Year-end is the perfect time to take a look back at the projects you’ve completed throughout the year. In doing so, I created a two-part post. Part 1 titled Setting Goals Can Lead to Success showed you a major challenge faced in 2018, how I altered my work to get past that setback, and the positive results. Now this Part 2, I’m sharing a review of my 2018 Furniture Painting Projects so you can see the paints and finishes I use most after years of experimenting with different products.
Part 2: The Paint & Finishes I Use Most
Looking back at the past year allows me to see which paint and stain techniques I’ve used most, the types of furniture pieces I’ve leaned toward, and which most appeal to myself and my audience. It also helps to evaluate and see where I’d like to make changes.
In 2015 and 2016, there was alot of experimenting with different brands of paints, colors, and layering of paints and glazes.
2018 had a few bumps in the furniture refinishing road, as I told you about in Part 1. So for the little time I had to work on refinishing projects, I worked more on technique and perfecting the use of the paints and stains I use most. I opted for neutral colors and practical, durable finishes with flat topcoats, enamel paints, and stains rather than multi-layer finishes.
It’s funny to look back at the colors I used too. 2018 was a struggle and the dark paint colors I used most often seemed to reflect that dark side.
While I do love a great navy blue or black, I’m thinking of mixing it up a bit with a lighter, warmer, neutral finishes to lean more toward the positive light I see coming in 2019!
As you scroll though, feel free to click each photo to see the full before & after post for each.
Painted & Stained Furniture Projects
Let’s start with the blacks.
These first two pieces where painted in a muddy gray chalk paint, then topped with a black glaze. The two layered together result in a gray/black with a little depth.
Here’s a wood and marble bookcase painted in the same muddy gray, then topped with a white glaze. The result is similar to the gray stone color in the marble shelf.
Next up is a stained, black finish with a waxed protective topcoat. I absolutely love the buttery smooth finish that results from a wax. Wax requires a learning curve, but so worth the result for stained pieces.
Enamel has become my most used paints over the past two years. But like other paints and topcoats, requires learning curve to get it right. I’ll be sharing these pro-tips with you in posts this upcoming year as I show you how to use enamels to paint both real and imitation wood surfaces.
Here’s a sneak peak at some office furniture I worked on this past fall. I’ll share the full post featuring two conference tables and two side cabinets very soon.
This hutch was one of the last pieces I painted in 2018. Some snow had arrived so I needed a finish that didn’t require sanding. I used a bit of different technique on this one by using two different sheen enamels to create a distressed look with a durable topcoat all in one easy step.
Wow! That was a lot of black. Let’s get into the blues…
I love a navy blue dresser for a boys room. My boys have navy blue furniture and I’ve never tired of it. It’s some of my favorite furniture in the house. Still dark and durable with just a bit of color. And yes, there are all enamel paints.
Before we get into the lighter painted and stained finishes, here’s one more in a dark green with a dark glaze. I used these two dressers to experiment with the paint and primer and proved that a separate primer was not required.
I did use some lighter finished in 2018 as well. Like this 1950’s blonde dresser that was refinished in a bright white enamel and dark stain. The gray you see in the photos was actually me playing with some computer generations and doing some preliminary design work before my brush ever touched the dresser. Pretty cool stuff.
These twin mirrors were painted in one of my favorite color finishes. I’ve used white glaze over Persian Blue Milk Paint before and still love it.
In 2017, I whitewashed a dining table for a client. Here’s my second whitewashed dining table project from 2018. Really pretty, one-of-a-kind piece.
Here’s a French dresser that was made of manufactured wood so of course it was painted in the same enamel I talk about above, but this time in a China White.
Even though I’ve shown you a lot of painted finishes from 2018, I’ve grown to appreciate solid wood and old world furniturings that last centuries instead of just decades. With my injury, I wasn’t able to do much sanding this past year so I missed creating pieces with my signature finish – a naturally aged wood.
Click here to learn more about the sanding technique I’ve developed to sand back previously-stained finishes to create a naturally-aged finish.
Happy New Year – Here’s looking forward to 2019!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I use myself.