Saturday, February 1, 2014


Bar Stools - Distressed Painted Candlewax Technique

The dining area in our beach house needed some color.  These bar stools were a nice new dark espresso brown finish, but I convinced my husband Tom to let me paint and distress them.  I felt an aqua blue paint color would look pretty against the white bead-board backdrop.  I have to admit I was a little nervous about working on them; it's easy to justify painting and distressing anything that is old and beat up, but these stools were brand new.

Bar Stools
Bar Stools Before

Bar Stools - Distressed Painted Candlewax Technique
Bar Stools After

I had already finished a couple pieces with this paint distressing technique, so I moved forward some confidence that I knew what I was doing.  I think they turned out pretty good.  Tom likes the final product too - he said "they turned out a lot better than he thought they would".  (That's a compliment from my husband - he's an engineer) :o)


I sanded the bar stools to prepare them for painting.  My plan for distressing was to expose the dark stain on the edges/corners of the stools, so I tried not to over sand these areas in an effort not to go all the way down to the bare wood.  Despite being careful, I still exposed some of the wood. 

I used the candlewax technique for distressing.  I used an old candle (preferably white or cream to avoid any issues with color) and rubbed it on specific areas of the stools.  The exposed wood areas were not a problem with this technique; when I applied the candlewax, I focused on covering edges/corners that still had the brown stain.  In addition, the strategy in application was on the areas that would most likely see wear with regular use - example - the bars across the bottom where people would put their feet when sitting on the stools.
For the paint color, I chose Quietude by Sherwin Williams #6212 as it went nicely with some toss pillows on the sofa sectional.  A couple other colors from the same Sherwin Williams paint strip can also be found in the same area of the home. Quietude and the color Rainwashed were used on an end table with a layered distressed paint technique (see post here). 
End Table - Paint Colors: Queitude & Rainwashed
Windowpane is the color on the walls in the Powder Room.  I'm a big fan of this paint strip as the colors are subtle and soft.  They provide a pretty aqua without being too in-your-face bright.

Powder Room - Wall Paint Color: Windowpane
After letting two coats of paint dry, I used sandpaper to remove the paint where the candlewax had been applied. Again - being careful not to go to far and remove the brown stain.  The sandpaper gets gooped-up with the paint and wax, so I use older pieces since I will be throwing them away.
Here they are in the dining room of our beach cottage finished off with a couple coats of polyurethane.
Bar Stools - Distressed Painted Candlewax Technique

Bar Stools - Distressed Painted Candlewax Technique
Bar Stools After
These saddle bar stools were an economical purchase and I liked that they did not take up too much space and crowd the dining room.  Initially we questioned how comfortable these stools would be to sit on, but we were pleasantly surprised with the comfort.  They are also easy to keep clean.  I'm glad we did not splurge on more expensive upholstered stools.
For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

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