Decking My Hall
by Diane Henkler on November 30th, 2012
It’s that time of the year—time to add holiday decor to my home. I use the traditional colors of Christmas, red and green, on the exterior of my house, but on the inside, I leave tradition behind and use my favorite colors to make the rooms come alive for the season.
I always make sure to deck my foyer first as this is the first place a friend or visitor sees as they enter your home. The space can set the mood and make a memorable first impression and transitions your guests from the impersonal outside world to the welcoming warmth of your home. Making it look, feel, and smell like the holidays will truly make them feel welcomed.
This year, I’m adding a bench to my foyer to add a pop of bright, cheery color. The bench was in good shape, but just too brown for my taste—so I painted it using leftover paint I had from other projects.
How To Paint and Age Furniture
Primer and paint
1”–2” wide angled paint brush
Medium grit sandpaper or sanding block
Clear paste wax
Clean soft rags or cloths
Optional: glazing liquid, white paint
- Place the piece to be painted on foam blocks. This will make it easier to paint the bottom edges.
- I mixed Glidden Duo Paint and Primer in white with Glidden flat latex paint in Caribbean Sea. Doing this lightened up the paint quite a bit, which I wanted. Since I used the primer and paint in one, I saved myself one step. Note: If you want to age your piece with sandpaper, make sure to have your primer tinted the same color as your paint. If you use the primer as-is when you sand, you will see the white layer come through.
- Sand the entire piece with sanding block. Remove grit and dust with a tack cloth.
- Apply one light coat of paint/primer mixture and let dry. Add one more coat and let dry thoroughly. (If you’re using primer separately, put one coat of that on before you paint.) Before aging the piece, let the paint cure for a day or two to help with adhesion.
- Once cured, use the sanding block to rough up the edges. Don’t be afraid—just run it along the edges with varying pressure. Make sure to age the piece all over. Sand more on arms and drawer edges or where the piece is normally touched and would wear faster. Clean off grit with tack cloth.
- Optional: I wanted to add a little depth to the surface and mixed clear glazing liquid with the white paint and primer. I created a 70% glaze, 30% paint mixture. Use a soft cloth and wipe it over the painted areas, then quickly rub off. If you get too much on in any area, dampen a cloth with water to remove. Repeat the process over entire piece. Let dry.
- Using a soft cloth, apply a very thin layer of clear paste wax over all painted areas. Let dry for about 30 minutes or until it looks hazy.
8. Use a clean soft cloth to buff the finish to a soft shine. This adds a nice patina and a protective layer to your painted finish.
No more brown—just the perfect pop of fun and festive color to greet my guests…
…and for my family and I to enjoy as we pass by it on a daily basis.
I also want to add a few more simple but festive elements that will make the space look and feel a little bit more like Christmas.
- I have a pine-scented candle ready to light once the pine and boxwood garland loses its scent, so the space never loses that Christmas smell.
- I plan to add white twinkly lights to the garland going up the stairs. It looks dreamy at night when no other lights are on.
- I am tying on the Christmas cards I get to the garland using a hole-punch and colorful snippets of ribbon.
- Tie a collection of jingle bells on the door knob with pretty ribbon so when you or your guests come and go you are greeted with a sound of the season.
- Holiday décor is not complete until favorite holiday music is playing throughout the entire house. The iPod and speakers are ready.
From my house to yours—wishing you a bright and colorful holiday season!