Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Witches Stitches - Well worn, weathered look for redoing furniture

If you are like me you love that wonderful primitive look that only time and age can bring a piece of furniture.  I love the look that many layers of paint has and the wonderful texture that it creates.  I like the look of different colors peeking through each other and the look of being weather worn. I have wondered how I can recreate that look on newer pieces.  I did some research and this is what I have come up with. It turns out getting that look is really easy using chalk paint, (I make my own, I have written how just look up past posts from me).  So here we go. This is a simple way to get that great time worn look.
Step 1 – Find a piece you want to create the time worn look on. Clean it off with a wet rag, let dry. With chalk paint you do not have to prime or sand before painting.  Now paint your first coat of paint on. Let it dry completely. This can take a few hours. After it is dry now paint your second coat of paint on. Put the second coat on thicker than the first. Let it start to dry.
Step 2 – Before it is completely dry you want to take a putty knife and start to scrape off the second layer in small sections. You do not want to do this to the entire piece. Just in random places. Now as you scrape off and you have a semi-wet paint blob of paint on your putty knife mash it back on your piece of furniture where you scraped it off. It will go on rough and leave an uneven surface.  Make sure you do not scrape off the first layer of paint.
Step 3 – Continue to do this until you are happy there is enough texture for you. If you find you have scraped off to much of the top color in one spot, after you mash it back on you can paint a light coat of top color paint back over it. This will give you more of the top color and you will still have texture under it. **If you are doing a very large piece remember that chalk paint dries very fast. You may want to put your second color on and scrape and mash in sections**
Step 4 – You can add a third color of paint. Do it the same way you did the second. You can scrape around the same spots and it will reveal both the under colors. Be careful you do not scrape through to the wood. This looks best if only paint shows not bare wood. When all your layers are done and you feel you have enough texture let everything dry overnight.  
Step 5 – This next step you will want to do outside. Chalk paint sands off with a very fine powder and you do not want it all over your house. I also recommend wearing a face mask. One of the paper ones will work fine. The fine powder of chalk paint when sanded is easily breathed in.  Now take a piece of fine grit sandpaper, (DO NOT use steel wool for this. It will leave dark marks behind), and lightly go over your item. You can expose a little more of the under color this way if you want. Do not sand to hard. You do not want to expose the bare wood and you do not want to sand flat all that great texture you just spent all that time putting on.
Step 6 – You should also do this step outside or in a very well-ventilated area. Outside is best. Now you will need to give your item a good going over with clear wax. As you do this you will see the color of the paint deepen. Johnston’s paste wax is what I use.  You can use whatever brand you choose. After you have coated your item with wax let it dry for about 30 min. If you are happy with the look you have you can buff the piece with a clean lint free cloth. If you want an even more aged piece you can give the item a coat of dark wax. I use dark brown, you can use that or the light brown. Do this in small sections. Put it on, making sure you get it in all cracks and textured areas. It will look dark and scary, don’t worry, just wipe it off with a clean lint free rag, (an old t-shirt works great for this). If you feel you put too much dark wax on and you want to take some off just go over that spot with the clear wax and it will remove the dark wax. This part is a put on and take off game until you get the right look. It goes quickly and you will see instant results. It will bring out all that great aged, cracked and textured look. After you are all done let it stand and dry overnight. Go back the next day and buff it with a clean lint free cloth.
Tip – Before you do this to your piece of furniture try it on a piece of scrap wood. It will be good practice as to how much pressure you want to apply when you are scraping paint off and sanding.
Tip – When you buy the paint you want to use make sure your colors look good together.  Take the paint chips out into the nature light put them next to each other in the order you want them on your piece. Doing this will let you see how this will look when you are done. Sometimes colors do not look as good together as we think they will.
Weathered Look

Her is a fast way to give bare wood that has no finish on it, (or one you have sanded the finish off), a weathered look. It will give it a great, “been outside for 20 years gray look”.
You have to do a bit of prep work first. You will have to make the ageing solution.  Take 4 cups of white distilled vinegar and place it into a plastic or glass container. DO NOT use metal for this. Into the vinegar put 3 pieces of steel wool. Break it apart a bit and just drop in and make sure it is covered with vinegar. Now lightly close lid. Leave it open a bit to let gases out. Let this solution sit for a week.
You are now ready to paint it on your item. You may want to try it on an inside spot nobody will see first. Paint it on and let it dry for about an hour. If it is to dark dilute some of the ageing solution in a glass or plastic bowl with a bit of vinegar. Keep in mind to make enough of the diluted ageing solution to cover the entire piece. If you don’t chances of getting it just the same as the first batch is slim and none. If it is not dark enough, paint another layer on. This can be repeated until it is as dark as you like.
Ever see a piece that has that great weathered look and also has just a stain of the color paint that was once on it. You can achieve this by using liquid food coloring. Here is how. When you have your item the darkness you want with your aging solution, paint a section of your piece, while it is wet drop a small drop of food coloring on your piece and take a clean brush and brush through it. This has to be done as soon as the aging solution is applied and is very wet. The food coloring will bleed onto the wood and make it look like there was once some paint there and this is the stain left behind. You only want to do this in a few places, not all over the entire piece.

When you’re done and happy with the look of your piece, let it dry completely and do not sand it. If you feel it needs some kind of sealer, (keep in mind this will take away from the “left outside weathered look”), you can go over it with a matt finish sealer.
Ok, that is three great ways to finish your items.  One is sure to fit into your decor.

Handmade Spotlight - We Love Our Raggedy Dolls

Look at all these adorable rag dolls!! Aren't they just too cute!? To get a closer look at all these adorable dolls you can click here.