Two married furniture painters invented a product that we call is “mud paint”.
The purpose of creating mud paint was to add a vintage-style texture to the surface of modern furniture.
The modern-day mud paint formula has undergone many years of modifications and tests to ensure its quality appearance.
And if you want to make a piece of furniture look like an antique, then mud paint can be one perfect way to do that.
What is Mud Paint?
Mud paint is a type of paint that always makes me feel excited – more due to its name.
I always thought that it’s something to do with mud, but whatsoever it’s not the case.
Mud paint is typically water-based acrylic paint that sticks to wood easily and dries very quickly.
Since it is formulated to provide a matte vintage appearance, it is perfect for antiquing any piece of furniture.
The good thing which appeals to me most is that the paint is also formulated to be environmentally friendly.
What is amazing is that you don’t always need to have to prime the wood surface of your furniture before applying this paint.
IMO, mud paint is already durable enough as-is.
It provides excellent coverage on the wood surface.
The best part is that mud paint is cheaper than traditional furniture paints on the market.
And for this reason, it’s a good option for beginners and DIYers who are always excited to do experiments for getting a unique look in their homes.
How to Use Mud Paint?
Now when you know about the mud paint and its unique qualities, you may be excited to use it on your furniture items like a dresser, kitchen cabinet, dining tabletop, etc.
Well, if you are ready to paint your furniture with mud paint, then here are the top five steps for you.
Following these will hopefully help you apply the mud paint to wood furniture for getting the right finish.
1) Prepare the Furniture
If you’ve ever painted furniture before, then you should be familiar with the preparation process.
You start by sanding the wood surface to remove any existing finish material from it.
Then you wipe away any debris or particles that were generated from the sanding process.
Use a vinegar and water mixture to clean the furniture.
Give it some time to dry afterward.
2) Apply a Primer
Applying primer before you apply the mud paint to your furniture isn’t mandatory.
You only need to apply a primer if you have darker-colored furniture, such as a mahogany color.
Lighter-colored furniture does not usually require a primer, but you can still apply it if you want to take extra precautions.
Also, if the surface you plan to put paint on is shiny or smooth, you may want to prime the surface.
This will ensure better adherence.
For most furniture pieces, water-based primers (like offered by KILZ) can work pretty well with mud paints.
3) Mud Paint the Surface
Now you can start painting the surface of your furniture with mud paint.
You shouldn’t need more than one coat of mud paint for most projects.
In fact, you can apply the paint with your paintbrush very lightly and gently.
Make sure you get the edges and trim too.
I recommend using a quality natural-bristle brush to apply the mud paint as it will offer you the best finish.
You can even use a paint roller or a sprayer to apply the mud paint. When spraying, ensure that the paint is thinned properly with water.
When you’re done painting the surface, give it some time to dry.
The outcome should be a soft and smooth appearance.
4) Distress the Mud Paint
To create the ultimate vintage appearance for your furniture, you need to distress the paint after it is applied.
You’ll need something strong like sandpaper to distress the paint.
You cannot use a damp paper towel like you would with chalk-based paint.
Since we’re dealing with mud paint, it is a harder paint that requires sandpaper to distress it.
You don’t need to use an electric sander, though.
Just sand the paint by hand with the sandpaper, and you should be fine.
5) Finish the Paint
Some people might want to skip the finish and let the painting be the final step.
However, a good quality wax finish can make the paint shine even more on the furniture.
It can also balance the distressed areas of the furniture too.
There are a lot of good wax finishes on the market.
The best is Annie Sloan clear wax, but you can use whatever one you want.
However, the coverage will more or less depend on the painting style you adopt, the size of the furniture piece you are working on, whether the surface is already primed/finished, etc.
Can You Store Mud-Paint?
After you have completed your project, there may be some paint left in the can.
Worry not, you can store it safely for a while without getting it wasted.
Storing mud paint is a good practice, especially if you want to use it in near future for repainting another piece of furniture or other surfaces like your drywall.
Here are steps you will need to follow…
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the top of a can (containing the remaining paint)
- Using a mallet, place the lid of the paint can tightly
- Now, store the paint can upside down at a place safely – in temperatures ranging from 55 – 70 degrees F
Is Mud Paint Same as Chalk Paint?
No, mud paint is not chalk-based paint.
Although it offers a muddy finish like chalk paint, it’s not the same but different.
The main difference between the mud paint and chalk paint lies in their finish.
With mud paints, the finish you get will be a little smoother than with chalk paint.
IMO, there are no big differences between both as it will be hard to judge the different painted surfaces when you look at both of them from far.
When done nicely, both of them look great.
When it’s about buying the mud paints for getting your furniture items painted, there may be local retailers near you that sell these paints.
Also, you can check online at sites like mudpaint.com, where the paint is available in a wide variety of choices.
If you are creative and love DIY projects, you can even make homemade mud paint on your own, just check on YouTube or Pinterest.
You will most likely find some great tips and recipes there.
If you are like me, you always want to look at your furniture in a well-conditioned manner.
Although it always depends on how well you are painting your furniture, mud paint is something that can be tried even by starters.
If you do not know about repainting old furniture in your home, you can always try this unique clay-based mud paint for them.
The good part is, you can not only use it for painting furniture but also other items like walls, bricks, picture frames, pots, miniatures, idols, and much more.
These do not cost much and the finish you get will be most appealing to your eyes.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.