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.

gold all in my gilding wax

*Original post: November 5th, 2015

I cannot wait to talk about Gilding Wax. Mainly because I never knew it was a thing until I decided to use it and to be completely honest I’m kind of OBSESSED. And I think you will be too when you see how incredibly easy it is to use.

I made a Goodwill trip to find a good ole’ flannel shirt to paint furniture in (and to pair with leggings and be lazy and watch Gilmore Girls on my couch in). Naturally, I had to at least scope out the furniture section to see what was goin’ on. It’s usually pretty hit or miss. But I found this little guy…

HE SO CUTE! I love pieces like this that are in great condition, easy to work with, and affordable. I also always feel just a little bit for whoever gave this piece to Goodwill…they didn’t see it’s true potential to be something really adorable. Oh well. Their loss is my gain of more furniture that I can refinish/don’t have any room for. 

Whenever I get a piece to refinish, I HAVE to have some kind of plan. I have gone in many times just winging it and it almost always goes poorly and I end up repainting. Now, I’m not saying that my original idea always comes through. It usually changes in ways throughout the process, but if I don’t at least go in with some sort of inspiration or idea in mind then I end up with complications.

To be totally honest, I was a little stumped with this table. I couldn’t decide what direction I wanted to go in. Basic cream/white? Seafoam blue? No…I needed a break from blue (I have all blue and white everything). I started looking at the paint I had on hand and saw my Annie Sloan “Coco”. It was a little darker than I had in mind…so I decided to mellow it out with some “Old White”. I used 2 parts “Coco” to 1 part “Old White”. I knew that I wanted to do this on the body, maybe a lighter color on some parts, and I was planning on just dark waxing the edges.

THEN… I remembered something my mother told me, that gold and silver trim is very “in” right now. As a daughter in her young 20’s (kind of ) it is my DUTY to go against what she says. “No mom….I have a certain style. I don’t want to do that. I’m beachy”. But damn it, that woman is almost always right. I did some research and discovered Gilding Wax. I picked up this “Metallic Lustre” from Michael’s.

First step, two coats of the “Coco/Old White” mix. Second step, “Old Ochre” in the inner panels. Third step, GOLD. This stuff is SUPER easy and goes on great. You still want to be careful though so you don’t have to do any re-paints. That part is tricky for me. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to my projects, so this took a lot of focus. I used a rag and my finger to create a wax “ghost” to distribute the wax for the most part, and used an itty bitty brush to do the edges.

I did two coats on the parts I wanted to do, including the little feet by turning the table upside down.

After everything was dry, I covered the piece with clear wax. I have tried a few different methods for clear waxing. I used to use a rag, but I found out that uses a lot of wax that you aren’t getting a lot of use out of. Steel wool works well but sometimes can give an antique look, which you should be careful about if that isn’t what you are going for. Here are my clear wax steps:

-cover piece with clear wax using a paint brush
-wait 8 hours
-go over the piece with steel wool to evenly distribute the wax
-buff with a clean rag to a shine

From there, if I wanted the antiqued look I would sand the piece and then dark wax. For this piece in particular, I DID want the dark wax look, but not the sanded/antiqued look. So I just rubbed in some dark wax to give it some depth.

After the dark wax, I did one more coat of clear and buffed pretty hard to get that good shiny sheen!

Isn't she beautiful?? I think this was a "he" to begin with.....either way this girl is ready to go out on the town. 

 Don't forget those feeties :) This is how you take a Goodwill piece of drab to fab.

This is a fitting time to bring up Chris Stapleton as he KILLED it on the CMA's last night...but I seriously wore this album out while working on this piece.

Nothing I love more than good music. Listen to the whole album 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 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.