Monday, March 30, 2015

DRIFTWOOD FINSH OVER A LAMINATE OR VENEER TOP and the issues I had along the way

In this post I am going to not only explain how I did this driftwood or maybe some like to call, weathered-wood look, but will also mention lessons I learned along the way. I am always learning something and that something is usually that I need to listen to my intuition!

My table started like this, a plain old ugly table.  At first I was thinking is was a laminate top but while  working on it, realized it was not laminate but a veneer that had a very laminate look to it (because of the finish), so I believe that this faux finish would work with any sort of top.

Step 1 - 
I sanded it just like I would with any other piece.  Because of the laminate like finish, I did have to be careful and use a higher grit (220) paper to make sure there were no swirlies. Nobody likes Swirlies.

Step 2 - 
I knew the base coat was going to be white so I decided to use a white primer as that base coat thinking it would help with following coats bonding.  I was correct.

I watered the primer down a bit so I could get a thin, translucent coat. Any quality primer will do.

Being the professional that I am, I my husbands old dirty sock on my hand to smeared it around, ending it with long, even strokes before it dried.

Here is a video of that action. 

video

This is what it looks like after the water down primer was applies on one side with the sock.


Step 3 -
After the main, all over coat of watered down primer, I let is dry and then added a little more of the white primer with my brush in heavier, more random strokes.

Not looking very pretty at this point, is it?  And it's here you can notice my first issue….the leaves were a shade darker than the table.

I see this a lot with tables, the leaves are a shade different because they have been hiding under a bed for much of their lives. Give your leaves some light people!
But I get it. I have 2 leaves and only 1 in on a daily basis and the other is under my sons bed.  I make sure the leaves get a little bit of equal family (and sunlight) time and alternate which leaf goes back under the bed.  I am nice like that.

Step 4 - I would have stopped here and jumped straight to clear coating but….
I used a watered down shade of pale gray for the 2nd coat.

It is here that you can see my 2nd (big, fat) issue…the chip!  Grrrrr!

Because this was going to be a distressed, imperfect, faux finished top, I that just maybe, JUST MAAAYBE the chip would not really matter.

Well, it did.  It actually stood out more with the paint because of the graining going in the opposite direction. I was in denial for a while and kept going.


Still in denial.

Here it's a good time to tell you about my favorite "feathering" brush.


I have a pile of these old brushes that I pick up at garage sales.  You see, when I stop at a garage or estate sale, I head straight for the garage or the basement to check out the tools. I love old, strange random tools and old brushes which I use all the time for glazing and faux finishes.  

After I applied each coat of paint, I feathered it out with this brush to blend in the lines.  

Step 5 - the step that should have never happened
Back to the chip.

So long story short, after reality set in I sanded back not just that spot, but that entire section of that half of the table.  Ironically and sometimes annoyingly,  it's easier to blend in the entire SECTION than just one small SPOT.

I cut a piece of veneer (I have a few chunks saved) to fit the spot.  I filled in the tiny gaps with wood filler and added gel stain to that spot to match the original finish bestest I could.

I then did steps 2-4 all over again to this section of the table with a big fat smile on my face!

Like I mentioned in step 4, in a perfect world, this is where I would have stopped.


Step 6 - 
Because I needed to blend things in a little bit more (leaves and chip issues), I added one more coat of the watered down white (AKA whitewash).

Don't forget about the edges of the table!

Finally, everything blended in beautifully and it was a perfect finish for this table!

After a few clear coats, it was complete!

The skirting of the table, legs and the chairs were refinished in a creamy white lacquered finish.


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