Let me start off by saying that this is my first time refinishing furniture. I’m not an expert and this post is not intended to be a how-to. As I work on projects in my home I may share some of them with you like I did with my chalkboard frame. This is one of the projects that I wanted to share because it’s something so new for me. If I can refinish furniture then believe me you can too.
I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of refinishing furniture. I think what scared me the most was having to sand a piece to achieve the look I was going for. I figured it was just easier to buy a piece of furniture close to what I wanted than to hassle with transforming a piece. I lost some of this fear when I discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint. This is not a new product by any means. I’ve just been living under a rock and never knew it existed until Pinterest came along. I had heard it mentioned on blogs but never researched it further until recently.
My husband brought home a table from work that was going to be trashed. They took over a new space in the retail complex and it belonged to a cigar shop that closed down. The table had been in the shop for years. When he brought it home it went in the garage because it smelled like smoke really bad. It stayed there until I was ready to tackle turning it into what I wanted.
I didn’t like the color of the wood and knew I wanted to paint it. One day I overheard my boss talking to a co-worker about this paint she had picked up and was going to try. As soon as I heard the words Annie Sloan chalk paint my ears perked up and I went over to talk to her about it. Sharing what we both knew about it I decided this was the paint I was going to use for this project because it requires no prep whatsoever except for wiping down a piece with a cloth if it’s really dusty or has cobwebs. Even a piece of furniture with varnish on it can be painted without sanding. This was right up my alley for sure.
I decided to wash the table because of the smoke smell. Over time the smoke smell had faded while the table sat in the garage but it was still there. I bought some TSP and cleaned the table real good and let it dry for a day. I probably didn’t need to wait that long but did so to be safe. It helped a lot with the smell but I can still faintly smell smoke every now and then. I’m hoping with time it will fade completely.
I don’t know how well you can see the name in the picture above but I used the color Provence. It’s an amazing color. It only took two coats and a light third coat on the top to cover the table and totally transform it.
The amazing thing about the paint is that depending on how thick your coats are they can be dry to the touch in about fifteen minutes. Crazy! I waited about an hour to do my second coat and then another hour before applying the third coat on the top. I didn’t need to wait this long but I wanted to make sure it was really dry and I wouldn’t be pulling at the first coat.
After I finished painting I let the table sit overnight before distressing it a little the next day. I didn’t want to distress it too much because the color of the wood underneath was light and I didn’t feel it would look good to do too much sanding and have light wood show through. Also, I was scared because it was my first time distressing. Let’s be real. Lol!
Sorry if the color looks off in some of the pictures but it was raining off and on when I took them. Yes I painted while it was raining and had no problems with drying.
I had to buy chairs because I didn’t have any that would go with the table and fit the look I was going for. I found these darker wood chairs that I liked and transformed them with Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre.
I only did two coats on the chairs and I wasn’t too concerned about perfect coverage because I was going to distress them. You can see how great this paint is. I did no prep work. I painted right over the shiny wood.
After getting used to using a sanding block with the table I wasn’t scared to distress the chairs. The fact that the wood underneath was dark helped too. I knew that they would look great with distressing.
Once all the pieces were ready to go I sealed them with Annie Sloan clear wax. I used a little dark wax in spots on the table to age it a bit. I didn’t use the dark wax on the chairs because I felt the exposed wood was enough to make them looked aged.
I won’t go into too much detail about waxing because I’m not trying to do a tutorial here but I will say that the hardest part of the whole process is the wax. I used Annie Sloan wax brushes to apply it and I feel like they are well worth the investment. However, there is a learning curve with the wax. Even though I read up on the product and watched tutorials on how to use it I still over waxed my pieces and they had a bit of a tacky feel to them but this disappeared after a few days and some buffing with a cotton rag. I’ll include some resources for you at the bottom of this post with sites that I found helpful while researching how to use this product.
I love how everything came out. Like I said this was my first time refinishing furniture and I’m really proud of myself. I’m so envious of the gorgeous DIY and home blogs I see out there. They take such amazing photos and their homes always look so pristine. You’re not gonna see that here. Lol! I had the hardest time taking pics and capturing what the table looks like in person.
We are still trying to make our home more of a home and not look like we have “apartment furniture”. We have so many mismatched pieces. It will be a work in progress for years to come.
I’d like to finish by saying that Annie Sloan chalk paint is not cheap. I spent a little over $200 on the two colors of paint, the two waxes, a paint brush and two wax brushes. I won’t even discuss the cost of the chairs. All to transform a free table. Oy! A little goes a long way with this paint though. I still have a 1/2 quart or a little more of each color left. I’m searching my home for what to use it on next. I’ll get my money’s worth out of it. The wax takes some time to get used to and a little goes a long way too. Both my waxes especially the dark are practically still full. I was so amazed at how something that has the look and feel of vegetable shortening cured and sealed the paint with a varnish type feel. Also the sheen it got after buffing was a nice surprise too. You don’t have to finish your pieces with wax and they don’t have to have a sheen but I like mine with the wax.
Here are some resources that I found helpful:
Blue Egg Brown Nest - video tutorials on chalk paint can be found here
The Purple Painted Lady – also has video tutorials
Simply Reinvented – video tutorials as well
**This was not a sponsored post. All products mentioned were purchased by myself and all opinions are my own.
Special thanks to my friend Terri at Fresh Cut Flours for giving me advice when I first got the table and emailed her to ask what do I do? Terri inspires me with not only her cookie skills but also her ability to refinish furniture. She’s got the magic touch.
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