Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shabby Chic Refinishing Using Annie Sloan Paint: Color Change When You Want To Keep The Chippy Finish

In progress: before glazing.


I grew weary of the shabby green & gilt finish on my mass produced c. 1930 French style cabriole leg table and its unproportionally small center wreath applique, especially after seeing this at my friend's antique store...

She's not into it the look any longer, but I was in love with French Neo-classical and wanted to change the color -- but not the patina. 

This is not a weekend project.  It involves gesso-like crackle paint, antiquing solution, and a lot of distressing.  Here's what to do:

Rub the end of a paraffin wax candle over any spots that reveal the original finish.   After painting and distressing, the new color comes off and exposes the original wood.

Select a crackling accelerator and spread it places the table would've seen wear over the years, such as sun damage from a window.  I like DecoArt Texture Crackle ($5) and DecoArt Weathered Wood ($5) from Michael's. 

Above is the effect from  DecoArt Texture Crackle.  It needs to dry for a day or two.

Above is the effect from DecoArt Weathered Wood.  On the left is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey ($15 for the 100ml sample size) applied over the crackle painted on both horizontally and vertically with a crappy old nylon bristle brush.  On the right is the effect with paint over crackle done in one direction.  If you leave the crakle to dry until tacky it crackles more.  I usually brush paint on over it as soon as they won't blend together.  The crazing is more subtle.  Be sure to use craft or interior paint; leftover exterior paint resists crackling.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Original.  I used another white craft paint in areas, because you need 3 shades of white to make a good rich patina.

I wished the center wreath applique was as wide as the side appliques from Do It Yourself Chic.  Unable to find one online I made one out of craft foam board and fake flowers.  Nail a few brads into the area, hang your form to verify placement.

Pull the fake flowers apart and rearrange as a wreath with hot glue.  Spray paint it white until all the color is gone.  Mix a small batch of plaster of paris the texture of cream and paint on.   Keep making fresh when it gets gooey.   Let dry thoroughly, touch up and let dry again.   This wreath is fragile so if the object gets a lot of bumps you're better off with a resin applique bought online.

Wet a rag and apply an antiquing glaze like Valspar's Antiquing Glaze from Lowe's ($14) in small workable sections.  When a section is damp, distress it with an old pair of scissors, your fingernails, a bit of heavy chain (I avoid sandpaper because the finish looks like manufactured distressed furniture to me).  Be random.  Let the cats use it as a scratching post.  Let the kids kick at it and doodle then cover it up so it has that lived-with look.  Really scrape the feet hard as they would show damage after a century.  Hitting fresh paint with a blow dryer on high will bubble paint like sun damage.  Warning: antiquing glaze stains the gesso-like substances like plaster of paris faster than paint.

Someone once asked me 'how do you get that really authentic distressed look?'  I said I left the table on a screen porch or drafty dusty garage all winter and in the summer if I wasn't using it to get blistering and shredding.  Don't allow water on it; it de-laminates and weakens joints.

Also don't allow it to catch on fire.   I wish I could show you the "after" picture but the table was 'seasoning' in my unfinished home when it burnt down.  The only thing left was part of the side (circled) and even that's been cremated.

I walked this table to my dorm from a flea market near Wheaton College in Massachusetts, enjoyed it for years, and spent money and worked very hard on this refinishing.  It's gone now and I can accept it and let go without anger.  Not every project in life works out.  But you learn from every project.

Send me any questions you have on refinishing furniture if you like!

Until next time, stay shabby!

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White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Favorite Things Thursday at Katherine's Corner

Creative Things Thursday at The Vintage Farmhouse

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage 

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage