Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fab Four {Mistake Files}

The Kilz Primer

I used this because everyone else does. It was my first experience with it. The coverage was good, which is the point. I was annoyed with the sandpaper-y finish. It says shake 60 seconds prior to using and during use. Everyone else says shaking it for 2 - 3 minutes prior to using and during use. I did this. Still got the sandpaper-y finish.

Would I have used something else instead?

I would definitely be willing to try something else but I would also be willing to give this a try again. I know from working with gesso on my art projects that a sandpaper like finish isn't necessarily a bad thing. It gives the surface some 'tooth' and makes whatever you put over it adhere better. Sanding might be inevitable but getting good coverage could also be worth it. I'd like to try this again and see if I can prevent the sandpaper effect.

Minwax Finishing Paste: Special Dark

It is called "Finishing" paste for a reason. Once you use it, you are finished, so don't changer your mind!

Here's the deal: I wanted to use this, first, to protect the chairs' finish once they were done. I also wanted to use the Special Dark (for darker woods) instead of Natural (for lighter woods) because I thought it would enhance my distressing AND protect my furniture at the same time.

I didn't want to use a polyurethane on my white chairs because it would yellow over time. A polycrylic will not yellow but the the polycrylic I had on hand is a gloss finish, which I did not want on my chairs.

I could have used a stain or a glaze to enhance the distressing I did with sandpaper but I didn't want it to darken the white paint too much. Unfortunately, that's what happened anyway.

What I've Learned

I thought that the wax paste would go over the paint lightly enough to tone done the bright white of the paint and enhance the exposed wood (from my sandpaper distressing) without getting too dark. I wanted "distressed" not "antiqued".

I've learned, from doing all six chairs at once, instead of doing just one and seeing how it turned out before doing the rest, the following:

- Test on something, anything other than your important piece when using a new product for the first time! If you don't have anything similar to test on, do one piece at a time. That way, if you change your mind or screw up, you only have one thing to fix. Not six.

What I Did Wrong

- I did not test the new product before using it in full force.

- I used too much. I thought that, it being a WAX, if got a little too heavy here and there it would wipe off in the buffing stage later. DOES NOT HAPPEN! It hardens and stays just like you put it on. And if you have any rough areas on your paint job, that's where it will accumulate. Which would have been fine if I had just wiped off the excess BEFORE it dried.

How I Tried To Fix It:

I tried sanding in the areas where it got too heavy. It helped. A little. But mostly it just pushed the wax deeper into the finish which left me a beautiful, like butter, silky finish. And that would have been great if I had wiped off the excess before it dried and left overly darkened spots.

Would I Use It Again?

Absolutely. I already have. The second time I knew what I was doing though. If I had to do it over again, I probably would not have used it on the chairs. I think, the Special Dark color, gives it more of an antique finish than I was going for. Maybe the Natural color would have worked better here because I really loved my new white paint I just wanted the distressing to stand out and for them not to look 'too new'.

Wondering how they turned out? I'll show you tomorrow!


  1. I have a comment on the spray kilz. When using spray paint if your humidity is high it will cause the sandpaper finish. I learned this the hard way. It also is the same with spray clear coats.
    I use the spray clear coat on my gourds and always have to check the humidity before using. I also sprayed a mailbox with paint and still haven't finished it because I have to sand it and spray again.
    Can't wait to see your chairs finished.

  2. So true Gourdie! It hasn't rained here in forever but it always feels like swimming through fog anyway. Maybe it was the humidity. I will definitely try the Kilz again. I've used Kilz for years, just not the spray kind. Spraying painting beats brush painting any day. It's easier AND I can do more project alot more quickly!


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