Salem Red and Sea Green Distressed Coat Rack

After yesterdays link to the video by 13th Haven, showing how to achieve a chippy finish with milk paint, I thought I would share with you a little project I’ve been working on to similar effect, but this time using two colours.

I’ve just finished recycling this lovely old vintage shelf, turning it into a small coat rack with the addition of some beaded board at the back, and three sturdy iron coat hooks.

It started out with just an off white paint finish – found at the Ardingly Antiques Fair (highly recommended). Unfortunately I  forgot to take ‘before’ pictures (doh), so you’ll just have to take my word on that. I will definitely try to remember that in future! Anyhoo, I couldn’t decide which colour to go with…I definitely wanted milk paint of course, and it kind of felt like it should be Sea Green, but then that is a real favourite of mine! As the name suggests, it’s a bluey green, but it’s such a restful, ‘knocked down’ colour, it just seems to go with everything. So, as it had been painted already, and could either add some Extra Bond for a solid finish, or just let it do its thing. As it was already quite ‘distressed’, I went for the latter. I just thought, to achieved a smooth, solid finish would take too much work ~ the wood itself was quite knocked about. (In my view, if you can’t achieve a pristine finish, go for distressed, but that’s just me).

So, off I went with Sea Green, and yes it did flake quite heavily in places as I wanted. It will normally do this when you milk paint over a previous paint or varnish (thought not always),  but to my surprise, it actually formed a true crackle effect in places, which was a real bonus! I put any crackle glaze on, so it just must have been caused by the kind paint originally used underneath ~ basically ‘weak over strong’ ~ Lovely! So this was all good, but….I always kind of prefer darker colours showing beneath light ones ~ again this is just personal taste, but I feel that is more striking. So, as the white showing through wasn’t really doing it for me, I decided to add Salem Red over the top. Red goes really well with green, blue or grey in this kind of piece, so I knew it would look good. I could have just let the red dry and chip/flake again, but I went a stage further, and wiped it off in areas when it was still slightly wet. This gave me whole areas of the Sea Green showing through and blending with the red to give a two-tone effect I really like. It also forced the red into some of the crackles.

I then added some new tongue and groove boards to the back, all painted in exactly the same way (without of course the original white paint). It didn’t chip or crackle of course, so I distressed it by wiping, sanding and scraping. DSC00074 low resDSC00081 low resIt just goes to show how good milk paint is at making new look old if you want it to!

I was really pleased with the overall effect, and as I had now gone into the territory of quite deep colours, I thought I would go all the way and seal it with an antiquing wax. This is basically just standard finishing wax that has a brown or sometimes gold colour added which will age the wood further as well as giving the usual waxy sheen.

And here is it! I’m really pleased with it and hope you like it too x

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