte poly and liked how it was smooth to the touch and not at all shiny.
We also learned about a product they have called Restore that I HAVE to use this spring on our poor outdoor deck. It coats your concrete or wood patio/porch/sidewalk in a protective colored surface and “restores” your outdoor living space. Our roof deck is only 5 years old but has been baked in the sun and is starting to splinter. Restore comes in a fun blue color and I might just get crazy and “restore” it in blue! I’ll keep you posted!
You can see the owls in the collage below. Rustoleum had me ask all of you on Instagram and Facebook which color they should release next from these prototype colors. From your votes, it looks like Emerald won with Sapphire coming in as a very close second. The picture below is a little off in the true colors. The mint was much more “minty” than is showing up on my monitor. We’ll have to see what they decide!
The thing I love most about brand events is getting to know the faces and names behind the brands and getting to hug the necks of my fellow DIY bloggers. I was honored to be invited and am excited to share some upcoming Rustoleum projects with all of you! And just in the interest of full disclosure, I was not asked to write a post about my experience or Rustoleum products, and I wasn’t paid to do so. It’s easy to share with you products that we already use and love, and I knew you all would want to hear about what is coming down the pike. Rustoleum will be at Haven again this year, so all of you Haven Mavens will have a chance to meet the Rustoleum ladies and hopefully try out some new products for yourselves!
Thanks again Rustoleum for your commitment to DIY bloggers! We’re excited to test out your latest products and you can be sure we’ll give you our honest feedback. Looking forward to more spray paint colors in the near future. (I’m on Team Sapphire!)