Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How Did You Paint That?

This is probably the number one question I get--how did you paint that, what is your paint technique?  Honestly, I am not sure I have a technique, but I will attempt to share with you what I do.  However, I do have a disclaimer: I have been painting furniture for a dozen years.  My style or technique has evolved and changed and developed over those years, and I am sure it will continue to do so.  I also believe that I might have a knack for it, it comes easily and naturally to me--how I paint a particular thing is often a feeling or instinct.  So, with that said, here you go:

I am showing this on a piece of pallet wood--all wood and furniture is different and take the paint and stain differently.  As I discovered with my accidental finish on my pallet coat hook shelf, if at first you don't succeed, keep playing and trying.  I sand the wood usually a little before painting to get some of the rough spots off, but not too much as the roughness helps add to the character.  I most often use what is called a chip brush.  These are inexpensive, natural bristle brushes that cost under $1.  I like them because they do not cover completely, and are cheap enough to replace as needed.
As I have said many times, I slap some paint on.  I usually paint several boards at once, starting with the lightest color of paint I am using.
 
I do not clean off my brush between colors, but I do brush it on wood until most of the color is gone.  I do use a different brush for red or if the colors aren't going to blend well. Hint-- I keep a separate brush that I use only for red paint in case it doesn't get completely cleaned out.
I wait a bit for the paint to dry.  It isn't always completely dry when I paint the next layer, it depends on how impatient I am. I only painted 2 layers for this tutorial, but I have done up to 5. I do not completely cover up the first layer.   For my pieced pallet things I have being painting mostly just one color since they are so colorful.
When the paint is dry (again, mostly dry anyway), I sand it--sometimes a lot, sometimes very little.  I most often us an 80 grit sandpaper or whatever is on the sander.  
Here is how much I sanded this piece of wood:
I then use a stain, sometimes a wax, over the top.  I have found some of the pallet wood takes the stain really dark so I have been using something a little lighter like Early American or Provincial.  I ran out of those a few days ago, so I am using dark walnut.
I cover the paint/piece of wood completely.  Notice, I use a chip brush for this too.  Wipe the brush off on a rag and one will last you several months. 
After putting on the stain, I wipe it off with a rag (a piece of an old t-shirt).  Note--stain rags should be put in a bucket of water and not reused.  I throw them out on trash day.  A friend's garage caught on fire from 4 stain rags left on a pile of trash--use caution!!  And drumroll please...the finished results:

I do not always put a clear finish on my pieces.  However, have I mentioned that I might be impatient at times?  I often use a clear spray to finish pieces because it dries the stain just about instantly.  I also use a finish if it is an outdoor piece. 

Some of you have asked what colors of paint I use.  Honestly, it changes always--sometimes I use cans of latex I have and sometimes I grab some craft acrylic paint.  I often mix colors that I have bits of.  If you see a particular color you want to know about, leave me a comment and I will let you know if it has an actual color name I can give you :).  Hope this helps.

59 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great tutorial on how you achieve your painted finish. Love your projects!

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  2. Thanks so much..I pinned it on my DIY board....to use later. :)
    Denise

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  3. Thx you so much for sharing your secrets with us :))) I love your painting technique
    xoxo
    Rasha

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I have been doing this a long time too and appreciate that it's often difficult to explain exactly WHAT you do....you did a fine job! I think it will help a lot of novice painters out there!
    Lorraine

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  5. great tutorial, i always love your pieces.
    lauren

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  6. Beautiful and thanks for the great tutorial... Your furniture ALWAYS looks great!
    Susan
    Homeroad

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  7. Thank you so much! I did always wonder how your painting was done. Now I know...! Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!

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  8. Thanks for this! I love that finish. Also thanks for the stain rag tip. I had no idea they could so easily catch fire.

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  9. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME!!! What a great idea! and I adore the finished look. So trying this :)

    TFS!

    xox

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  10. Thanks for sharing one of your techniques! I'm all about furniture painting right now and love seeing the different techniques out there! Your stuff is fabulous!
    Melody
    One Chatty Chic

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  11. Thanks for sharing.. i wondered about your technique, it's looks fabulous!!!
    Sheree

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  12. Hi I am new to your blog and happy to have come across it. What you do with the pallets and other items is so creative. Your philosophy on how you allow your items to evolve from how you paint them to your end product is very similar to my own thoughts. Love your blog. Full of great ideas.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

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  13. Thanks for the tut!! Very informative and I am ready to go to work!

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  14. Thanks! I pinned this to my "to do" board!

    Happy Easter to you and your family Becky!
    gail

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  15. Thank you for sharing this "how to". It is very helpful indeed! And I appreciate the tip about the stain rags in water. I usually throw mine out, but I don't keep them wet. No need to risk a fire :(

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  16. I followed your technique, but when I applied the stain to white and light colors, the painted sections were almost brown, am I not wiping them enough? Am I saturating too much? Help!

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  17. You rock! Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  18. Thanks so much! Your work is absoutely beautiful!!!

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  20. hello-i want to know paint color names and brands...i want to do my entire dining room table..an old weathered rustic pine. can you tell me the name of the blue and the green that you used above? im thinking about combining them. the table is large so i am hoping to be able to duplicate the color in a long lasting wearing paint that i can buy from the hardware store, do you think thats do-able? thank you

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  21. hello-i also want to know paint color names and brands...can you tell me the name of the blue and the green that you used above? im thinking about combining them. thank you

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  22. Absolutely gorgeous. I love your blog. You are a very talented lady and should be proud of it. I appreciate all your tutes you share. They are awesome. Thank you.

    Natalie
    enjoyingalllifehastooffer.blogspot.com

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  23. Your is great--so many wonderful ideas. I have become a follower so that I can pop in often. Thanks for your tutorials.

    Faye

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  24. I just found your blog and I love your style! This tutorial was great, I do funky painted furniture but have been doing some work with old barn siding,(my sis has a whole barn of it!)in more of the rustic style, I love the texture. It's always good to know I am on the right track, I love your work and have pinned several of your projects but never really taken the time to expore your blog. I love it! Thanks for the great tutorial! Carolyn

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  26. Thank you! I love this simple and sooo easy to follow tutorial. Just what I wanted for my bookcase.

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  27. Thank you for this link...I am specifically looking for the colors you used on the coffeetable project. Here is the pin from pinterest --> http://pinterest.com/pin/244812929714773956/

    It is the one with 4 boards...cream, pale blue, salmon and green. Or here is the image on your blog --> http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-01-01T19:05:00-07:00&max-results=6&start=13&by-date=false

    That would be great if you have the colors and if that look is latex or acrylic. I am actually putting boards together and then a frame on top...we will see how it turns out!

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  28. Do you have a certain type of paint you use to paint your furniture ie: flat, milk, semi?? Just wondering if there is a wrong type of paint. Great tut. Found you on Pinterest.

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  29. Thank you! I am so inspired by your work! I too found you on pinterest and just pinned a table I made this weekend inspired by your tutorial here!

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  30. thanks for taking the time to share that with us. Its very helpful and I know writing and taking pictures for a tutorial can be torture, esp. since you want to finish the project already!

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  31. I am brasilian and liked your tut. Thank you.
    Karinepossari.blogspot.com

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  32. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this tutorial!!! I'm your newest follower. Found you through Pinterest!

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  33. The stain over the white latex paint I'm using is turning all of the colors too dark. Should I use an acrylic paint or something different? Let me know.

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  34. Pallet tray is lightly sanded and ready to finish. Various cans of paint have been collected from rooms around the house. Just reading your tutorial one last time before starting to layer on the paints. Supposedly this will be finished and ready to gift by tomorrow! Wish me luck.

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    Replies
    1. THANKS! For my first attempt, I'm very happy with the results. Pictures posted here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20608440@N00/8312133184/

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  35. This was perfect. I had commented on a different post....but should have kept reading! Thanks!!!!!! These projects ROCK!

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  36. Would love to know what color paint you used on this stool (green and blue)

    thanks

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  38. Thank you for the tutorial. I used your technique on some benches we made using pallets. I used various colors of ctaft paints, smearing various tones of each colors then stain and spray varnish. They look great!

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  39. Looks like you have quite an audience for your posts about painting pallets and making things with them. So glad I found your blog also. It's always so good to have the experience of somebody that been doing this, knows what works and doesn't. Love how you make things, so appreciate the tutorials and tips.
    My hubs and I have had a "discussion" about painting the items we make with the pallets, he insists they shouldn't be painted but I thought doing some sanding to take the roughest part off and add some color would make them a bit more attractive to buyers, would also need some kind of finish to protect what we've done on them. Many pieces he saw online weren't painted, but I noticed they had a bit of sheen on them. I think using the spray type finish would be best. Thanks so much for sharing your talent.
    Happy days

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  40. THIS IS SOOOOO GREAT! I am making a "Ranch Rules" sign - wanted the rustic wood look, without searching the country for rustic wood, I can just follow this tutorial! Thanks so much! I'll be referring to this tutorial when writing mine on the Ranch Rules.
    My blog is newby - but getting ideas and projects done daily. Your painting technigue could make it really fun!
    onlandrufflane.blogspot.com

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  41. where do you get your chip paint brushes for $1.00? (love your creations)

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  42. Hello Becky,
    Thanks for sharing this great tutorial! I have a question: Is the wood finish you are using transparent?

    Greetings
    Edwin

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  43. I love this, I also use pallets all the time and it feels good to know I'm not the only impatient crafter out here. I make my own stain, do u have any good homemade stain recipes?

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  44. I ran across your tutorial on How did you paint that. I too want to know what colors you used for the board sample in the green, blue with the dark walnut stain? I've been searching on how I wanted to finish my 3 unfinished book cases, and I want to do them in this finish. Since you used pallet wood the texture of that wood is rough which adds to the finish. My bookcases are smooth wood, I'm afraid they will not come out looking the same. Any ideas on how to get them where the wood texture is rough or do you think it won't matter? What do you recommend for clear sealer over the paint?

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  45. Hi
    I just bought a railroad cart with all different slats on top.
    Can you tell me the name of your blue, green, yellow and red?

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  46. Hey to everyone, it’s my first visit of the blog site; this blog includes awesome and actually best info for the visitors.

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  47. Well I checked out this blog and I found it an interesting reading that how you have completed the wood paint project your own.
    leesburg painters

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  48. Enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.

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  49. Hi, I need to try your technique on bare wood, I suppose you'll get best results using unfinished pieces of wood. I didn't realize you can't keep / re-use the rags after the wood stain, good tip. You can easy make your own wood stain, using dark vinegar, coffee and wire wool:
    http://cherriehub.webs.com/apps/blog/show/37327061-how-to-make-your-own-wood-stain-

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  50. Picket fences are one of the most popular types homeowners install. They are made with individual slats that have gaps between the pickets and are a couple of inches apart and prevent the fence from blocking the view while looking the same from either side.

    Privacy Fences

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  51. Absolutely beautiful Becky. Love your style.

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  52. Love this tutorial - am just getting into pallet wood now so it has come at a perfect time. That one you finished for this tutorial could be hung as a piece of art!!! Love it.

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  53. Absolutely striking. the obvious concern I have is, are pallets safe to use on indoor projects?

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  54. I would like to know the paint colors of the blue and green.... Thank you, love it!

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  55. I really like that shade of green! Luckily, my teak benches shouldn't ever need to be painted... although they could use a coat of oil every so often!

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  56. Since finding this tutorial, I have used it on almost every piece I've done! From signs to furniture, this is absolutely the best technique for a distressed and rustic finish.

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  57. Thank you ....I learned a lot...and i am a artist...bless you my child for sharing

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words!