Using Chalk Paint® to Create a Rustic Farmhouse Look

Earlier today my mom blogged a lot about painting over at our Malden store, but she also threw in a picture of a table I recently finished to sell here in Boston. I figured this would be a good time to show you how I did what I did.

In Boston, we’ve definitely noticed an uptick in demand for smaller pieces. It’s likely due to the fact that many Bostonians are apartment dwellers, thus inhabiting smaller spaces. It probably doesn’t hurt that the smaller pieces fit into compact cars and make cash-and-carry all the more convenient.

So in keeping with this new approach, Amy recently scored a great little console at auction. It was beautiful dark wood, but like almost everything else we carry, it was going to be covered in Chalk Paint®We’ve been experimenting more with brighter colors as a fun way to add some warmth during these winter months. I knew right away that the primary color of this console would be Antibes Green, but beyond that, I had no idea what I planned on doing.

I decided on a two-color distress as most of my pieces in Boston are simpler one-color neutrals that are usually only lightly distressed. When your endgame is to sell a piece, I sometimes find myself erring on the side of caution so that the furniture appeals to as many people as possible. For this console, I said to hell with it.

I popped open a can of Country Grey and liberally applied the first coat. It went down quick because I wasn’t worried at all about coverage or being perfect; this was only going to show through in the areas where I distressed away the Antibes. That’s the real beauty of doing a rustic piece. The more imperfections the better, and you don’t have to suffer any of the hand-wringing that comes along with trying to be flawless. Flaws are actually what we’re aiming for.

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So as the day was winding down, I ran out of time as I was finishing my first coat of Antibes. I had originally planned on applying two coats. That was until I came in the next morning.

That single coat of green told me exactly the direction this console would be headed. In some spots the Country Grey showed through and in others, the wood was still brandishing its dark beauty, too. I really liked the foundation in place, and decided a really severe distress was in order to provide a farmhouse appeal. I told a customer as I was working on it that, “I want this table to look like it’s been left out in a field for a year or two.”

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While I’m guilty of distressing with sandpaper quite a bit (it’s definitely faster, but can often look very man-made) I used a wet towel in order to properly achieve the two-tone distress. I worked it right back to the original finish in a lot of areas, and only back to the Country grey in others. I then applied clear wax and dark wax to further the rustic aesthetic.

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I love how weathered it looks and it gives the shop some needed character in these cold and sometimes quiet winter months.

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