Hello! I hope you had a great weekend. We had a super busy weekend–performing at the Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair (we do a cabaret act), and then my sweetie was on the guest panel for the Rose City ComiCon in Portland, Oregon! He wrote the music for a trailer that is going to (hopefully) soon be made into an independent film, which is listed as a “film noir, horror, comedy musical” (!) called Dex Dixon, and they invited the composer (my hubs), writer, director, cinematographer and some of the actors to be on a panel where the audience could ask questions. Fun stuff, but I am way behind on my blogging posts due to all these other activities.
However, in between all of this I did work on this little project for our bedroom. We’ve had these two little bedside tables for ages. We picked them up at a yard sale in Cookville, Tennesee, and they moved across the country with us to Washington State. They have looked the same for a long time, and I just got tired of them and wanted to change them out.
I’ve also been reading all these posts about using glazes, and I’ve never used them before, so I thought I would give it a try with these little tables.
As you can see in the before picture, they were just simply painted a pale shade of pink, which was a matte latex. I didn’t even bother priming them, but just painted over them with a new shade that I am using in the bedroom, which is a soft green.
These tables were so hard to photograph–at this stage they look white in the photos, but trust me, they are actually soft pale green.
Now the fun began! I decided to make my own glaze. I found some basic instructions for how to mix and apply glaze, and discovered that it is actually pretty affordable to mix your own.
Here are the products I used:
The paint came from the local hardware store, and is just a basic acrylic latex semi-gloss. I wanted to put a gold layer over the pale green, but wanted some of the green to show through, so glaze seemed the way to go to create this effect. I used some Martha Stewart specialty metallic paint in the shade Vintage Gold and it was less than $5, and then I used a paint conditioner called Floetrol, which was just under $8 for a bottle, and both were purchased from the local big-box hardware store. You mix the Floetrol with your paint, and it slows down the drying process, which is important in creating glazed effects on a piece of furniture, and it keeps the paint a more creamy texture rather than watery, which is also useful for preventing drips on your painted piece.
Because I’ve never done this before, I gave myself permission to experiment with it, and I have to say it was fun to use! I mixed the Floetrol with the paint at different ratios and applied several layers to the tables to get the final result.
These tables took so little glaze–it was quite surprising to me. For both tables, I only used 5 teaspoons of gold paint and 24 teaspoons of Floetrol total for all the layers I applied, and the tables ended up heavily glazed! I also have lots of paint and Floetrol left over for other projects in the future.
A couple of basic tips I learned about mixing glaze is that the more Floetrol you use, the more transparent and lighter the finished color will be. You always use more Floetrol to paint when you mix a glaze. It was also advised to use semi-gloss or satin sheen paints for the base coat, in my case the pale green. I used a sponge brush to brush the glaze on the tables, and then I wiped it lightly with a dry cloth to remove some of the glaze in spots. I did learn from Sharon at Elizabeth and Co. that when you are glazing you should keep both a clean dry and wet non-lint towel handy. If you put on more glaze than you want, you can remove it easily with a wet cloth, and just start over again–no harm done. It worked best to mix small amounts of glaze at a time, because even though there’s paint conditioner in it, it will eventually start to dry out as you work, which makes it more difficult to apply to and wipe off the furniture. As long as you remember the ratio of paint to Floetrol you are using, you can mix up as many small batches as you want and they will all look the same.
This was a great project for those of us who are non-painting pros. You really can’t mess it up, because it’s just really free-form, depending upon what you like. You don’t have to be particularly careful even in your brush strokes, because you can wipe the glaze off to give you the effect you desire.
I used a disposable plastic spoon and started by mixing 1 teaspoon of gold paint with 6 teaspoons of Floetrol in a little paper cup, and I brushed this on, and then I mixed up 2 more batches at the ratio of one part paint to 5 parts Floetrol, and applied it again. I wiped off a lot of the glaze with a dry cloth after each application. I then let the tables dry for a couple of hours.
I could have stopped there, and they would have looked fine, but as I gazed at those tables I decided that I wanted them to look more heavily aged, and I decided to go for it with more glaze! (It’s kind of addictive once you get going with this stuff!) This time I applied 2 more layers of glaze mixed at one part paint to 4 parts Floetrol, and I didn’t wipe off very much at all. I liked seeing the striations of color and imperfections as they developed through the brush strokes, but you could certainly not apply as much glaze or more heavily wipe it off it you want a more subtle look.
But I am not subtle (!), so I went for it. This gave me more gold with less green in the final result, which I liked.
After letting the tables dry overnight from the glazing, I decided to try using a wax on them, because I hadn’t worked with paste waxes on furniture, either. I used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural ($10, but tons left over for other uses), and I applied a thin layer to the tables, let it sit for around 20 minutes, then used a clean lint-free cloth to buff the wax and bring up a subtle shine on the furniture surface. In retrospect, I probably could have skipped the wax because the paints I used were already semi-gloss, so I didn’t really see a big change in the amount of shine on the furniture, but if you see it up close you can see a subtle difference.
To me, they look like tables that Ursula the Sea Witch would have in her underwater mermaid’s boudoir!
Have you worked with glazes and waxes on furniture pieces before? Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so stop by for a visit!
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