I'm still wearing paint on my fingers and you might find a spot or two where I may have missed some wax on my arm. I've been re-working old furniture and giving new life to pieces that have otherwise suffered much wear and tear from years of life with boys. I told you last week that I would be trying out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint over the weekend, after hearing all sorts of amazing claims and reviews of the product: No sanding. No priming. No perfection needed. I was all ears. (And if you follow me on Instagram, you've been catching sneak peeks...)
And, even though the price per quart is expensive (around $40), the paint goes FAR, covers well, and is versatile as a thick paint with body to it, or thinned out as a wash. So...that's why I went for it. And, I'm so glad I did.
Here's all I did in a weekend:
The biggest project was our dining table. It was a huge Ethan Allen table we've had for almost 10 years. It was beautifully veneered with Ash over solid wood, but after years of use and a certain mishap with a flaming dry erase marker, the table was sad and worn out.
We painted the entire thing in Pure White. Two coats covered for the most part, but I had to go back in some spots. The thing I learned was that it really wasn't necessary to paint "evenly" or in perfect strokes. In fact, it looked better if I didn't, because of the beauty that the dark wax brought out in the markings.
The process I used: Paint several coats (no sanding and priming!), wax lightly with clear wax, then dark wax on edges and textured areas--using clear wax immediately after to remove surface dark wax and leaving the rest in grooves. Wait 24 hours. Sand and distress edges and areas of natural wear. Buff, and wax again. Wait 24 hours. Then buff. Waxing and buffing is not for wimps. I got quite a workout, I'll admit.
I love how it turned out, though. You really must come over and feel it and enjoy the nuances of the finish. It's perfectly shabby chic while staying sleek and protected in finish.
I painted the old kitchen cart we used to use as an island. Again, no sanding, no priming. I painted the entire piece Aubusson Blue. I went through the whole process with this piece...and ended up doing it two more times. I know I have issues...
It just wasn't quite "teal" enough, though it wasn't straight up teal that I was after. Yup, issues, I tell you! I got a second blue--Provencal and layered over the Aubusson in a farmhouse-y wash by using a damp rag to wash over certain portions of the top coat of paint. Not really me...
I was honestly getting a little discouraged...and tired, as you can imagine! Finally, I chose to mix the two (I don't know what the proportions were...) and painted over the whole thing with my new mixture. It was a lot of effort for a shade or two different. But, for me...it was worth it.
I'm still looking for the perfect brass hardware for the doors...
I then went on to paint my old Craigslist coffee table. I was ready for a change, and just reveled at the idea of making the most of all that antique carving and decorative trim. I didn't anticipate, however, how girly and delicate it would feel once I painted it; and, I didn't like it much.
I considered painting a moroccan pattern on top, like my bathroom wall, to paint a ginormous flower on it (surprise surprise), or to replace the fabric I used to have under the glass on top. Nothing seemed quite right, until I decided to paint chalkboard paint on top; it gave the table a quirkier, edgier feel.
And now, after a few tries, it says exactly what I want it to say, and feels exactly the way I want it to feel. quirky, but not too quirky.
I even gave the lockers a wash of pure white and wax. SO MUCH EASIER than spray painting it!
I've had fun freshening things up. Having lovely furniture can never be the end goal, no matter how satisfying it may be to make our homes pretty. It's never truly satisfying until it's shared. Praise Him for the joy of creativity but the opportunity to welcome others to stay awhile.