Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just Darling D.I.Y

DIY: Weathering & Distressing

I've heard people say it's is a crime to paint or re-style an antique piece. I couldn't disagree more, buying antiques doesn't mean that your house needs to look like your grandma's till kingdom come (unless that floats your boat of course). Antiques are classics, yes, and some of them look absolutely gorgeous just the way they are, but updating the piece to suite the style of your home is what REALLY makes them the timeless pieces they are. They can be changed, painted and updated yet still, the design and quality remain incomparable to any of the pieces you'll find in the shops today. I found this amazing little ball and claw coffee table at an antique shop in Kensington, picked it up for R500. So my question is, why spend a fortune on a cheap knock-off when you can restore a quality antique for less? So...I hope that at this point I've convinced you to revive that old piece that's been sitting in the garage for yonks. And with the help of my Darling hubby Gaz, I'm going to show you exactly how you are going to do it...

THE GOAL: Make sure you have a vision in mind before getting started. Get your thoughts together and decide on a colour and theme that will suit the rest of your furniture. For example, I have two awesome weathered egg-shell butlers trays in our lounge and so the goal would be to mirror the same look for the coffee table.
Egg-Shell Butlers Tray

The Coffee Table Before...
1) First things first, get the furniture back to its original raw state by sanding it down either by hand or with an electric sander.

2) Wipe down the piece with a damp cloth, allow it to dry and then prime the wood. We bought Dulux's Universal Undercoat. Properly preparing and priming the wood means that if you ever wanted to remove the paint and restore it to its original state-you could.

3) Note- Gaz and I chose to show the colour of the natural wood when we weathered the piece but if you wanted the under-color to be different i.e grey or green, then you would need to apply 2 coats of your first "under-colour" now.

4) Next, paint 2-3 coats of your main color. Gaz and I used Dulux's PearlGlo- Water Based Enamel in Almond White and we chose a matte finish. I would definitely recommend using a water based paint as opposed to an oil based one, it's just a lot softer on the eye and it's also easy to distress,weather and sand. Another tip- use a small sponge roller as opposed to a brush for a flawless, streak-less finish.

Before Weathering

4) Allow the paint to dry thoroughly - about 48 hours. Ps. Dulux actually recommends letting it dry for 7 days...but who has time for that?

5) Now here is the tricky part-the weathering! We used a 180 grit sand paper to lightly sand and weather the piece. Don't go overboard as I can guarantee you'll be tempted to just carry on and on! Sand a small section at a time and then step back to check your work. Remember the best look is when the piece really looks like its been naturally worn so only sand in places where you genuinely think that
would occur i.e raised edges, corners etc. 

6) If you are refurbishing a dining room table, coffee table or bedside stand (Anything that would have a lot of objects continually being laid on it) then I would recommend using a sealer over the wood to protect the paint from further scratching and chipping. Make sure you get a quality sealer as the cheaper ones tend to dry a yellowish colour. Also, get a matte sealer as I find the shiny finishes cheapen the look. Gaz and I are using this coffee table as a temporary TV stand- LOL- so we decided not to put a sealer on the wood.

Excuse my Toes ;) 

The Coffee Table After! :)
Contact us if you would like us to re-furbish your antique for you :)


  1. This is beautiful! What a great start to a lovely blog! You are amazing Abs. Best wishes for the blog and all the possibilities that may come from it.

  2. This is awesome! Totally amazed at how well it came out :) You've inspired me to do something about an old Monk's Bench from my dad that's gathering dust at home.

  3. Thank you for the lovely comments and most of all FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Stace....all I'm saying is DOOOO IIITT :) haha