DIY - Annie Sloan (Mixing and Distressing)

Alrighty. These pictures were taken of a vanity I finished for a super sweet girl from Mandeville, LA. When it came to me, it was solid brown, and while still beautiful, it was just a little sad. We discussed different options for finishing techniques and this is what we came up with:

She knew she wanted something in the yellow family, so we mainly looked at Arles and Cream. She decided she wanted something more on the Cream side, but was interested in something a little more buttery in color. By adding 2 parts cream to one part Arles, I created this custom color (above) which was exactly what she was looking for. The paint was SO EASY to mix. I thought I was going to have to bring it to a hardware store to have them mix it up, but it was much simpler than that. I just poured the paints in one container and used the top of a brush to mix them together. It only took about one minute to get it perfect.

This part is totally optional, and in fact I've done many pieces where no distressing was involved at all. It just depends on the look you're going for. However, for this piece we decided on a more antiqued finish. After the paint was dry (but BEFORE applying the waxes) I lightly went over some of the edges and corners with a spongy sandpaper block. Try not to go crazy. Often times, less is more when it comes to distressing.

There are a million and one ways to apply wax, so I'm just going to stick to what I did for this particular piece. As I often do, I started by applying a thin coat of the clear way with an old T-shirt. Then, using a brush I applied the dark wax fairly heavily making sure that the bristles get into the nooks and crannies. Lastly, I used the same T-Shirt, scooped a little of the clear wax, and wiped off a generous amount of the dark wax that I applied. The allows the original color to come through while still leaving the dark wax in some areas - especially in the nooks and crannies. Note: Do this process area by area. Don't try to do the steps to the whole piece of furniture at once!

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