I found this great wood sign in need of a little color. Lucky for me it already had an interesting texture from layers of paint built-up on the surface.
I decided to paint the sign a more appetizing color—Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Tricycle Red. I also planned on distressing the painted finish to give the sign a weathered look.
The white surface would probably require multiple coats of red paint to get full coverage—typical of most bright red paints over a light base. Since I would have to use multiple coats of paint anyway, it was a great chance to make the project more colorful. I started by painting the sign a dark red color using Primer Red Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.
Once dry, I painted over Primer Red with Provence Chalk Paint® –not trying for perfect coverage. The combination of paint layers and a more gentle approach to distressing the paint will allow me to avoid revealing the ‘original’ white finish later.
When the surface was dry, I ran a wax puck over some of the edges of the sign so it would resist the Milk Paint allowing some of the underlying color to show through.
Photo courtesy of Miss Mustard Seed
I mixed up a batch of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle (the perfect Americana red color!) and painted the sign being careful not to overwork my brushstrokes.
Taking a cue from resist/textural techniques used in watercolor paintings (often achieved with salt, sand or sawdust), I quickly sprinkled sawdust over areas of wet paint varying the amount I used from heavy to light.
The sawdust absorbed the watery Milk Paint and, once removed, gave more of an eroded look to the finish.
As the sign dried, I rubbed the areas of dried paint and sawdust working the particles off the surface (at least most of them!)
I also removed some of the sawdust in the wetter areas to work off larger amounts of paint for a more rustic appeal.
I carefully scraped the edges (where the wax puck was used) and lightly sanded areas to create an aged effect without revealing the white paint underneath.