Thursday, December 16, 2010

(Dis)Stressing Around the Holidays

Hey All!! So it has felt like a year since my last post, but Mama has been busy. I had the crazy notion to make a lot of Christmas gifts this year. Sooooo although all has been quiet here, in my workshop all hell has broken loose. Bonus is that I will have lots of cute stuff to post after the gifts have been given!

In the meantime, I have been diligently working on a project for Bray's room. Since the kid has a more extensive (and stylish) wardrobe than yours truly, he was in desperate need of another dresser. I was passed down this gorgeous antique chest on chest that was screaming for an overhaul (Thank you Joyce). Of course I would love to show you the sad before picture, but in my excitement I forgot to take a pic before the painting fun began.

All in all I really wanted to try my hand at distressing (using an antiquing glaze) and I had an image in my mind of a really worn, barn red color on it. I made the trek to Lowe's and came home with Valspar Tomato Red as my base color. It's important to point out that I find the primer/paint combo in satin works really well for these projects involving glazes or crackle paint. Plus I am game for anything that saves me a few extra steps these days.

The most critical step in any painting/refinishing project is the first one: the stripping/sanding process. It is imperative to put in the extra effort here people. I can't tell you how many times I have trudged through this step or skipped it all together and then paid the heavy price for it later. You wind up with paint that sloughs and chips at the drop of a hat. It's not pretty.....

This time around I wasn't kidding, so I went all out with my bff, the power sander. I took every last inch of finish off, leaving this glorious base just waiting to suck up the paint. Before getting the paint out, I very carefully vacuumed the entire piece with an attachment to make sure that all dust and debris was gone. The last thing you need to deal with is clumping and goop during the painting process.

Here comes the fun part: PAINT. No way to screw this up. Just work slowly in even sections. I found that I needed three coats of Tomato Red to achieve the deep, barn red color. Truth be told, I nearly keeled over when I first opened the can and it looked bright pink. (Can you hear the record scratching?) Luckily it dried in a gorgeous deep red that was a perfect match!

After allowing it to dry 24 hours after the last coat, I pulled out a small grit sand paper and lightly rubbed at areas on the dresser I thought "would have" received the most wear. Corners of drawers, the moulding, edges etc. 

The next step is really what gives the aged appearance of the paint. I purchased a small container of Valspar Antique Glaze from Lowe's. The small bottle was around $8 and I only used a very small amount so I thought it was a great buy. To start, use a cotton rag that has been lightly dampened with some water. I then just dipped a corner of the rag into the bottle and began to wipe it onto the dresser in small strokes all in the same direction. The bottle recommends going in small circles, but I found I wasn't a fan of the way it was finishing (but feel free to mess around with this part to achieve the look you want). You have time to wipe it away and start over (unlike other antiquing processes). Once I had applied the glaze to the entire dresser, I let it dry for a complete 24 hours. At this point you can decide whether or not you would like to apply a clear coat to finish and seal the piece. I didn't, but knock yourself out.....and bless you if you are that patient! HA!

Lastly I happened to see some pulls on sale while I was buying the paint, so I was able to dress it up with brand new hardware for under $20.

Total cost including all paint and hardware was just shy of $40, but I would like to point out that both the paint and glaze will be used for multiple projects (a long term investment as I see it!). All in all, WIN WIN baby!


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