{Primp} My Primer – distressing techniques

When I feel like doing a project…I want to do it NOW and fast. Our bench in the foyer was a dark wood. Pretty, but shows every little bit of dust and dirt.
Since our muddy shoes go here and this is the foyer/mudroom – I don’t want the dirt to be seen so easily. I painted and distressed it in less than 2 hours...Here’s how:
1 – Sand the surface with a fine grit paper such as a 180 to 220 grit. I used a feather duster to remove excess dust (a tack cloth would be best but I don’t have those today). If you want a really “chippy paint look” use THIS technique before spray painting.
2 – I am still a huge fan of spray paint. In this case I used what was in my garage. It happened to be gray auto primer – Yup! Nothing fancy. Cover the whole piece as much as possible. I used one whole can (not worrying about the bottom of the bench) It dries fast.
3 – Now to dry brush. Spray painting can sometimes look thinner in some areas if the furniture isn’t covered evenly but no worries – you can make up for that in this step. I am using Bin Primer in white (again, using what was in my garage – also, primers dry FAST and stay on great) The dry brush technique is a little tricky because you have to be careful with how much pressure you apply the paint with.
– – Dip an inexpensive brush (just the tips) lightly into the paint/primer. I use the inside of the lid to dab off excess paint – making it “dry”.
– – Following the grain of the wood (even though you can’t really see it) use a feathering stroke trying to keep the stroke straight and long. As the paint on the brush dries, you can apply more pressure. Then re-dip into the paint. If you get parts of paint that are too heavily covered then, again, no worries. Our next step will take care of that. The middle photo above shows what your paint may look like.
4 – Use a 150 to 180 grit sand paper to distress edges. Here is where the pressure you use is key. Use the edges of your orbital sander to “dig” into the wood where you want more wood to come through. Don’t use this grit for the whole thing – just for the spots you want mostly distressed.
You will get little ‘wear spots’ like these.
5 – Since I am using primers – I don’t really have to wait in between steps because the paints dry as fast as I work – 🙂 ! OK so on to the next step. This is the best finishing step ever! Change out your sand paper to 220 grit paper. Sand the whole thing until it is all baby-butt smooth. Run your hands over it – it should feel like butter when you are done. If not, sand a little more. My paints are super flat because they are actually just primer. This step “polishes” them and blends all the different paint layers together. You will see even your dry brush strokes start to look less “brushed” on and more blended.
6 – Now – you could stop here if you like the look. Just wash it down and put it back in place. I wanted to make the colors more rich with stain. (I was rushed at this point because my family was getting ready to go to Bush Gardens – I hurried but it still worked out great)
– – Put on a glove so you don’t mess up your manicure. I use paper towels but old t-shirts work best. Dip towel in a dark stain (mine is Minwax – dark walnut because it isn’t pink or orange). Rub stain on the exposed wood first then continue to the whole piece -even all the painted parts. Throw that towel or t- shirt to the side and get a fresh one. Start wiping the stain off. Not working completely? Get some vegetable oil, baby oil, olive oil or what ever you have and pour some on your towel. Start wiping where the stain is too thick. Use circular motions and rub, rub and rub. Do you love it yet? This is the best weapon for glazing. I showed you HERE IN THIS POST a while back.
Ok what time is it? Time to go with the family…..by the time we get completely dizzy and sick at Bush Gardens – my bench will be dry.
LESS THAN 2 HOURS DONE– just dry time is left.
I play while it dries. I bet the dust and dirt won’t show so much on this painted bench.
(Mazi thinks this is her photo shoot but at least you can see that her hair is growing back)
Here are some close ups of the “knarly” parts of the paint that we all love.
See the white brush strokes?
It’s blended and soooooo smooth to the touch.
Before was pretty but now I won’t have to dust as much.
Easy cleaning, easy updates and fast projects. That’s for me!
If you like the scrap wood back to my bench you can see that post HERE.
Another reason why I like the bench painted is that the flooring in the foyer is a slightly different color than the kitchen floors so there aren’t as many colors of competing woods in this area.
When distressing – it doesn’t have to be perfect – too perfectly placed distress marks make it look fake. Try my techniques and let me know how they work for you on my FACEBOOK page HERE.
BTW…Bush Gardens was way fun. Christmas Town was amazing but next year we are not going on a Saturday – too crowded!

Sharing with: Knick of Time, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
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Very Helpful. I love the way you talk straight get to the point and show as you go. I would love to see something you have done with color. Im trying to distress my bedroom doors using black.

This turned out beautifully! Thanks for all of the tips! Hopped over from Knick of Time…

Featuring you tonight at Knick of Time Tuesday, Holly! Thanks for sharing at the party!

Featuring you tonight at Knick of Time Tuesday, Holly! Thanks for sharing at the party!

wonderful tutorial. thanks for sharing steps. nice to not need expensive paints.be blessedhappy 2-14barb

have to pin this for sure, in case I ever get brave enough to actually built or re-finish something myself…LOL

Love the colour and cool new look! Happy New Year my friend, all the best in 2014. Diane

Great project Holly, it came out great. Love that horse picture.Cynthia

Your \”subscribe by email\” link is not working. I just get a blank page. Hope it is fixed soon because I do like your blog, which I found on Hometalk.

I love the bench. Can I ask how you did the horse photo above it? It's amazing.

I do love it! It looks great and i'm a huge fan of not loving to dust!

you have distressing down to an art, holly! looks awesome! happy new year!


Love it and I love your style!Christy @seamsewcountryblogspot.com

Wow, you added a whole lot of years and a big punch of character to your bench. I got a good laugh at the paint you used from your garage! You Go Girl!

Great post–it inspires me. Mazi looks adorable and I love that horse painting so much. That area looks perfect!

Love it, Holly! I am the same way about doing things right away–drives hubby positively crazy, but it works for me! Have a great New Year! Dee 🙂

That looks amazing! I love the new look so much more than the dark wood. It goes better with the back piece too. It looks like something you would find in an artsy shop that would cost a lot of money. I love that you improvised and used what you already had on hand too.

I love its new look! I like it better this way. I love the addition of the lantern as well. CHARMING :)Happy New Year!Sherri

I think it is much better in the gray distressed color.. I love furniture that looks worn and aged..You always do a great job.. Have a great New Year and blessings!

I love how it turned out, Holly and especially how the layers show through. Well done!

Your bench is so cool. I love seeing the room view photos. Your home is always charming.I will have to try the baby oil sometime. Sounds like a good glazing tool,Deb

Looks great! I'm like you, I want things done yesterday!!

I love the lighter look of your bench…..I am trying to lighten things up around my home too….thanks for step by step directions….I can't wait to see what you are up to next….