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  • Aaron

Antique Glaze Finish On French provincial Vanity and Seat

Hey everyone! I’m Aaron from Bow Tie Treasures. For the latest project, I painted some antique furniture and I would love to share the details with you guys. Let’s proceed!

Vanity top

The vanity top is stained with “No Pain Gel Stain Espresso”. In order to protect the stain from chalk paint, the top is covered with a towel. The top edges have been stained with “No Pain Gel Stain Coffee Bean”.

On the drawers and sides of the vanity, I have put 2 coats of “Mint Julep”

Shading technique

The shading technique demonstrated in this project is using 2 products “Van Dyke Glaze” and “Charcoal Dixie-Dirt”. The same shading results can also be achieved by “Chalk Paint” or “Voodoo Gel Stain”. Specifically, for this project, I will be demonstrating the glazing technique for shading.

I always show you guys a variety of techniques, so you know which one is more helpful and useful for your project. The Dixie Dirt technique holds a little edge over the 2 other techniques, as it comes out to be a little softer. More in-depth shading results are achieved by this technique.

For this shading project, I’m building up a dark theme so it simulates age and dirt on the vanity. I prefer not to use wax for this purpose. In this demonstration, you will have to take in the information and techniques visually. It is because at several points, it gets really hard to explain and you will just have to visually soak in the steps and techniques.

Faux Technique

In this project, we are not just going to paint the piece of furniture and call it a day. Rather, we will be using the faux technique where we paint the furniture in a way that it looks old and has wax built up over time. It is like a theatrical art form.

In reality, one really cannot estimate the amount of glaze or dirt to use for achieving the perfect look until you do it yourself. There will be multiple times where you would want to add more dirt or at times wipe off some extra dirt. It really depends on how you want your furniture piece to look in the end.

Pro tips

  • Don’t overwork the dirt during shading

  • The dirt dries darker than when you’re working on it

Dixie Dirts

  1. Charcoal Dixie-Dirt (darker brown)

  2. Ash Dixie-Dirt (grey)

  3. Earth Dixie-Dirt (medium brown)

  4. There are many other shades as well but in today’s project, I will be using the Charcoal Dixie-Dirt for shading.

Dixie-Belles Craft Brushes

It is a pack of 4 craft brushes which includes,

  • Pointed tip brush

  • Angled tip brush

  • Flat tip brush

  • 1-inch tip brush

I’m really pleased with the quality of these brushes because I have put them to different tests and they have never disappointed me. So, you will be seeing me using these brushes (1- inch and flat tip brush) throughout this project.

Van Dyke Brown Glaze

Van Dyke Brown Glaze is the main star of the show as it comes with a top coat feel, which allows the dirt to stick better. The “Chalk Paint” or “Voodoo Gel Stain” does not have the consistency which makes the dirt stick better.

Blending Brushes

Blending brushes are used to just vignette or soften the blending area. They are tapered to achieve a soft look.

  1. French tip—pointed tip with natural bristles which allows getting to tight spaces while blending.

  2. La petite—voluminous natural bristles which allow the blending of the dust in bigger areas.

While blending, keep a damp cloth nearby to easily wipe off the dust on the brush.

Steps for the procedure

  1. Use a one-inch craft brush to put the glaze on small parts of the vanity. Make sure to work quickly here because the product starts drying as soon as you put it.

  2. You don’t have to be neat with this, since this will all be blended out

  3. Work in small areas, for example, one leg of vanity at a time

  4. Use the French tip brush to blend out the glaze

  5. Use the La petit brush to soften your blending. Wipe off the brush on a damp cloth after every swipe or two

  6. Wipe the glaze off from the areas that you want to highlight and then use La petit brush to soften it out again

  7. Dab some Charcoal Dixie-Dirt while the glaze is still wet and blend it out so it simulates age and dirt

  8. Put some extra dirt on the crevices or edges and soften it out

  9. If you wish to highlight a few areas, use a damp cloth as an eraser to remove the product. After removal, soften it out for a smooth finish

  10. Keep fanning around with the blending brushes to go for a softer look and to avoid hard edges

  11. The key to fair judgment is to look at the vanity from a distance to see how it looks when you zoom out because that’s the look that matters

  12. Avoid creating hard lines by constant blending

  13. While creating vignette drawers for the vanity, put some glaze on the edges of the drawers, and blend it out using a French tip brush. Soften it using the La petit brush.

  14. Put a little amount of dust on the edges where you put the glaze and blend that out as well

  15. Repeat the process until you are happy and satisfied with the finished look


Thank you for sticking around with me for this project. Let a friend know if this was insightful so they can check it out too. See you in the next project!

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