Okay, this one was a tough one for me. I really had every intention of doing a "dark wax" treatment on this piece. To date, I have used the chalk/plaster paints (both store bought and homemade!) but I always seal them with a polycrylic or polyurethane top coat rather than wax.
So I started doing a little more research on this method of sealing chalk/plaster painted pieces.
I started with a nice tutorial/opinion by Cindy at Cottage Instincts. She has tried many different products. I also checked out what Sherri at Painted Vintage had to say. I am a firm believer that one should learn from other's trials and errors whenever possible! As with all opinions, take them with a grain of salt and do your OWN research...and do what works for YOU!!! Sometimes "trial and error" are our best teachers!
The wax stuff just seems so tiresome and time consuming for my tastes.
But my biggest concern was one I read a while back...once you wax a piece, the wax must be stripped before you can repaint it...unless of course you repaint it with "chalk/plaster" paint which touts "no prep." But what do you do when that is no longer "all the rage" and you just want to spray paint or hand paint a nice plain ole' finish? Truth is, you will have to strip the wax before you do that.
That is just not something I want to deal with.
Now one could argue... "You're selling the piece...what do you care happens after the fact."
I do care. I care a lot. I want every piece I sell to be sound, solid, and something that will become a timeless treasure. I am not selling junk that can be disposed of a few years from now when the tides turn. Color schemes may change...but quality pieces can last a lifetime if you are able to repaint or refinish them! I don't want someone taking latex paint to a piece 5 years from now, only to have it all flake off because the piece is waxed and they didn't know to strip it first!
Short story long, I did not wax this piece. Maybe sometime down the road I will experiment with it...but for now I stuck with what I know works best for me. Paint and poly finish! Seriously, do what works best for YOU!!!
So, here is the "before." I went into great detail of how I "repurposed" and prepped for the paint treatment in my last post.
After the "reconstruction" and prep, I painted the inside with a latex paint. I went with a soft greenish color for the back panel and an off-white for the sides and shelves. Then I mixed a homemade plaster paint with the off-white paint for the exterior.
The best recipe I have found for plaster/chalk paint is 2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water and one cup of latex paint. Lately, I have had a bit of an issue with the paint "chipping" when I distress it. I thought it might be because the paint I used was gloss...so this time I used a satin. That doesn't seem to be the problem. The only other thing I might try is adding MORE plaster of paris to the paint. Who knows, maybe it is the finish on the pieces...most of them are old and have an existing finish. In the beginning, I still sanded even before I painted with the plaster/chalk paint. Now I am taking everyone at their word that you don't have to "prep" before you paint with plaster/chalk paint....maybe they are wrong!
Anywho, I painted the exterior with my homemade chalk/plaster paint....
Personally, I like this look. But then again, I'm not into the "distressed" look...but a lot of people are so I distressed the piece. Again, I got more of a "chippy" affect.
The question then becomes, how do I get the trim to "pop?" How do I get depth without doing a dark wax treatment?
Good old fashioned glaze. I mixed black latex paint with clear glaze and worked it into the trim to bring out the detail.
Looks kind of awesome if you ask me....
I even "staged" the piece for pictures...I just wish I was a better photographer because it really is a beautiful piece and I just don't do it justice!
Truth is, I love it. And I love that I was able to take a true antique piece that most wouldn't give a second look and transform it into something that is beautiful and useful again!
Now for a few "before and afters."
When I was working on this piece I suddenly remembered a old upright piano my father refinished 40 years ago. I remember he painted it green and then "antiqued" it with a black wash. Loooong before glazing and waxing were all the rage.
I have no idea how he did this...it is one of those things I wish I had learned from him! I also wish I had this old piano...who knows where it went! I just hope someone has it and knows what a treasure it is!
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