Advanced Painting – Textured Clay Finish

American Paint Company Retailers
Pictured: Jill and Chantelle, Shelly and Cathy of Shizzle Design, Cindy and Tammy of Treasure House and Ann from The Front Porch

Recently we had the opportunity to hold a ‘retailer training retreat’ at the summer cottage.  There’s nothing like planning, learning and working while staring at a lake. After all the laughing we did, we brought the paint out and began to work.

Retailer training for American Paint Company

Our favorite technique to share and teach is one that looks very difficult, and in the past, has been an advanced process for paint artists requiring many different products.  But now, can be achieved with just one product, any chalk/clay/mineral paint!

Finished boards from Textured Clay Training with American Paint Company Retailers

It’s what we call a “Textured Clay Finish”.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Chalk and Clay Paint (only one color)
  2. Clear Wax
  3. An aging dust product
  4. Your favorite paint brush
  5. Metal scraping spatula (trowel)
  6. Sea sponge
  7. Paper towel
  8. Water
  9. Something to paint

Step 1: Apply a heavy coat of paint and let dry slightly. On this sample, a dark color was first used to simulate how an actual piece of old furniture would have a stain color already on it. It is best to apply this technique over an existing finish.

Step 1: Apply a heavy coat of paint and let dry slightly.  On this sample, a dark color was first used to simulate how an actual piece of old furniture would have a stain color already on it.  It is best to apply this technique over an existing finish.

Step 2: Wad up some paper towel and pounce onto the wet paint surface, pressing into the paint and pulling back up to leave small stipple like bumps.

Step 2: Wad up some paper towel and pounce onto the wet paint surface, pressing into the paint and pulling back up to leave small stipple like bumps.

Stipple bumps created using a paper towel

If you are working on a piece of furniture, work on one full side at a time for even texture.  After creating textured bumps, let dry completely.

As your piece is drying work on the other sides.

Step 3: Using a damp (but wrung out) sea sponge, saturate the dry paint to soften it

Step 3:  Using a damp (but wrung out) sea sponge, saturate the dry paint to soften it.

Step 4: Holding the trowel flat, drag it back along the moistened paint to flatten the stipple bumps

Step 4: Holding the trowel flat, drag it back along the moistened paint to flatten the stipple bumps.

Manipulating the surface by wetting it down and working it with a trowel

You’ll find that it is now like a clay consistency.  Continue to manipulate the entire surface.

Use finger to work wet clay paint to create picture

If you pull too much off, simply reapply the clay with your finger.  Adding this back to the surface, creates that authentic ‘over the years, time worn’ look. Using your finger, smooth out any bumps that cannot be done with the trowel.  Be careful not to leave your tool marks.

A close up of Textured Clay Finish after it has been worked with water and a trowel

You should now have quite a bit of texture.

Step 5: After your piece dries completely, wax it using Clear Wax.

Step 5: After your piece dries completely, wax it using a Clear Wax and finish with a ground pumice aging product.

Step 6:  Apply the ground pumice or aging dust into the damp wax, working it into the crevices.

Working American Grit onto painted surface

Step 7: Buff the finished piece with a rag or towel.

Textured Clay Finish. Step-by-step instructions to create this beautiful time worn look using American Paint Company Clay/Chalk/Mineral Base Paint.

What do you think?  Isn’t ‘Textured Clay Finish’ cool?

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