Sunday, April 15, 2012

'Antique' Paint Finishes You Can Do!

This is a reproduction of an antique sugar mold, purchased by me and repainted to add color to my table. The mold was stained a dark brown, which you can see through my 'slip-slop' method of painting.

What you will need:

  • A flat paint brush or two, 2" to 3" wide (I prefer the inexpensive ones at the paint store which retail for about $1 each--they are usually a light color with fairly fine brush hairs.) 
  • Latex paint samples, purchased at your hardware store in decorator shades
  • Fine sand paper block and for larger projects, an electric sander
  • Minwax stains (Mahogany and Provincial)
  • Soft rags to wipe excess stain from project
  • Spray sealer 
Always make sure your project is sanded to begin with, so it has a smooth surface. If you need to, patch any large holes (although small holes and imperfections add 'charm' to the finished project). Spray the sanded wood with the sealer. Otherwise, the oil from the wood can seep through and ruin your paint job later on. 

You will be using two colors of paint. As you can see by the photograph above, the light teal paint is applied first, using your flat brush. If you want a little of the dark brown (on pre-finished pieces, which have been sanded), as you brush the paint onto the surface, let the dark brown bleed through occasionally, and don't go back and forth with the brush to cover it up. 

Note: Acrylic or latex paints don't stick to slick, varnished (oil-base) surfaces very well. You will need to pre-treat the surface with something like 'Kilz' or any other product from the paint store which will prepare the surface for paint. 

Bar Stool - Before

Picture Frame - Before

Here are two projects that have been sanded down to bare wood. I will paint the base color on the wood so there are no areas of the bare wood showing (unlike the sugar mold pictured above). 

Notice the seats are not painted. They will be upholstered later.

The frame is now painted with the base color. It is helpful to
have these drying platforms, which have little raised points to
keep the painted project from touching a surface and sticking to it.

When the paint is dry, sand the surface lightly, with fine sand paper.
When you apply paint to wood, as it dries, it raises the nap of the wood
and makes it rough to the touch, when the paint is dry. If you remove too
much paint when sanding, re-apply the base coat and let it dry. 

Once the base coat is sanded, you are ready to apply the second color.
This is the fun part, so relax and see how easy it is to 'slip-slop' the
second color. The trick is to let some of the base coat color peek
through, and that helps the piece to have that 'worn' look!

The 'streaks' are good!

Here is the frame with the turquoise!

The next part will involve the Minwax stain. I used the Mahogany color on these two projects. Once the paint is very dry (a day or two), use the electric sander to do the edges and other places you want to look slightly worn. You will need to get down to bare wood again, so don't be shy. 

Apply the stain by either brushing it on or using a rag to apply. Do a section at a time (one side of the frame, a chair leg, etc.) After the area is covered with the stain, wipe with a clean rag. It will leave a slight stain on the paint, but soak into the bare wood to give it that 'antique' look!

Look at the chair below, to see the difference between the stained area, and one that hasn't yet had all the stain applied!

Here's the finished frame:

Here's a painting in its new frame! There are so many things you can finish this way. Here are some samples of commercial items, seen in a home show, that you can do yourself!

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