How To Cottage Paint

Cottage Paint is a clay-based paint that drys to a silky matte finish and remains porous and easy to sand or wet distress when dry (It dries in about 15 minutes-an hour!) It adheres to just about any surface you can think of: wood, plastic, metal, brick, melamine, etc. It requires NO sanding, priming or stripping. NO prep work – just a CLEAN surface. It can be distressed as soon as it is dry using a damp cloth or fine sand paper. And just like that- you have an authentic-looking piece that looks worn over time.

Here’s “how-to” cottage paint:

1. Choose a piece of furniture that is solid and has good “bones”. Something that could look wonderful if it wasn’t for that ghastly colour!

2. Clean the surfaces with a damp cloth and Cottage Paint’s ‘Clean and Prep’ for tough dirt, grease and wax residue.

3. Choose 2 colours, one that will be most visible as a top coat and a contrasting one that will look great peeking through the top coat here and there. Or, you can let the original colour of the furniture be the one that peeks through.

4. Choose a brush to apply the paint. It should fit the scale of your piece. In other words, a large one (2 inch is good) for a large piece or a small one (3/4 inch) for a smaller piece. The smaller size is really good for spindles or table legs.

5. Brush on 1 coat of the first colour and 1 or 2 coats of the second, drying in between coats. The first colour doesn’t need to totally cover the piece, but the second colour does.

6. Use a damp cloth to rub off the dry top coat exposing the first coat here and there. The longer you leave it to dry, the more elbow grease you’ll need to remove it! I did find that if the original finish is glossy, that you should let it dry over night or too much of the paint will come off (it needs some curing time to really “stick” to a high gloss finish).

7. Finish your piece with your choice of wax or varnish (see “supplies” to decide on the best finish for your piece). For more info on using the waxes, click here.

QUANTITIES: Just as a rough rule of thumb, one 8oz jar will more than cover a kitchen chair with all its spindles. A quart will easily do a 3 drawer dresser – inside the drawers as well.


For more information on cottage paint & furniture restoring, visit:

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