When I last showed the barrel-back French cane chair, it looked like this…
In the picture, it has one coat of French Enamel Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I then applied a second coat, followed by a light wash of a mix of Shutter Gray, Eulalie’s Sky and Grain Sack. (Eulalie’s Sky is one of our new colors and will be available for purchase in a few weeks!)
There were beautifully carved details on this chair, so I wanted to bring those out with some white acrylic paint. I use acrylic paint for decorative painting, because I like the body of it and the way it flows off the brush. I’ve used it for my decorative painting for years and it was my medium-of-choice when I first started out as a decorative painter and muralist.
Once the paint was dry (or mostly dry…I can be a little impatient at times), I distressed with 100 grit sand paper.
For me, distressing brings out the character of a piece. All of the details, high points, low points, texture…all of that good stuff that tells the story of a piece.
Now, I’m going to be honest. Even though it’s in my product line, I hadn’t used the Antiquing Wax a ton. I was a part of testing it out and getting the mixture of pigment to wax where I wanted it, but then I just used it here and there. As I was working on pieces for Lucketts, I used it a lot and went from liking it to wishing we sold it in a gallon size. This Antique Wax doesn’t become a blotchy mess when applied, even with a heavy hand and even over a finish that doesn’t have a coat of clear wax on it. We were very careful to make the color a rich yummy brown, so it doesn’t look orange-ish like some of the glazes on the market. And you can use Antique Wax over other paints, not just MMS Milk Paint.
From an artistic standpoint, I think it’s best used on a piece with a lot of texture/carvings/details/etc. or over a brighter color to knock the edge off a bit. This piece fits into the first category. I didn’t apply Furniture Wax first (which is clear), but applied the Antique Wax directly to the finish.
Apply it in a small area, working it into all of the low points with a brush (this is hard to do with a cloth.) You don’t have to use a wax brush, but any brush you don’t mind smushing around a bit.
Wipe away the excess with a cotton cloth, leaving the wax in the low points. (Since the wax is pigmented, I would suggest wearing some gloves.) This simulates the “dirt” that can accumulate in the nooks and crannies over time. Think about it…when a piece is dusted, the cloth only hits the high points, leaving the dirt and dust to build up in the low points. By mimicking this, you’re giving the piece instant, authentic-looking patina.
Since the Antique Wax is a wax as well, you do not need to apply a coat of Furniture Wax on top. Just buff the finish, let it dry and it’s good to go!
I have trouble taking a picture these days without a photo bomber. Like father, like son.
Here’s the finished chair (now that my son took his snack to the kitchen)…
See how the Antiquing Wax brings out the details, even of the caning? I love how this chair turned out.