Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paint and Furniture Cheap Mama Style - French Antique Look

Four years ago when we moved into the house we now live in, my in-laws sent a truck of hand-me-down furniture from Georgia.  There were pieces in there handed down from both of Georgia Boy's grandmothers and they were all full of memories.  Most were beautiful but a few had seen better days.  Since we were trying to fill a brand new house, we weren't about to turn down free furniture!   But I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would be painting furniture.

Fast forward to four short years later (humor intended) and I finally got around to painting one of the side tables.  This was a beautiful table with great details but it had been stained an ordinary color and the top was scratched from years of use.  I wanted to use it in the sitting room of my master bedroom which is decorated in blues so I decided to go with the antique french country blue look.  If you have ever wondered how to paint furniture or how to do an antique french paint job, this is how I did it.

Here is the table BEFORE!

I first primed the table using ordinary oil-based primer.  If you've never used oil-based paints before, don't be intimidated.  You can use all of your regular paint supplies but you'll need mineral spirits or another paint thinner for cleaning your brushes.  The paint will stick on your skin like glue so it's best to use latex gloves while painting.  Oil-based primers are used when you want to paint something that already has a stain or finish.  Latex paint won't adhere to a stain and instead of stripping, you can prime with an oil-based primer which seals and primes and dries matte.

This is after one coat of primer.  It will be streaky but as long as it's completely covered, you'll be able to begin the coats of latex paint.

After I primed it I painted one coat of Sherwin Williams Georgian Revival Blue.  After that I dry-brushed Sherwin Williams Silvermist.  I did enough to hit a little bit all over the surface of the top and legs but not so much that I couldn't see some of the Georgian Revival Blue peeking through.

 Dry-brushing is a technique that simply means getting enough paint to barely wet the tips of the bristles of the paint brush and then applying it with a light hand.  It's better to do a little bit at a time and build to the look you want.  You can always add more - but you can't take it off!

Basecoat of Georgian Revival Blue.  It's bright!

This is after I dry-brushed with the Silvermist.  At first I did a light coat but after looking at it for a while, I decided to go heavier with the Silvermist.  You can still seek the blue peeking out.

The final step was the glazing coat.  This is what takes a painted piece that looks like it just received a paint job by a kindergarten student and turns it into a piece of furniture with an antique look.

I made my glaze by mixing 3 parts Sherwin Williams Faux Impressions Glaze (Latex Finish Clear) with 1 part Sherwin Williams Umber paint.  The glaze is clear and can be tinted to whatever finish you would like to have.  I used the dark umber glaze on this table and a couple of other pieces but for my next project, I am going to be doing something a little different.  (Stay tuned!)

To glaze, brush on the glaze with a paint brush and then wipe off with a clean cloth.  I used my husband's old undershirts for this.  Even though you are wiping with the cloth, you will quickly see that it creates an aged look even when it is wiped off.

Finished product!

The piece ended up with the exact paint color I wanted but after living with it in the room for a couple of weeks, I think it may look too "fancy."  I'm contemplating hitting the edges and legs with sandpaper for a more distressed look but I haven't completely decided if I want to do that.  So, until then I'm enjoying my "new antique" table!

I got a lot of my inspiration for this table from one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Mustard Seed.  Check out her blog for LOADS of tips on painting, sewing, and making your home beautiful.


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