Faux Finished in Whitewash

In one of my earlier What Would You Do? features, I posted pictures of some of my dated 80’s and 90’s furniture that I would like to update.  You gave me your terrific ideas and I took them all into consideration. It’s time to unveil the changes! In this first post, I’ll show you what I did with the two cabinets. They started out looking like this: 
I thought the golden pine finish was a little bit dated, and I thought the pieces might be a little heavy for the room. I thought about making them dark like my TV cabinet, but then decided a lighter color would be better. The smaller cabinet holds my music for piano students and the larger one holds my sewing supplies, but since they stand right by where people come in and out of my home, I didn’t want them to be so prominent. So, I decided on the whitewashed finish that I have on my faux fireplace (see the fireplace feature here). 
The point of no return…cabinet doors ready for priming.
First, I primed both cabinets in white. A primer like BIN primer by Zinsser or Bulls-eye by Zinsser, or Kilz works best on shiny or non-porous surfaces. The primer dried quickly. 

Then, I base-coated the cabinets. Since I was planning to do a glaze finish, I chose a pecan color (kind of orangy brown). A dark gold would work well, or a cherry color, depending on the look you’re going for. My base color is the middle one on the swatch.
I chose a good interior paint with a lifetime warranty. I used a satin finish because the glaze can said this would work better than flat.
The instructions on the glaze can say to let it dry 24 hours before glazing. I’m way to impatient for that, but I know you’d follow the directions. So please, follow the rules. After it has dried for *cough* 24 hours, you’re ready to glaze.

I used a Dutchboy glaze that comes in a gallon pail and you mix it with latex paints to tint it. It’s supposed to be mixed one part paint and 4 parts glaze. I eyeballed these amounts, but you can measure if you like precision.

To make my cabinets look whitewashed, I used white paint in my glaze. Now, you’re probably wondering what I went and painted that darker color on for if I was planning to just paint them white. Well, that’s a good question. When I did my fireplace finish, I painted a darker color, painted white over and then sanded off some edges to make it appear aged. With this cabinet, I didn’t want to sand for fear I’d end up with the yellow pine showing through. The glaze gives me the freedom to wipe off some glaze here and there while it is wet to get that aged look. The darker color underneath gives me some color depth when I play with the glaze.
Because I’m artsy and I like blending and shading, I mixed up three glazes. The largest one was white. Then I mixed a little with the background color and a darker brown so I could streak on other colors. 
Working in patches that wouldn’t dry too quickly, I painted on the white glaze, allowing it to be a little streaky. Then I used a damp cotton rag to gently, very gently, remove a little of the glaze on some of the edges and in a few other places. Then I dipped just the corner of my brush into a brown or pecan colored glaze and touched it here and there, blending it well. 
I’m guessing it’s taboo in the glazing world to go back over areas that have already been coated, but I kept blending and streaking all over the place. I did the cabinet sides the same way.
 Here is the finished glaze. 

My boys, who have little decorating imagination, came home from school and asked why I had left the cabinets primed. Whatever. In my next post, I’ll show you how I updated the knobs and added a little more pizazz to both cabinets to finish the project.

This post linked up to:


Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple

Keeping It Simple
2nd Time Around Tuesday at A Picture is Word 1000 Words
Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog
DIY Day at A Soft Place To Land


Stop by these sites for more fantastic Trash to Treasure ideas!

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

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  1. Great Project Michelle! I like your glazing technique on both pieces and the lighter finish looks great in the room too! I enjoy just playing around with glazes as well. It's fun to see what patterns you can make and how many layers of colors you can add by just over lapping here and there… Great job!

  2. Love this! I am looking for a bit of transformation for my family room. I have the old cherry stained tabletop with the hi gloss black paint legs on several tables. would I have to strip the black paint to achieve this look? or, do you think that using a good primer would cover well?

    I am not very artsy but I am looking for a beigey driftwood finish.

    I am so anxious to get started!

  3. Wow! Just what I am looking for! I have the early 90's cherry stained black base coffee tables that I am looking to refinish. Do you think that using a good primer over the black high gloss would suffice or should I strip all the pieces? I have several pieces to do and am not a big fan of stripping painted finishes.

    Love the pieces you did!

  4. Pat,
    If you use a primer like Bin, Bulls-Eye, or Kilz it will bond right to the finish you have. No stripping needed. Just look for a primer made for non-porous finishes. I used it over a laminate counter top and it held great. If you want to be sure it bonds, lightly sand the black finish before you prime it, however it isn't usually necessary.


  5. I whitewashed my furniture but I just sanded the furniture to open the grain and then applied diluted white paint but removing it before the paint dried completely. I found this method quick and easy

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