Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Chalkpaint Virgin

Last year my mom gave me a little side table she had found.  It was a rough piece with deep scratches and cracks. but I could see the potential. I wasn't sure quite what to do with it at first so it sat around in our garage.  Back in March my mom and I visited an antique mall where she spotted chalkpaint for sale. I immediately thought of chalkBOARD paint and was about to dismiss it.  My mom proceeded to tell me that it was basically a new type of paint and NOT a chalkboard paint. She told me she had heard how easy it was to use chalkpaint on surfaces without sanding.  I was suddenly intrigued by the idea of not have having to sand and prep.

A few weeks later I remembered I had this little side table my mom gave to me and decided to give chalkpaint a try. Although, with a few different steps I was leery at first.

My first stop was Pinterest. I started learning everything I could about the process. At first it seemed overwhelming and I wondered if I should just stick with what I know. I have refinished furniture in the past including a dresser, night stands, and my daughter's 'Jenny Lind' bed. Those projects were the typical stripping of paint and countless hours of sanding.  The results were great and enabled me to simply put on a clear coat or stain and keep the look of the beautiful wood.  However, this side table was rough and I knew that even stripping and sanding it would not really bring out the natural look of the wood.  This became the perfect opportunity to try the chalkpaint.

Now, they say you do not have to really prep the piece by sanding, but this side table was rough and in the early stages of working on this piece I was still unsure about whether or not I was going to do the chalkpaint or not so I started sanding it. The only prep that is suggested is to fill in deep scratches with wood filler.  After sanding I had some people tell me they thought it would look good with just a clear coat on it. The more I looked at it I did see how the legs could look charming with just a clear coat in order to keep the look of natural wood. I still had an itch to use the chalkpaint so I thought, "why not use both!".  The top had some discoloration so I decided to use the chalkpaint on the table top and put a clear coat on the legs-no stain. I am excited to get started on another piece and see how the chalkpaint handles without any sanding.  There are other techniques to make it look more aged, add crackling, or achieve a two tone look.  I hope to try these in the future when I get more daring.  

These two pictures are after a light sanding. There was a purplish color on the top of the table that would not come out which made it the perfect candidate for the chalk paint. The legs were unstable which I fixed by using new brackets on the underside of the table top. 

People rave about 'Annie Sloan' chalkpaint, however, I found these smaller ones at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I did not want the bigger 'Annie Sloan' paints- at least on my first attempt at this.  I picked up the color I wanted and also wax to be applied after a couple of coats of the paint. I also picked up this brush at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but next time I will get a better quality brush or use one specifically for the chalkpaint as I think this will make a difference in the smoothness of the finish. Chalkpaint has a low odor and is eco-friendly. 

After deciding I would do a clear coat on the legs, I sanded them with a low grit sandpaper and then finished it off with a high grit.  I then wiped it down well with a wet towel and applied a coat of polyurethane.  Once the first coat dried I did a very light sanding again, wiped it down and put on a second coat of polyurethane.  Once that all dried I was ready for the chalkpaint on the table top. 

The paint is not much different from regular paint. I just found it a bit thicker.  Use long strokes as you cover the piece.  If bristles get into the painted surface just wait for it to dry and brush them off with your hand (which is easy to do with chalkpaint).  

After I put on two coats of the chalkpaint (allowing about 1-2 hours between coats) I decided to give this piece a distressed look. This table was already very rough with a crack near the bottom so I knew the distressed look would be great for this project.  I used medium grit sandpaper and rubbed where it would naturally get scuffed up- like around the edges or raised surfaces. After distressing it, I wiped it down and applied the wax with clean, lint free cloth. You can also use a brush and then wipe off excess wax with a clean cloth.  Dip the cloth in the wax and apply in strokes to the surface making sure to work it into the wood and get all crevices, rubbing well as you go.  Let it sit for a day and then use another clean, lint free cloth to buff it and bring out a slight sheen.  It is recommended to apply a layer of the wax every 6-12 months.  Do not clean with furniture polish or abrasives. 

My first chalkpaint project is in the books.  I am hoping to find a new piece of furniture soon and use chalkpaint again. It is so much easier than I had anticipated.  The top had some imperfections that are not noticeable with the chalkpaint.  

    I finished it off with a new lamp, candle, and a picture of my grandpa. 

The table now sits next to the couch in our bedroom and makes for a nice, quiet place to read a book. 

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