Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Put Down the Sandpaper

this is a plea....
a plea to put DOWN the orbital sander, the palm sander, 
and GASP, the belt sander!

I'm guilty of it...we all are
even if you haven't done it, you've seen it:
swirl marks, "bite marks",
 areas where the sander has burned right through the paint and the original surface,
 revealing the raw wood

The more I learn about authentic painted finishes...
the more I studied actual wear on antique pieces...
the less I reach for a mechanical sander

Distressed finishes are GORGEOUS!

 even after 100+ years, you still don't see much wear down to the wood...

 More wood showing, but it is a soft, natural effect...
thousands of fingertips brushing the edges, gently polishing the surface below the paint...
it's not rough
Water-marks, a little dirty around the edges...gently worn paint

 Notice these authentic finishes have an antique tint, 
but the color isn't covered in a layer of dark wax...
save the dark wax for the areas that would naturally get a bit dirtier...
the edges, the feet, etc

 Stunning finish...layers of paint, no discernible pattern to the wear
this could have been created yesterday or 150 years ago...

 worn, layered...subtle wear to the wood below
 I'm personally drawn to these chippy, layered, textural finishes

These finishes are not your standard 
"chalk paint, distress, clear wax, dark wax" 
that we're all accustomed to

There is a whole world of options for aging your pieces...

and none of them involve a belt sander :0) 

Tutorials coming later this week...



  1. Thank you for stating the obvious!!! There is nothing more awful than "leopard look" distressed furniture with spots all over from baaaad sanding.

    1. we've all done it...lol. I call it "the Dalmatian"

  2. I came in via Pinterest and remembered you'd gone on to bigger and better things in life. I hope your career is providing everything you hoped it would!
    I was (selfishly) wondering if you'd ever posted your favorite layering techniques? I've looked around and hadn't seen a post. I, too, am so ... EW... when I see a really nice piece badly painted, waxed, sanded, waxed and sanded again and again. I think of it as the leopard look, too.
    Thanks for your time if you see this.
    All the best to you!