Basic Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1) Prepare your project

Most of the time you don’t have to do a lot of prep before you start painting, but a little prep work can help you get great results every time.

When your piece is made out of unfinished or matte finished wood, all you need to do is make sure it is clean and dust free. Always clean off any mildew and loose or scaling paint first.

If your piece has a glossy surface, we recommend sanding it lightly with 120 grit sandpaper.

It’s important to keep in mind that certain surfaces, such as mahogany, pine and stained surfaces, may bleed and should be primed with a stain blocking primer first (such as Shellac). You can test this by trying the paint on a small section first. Click here to read more about surface preparation.

Step 2) Getting the paint and brushes ready

Before opening your paint can, turn it upside down and shake it well; the pigments sink to the bottom, so it’s important that you mix them in with the rest of the paint. Open up the can and stir well for about 1-2 minutes.

We recommend using the Country Chic brushes, however, another high quality brush with synthetic bristles would also work.

Our paint doesn’t contain solvents; it is water-based. Therefore, natural bristle brushes are not recommended to use because they absorb water, which causes the bristles to flare or become too soft to paint effectively.

Step 3) Now you’re ready to paint!

Dip in your paint brush so that you’re covering half way up the bristles. Apply a generous coat of paint to the surface. Make sure you are not being too stingy while avoiding getting a lot of drips; play a little until you find the perfect happy medium.

Allow your first coat to dry for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend drying the piece overnight.

Our piece is an MDF picture frame and as a first coat we’re using Tropical Cocktail.

Step 4) Applying the second coat

Once the first coat has properly dried, it’s time to put on a second coat if you need it. This is where the real fun begins.

If you want to create that time-worn, shabby chic look, then you may want to use a different color as your top coat. Get creative and experiment with different color combinations!

If you’re sticking with just one color, apply the second coat just like you did the first and allow your piece to dry.

No sanding is needed between coats.

For our picture frame we’re layering a coat of Strawberry Ice Cream over the first coat of Tropical Cocktail.

Step 5) Creating the distressed look

If you do want to distress your piece and create that aged look, then let the second paint coat dry for about 1-2 hours (or until it’s fully dry to the touch) before you distress it. We recommend you use a wet, lint-free cloth as this is the easiest way to get a beautiful shabby chic look. Just soak your cloth in water and start rubbing the paint off gently. Don’t forget to take away the paint that you rubbed off, as it may be covering up the distressed area. Start gently and experiment with how much pressure to apply. Have fun and play around while you give your piece a truly personal touch!

You can also distress using fine-grit sandpaper, or even a kitchen scrubby. In the end it is a personal choice, so just try different techniques until you find the one you like best!

The longer you wait to distress your piece, the trickier it will be as the paint will cure over time. Although our paint has a 30 day total curing time, after a day it is quite hard so we recommend putting the top coat on and distressing within about an hour.

Step 6) Waxing – adding that final touch

Once your project had dried for 24 to 48 hours, we recommend adding one of our waxes to really take it up a notch. By waxing your piece, it’ll last longer and have a more professional finish.

Experiment with antiquing wax to create a fabulous worn/antique look. Our gold wax will give your piece a gorgeous, luxurious finish, we’re sure you’re going to love that wax too!

Use a wax brush and apply a light coat of wax to the entire piece. Follow immediately with polishing using a clean lint-free cloth to get rid of any excess wax. When you are done, your piece will feel silky smooth and you will enjoy it for years to come!

Do make sure to re-apply the wax every 6-12 months for the best protection of your piece.

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