Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Get That Distressed & Aged Look Using Latex Paint

Most of us have seen this door bucket from
Southern Living at Home at some point over the past couple of years.
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Since I discovered it years ago at a SLAH home party, I wanted one.
Here is an example of what the door bucket looks like in its original state:
Southern Living At Home Flower Market Door Bucket
It has a great shape and is the perfect size for our door, however I am not happy with the worn brass look.
So what's a girl to do? Well I will tell you. A girl is to give this door bucket a makeover!
So I started with my original piece and covered my table with a pink trash bag, :)
(that makes all the difference in the world ya know LOL)
then used a paint sample I found for at Lowe's for $1 in the mis-tint section. Yes, a buck! That's my kind of bargain!
The color is by Eddie Bauer and its called
Vintage Gray.
Now, I know how wonderful chalk and milk paints are, but I did not have any on hand so I used flat latex paint and achieved a nice distressing affect that I will walk you through.
For starters, I cleaned it off with a damp paper towel and removed surface dirt to prepare for the paint.
Then I simply used a cheap brush and brushed on some paint with light sweeping motion as to NOT completely cover the piece.
The point here is to get an aged and distressed look, NOT a perfect coverage look.
So you do not have to cover ever single speck of space just sweep your brush across to get a nice solid coat of paint on, but leave some spaces exposed.
Here it is fully painted and in the process of drying.
As you can see I did NOT worry about making sure I painted in the crevices of the scroll work, nor did I get along the lip at the top.
I even purposely left some brush strokes visible which you can see here.

Then once it dried this is what I had.
A nice smooth look with some of the patina exposed from the original finish.

Then, once it was dry I took a lighter shade of gray and dry brushed in some random places, and then lightly sanded a few spaces too so I had a trio of shades.
The trio of grays are :

The basic gray that was painted over the entire piece, some lighter brush strokes, and some darker spots from sanding and blotting off some of the paint.

Again, for distressing, your technique is to randomly place your layered paint and sanded spots so that the piece looks aged and worn.
You want to avoid having uniform and predictable brush strokes, it really needs to be random.

When the eye sees various shades it gives the piece depth and creates a naturally worn and aged look that you can not achieve with only one flat color.
And here she is all finished and ready to hang up.

I simply hung it up on my over the door wreath hanger and filled it with some dried wheat looking floral stems for a natural Fall look.

I really like how the "three shade" distressing technique looks too! 

 It really looks like a worn piece of metal.

Here is the before and after:
So for my "Three Shades" distressing technique you need to remember the following:
A: Use three shades of color, and typically flat paint is the best sheen for creating an aged look. After all, old things typically lose their shine over time, right? So I wouldn't recommend glossy or even semi-gloss paint. Stick to flat, eggshell, and maybe satin if you are planning to sand a lot.
B:Do NOT worry about making sure every space is covered with paint. Remember that some spaces need to allow the original finish show through just as it would look if time had taken its toll and naturally aged the piece.
C:Use light brush strokes. If you press too hard and use a heavy hand you will get a fuller coverage. So less is best and remember, you can always add another layer if you don't feel it looks right.....which adds to your look anyways.
I am super happy with how this turned out and am glad that I was able to find this door bucket after all these years of wanting it!
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