How to age & distress this vanity?

Kimberly Garcia
by Kimberly Garcia
I have a project to have done before Christmas... Need help... Or point in the right direction.... I'm going with a Teal color but have no idea where to begin & what to do.. Please help!
  23 answers
  • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Nov 14, 2015
    wow, what a fabulous piece. I am sold 100% on using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Yes, it's more expensive than homemade, but it's less hassle and works beautifully. You don't have to sand or prime your piece. Maybe wipe it down with a damp rag to remove obvious dirt, but that's about it. She makes a color called Duck Egg Blue and Florence. You can see her color chart online. I literally slap it on. No fussy painting, brush strokes are good as they collect the dark wax in step two. Typically 1 1/2 coats are all you need. Once it's totally dry follow it up with CLEAR wax. Then add dark wax. The clear wax acts as a barrier so you can adjust the depth of the dark. Too much? Add some clear and remove it. No problem. Sand back to the original finish along the areas where you'd typically have wear and tear to suggest a piece that's been aged. Best of luck with this amazing piece!
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Nov 14, 2015
    What a beautiful piece of furniture! Congratulations. I'd use an electric sander with 220 grit paper, clean with tack cloth, PRIME with Kilz2 (water based which you can have tinted) then paint it the Teal color of your choice. I suggest eggshell finish, then use Minwax Wipe on Poly (use an old sock - wear gloves). Easy peasy! You'll have a fabulous and remarkable piece of furniture that YOU created.
  • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Nov 14, 2015
    It looks on top of cleaning it and priming it, you need to do a little bit of patching with wood filler on the parts where the veneer has peeled off. wash with tsp and once dry fill in spots with wood filler, then when dry sand and clean off and prime. Pick the teal colour you like and paint away. here is a pic of a similar piece I did in grey . good luck Tobey
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  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 14, 2015
    This piece should be sanded as there is alot of visual discoloration.So I would definately take that into consideration.Once clean down put a primer before you paint.After paint I would put a non-yellowing sealer on for protection.
  • Shari Shari on Nov 14, 2015
    Let me preface my comment by saying I am NOT a wood purist who thinks it's a sin to paint wood. I don't believe paint "ruins" wood furniture. I don't belittle or shame anyone who elects to paint a piece of wood furniture. Heaven knows I'll paint just about anything and I've certainly painted my fair share of what people would consider "good wood." In most cases, I love painted furniture a whole lot more than most wood tones. However...with that being said... Are you sure you really want to paint this? Teal, no less? I only say that because of this unbelievably GORGEOUS re-do of a similar piece of furniture that was posted here on Home Talk. It has elicited A LOT of oooh's and aaah's with over 1000 comments. Stripping, sanding and restaining would be a lot more work than slapping a few coats of paint on but your piece could be every bit as beautiful as the one I linked to if you refinished it in a darker stain to bring it into the 21st century.
  • I've done many of these. This looks like mahogany. Mahogany will bleed through (due to the tannins in the wood) any light color you apply. First you must sand this like the previous commenter stated. You don't have to take off the finish, just sand it until it's smooth to your hands.Would be nice if you could redo the wood top and just paint the rest. You can use a sanding sponge (HD or lowes,,,,get a 150 and a 220) on the drawer fronts and around the legs. Even though you want teal, I would steal prime with Zinsser oil-based primer for stains. Get the spray can. Give it 1-2 coats. After it's dry, give it a light sanding until smooth again. wipe down. Now you can paint. CeCe Caldwell chalk paint has a nice teal color. I've used it on a few pieces. You can order online if it's easier. Go to her website and watch the tutorials on how-to ...Annie Sloan chalk paint is basically the same. She doesn't have a straight out teal color. If you have a shade in mind, make your own. Get a sample pot of Behr paint in the color you want. Add it to a bigger container. Then get some plaster of paris. It's 2:1 ratio...2 paint to 1 part PP. mis the PP in a small container w/hot water until it's like pancake batter. Now pour into the other container holding your paint. stir well. Instant chalk paint. Give it two coats or so. Sand after the final coat w/220 grit. With Cece, you can distress w/a wet rag. Apply wax, like you are buffing a car. A dark wax will deepen the color. No need to put a poly on it. You could on the top if you think it's going to get water damage. That's it. Plenty of videos how to. the first pic is from 2nd pic is europaintfinishes plenty of how-to's on Pinterest and Youtube. BTW, someone else just posted a dresser she did using Thomasville Teal by CeCe,,,here is the link to the earlier post...
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  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Nov 15, 2015
    Take a pic, enlarge it when you print it. The wear marks are your guides. That is where you will sand your paint down, to
  • Chip Smith Chip Smith on Nov 15, 2015
    use Amy Howard one step paint. Look at the videos on you tube. Most wonderful stuff. Your local Ace hardware has all the amy howard products and the results are amazing
  • Shelley Shelley on Nov 15, 2015
    there are many blogs out there that do nothing but furniture...Petticoat Junktion, My Repurposed Life....then for chalk or milk paint Miss Mustard Seed....just to list afew so get googling for ideas and instruction
  • Evelyn Foley Evelyn Foley on Nov 15, 2015
    Check on Pintrest on how to make chaulk paint. It's easy and you don't need to sand. So much cheaper than buying it.
  • Carol G Carol G on Nov 15, 2015
    This is one that I did. I sanded the top, then used a gel coat as well as a poly, the rest was done in an aqua chalk paint, then waxed and antique wax used.
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  • Nancy B Nancy B on Nov 15, 2015
    I am in love with your vanity. I agree with Shelley. Check out the internet for painted vanities and see what appeals to you. You almost can't go wrong. Good Luck. I would love to see it when you are done!
  • Daisy's Mom Daisy's Mom on Nov 15, 2015
    do you want to keep it as a vanity? I've seen pieces like with separated and both side used as bedside tables, they were adorable after being painted.
  • Catherine Westergaard Catherine Westergaard on Nov 15, 2015
    If the wood can be cleaned up and restored, I'd leave it. Too much "painted/distressed" furniture around. If it can be saved, I say leave it original.
  • Lynda Dexter Lynda Dexter on Nov 15, 2015
    If you want to paint and distress it I would use chalk paint but I would still sand it down. The missing vaneer could continue to come off if you don't. I would then wipe it all clean and add vasaline to the areas you do not want covered in paint. to show the wood beneth. If you want it 2 colored (different color paint showing instead of wood) paint the areas that you want the one color and allow to dry then add the vasaline and paint the second color. once the main color has dried wipe down and where the vasaline is placed the paint will not stick and you will have that distressed look.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Nov 15, 2015
    Tough call....sand, stain, poly or sand, prime, paint. The wood looks in great shape, if you like the look of wood, I'd go the stain route. However, if you want to really change it up, then pick a color that you know you can live with for some time, avoiding the re-do later. Good luck.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Nov 15, 2015
    If you've never done any distressing by sanding back to the original wood, you should give it a little practice on blocks of wood, as it is easy to get too enthusiastic and end up being heavy handed. A much more forgiving way is to use a chalk paint - it's really so much more forgiving than anything else. You can expose edges, corners, areas by purposefully rubbing areas with parafin or other resist, which will then 'not take'. If you change your mind, you can remove the resist and paint over to remover the faux distressing. THAT SAID... There's a lot of pretty detail in your piece. I would recommend you: 1. paint your teal, 2. mix an darker hue colour to paint into the grooves and depressions to act as shadow (wipe off where it 'doesn't belong' as you go), 3. mix a lighter hue to act as highlight, and with a very sparingly amount, 'tickle' any raised edges or areas. As you work, step away from the piece and see how it's coming along. When you shadow or highlight, do the 'obvious' places first, wherever they are - don't work from side to side. This makes for a better 'overall' look. Once you have done this, if you really still want the distressing down to the wood, gently rub with with a damp scrub pad - the rough texture will soften and remove chalk paint. These several techniques are the ones that people find the most fail safe. What is not wanted can be removed or painted over again. Antiquing with glaze or dark wax takes a little more practice and is by it's nature a matter of timing. You can try these methods out too, but they will take more practice and a certain level of familiarity with your materials.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Nov 15, 2015
    Cleaned up and finished with a lighter stain, would make a lovely dressing table. I like a lot of the painted furniture, don't care much for distressed, but a piece with nice wood grain still looks elegant.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Nov 16, 2015
    This is such a beautiful piece, I would not paint it, but just clean it. There are some restore products on the market. Also, consider the fact that you will pressed for time and may be tempted to take shortcuts if you embark in a painting project. If after cleaning and conditioning the wood, you still feel you want to paint, then you will have more time to dedicate yourself to the project in the new year.
  • VintageRustVa VintageRustVa on Nov 16, 2015
    I absolutely would paint this vanity! Have you tried Wise Owl Paint? Her paint is made to wet distress -, so you can paint it and not worry about distressing and ruining the piece - it looks like a depression era vanity and most of those are veneer over hardwood or even cheaper soft woods. I wouldnt worry about ruining something that isnt even a real antique and is already in not great condition. Wise Owl has some amazing teals and turquoise and is the easiest paint I have ever used. I love the ClingOn brushes she sells also - if you want some step-by-step instructions, please contact me and let me know - I can send you a file that I put together :) Here is our FB page - please feel free to contact us :)
  • JeanLouise JeanLouise on Nov 16, 2015
    Go to Facebook an join a Chalk Paint or Decoupage, art transfer to furniture group. Members are extremely helpful and talented !! You'll find alot of pictures, pros and cons, techniques, chalk paint brands or how to make your own chalk will definitely find the artist in you ! Happy Holidays and Painting to you !!
  • Tracey Tracey on Nov 22, 2015
    I agree with VintageRust! Paint it!! What I usually do when pressed for time is lighly sand it so the paint will go on much better. (not necessary if using chalk paint) I personally do not like chalk paint! Most people love it!! I prefer my good ole Valspar with primer and Valspar antique glaze. once you have painted it (may take at least two coats), take sand paper and just rub lighly where you want the brown to show through. I prefer the corners, and raised detaild work, etc... Then just wax or polly it. I prefer a matte polly! Like someone else said, I would practice on something first. I used Goodwill picture frames to practice. That piece is gorgeous! Go on Pinterest and look up distressing furniture. Options are endless.