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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Distressed Paint Without Sanding

I'm all for cutting out as many steps as possible when I'm painting furniture.  You can call me lazy but I prefer to think of myself as economical with my time.  Since I'm not fond of sanding, I've developed a way of getting the look without the effort.


At auction, I bought a pair of cabinets for $30.  I suspect they were some kind of antique store cabinetry but they've been altered more that once and are a mishmash of woods, finishes and hardware.

The back has a high gloss paint. ~


To disguise replaced sections of the original pine, someone has given it an Old Master's treatment.  It's a paint kit, popular in the 60's, that is the bane of furniture re finisher's lives.  The system had a white base coat that welds itself to the wood, a couple of layers of 'graining' paint and a shiny sealer.

The end result is this. ~


If I want to paint this baby without sanding off the shiny finish (and I do!) I'll have to go to chalk paint, which adheres to almost anything.  I make my own version by mixing 2 parts latex paint to one part Plaster of Paris,  mix thoroughly and thin to a good painting consistency with warm water.

To prove that there is no end to my laziness ingenuity, I paint some areas of the cabinet with a rusty red coloured craft paint.  Normally, you would paint over the red with the main colour and sand back to let bits of red show through.

As I paint the first coat of matt black paint, I only let the brush touch the red painted areas very lightly. ~


Use your artistic eye for this method.  Don't tell me you don't have one!  Every five year old is an artist and every one of you has your five year old self inside.  Let the child out and see through their eyes!

Wherever I felt wear would naturally occur, I used a light touch with the black paint.  This is after two coats of black paint. ~


I had a tube of gold artist gouache that I applied to a raised band at the top of the piece.  Before it dried, I rubbed it lightly with a paper towel to make it a little less new looking. ~


I painted right over the hammered brass hinges with the chalk paint.  The drawer pull was already distressed so it didn't need anything done to it.  A modern knob on the door was replaced with one I bought at Mary Maxim for $2. ~


Chalk paint does need something applied on top to protect it.  I'll let the paint settle for a couple of days and then give it a good coat of Treewax.  That will give it a bit of sheen.  You could use a matt finish Varathane if you prefer.

There you go.  No priming, no sanding and I didn't even take the serving pieces out of the cabinet! ~


Ta Da! ~


I have the matching cabinet to do and an idea on how to give the glass doors a bit of pizazz.

Give it a try.  It's easy.  Your five year old self will love you!

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