Friday, February 3, 2017

How to Apply the Dragging Technique to Furniture

Dragging is a paint technique that can be applied to furniture by dragging a darker color over a lighter base color. The effect is similar to the strie paint effect and shows thin stripes over the base coat. The dresser shown here was originally finished in a dark brown varnish. It is made from veneered wood and although still in a good condition, I wanted to give it a fresh look and decided to paint a base coat in an off-white color and add a bit of character by dragging a light grey color over the base coat. 

Dresser in white and light grey drag effect

This is what is needed:
Universal undercoat (white)
Off- white good quality Latex as a base coat ( I used Happy Ending from Plascon)
A light grey in any water based Acrylic paint ( I used Night Jewels from Dulux)
A water based scumble glaze
A water based sealer ( I used Plascon’s Glaze Coat)
A Strie brush or a brush with stiff bristles
A soft paint brush

The procedure is as follows:

Step 1: Remove the handles and clean the wood with sugar soap.
Step 2: Sand the surface with 220 grit sand paper – take care not to sand too much because the veneered layer is very thin and can easily be sanded through to the particle board sub -surface.
Step 3: After removing dust, apply one coat of Universal Undercoat. Let it stand overnight to dry.
Step 4: Apply two coats of the base coat. Sand between coats with 220 grit sand paper to get a smooth surface.
Step 5: Mix the light grey with the scumble glaze in the ratio of 1 part paint, 1 part scumble glaze and 1 part water.
Step 6: Use a brush with stiff bristles to apply the mixture. Only do a small area at a time. Dip the paint brush lightly in the paint and wipe most of the paint from the brush. Apply the paint in long strokes to leave a a streaky layer of paint. Repeat to get a proper covering of paint.
Step 7: Take a dry soft brush and brush over the wet paint to remove excess paint and to blend it into the base coat. Wipe the brush clean with a cloth after each stroke.
Step 8: When the paint is dry, apply one coat of clear water based sealer to protect the surface. I used a semi-gloss sealer.
Step 9: Fit the new handles.

In the picture below I have zoomed in on the top to show the paint effect. It is not very clear but gives an idea of the striped effect.

Dragged paint technique
As an alternative, the total surface can be covered with the glaze mixture. While the paint is still wet, take a piece of rolled up mutton cloth and drag over the paint to remove some of the paint. Take the strie brush and drag to create a striped effect.

For a more rustic look, take a piece of 150 grit sandpaper and drag in the direction of the lines. Wipe off the dust and seal with a sealer.

Tip: If you do not have a strie brush, take an old brush and cut away some on the bristles with a sciccors. The idea is to get an uneven spread of paint and a streaky appearance.
First do a test run on a piece of card board to get the hang of applying the paint.

Soft brush and drag brush
 Shown in the picture is a soft dry brush for removing excess paint and blending and an old brush with the bristles cut with a scissors to get a streaky paint stroke.
More paint techniques can be found in my book "How to Spray Paint Furniture"

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