How-To Tuesday: Create a Distressed Finish on Chalk or Milk Paint
How-To Tuesday is a series that incorporates both brand new and newly edited posts from the archives. Enjoy!
Original posts: To Distress or Not To Distress: How-To
Some pieces cry out to me, “Distress Me!” while others scream, “Leave Me Alone!” It depends on the piece and the finish.
If the piece has a lot of detail, I lean towards chalk paint. That’s the beauty of chalk paint – the fact that it is so easily sanded back to reveal the layers and details underneath. It lends itself to that aged, old world look of distressed furniture. (Florence Dresser)
If the piece has more modern lines, or if I want a sleeker finish, I use General Finishes milk paint. It has more sheen to it and can create a more modern look. If this is the case, I only slightly distress around the edges. (Glam Dresser)
I first go over the entire piece using a 400 grit piece of sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge or block. This creates a very smooth surface over the body of the piece. I then take a 150 grit piece of sandpaper wrapped around the block and go over the edges, details, corners, etc. that I want distressed back. I take a damp paper towel and wipe off the dust or use my handy-dandy leaf blower in my garage and blow it off. I then wax the piece. (Old Violet Love)
General Finishes milk paint:
As I said, typically I only distress the edges and details and then apply their high performance sealer. (Midnight Sideboard)However, GF milk paint can also be distressed back to create that aged look. If I want to distress the body I can use a soft sanding sponge and go over it lightly. I did this on the Coastal Blue bedroom set and it created an almost denim look. I then use a 150 to 200 grit sandpaper on the edges or details. (Coastal Blue Bedroom Set)General Finishes milk paint can also be distressed way back with 150 grit sandpaper. (The Lucketts Haul)If I want the body to have a different look, a glaze can give a great effect over a lightly (200 grit) sanded surface. (Peacock Blue Eastlake Dresser) I shared a post on how to “wet” distress a few weeks ago – link HERE. And there you have it! How I distress my furniture!
A quick video on how to distress Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (subscribe HERE!)