Here we are just 12 short weeks since our last installment in our Furniture Rehab Tutorial series and I’m finally ready for a new installment. If you would like to catch up and read the previous posts, you can find them here:
Furniture Rehab 101 – A simple chair painting project
Furniture Rehab 201 - Painting and recovering a piano bench
Today we’ll cover a technique for distressing furniture using two different colors of paint. Here is the before picture.
Two beat-up thrift store chairs that I found for $3 each.
And here is the after…
I wanted to try a technique where you have a different color of paint peeking through the distressed areas. In this case the chair is black with blue in the distressed areas.
These chairs had been painted numerous times before so they needed a lot of sanding to smooth down the chipped areas and get them ready for a new coat. I’m sure you shabby girls would have thought they were perfect as-is. And they were.
For this project, I got out the power hand sander. Wooooooooo doggies!!! So much faster than trying to do it all by hand. I still had to do the rungs and spindles by hand but the power sander still cut way down on the work.
Look at all the colors under there…white, green, red and yellow. These chairs have been around for a while. Once they were smooth enough, I gave them a couple of good coats of primer. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of this step, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Now starts the fun part. Since I want the distressed areas to be blue, that has to be my first coat of paint. I used Kilz Calling Bird blue paint for the base coat. I was so tempted to leave them this beautiful blue color.
Since this color is going to be covered up by our top coat, I didn’t worry too much about making this color perfect. I just made sure the get the areas that I was going to distress.
After the base color was completely dry I took a wax candle and rubbed it over the areas of the chair where you would normally see distressing from everyday use…the edge of the seat, the top of the rungs and the edges of the back.
This step will prevent the topcoat from sticking to the blue color and will make it easy to sand off. You can do as much or as little as you want. The more you wax, the more distressed your piece will be.
Next comes the topcoat of color. I used Kilz black in a satin finish. Each chair got two good coats with the spray paint. As you’re painting, you may notice that the paint starts to bead up on the areas with the wax. This is fine.
Once the black paint was completely dry, I came back with a very fine grit sandpaper and lightly rubbed it over the areas where I put the wax. The top coat of black came right off revealing the pretty blue underneath.
Wait a minute! Did an itty-bitty birdie leave an itty-bitty poo on my chair while it was drying? Gross!!!
And that’s it! I didn’t put on a clear protective coat because I don’t mind if they become even more distressed with use. But if you want more protection for the finish, you could use a spray polyurethane topcoat. I would choose a satin finish so that it’s not too shiny.