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  • Writer's pictureAzie

The Tutorialist – Classic Finish: Old White & Aged

Every so often, a piece of furniture calls for a classic aged look without any bells or whistles or special techniques…and if done well, it looks authentic and charming! We are going to tell you how to achieve that look by using a simple method. Read on!

In this scenario, our client had antique ladder back chairs she needed painted for her dining room. Someone had painted them in the most horrid butter yellow latex (glossy and goopy and gross!) so we lightly sanded some of the most offensive drip marks before we began.

As you know, with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, sanding prior to painting is unnecessary but in this case, we wanted to start with a more even surface.

  1. Clean your surface (this can be a light dusting with a damp cloth or a degreasing & rinsing if we are talking cabinets)

  2. Stir your Old White Chalk Paint® and apply the paint using an Annie Sloan Natural Bristle Brush (we used the size 8, small, for the chairs)

  3. Allow first coat to dry (20-30 minutes). It may not be full coverage and that’s ok. A little streakiness on the first coat is irrelevant and the lighter coats are quicker to dry and look cleaner when waxed.

  4. Paint second coat of Old White. We brushed “with the grain” however it’s not necessary if you are going for the aged patina to do so.

  5. Allow the second coat to dry (30-40 minutes)…let’s be honest, our 2nd coat was dry much quicker but I am trying to keep it fool proof for you at home.

  6. Use the fine grit (220) sanding pad and lightly sand OPPOSITE the brush stroke or wood grain to distress high points. Distress means to remove the paint. It looks weathered, as if the edges and high points were slowly worn away over the years. (Distressing a flat surface can look too deliberate.) **optional: use a razor to chip away some areas after sanding to look more heavily distressed** Wipe down sanding dust.

  7. Time for the wax! Use Annie Sloan’s Soft Clear Wax and a Small Wax Brush. Apply a small amount of wax (quarter-sized) to the domed tip of the brush and lightly sweep a full coat of wax on a small surface at a time. Immediately wipe off excess wax with a blue Scott shop towel (lint free paper towels.) Continue process until entire piece is waxed.

  8. Scoop 1 tablespoon of Annie Sloan Dark Wax (the brown wax) into a small cup and then add 5-10 drops of odorless mineral spirits to loosen it. Apply the dark wax “glaze” with a cheap chip brush (sparse bristle $1 natural brush from the hardware store) over your clear waxed piece, then immediately wipe off excess with a blue Scott shop towel. This allows the dark wax to wipe easily off the flat surface and rest within the brush strokes and carvings and imperfections, mimicking dirt collecting over time.

Your end result should look like this:

We want you to have the best possible outcome with your painting projects and are a resource to you with our years of experience as decorative painters. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or come into the shop and we will walk you through the steps and give you a free demo in person!

For more visual inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!

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