I usually have a lot on my plate and it has been pointed out to me that I am not very good at prioritizing. That’s why when I returned home from the airport on Sunday afternoon I did not unpack, do the laundry, or answer emails. No, I decided that the nightstands in the guest room were the wrong colour and painting them would be a great use of my (non-spare) time.
When my husband and I were buying the house, there wasn’t a whole lot of money left in the budget for expensive furniture. Since we need “stuff” we decided on some very practical, affordable and well built pine furniture from Great Things. It wasn’t the most exciting but over the years the pieces have served us well. Since the furniture is solid wood, it can be stained or painted to match our evolving style and it’s durable enough that eight years later we still have most of those pieces.
Now, I have to admit that at first I was very skeptical about Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan. With no sanding or priming necessary it sounded too good to be true but since becoming stockists in January of this year I have been converted. These days there is at least one piece at home that’s in the process of being painted and four more on the list. And so I found myself on Sunday afternoon with a paint brush in my hand.
Before Chalk Paint™ I usually lost enthusiasm and momentum at the sanding stage. It’s not particually exciting, it’s time consuming and messy. With Chalk Paint™ I was able to put down my suitcase, change into some more practical painting clothes and in 30 minutes I had one coat done. For those of us with very little patience it was (virtually) instant gratification at its best.
But let’s backtrack and bit and let me show you what I started with. I love the shape of the nightstands and the three drawers are great for storage but the pine was starting to turn yellow with age and the knobs were very plain.
In addition to the materials below I also had a drop cloth to protect the floor, a paint can opener, some plastic wrap and a screwdriver to replace the hardware.
Chalk Paint™ is available in 32 stock colours but none of them really matched the room. Old White was too creamy, Paris Grey too cold and Duck Egg too much. Since I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for, I stated with a quart of Old White, added a couple tablespoons of Graphite to shade it and a dribble (that’s the technical term) of Duck Egg for a hint of colour to match the rug.
TIP: When mixing a custom colour make sure you have enough to finish your entire project and a bit left over for touch ups. It’s very difficult to replicate the same shade accurately later.
Generally the first coat will look a bit patchy and that’s okay. Since I wanted a smoother look, I followed the direction of the wood with my brush strokes. Remember that Chalk Paint™ dries pretty fast so don’t keep on going over the same spot too many times to prevent brush marks.
Between coats, wrap up your brush in cellophane to keep it from drying out. Washing brushes is always a good idea but if you plan on doing a second (or third) coat in a short period of time your brush won’t have time to dry and you’ll end up with a drippy mess.
Chalk Paint™ gets its name from the very flat finish. Personally I have found that if you’re trying to get a smoother finish, use the first coat full strength for better coverage but thinning the paint just a bit on the second coat helps it to flow out. It’s also easier to work with. Think pancake batter not honey.
Since the paint dries so quickly I was able to put on three coats and replace the hardware in about four hours. While the paint dried I unpacked my bags, did a load of laundry, and changed the sheets so by the time my husband came home the house was tidy and a bit more stylish!
To learn more about Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan check out her website here. If you would like to learn more about working with Annie Sloan’s products email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about upcoming workshop dates or click here to sign up for our mailing list and never miss what’s new at the shop.