Phew! It’s FINALLY finished. This was a serious project, and perhaps a bit large for my first attempt at using chalk paint. But, after a nearly a 4 days of on and off work we’ve moved the piece back inside and we think it looks great!
As I suspected would happen, I got bored of this project after the first hour. You know, I’d make a really, really good project manager. I’m quick and efficient at organizing people, planning agendas, and procuring supplies. I’m great at delegating tasks. And I can be a little bossy, making it easy to adhere to deadlines. All I would have needed to make the project super enjoyable would have been a little team of workers to actually DO the project.
In reality it wasn’t a hard job at all. There are several steps though, so if you are interested in doing your own piece I’d suggest checking out tutorials here, here, and here. I learned so much about painting furniture using this method last week. My sweet neighbor Susan was an enormous help and saved the entire thing from being a total disaster.
When I began painting, I panicked. Many sites and tutorials boast that this paint covers anything and needs just one coat. I’d heard that some items may need a second coat, but I expected that the paint would provide much more coverage on the first go around. Because I was so concerned, I was really slopping the paint on pretty thick and was working through the small quart sized can (which everyone says lasts a REALLY long time) much too quickly.
My tip here is that thin wins with this stuff. Even if it looks like it’s barely covering the wood, stay calm. Don’t slop on more than you need to and don’t be afraid of a second (or third) coat. I wound up doing three coats and the coverage was just fine in the end. I’d also highly suggest purchasing the Annie Sloan paint and wax brushes. I bought two regular brushes from the hardware store and found it really difficult to spread the paint easily with them. Thankfully, while she was rescuing me from paint overload, Susan brought over her brushes for me to borrow.
Once my painting fiasco was fixed, the project went really smoothly. The waxing was easy and fun. What I enjoyed the most though was distressing. the furniture. This is the area where you can really get creative and artistic. With just a little effort and some sandpaper, you “rough” up the areas you want to look old and distressed. When your distressing is done, a last coat of wax seals the furniture.
The final, and optional, step is buffing. I opted to do this (with just a soft rag) and the piece really shined up nicely.
We finally brought it inside tonight and couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. I’ve even gotten to the go-ahead to complete a couple of other pieces in the house. Now, if I could just find that little team of workers, we’ll be all set.
Sometimes I spend hours browsing the web looking at all the lovely things people are doing and I get super super inspired. I know some people have blogged about feeling inadequate or imperfect when they read what other people are decorating or what other mothers are crafting. But that’s not me, I get excited.
You see, I’m a really, really good copycat. Often I’ll walk into a store and buy the entire outfit the mannequin is wearing. I consider myself a decent cook, but only because I can follow a recipe really well. When it comes to decorating…hand me a catalog and I’m set. I don’t consider myself artistic or crafty at all. And I’m totally okay with that! I always give credit; both online and in real life, and I consider copying the highest form of flattery.
This weekend, I’ll attempt my biggest copycat project to date. I’m going to paint a large piece of furniture in my house and then attempt to make it look really, really old. Surprisingly, Mr. Zoom is totally on board. Or maybe, he just wants to watch the football distraction free. Either way, I’m excited!
Have you seen the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint technique? It seems to be blowing up on Pinterest and fits nicely with my decorating style (or the one I’m desperately trying to figure out). Basically, this chalk paint will cover anything. And based on my not-so-extensive research and a hands-on tutorial from my sweet neighbor (hi Susan!), I think this is a project I can manage.
Check back next week to see my before and afters. And, wish me luck!