Thursday, July 18, 2013

Distressing Chalk Paint®

Today I will talk to you about several methods of distressing when using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. 

Some people like their furniture very highly distressed and some not at all. I am somewhere in between. I like a bit of the original wood peeking out and I also like the look of two - color distressing, that is, distressing from a top color to a different base color.  

Annie teaches us to first wax with her Soft Clear Wax prior to distressing. (Apply Soft Dark Wax after distressing - more on this later.) This is to eliminate any dust from the dried paint. Her Soft Waxes are absorbed into the paint and you will find that when you distress after waxing, you will not have a mess. (I do recommend that you paint on a drop cloth though.)

So, assuming you have painted and then waxed your piece and are now ready to distress. If you want to distress down to the wood surface, then, using a low grit (100 to 220 grit - I like 220) sandpaper, start sanding in those spots where distressing would naturally occur such as edges, corners, etc. Easy does it when distressing all over in a random manner - you don't want to get what we call the "cheetah" effect! How much pressure you apply is dependent on the end effect - start with a lighter pressure and work up to higher pressure.

After distressing you may make want to add Soft Dark Wax to further age the piece. It is recommended that you do this after you first wax with Soft Clear Wax and distressing as the distressing will take off some of the wax. You make also want to add a little more Soft Clear Wax if you need to prior to the Dark. If so, just use the cloth you used for wiping on and off the Clear Wax.

The same method as used above is used when distressing down from a top coat of one color to the base coat of another. If you don't want to distress down to the wood, again, very lightly does it! If the 220 grit is too rough, try a higher grit sandpaper. Just enough for the first color to peek through. 

I personally love to paint my pieces in two colors for that French/Swedish look. I tend to use combinations like French Linen with Old White or Country Grey with Scandinavian Pink, or Cream with Pure White, but choose your own! This is where your own style shows through!

I also find that when distressing with two colors I use less Soft Dark Wax as I can get that antiqued effect with two colors. So, if you are hesitant to use Soft Dark Wax, try this instead.

After waxing and distressing, buff as you normally would.

Chalk Paint® distresses beautifully after waxing - it's hard to describe how more natural it looks than distressing latex or acrylic paints.

There are other ways to distress without using sandpaper and Annie talks about one of them in her new book, Color Recipes. After painting on the second coat and before it dries, start rubbing some of the paint off. You will get a wonderful rubbed effect that looks as if it has aged beautifully. 

Or, if the paint has dried, try use a damp cloth to wipe of some paint. Don't wait too long to do this as the paint will harden over time. I've even heard of baby wipes being used for this, but a damp cloth works just as well.

Remember - have fun!

Happy  Painting!  Rachel

Chalk Paint® and supplies are available at my two shops:
4323 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA and 
19 S. Belmont St. (in the heart of Carytown), Richmond, VA

To see more tips, tutorials and photos: Paintbrush and Pearls

Look for this logo to know you are getting the original and only 
Chalk Paint®!