Mid Mod Makeover with Versante Matt Autentico Paint - Rugged Refinery

Mid Mod Makeover with Versante Matt Autentico Paint - Rugged Refinery

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love vintage Mid Century furniture. The craftsmanship, clean lines,  and beautiful woods these pieces are built with make classic, versatile statement pieces in any home.  Anytime I welcome an MCM (Mid Century Modern) piece into my shop, I always try to keep it in its vintage condition - especially if it’s solid wood. These oversized nightstands are well built, but they have Formica tops and that made them perfect candidates for a makeover. When I redesign Mid Century pieces, I tend to prefer solid color matte finishes - my favorites are white, black, gray, and green - on the drawer fronts and casing and leaving the tapered wooden legs natural. These colors pair great with gold and bronze metallic drawer pulls and toe caps. 


Project Supply List:
GreenEZ Degreaser
Autentico Paint Tinted Primer - Gray
Versante Matt - Graphite
4" Whizz Concave Foam Roller

The Versante line by Autentico Paint is a washable, hard wearing chalk based paint with a built in top coat designed for use on high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, it can also be used on exterior walls, fences, and furniture. Anywhere you may need a durable and washable finish, Versante is an excellent choice which is why I chose it for this project.  It can be applied by brushing, rolling, or spraying in 2 thin layers. No primer is required on clean, unfinished bare wood, but if there is worry of tannin bleed or staining it is recommended to apply a layer of Autentico Primer first. If you are concerned with uneven absorption, apply a coat of Autentico Undercoat first. 

I will be the first to admit that I am usually skeptical about “all in one” type paints - they are usually very thin, quick drying, and dry streaky.  So before I committed to painting these nightstands with the Versante, I wanted to test the durability.

The Test: I brushed on two coats of Versante Matt onto an unfinished, unprimed pine board and left it to dry for four hours. Once dry, I spilled  Olive Oil, coffee, and a vinegar based multipurpose cleaner onto the painted surface and let it sit for half an hour. I did this to see how well the paint  would hold up to different solutions. To wrap up my little experiment, I wiped away the oil, coffee, and clean with a dry paper towel followed by a lite scrub with a paper towel dampened with warm water and Dawn dish soap.  There was a slight change in color from the moisture,  but as soon as it dries the color returned to normal. All that was left was a beautiful, durable matte finish. 


Now, on to the makeover. 


Prep Work: The work you put into preparing your furniture piece for painting/refinishing is hands down the most important step - your finish will only be as good as your foundation. For this piece, I used GreenEZ Degreaser and my Surfprep 3x4 Electric Ray Sander with the Maroon Non-woven abrasive to scrub the piece clean. Typically, I repeat this process until the rag I use to remove the cleaner is clean. Once thoroughly clean, I sanded the existing finish from the drawer fronts and casing using an 80 grit followed by a 180 grit film abrasive and the 3x4 Surfprep sander.

Formica (plastic veneer) on furniture can be tricky to work with. It’s usually slick and shiny so it’s important to prep it properly to ensure adhesion. It’s nearly impossible to strip or remove the finish from Formica completely. My personal best practices are to scrub with a degreaser/deglosser and scuff sanding it very well (like VERY well) on a cross hatch pattern. The creates a key for your primer to adhere too. Clean again before applying a bonding primer - for this project I chose the Isolante Clear Primer from Inspired by U Coatings. I wanted to take my experiment a bit further so chose the Autentico Gray Tinted Primer for the casing and drawer fronts on one of the nightstand only. The other was just cleaned, sanded, and cleaned again - clean unfinished bare wood. I was curious to know if there would be a noticeable difference in the finish between the two. (Spoiler Alert: there wasn’t) 


Painting: This project required no fancy skills or techniques - it was a simple as loading the foam roller with paint and rolling it onto the nightstands. Seriously, it was that easy. As always, thin coats are best for achieving a professional finish. I did a Facebook Live demonstrating the durability test mentioned about as well as rolling on the first coat of paint. You can see that video here

Don't get me wrong, I love using various techniques to create authentic faux finishes. However, less is more on some pieces. This Mid Mod duo painted in the deep charcoal paired with gold hardware and toe caps created an ultra lux finish. 

A little more information on Versante: 
150+ Colors Available 
Available in Matt and Eggshell (Satin)
Built in Top Coat
Great for flat (one color) finishes
Not recommended for blending, distressing or other faux techniques

Check it out for yourself - You can order your Autentico Versante Matt here and Eggshell here.


What do you think of this Mid Mod Makeover? Let me know below!

Happy Painting,


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