Speaking of Antiquing – August 2017

Lately, I have been spending many hours sanding old furniture. My purpose is not to refinish antique furniture to its former glory, but to add a couple of coats of chalk paint, and sand some more. And then add a soft finish wax and rub and buff until my elbow wants to fall off.

Chalk-painted furniture is recognized by its soft matte finish, with a bit of distressing to give it an “aged” look. Chalk paint is as it says, chalky. Calcium carbonite or plaster-of-Paris is added to latex paint to create a thick texture. Various techniques can be employed for different finish features. I have only begun to learn how to accomplish a piece worthy of resale.

One must choose the piece to be painted wisely.

I usually start with a piece that is already in distress, and headed for the Goodwill bin. It must have good “bones” as it will live another life after painting. Adding a coat of paint will never revive a piece of furniture that is just too badly damaged. That takes a skill I have yet to acquire.

Color choice is a major factor to be considered. If it is a piece you are keeping in your own home, then go with what you like and what fits into your décor. In my case, I am doing it for resale to someone else’s home. I try to pick colors that are somewhat on the down side of trendy, attractive, colorful but not gaudy. Then again, I pick colors I like, and hope you will too.

I also like to paint with milk paint. I find this more appealing than chalk paint in a way. It comes in a powder form and you add water and mix to a smooth consistency. Using layers of different color and sanding distress points, creates a unique look with depth and an interesting texture. You can wax and buff as well, but I tend to not do so with this paint.

One of the things that has just got me cringing every time I see it, is painting over a fantastic mahogany desk, or a piece of mission oak furniture that is stunning before you start. These types of antiques should remain true antiques and paint should stay far away. There is a trend to keep the top of a table or desk as-is and paint the body. This looks nice, and is beautiful in a way, but to me it is almost sacrilegious to the antique. Let the antiques be antiques!

Please stop in as there are a few pieces of chalk and milk-painted items at Pickety Place for you to consider.