Paint on Paint Distressing Tutorial

Soooo…. Maybe I’m not so good at keeping up with my blog, but then again I’ve been so busy working, I’ve not made time to show you the things that I’ve been up to. I promise to do a better job!

Today, I’m making it up to all of you DIYers by giving you a tutorial on a painting and distressing technique. (Granted, its my first tutorial, so be understanding please. It’s all I ask !)

Distressing paint can be done in many ways all dependent on what look you are going for, the type of paint you use, and tools used; to distress the piece of furniture you are working on. I’ve tried just about every form of the aforementioned and although I love trying different techniques,¬† I can’t say that one way or the other is my favorite or best. They are all just…different and that’s what makes painting furniture so much fun. Sky’s the limit creatively!

So, even though this is one way of doing it, it’s not the only way. I’m not even sure what to label this form of distressing, so we can just call it “paint on paint distressing”, unless someone has a better name for it.

The favorite part of my job is working creatively with customers. I paint many pieces that I purchase and sell to customers, but the bulk of my business is custom painting. I absolutely LOVE that part. In this case, it is custom painted. My customer wanted turquoise base and black over (distressed to allow turquoise to peek through) and other details such as diamonds, funky knobs, and a solid turquoise back. This particular customer really knows what she likes, so it was really fun to have fun with it. She just isn’t afraid of bold ideas.I’m not going to show you how I painted on the details because that’s pretty self- explanatory, I think, (email me if I’m wrong). But, I will show you a few basics.First of all, be sure to remove all the doors and hardware before getting started. I know it takes time, but in the long run it does prevent mistakes and keeps things looking nice.
Note* I did not prime this piece. It had a very thin coat of varnish that came off with a light sand and did not need anything else to prevent paint from adhering. If your furniture is shiny or has a thick layer of varnish, prime. You will thank me later.One step I don’t necessarily NEED to do is mix up my own chalk paint. I prefer this because after I send the project home, I want to make absolutely sure the paint will never peel (I have learned the hard way once and will never make that mistake again).So, after all the prep work is done, give the entire piece one coat of the base color. Turquoise in this case. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just as long as most of it is covered because you don’t want to forget where you did not paint when you start distressing. I get even the insides.
*This next step is the key to the whole look.*Skip this step and you will not quite get this look. Too many layers of paint will be sanded off and you will go down to the wood, which is ok, but won’t get you this look.So, after letting the paint completely dry, give it a layer of wax. (Minwax is just fine. It doesn’t have to be perfect, either, since you will be layering another coat of paint over it. Just coat the entire thing). Let the wax harden about 10-15 minutes.
Mix up another batch of chalk paint for the next coat. This time, you do want to make sure you add at least 2 layers if you have too much show-through. I didn’t want it too shabby. I did want the turquoise to peek through, not burst through.Let it dry completely.
Using a fine sanding block, begin with all of the edges, lightly sanding off the paint.
Then, using a coarse sanding block, sand along the sides and body. Be sure not to add too much pressure. Keep your hand light and let the sanding block do the work. If you are having a problem with scratching, switch to a fine sander and add a bit more pressure in places to create a rubbed-off look. It’s a little more work this way, but safer if you aren’t comfortable with using too coarse a block.
The finished  part just takes your own creativity to determine how much paint to remove. Do a little, then stand back and look at it. Keep doing that until you feel good about it.After you have achieved what you like, give it all another coat of wax and buff to a light shine if you want.