So, I really wanted to find a project that I could demonstrate the transformation that happens when you apply dark wax over light. It took me a while to find something that I wanted to look really aged, until my mom picked these up at a garage sale. They were perfect as they were not too complex, so working with the dark glaze wouldn’t take too long.
She got this set for like 10 bucks. The finish was all over the place, they were all beat up and someone had spilled some type of wax on the top of the sofa table. All around they were disgusting, but nothing a little stripper and paint couldn’t fix!
As always, I wiped them down, and got to work. I started by staining the top with a hickory stain I used on this set.
Once I got the tables stripped of the old finish, I put one coat of stain (Minwax Gel Stain in “Hickory”) and finished it off with 2 coats of oil based wipe on poly. Then I was ready to start on the bottom. I hand painted these tables, which is rare for me. But I wanted to get the beautiful hand painted texture that comes from hand painting furniture with Chalk Paint.
Then I distressed the whole thing with some 150 grit sandpaper. I used this opportunity to smooth down any imperfections and take a little of the texture back out. I pressed hard on the edges and left the middle for the most part unscathed. The awesome thing about this look is that all the imperfections and marks that were on the piece prior, worked to my advantage when I distressed it. There were a few places where my stripping solution had dripped over to the sides, and that created even more texture and uniqueness.
I really liked the lateral boards on the top of these pieces. They really play into that whole farmhouse look that I was going for. After I distressed the edges, I coated it with Fiddes Supreme Wax in “Light”. Once that was dry (approx 15 minutes), I started with my dark wax. I work with 2 different colors of dark wax; Rugger Brown and Jacobean. Jacobean is a really rich dark color that is really similar to Annie Sloans dark wax. Rugger brown is a softer brown, and that was sort of the look I was going for.
For those of you who have never used dark wax before, the application seems really complicated, but its not. If you go into it thinking “I’m going to create this perfect distressed look,” you’re going to struggle with it. If you go in with a more relaxed attitude, you’ll have more fun with it, and you’ll like the results more. Working with dark wax is an art. Its very different from glaze where you can just slap it on, wipe it off where you don’t want it, and be done. You rub dark wax into the paint, just like you would with light wax, then you put additional light wax on top to take off what you don’t want. You can create much more interested effects with this, but its much more time consuming!
I’m sad that I didn’t get any good close-ups on the distressing of this set before it sold. It really is beautiful. The glaze was light enough to add an aged feel to the piece, without transforming the color.
I’ll have some more tutorials for you all shortly. I’ve got a tutorial on how I stripped and stained these tables and one on how I replaced the cane on my Red and White Dining Set as well.
- Behr Ultra Premium Plus Paint mixed with Blue Minerals Chalk Paint Powder (Now Vintage Storehouse Chalky Paint Powder)
- Fiddes Supreme Wax in “Light”
- Fiddes Supreme Wax in “Rugger Brown”
- Minwax Gel Stain in “Hickory”
- Minwax 60900 Wipe-On Poly Polyurethane Finish Clear Gloss, Quart
**Just as a side note, I believe the coupon for 20% off Blue Minerals Chalk Paint Powder expires tomorrow. Just a heads-up!
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