About two month ago I received an email from Jess and Monica. If you don’t know who Jess and Monica are, they are the bloggers behind East Coast Creative . They also have a DIY Decorating TV show called, Knock It Off. They live locally to me and asked if I would want to help them by painting a piece of furniture and then donate it for them to sell at the fundraiser.
Of course I said yes. It was WIN/WIN all around since I not only would get to help them raise money, but would be sent Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® to paint the piece I was going to donate. I have only used sample pots of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in a chalk painting workshop I attended 2 years ago, and then for the Testing 1…2…3… chalk paint post I wrote. I was excited to paint an actual piece of furniture with it.
So I went to my favorite thrift store in search of something to paint. I found a small dresser and was about to pay for it when I realized I had no way to get it home. Back in August I sold my Jeep that could hold my large thrift store finds. I had to find something smaller, much smaller.
I ended up buying a mirror for a few dollars. It was a bargain since it had veneer damage.
Mirror makeover: See the layer of damaged veneer on the upper and lower left hand side of the frame? I knew I could fix those areas and then paint the frame so it would look as good as new.
How to Fix Damaged Veneer
When I see a piece of wood furniture that has damage like this mirror, I knew that I could fix it with wood filler or Spackle.
- When the damaged area is small (top photo) I fill it with wood filler. Any brand will work. I use a Spackle knife to apply it over the damage and form it into a mound.
- On larger areas of damage, (bottom photo) wood filler doesn’t work as well as Spackle. I find if I add thin layers and let each dry before applying the next, it will bond better.
- After the wood filler or last coat of Spackle is dry, I sand over the area to smooth and level it with medium grit sandpaper.
How to Paint with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan
Optional: I used shellac to seal the wood before painting. I have found that furniture that is old and has a dark finish on it usually has more wood tannins that can seep into the paint and change the color. To make sure that would not happen, I applied one thin coat of clear shellac over the frame and let it dry. It dries in 30 minutes.
I chose Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan in the color Louis Blue. I prefer vibrant colors when I paint furniture for my home, but for the fundraiser, I figured I would go for a more aged look and used Dark Soft Wax over the dried paint.
1. After the shellac was dry, I applied 2 coats of paint, letting the first one dry, before applying the second.
2. Once the paint was dry, I used medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block to distress the edges. ***NOTE: This step can be done before or after waxing. I like the distressing to look smooth where the newly exposed distressed areas are sealed with the wax. If you prefer a more rustic look, distress after you wax so the distressed wood will be rough and unwaxed.
3. To distress detailed areas, fold sandpaper and use the corners or edges to get into the crevices and grooves.
Mirror Painting Tip:
When painting mirrors, I usually remove them from their frames before painting so I can paint the edge of the underside that is reflected in the mirror. The mirror would not budge from the frame and I didn’t want to break it, so I painted it in place. I used a small stiff paint brush to push the paint under the edge where the mirror meets the frame.
How to Apply Annie Sloan Dark Wax For a More Pronounced Aged Look
1. So that you can move the dark color of wax all over the surface and push it where you want it, apply clear wax first. This provides a buffer so the dark wax does not appear uneven. I use old lint free t-shirts to apply and buff the wax, but you can use brushes.
Apply one thin layer of clear wax and buff. Then apply the dark wax using a separate cloth. Use circular motions doing one section at a time. Buff with a clean cloth to bring up the shine. If you get too much dark wax in one area, it can be removed by rubbing clear wax over it.
I painted the mirror in my basement where the lighting is not the best for taking photos, but you can still see the difference between how dark wax and clear wax look over the dried paint.
Notice the damaged area I fixed? Since I used white Spackle, I won’t sand the edge to distress this area. If I did, a white layer would show up. I can use dark wax over it though.
To add wax over detailed areas, use a small stiff paint brush to push it into the grooves. Twist one corner of your cloth to a point and use is to buff the wax in the hard to get to areas.
To clean up the paint on the mirror I used a razor blade scraper and lots of glass cleaner.
I hung the mirror in my foyer so I could take this photo and then delivered it to Jess and Monica last Friday.
I love the patina wax gives the paint. The dark wax really adds to the aged look of the finish.
If you have a piece of furniture that you love, but is pretty beat up, painting and distressing the finish can bring it back to life. The imperfections will become part of the painted patina – perfectly imperfect.