Jun 11, 2014

Repurpose a piece of furniture this weekend!

Rather than tracking down a painted piece with just the right patina, you can create one yourself with a custom finish.  I advise clients on repurposing pieces all the time.  More often than not, they're simply tired of the piece an need a change.  From a nightstand to armoire, it's easy to paint, and if you add distressing, mistakes you might make add character!, Here's how:

Flat latex paint in contrasting shades - one will be the base coat and one the top coat
Crackle medium
Paint brushes
Top coat of urethane or wax- optional

Start by lightly sanding your piece - unless you want those bumps and blemishes for character.  Prime it and let dry fully. I really do mean fully.   The first coat is key to having the rest adhere properly. 
Paint the first coat of color ..... that will be the one to show through your final color coat. This one is a deep rust color.  Let dry 24 hours.  If you want crackle, pour the crackle medium into a bucket and stir gently.  Using a clean brush, apply a thick layer but do not overwork it. Let this coat dry 1-2 hours (if you go too long the mixture will cure and the next coat will not crackle. Use another clean, dry brush for your topcoat - this one is a creamy beige. As it dries, the crackles appear.  For a worn look, you can lightly sand the edges of doors, drawers, and the box. I like to apply a light coat of Briwax rather than urethane, so I can enrich the sheen many times with ease.

  If you just want a bit of aging, skip the crackle medium and instead  rub wax along edges and places where wear might occur.  Continue with your top coat.  When the top is dry, rub off the paint in the areas you added wax with 0000 steel wool. That paint will come off nicely and the steel wool leaves it smooth.  I've experimented with other grades of steel wool and even sandpaper to give a more rustic appearance,  it's all done with  paint so you can always go back an make a change. 

To embellish with pattern, I often use stencils over the too cost and apply shellac to protect the final product.

Have fun!