Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting that Glam look Tutorial

I know I've been all Annie Sloan Chalk Paint lately. And I'm definitely in love. But I know not all people are in love with the old world, aged look which her paint gives. And honestly, it'd be perfectly criminal to use her paint the same way you would a latex . . .

confused now?

What I mean is, some of my clients want a laminate, glossy look. And would it make sense to spend $39 on a quart of paint designed to look antique just to cover it up with a high gloss clear coat? Nope. (I really wish you could hear my 3 year old saying 'nope' cause that's the inflection I'm going for here.) ;)

So I thought I'd spend a moment sharing some tricks of the trade--hope I don't share myself out of business!--for getting a glossy, modern laminate look.

Step 1: Fill, fill, fill.

Fill all those dings and gouges with wood filler. Overfill the first round. Let it dry according to instructions on the tube and sand with a 220 grit. And fill again, dry, then sand with a 320 grit. And then if needed fill again. This is the only way I know to get a perfectly invisible fill. Remember glossy paint doesn't hide, it highlights!

Step 2: Sand, Sand, Sand.

 Start with your 60 grit to remove paint, varnish--OK, if you're stripping your stuff, then that's really step 1. Then move to your 150 grit and finally your 220 grit. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to let every grit do it's job instead of trying to get it all with the 60 grit--or GASP!--the 220 grit. Geez, you'd be there FOREVER!

Step 3: Prime. 

2 coats really does make for a nicer top coat. Be sure to sand in between each layer. And remember now that it's cold--keep it at least 70 degrees where you're working or your paint will never dry!  And that mean DRIPS!

Step 4: FINALLY! Paint.

 I want to take a moment to introduce a new paint I just discovered--and you know I'm always eager to pass along my new painting finds!

Recently I ran into the Olympic paint rep at Big Blue and he gave me a gallon of his new product to try--"One". He described as a "true" paint + primer. It's not just thicker--but totally reinvented to be a true primer. It's a thinner paint--which I appreciate. I usually thin my paints anyway since I don't like working with thick paints. It spreads really nicely and doesn't "block".

 Blocking is when paint sticks to things--especially on a flat surface. 

Really--it worked!! I painted a roll top desk and by the time it dried the painted roll top was rolling! No sticking. Niiiiiiice. In all honesty--it wasn't my favorite for distressing, but for getting a smooth glossy, super hard finish--it's a delight to work with.

OK, off the commercial-

I spray paint through a gun, but for those of you who roll or brush, I would suggest a low nap roller or a super smooth brush to get a glossy finish. One to two coats should do the trick, unless---ugh--- you're doing red. Oh, red. Well then you might need 48 coats--I don't know. OK, that's a joke. I just hate painting red since it takes so many coats---of WHATEVER brand. I haven't found one that really needed less than 2 to get a perfect red coat.

  I sand off the goobers in between coats.

Step 5: Clear Coat .

I like Varathane or Polyacetate Water Based products. Whatever sheen you want. Just remember to apply liberally and don't over work it or you'll ruin everything! As many a friend of my has discovered. It turns into a rubber cement like product when over brushed.

You have a beautiful glossy finish!!
Thanks for Playing! 


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  1. Love this piece - and great tips!


  2. So pretty! I love your colour choice!! ~ I must do something in that colour :-)

  3. Very pretty! Love the color! Good job

  4. very nice attention to detail - great results, Lori

  5. Have you ever tried BM Heritage Red? It is pre-mix that does a great job of covering. The only problem is it is an exterior semi-gloss. I really like the color.