how to do a wash

Hello friends!

I haven’t done a furniture post in a while, mainly because I haven’t had the opportunity to work on too many pieces lately.

A couple weeks ago, my friend needed help refinishing a desk and I immediately jumped on board to help out. She had gotten the desk from a friend who had it in her garage I believe. It’s a good, sturdy piece but it definitely needed a little “yellow peach” love. 

Forgive the horrible, bright sun lighting. 

Forgive the horrible, bright sun lighting. 

So I had my friend send me pictures of things in her room that I could pick colors from. She had lots of coral/orange colors with pops of teal and dark headboards and side tables. I decided to go with a teal and dark wax it. Then I remembered about a year ago when I did a wash, and I LOVED it. I’ve been wanting to do another one since then, so today I’m going to show you how to do it!

I started by picking up some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And let me just tell you, this is the cleanest your can of paint will EVER look, I promise you. I chose "Provence" which is a really pretty teal/turquoise color.

Chalk paint allows you to start your piece without any priming or sanding, and usually only takes two coats. However, this piece had clearly been in a teen's room at some point. There were lots of stains on top and a few stickers stuck on there. So this did require a little bit of sanding on the top! Also, because it was so white I ended up using 3 coats of paint. 

Let's move on to the wash. I decided to use "Chateau Grey". You see the mess on that paint can? THAT is what happens. You will also need a cheese cloth for a wash. I would recommend picking up two cases (4 sq yds). In case I didn't clarify this enough earlier I LOVE doing washes. It gives the piece such a depth I'm getting excited just writing about it. *Furniture nerd alert* 

To get the wash ready, put a small amount of paint in a cup and add water. I don't have measurements for this as I just eyeball it, but you can see in the solo cup you don't need much. You basically just want a very watered down version of "Chateau Grey" or whatever color you are using on top. 

Now you're ready. I'll show you on this drawer so you can see better how I do it.

Paint on the wash in a small area.

Then immediately follow it with a piece of cheese cloth. That is how simple it is! Do that to your entire piece. Paint and swipe, paint and swipe, until the whole piece is covered. Go back over certain areas if you feel like it isn't a deep enough color.

My helper is always lurking around somewhere.

My helper is always lurking around somewhere.

Next step: clear wax. Cover the entire piece in clear wax and wait 8 hours. Go over the piece with steel wool to distribute the wax and buff with a clean rag.

Next: dark wax. I always have my wax brush in one hand, steel wool in the next. Swipe with dark wax, follow with steel wool. Just like the wash: paint and swipe! However with the wax you want to put a little more elbow grease into it.

If you want the piece to look even shinier, you can go over with clear wax one more time and buff it to a shine.

And that's it! 

Tunes while I'm washin:

This song is AMAZING. Listen here.

how to stain a top

*Original post: September 23rd, 2015

And no, I do not mean how to stain a top that you are wearing. Although I really AM a pro at doing that. Don't believe me? Ask my sister. I have ruined many borrowed tops in my day.

Anyway, I am talking about taking a piece and taking it from drab to FAB by giving it a brand new stained top.

So from the very beginning:

Let's talk the facts about this piece.

A  - poorly white spray painted 

B - no knobs!! 

C - he's overall kind of sad. Let's make him happy.

I started off by sanding the top of this bad boy and getting down the raw wood. I only concentrated on sanding the top; since I am using chalk paint, the rest will not require sanding or priming. I use a small hand sander that was given to me by a friend, but any sander will work fine.

After I get the piece cleaned off with a rag, I start the stain. I used Minwax "Special Walnut" and did three coats, waiting for the piece to dry between each. Once that dried and looked pretty and brown the way I wanted it, I did two coats of Polyeurythane over the top. Easy as that...top complete!

Then I got into the chalk paint. I used Annie Sloan "Duck Egg" to paint the body and "Old White" to paint the drawers. The glorious things about real, good quality chalk paint is that you will most likely never need more than 2 coats. I highly suggest actually watering down the second coat just a tiny bit, it will help immensely. 

So here we have the mid process...on quite a lovely sheet don't you think? I did not want this piece to look distressed so I didn't sand or dark wax. I just covered the piece with Annie Sloan "Clear Wax", waited 8 hours, and buffed it out. Now all it needs is knobs.

Knobs....oh how I love knobs. My favorite place to buy knobs are Anthropologie, they always have a great selection.  

And there you have it....a whole new piece from a very simple makeover! 

Music while I stain:

Oh man, this guy melts my heart. Check out his song "Stun Me". Listen here.