Sunday, December 30, 2012

Never Underestimate Your Painting Abilities: A Fix-It Lesson

A nice gentleman left a gift for me in my new space at Consignage Home & Garden.  He makes these nice pedestals but said he didn't think he had a knack for painting them and wondered what I would come up with.

I decided rather than starting over, this pedestal was the perfect painting lesson.

The secret to aged, distressed finishes are multiple layers of paint, sanding, and then enhancing character with antiquing which can be achieved with a variety of products.

My new friend had applied three different colors of paint which was fine for the first step.  It looks to me like he painted the most neutral color first, the gray driftwood color.  Next, he added the second most neutral color, the yellow; and last, the boldest color, the blue.  In theory, I understand why he did it this way.  I also like to use those proportions; mostly neutral, less medium color and the least amount of the boldest color.  However, I usually approach them as if they had been painted over time applying the boldest color first, and so on, ending in the most neutral color.  That way, when you sand back, you reveal the colors the more you sand with the boldest color showing up last in the smallest amount.  It's more work but gives you a more authentic look if that's what you're after.

Using a fine sandpaper, I simply sanded the entire pedestal which blended and blurred the different colors into each other and exposed some of the natural wood.

My favorite method for antiquing is to use a stained paste wax.  I prefer Fiddes Supreme Wax in Rugger Brown.

Wearing rubber gloves and working in small sections, apply the wax with a chip brush or piece of an old t-shirt and wipe off immediately with a clean cloth.

Once the entire piece is waxed, you can buff it to the desired sheen using a pine brush on a power drill or a clean cloth.

So, next time you are struggling with your painting skills, just tell yourself it's step one and keep adding layers until you achieve the desired finish.

Check out the "Finishes" button at the top of the blog for links to specific posts on various finishes I have tried.


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  6. John Hermes

    Love what you have done with the piece.
    Thank you for inspiring me to be a better panter
    and to taking the same time to finish something as I do to build something.

    1. Thank you, John. Are you the same John that gave me this piece? I didn't know your last name and haven't ran into you again. If you are, I hope you like it and that I did it justice. You do such beautiful work that I really wanted to honor and respect what you had done to that point; and add to it rather undo what you had done. So, "Thank You", for the inspiration! I haven't tackled the handles yet but have some ideas so I hope you'll stay tuned!

    2. john hermes

      yes same john like to build still learning how to paint
      hope to see you soon


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