Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looks like I made it.

Whoops. Notice anything a little off with this photo?

I’ve been a bit of a mad scientist recently, trying to modify inexpensive, store-bought house paint to make it easier to distress after it’s been applied to wood furniture.

Sounds like a giant step backward, doesn’t it, anxiously waiting for applied paint to dry so I can un-apply it?

I try not to think about it.

I followed recipes found here and here and liked the results.

I bought a $4 quart of paint* at my favorite painting supply store, my local Rebuilding Center, and mixed two parts of paint with one part of (sifted! Thank you, Maria) Plaster of Paris and a tiny bit of water and voila!

Genuine DIY distress-able paint.

Never one to experiment on a test piece of wood, I dove right in on this desk.

Before painting, I lightly sanded the wood where it still had some its original varnish in case the paint might not adhere to those areas.

I didn’t use primer. Yay!

The paint dried quickly and I called in my alter-ego, Sandy, to do her thing.

I love the wood top and it was in very good condition compared to the rest of this desk which was in pieces when I found it, so I simply sanded & stained it and then finished it with paste furniture wax.

I heart this 50¢ drawer pull

I love the look of waxed furniture. I do not love the task of waxing furniture.

Good thing it’s the final step in the process.

Arms so tired can’t type sentence.

*Benjamin Moore’s Beach Glass

More great painted furniture ideas here.


  1. Fan.bloody.tastic! Great job on the design and distressing. What a nice piece to look at while I'm on my painting break! (Glad to know the sifting helped.)

    If these newly painted pieces are going to Junk Salvation this weekend, I can't wait to see them in person......unless you are fortunate enough to sell them on Friday..:)

  2. 3 little words...


    your table is amazing and LOVE those colors you used. had NO idea about adding plaster paris to paint. making a note of this so i can play around with it.


  3. What a masterpiece. Love it and the two tone paint! I think the secret must be in the sifted Plaster of Paris. I know what I'm doing with my Michaels coupon now.

  4. That looks super terrific. I love that you left the top alone. I like the mix of painted and natural.

  5. Hi Amy! Your experiment worked out great! I got some non sanded grout to mix with regular paint to make home made "chalk paint," but I haven't tried it out yet. Maybe on the work bench I just built. Can't wait to see you this weekend!

  6. She sews.
    She paints.
    She waxes.
    This is making it hard to ignore the absolutely hideous job I did on the table in my studio. I painted over a zillion coats of cruddy paint, and then slapped on some glaze and rubbed it around a little.
    It's gorgeous, Amy. You never cease to amaze.

  7. Wax on, wax off... rest now little grasshopper, your work here is done.
    Great results!!

    1. Just a little exhausted. First, pondering what you were doing. Second, seeing what you did. Third, admiring the finished product. (As an aside: What is UP with blogger? Yours is one of several blogger blogs where I can only leave a comment as a reply, which somehow makes me uncomfortable.)

  8. That is GORGEOUS. I've put a moratorium on painting, but this might lift it....

  9. this is what I will be trying for my upcoming painting projects

  10. Gorgeous. I loved how you "lightly sanded the wood where it still had some its original varnish in case the paint might not adhere to those areas", so you could then take part of it off anyhow. It must be controlled distressing after all!

  11. I love the color combo! It came out great.
    xxx Liz

  12. I love the color & those sexy legs. If you add alittle Mineral Spirits to your wax it seems to soften it & makes it easier to spread around, when it dries just buff as usual. Works for me. Great Job! Dee

  13. Hi! I love the desk! Just wondering... so you use flat paint... or satin? I have a ton of $4 sample quarts from Sherwin Williams... they are satin... will that work? Can't wait to give it a try!

  14. I am amazed and will be employing the highest form of flattery as soon as possible...copying!

    well done!

  15. I love playing mad scientist! Your table looks fabulous! And sanding is good for your arms - ha!

  16. LOVE IT! Thank you for the "sift" hint, as I am going to try this soon.
    P.S. Your blog is always good for a laugh too!

  17. Jill -- I used a latex paint with a satin finish because it happened to be in the color I was looking for. I don't think the paint finish (satin, flat, eggshell, etc) would prevent this recipe from working. :-)

  18. Awesome!!! Love the stained top with the painted bottom! Thanks for the painting tips!!!

  19. Sitting here drinking coffee trying to shake the sleepy from my head. Read your headline and immediately wondered, "Why's she blogging about Barry Manilow?!" Anyway, your table is gorg! Love it! Gotta finish my coffee now. And try to stop singing that song in my head!!!


  20. Good work there, really cool. Love your blog.

    From Malaysia,

  21. Hey! Google Friend Connect is being disconnected so to speak.. Just giving you a heads up. Many blogs are switching over to Linky.. Enjoy the rest of the week!



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