Earlier this month I was invited to do a Homebase DIY Challenge, trying some of their products for a makeover project of my choosing. I had a look around my little home and there was one piece of furniture that was crying out for some TLC - my little welsh dresser. Now I do like some pieces of furniture left dark but when you live in a little house as I do, you find you need to invite in as much light as possible. So my little welsh dresser visited the AHC beauty parlour! I'm thrilled with her transformation, and I have to say I highly recommend the Rustoleum furniture paint - because not only is it far cheaper than many other brands of chalk paint, it also has a lovely finish and you can apply it straight away, so no need for sanding or undercoat! (it's not that I'm lazy ... well OK actually yes I am.) So here is a step-by-step guide to up-cycling furniture using chalk paint, using distressing techniques and decoupaging for an antique faded floral finish.
You will need:
Rustoleum Chalky finish furniture paint (Shade: Hessian)
Furniture finishing wax (clear)
Clear matt varnish
Mod Podge PVA glue
Note: The wax in the picture is dark, but I actually decided to use clear in the end as I wanted a brighter finish. If you use bright colours, dark wax is ideal if you want to dull it down a little.
Move your piece to a well ventilated area, and remove all screws, hinges and door pulls from your furniture. Tip: keep them separate in little cups to make easier for putting back on!
Using your electric sander, begin by taking off the top layer of paint / varnish off the areas you want to decoupage. I'm decoupaging the back of the shelves, the drawers and the middle of the cupboards. You needn't strip the rest of it as you can paint directly on top with this chalk paint. So if you're using a different brand do check on the side of the tin, as you may need an undercoat.
Once sanded give it a good brush or wipe down. Before you begin painting use your masking tape on the edges of where you plan to decoupage - this will ensure nice, clean edges once removed.
After the first coat of paint, allow it to dry completely then apply another. If you want a really smooth finish I suggest giving it a very light sanding in between coats (by hand, not with sander).
Leave to dry in a well ventilated after and remove the masking tape once dry.
Now we're ready to decoupage. Separate the very top layer from each napkin so you are left with just the top patterned layer. Note napkins have 3 layers. Peeling the bottom layer off is easy, the 2nd one not so much but don't be fooled! it is there, and if you use two layers this won't work so persevere.
Using your paintbrush spread an even layer of glue as the piece of tissue you’re laying. Then gently lay the napkin onto the glue.
Then rather than smooth it down with the brush or your hand, lay a piece of clingfilm over it, then smooth the napkin through that with your hand. This stops the tissue from tearing.
Peel the clingfilm off and very gently apply another layer of glue over the top of the napkin. There will be a few wrinkles but don’t worry, this all adds to the ‘old faded’ look. If it should tear (which mine did, often) don't panic. Tear a piece of napkin the size of the hole you've made and just apply it. It won't notice at all once it's dry and sanded. Once all the pieces are in place, leave it to dry naturally.
Once the napkins are completely dry, now you can begin sanding. Using a fine to medium sandpaper begin gliding the sander over the areas section by section. This will remove all the wrinkles, and leave it feeling completely smooth.
Once you've sanded the decoupaged areas you can begin distressing the furniture! You can do this with sandpaper but I love the affect I get with my hand held sander and it only takes half the time. Simply run it over the edges, corners and over any detailing. I love this bit, it's just SO satisfying!
Now give your decoupage areas a couple of coats of clear, matt varnish and allow it to dry in between each coat. This will protect it.
Next apply a thin layer of clear wax to the rest of the wood work. I prefer to apply with a brush (like you would apply paint) then once dry buff off well with a lint free cloth until you see it start to shine a little.