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Upcycle with Distressed and Washed Finishes

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Hello again! This week, my boss Virginia and I chose to learn the ins and outs of the Jolie Every Day Guide’s Distressed Finish using a brand new color from the Serenity Collection, which will be available on Monday! The color is called Misty Cove, and it’s just gorgeous! I want it on ALLLL the walls in Taylor's and my first home! I am linking a video tutorial as well as writing up the how-to guide for you to follow along with. We upcycled a wall clock that had originally been painted and stained and that we’d been waiting to beautify with the Serenity Collection. Y’all really should take a look at these colors. Eucalyptus, Misty Cove, Zen, Palace White, and Dove Grey make up the collection. Once we decided on the Distressed Finish, we took a small risk and used a Swedish Grey wash as well as some King Gold gilding wax on the details. Here's a shot of the clock before we started the upcycling process.

Let’s talk about what you’ll need for this project. I have linked some of the items within this list, so shop what you need to!

- Jolie Paint, in one or more colors (we used Misty Cove and Swedish Grey)

- Jolie Signature brush (we used the Large one)

- Lint-free cloths or cheesecloth

- Water

- Gilding Wax of your choice (we used King Gold)

- Mineral Spirits

- A regular washcloth

To get right to business..

Step One:

Apply a coat of Jolie Paint using a Jolie Signature Brush. Paint in every direction, leaving subtle brush marks and slight texture. Allow the paint to dry completely. Dry time usually takes about 20 minutes but varies based on climate and thickness of paint application.


- A single coat will allow you to see MORE of the underlying surface after distressing.

- A second coat of the same will provide MORE COVERAGE and will allow you to see LESS of the underlying surface after distressing. This coat should be thinner and can be diluted with a small amount of water (5-10%) for easier distressing. Allow the paint to dry completely.

- To see TWO COLORS in your final finish, apply the first coat in a more textured manner. Apply a second coat with a different Jolie Paint color. This second color will be the most prominent in your final piece and the first color will peek through after distressing. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Step Two:

Use your Waxing Brush to apply a small amount of Jolie Finishing Wax in Clear. Working in manageable sections of 2-3 square feet at a time, use a gentle sweeping motion to work the Clear Finishing Wax into the paint. Work in every direction, just as you did with your paint brushstrokes. You will see the Jolie Paint color become slightly darker after the wax is applied. Proceed to step three before beginning to wax the next section.

Step Three:

Any surplus of wax should be wiped away using a lint-free cloth (we used cheesecloth). As the cloth becomes saturated with wax, you will need to replace or move to a clean area of your cloth so that it will continue to absorb wax. Continue on to your next unwaxed section and repeat steps two and three until you have waxed the entire surface.


After waxing and wiping individual sections, apply a very thin coat of Clear Finishing Wax from one side to the other and wipe the surface to even out the finish.

Step Four:

To reveal some of the underlying surface, gently sand the edges and raised details with P600 sandpaper. Wipe away the dust with a wet, lint-free cloth.

PRO TIP: Sand in areas that would naturally wear over time.

Step Five:

Mix up your wash! We used 2 parts Jolie Swedish Grey and 2 parts water. A little bit goes a long way, so don’t overdo it and waste your paint! Mix well. There should be no clumps or visible separation in your mixture.

Step Six:

Quickly brush on the wash. Do it fast, because it only needs a few minutes to dry, and you’ll need it to be workable for Step Seven!

Step Seven:

After you’ve brushed on the wash, use a cool, slightly damp washcloth to dab and wipe away the excess wash. This ensures that the color underneath still shows through the wash.

Step Eight:

Use a dry brush to smooth out your wash. You may skip this step if you want a more textured wash, but for our purposes, we chose to brush smooth the entirety of the piece.

Step Nine:

Mix a small dollop of gilding wax with a few drops of mineral spirits. This thins out the gilding wax and will make it easier to cover large areas and speed up your process.

PRO-TIP: You can also use mineral spirits to remove gilding wax. This is a great tip for clumsy girls like me!

Step Ten:

Brush gilding wax onto desired surfaces. We used our King’s Gold gilding wax, which I’ve linked for you here. Smaller areas may require a smaller brush than what you see in our video tutorial, so be prepared!

Here are some more up close and personal shots of the finished piece.

Virginia and I loved working through this project together and we know you will too! Whether you’re DIY-ing or plan to attend one of our Bring Your Own Piece classes, we hope you’ll take the time to appreciate and experiment with all that Jolie Paints and our store have to offer. You can find the video tutorial by clicking this link. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to stay updated on the latest from our stores!

Thanks for reading! Talk soon.

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