Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Create a Weathered Finish With a Household Material

Have you ever been working on a project and thought "Man! This would be perfect if only I could get just the right amount of distressing on this without having to buy expensive distressing paint, or without accidentally sanding through my second layer of paint!"?

Don't lie. You KNOW you have said those exact words in your head, or out loud...

Ok, maybe I am paraphrasing a bit.

But you know you want to know the trick already... right?!

The trick is so simple, so cheap, and so readily available that when I tell you what it is, you will either want to kiss me, or want to immediately run to your craft room (or garage, kitchen, living room... where the crafting magic happens... ok?) and use this little trick.

Should I draw this out any longer or should I go ahead and tell you what the household item is?


It is....

Drumroll please....

A candle!!!

Wax in particular. Any wax candle will do the trick. I grabbed an old votive candle that hadn't seen the light of day, let alone a match, in years and went to town on a project I have been working on: a mason jar key holder.

First start with a clean piece of wood.

I used a 12" x 4' board that I picked up from Home Depot for under $5. Since they will do up to 2 cuts for free, I had it cut into three separate pieces: this 12"x12", a second 12"x12", and a 12"x24" board that I will be using to make an adorable bench for Lorelei's room later. Make sure it is clean and sand the edges if you have to.

Next paint an even coat of the color you want to show through on your finished project. I used a bottle of acrylic paint I had on hand. Any old paint will work for this trick. After you cover the surface with your first paint color, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

After the first coat dries, take your candle (I said I used a forgotten votive candle, but forgot to mention that my husband had carved it into the shape of a 1 for our son's first birthday when we couldn't find the 1 candle for his cake, but any candle or wax will work) and rub it on the edges and any place you want the original color to show through. I paid extra attention to the edges and corners, and then rubbed it sporadically through the middle of the board.

Next you will paint the entire surface with your top color. Obviously this is the color of your finished project. When you cover the entire project with paint, determine if it needs a second or third coat or not. When you achieve the color you want it to be, let it dry completely and then grab some sand paper.

Start sanding the edges and any place where you rubbed your wax and the wax will easily strip off, revealing your first paint color underneath. Don't press so hard that you pull off the wax and the bottom layer of paint. I like to rough up the entire project (GENTLY though!) so that I don't miss any pieces of wax. This ensures that the entire project looks nice and worn.

This trick works for any project you can imagine: dressers, shelves, tables, picture frames, etc.


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