When I first mention the idea, most raise their eyebrows thinking I just suggested they paint their nightstand green like an 80s classroom chalkboard, but those in the know, or the ones who are too scared to kick me out of their houses, become intrigued.
I show them countless pictures I've been collecting on Pinterest and then give them my most encouraging Mr. Miyagi pep talk: inspiring them to apply a little Karate Kid focus and take on an easy DIY. There really is a "wax on/wax off step" if you follow the directions which I didn't (on purpose).
I'm so proud of my clients who've tackled chalk painting -- all of whom have done so with great results -- giving a stay of execution to a previously despised kitchen table, antiquated media console or chipping desk chair.
I talk (a big game) about how easy it is and how anyone can do it if you just watch a few YouTube videos and google some chalk paint blogs. But here's the rub: I had never done any chalk painting myself.
Until last week.
Here's how it went. The good, the bad and the ugly.
This is the "before" pic. It's not in perfect shape but you can't really tell. Figured it would be a good test in case I completely screwed it up.
Step 1: One of the appeals about chalk painting is that the prep requires no sanding; just wipe the piece free of any dust and debris with a damp cloth. This was my best step.
|Not a very messy project. I set up a drop cloth in my foyer |
and it worked out fine.
|All scratched up and outdated hardware.|
Step 2: The supplies. I went with the Amy Howard paint they sell at Ace Hardware around the corner. Her line isn't as popular as Annie Sloan's, but it was more conveniently located. I purchased a dark grey for the top and a light blue for the body. I also decided to go with a polyurethane sealant instead of the recommended wax (more labor intensive) because my good friend Melissa, who's a pro at this, said to and because I'm always in favor of an easier way, I agreed immediately.
I should also tell you that I didn't buy any of the recommended brushes because my husband Eddie has an extensive workshop and I figured he had something close.
|The colors have the strangest names.|
Step 3: I taped off the top because I'm no expert painter and thought this was the responsible move. It was a good move until I pealed away the tape to see I'd hadn't taped in a straight line and what remained was an uneven gap. So I'm not a great taper, but it didn't really matter. I just retaped and filled in the gap. Took 3 coats of the gray to get the look I wanted.
Step 4: Take off all the hardware to paint the doors and drawer. Oh -- don't lose the hardware and label it if necessary. Then I painted the entire thing blue. This took a few days for me to complete because I wanted to make sure each coat dried properly. I don't think that's necessary, but sadly sitting on the hard floor is not as easy as it used to be and I was happy to spread the job over a week or so. I also put 2-3 coats on of the blue being careful to watch the drips and brushstrokes.
|Found a sofa in the cabinet! |
Somewhere out there is a Polly Pocket looking to stretch out and relax.
Step 5: Once completely dry, paint the whole thing with the poly. I thought this part was a little tricky. The poly would go on bubbly and I was afraid I'd see the bubbles when it dried so I kept brushing over it until they were gone. Turns out the bubbles weren't my biggest concern. Once the whole thing had dried I could see my coverage was uneven. There were spots I completely missed, but luckily they are on door edges that are mostly hidden by hinges. I probably should've applied another coat to even it out, but I didn't. I put the doors back on (the hardest part for me) and I added cute new hardware. Voila!
|Sadly after I reassembled the cabinet, I had this pile remaining. I'm so not handy! |
And you can also see where I sliced my hand trying to prepare school lunches.
I should probably stay away from food prep as well.
|The finished product in its new home.|
All in all, it wasn't that hard, but definitely not for the impatient. I will keep encouraging my friends and clients to find creative ways to repurpose their existing pieces.
And as Mr. Miyagi said, "Man who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything." Happy chopsticking!