Why Fusion’s Bayberry Paint plus Espresso Wax is the Perfect Combination
Today is one of those days when I LOVE. MY. JOB!
Because today, we get to see what I did with one (notice — I said one) of my all-time favorite paints made for furniture.
Rethink the Piece
Do you remember the first time we saw Fusion Mineral Paint in action? I took an outdated TV cabinet, divided it in half, and refinished the bottom. In case you missed it, you can click here to see the entire post.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.
Show the Love
Well this time, I’m sort of doing the opposite. Because a huge empty wall in the dining room needed some long over-due love, I’m taking random pieces and refinishing them to work together as a unit. And these pieces are unlikely partners, to be sure. A formal vintage oil painting with an outdated frame (that’s a little big for the console) will marry up with an outdated farmhouse-style console table.
With the frame completed, it was on to the console.
But I gotta tell ya, I really struggled with the color choice.
I was considering Champlain (lower left), Bayberry (lower right), or a combination of both.
But once I saw the colors on the piece sitting under the frame, it seemed like Bayberry was the best choice for two reasons.
One, the colors in the painting needed to be dropped onto the console. And two, the decor vibe with the rest of the house needed to be maintained. I worried that Champlain could swing the space a little too light.
Did Somebody Say Prep?
To prep the piece, all I did was wipe it down to remove any dust or grime. It is an outdated console that was in perfect condition so there simply wasn’t anything to repair. And since the wood was a little textural by design, I didn’t feel like I needed to sand or use Fusion’s gripper product. I did, however, consider filling in the rough edges with wood filler because I thought it might make the piece look less farmhousey.
Proceed with Eyes Wide Open
But quickly discounted the notion and opted to leave the rough edges. After one coat of Bayberry, two things were obvious.
One, the buffet needed more depth added to the color.
And two, the green color needed to be moved a little towards the sagey green in the painting.
And with this, more struggle.
Which is the best way to make this happen?
Distress? Dry brush? Glaze? Combination of these?
The Unlikely Savior
Given that Fusion paint cures to a rock hard finish and requires no sealer, I was not thrilled about adding anything to the paint or to the top of the painted surface.
And then I was introduced to these waxes. These glorious, glorious waxes.
The front one is a clear coat (yes –even though it looks off-white) and the back one is the color I needed to add depth.
How I Used This Colored Wax
As it turns out, the fix for my little console-turned-buffet was super easy.
First, add the CLEAR wax to the piece. I did this in sections, about 1/8th of the piece at a time.
I used a latex glove and rubbed the wax on with my hand, but it can also be applied with a brush.
I prefer applying wax with my hands because I like the color control I get by massaging the wax onto the wood.
While the clear wax was still wet, small amounts of the Espresso were applied over the clear wax and gently pushed into the nooks and crannies.
Then the section was slightly buffed to make sure that the Espresso would dry at the right color depth.
If the color was too dark in places, I added more CLEAR wax and buffed to lift off the dark wax.
How applying wax to a Fusion finish differs from a chalky-type finish
Ordinarily, dark wax can be directly applied to a Fusion finish without using a clear wax undercoat. This is because Fusion has a built-in topcoat that prevents the color of the wax from absorbing into the paint. The dark wax will actually sit on the Fusion topcoat so that clear wax can be used afterwards —like a magic eraser — to lift any excess dark wax away.
This process contrasts with the finish of a chalky-type paint. Because a chalky-type paint does not have a built-in topcoat, dark wax applied directly to the paint’s surface can be absorbed into the paint and cause the surface to muddy. Therefore, if a clear wax is applied before the dark wax, the color of the paint is better preserved.
Then why did I undercoat with clear wax?
For this piece, I undercoated with clear wax because I wanted more color control in the nooks and crannies. I wanted to minimize the visual impact of the textured wood so I was sensitive to the amount of colored wax worked into the texture. So the nooks and crannies were filled with clear wax and then gently topped with a light, light layer of dark wax.
And I have to admit, the texture really was minimized by using this technique.
Aren’t all waxes created equally?
No, waxes are not created equally. Some are sealers, some are buffers, some carry emollients for wood, some add color. And the list goes on and on. The waxes I used here are from Homestead House, the company that makes Fusion Paint. They go on more like a thick gel and quickly dry to a matte finish that matches the finish of Fusion paint.
Because of this, I could have added a bit of color in only a few places. This is interesting because sometimes all a piece needs is a slight touch of color here and there.
It’s also good that these waxes (remember — they go on like a thick gel) will allow us to do this without interrupting the fabulous Fusion finish.
So friends, I would suggest that this piece underwent a color change, but was not truly refinished. This point is made to encourage you to look at your own perfectly good, but outdated pieces with new eyes.
After all, if they fit in your space, why replace? 🙂
Old Dog — New Tricks
So, in the end, it looks like I have changed my mind about waxing a piece that has been painted using Fusion paint. Clearly, there are times when this is the perfect solution. In my case, I didn’t need a different color, I needed a different depth of color. And I also didn’t need a sealer, because Fusion paint cures to a hard, waterproof seal.
So choosing to wax over the paint was the absolute best option for this piece.