I am so excited to share this driftwood paint finish with you today! If you follow my blog, you know that I love to experiment with paint. Honestly, I was expecting to use multiple colors to get the finish I was looking for. But, I was surprised how simple this ended up being. That doesn’t happen very often!
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I’ve been searching for home decor ideas for my mantel lately. I knew it needed something large to anchor the space, but I kept coming up empty handed.
The other day I was driving and saw these old shutters sitting out for trash. They were perfect to experiment on. Nothing lost if I didn’t like them. Boy was I surprised by this transformation!
Here they are today.
CLEAN, REPAIR & SAND
These roadside shutters were covered in old paper wasp nests and dirt. There was no wood rot or other damage, so I had my son power wash them in exchange for a trip to Chipotle. 🙂
I filled the old bolt holes with Wood Bondo using these plastic spreaders. Then I used a sanding sponge over the surface to rough it up and smooth out the Bondo. Finally, I wiped them down with odorless mineral spirits and a blue shop towel.
I’m starting to prefer wood bondo for furniture repair over wood filler. This is the second time I have used it. I repaired the veneer on this corner desk, the first time. It has a really fast dry time, so you can get moving with your project much quicker.
I can’t speak to longevity, since I’m new to using it. But, I can say, that if you follow the directions, it is pretty easy to use. Here is a helpful video from Bondo. If you’re short on time, you can start the video at about 1 minute 40 seconds.
THREE STEP DRIFTWOOD PAINT FINISH
STEP 1 – PRIME
I covered each shutter with two coats of Zinnser Bulls Eye Primer. There’s not much to this. I used a Purdy brush and went in the direction of the wood grain. To avoid drips, be careful to not overload your brush. I let it dry overnight.
It’s important to prep and prime your surface, because you will be distressing your top coat later.
STEP 2 – PAINT
Next, I painted one coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Algonquin and let it dry to the touch. This paint is light weight and easy to apply. An added bonus is you don’t have to add a top coat.
STEP 3 – SAND TO DISTRESS
The last step is to make long strokes with 80 grit sandpaper in the direction of the grain of the wood. I didn’t sand back and forth. Just long, straight, even strokes in one direction. I just kept sanding until it was distressed the way I wanted it.
Here is a side by side. The left shutter is sanded, the right shutter hasn’t been. The white primer is showing through on the left shutter.
I finished up by vacuuming and wiping them down with a damp rag. Since this is just a home decor item, I didn’t bother to put a protective finish on them. If it were a tabletop, bench or other high use item, I would have.
A good top coat choice is General Finishes Topcoat. I used this on my sons desk, and it has held up well. I used the Satin finish, but they also offer it in flat. Let the paint cure for a week or so. Then apply the top coat and let that cure according to the package instructions.
Now I need to decorate my mantel for fall. 🙂
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I hope this driftwood paint finish tutorial helps you with your next project!