Why am I so drawn to primitive furniture? Maybe it’s the simplicity of the piece and a simpler time. The moment I saw this antique pie safe, I knew immediately what I wanted to do to it to add to its already primitive look. Classic black meets primitive furniture.
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BEFORE – Primitive Furniture Finish
This pie safe is all that and a bag of chips! LOL, I spotted it in the very back as soon as they rolled up the metal storage overhead door.
A little background on this antique pie safe… it was in a 10X15 storage container. I purchased the contents for $150, and had no idea what the contents would be. It was exciting! I was hoping for furniture, and boy did I hit the motherload. I wish I had pictures to show you all the great vintage finds, but that was long ago.
5 antique furniture pieces were pulled out that day, but this one was my favorite.
I’ve always wanted to recreate a primitive finish on an old wood piece. So, I did some research on Pinterest for primitive wood furniture and came up with what I thought was a doable finish using black chalk paint.
Here is my supply list to help you find the products needed to recreate this rustic, distressed look on your wood furniture.
Black Distressed Furniture Makeover
I chose a flat black paint that would compliment and add to the primitive furniture look I was wanting. Black is such a classy look and can add a bit of elegance, but that’s not the look I was wanting. It needed to tell a story of how it was used and who possibly owned it years ago. A more rustic look with black paint with distressing in the areas of highest use.
This paint is creamy and easy to apply.
For this project, I opted to use a roller for the application of paint. Applying the paint with a roller created a bit of texture to the paint. This turned out to actually be good as it added character and an aged look to the finish.
Remember, primitive furniture has lots of character and wrong areas that occur with age—tincture of time. Typically the paint will be rough, chippy, and irregular.
Apply 2 coats of the flat black and allow each coat to dry between applications—about 2 hours.
Wet Distressing Chalk Paint Paint
To create the primitive furniture finish with those dreamy worn areas, I used a scrubber sponge and water.
Add some water to a small bowl and soaked the sponge. Squeezed most of the water from the sponge.
Starting with the scrubber side of the sponge, gently rub in a circular motion and then wipe over the painted surface with the soft sponge side. This will remove some of the paint to reveal the wood.
You will need to play with this until you get the look you want; if you remove too much paint, no worries. Simply roll back over the area with the paint, allow it to dry, and restart the process again.
This is the easiest way to distress your furniture with chalk paint. Less mess, and you don’t have to worry about breathing in all that dust. Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint is non-toxic and has no odor. When I’m working in the studio, it’s easy to be taken over by the harsh fumes from other products. It’s an excellent paint to use indoors.
Once I had completed the primitive furniture look I wanted with the wet distressing, I allowed the painted surface to dry again.
Using 220 grit sandpaper, I went back and lightly sanded the whole piece and focused on the wood showing through the painted areas.
After sanding, the surface was wiped down with a damp cotton cloth to remove any remaining dust. After drying, I applied 1 coat of natural furniture wax. Using the round wax brush, I applied it in a circular motion and then smoothed it with the brush. Allow to dry and buff with a soft cotton cloth.
The Results Are Stunning
Oh yes, the clay pot in the above photo was also painted with Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint. Watch how I created this drippy finish with a spray bottle of water in the video below.
Furniture Salve – Deodorizer And Wood Conditioner
Most of the pieces I get are musty and, honestly, a bit stinky. I love to use Wise Owl Furniture Salve for the interior wood. It moisturizes and deodorizes and gives your furniture a beautiful, lemon/verbena scent. Now when I open the doors to my pie safe, I get a fresh smell. I think I’ll use this pie safe for storage of my vintage quilts. Can you believe that I’m letting pie take a back seat?
The Final Reveal – Distressed Primitive Furniture Makeover
I had a lot of fun creating this primitive distressed furniture look. It’s fun to try new finishes and sometimes, you discover some pretty finishes along the way.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this technique in the comment section below. What do you think? Tell me about your experience or just say hi so I know you were here.
Until the next project… xo, Do