Planning Your Piece

I often get questions about many of the finished ‘looks’ I create on my pieces.  What is difficult for many to understand is the planning that must take place to achieve a particular layered look.  To achieve it you must be able to work backward, envisioning the finished look you want and then working backward from there ensuring that the layers you want to reveal later are laid on first.

For instance…  to achieve a rustic look like this….

… you have to create layers of colour first!  In this case the piece received a base of black paint and then red, green and yellow over top of that, painted in patches.  It then received a third layer of paint to finish.  I actually used two different tones of the turquoise to create even more variation, and then wet-distressed back to expose the hidden red, yellow and green beneath.

Wet distressing simply means that you take a wet cloth and rub off the top layer(s) of paint to expose painted colours or natural wood beneath.  Less messy than sanding and it leaves a smooth finish!  This is a perfect distressing technique to use with chalk paints or, as in this case, with clay based paints which are reactivated with water until sealed.

Here is the same piece with its base of black and then patches of colour before the turquoise layers.  There are lots of techniques where you have to take the piece to a ‘scary-looking’ place before it all comes together!

TQ Cabinet Mid way

Anyone venturing into the shop at this point will generally turn around and walk out!

Ugly, right?  But it’s a necessary step to have the paint laid down in the places you want to expose it later.  You just need to ensure that you have planned out roughly how and where you plan to distress so that you can have some variation of colours showing through on the finished product, otherwise you end up having laid down multiple colours and only expose the same one!

So… putting them side by side for final comparison….

I know that when I posted the mid-way photo on Facebook people were horrified.  The finish though?  I absolutely love it!


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