Hello dear friends,
It’s been a long time since I last talked to you here. The longest so far, I think. Right now we are all in the middle of these scary times, dealing with COVID 19, and all the protests against the horrible systemic racism and police brutality in this country. I’m sure your life has been affected in one way or another, be it economically, emotionally or both, and I hope you are getting all the support you need to stay healthy and safe until we get to the other side of this pandemic.
Thankfully everyone in my family is well. My husband is working from home and my sons are having their classes via zoom, doing some school work, and playing a lot of videogames. A LOT. Much more than any mom would like to admit, but truth is, we have to keep everyone’s sanity in the family so I as long as they complete their school assignments and chores around the house, they can can choose what to do with their free time.
From my part, I’ve been painting almost every day. Not so much furniture, though. Unfortunately in November last year I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and some other tick-born co-infections. With the fatigue, aches and pains in my muscles and joints, it is hard to handle heavy objects or do any physical work for long hours, so I decided to take a break from furniture, but continued to work on my other paintings, ant that is what is keeping my mental sanity during this long journey to recovery. Little by little The Wood Spa is coming back. I recently received a commission order to paint several beautiful pieces, and I’ve working on them in a slow, steady pace. It feels good to be in action.
This was the buffet before. As you can see, it was in pristine condition, but my client thought it was too dark for her decoration.
She was much happier with its new look, and I totally agree with her.
You have probably seen this finish in many of my previous posts. My most popular blog post to this day is a tutorial on how I painted this French Provincial dresser . However now, with a few more years of experience under my belt, I have a different way to achieve this same finish. The old way still works fine, but I find my new process much faster, more efficient and less harmful to my lungs, since I no longer use oil based primer in the preparation stage.
As usual, I will write the step by step here, but I highly recommend that you watch the my short video to see how I do it.
This is the list of supplies I used for this project. If you purchase any of these products via my affiliate links I receive a small commission from Amazon. There is no additional cost to you.
- A mix of equal parts of water and vinegar for cleaning.
- Zinsser Clear Shellac – https://goo.gl/iawxmK
- Fine Sandpaper (300 or 400 grit)
- Benjamin Moore Steel Wool (gray latex paint) 1 pint was enough for this piece.
- HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer – https://goo.gl/kLRX2k
- Chip brushes – https://goo.gl/gDMj9Q
- General Finishes Pitch Black Glaze – https://goo.gl/Pn7Nsz
- Baby wipes – https://amzn.to/31rd0mq
- General Finishes Water-Based Top Coat – https://goo.gl/QDjHZE
I removed all knobs and pulls leave all drawers and doors in place. Since this buffet was in impeccable shape, there was nothing to repair and no deep cleaning to do, so I just wiped it a few times with a mix of water and vinegar.
Next I primed it with two coats of clear shellac. Using shellac instead of oil-based primer is a game changer for my health. It is a bit smelly so I still keep my work area ventilated while applying it, but the fumes (alcohol) are safe to breath, and nothing beats that.
I let the shellac dry for a few minutes, and the piece was ready to be spray painted.
I like to water down my paint to ensure a good flow on my paint sprayer, but this step is optional, since the more recent spray models are made to work with thicker paints as well. For regular latex paint, I usually add 1 part of water to 4 parts of paint.
I always try the spray on a piece of wood or cardboard before getting started on to my piece, so I can adjust the the amount of paint I want to flow from the sprayer.
As I spray, keep my movements as steady as possible, keeping the same distance (around 1 foot) between the spray and the wood.
I work on horizontal or vertical strokes, always allowing an overlap between strokes. Check out the video to see how I do it.
I always let the first coat dries completely, so I can see clearly all the imperfections I will need to fix on the next coat.
To remove little dirt spots or paint drips from the first coat, I sanded the areas with a very fine sand paper (300+ grit), wiped it well with a damp cloth or paper towel, and went for the second coat. Tow coats of paint are usually enough for a perfect, smooth coverage, but in same cases you will need more, especially if working with bright colors such as orange or yellow.
Now it was time to remove all drawers and open the cabinet doors to paint the areas that I couldn’t reach with the spray. I use a small flat brush for that.
To apply the glaze, I used a chip brush and lots of baby wipes.
In this technique, the goal is to let the black streaks of glaze show. You decide in which direction you want the streak. I always make sure that drawers and doors streaks are in the same direction.
For glazing or waxing, you always need to work one small section at a time.
With a chip brush I apply the glaze and with a baby wipe I remove the excess of glaze and define the streaks across the section I am working on. I keep working back and forth between my baby wipes and a clean chip brush until I reach the look you I desire.
I repeat the process in every section until I am done with the entire piece. I won’t lie. This is a long, and tedious process, but so worth it!
I let the glaze dry for at least 24 hours and then spray at least two coats of clear topcoat. An important tip. Do not brush or roll your top coat on a recently glazed piece as it will reactivate the glaze and mess up all your hard work. To be on the safe side, use your sprayer to apply the top coat.
I hope you try this technique, and if you do, please let me know in the comments.
Here are all the pictures.
Please take care of yourselves, my dears.