I work with three different types of paint at the moment: Chalk Paint, Milk Paint & Fusion Mineral Paint. Chalk Paint and Milk Paint I use on the outside of my furniture and the Fusion I have just started to use on the inside (I do not paint the outside of furniture with Fusion, I just don’t like working with it, but it is great on the inside – Fusion Paint claims to be a “Chalk-Like Paint” but it is nothing like chalk paint – this is my honest opinion). After painting a piece of furniture with either Chalk Paint or Milk Paint I always give it a light sand with 220-240 grit sand paper by hand (never with a Power Sander), I go over the whole piece and check with my hands as I go making sure I have a smooth finish.
Like I have said before I don’t like a lot of distressing on my furniture (this is personal taste and does not mean other techniques are wrong or don’t look good). I like to use 220-240 grit sand paper and distress all the edges and high points, places where you would naturally find wear and tear, I never distress in the middle of drawers or sides, I just find it looks fake.
Once I have distressed I give the piece a good brush off (with a dustpan brush) to get the dust from sanding off before waxing.
Before we get onto the waxing I want talk about how I finish the inside of the drawers. I don’t always paint inside drawers, it all depends on the state of the drawers, I also use fabric or paper to line drawers, but not on this project. These ones have quite a few stains that really need to be covered. I like my pieces to be clean looking and as new as possible for a vintage piece of furniture. For this piece I painted the insides and sides of the drawers with Fusion Mineral Paint in Prairie Sunset – the colour you helped me choose! I always use masking tape to get clean edges, yes it takes more time but little details like this matter. I pay attention to the details, so my clients have pieces that will look beautiful inside and out. Fusion Mineral Paint needs no sealing or sanding you just paint it on and you are done, it sets quite hard so it is perfect for inside drawers where you may get a lot of wear and tear.
If you are wondering why I don’t paint right to the edge it is because when the drawers are closed you will see the yellow (just a little) and that would annoy me so I always leave the lip either unpainted in this case or whatever colour I painted the drawer fronts. I like in this instance you can see the dove tail joins that the original craftsman did.
Originally when I started this dresser I had thought I may finish the whole piece with Tung Oil…….well I changed my mind! Which happens quite frequently with me! I am a fickle thing! I finally settled on waxing the whole piece, including the wood on top, mainly because I wanted a consistent finish throughout and I love the finish wax gives me. I use MMS Furniture Wax, (this is a clear wax – I rarely use dark wax) I have used a few different waxes and while this is the most expensive I love the consistency and how smooth it goes onto my pieces. It seems to soak into porous surfaces a lot better than other waxes I have used. I place some of the wax onto a paper plate and work it into the bristles on my wax brush.
I then work the brush back and forth over the dresser making sure to get the wax into all the crevices and any details the piece may have.
I then use a rag to wipe off any excess wax off. I usually work in one small section at a time, before moving onto the next. The wax will deepen the colour of the paint slightly, you notice this more with darker colours.
I waxed the entire outside, including the wood top, I love the colour change you see in the wood when you wax it, you can see it come back to life. How beautiful is that grain? Seeing wood come back to life after years of neglect makes me so happy!
I said previously that I planned to paint the back of this piece, I don’t always do this but when the back is stained or in bad shape I have paint it or at times replace it. In this case I gave it two coats of the Prairie Sunset. For me this is all about giving my clients a complete piece that look new(ish) and this extra effort shows the workmanship that has gone into the makeover, which I believe adds value. If the wood on the back is in good shape I would just Tung Oil it to give a bit of a seal.
Once I finished waxing I place my knobs on and then I am done! Next week I will share the reveal with you. I have loved having you journey with me in this process and I hope that I have given you some good advice and tips that you can take and use on your own furniture makeovers. I absolutely love creating my furniture pieces, I very much see each project as an art piece of sorts, it gives me great pleasure to see them come to life.
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