I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday. We went to Louisville and caught some NCAA basketball action, and the weather was absolutely glorious. A gift in and of itself if you live in the midwest like I do. Now I’m just battling some sort of sinus thing and my voice is fading fast. I’m hoping this crud just goes away, because I have stuff to do! But for now, it’s time for another installation of my Painter in Your Pocket series, this time, we’re talking about finishes. If you missed my first post in this series – painting furniture – check it out here. This post contains some affiliate links.
I’m talking about finishes today, because they’re top of mind, since I just completed a console table for a client. It’s fun to play around with finishes, and when I find one that I like, I’m excited to share it with you! This is a popular type of finish these days, and I see it a lot on furniture pieces, lamps, etc… My inspiration for the console was from a lamp that the client already had.
Great finish, right? I certainly love it, and can see what it’s one that you’d want to replicate. Here is the piece that I was given to transform. It’s that orangey wood that so many people are trying to eradicate from their homes.
It was definitely a process and a learning experience, doing this piece. Originally, I thought I could stain it, and then do either a white wash or even a liming wax over the top of it. However, getting the right shade of stain, was more difficult than I anticipated. I experimented with some different stains on the bottom of the console first, before trying it on the entire piece.
The stain colors just weren’t doing it for me – even with a whitewash over the top. I tried stripping the console, thinking I would have better luck working with bare wood, but this stain was stubborn, and didn’t want to cooperate. After doing some more research, I went back to a technique that I used on my Pottery Barn Lamp Knock-Off – using paint to get the look. Do you remember this lamp?
So, I got to work using this method. I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Coco, and then did a dry brush technique with Old Ochre. I actually ended up spraying the Coco color, since there were so many nooks and crannies in this piece. And yes, I started with spraying the console upside down, to make sure I painted the entire piece.
Here you can see it after I dry brushed it with the Old Ochre.
And I also did a top coat of Flat Out Flat by General Finishes. Love, love, LOVE this stuff!
Here’s a shot of it outside. You can see that it’s looking more gray out here, and my client wanted it to be more brown, in keeping with the inspiration lamp.
So, where do we go from here? After doing some more research, I pulled out my Annie Sloan waxes – both the dark and the clear wax. I mixed them together and went to work, and knew once I applied it, that I was moving in the right direction. You can see how it warms it up right away.
I got to put my SurBuf polishing pad to use with it too (attached to my orbital sander) and I love the finished look.
I made one last tweak to this piece before I delivered it to the customer. She wanted the white to come through like it did on the lamp, so I added a bit of Amy Howard’s Liming Wax to achieve that look. Here you can see the top with the addition of the liming wax. It’s subtle, but gets the job done!
One more tip if you’re working with liming wax on a wood that doesn’t have a lot of grain (which is key for liming wax – you want to work it into the grain). You can use a brass brush like this one to help raise the grain in the piece that you’re working on, so that the liming wax has some nooks and crannies to settle in to, giving you the look that you want. I did this in the stage where I was trying to strip the stain off the console. Just something to consider, depending upon the wood you’re working with.
One more look at the before and after –
Do you like to experiment with finishes? The next Painter in Your Pocket post in this series is going to be about paint sprayers – I know a lot of you are looking to jump in with sprayers, and I’m excited to talk about them as well!