In this tutorial I am going to show you how to add glamour to your upcycled furniture by using plaster, metallic paints and glaze.
You can easily add glamour to an old table-top, night-stand or dresser that has a rough top or even mildly bubbled surface using this faux technique.
If you are like me, you may not enjoy sanding down these types of projects and prefer to get right to the fun part.
That is Trixie my faithful assistant looking out the window.
You can turn a very ugly dumpster worthy piece of furniture into a work of art with this easy technique.
With the right tools anyone can do this easy technique.
Furniture Paint (Chalk based or Milk Paint of your choice)
Sealer (Depends on the paint you chose)
Micas (Metallic) or Metallic furniture paint
Rubber Roller (Ostrich pattern for this technique)
Embossing Medium (Paint Couture Brand or use Spackling Compound)
Paint Brushes, Sponges
Simple Green or Other De-greasing Cleaner
Tarp and Cleaning Rags
Sandpaper (Assorted Grit)
Dust Mask or Vacuum (Optional)
Painters Tape (Optional)
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Follow these 11 easy steps and get ready to be amazed!
Always start with a clean piece of furniture, especially if you found your lovely piece in a dumpster or a thrift shop.
Since you don’t know what it has been exposed to or cleaned with, you need to make sure any oils or waxy furniture polish is removed.
My go to product to do the job is Simple Green because it cuts through the grease, and it is non-toxic and bio-degradable which is super important to me.
Now that your piece is nice and clean make sure you cover the surfaces where you will be working.
It is best to do this project outside or in a garage because of the dust that you will generate when it is time to sand the plaster top.
If your piece has drawers take them out and remove any hardware pulls or handles.
I usually put a first coat on the base of my piece before I start working on the top.
If you are using a chalk-based paint or milk paint you shouldn’t need to prime your piece.
For this technique you will use your embossing medium or some patching plaster if you don’t have the embossing medium.
I personally prefer the embossing medium because it is just the right texture, but I have been known to use spackling paste when I run out of embossing medium.
If I am using the patching plaster, I typically give it a minute or two to set up before I run my rubber roller through the plaster to let it harden up just a bit.
You can use your Bondo blade to scoop out some product and put it onto a paper plate.
It is always a good idea to practice first on a piece of wood until you get the hang of it.
Next you will load up the Bondo blade with product and start spreading on the top of the piece, pulling as you go.
It will take a few pulls down the piece to fully cover the top with plaster.
Continue to smooth it by adding plaster and pulling smoothly down the piece.
Line up the roller by slightly overlapping the last pull and roll to the end until you have the whole piece covered.
If you slip and smear the design don’t even worry about it.
Take your Bondo blade and smooth out that section and re-roll it again.
Now the easy part…let your piece dry for a few hours or even better over-night.
You may want to wear a dust mask when you do your sanding or use a vacuum to suck up the dust as you sand.
You need to do the sanding by hand so that you don’t end up sanding off your whole design.
While sanding just knock down any sharp peaks and smooth it out a little.
Don’t be too aggressive with your sanding because you want the little dimples to remain.
Now you will put your second coat on the base of your piece if it needs it or do any touch up.
I also cover my plaster top with a dark color like black or dark blue or teal.
Let the paint dry for the recommended time for the paint that you used.
After the paint is dry it is time to seal the paint on the base and even on the top of the piece.
Use the type of sealer that is recommended for the paint that you used.
I like to use American Paint’s topcoat for this step, but you can use any water-based poly product.
Now the fun part!
Using the metallic paints and metallic micas that you choose for the top start dabbing and swirling the metallic colors across the top.
You can use stiff brushes and or sponges to dab and spread the materials.
I usually start with some mica mixed with a poly product first and then move to the metallic paint.
You will have to use your own judgement with this process.
I like to put a similar color glaze all over my faux projects because it gives it a very smooth elegant look.
For this one I used a deep dark black glaze over the black paint.
On the top I used a deep copper with hints of bronze on the top of the plaster treatment.
Adding the glaze on the top not only gives it a beautiful sheen but it also helps seal the finish.
When using glaze, you need to let it dry completely before putting anything back on top of the table.
Follow the instructions for dry time on the glaze that you use so that you don’t end up ruining the finish.
If you want a really durable surface you can add a few coats of a water-based poly once the glaze is completely dry.
If your piece has hardware, you can put it back on as is or you can up-style the hardware by painting it or putting on brand new hardware.
It is amazing what new hardware will do for a piece.
Once your piece is completely dry you can display your beautiful treasures on top of your new glamorous piece.
Make sure to only use a damp rag to dust the surface and use coasters for drinks like you would with any nice piece of furniture.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial about how to transform a dumpster find into a glamorous treasure.
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