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Distressing something already painted

Posted by CEFreeman (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 25, 12 at 14:09

Hi all!

I have an armoire that was in my home growing up.
In my memory alone, it has been a colonial blue, barn red, and a current off-white/cream color.

I'd like to distress this without it looking sanded. I hate the fake look.
Everything I've been reading (for WEEKS) talks about how to put the layers on then remove them. I want to make it look peely and chippy.

I was wondering if my idea of applying paint stripper in selected areas might work? I know it'd cause some bubbling, which I could then knock off.

Anyone with any experiencing distressing layers that already exist? I have no idea what the paint type is.

Thanks for your ideas!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Distressing something already painted

How about hitting it with chains? That should chip it. I'm guessing some of the cream-colored paint would come off to show blue or red underneath (or both).

RE: Distressing something already painted

I appreciate the thought, but I'm afraid it would just make big dents. It's not a chippy paint, in this case, unfortunately!

I'm still flirting with the idea of streaking on paint remover. Something like a comb, where it wouldn't peel off in giant chunks.

Whatever I figure out, I'll post.
Thank you!

RE: Distressing something already painted

I was wondering if my idea of applying paint stripper in selected areas might work? I know it'd cause some bubbling, which I could then knock off. That won't work, because it dissolves the paint and leaves it gummy. When you scrape you get stringy globs of paint. It will look like a bad stripping job, not old paint.

You could try to blister it lightly with a heat gun and scrape, but you only get one chance at getting it right.

A realistic distressed finish is harder to get right than an ordinary paint job,l and the best control comes with the additive method - starting with a plain base and adding the layers and textures.

For a crackled finish you can apply white glue where you want crackle and then paint over it. The current cream would show through the cracks in the top coat. For a multi-color undercoat showing through the crackles, as if this was the umpteenth coat of paint and various bits have peeled off, paint parts of the armoire in different colors before you do the glue and top coat. Rustic-looking paint technique

Here is a link that might be useful: Crackle finishes

RE: Distressing something already painted

I just spent my entire morning reading your blog.
You're quite a prolific crafter!

I was afraid of the paint stripper making a mess. Sounds like it would look like the Vaseline method of "crackling" which simply looks a bad stripping job to me.

I appreciate the advice. I'll probably try sanding some of the edges, then as you suggested, striping on some different paints, glue-crackling it, and some thinned, dark wax for contrast. I've been reading my butt off, having just spent an entire week on Pintrest and blogs.

A question. Do you say "Trust me" as often as you write it? I ask simply because (as psychological studies have affirmed) the minute someone says that to me, my inclination is to feel there's something there not to trust. OTOH, when you (or anyone) says, "ask me how I know" it immediate invokes a feeling of empathy, since we've all BTDT in some fashion! :)

In the meanwhile, congrats of such a great family, your move, overcoming cancer, your successful projects, and your joys in life. It was a real pleasure reading your day-to-day accomplishments.

When I get my butt in gear, I'll post pictures of my project.
I appreciate your time!

RE: Distressing something already painted

Thanks, but that was no my blog ... just one that I refer people to.

My blog has my Buffalo Grass experiment and not much else.

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