Layering General Finishes products is easy and produces the most beautiful results! Their oil based Gel Stains, water based Wood Stains, Glaze Effects and Milk Paints can all be combined in various orders to create interesting and lovely depth and dimension on furniture projects.
I layered quite a few products on my latest piece – a sweet little oak washstand.
Washstands are some of my favorite pieces to work on! They’re a great size, as most fit in the back seat of an average sedan, so they are easy to transport and sell. They make great storage pieces too and can function as side tables, nightstands, entranceway storage, powder room storage, etc. I love them so much that I wrote a special blog post rounding up my favorite washstands I’ve painted in the past!
I started work on this piece by removing all of the hardware and giving it a thorough cleaning inside and out. It was very “cobwebby” and it smelled inside. The wheels were rusted out and wouldn’t turn properly. So after a good vacuuming session, some WD40 for the casters and lots of soap and water, the piece was slowly coming back to the land of the living!
When it came time to choosing a color for this piece, I overthought it way too much. I flipped back-and-forth between Eulalie’s Sky by Miss Mustard Seed:
..and repeating the lovely green color I created on this washstand.
In the end, I just couldn’t make up my mind so I defaulted to the lovely neutral color of Cardamom Brown Chalk Style Paint by General Finishes.
This product paints on beautifully, and it didn’t take too long before I had two coats on my washstand. As I stepped back and looked, it seemed really boring.
To dress it up a bit, I applied a layer of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Flat. This clear coat of sealer protected my paint and set me up to begin layering products over top. Once my coat was dry, I applied some Weathered Gray Water Based Wood Stain.
Now I typically work with General Finishes Oil Based Gel Stains whenever I’m doing wood refinishing, but these water based stains are fantastic to use when you want to layer. They clean up easily with soap and water plus your application tools are safe to discard in the trash because the product is water based!
After my layer of Weathered Gray was dry, I went right over it with a layer of Whitewash Wood Stain.
The other nice thing about using these water based stains is that the dry time is dramatically shorter! Mine were dry to the touch within an hour.
Once all of my layers were dry, I added a final layer of High Performance Topcoat in Flat to seal everything.
That’s actually a good tip for you painters out there – your final coat should be some sort of protective finish. You should never leave General Finishes stains or glazes unprotected. While their Milk Paint is self-sealing and doesn’t require a topcoat, if you add products on top, you should always seal.
(And to be honest with you guys, I always apply a protective finish over my paint, whether I’m keeping the piece or selling it. Life happens and it’s always better to have a few layers of protection on a painted or refinished piece of furniture than nothing at all!)
All of those layers added up to an incredibly lovely overall look:
My heart soars when I whitewash oak wood. Because it has such a pronounced grain pattern, any product I use gets stuck in all of the grain striations and little dings on the surface. They’re much easier to see with the eye and I love the overall effect.
The handles on the top drawer were original to the piece.
The latch mechanism that was on the door didn’t work very well, so I replaced it with a chunky glass knob I had in my hardware stash.
This piece is currently in my new room at Homestead Studios. You can see it in person and purchase the General Finishes products I used to create this look while you’re there! The only product that I don’t stock is the Cardamom Brown Milk Paint, but you could use Miss Mustard Seed’s “Schloss” to get a similar color!