We’re so excited to be sharing with you how to refinish and bring back to life a piece of furniture for your home. My friend Mattie of The Rustic Warehouse is sharing all of her tips from her 7 years of painting furniture professionally. We’re using Jolie Paint today!
We found this buffet from an estate sale recently and loved the detailing, but not the red tone of the wood. The solution was to call my friend Mattie and have her help us refinish this beauty with Jolie Paint. I hesitated at first when I saw that this piece was made in Italy. It’s a really nice solid wood piece that deserves to be passed down. After contemplating for a minute I remembered a conversation I had with a woman who was sharing some of her pieces with her grand kids. She said she’d rather see the furniture she loved so much be painted and used than sitting in her family’s garage. While this piece isn’t sentimental to me, thinking about how much more it could be loved and used when brought into today’s style inspired me to pull out the paint brushes.
What we love about Jolie Paint is there is minimal prep involved—NO NEED TO SAND OR PRIME. I love DIY projects that transform a space, but I don’t like a big fuss so less prep definitely made me a fan of this product. Also, Jolie Paint is water-based, non-toxic, and quick-drying. It gives you the ability to create beautiful painted finishes, such as smooth, textured, distressed, and more! It has amazing coverage and can go on almost any surface.
My very favorite thing about Jolie is their color choices. They offer an endless array of colors. You can even create your perfect custom mix. I wanted to chose a paint color that was timeless so I chose Dove Gray. While it’s called gray, it’s honestly just a really soft white. Not too stark, but not a cream. My vision for this piece was neutral and lightly distressed. I love the manufactured look where a piece looks like it was professionally air brushed—no brush strokes or paint runs. Mattie like to call it, ‘Pottery Barn Smooth.’ Below are all the tips to accomplish that look.
Here’s what you need to bring your piece to life! One can of paint multiple pieces. We had a little over half a can after this piece. As for the brushes and the wax, they are an initial investment, but can be used over and over.
HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE
STEP 1: PAINT YOUR FIRST COAT
Get plenty of paint on your brush and paint in every direction. The goal here is just to get it covered. Don’t overwork an area If you keep working the same location it will remove the paint. We even went over the hardware on the specific piece, but if you didn’t want this look simply take the hardware off before you get started.
Once we completed this step, Mattie said, “Show them how crappy it looks.” She cracks me up, but truly the first coat looks pretty discouraging. Don’t give up it looks so much better on the second coat.
STEP 2: SMOOTH OUT FIRST COAT
This is how Mattie gets that “Pottery Barn Smooth” look. You’ll see in the video that she just takes her brush over the wet first coat and smooths it out section by section. We started with our first coat on the top and then smoothed it out. Then we did the sides and smoothed then the front and back. The process for the first coat and smoothing it out took about 30 minutes.
STEP 3: LET DRY OR BLOW DRY
Dry time usually takes about 20 minutes but varies based on climate and thickness of paint application. If you decide to pull out the blow dry make sure to move the dryer around quickly. Don’t hold it on one area for too long or it will crack the paint. If you’re going for the very weathered and distressed look you can intentionally do that, but if you’re looking for the air brushed look you don’t want any paint cracks.
STEP 4: REPEAT STEPS 1 -3 WITH A SECOND COAT
One thing Mattie did with her second coat was paint the opposite direction. This minimizes brush strokes even more.
STEP 5: SAND AND DISTRESS
To reveal some of the underlying surface, gently sand the edges and raised details with a medium sand paper. Start with edges and then move to flat surfaces. Most of the distressing should be on the edges where something would naturally distress. Add a couple, no more than three, distress marks on the flat surface. Wipe away the dust with a wet, lint-free cloth.
There are no mistakes only happy accidents.
During this step Mattie referred to herself as an artist and mentioned Bob Ross and Van Gogh…I laughed, but after seeing it complete this really is the step that can add an artist’s flair.
STEP 6: WAX
Jolie Finishing Wax can be used to both protect and seal interior furniture. You can use it on pieces that have been painted with Jolie Paint or on raw wood. Do not use any other kind of protective coat after you have applied wax. Jolie Finishing Wax is soft in consistency, odor-free, and non-hazardous. Though you can buff it with a soft cloth for a higher sheen, it will naturally create a matte finish. It dries quickly in 1-2 hours, and fully cures in about two weeks. For surfaces that require more durability, such as table tops or cabinets, apply at least two coats.
Mattie said the biggest mistake people make with wax is applying too much and not wiping it off. Working in manageable sections of 2-3 square feet at a time, use a gentle sweeping motion to work the wax into the paint. Use medium pressure to remove the excess wax with a clean, absorbent, lint-free cloth. As the cloth
becomes saturated with wax, you will need to replace or move to a clean area of your cloth so that it will continue to absorb wax.
The benefit in wax over other seals is it’s really easy to fix if something happens. One of the kids colors on the piece, simply pull out your wax and rub it away. Wax is water-resistant but, not waterproof; it is not suitable for use outdoors or in bar areas due to its solubility in alcohol. Jolie has a varnish that’s a more appropriate finish for that type of surface.
STEP 7: STYLE AND LOVE
We actually have this piece for sale in our booth at The Rustic Warehouse if you’re local. I love how big it is and how it can go in so many different styles. It will add so much character to a home.
As we’re writing this we are stuck at home in quarantine. This is an amazing project to take on during this time, because it’s easy and nontoxic so you can even invite the kids in on it. Let’s use this time to love our homes more and make memories with the family.
If you have any questions about painting a piece of furniture or using Jolie paint, make sure to leave them below. We’ll be taking on more projects with it very soon. Both Mattie and I will be painting our kitchen cabinets so if you have any questions about that project let us know.
You can purchase Jolie Paint and other products on the Rustic Warehouse website.