Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DIY Paint Technique

Greetings! Are you ready to learn a little DIY paint technique? I couldn't wait to share this with you, it's the first time I've tried this method (with wax paste), so I hope you have successful results like I did. I won't kid you, this technique has a lot of steps, much like the Ball Finial Technique, but totally worth it in the end. Patience is good to have when starting a project like this, but honestly, I used my craft heat gun to speed up the drying processes. :) As I'm sure you know, the craft and hobby stores are packed full of garden accessories and that's where I found these great pedestals. I have no intention of using them outside and after this technique, it's indoor use anyway. They are made of Terra cotta/clay and have a painted finish already, but it's pretty wimpy and I wanted a more of a distressed finish.
Here is what you are going to need:

Garden pedestal (your choice of size and style, these 2 are from Hobby Lobby, 50% off)

Acrylic paint (Burnt Umber and Sandstone) Wax Paste (for furniture)

Sandpaper, fine grit

Chip Brush

Old Towel Spray Sealer

After you've gathered all you supplies, start by painting out the entire pedestal in Burnt Umber. Depending on how detailed your piece is, two coats may be in order to get all the nooks and crannies.

Let your piece dry completely (or use the heat gun). Next, open your wax paste and use an old towel to rub over the pedestal specifically in areas that would naturally have wear. Let the wax dry completely, about an hour (I really waited an hour on this step). I hope you can see the wax in this picture:

Now you are ready to do the top coat of Sandstone acrylic paint. Keep the brush pretty dry, meaning not too much paint, and just hit the surface, leaving some of the burnt umber exposed. Let the top coat dry completely.

Now, using the sandpaper, gently begin sanding on the edges, concentrating on the areas where wear would naturally occur. Because of the wax paste, the top coat sands off really easy and appears to have "chips" out of the paint instead of a sanding appearance, although some of that is present, but it's not a bad thing.

Finally, a burnt umber wash is next. Dilute some burnt umber in a bowl with water and wash over the piece. Let it sit for a minute or two and use a towel to pounce off quite a bit of it, leaving it in the crevices.

I did one side at a time, you don't want it to dry on, just age out the finish a little more.

After everything is dry, give the entire piece a coat of sealer, I like to use flat vs. gloss.

The finished product!

Pedestals can be used for a lot of different things around the house, like under lamps, or bases for cloches, but I wanted to put a couple of my cylinder vases (that you've seen a kagillion times :) up on them for hurricanes.

I put a little sand (to catch the wax and level out the candle) and a little moss for a little springiness

It makes quite a dramatic statement, I loved it instantly, I hope you can see how big it is (about 20" tall). I think I want to do a smaller one too, I have smaller glass vases that would look great as well, and I'm thinking on the mantle would look great. I hope you give this technique a try, I know you'll love it! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you're inspired!
The Lettered Cottage


  1. Looks great Michelle and so perfect with the yellow tulips. It reminds me of Spring!! Your pictures are always beautiful and so sharp, what kind of camera do you use?

  2. Despite the several steps, it certainly looks do-able. I'll have to keep that in mind, I love the distressed look. Thanks for a great idea and tutorial- I love seeing pictures of each step! :)

  3. I love these Michelle!!!! I wish I had a hobby lobby close so I could score me a couple, especially at 50% off! Thanks for the inspiration:)

  4. Awesome finish, I think I might have to go buy some pedestals or terra cotta vases to try this out. Your instructions were simple and easy to follow. Thanks!

  5. I love that! I recently did some candle stix that were already brown and got the same look. I'm thinking the pedastle would be a great addition!

  6. Very Cool! I am going to try this for sure. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  7. very pretty. Looks so pretty with the candle. :-)

  8. Love it! Did you just find the pedestals in the garden center?

  9. Thanks everyone!
    Andrea, I use a Canon Rebel XSi, it's my baby. :)

    Ashley, yes, I found the pedestals at Hobby Lobby in the garden section, the glass vases I've had for a long time now, but bought those at TJ Maxx.

  10. Fabulous! The new look is so worth the many steps.

    Your table setting is gorgeous too :)

  11. I think this is the project for this sunday!!! I cannot wait to do this. Yours look so perfect. I hope I can do mine justice.. Thanks so much for all your share with us. You are quite an inspiration!

  12. This is such a fantastic tutorial! Love it! And your pictures are gorgeous girl!

  13. That really gives it a beautiful finish. Really pretty!
    Hugs, Cindy

  14. that just gave me an awesome idea!!! Thank you...I have some bases that I hate hiding in the bases...and some new glass hurrianes...love the moss in it too!

  15. Hi do not know if you get my message that I was saying I am a Spanish girl and I would like to better understand what you say in your blog, if you could install the google translator for my language I select a setting, and read while I see your pictures. Sorry if you upset.

  16. I LOVE this!! I would love for you to share it at my Linky Party!



  17. I had totally forgotten about using wax! I just bought some tulips and boy they sure do bring in spring don't they? Love how you put the high gloss vase with the worn look,stunning.

  18. Michelle, this is just LOVELY!
    Thank you for partyin' with us...you're so talented and it's so nice to "meet" you today! :-)

  19. These are beautiful Michelle, bravo girl!!!


  20. Love your paint project! My husband tells me there isn't anything I won't try to paint. Please come visit my website, and share some of your projects. Just click on "your ideas". Your page will become permanent, my visitors would love to see your ideas!

  21. I have been thinking of these since last year. I saw your post after I bought two of the same pedestals before you did this. They are still wimpy but I plan to transform them this weekend!


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