Thursday, April 7, 2016

Refinished Sewing Machine Cabinet using Chalky Finish Paint

Blog post by Brigitte Lee
for Ben Franklin Crafts, Monroe, WA

I had been planning on refinishing my mother's old sewing machine cabinet for many years, but I was not inspired on how to do it until I came across the Americana Chalky Finish Paint. I love the distressed finish that you can accomplish with this paint from DecoArt Inc.. An easy-to-create antique look is exactly what I wanted for this piece.

I started by lightly sanding down some of the varnish that was peeling off. That took me about 5 minutes. I really didn't spend much time on this step because I actually wanted to keep some of the damaged texture to give it the antique look.

I took off all the hardware and placed the pieces in small bags to make sure it would be easy to know what hardware went back on what piece once it would be time to reassemble the cabinet.

The Americana Chalky Finish Paint comes in a variety of colors. I decided to go with brown (Rustic) for the base color, and the orange (Heritage) for the top coat. The brown color will show through the orange where I sand it down later.

Before you start, make SURE to mix your paint very well. I gave two coats of brown. It dries very quickly, so you need to brush that paint on as quickly as possible. I used a normal paint brush to do it.

When the brown paint was dry, I rubbed a candle stick to the areas where I knew I was going to sand down to create the distress look. Keep in mind that you'll want to sand down in the areas where you would normally see wear like corners.

Then I applied the orange paint. I applied two coats. I could have gotten away with only one coat now that I see how it looks all finished. That's really up to you.

It's now time to sand it down where you want to create a distress look. Again, that's really up to you where you sand. I would suggest doing a little bit on the edges, stop and step back. Look at it and if you want more, keep sanding. But make sure to look at it once in a while to make sure you don't over do it. For the sanding paper, I used a 100 medium grit. But that's up to you depending on the look you want to end up with.

Make sure when you sand that you have covered your working surface because like you can see, you will end up with a lot of the chalk paint on your surface.

Once you're done sanding, it's time to apply the Americana Decor Wax which will seal it and add protection and sheen to your piece. I started with a cotton t-shirt to apply the wax, but finally ended up going to the fabric department to get some 100% cotton fabric. I bought the least expensive one which worked great.

Apply the wax in small areas (5" x 5") with a clean piece of lint-free cotton. Don't put too much, but enough to see that it looks wet. That means it's covered. Then use another rag to buff. As you start buffing, you'll notice a change in the color and texture of the wax. It turns to a milky color and gets kind of sticky, but keep buffing. After a few seconds of buffing, you'll see it turn into a nice clear shinny finish. Repeat this step all over your piece, doing it one section at a time.

I painted the hardware with a Metallic Acrylic Paint (the one on the right to which I gave a second coat).

Reattach all the pieces together.

Et voila! My sewing machine cabinet has a beautiful antique look!

I'm very happy with the way it turned out. My one advice to you is to not be afraid to try this incredibly easy technique. You can't screw it up! If you don't like it, just paint over it and start over. Now that I created my first project with Chalky Finish Paint, I'm ready to start a new one. It's addictive!

The supplies are available at our Ben Franklin Crafts store in Monroe,WA. (paint colors may vary). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 360-794-6745 ext. 0. We'll be happy to help you.

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Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop, Monroe, WA
19505 Hwy 2, Monroe, WA 98272
Phone: 360-794-6745

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