how to avoid brush strokes, how to pick colors, how to distress...
so many different questions, so little time!
This blog post will be dedicated to giving you an inside look at the process of
refinishing furniture, and although it may look easy, we're here to tell you
that there is WAY MORE to it than slapping a coat of paint on a piece!
But with a little elbow grease and ingenuity, you can try it for yourself!
FIRST THINGS FIRST.
Find your perfect piece. For beginners, we suggest a smaller piece like a side table or
a small accessory. Right now we are loving outdoor pieces for the garden like
terra cotta pots, plant stands, or even old chairs that you could set plants on...all
of these would be perfect for a beginner.
Next, you'll want to CLEAN your piece. Was it in the garage or basement?
Has it become the Spider Sack Motel???
Give it a good wipe down with some soapy water.
If there is already paint on the piece, you can strip it away with this, just make sure
you're working in a well ventilated area and wearing some protective gloves.
If you're using Chalk Paint or Milk Paint, you can always just sand over any rough patches and
call it a day, as most pieces painted with these types of paint end up distressed,
chippy, and grungy looking anyways.
Once your piece is prepped, you're ready to start.
Here's a short description of what you'll be doing depending on which kind of paint
you choose to work with. There are TONS of tutorial videos on YouTube
as well, so if in question, head to your trusty inter webs! ;)
I prefer to use Annie Sloan as it's hands down, just an amazing product.
There is little to no prep required with this paint, it covers well, goes far, and
gives you a great hand painted finish. It's water soluble, so wipes off if you make a boo boo
pretty easily, it's easily distressed and easily finished.
Be prepared for sticker shock, but know that what you're getting is WORTH IT,
and the BEST product on the market.
You'll basically paint it on in a cross hatch style, or any way you're comfortable
spreading paint, let it dry which doesn't take long at all,
add another coat, and finish it off by using a paste wax. Below is a
tutorial from Annie, herself. It demonstrates just how easy it really is.
There are a TON of other tutorials on her site as well.
With Milk Paint, my preference is Miss Mustard Seed.
I like this paint because it's non-toxic, environmentally friendly,
and because it's in a powdered form, you can mix as much or as little as you'd like.
It's one part powder to one part water, can't mess that up!
Just make sure to MIX, MIX, MIX! A great job mixing makes all the difference!
Milk paint will give you a gorgeous, chippy, vintage, and worn look!
If you're starting with an already painted piece, you'll want to add the Bonding Agent
to make sure your base coat sticks, as Milk Paint needs a porous surface to adhere to.
For rich and vibrant color apply two coats, waiting about 30 minutes in between.
Distress as much or as little as you like by sanding the edges, decorative details,
or in places that would normally receive lots of wear and tear.
If you want super chippy, try using a wax puck BEFORE painting to create areas
of anti-adhesion and resist.
You can finish Milk Paint off with paste wax, hemp oil, or polyurethane.
Click here for Miss Mustard Seed's FAQ which includes great directions on a
number of different finishes that can be attained using Milk Paint!
Below is a video on how to get that "chippy" look!
This is the most easily obtainable type of paint.
From Lowe's to Home Depot, K-Mart to Sears. It's inexpensive and totally accessible.
Ease of use and unlimited color options make this a great type of paint for all applications.
It's also really durable and available in different SHEENS,
which opens up a lot of creative options for you!
Gloss is easily cleaned, eggshell creates a lovely light catching effect that's not
overly shiny, and flat can run the gamut of regal to rustic!
To paint with Latex, it's always best to prime your surface with a product like this, in order
to seal any tannins in wood pieces, cover any stains, and to give yourself a great base.
If you're painting stained wood, it's best to go ahead with an OIL PRIMER as to
seal the stain and not have bleed through.
Latex can be as easy as two coats painted on (allowing for dry time in between)
and calling it a day, up to advanced hand-painted designs, the use of stencils,
decorative patterns made with some of the cool new painters tapes available,
or faux distressing techniques.
There are a wealth of painting tutorials on YouTube for latex, the one I included below is
an example of faux distressed done by one of my favorite dudes, BeachBumLivin.
His channel is filled with awesome DIY projects and he's not bad on the eyes either! ;)
Harness your inner vandal and grab a can of this for a quick make over of any piece!
Spray Paint can take some getting used to, and YES, your finger may get cramped,
but this is a great option for smaller accessories and lamps.
Be sure to work on a tarp or some newspaper laid out in a well ventilated area.
You'll want to make sure your piece is clean, if it's wooden you'll want to sand it,
and make sure to wipe off all debris and let it dry completely before spraying.
Keep your can 8"-12" away from your piece to allow for even covering.
If you feel apprehensive, start with doing 3-4 coats from farther away on pieces to avoid dripping or over-spraying. Once you have gotten used to how the paint applies
itself, you can bump down to less coats by painting closer to the piece.
Spray Paint is inexpensive and also comes in LOTS of colors. Not to mention that
Krylon and Rustoleum have come out with great new paint and primer combos.
One can can do both now, making it much easier and less time consuming!
You can also distress and glaze Spray Paint, too!
This can be as easy as sanding your edges lightly or as hard as literally taking
a hammer and chain and beating your piece of furniture to bits! Lol!
Depending on what type of paint you use, you'll want to use different things to do your distress.
Chalk paint can be distressed with as little as a wet rag! Rinse it out often, though.
Sandpaper, sanding blocks, and even steel wool can be used on
all the other types of paint. Latex will require more effort though.
You can use an electric hand held sander for larger jobs, but I find that it tends
to look less natural and it's harder to get a controlled look with a machine!
Wax or Vaseline can be smeared on sporadically BEFORE you paint in order to create a
resist for the paint, and to make it easier to distress.
You can also add glazes after you paint to make your piece look more dramatic,
older, dingier, or to accent decorations on the piece.
Glazes are painted or smeared on and then wiped away sparingly, just to darken
the finish of the paint, or like I mentioned before, accent the nooks and crannies.
Staining and Dry Brushing are some other examples of distressing, all of which
have many tutorials online, and are easy to learn with practice.
The most important thing is to be lenient with yourself as you are learning!
NOT EVERYTHING WILL BE PERFECT!
We have plenty of pieces that get double painted,
that have little goof ups, and that WE think are bad, but our counterparts LOVE!
You're your own worst critic, so BE KIND!
Trial and error are your friends and mistakes are made to be learned from,
not to create a frustration! A great idea as you are starting out is to
practice on a plain piece of wood, or a random broken object.
That way you get your footing before attempting that piece you really love.
Practice makes perfect, but NOT ALWAYS!
If in the end YOU are happy with what you've created, that's all that matters!
If you're not feeling up to a project like this because you don't consider yourself
a creative person, don't fret! While I do think being creative helps, it's not 100%
necessary. Get on Google Images or Pinterest and type in
"yellow furniture" or "blue painted table."
There will be plethora of inspirational photos for you to choose from!
You don't have to have "an eye" for color to attempt creating something.
You just may surprise yourself!
I hope this assists you in taking the challenge of up-cycling or revamping
a piece that could use a little facelift. Recycling and reusing is always a better option
than just tossing something in our opinion.
If it's a piece that still has LIFE, just give it some LOVE!
Tara, Jess K., Lesley,
DeDe, Jess S. &