sanded chalky finish

Are you a fan of a distressed look or a sanded chalky finish look?  Some call it Shabby Chic…I just call it beautiful.  That rustic feel of things that are vintage.

In this video lesson, by using just a few techniques, you’ll be able to get a distressed look to your artwork with a super smooth sanded chalky finish.  From there, you can paint or stencil on top of it with great detail.  You will see a large page and two small pieces that can be used for artist trading cards.  This technique will also work very well on wood serving trays, boxes, crates and even furniture.

How to Get a Distressed Sanded Chalky Finish for Your Art Backgrounds



Background Type:

  • Anything that will accept acrylic paint that is sturdy.

Palette:  DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint

  • Relic – ADC28
  • Legacy ADC21
  • Whisper – ADC03

Prep and Mediums

  • DecoArt Americana Decor Soft Touch Varnish – ADM03


  • Royal Aqualon

    • 1/2″, 3/4″ & 1″ Glaze Wash – R2700
    • #6, 8, 10 & 12 Shader – R2150
  • Royal Majestic

    • 1″ Oval Wash – R4950

General Supplies:

  • Royal Brush Square Brush Basin – RD325
  • Royal Essentials Palette Paper – RD358
  • Royal Painting Knife – LP9
  • Unstick Reusable Arts and Crafts Sheet
  • Mister Bottle Filled with Water
  • Paper Towels
  • Baby, Kitchen Wipes or Kitchen cloths (for dry rub application)
  • Heat Gun
  • Fine and Medium Sandpaper
  • Wood Block (optional)


sanded chalky finish

ATC #1

ATC #1 (Artist Trading Card) with a Sanded Chalky Finish
By adjusting how thick the layer is, you can get a more even finish when sanding.

sanded chalky finish

Full Page

Full Background Page with a Sanded Chalky Finish
You can see the edges where the collage from the
other side (wrapped around) adds additional interest.

sanded chalky finish

ATC #2

ATC #2 (Artist Trading Card) with a Sanded Chalky Finish
With a thicker layer unevenly applied, gives a more distressed look.

Are you a fan?

Do you like the look of distressed furniture or home decor pieces?  Have you ever tried using the techniques in your artwork?  Please share in the comments below.