Here’s what the horse looked like when I received it from Restoration Hardware. I loved the shape, but the wood and finish didn’t have as much character as I was hoping for. I wanted it to look more like one of the inspiration antique horses I shared HERE.
Yesterday, I was a good blogger and took lots of pictures of the process. Today, I hauled the horse to the basement and started working and didn’t stop for pictures. It’s sort of a good thing, because I was in my creative bubble, but it’s not a good thing for blogging! I’ll try to talk you through the process, though, which was basically paint, sand, paint, sand, paint.
Now, I’ll tell you…Milk Paint can be unpredictable, but in most cases it can be controlled and you can get the look you want ultimately. This piece broke all of the rules. It was chipping more than I wanted, so I sanded with an orbital sander…down to the bare wood in some places and then I applied a second coat of Trophy with a lot of bonding agent added. Anywhere I didn’t sand heavily ended up peeling off in sheets. So, I sanded more in those places and painted on a coat of Grain Sack on the body, a mix of Grain Sack and Trophy on the hoofs, main and tail, and Shutter Gray on the runners and bridle.
Again, there was chipping, so I just decided to stop fighting it. Obviously, there was something in the finish of this piece that the milk paint just was not going to be good friends with. With all of the painting I’ve done with milk paint, I’ve only had one or two other pieces fight me this much. But, sometimes the pieces are fighting for a reason. They are going to look best chippy and that’s certainly the case with this horse. So I waved the white flag and worked with what was happening.
So, here it is…the painting, chipping and distressing is finished, but I haven’t yet applied the waxes.
Now, that’s a horse with some character!