Iron Orchid Design Paint Inlays: Discover, Create, and Apply

Iron Orchid Design Paint Inlays: Discover, Create, and Apply

Today in this Episode of ChicaTiza Creative Corner, we delve into the world of Iron Orchid Design (IOD) Paint Inlays®. We will explore what these unique decorative elements are, provide ideas on how to use them in different projects, and guide you through a step-by-step process to apply the Paint Inlays - but that's not all! we also linked some of the best videos showcasing these versatile elements! Let's get started!

What are Paint Inlays?
IOD Paint Inlays® offer an artisanal approach to décor transfers. They are not decals or decoupage. Unlike a transfer that transfers from it's carrier sheet to the surface of your project, when you apply an IOD Paint Inlays to a properly prepared surface, actual paint from the inlay carrier sheet is embedded into your painted surface.



You read that right!

Artisanal paint becomes embedded into your piece, resulting in an authentic painted design with a buttery, almost leather-like textured surface. Made from a proprietary artist quality paint, and  specifically formulated for decorative use, IOD Paint Inlays® have an organic nature that ensures each application is slightly varied and unique. The results are visually interesting, texturally complex, and inherently distressed. The paint formula remains 'active' until sealed, allowing for manipulation and the application of special techniques,  and to add custom touches. What’s even more exciting is that Inlay sheet can create beautiful first impressions,  a slight more interesting second impression and depending on the paint used, sometimes even a third impression is possible!


Ideas for Using IOD Paint Inlays®

1. Walls: Transform your walls into works of art by incorporating IOD Paint Inlays®. Whether you opt for a full pattern or a subtle design, these inlays can elevate the Aesthetics of any room!

 Trompe L’loile Inlay is used on stair risers on the left. We feel inspired by this beautiful interpretation.  I mean the fact that the different colors are used, has us going gaga! This is not your mama's Shabby Chic. This is, like the Paint Inlays, something completely new! 
It inspires us to consider this: adding these to define a wall transition, like a hand-painted, neuvo-crown moulding without the saw.  OR,  painting one of those super narrow spice and charcuterie racks, that, you know don't really actually fit much, and hanging something away from the wall is problematic.  

The results are visually interesting, texturally complex, and inherently distressed

2. Furniture: Give your furniture a stunning makeover!

Iron Orchid Designs IOD Indigo Paint Inlay

 Indigo Floral Paint Paint Inlay  has absolutely upgraded this French Shabby Chic desk, or was it an entry table? Maybe, like many of us it wears many hats, and now can sit below your delicious vintage chinoiserie plate collection! Heck, you could make your own French Toile display! Functional, vibrant and elegant is never out of style!

3. Accessories: Extend the use of IOD Paint Inlays to various other accessories such as trays, boxes, and frames. By adding these artistic elements, you can turn ordinary items into captivating decorative pieces.
There is absolutely no need to hoard those big Inlays  for the perfect piece! display your larger Inlays, like the beautiful Queen of the Nile. You can cut up your inlays and make an incredible vignette that will make us all swoon! Too afraid to cut them up?  Get thee hence to the big box store and find a large plywood (about 2ft by 4 ft) and make your own surface with Moulds and Paint to look like a door! 
Below Check out this revamped lamp shade below with Trompe L'oiel  as well, by Linda at Seaporium.  Enough gushing ideas! Lets get to the how to!


Step-by-Step Guide to Applying IOD Paint Inlays®

What You'll Need:

  • Your Prepared, painted, clean surface
  • Iron Orchid Design Paint Inlay. 
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Or Clear Transfer Gel
  • Tools to have handy
    • Gloves
    • Brayer
    • Paint Brush
    • Masking tape
    • Water/Sealer of choice in 50/50 solution in a spray bottle.
    • Mister Spray with just water.
    • Sponge, towels, paper towels
  • Water/Sealer of choice in 50/50 solution in a spray bottle.

Now, let's dive into the step-by-step process of applying IOD Paint Inlays® to your desired surface:

1. Plan the layout of your designs for the surface. To get creative inspiration for placement, see what Jonathon Marc Mendes did with Gregory's Catalog (full video is below) 

2. Trim away the excess margins on each inlay sheet and set them aside. There are easy follow guides, but it also helps if you're able to lay out your design nearby in an organized fashion to help with speed.


This is not your mama's Shabby Chic. This is, like the Paint Inlays, something completely new! 

3. On your prepared surface, apply a generous and even coat of Chalk Paint® or other Mineral Paints like DIY paints (or Clear Transfer Gel* also works like a charm ) Work in small sections, not larger than 12"×16", the size of your individual pages, to manage the paint drying window.

*Keep in mind that if Transfer Gel or any other transfer medium such as ModPodge your Inlay may make your Inlay Sheets, not be reusable for a second time. Keep in mind that wall paints and acrylics do affect adhesion, and its best to use paints that don't have self-sealing properties.

4. While the paint is still wet, lay the paint inlay sheet, design side down  into the wet paint, keeping it taut as much as possible. This will help manage the possible bubbles and wrinkles.  Grids are printed on the back for easy identification. 

5. Spritz lightly with an even mist of water. Using a smooth damp sponge or folded soft cloth, pat down with even light pressure to ensure good contact between the design and the painted surface. Avoid excessive moving or dragging of the Paint inlay sheet to prevent blur or smear. Some folks have had good results using spray mister. looking for the color changes. Using the sponge or folded cloth helps apply a very gentle pressure - same goes for using a brayer. 

6. Repeat steps 3-5 to complete your design, lining up the sections as appropriate with help of the grid lines. Take your time so you don't have gaps or uneven prints.

7. Allow the paint to dry to touch. Drying time may vary, depending on ambient climate conditions but typically one to two hours is more than sufficient especially if you are using Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. However the goal is for dry sheet and paint.

Rose Chintz Paint Inlay by Iron Orchid Designs

8. When ready to remove the Paint Inlay sheets, spritz evenly with water and allow 15-30 seconds to absorb. This helps the backing to release. Starting at one corner, gently pull the paper up at a low angle. It should come up easily without tearing. If not, spritz a second time and wait a moment before trying again. 

9. If desired, you can use water and a detail brush what's going on to blend out or soften the design, or even add additional colors, as the pigment is still movable and active. Be careful to avoid touching the exposed still wet areas of the inlay, it is wet and movable at this point.

10. Once satisfied with the IOD Paint Inlay® design, allow it to dry thoroughly.

11. It is crucial to seal the design to protect your work. Remember that the paint is still water-reactive and can easily smear until sealed. Begin by setting your work with a spray-on sealer or artist's fixative®. Alternatively, you can create a 50/50 sealer/water dilution using a water-based liquid sealer  and spritz it on with a fine spray bottle. Allow it to dry, and then apply at least two coats of your chosen finish for thorough protection. Of course we recommend high quality finishes like a sprayable coat of  Clear finish, Annie Sloan Lacquer or Clear Top Coat

We hope we've provided you with inspiration and a breath of information to help you feel confident enough to try and harness this new skill! Let your creativity soar and be sure to show us what you come up with!


Happy Creating,

Jojo Stilwell 

 PS: Here are more links for various Inlays of some of the best DIY folks in the industry!




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