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Learn more about using Americana Decor Chalky Finish
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A simple way to distress a piece is by simply using a damp, soft rag. This method can be done when Chalky Finish paints are applied over an existing finish or another Chalky Finish paint color. Water distressing should be done within 15-45 minutes of paint application for best results. If paint has had time to dry, you will need to distress with sandpaper instead.
TIP: When working on a large surface, work one section at a time. Rinse rag clean from time to time or use multiple rags.
Using sandpaper to distress a piece gives more control over the finished look. Paint should be dry before sanding. Don't use steel wool to distress Chalky Finish paint; it will leave a grey stain.
TIP: If the piece has an image transfer or stenciled design on it, distress with a small piece of creased/folded sandpaper. Apply pressure and pull in one direction across the image. You don't need to sand back and forth as when you are smoothing out a surface.
TIP: You can distress before or after waxing. There is less mess when distressing AFTER waxing. However, additional wax should be applied over sanded (unsealed) areas.
To use wax as a resist, rub a wax candle or bar of paraffin wax heavily over the areas where you want the color below to show through. Make sure you wipe away any loose wax with a clean, dry cloth before applying topcoat. Areas coated in the resist will allow the topcoat to be easily removed.
To use petroleum jelly as a resist, use a soft rag, brush, or fingertips to apply to areas where you don't want the paint to stick. When applying the next layer of paint over the petroleum jelly, make sure not to brush over it too many times. If you do, the brush will start to pick up and spread the jelly to other parts of the piece. If you are working on a larger furniture item, you might want to work in smaller sections, washing and drying the brush periodically to prevent a build-up of the petroleum jelly. Make sure you remove all petroleum jelly when top coat is dry.
Americana Decor Chalky Finish paints are beautiful when layered and then distressed to reveal multiple layers of color underneath. It can be fun to have a bright, vivid color peeking out from underneath a more muted tone. Visible layering of colors gives the impression of heirloom furniture that has been around for generations, finding its home in differently-styled rooms.
To use wax, rub a wax candle or bar of paraffin wax heavily over the areas where you want the color below to show through. Make sure you wipe away any loose wax with a clean, dry cloth before applying topcoat. Areas coated in the resist will allow the topcoat to be easily removed.
TIP: Repeat steps 1-5 to add a third layer of color to the piece by sanding down just enough to see the second layer in some spots and the third layer in others.
Drybrushing is a technique that allows a lot of brush strokes and underlying color to show through. It is a simple technique to get an aged, weathered look.
TIP: If you prefer a smooth paint application with few brush strokes, dampen your brush before painting.
Americana Decor Chalky Finish paints can be easily mixed to create an endless array of custom colors. When mixing your paints, keep the following tips in mind:
Create these colors by mixing Americana Decor Chalky Finish colors in the proportions listed under each swatch.
Americana Decor Image Transfer Medium is the ideal medium for use with your own laser copies. Add old-world, European, shabby chic, and vintage imagery to furniture and home decor accents.
TIP: When transferring words, be sure to print a mirror image so the final piece will read correctly.
TIP: For added durability, also apply Image Transfer Medium as a topcoat.
TIP: To use on fabric, pre-wash first. If working with layers of fabric, insert a piece of cardboard covered with wax paper between the layers to prevent sticking. Allow to dry 72 hours before hand-washing. Air dry. Do not dry clean or iron. For a machine washable finish, topcoat with Americana Fabric Decou-Page and let dry for 72 hours prior to machine washing.
Apply the stencils before distressing or sealing the surface to ensure the image looks like it aged with the piece and isn't just sitting on top of the surface.
TIP: Make sure to blot most of the paint off the brush or sponge before applying to the stencil. This helps prevent paint from bleeding under the stencil. Do several light applications for best results.
TIP: When using Chalky Finish paint on fabric, such as a chair seat, use wax as a finish to help protect the paint and make it easier to clean. It will not crack like other brands of wax will.
TIP: To achieve a metallic look, Clear Crème Wax can be tinted with acrylic metallic paint. Other colors can be achieved by mixing with other water-based paints. The ability to combine our water-based waxes with other paints opens up a huge array of finishing possibilities that aren't available with other oil-based waxes.
Light Golden and Deep Brown Crème Waxes will give the piece a very different finished look. Darker waxes change the intensity of the color significantly, so test on a small area before applying to entire piece.
The most important thing about using darker waxes is they must be applied over the Clear Crème Wax while it is still fresh. If not, the darker waxes will seep into the paint and won't be workable. Also, the paint will become permanently discolored.
Use the same basic method for applying Clear Crème Wax. Wipe back the Light Golden or Deep Brown Crème Wax immediately, leaving color in crevices.
TIP: If the color is darker than desired, use a clean rag to apply Clear Crème Wax over the areas that are too dark. Then use a clean rag to remove excess color.
TIP: If the Light Golden or Deep Brown Crème Wax will be added to areas distressed with sandpaper, make sure raw wood areas are sealed with Clear Wax first. The darker waxes will stain the wood on any unsealed painted areas.
Americana Decor Chalky Finish paints are water-soluble. Brushes and other tools will clean easily with soap and water.
To clean a finished piece, use soap and water on a soft rag or kitchen sponge. Clean up food or drink messes as soon as possible.
Re-wax the piece depending on how frequently you use it. Infrequently-used pieces can be waxed once a year or less. A kitchen table, on the other hand, should be waxed every three to four months. Consider using one of the Americana Decor Varnishes as the topcoat on any pieces that will get daily use.
TIP: Always clean jar threads before replacing jar lid. Leaving paint on jar threads will make it difficult to remove lids in the future.