The lay­ered look


When a piece has sev­eral lay­ers of fin­ish or paint, each of those lay­ers will show through in vary­ing de­grees at nat­u­rally worn ar­eas. Think of where items were set down too firmly, edges that were han­dled or rubbed against a wall, sur­faces around door and drawer pulls, and where legs and stretch­ers were kicked by shoes and bumped by brooms or vac­uum clean­ers.

You can re-cre­ate years of distress in min­utes with sand­pa­per. Note that when do­ing this, dings, dents, and scratches re­tain the top­most color, as sand­pa­per doesn’t reach into them. Con­versely, flat ar­eas and raised grain, as well as brush strokes and paint glops in base paint lay­ers, will buff away to re­veal the color be­low.

Af­ter the paint dries, you can add some light dis­tress­ing, as shown in the first two pho­tos on page 63. Then, sand ar­eas that would have re­ceived wear. Vary­ing the sand­pa­per be­tween 100-, 120-, and 150-grit pre­vents the wear from look­ing too uni­form.

A coat of yel­low (Sher­win-Wil­liams no. 6667 Af­ter­glow) ap­plied over a darker base coat (Sher­win Wil­liams no. 9059 Silken Pea­cock) pro­vides high con­trast, em­pha­siz­ing the dis­tress­ing done in the next step.

If you like, ap­ply a third color (Sher­win-Wil­liams no. 6043 Un­fussy Beige shown), brush­ing or rolling on, as you would for a typ­i­cal piece. Sand wear ar­eas again af­ter the paint dries.

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