As a result of all the questions and interest in these projects, I want to share the process I use for dressing up almost anything with paint. Hopefully I will also answer all your inquiries along the way!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a painting expert. These are simply the steps I follow when tackling a painting project.
Sand paper and/or sanding block
Paint – Valspar Indoor/outdoor satin finish spray paint in Porcelain
Glaze – Ralph Lauren Smoke Aging Technique
I purchased a gallon of this glaze from Home Depot over ten years ago and I am still using it today. It is a wonderful color which adds depth and the perfect aged look. I am quite certain it is no longer in the computer system at Home Depot. It can be custom mixed, however, using the formula below.
Ralph Lauren Aging Technique
RL 2420X Glaze Tint Base (2461)
Colorant OZ 48 96
C Yellow Oxide 0 1 0
L Raw Umber 0 22 1
All of my painting projects are done outside. Living in the northeast is definitely a drawback in this department. I have had to wait – sometimes months - to complete many projects because of the colder temperatures. Not the easiest thing to do when, as Mr. RDH likes to say, I have the patience of a three year old when it comes to projects. (I haven’t always let the weather stop me though. You may remember this photo of some brass lamps I repainted – snow and all!)
I give all of my soon to be painted pieces a light sanding (to allow the paint to adhere to the surface better) and thorough cleaning. Depending on the piece, I sometimes clean it first and then sand. Other times I will just go straight to sanding. I tend to use sanding blocks with a fine/medium grit as they are easier to hold and can get into smaller spaces.
After sanding I wipe the piece down as best I can with a dry cotton rag (old t-shirts work great). Many people will tell you to use a tack cloth for this step and this of course is a fine option too. I do my best to remove all the dust but know that if I am going to distress the piece anyway, it really does not have to be absolutely perfect. If I am not going to distress the piece I do try a little harder to make sure all the dust is gone.
I do not use primer. (Many people will disagree with me here.) For most of the furniture pieces I have painted, I want some of the original wood to show through. I figure if I use primer it is just another layer to sand through.
I place my object on newspaper or cardboard to protect the grass as best I can. I also make sure I am far enough from the house, basketball pole, outdoor furniture, etc. to ensure that if a breeze blows (and it undoubtedly will) nothing else will get painted in the process.
Once everything is set-up, I begin spraying. I go over the piece a few times with several light coats until I am satisfied it has been completely covered. Now the hard par t- waiting for the paint to dry!
I usually wait until the following day to begin distressing – my way of making sure the paint is completely dry. I simply use a sanding block to rub away some of the paint so the original finish can show through. I tend to focus on edges and places that would normally show wear. I think this makes the distressing seem more “real.”
The amount of distressing you do is a personal preference. It is hard to tell someone how much to sand. I would tell you, however, if you are doing a set of something (like chairs) which will all be placed together, try to distress them all about the same.
After I am satisfied with the amount of paint I have removed, I again wipe the piece down as best I can with a cotton rag to remove the dust.
Note: I do not distress everything I paint. Many things (like the brass lamp) have original finishes I do not want to see again. So in these cases, I again wait overnight for the paint to dry and then proceed directly to the glazing step.
Applying glaze is another one of those personal preference things. It is up to you to decide how much to apply. I use a cotton rag and simply begin wiping it on and wiping it off until I get the “right look.” I try to make sure the entire surface is covered with the glaze with a few places having a little bit thicker coverage. Again, I tend to go over a piece a few times to make sure I have it covered fairly evenly.
Some people may recommend adding some sort of finishing coat on top of the glaze once it has dried. I have not done this with my painted and glazed pieces.
So there you have it – my painting and glazing process. It really is a quick and simple thing to do and the results speak for themselves.
I hope I have covered everything. If there is something you do not understand or need further details on please let me know. I am always happy to help.
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