The Tutorialist – Rustic Farmhouse (Burgundy & Dark Wax Stain)
We are so busy at the studio working on custom finishes we can rarely sneak off to client’s homes…but occasionally we take on a project like this one that really excites us. This antique hutch was pretty raw/dry from sitting for decades and the client wanted it to offer more of a statement without altering it too much. We suggested using the Dark Wax as a stain on the wood and “staining” the back boards with Burgundy Chalk Paint.
Here is a “Before and After” split pic:
Here’s how we did it:
Wipe down the piece of furniture you are painting. If the piece is old and dry, you are good to go. If it has a shellac or stain on it, you will need to lightly sand it with coarse sand paper in order for this technique to work properly. (This technique works best on raw wood or old wood that has dried out over time.)
Select the area you’d like “stain” with Chalk Paint and do that part first. In this case, we used Burgundy for the back panel. In order to “stain” the wood (basically transfer the color while still showing the wood grain) we loosened the paint up by adding about 30-40% water. We brushed it on with the grain, allowed it to sit for about a minute, then wiped it off with the grain. When we wiped, we used a paper towel and applied light-medium pressure so as to not entirely wipe all of it. Allow to dry approx 20 minutes. It should be a translucent coat of color.
Determine which area you’d like to “stain” with Dark Wax. Brush on, then immediately wipe off the Dark Wax a small section at a time. Once it’s all waxed, go back over it with a soft cloth to ensure you have removed all excess wax. The most effective method of waxing is to use a Wax Brush – swirl the tip of the brush in a small amount of wax, brush it on the same way that you painted and with ease, then immediately remove the excess wax with a Shop Towel. (Most of my troubleshooting for customer wax issues is due to using too much wax or applying it in a different method.) We love how the Dark Wax seeps into the low points, grain, nicks, and crevices of the wood to really highlight all the imperfections and give this piece a true farmhouse patina.
Optional: Use Dark Wax to seal your Chalk Paint stain. This step is determined based on where you used the paint to stain the piece. In our case, it is the back of the hutch thus it doesn’t need Dark Wax (as it will cure on its own and it isn’t subject to much use.) We loved the authentic contrast of the matte stain against the polished wax, however, if you used this method on a part of your piece that gets heavy use, you will want to apply the Dark Wax over it in the same way we did before.
We love the subtle yet freshly updated look this technique gave our client’s treasured piece of furniture! We call it “Rich and Rustic.” Painting a statement color on the interior of the shelves gives it enough of a pop to look modern without sacrificing the beautiful wood grain and historic feel of the furniture.
If you try this method, tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can see! We love inspiring others to play with paint and color and hope you found this helpful.
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