The “Learning Curves” of Chalk Paint
My first project using Chalk Paint was a French Provencal bedroom set that I found on Craigslist. There were three pieces: a side table, a chest of drawers, and a headboard. (For this post, I am featuring the side table and chest of drawers). This is a Broyhill Premium set, very well made, probably from the 1970’s. I got them to use in my guest bedroom and they were a perfect fit. Of course, the original stain color wouldn’t work (I definitely wanted something lighter), so I knew I would have to refinish.
I wanted a lighter color for the body of the pieces, but decided to keep the tops in a stained wood finish. So I stripped the tops of the side table and chest of drawers first to prepare them for a new stain.
Then I went to work on the bottom of each piece. My first choice of color was Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. I love the color, but when I painted a couple of coats, it had more of a lavender appearance with the lighting in this room, so I decided to just go with Pure White.
After a couple of coats of Pure White, I whipped out my new can of Annie Sloan DARK wax. What’s wrong with that, right? Well, low and behold, the first cardinal rule in applying Annie Sloan Dark Wax to a piece of painted furniture is that you FIRST apply a coat of CLEAR wax! If you know anything about Chalk Paint, it is that the paint “grabs” the wax and actually absorbs it…then you simply wipe away the excess wax on top. Well, my pieces grabbed the dark wax, sucked it up and had no intention of letting go! I spent many hours, went through lots of sanding blocks, and used a LOT of muscle to get the pieces sanded down to the finish that I wanted.
Yeah, I know I probably should have just painted right back over that dark wax finish and moved on, but at nearly $40 a quart for this paint, I’m not going down without a fight! I sanded and buffed until I was blue in the face, and actually ended up with a very UNIQUE and almost factory-like finish.
I tracked down some nice replacement knobs online. I chose not to re-use the original French knobs, since my home is a little more casual cottage in style. I went with these Hafele knobs from MyKnobs.com.
I finished off the tops of the pieces with a MINWAX dark walnut stain. I wanted to keep the finish to a minimum of shine, so after the MINWAX finish was dry, I sealed it with a coat of the Annie Sloan Dark Wax, and then buffed it to a satin sheen.
For someone who really messed it up, I ended up with a couple of pieces of furniture that I LOVE!
This was exactly the look that I was shooting for. (I just happened to take the long away around to go about getting it)! All’s well that ends well, eh?
Have a blessed day!