French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Not long after my French Provincial Transformation, I texted my oldest daughter some pictures of the dresser, knowing that she’ll need some furniture to fill her apartment this fall. This was the exchange:

Of course, she meant to say “please,” but how can one refuse such an enthusiastic response? :) And since I had received so many questions about how I finished it, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try again.

So let’s start at the beginning. The first layer I started with is a diy chalk paint recipe I saw over at twelveOeight. The paint color is Raw Umber (Folk Art brand), but I think I used Van Dyke brown on the first piece. I used a little less water than Tanya did, filling the empty paint bottle about 1/4th of the way up and shaking it really well to get the rest of the paint out of the bottle, before adding it to the paint.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

I used that to paint the entire piece. I didn’t worry about brush strokes showing through, in the end, it’s not really going to matter. I was almost able to cover the whole thing with the one bottle, but I actually forgot about the drawers and was putting it on a little heavy before I remembered them. Thankfully I had another bottle of paint so I could make some more.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

The next layer, and maybe the most critical to obtaining the layered look, consists of some drywall spackling compound and a little bit of ASCP in Old White. Now I know you’re going to ask me why I didn’t just DIY some more chalk paint, and I certainly could have, but I had this little sample bottle on hand, and it was the right color, so that’s what I used.

I prefer using DAP Fast ‘n Final for my spackling. I love the light texture and quick drying time. I don’t know if other brands would work the same. And here’s the thing…I think you could try this adding a different color chalk paint, or even skipping the chalk paint and adding a little water instead, or for that matter, just using it without any liquid at all. There are probably lots of different looks you could get with drywall spackling compound.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

I don’t have exact measurements for you here (sorry) but I just scooped a couple of really large spoonfuls of the DAP (using the plastic spoon) into my measuring cup, and then added a level spoonful or two of the chalk paint. I mixed it up until I had a pretty thick paste. You don’t want it too thin, or it will run down the sides of the piece.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Then, using a little tool I happened to have on hand (it may or may not be the same one I use to spread icing on cupcakes) I glopped some onto the piece and spread it around. Don’t worry about trying to make the texture smooth, you want lots of texture here. Or at least I did. Also, be sure to leave some of the brown base layer showing.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that you really don’t need to try to fill holes or repair dents and dings with this method. If you can still see them, just add some more layers until you can’t. It covers a multitude of sins!

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

After the spackling is dry, you can sand some of the rough spots down or not. I think I did on the first piece, but not on this one. The next layer is some more diy chalk paint, this time using Calypso Sky acrylic paint (Folk Art brand). Just paint it right on top of the spackling.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Don’t worry about covering every little crack and crevice. It’s good to leave some of the spackling showing through. You can even leave some of the base color showing, which I think I might have done more on the first piece, but not so much on this one.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Next, I sanded the surface down a little, and then took a little tool (I think it might be for removing caulk from corners?) to scrape through some of the layers in spots. I followed that with a little more sanding. I believe I used a medium grit sandpaper.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

Here’s what it looks like at this point. We’re getting closer!

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

But we’re not quite done yet. Next, I used the same Calypso Sky diy chalk paint as before, but this time I used less water and more plaster of paris to make it thicker. And using my same little spreader tool, I went back over the piece again, spreading the paint over wherever it felt like it needed it.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

You can see I left it pretty thick in some spots, adding to the texture.

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

After that, I applied a coat of clear wax with a brush. This is one of the places I messed up on the first piece. I used the dark wax, and it was waaaay too dark. It really likes to stick to that spackling! So on the first piece, I sanded it back down to the beginning and started over again. :(

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

After buffing the piece with a cotton cloth, I went over it one more time, very sparingly, with some dark wax on a rag

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

And then wiped that down too. The clear wax keeps it from making the piece too dark, because you’re able to wipe more of it off. See how it gives it an aged look?

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

And this is what it looks like right now. I might still sand the drawers a little more here and there, and maybe add some more paint in a few spots, but you get the idea. Obviously the body isn’t done yet, but hopefully I’ve given you enough information to do this yourself, if you’re so inclined. :)

Me and My DIY: French Provincial Questions Answered (how to add texture to furniture)

I didn’t tell you before, but we’re actually in New Mexico right now, visiting our oldest daughter. I had hoped to get this post up sooner, but reception has been spotty at best.

I wanted to leave you with a picture from where we’re currently staying. It’s the view from the courtyard at Casa del Gavilan in Cimmaron, New Mexico. If you ever find yourself headed out to Philmont Scout Ranch, this little B&B is the place to stay. It’s absolutely beautiful. Wouldn’t you like to wake up to this view every morning?

I hope you’re having a good week. Thanks for stopping by, as always!

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