365 Days of Art: Day 297 – Distressing Chalk-Painted Chairs

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished painting two of my dining room chairs white. I don’t necessarily consider just painting a chair white “art” in a pure sense of the word. If I had painted a design in the chair, that would be one thing, but not just a plain white chair. I do, however, consider distressing and finishing chalk-painted furniture art:

  • Distressing should never be tackling something with sand paper without a plan. Oh my goodness, I hate seeing distressed furniture that is distressed in ways it would never be distressed in real life, or overdone.
  • Often times, I might lay down a wash in a different color on top of the paint to create dimension. This sounds a lot like watercolor, doesn’t it. I didn’t do a wash this time, but I will when it comes to painting my trunk next week.
  • To use dark wax or not to use dark wax? That is the question. It’s also a question of whether to mix the dark wax with a little bit of white wax. And do I want to “erase” some of the dark wax using the light wax? Or do I want to use white wax for a pickled effect? Or do I want to use black wax? I could also mix the white and black wax to make grey…. All of these require planning and an artistic mind, especially when considering how the wax will change the initial color.

Anyway, today I just used clear wax. I needed to make the chairs look the same as the other chairs I had done four years ago, so I didn’t get any creativity points. However, I spent almost three hours sanding these things to create distress marks. (It took one-and-a-half football games. Most of that was spent using sandpaper that was too fine, and it took forever until I switched to a coarser grade.

Anyway, for these chairs, I used distressing to accomplish two things:

  • I wanted the chairs to look old, like they’ve been in a cottage and lovingly used for a long time. Therefore, I made sure to rub off places the chairs would naturally get hit, such as the feet of the chairs and anything sticking out. I also sanded down the seat to make it look like people sitting in it for years had worn it down. (Yes, I have a pic.)
  • Since I wasn’t using antiquing wax, I wanted to show the texture of the chair. Therefore, I sanded many edges that may not necessarily have been rubbed away naturally with the intention of bringing out that texture. The slats in the seats are the best example.

Today, I sanded and added coat one of wax. Tomorrow I will add coat two, but I won’t consider that art since it is only clear wax and the distressing was done today. Here are some pics. I have one white chair that I haven’t distressed yet and the distressed chair next to it so you can see the difference.

The chair on the right is distressed. If you enlarge it, you can see where I rubbed away the seat.
Here is an up-close view of the slats. I did the same to the back.
I distressed the legs and other parts of this with the chair on the right.

That is it for tonight. Have a great evening everyone!

About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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