The rustic look is popular with some people. This is a décor that favours open woodgrain and aged furnishings. Furniture with aged paint works well in this sort of surrounding. It is possible to reproduce the look of aged paint with a few painting techniques. This can be used for making newer furniture look old, but is more commonly used for restoring older furniture and giving it an appropriate rustic appearance. These techniques can also be applied to walls, though rustic-style rooms tend to only paint one or maybe two of the walls.
If you are going to restore a wall or some furniture to an ‘aged distressed’ look then choose colours that will suit the room. Warm colours are usually fine, as are earthy colours like brown or grey. Light, almost faded colours also work well. Just avoid anything too bright or vivid. Chalk paint is one of many good options.
Aged furniture will not have an even, smooth finish. The look of aged paint is uneven, but unevenness that looks deliberate and coordinated. Two overlapping layers of paint, with the top layer partially incomplete, is the classic way to achieve this. The top layer should be a darker version of the base layer, so the paint looks like it has faded in the sunlight. Choose the appropriate colour shades in advance.
- Prepare the surface by sanding the wood, or cleaning with sugar soap to remove any grease. Wait till the surface is completely dry.
- Apply the lighter shade of paint first. This is one time when you do not have to be too fussy about neatness. As long as you cover the whole surface including all edges and walls.
- When the lighter base layer of paint is dry you can add the darker shade of paint. Do this with a flat paintbrush in a criss-cross pattern.
- When the paint is still damp use a muslin cloth to dab off the darker paint and blur the surface. Some people like to remove more paint from the edges or anywhere that should be exposed to more wear.
- When the paint is dry it will have a pleasantly uneven ‘worn’ look.
Some home DIY projects are a good hobby. Restoring some furniture can be satisfying. But it takes a long time to repaint an entire home. Have the main painting done be professionals, and enjoy adding the décor details yourself.
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