One of the things I love about refinishing old furniture is the stories the pieces tell. They have a past. And that’s part of the allure. They have bumps, bruises and scars. Sometimes the best course of action is not to restore a piece, but to embrace it’s age and turn it’s imperfections into assets. And that’s exactly what I set out to do on this antique dresser that had character and charm to spare.
A great way to give your refinished pieces authentic looking age is by layering your paint colors before distressing, and that was my plan of attack on this flip.
First, I peeled off all the bits and pieces of loose veneer and sanded all the rough edges.
Now, this might be when you start to panic and bring it out to the curb for large trash pickup.
We’re going to make her a beaut!
I choose to paint a spring green color underneath with a bold teal over that. I’ve been positively itching to paint a piece teal. It’s such a hot color right now. I’ve noticed the trend in my pinning of late, but this dresser from my good bloggy friend Cassie of Primitive & Proper is what really put my over the top.
I used the DIY Chalk Paint recipe that I shared in my last post, and it worked like a charm again. Because of the chalk paint’s great adhesion, I skipped the priming and went right to painting on the springy green. (Yay for time savers!)
After the green had thoroughly dried, I brushed two coats of a rich teal over that.
Once your top color is dry, you’re ready for the fun part. I loaded my orbital sander with a fine (220 grit) sandpaper and went to town. As you sand, you’ll start to see bits of the green undercoat show through, as well as some of the wood, creating lots of depth, bringing out all the details and giving your finished piece a time-worn, authentically-aged look.
Once the distressing was finished, I added a top coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax, and buffed to a soft, yet durable lustre. The more I use it, the more I’m loving the chalk paint/wax combo.
In the end, your paint layers peeking through mimic with believability a piece that has been painted and repainted through it’s many years. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
The dressers top had no finish to speak of left, so I just went over it with my fine sandpaper in the orbital, then applied two coats of Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut, finished off with Water-based Varathane in a Satin Finish.
I’d love to hear what you think of her. Are you a fan of heavily distressed furniture? Will we ever make our husbands understand?