Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chalk Paint {Round 1}

One of my new years resolutions was to get going on some house projects that have been hanging out on the back burner.  The first thing I wanted to check off my list was to chalk paint a little table in Little Mama's room.


I bought this table at a garage sale before I moved into my apartment in college and it has been with me ever since.  It has been in all different rooms, but in the new house it landed as a side table next to Little Mama's bed.  I promised her I would paint it soon after we moved into our house and that was about 6 months ago.  I finally got the courage and the time to tackle this project and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome!


For this project I used Amy Howard At Home One Step Paint.  It is a type of chalk paint that is sold at a nearby store.  I had not previously heard of this brand, but it was 5 minutes away from my house so I went with it.  I watched the tutorial video on their website and was ready to get to work.

What I loved about chalk paint is the fact that you don't have to strip, sand, or prime anything.  You just wipe your furniture clean and start painting.  My piece needed two coats for good coverage, but it dried really quickly so that wasn't a big deal.  The paint was very drippy at first, so it was hard to make it look smooth.  Then as I got to the bottom of the can I noticed it was very thick.  I'm guessing I didn't get it mixed well at the beginning and next time I'll know the consistency I should look for.

After my second coat had dried, I held my breath as I started distressing it bit. I hated to mess up all of the painting I had just done, but I love the look for distressed furniture, so I started sanding the edges and natural areas that would be scuffed and scratched up a bit.

Next I added the light wax.  They offer a light and dark option, but for this piece, I wanted it to stay pretty much the color of the paint so I went with the light (which seemed pretty clear to me).  Because of the finish of the chalk paint, it is very dry or chalky looking and I had read that it would scratch very easily.  Adding the wax is kind of like a top-coat.  I wish I could remember where I read this, but somewhere online I read to think of the wax like lotion.  When you put lotion on yourself your skin can only absorb a certain amount and the rest just sits on top of your skin and needs to be wiped off.  This wax works in a similar way.  The paint can only absorb a certain amount and the rest needs to be wiped off.  I will say a little goes a long way as far as the wax is concerned.  After the wax dries (in about 30 minutes) you just take a clean cloth and buff the piece a bit to give it a little shine.  I'm not sure that there is a particular technique to this step, but I just used an old wash cloth and started rubbing it down.  As you can see below, it gives it about the same sheen as a satin paint would.

Overall, I am really happy with the way the table turned out.  It isn't perfect, by any means, but for my first real attempt at chalk painting furniture I'm pretty proud of myself.  It looks really cute in Little Mama's room and she LOVES it so that is really all that matters to me.

While I was pleased with the outcome, I did not love it.  Part of the appeal of chalk paint to me (besides not having to do any sort of prep work) is that I understood it shouldn't show brush strokes when it dried.  As the picture below shoes, you can obviously see that mine did.

Now, I'm not sure if this is due to the brand of paint I used, user error, or the fact that I did not use the bush that was recommended and instead just used a paint brush that I already had at home.  It could have also been due to the fact that I didn't have the paint mixed as well as I should have???  Maybe some calk paint pros can leave me a comment and let me know what you think my problem was.

I had read and heard a lot about Annie Sloan chalk paint before starting this, but honestly I was lazy and didn't want to drive about 25 minutes more to pick up a can so I went with the stuff close by.  I don't know if a different brand of pant would have solved the imperfections I had, but I think next time I will try the Annie Sloan brand just to make up my mind about which I prefer.

I already have a list of other things I'd like to try to paint so I can't wait to get started on those.  Let's just hope it doesn't take me 6 months to get them done, like this one did!

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