Some or all of the hosts of The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest receive monetary and/or product compensation from the sponsoring brand, Saltwash, in order to complete their themed projects. Saltwash and their sister company, Saltwater Salvage Designs will also provide the prize package for the contest winner. This post also contains my Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Please see my full Disclosure policy for additional info.
You know how sometimes you see antique things that other people have and sometimes they’ve brought them back from a trip to France or something and you’re like, I couldn’t even afford the cost of getting that thing back (no matter how small it is) much less a trip to France? But you want the thing anyway (duh) because it’s old, it’s beautiful and it has a story. That kind of thing happens to me all the time. One of these days I’m going to be able to afford a trip to a Parisian flea market (and bring the stuff back). Until then I’m going to go on making DIY Farmhouse style milking bench like this one for $25 bucks and making it look really old with, what I have to say, is a pretty awesome new paint technique I learned recently.
I was inspired, in part, by this one in our Guest Bathroom that I found in my great aunt and uncle’s barn after they’d passed away. But for this bench, I wanted something a little bigger.
We knocked this bench out in about an hour. No real plan, just an idea of how I wanted it to look. We used random paint cans to get the curves on the front flaps and legs. The bench is 4′ ft wide and with two 1′ ft tall legs. The legs are set in at 6″ on either side. It was put together using my Ryobi Airstrike brad nailer and wood glue, starting with the top and then adding the sides. The sides nailed into the top as well as the legs. Then we used bar clamps to hold everything together tightly as it dried. After that, it was time for some fun!
For bench, you will need:
- 1 – 1x12x6
- 2 – 1x6x4
- Skil saw
- Jig saw
- brad nailer
- wood glue
- bar clamps
- Two paint colors of your choice
Step 1 – Stain
Since I knew I’d be sanding down in some areas to bare wood, I wanted it to have a good undercoat of stain first.
Step 2 – Saltwash
Once the stain was dry I mixed this new product, Saltwash, into my first paint layer.
It’s a powder that goes directly into most any paint of your choice.
Mix to the consistency of thick cake icing and then…
Glob, yes, I said glob, it onto the surface of your piece. Allow it to dry until tacky and then gently, and slightly, smooth it down with a paint brush. Think of it like a knock down ceiling technique.
Step 3 – Paint 2nd coat, contrasting color (minus the Saltwash mixed in)
I let the Saltwash layer dry overnight before applying my second, non-Saltwash layer, in a contrasting color. I chose two blues. The darkest on top.
Step 4 – Sand
After that dried thoroughly it was time to sand.
I sanded everything to a smooth finish and down to bare wood in some areas. I’m going for that fresh-from-a-Parisian-flea market-without-the-cost look, remember?
Step 5 – Seal
I’m not going to lie. This is a completely new technique to me and I had not ever used it prior to this. And it was at this stage that I thought…oh no. It kind of looks like a stonewashed pair of jeans from the 90s. Or one of those sponge painted walls.
This product is designed to give you a beachy, saltwashed look but I was going for more of a farmhouse, I’ve-been-in-a-French-barn-for-200-years, look so I hadn’t used those bright beach-inspired colors. Apparently, I had gone more for a denim inspired palette. But I remind myself there’s always an ugly stage and keep going.
Because then, once I’d added a clear wax and gone back over that with a dark wax, it was no longer a bad pair of jeans leftover from the 90s.
It looks like I went to a French flea market….
And had enough money left over to bring something back.
And for now, I can live with that!