4 Easy Paint Techniques

Do you have a piece of furniture that you are thinking of tossing? Have you considered painting it? It’s amazing how you can transform something with paint and a little know-how. I have painted chairs, beds, chests, clocks, candlesticks, trays, baskets—you name it. Paint completely changes the look. Read on for a few techniques you can use to give furniture (or accessories) a fresh new look.

Chalk-Type Paint

Chalk-finish paint has calcium carbonate in it, so typically you won’t need to use a primer before using this paint. And if you plan to distress the item, the paint comes off easily without peeling.

This metal bed started out black.


I used a gray chalk-type paint to give it a completely new look. It looks fresher and lighter. I used a wax coat on top to protect the finish. I did not do any distressing.


Crackle Finish

This was actually an iron table base—I bought it without a table top. I happened to have this top sitting in my garage. Don’t ask why. I personally go by a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  If I see you hoarding stuff in your garage, I will keep that information to myself.

I bolted the table top to the base with screws.


First I cleaned the top, then applied a chalk-type paint, and then I brushed on a crackle medium, followed by a second coat of chalk-type paint in a lighter color. Lastly, I added a layer of clear wax.

You can see the finish is very crackled.


Here is the finished product.


Milk Paint

I used a gray milk paint on this medallion, then applied an antiquing glaze, and finished with a wax.


The milk paint finish made the piece look even older. You can distress a little or a lot.


Chalk Type Paint and Milk Paint

For this brass clock, I used a chalk-finish paint first. I wanted paint that was going to stick really well.


After it dried, I painted over the clock again with a milk paint.


I used an antiquing glaze to wear away part of the milk paint. To get all the way down to the brass in places, I sanded it in just a few areas because I wanted the brass to show through in places. And I finished with wax to protect the finish.


So there are four types of paint finishes: chalk-type paint, crackle finish, milk paint, and finally a combination of milk and chalk-type paint. It’s amazing how easy it is to achieve a professional look. The good news is if you mess up, you can just paint over mistakes. It’s as simple as that.

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