Monday, August 18, 2014

Painted Furniture Tutorial - You Can Do It Too!

I know everyone is in love with milk paint and the painted furniture craze.  I have been painting furniture for years.  I don't like milk paint - 1890's original patina milk paint - Yes, this new stuff - No.  I enjoy working with plain acrylics.  Of course I have a process to make the new painted piece look old.  Here is how I do it.  It is really simple - anyone can do this with the right tools.

I bought this eastlake style, spoon carved parlor table for under $20.  Start out by cleaning the piece.  If needed wash it, sand it and then wipe it down again.  Then, I used regular $1.29 a can white spray paint.  All you really need to do is spray on a light coat.  This step covers up any imperfections and acts as a primer.  

I have painted with all kinds of acrylics - I'm not promoting one over the other.  I'm painting this as a "bride's table" for a decoration at Anna's wedding.  Her color is yellow, so I just used regular craft acrylics to put on the first coat.

Don't forget to paint the underside of your furniture.  It just completes it.  

Once the yellow was dry, I put on the coats of white.  I did this by a combination of a wash and dry brush.  How you do this is to squeeze some white on a plate and add a little water to the edge.  Put your brush in water, then dip it in the paint and run it through the water - it will be drippy.  Brush it over the surface working in small sections - then pull some off by rubbing it with a piece of paper towel or soft rag.  In doing this you add some texture designs to the surface.  You still want to still see the yellow - only softer.  Once this is dry, take a dry brush and brush the piece with quick hand strokes, lightly over the whole piece.  This will give highlights here and there to add another layer.

This is what it looks like after the wash step.

This is what it will look like after the dry bush steps.

Now, this is too flat and bright for my liking, so the next step not only protects the paint from chipping, it also adds an aged look to the piece.  I've used gel stains too, but this time I used this:

As you brush on the stain, think about the areas this piece might have shown some wear and patina.  I added extra stain in the spoon carved areas on this one.  Brush on the stain in small areas at a time, then rub it off while it is still wet.  Don't stain the whole piece then try to rub off the stain - it won't work.  

This is a close up of the surface - I LOVE the aged look.  Let this completely dry for a day or more.  The final step is to wax it.  I use this product:

Wipe it on the whole piece.  Rub off the excess.  It leaves a smooth, soft finish.  

These are the same steps I have used on painting all types of furniture.  The paint and supplies I use - are A LOT less expensive than the milk paint.  If I would guess, it cost me less than $10 to complete this table.  You don't need to use expensive products - to achieve a time worn look.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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