I will warn you now, this blog post is a wee bit long, but it's heavy on the photos and I tried to go easy on the words. I just have so much to share with you!
I while back I shared these little boxes that Karen and I painted with Fusion Mineral Paint for a workshop. You can a peek at that blog post if you would like.
I received numerous emails asking me how we were able to distress the boxes so heavily, so I thought I would share some tricks.
If you have ever used Fusion Paint before, you likely know how difficult it is to distress once it is dry. The key to distressing is to apply a "resist" before painting your project. If you apply a resist first, you can paint as usual and once your paint is dry, you can sand wherever you applied the resist and your paint will come off with ease in those areas.
Depending on the kind of distressing you want to achieve - light or heavy - there are several products you can use as a paint resist.
For light distressing, our most popular product is the Fusion Distressing Beeswax Block which is simply a hard chunk of beeswax that smells just wonderful. If you rub the Beeswax Block in the areas you want to distress, it will act as a resist and the paint won't adhere to those areas.
For example, I rubbed the Beeswax Block on the ridges of this mason jar lid and painted right over top of the wax. Once the paint was dry, I sanded the ridges with fine grit sandpaper (I usually use 220 grit). Bing, bang boom - instant distressing! I used the colour Champness for this little guy.
The Beeswax Block is super handy if you want just a bit of distressing.
If you want tons of distressing like on these boxes, there is a secret weapon!
Homestead House Salad Bowl Finish! This wax is extremely soft and is super easy to apply. It's my favourite wax for heavy distressing. At the end of this post I will explain other uses for the Salad Bowl Finish.
Having said that, if you already have another wax like Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Wax or Fusion Beeswax Finish in your painting stash, those waxes will also work. I would suggest that you warm up the Fusion Beeswax Finish in the microwave first to soften it a little before you use it. Don't melt it, just soften it! Please don't microwave it in the container. Just scoop out a wee bit of wax and use a microwave safe dish.
I wanted to paint this old wood box but still have some of the old wood show through, so I pulled out my Salad Bowl Finish.
I find the easiest way to apply the wax is with my fingers, but you could also use a q-tip or a popsicle stick or a sponge or ... you get it ... to apply the wax.
I then rubbed the wax in the areas where I wanted distressing. I applied the wax fairly thick to ensure that no paint would seep through.
I then painted the entire box in Fusion Mineral Paint in the colour Little Star, including those areas where I applied the wax. This is what the first coat looked like. It's sometimes scary looking after one coat, isn't it?
I then applied a second coat of paint. Although the majority of Fusion colours cover very well with two coats, this wood box needed a third coat. Ugh.
Once the paint was dry, I used 220 grit sandpaper and sanded where I had applied the wax and the paint came off like a charm. I wiped away the dust and the project was done. I chose not to apply any sort of topcoat to the wood box.
I was happy with the final results! The metal stars are also painted in Little Star.
And this little rocking chair too. Isn't it adorable?
Little Star is one of the colours in the Tones for Tots line of Fusion Mineral Paint. Of course the colours are not just for tots! The line has seven lovely colours including Little Lamb, which is my bestselling grey. I have an entire gallery of photos for the Tones for Tots line that I spent endless hours painting and taking photos for. So, if you have a minute, check it out. There are also some great colour combinations you can take a peek at!
The projects I have shown you today are all done with Fusion Mineral Paint, but these same distressing techniques can also be used with milk paint.
Here's the nitty gritty on the Salad Bowl Finish. It's the softest of all the waxes that I sell and therefore applying it is a breeze. It's food safe and it's amazing on wood surfaces like cutting boards and butcher blocks. It can also be applied over painted surfaces. Oh, and it has a lovely satin sheen!
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