Okay, I know some of you are wondering…where did she go? Why isn’t there a part 3?! Well, let me explain a little something about myself. Once I did this piece, I found several other great pieces to work on and so most of my time has been spent in my workshop, sanding and refinishing my little fingers off! When I get this way, some would say I can be rather compulsive (husband, kids, close friends!). I want them all done at one time and until that mission is completed, I can’t really focus on anything else! Anyway, without further ado, here is part 3!
If you have ever refinished a piece of furniture by distressing it (or at least making it looked distressed) then you know that it’s all about layering of paints to give it depth, then sanding, then dry brushing, then sanding, then adding lighter paint, sanding, and finally waxing and polishing. You see where I’m going here? It can be quite an undertaking! Following are the final steps to finishing this beauty!
5. Once I had my base coat of chalk paint on and let it dry, I then lightly sanded it down. This step is important. Sanding between coats ensures that you can remove any little particles or thick paint patches and you are allowing some of the wood finish underneath to start to show through. Overall, you will get a better look. Plus, don’t forget, it’s a great workout!
6. Next I went back in and added some dark walnut stain. Tread lightly here. The idea is to give the piece an aged look and using a dark stain lightly in certain areas will help accomplish that. You have to be patient and add a little, wipe it down, step back, pick your next spot, add more stain, wipe it down, etc. Make sure you let this dry before you move on. Stain can take longer to dry then chalk paint, so patience is required here…drats!
7. Once that had dried, I went in with a lighter chalk paint, white in this case. Again, stand back, use your eye, and start dry brushing light amounts of your lighter color spread throughout your piece. I wiped it as I went to help it blend in with the already existing finish. This is usually about the point in a piece like this that I look at what I’ve done and I think…OMG! What have I done to this? In other words, I generally have a point where I HATE the way the piece looks. Time to walk away and give it a fresh look tomorrow!
8. Once I calmed myself and sent several pictures to my BFF (who also shares much of the same compulsions with furniture refinishing that I do!) who reassures me that I’m on the right track, I go back in and do a little more serious sanding (by hand) to the edges and raised parts of the doors and drawers and also on the corners, etc. The idea here is to let the wood underneath show through. In this case, I wanted the piece to look like layers had been added over the years and over time were starting to wear away.
9. After the final sanding, I went back in one more time and very lightly dry-brushed some of the white on certain areas (wiping to blend) and some of the stain, very lightly (wiping away to blend), and some of the original gray (wiping to blend). I then put the hardware back on (in this case, the original).
10. By this point, I’ve invested so much time and energy into the piece, I found I’ve fallen in love with it! This is the part my husband isn’t so crazy about! I tend to want to keep the pieces after I’ve worked on them for so long! I want you to know that I’m being strong and will move forward and sell her to someone who will love her and give her a good home!
11. The final step is the waxing step. You need to use furniture wax. I like to soften it and apply it with a brush. I apply it to the whole piece (it really softens the look and brings it all together) let it dry thoroughly and then then buff it with a soft cloth. I do it a second time to the top to make sure it’s well protected. The last part of this final step is to stand back and admire all your hard work! Trust me, it’s worth it!
Okay, that’s the whole story of this great piece, found free, by the curb! I hope this inspires you to try some refinishing the next time you are driving down your street and you see a piece of furniture just sitting by the curb, waiting for someone to take it home and love it again!
Now, what you do next to love where you live?