Tag Archives: chalk paint

Add Character To Furniture With A Vintage Map

stella_decoA while back I refinished the gorgeous little French Provincial table seen here, but thought that it lacked something… I didn’t know exactly what until I came across a vintage map of London at a thrift store & light bulbs lit up above my head! What better map for a piece with French styling?! So, I decoupaged the map, glued some simple chain around the edge to give it a finished look, and voila! Easy peasy!

I think Stella is now complete!

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Is there anything you wanna stick a map on?!

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Hello, Ginger… French Provincial Dresser Refinish

I was havin’ the buyer’s remorse over this little French Provincial dresser. I only bought it cuz hubby needed a dresser (I mighta sold his old one to buy this one, lol) and the style goes with a hutch and small table that currently reside in our master bedroom. I love the curves of French Provincial, the stunning drawer fronts, and incredible hardware are beyond lovely! That said, this piece had no character to me. The wood lacked luster and the whole piece kinda faded into itself. I had imagined that a little paint and distressing would give it a voice again, but I was beginning to doubt that I could bring it back to life. I had to give this refinish a shot though, considering I already shelled out the dough for it! Planing the drawers was on the top of my to-do list since three of the four were jammed shut even after being in the AC for three days! Not cool.

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Paintbrush in hand I went to work, whipping up a batch of homemade chalk paint using non-sanded grout, water, and latex paint until the mixture was similar to pancake batter. I slapped on 1 coat on the drawer fronts and two coats everywhere else. Slowly, but surely, I could see my vision for this piece come into view! Once dry, I distressed and waxed, careful to distress only the drawer fronts, as I really wanted them to stand out. After buffing out the wax, I stood back & smiled! My perseverance payed off! This piece had character again… and also a name, Ginger, because it DOES have a soul!! ;D

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Stella… A French Provincial Table Refinish

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Meet Stella. A French Provincial antique table in need of a fresh start. When I spotted her I noticed her gorgeous bones, which happens to be my only prerequisite for refinishing a piece. I happily lugged her home and got to work. Her top was water damaged and dull, so the first thing I did was strip and sand it down to bare veneer. She was looking better already!
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Next up was to apply some fresh lacquer in order to protect it from future damages. Three coats of lacquer and a single cot of wax make for an incredible feel and richness to the wood. After finishing her top it was time to give her base a new paint job. A warm antique white matched her stunning wood grain perfectly. For this piece I whipped up some homemade chalk paint and applied two thick coats, achieving an authentic aged look. When using chalk paint, a layer of furniture wax must be applied in order to seal the dried paint. For this piece I distressed while applying the wax, using 0000 steel wool and an old t-shirt to work the wax into the paint. Twenty minutes after applying the wax I buffed it out, creating an incredibly soft sheen that is comparable to no other furniture finish.

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The bottom shelf remains half-finished for now… I have something brilliant in store for this French Provincial beauty! Stay tuned! ;Dstella_final

 

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Update : Check out this post about how I added character to this piece by decoupaging a vintage map of London to it’s shelf!!

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DIY Chalkboard Door

Photo Jul 12, 4 34 26 AM2Here is a super simple do it yourself project that will add some character to your kitchen! All you need is painter’s tape, newspaper, chalkboard spray paint, and of course, a door in need of a revamp! First, tape off door to protect area that you don’t want painted, then spray your chalkboard paint to the can’s specifications. While the paint is drying you could make a chalk holder that vibes with your kitchen’s decor. I found a yard stick thing a ma bob holder at a thrift store, cut off the ends, and nailed it to the door, turning it into the perfect chalk container. doorhow

Taaaaadaaaaa!

Now my family has a cool place to write reminders and lists on the top half, while my little guys love to draw on the lower half of the door!

 

 

 

 

Check out my oldest’s Plants vs. Zombies creation… it’s a zombie face if you can’t tell & he’s quite proud! Braaaaaaaains!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Teal for Teacher… Antique Table Refinish

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This project was a joy to work on since this beautiful antique table belongs to my oldest little guy’s favorite Pre-K teacher. She handed me a bedspread to choose the table’s color from and gave me carte blanche to refinish the piece!
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I started by repairing an inside drawer box piece, staining any bare wood & scratches to match the existing finish, and filling a hole in one of the back legs. Then I whipped up some homemade chalk paint using pigment from Behr’s Bali Bliss, a gorgeous teal that matches her bedspread. I applied one coat of chalk paint to the base and two to the top. I wanted the drawer front to have more of a distressed look to it than the rest of the piece, so I sanded it a tad in spots that would normally show wear. The drawer’s knobs were stunning, but needed a new paint job and waxing to make them stand out. I also waxed the rest of the piece using rags from an old shirt dipped in Briwax, gently distressing as I applied. When working with chalk paint you have to distress gently as the paint comes off very easily. I buffed out the wax on the base, protecting the chalk paint and creating a beautiful sheen. I then got to work on the top, gently sanding with 220 grit sandpaper & waxing, letting it dry, then buffing the top, being extremely careful not to remove any chalk paint. This creates a wonderful texture and pattern reminiscent of water, which looks amazing with blues and greens such as this table.
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I’m thrilled with how this table turned out… hope my son’s teacher enjoys her pop of color!
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Finishes

Quick guide to the different Finishes that I can apply to your piece…

Polyurethane
Poly is a durable finish that is fairly easy to apply & fast-drying, especially if you choose the more expensive spray-on version. It comes in a varying degree of sheens (satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss), which makes it a no-brainier finish for a lot of my projects since it is somewhat toddler-proof. The oil-based version can yellow over time, so I never use it on light stains or paints, while the water-based version (polycrylic) stays clear but has a more plastic look to it. It’s also worth noting that you have to lightly sand between coats (I apply at least 3) in order for the coats to adhere to each other. I used wipe-on poly and satin spray poly on my family’s Buffet Turned Media Cabinet & polycrylic on this Mid Century Desk.

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Wipe-on Polyurethane
You can make your own rub-on poly by adding equal parts mineral spirits to polyurethane.

Furniture Wax
roundsidetablewAhhh, wax! I love using furniture wax! It creates a soft sheen & a warm glow that is smooth to the touch which can’t be duplicated with any other finish. Depending on which wax you choose, it can have an obnoxious odor so I always use a respirator and wear gloves. You will get a workout while buffing the applied wax to create the lovely sheen! I used wax to distress and finish the bottom of this beauty.

 

Lacquer
stella_finalThis finish is durable, hard, and toddler-proof, not as easy to apply as polyurethane, but there is no need to sand between coats like there is with poly. It comes in sheens ranging from ultra matte to high gloss. I use this finish for wooden furniture with beautiful wood grain that I want to highlight and protect! I used it on the round side table’s wood top seen here.

 

Shellac
A resin secreted by the female lac bug, sold as dry flakes and dissolved in ethyl alcohol creating a liquid shellac. This finish is extremely durable, comes in white, orange, or pigmented, cleans with mineral spirits, and was widely on furniture before the 1920’s. I might use this, but it spoils in a can if left unused for long periods of time.

Latex Paint
campaign_side_somb.jpgAlso known as acrylic paint, it’s a fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. It can be diluted with water, yet still be water-resistant when dry. It comes in any color you can think of and is a long lasting finish when applied to furniture properly, (sanding, then priming before applying two coats of paint). I used latex paint on this Modern Lingerie Campaign chest that I upcycled from an Armoire.

Milk Paint
c_chest2Milk paint is a beautiful paint finish, chemically safe and environmentally friendly. I love to distress milk-painted pieces, has an unpredictable chipping off to it that looks authentic and lovely. It’s best to finish with a coat of wax since it isn’t as durable as it is beautiful. Miss Mustard Seed & Old Fashioned Milk Paint paints are my favorite. You can also make your own, though it is not a pleasing process. Check out this Campaign Chest I built & painted with milk paint!

Chalk Paint
frontteal_sombChalk paint is an extremely easy to apply paint that you don’t have to prime before applying, though it is best to apply a coat of wax as a topcoat. It is a gorgeous choice! I have the perfect piece for it so it is time for me to make another batch, fairly simple to make… I’ll post exactly how to make it soon, just need some non-sanded grout, water, and acrylic paint! If you’d rather not wait or have a little extra cash, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is stunning! Check out this end table that I painted with some homemade teal chalk paint!

Primer
It’s always a good idea to use a primer before applying acrylic paint to anything. I also go the extra mile and sand a tad before applying primer… oil-based Zinsser is great and it even comes in a spray form, making quick work of painting furniture.

Oil-Based Stain
Oil-based stains are extremely durable and penetrate the wood deeper than water-based, but do take longer to dry. Stains come in a variety of colors and can really bring out the character of wood pieces.

Water-Based Stain
Unlike oil-based stains, water-based stains dry very quickly, which makes it harder to achieve an even finish… on the up side you can clean up with soap and water and it’s breathable. Always be sure to test whichever stain you choose to be sure that opacity and color are just how you want them!

Oil Finishes
Oil Finishes, such as linseed and hemp, are incredibly easy to apply, penetrate wood pieces and add charm, but do nothing for protection. If your main goal is to beautify a piece with no need to protect, than I recommend trying out oils.

Spar Urethane

live_edge_3_sombThis finish has an oil-based formula which forms a barrier against rain and moisture to protect the wood. Spar Urethane is amazing for exterior pieces since it has a UV blocker and expands and contracts with the wood as the seasons and temperatures change. I like it in a high gloss finish which really enhances the natural beauty of wood… for instance, I used it on the top of my Live Edge Walnut Slab Console Table.

Wood Oxidizer

barndoorfront_sombThis is a finish that my 5 year-old & I love to use… he’s my on call wood oxidizing technician, hehe! I have made multiple pieces by oxidizing pallet wood, favorite of which being my interior sliding barn door (post coming soon). You can even make your own wood oxidizing solution simply by letting torn up 0000 steel wool disintegrate in white vinegar for a few days. Then you just paint it on your bare wood and watch it transform almost immediately to become darker and more weathered looking. You can also add some strong black tea to your wood beforehand to give it a grayer look (adding some rusty nails to your oxidizing mixture will give your wood a ruddier tinge). Experimenting with this finish is a blast and something that the kiddos can help with! Check out the interior sliding barn door that I used this finish on!