PaintPRO, Vol. 9, No. 3
May/June 2007
PaintPRO, Vol 9 No 3

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Other articles in this issue:
Profile: Thomas Moore Studios
Wood Finishers
Fighting Graffiti at the Presidio
Technique: Distressing Cabinets
Estimating Etc.
Business Strategies
Project Profile
Product Profile
Finishing Touch
Paint Industry News
Product News
PaintPRO Archives — Technique

Distressed Furniture: Red and Black Cabinet Door

Distressed painting techniques improved this piece of furniture, and they can work for you too. This master shows you how, step by step.
by Kathy Carroll, Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes

In the field of furniture refinishing and painting, there are innumerable methods to create every finish imaginable. When setting out to distress furniture, make sure you are working on a properly prepared surface.

When setting out to distress furniture, make sure you are working on a properly prepared surface. The surface should be clean and properly primed for the application.

Distressing Furniture
Step 1
Distressing Furniture
Step 2
Distressing FurnitureStep 3

Distressing Furniture
Step 4
Distressing Furniture
Step 5
Distressing Furniture
Step 6
Distressing FurnitureStep 7

Distressing Furniture
Step 8

Step 1.
The surface was sanded, cleaned, primed and then sanded again for a smoother finish. We use different primers depending on the surface. In this case, we went with an environmentally friendly product, IL Primer by Oikos.

Step 2.
After the primer has been sanded and dust was cleaned off the surface, it was painted. We used Oikos paint number S2570-Y90R, which is a rich barn red. Oikos paint is 100 percent “green” and can be brushed, rolled or sprayed. For a less distressed look it would be best to use an HVLP and spray the base coat.

Step 3.
In order to give the maximum amount of working time and “slippage” we first coat the surface with a product made by Perfetto called Wetting Agent. It is important that you only coat the surface with a veil of Wetting Agent. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing in this instance.

Step 4.
While the Wetting Agent is still wet apply a coat of Bella Gesso Black, working with the grain of the wood. Bella Gesso is a product only offered by the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.

Step 5.
Allow the Bella Gesso to dry, but not to a hard complete dry. This will take several hours, depending on the amount of Wetting Agent used.

Step 6.
Once the Bella Gesso has dried, use a damp terry cloth or sponge to wipe back the Bella Gesso to expose the color below — which in this case is the red. You have up to 24 hours to wipe off whatever Bella Gesso you don’t want. If you find you have wiped too much off, just add more by repeating Step 3.

Step 7.
Sealing the Bella Gesso is a must. You have many choices of topcoats and waxes. Pick one that is appropriate for your project. We used Modern Masters Master Clear Satin. This topcoat is great for both interior and exterior use and can withstand up to 3,000 scrubs. The topcoat can be rolled, brushed or sprayed. For the smoothest finish, it is best to spray using an HVLP sprayer.

Step 8.
Completed project!


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