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Three Popular Paint Techniques You Should Learn

Three Popular Paint Techniques You Should Learn main article image
Posted on August 4, 2022 by Jennifer Carroll
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We crafters say it all the time – painting a piece is the easiest way to give it new life. I pick things up at the thrift stores all the time that I know I can make my style with just a coat or two of paint.  But did you know that painting a piece can be about so much more than changing the color or refreshing the look?

Paint can also add texture or change the motif of a piece. Often, I find something that I love and realize that I can elevate the look by employing a simple paint technique.

1. Adding Texture to Paint

My favorite way to add texture to paint is with the addition of baking soda. Just add as much baking soda as you wish. I like a 50/50 ratio. I use a bowl or cup to mix the paint and baking soda and stir it before I use it. You can use just about any paint for this technique. I buy ready-to-use house paint at Walmart for a reasonable price. I also like to apply this textured paint with a chip brush. It adds even more texture. Before I add the texture, I give my piece a coat of untextured paint first. This ensures that my baking soda paint will have something to stick to.

I add the textured paint using long strokes that follow the contours of the piece. If the piece is round, I keep my strokes going around the piece. If I need to add a second coat, I let the first coat dry completely. If the paint isn’t thoroughly dry, the second coat will pull all that texture off the piece. To add even more texture, use your brush to stipple the second coat on by pouncing it up and down.

2. Adding Age to a Piece

Another trend that I notice all the time is the distressing technique. This is a favorite in the farmhouse motif. And this is what I mean when I say that you can change the motif of a piece by adding paint or by subtracting paint. Farmhouse and coastal décor are all about making pieces look old and weathered. If you can’t find vintage pieces that are naturally weathered by age and use, try this technique. If your piece is already the color that you need, just grab some sandpaper and sand in the places that would naturally show wear over time. I use this technique when I have a spindle or a baluster that I want to look more aged. This is a chippy baluster I have in my office. I prepared it by rubbing clear wax on it to bring out the wood grain. Then I painted it with white chalk paint and used the scraping method I describe below. I also like to make farmhouse risers with scrap wood. This is a great paint technique to change the perceived age of new wood. To apply this technique, I stain the wood with the desired color first. Having two contrasting colors are what makes this technique work. When the stain is dry, I add a topcoat of white chalk paint. There are a few ways to achieve a weathered look with this combination. Sometimes I use a dry brush and just hit the edges to add texture and definition. A dry brush means that I have off-loaded most of the paint.

If I want to add even more interest, I paint the whole piece with a thick coat of white chalk paint. If I don’t have time to let my paint dry completely, then I do a technique called wet distressing. I take a baby wipe or a wet rag and wipe away the paint in the areas that I want to look worn. Tip: Be sure that you come back in with a dry cloth and wipe away any milky paint residue. If you’ve waited too long and your paint is dry you can use a scraper to remove the white paint. I like this method because, unlike sanding, scraping removes just the top layer and leaves that stain we applied intact. It also creates a very chippy look that I love. You could also use fine grit sandpaper to lightly distress.

There are so many ways to achieve this distressed look. I’m sure you will find one that works for you.

3. Enhancing Texture with Wax

Remember that technique we tried with baking soda? All that texture can be accentuated by adding a coat of white finishing wax. The more texture the better. I use a wax brush to apply the product and then wipe it off with a lint-free towel. The wax will stay in those crevices. Wax is also a sealer that will keep your chalk paint from flaking over time. There are several brands of wax to choose from. I prefer to mix my own white wax. The ones I have tried seem to be on the yellow side, so I take a bottle of clear wax and then add a tablespoon of white paint. It tints the wax to the exact color that I want without the yellow undertone.

If you have a frame or a piece of décor with a lot of detail or raised areas, wax is a perfect way to add depth and bring out the beauty of the piece.

If you’re not familiar with finishing wax, you should try it out. It comes in various colors and textures. It’s available at Walmart and all your favorite craft stores. I use this one that I buy on Amazon. Click here to use my affiliate link if you want to purchase some.

I hope you’ve been inspired to try a new painting technique. Until next time – happy crafting!

Please follow me here to see my latest creations.


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