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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Side Table Redo with Chalk Paint

..............And here it comes:

My first experience with furniture painting and with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Now I want to share my tips  and impressions.
Originally the table suffered the water damaged, so tip number one for thrift store shoppers: Avoid water damaged items. It wasn't too bad, but I had to sand some spots where the surface was "swollen" and as this table not a wood one, I had to sand the laminate off which revealed the chipboard texture - no good, as I didn't want to use the spackling to even the surface. I did this table for myself and I don't mind those little texture differences, but I would do better job if it was for somebody else or for sale. And next time I am going for wooden pieces: you can't sand laminate, people...... oh, wait, it just me...
Now, the base for the table was absolutely destroyed, so I knocked it down an replaced with the leftover window trim we had in the house, worked perfect. Don't bother with the carpenter glue, go straight for PL 400 (home depot), it stuck together hard as rock in minutes: no nails, no clamps, super fast and easy.
After all that was done, I started to paint it... with the trembling hands and heart I was opening the legendary chalk paint can.... doesn't stink, looks good, colour is dreamy... brush? used home depot dollar paint brush, works good, saved 30 dollars, wouldn't mind to try AS ultimate brush though.... oh well, next life. Tip of this stage is: use extra container to pour the paint for the project, otherwise the paint will thicken if you leave it open for a while. I had to add some water to my can, that's what Annie Sloan said to do, it helps indeed.
But it better to put some water in the container rather than into the paint can itself.
As for layers, I have no idea how you can put only one layer of paint to cover the piece (I heard many succeeded in this). I did 2 full layers, was thinking about third one, but two was just right, when it dries you can see it's enough.
And I loved how the clear wax by AS worked. Had no problems with that one. The main point here: use just a tiny amount at a time and work it in as a hand lotion. This advice from Annie is so useful I have to admit. I read a lot of people had trouble to apply it, but no - listen to the Lady, she knows what is she talking about. I used an old t-shirt and worked in a small areas at a time. To see where the wax applied or not I used the hand light in different angles, you will see the darker areas where the wax is already applied.
Dark wax is still a bit puzzling to me. I used Miss mustard Seed antiquing wax, not sure if it works the same as AS dark wax, now I am interested to try it to compare. I keep thinking though I could do a better job with applying the antiquing wax. Next time I'd put it only on the edges, to make a colour differences, which I did on the sides of this table, but in front I think I applied too much. I couldn't easily remove it after even with the use of the clear wax. The tip is (which i missed) to apply dark wax right before the clear wax coat is dry. And I waited a day before applying dark wax on the table.
So, these are the things I learned. In general I am satisfied with the results, I like the paint and waxes, nice to work with, easy and fast. Waxing takes some exercise but it's good for you. I believe there are less expensive alternatives for the AS paint, but here you don't have to mix it yourself and you've got enough paint for several projects. Americana Decor chalky paint works the same way and a bit cheaper, but here in canada we don't have a big cans for it, just sample sizes, otherwise I would buy it instead of AS Chalk Paint.

1. Avoid water damaged furniture pieces while shopping in the thrift stores, also choose real wood items over chipboard ones.
2. Use PL 400 subfloor glue for easy and fast fixes. Strong adhesive for quick results.
3. Home depot dollar brush works really good for the chalk paint and old t-shirt for the waxes. But for waxes you might think to invest in the special wax brush, as it can reach inside of the crevices much better.
4. Use a high grit sand paper after paint is dry, it gives the piece very smooth finish. Sand after waxing to avoid dust. Than reapply wax.
5. While painting keep you can closed and use another container for current project, helps to keep your paint from thickening. If thickens add water, mix well.
6. Secret to successful waxing: use tiny bit at a time, apply as if it was a hand lotion, with the circular motions.
7. Use hand lamp in different angles to see where the wax was applied. Treated areas are darker.
8. Apply dark wax before clear wax is dry, helps to fix the dark wax mistakes easy.

Hope it was useful, leave me comments and your thoughts, please. Join for future projects and updates! Thank you for being with me :)