Spa Makeover for this Ol’ Gal–or How to Add Texture with Dixie Belle Sea Spray

Sometimes I go to these auctions and I see a piece and don’t really acknowledge it. Or sometimes I simply say ” ugh, too much work what a piece of JUNK”. This ol’ gal was one of those pieces. I shrugged it off as too much work before I even gave it a chance. The drawers didn’t slide right, it was filthy, dirty, chippy and it was just ….. work. But then I remembered why I do this. I save these old forgotten, thrown out pieces. She needed a new life, someone to want her again. So I raised my hand and bid.

Getting her back to the shop I again questioned myself….the finish was pitted, chippy and it wasn’t a good color chippy either: gloss brown over an odd 70’s gold. Nothing like you see on Pinterest with the perfect mint green showing through a perfectly crackled white. She was quite simply….ugly.

I said to myself ….. there is no way to sand this entire thing, strip it and try to make it perfect. And, simply painting over it won’t look good. So, I thought that I would give this Dixie Belle product a try, I had never used it, didn’t even have a clue what it really was. Honestly, it was something I just added to the order one day. So a few YouTube video’s later I gained the courage to use it.

Dixie Belle Sea Spray is an additive for your Dixie Belle paint. I like to refer to it as oatmeal, lol! The Sea Spray product gives you a raised, bumpy effect as if your piece has been beautiful weathered on the front porch of an oceanfront property. It really is impressive.

This is a process so you might need to prep yourself with coffee (or wine). First, clean your piece with your Dixie Belle White Lighting TSP based cleaner, DO NOT skip this step. Your finish is only as good as your beginning. I cannot stress that enough. But, Nicole, we are distressing ….. YES, you are correct however you still need your paint to stick right!?!

While your piece is drying gather your supplies:

  • Paint brush
  •  Mixing bowl
  • Sea Spray Additive
  • Base Color
  • Top Color
  • Finishing product: wax, glaze or clear coat

Following directions on the Dixie Belle Sea Spray package mix your base color with your sea spray until you have an oatmeal consistency. The best brush to use while applying this product is a cheap ” Chip brush ” you can get for $2 from the hardware store. Applying this product is not exactly like painting, you are using a technique called stippling, much like you are stenciling. Blob it onto your piece because you want peaks and valley’s. Until most painting– you don’t want it smooth. I chose to just hit certain area’s of the piece. Don’t forget–a great thing with refinishing is you get to make it your own, you choose how you want it to look!

After your base coat has dried you want to apply your top coat. Use a complimentary color to your base-coat. I chose Dixie Belle Dried Sage, it was dark enough that I was going to have the Fluff white come through once I sanded yet subtle enough to allow the piece to have class even though it will look heavily worn. I also added a bit of Dixie Belle Vintage Duck Egg in areas, this is a subtle blue grey that I just love! Apply a full coat of your top coat color over the entire piece using a normal paint brush and typical painting motion.

Once dry we are ready for the fun part: SANDING. It will really give this piece its character. I love power sanders, so this is my tool of choice, but please use whatever form of sanding you are most comfortable. With a power sander, I use an 80 grit paper to sand the piece. I hit the corners first and then start going over the entire piece until I get my desired look. You can also hand sand. I would recommend a 60 or 80 grit paper, it is very abrasive and allows you to remove the paint layers easiliy. As you start sanding you will start seeing the fluff color coming through.

PRO TIP: If you have a dark stained wood piece and you want the wood to show through without sanding through the dark stain and hitting raw wood try this: grab a ktichen sponge and get it wet with warm water, use it like sand paper to essentially wipe the paint off. This allows the dark wood to come through without the possibility of burning through.

Once you are happy with the amount of distressing you are able to achieve then it’s time to apply a wax, glaze or poly clear coat. With this piece, I chose to simply apply Gator Hide Poly to protect the finish. Using a wet brush apply 2 thin coats of Gator Hide allowing 24 hours drying time in between coats.

Finishing touches: I added drawer pulls and wood stained shelves to the inside and I chose not to distress the inside color of the piece.

We stock Dixie Belle Sea Spray in our store and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the product and application methods

Another great tutorial using Sea Spray:

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