Prime! We don’t always prime, but because this piece was so badly stained with cigarette smoke we Knew priming was a must. I prefer to use water based products whenever I can, but because nicotine is a water soluble stain, so an oil based product is absolutely neccessary. I use a spray gun for most of the painting that I do and I never put oil based products in my gun. The clean up is a nightmare that I don’t want to deal with, plus it usually stinks!
For this project I purchased a spray can of Kilz oil based primer. I applied one good coat of primer and let it dry over night.Then I tossed the empty can in the trash. No clean up, yipee!
Prep work done. Now what?
Stain! Using Minwax stain in Dark Walnut we stained this entire piece. Using a saturated rag we wiped the entire piece with the dark stain, leaving it on pretty heavy in all of the carved details and recessed areas. We allowed the stain to dry for a few days before taking the next step.
Lightly sand! We lightly sanded the stain so our next layer would stick well. We used 220 grit sand paper then wiped it with a clean damp cloth to remove the dust.
Crackle! We used a product called Faux Creations from Sherwin Williams. It was applied with a 2 inch synthetic bristle brush. The entire piece was covered in an even, thin layer of the stuff. Before applying the top coat there is an hour of down time. Don’t let this product sit for longer than 4 hours or it will not do its’ job properly and you will have waisted your time and the product.
Paint! A top coat can be applied with a brush for large, heavy cracks. Because we wanted a ton of tiny, fine cracks we used a sea sponge to apply the top coat. I prefer using a sponge over a brush because I feel like I can get better coverage. I also feel like it is easier to control. With a brush you have to be very careful. If you go over the same spot more than once you will scrape the paint off in chunks and ruin the crackle finish. It’s also easy to get runs and big blobs of cracks that slide off your piece when using a paint brush.
We used another Sherwin Williams product for the top coat. The paint color is called Medici Ivory. It’s a beautiful soft white. I think it looks like linen.
A few spots were hard to get at with the sponge, mainly in the 90 degree angles. I waited for the top coat to completely dry and then came back with a tiny brush to stipple a bit of white paint into the areas where I had missed.
Orange County, CA
Order a slipcover
My mom is a DIY kind of gal. When I was a kid I remember trips to thrift stores, strolling the hardware store isles, and of course spending hours feeling fabric at the yardage shop. She was constantly transforming bargain buys into treasures for our home. With a fresh coat of paint or a new slipcover, she gave old furniture new life. We have always enjoyed being creative together and in 2008 we turned our hobby and passion into a business.
Alchemy fine living is a creative business. We offer furniture painting services, upholstery, and custom slipcovers. We also sell a few hand crafted items on Etsy.
I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom, Connie, taught me from a young age how to spot a deal at a flea market or a thrift shop. She could always spot the hidden potential of an old, worn out piece of furniture. I learned to sew when I was four years old and all through the years I helped my mom with DIY projects around the house.
In 2008 she & I turned our hobby into a business. We re-do old furniture and hand craft items for sale in our Etsy store. For those who, like us, love to DIY we offer lots of tips and advice in our tutorial videos. We also offer furniture painting, upholstery, and sewing services for those who don't want to tackle the project themselves.