If your like us and don’t have a large budget for getting new items for the house at the moment, there are some very easy ways to take what you already have and give it a new life! We are firm believers that you can paint pretty much anything, and we practice this belief by re-doing our own pieces when we feel like a new look is needed!
The item I most recently decided needed a makeover was my bedside lamp in the master bedroom. I had had the lamp for years…in fact, I believe I got it when I was a little girl! Well I took a look at it one day and right then and there decided it needed to be painted…that day…that minute…! Sometimes projects and ideas come to you and you just can’t help but begin right then and there (in the middle of cleaning!).
Luckily this lamp was in great shape after all those years and didn’t need any fixing at all! So I snatched it off the table and brought it to my workshop right away! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it so I dug right in with the Annie Sloan Old Ochre immediately.
I didn’t worry about making smooth strokes around the entire lamp because I knew I wanted a bit of texture to the piece.
Tip: Now texture does not mean glopping the paint on so it runs, otherwise your wasting it…texture can be achieved by moving your brush strokes in different directions and not making the strokes completely smooth. It will help to give it more texture by doing a second coat (or multiple) of the same technique.
The lamp needed two coats of the AS Old Ochre and then came the fun part. Here at Timeless Creations, we don’t like to just stop at one coat of paint, but like to incorporate a depth and uniqueness to our pieces by trying different techniques to add to the first layer of paint. We also love “washes”! They are one of the easiest ways to give that extra kick to any painted piece. We talked about what a “wash” is in our post Update your old Picture Frames, as well as a link about where we got our inspiration, but basically it is paint mixed with water. Easy right?
For my lamp I took about 2 teaspoons of Annie Sloan French Linen and mixed in about the same amount of water. You can do less water, if you want more paint to stay on the piece, or more water to make the paint lighter. We have found it is very easy to apply a wash with a foam brush. So I brushed the wash on the entire lamp (on a bigger piece of furniture do the wash in sections) and then took a clean dry rag and wiped the wash away, very lightly, to give it a worn, distressed look without the sanding.
The wash gave the lamp the perfect color I was looking for! My inspiration was to lighten it up and go for a French Country look with it. It also gave the lamp more depth by leaving more of the wash in the crevices, instead of wiping it all off.
But wait!….I wasn’t done yet… I wanted just a little bit more! After the wash was dry I took the Old Ochre again and dry brushed very lightly over the entire piece! It highlighted that texture from before as well as all the edges and stepped up my lamp even more! (Learn how to dry-brush here.)
This technique: paint, add wash, dry brush is one of my favorite ways to redo furniture and decor items. I have used this technique before and wanted to share one other option. I found this awesome ornate piece at the bottom of a pile in an antique store being overlooked by everyone.
It was dull and lifeless before but after a very minimal amount of paint it now fits perfectly as a unique piece on my gallery wall! This was done with AS Old White as a base coat instead of the Old Ochre like my lamp.
Once again you can see how the wash gets into the crevices of the piece to give it more depth.
So before throwing something that just isn’t your style anymore, go ahead and give it a new look first. A little paint goes a long way and instead of buying new items that go with your new style, change what you already have!
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