French Provincial Furniture Makeover
The possibilities of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan are endless. We knew that this little French nightstand was the perfect candidate for a Chalk Paint® rehab! French provincial pieces are so beautiful, but often overlooked when in their natural state. A dose of Duck Egg (one of our top selling colors) was just what the paint doctor ordered!
First, let us give you a little background on Chalk Paint®. Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is the original (and the best) line of decorative chalk paint on the market. There are so many benefits! No sanding, no priming, no prep! Chalk Paint® adheres to most anything…wood, metal, fabric, glass, plastic, concrete, brick, floors, kitchen cabinets, etc. The list goes on and on. Chalk Paint® is low VOC allowing you to paint anywhere and it is water based, so easy clean up! It dries quickly allowing you to complete a whole project in the same day. There are 32 beautiful colors to choose from. It doesn’t end with just those 32 colors, though. You can mix colors to create your own custom mix! The possibilities are truly endless. To learn more about Chalk Paint®, visit www.chalkpaint.com or our Chalk Paint® tab on our website.
Now…let us walk you through our process on this darling nightstand’s transformation! Here are a few pictures of the nightstand prior to any paint. This piece was in good condition structurally but like so many vintage pieces, time had taken a toll on the finish and it needed an update to breathe new life into it.
Unlike latex paint, with Chalk Paint® you don’t need to sand or prime prior to painting for the paint to adhere. However, if your furniture has “bumps & bruises” that won’t lend to a smooth finish that you may be anticipating, you may want to grab a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand out those imperfections. Or, if you are going for a more rustic look, leave those imperfections alone! This piece happened to be a custom order and we had to do a stencil on top so we needed the top to be more of a smoother surface. So, we lightly sanded the top which took about 4-5 minutes.
After lightly sanding, we vacuumed the dust off and started with one coat of Chalk Paint® in Duck Egg. When painting, we use the medium size brush that Annie Sloan offers. We sell this brush for $38.95 and find that it’s the most popular selling size in our store and well worth the investment. The brush is made to hold a lot of paint and allows you to paint a piece quicker and easier. The bristles are bore bristles and easily cleaned with warm soap and water. Thanks to this brush, it only took about 8-10 minutes to put the 1st coat of Chalk Paint® on. Chalk Paint® is thicker than latex, so a little goes a long way. When painting our first coat we don’t go for super full coverage. We just want a nice even look, knowing that our 2nd coat is when we will receive the full coverage look. You can see how fast the paint dries. It will be a deeper, wet color while still wet and will dry to a flat, chalky appearance.
By the time we were done painting the whole nightstand, the first part we painted was already dry. We waited about 10 more minutes and then we were able to do our 2nd coat of Duck Egg. Again, we just went over the entire thing with a nice, even coat. We were keeping in mind that we would be going back and distressing the piece so it was okay if we missed a few areas. In this picture, you can see where our 2nd coat is starting to dry, some parts are wet and some are dry.
Once the 2nd coat was dry, about 10-15 minutes later, it was time for us to put the stencil on that the customer had asked for. We used Old Ochre (another top selling color) to complete this step. Because the stencil was so little, it took only a few minutes for that step to dry. Then, we were off to distressing! We normally always use 220 grit sandpaper to complete this process. Also, we like to distress prior to waxing. Annie Sloan recommends distressing after waxing because it cuts down on the amount of fine dust that the Chalk Paint® produces, but we find we prefer the finish more if the piece is distressed prior to waxing. If you look at the next picture you will see the fine dust on our floor. This doesn’t bother us because we just vacuum it up before the next step, waxing. We always make sure to vacuum the entire piece off from top to bottom, inside and out. Then, we wipe it down with a cloth to get the last bit of dust off.
To protect the finish, the Chalk Paint® line offers a clear wax and a dark wax. Clear wax doesn’t change the color as it’s just a clear wax finish. Dark wax, however, will change the look of your piece entirely. We will get more in depth with the dark wax in an upcoming blog. The wax can be applied with the paint brush as well! So, the $38.95 is really worth the investment as it is dual purpose. Before waxing, we just make sure our brush is as dry as we can get it as this will make waxing easier. We literally dip our brush right into the can and get enough to cover the whole tip of the brush and then we put it right onto the piece. You will see where the wax is going because it will not change the color of the paint, but will deepen it. This makes it easier to see any spots we may have missed!
The thing to remember with wax is that less is more. If you put too much on, it makes it more difficult to get it off and will leave the surface feeling tacky. Once we have waxed an entire piece, we take a clean cloth and wipe of any excess. We do not buff right away. Depending on how quickly we need to get a piece done, we wait anywhere from a half hour to the next day to buff. The longer we wait to buff, the shinier of a finish we produce. To buff we take a clean cloth or old t-shirt and buff as if we are buffing a car. Hard, quick back and forth motions to really buff up a nice sheen and smooth surface.
Ta-da! We are done. We completed this piece in a little over an hour total (not including the breaks to help customers, answer questions, etc.). It truly is as easy as that! We are the only Chalk Paint® stockist in Delaware and carry all of the items you need to complete your own project! You can order online or visit our store.