my favorite paint finish.

have you ever spent a good long amount of time painting something just to beat the heck out of it after it dried? on purpose? that's pretty much my favorite technique...

1- because i'm indecisive & rarely stick with the first paint color i pick

2- because i'm a perfectionist & every
minuscule streak of paint on a smooth paint finish bothers me

& 3- probably because i'm a little lazy & definitely an amateur.

it doesn't take much to whip out a paint brush or spray can & go at it. & a new coat of paint can work wonders on pretty much anything! but i feel like busting out your high-grit sandpaper after & going to town on the thing takes it from painted thing to really interesting what's the story with that where did you find it painted thing.

i do this a lot with picture frames because they're low investment & easy to re-do if you really hate it afterward. here's a few examples:

distressing changes a messy, quickie paint job with cheap craft paint on a cheap $1 frame to a cute weathered beachy look that i love:

if you do it with multiple layers of paint you get a completely different effect. i thought these plain brown frames needed some color, so i went with a bright green & then decided it was too much. so i covered that with a bright blue that i decided was too much [see the note above re: indecisive]. so i took a sanding block & worked almost all of both the paints off until lots of the original frame showed through & added a tiny bit of glaze to finish it off:
completely different! seriously, there is no trick to it. you just sand until you think you've done too much, & then sand a little more. and these frames ended up being a great way to bring those blues & greens i love into the room even more.

well... i like this little 'messy distress-y' look even more on furniture. it feels a little naughty to paint something entirely & then entirely mess it up. i had this little table i inherited from my mom that i liked the shape of & knew it was good solid wood, but the plain brown was just a little too plain & i'm trying to do away with quite so many plain brown wood surfaces around here. so i spray painted it a bright blue
[the same from the picture frames above.]:
i really liked the color, but it turned out super glossy & glam, which just wasn't quite what i was going for, & definitely didn't fit in with the rest of my worn-in laid-back stuff.
then i saw a picture of this crazy awesome media cabinet & knew for sure i wanted to sand all that blue paint almost completely off. [check out the room she used it in too, it's completely amazing. i love her whole blog.]

so to the power sander i went. love that thing! i've used it so much hubs says it's officially mine. [some men get their wives flowers & chocolate for valentine's- mine got me belt sander refills because he's awesome & knows me. AND chocolate.]

i sanded almost all of the blue off of the top, & as much as i could get off of the curvy legs.it was a situation where the more i sanded it, the more i liked it!
things like this make me wonder why i wait so long to follow through on an idea & why i'm so intimidated by just going for it? it looks beat-up, worn-in & like it's been hiding in a barn or some place awesome for a long time. it's sanded so much, it's even soft. is it weird for a piece of furniture to be soft? i LOVE it.

& the perfect little spot for it:
i thought the bright teal, even distressed, might clash a little with my very navy chairs [more on those soon!] but i think it actually adds a bit of dimension... all the same exact blue would be very boring, & it seems to make something that could read a little too traditional [a matching set of navy armchairs] a little funkier, especially considering the chairs are a fun print!


  1. Love it, love the table, love the frames, love the icky brass light fixture revamp... love it all!! I need a belt sander in my life!

  2. & i love your 'my best friend's wedding' reference :) were we separated at birth?


i love to hear your comments or questions! i'll try to respond as quickly as possible, or you can email me at leafandletter[at]gmail.com :)



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