Crafts: Chalk (Paint) It Up
Hey there! Let’s talk about paint, yes? We moved into a new house in February and I wanted to update some of our old furniture to go in the new space. In addition to the couple of pieces of furniture, the cabinets are old-school 1980’s and I knew I’d want to redo some of those. But I have zero painting skills. Zero. I also wanted to get all the projects done before we moved into the new house so my time frame was super tight. I had a desk, a bed I bought for Tesla off of Facebook, and the cabinets in the communal bathroom that I wanted painted.
I knew that I didn’t want to do any prep (remember, zero skill), so I opted for chalk paint. Because all I had to do was wipe the pieces down to make sure they were clean and get to painting. I’m sure there was more I could have done, but I didn’t want to. Seriously, I’m a very lazy painter. Although I wanted the ease of chalk paint and I generally like the look of projects done with chalk paint, I didn’t want my pieces to have the antique look and I knew that they’d need more than just the wax coating on the top because they’d have some hard wear and tear.
I didn’t have any other furniture in mind for her room (she’s only ever been in a room with William and me and in her crib), so I wanted the color to be a little more neutral. However, I also wanted some color. I decided to do a yellow base with a silver-gray topcoat. The bed was the first piece of furniture I painted, I did it in the garage just after I’d had surgery, and I had really bad paint brushes. Basically, perfect painting conditions. I even ran out of the yellow and had to get a different paint for the foot board. My point is, chalk paint is easy, y’all. I did a single layer of the yellow first, let that dry for a couple of hours, did a layer of the silver-gray, let that dry for a couple of hours and then did the three layers of the varnish (I used Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane). I wanted the yellow to peek thorough the gray, so the gray wasn’t a very thick layer. With the yellow peeking through, there is some brightness on the bed. The varnish dried a few hours between the layers. I’m happy with how it turned out, but didn’t love the stink of the varnish. I am calling it a success.
I have had this desk for more than decade. It’s a good size for me, but haven’t liked how it looks for a long time. A friend had some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Graphite left from a project, and she shared it with me. Lucky! I did get a better brush for this job, but that is the only concession I made to pretending like I knew what I was doing. I still used the stinky varnish on it though. I did two coats of the paint, but noticed that there are some spots I missed. Unfortunately I noticed after I had moved it into our new place. I will get back to it eventually. I am still counting this as a success.
There was nothing wrong with the bathroom cabinets before except that they are a standard 1980’s brown wooden cabinet that I don’t love the look of. However, it’s not in our budget to replace them right now, so paint it was! Because I was going to paint these cabinets inside I looked for non-stinky varnish and found a water-based top coat from General Finishes and I got it in a Satin finish. I also used a different brand of chalk paint called Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint in American Dream. These cabinets also took two coats of paint and three coats of varnish. I used foam brushes this time and found it substantially easier than bristled brushes. I love how these cabinets turned out you guys! The color makes me happy. Of course there are some touch ups needed, but I am calling it a win.
I have a couple of additional pieces I think I’ll paint (including our front door), but I’m going to live in the house a little while and see how things look and how we use the furniture before I do.
Have you used chalk paint? What’s your favorite way to use it?
*None of this is sponsored content, I’m just sharing my wisdom with you all 🙂
This is so in my immediate future. I’m glad to know it was easy! They really look great.
Thanks for reading Greta 🙂 And, seriously, if I can’t mess it up, anyone can do this!
Annie Sloan, send this lady some free swag already!! Looks good!
Thanks for all the tips and extra paint ACM!