I finally decided to try my hand at using chalk paint. I love using a good wood stain, I have even redone my entire kitchen with gel stain, but I had been hearing so much about chalk paint lately that I decided to give it a try with a "practice piece."
Using a decades old nightstand with many stains and uneven surfaces, the chalk paint exceeded my expectations, totally transforming the desolate nightstand into a modern piece, without any sanding or priming.
I was sold - and I'm sure you will be too :)
Here are a few pictures of the piece before the chalk paint. You can see the uneven surfaces and scratches, especially on the lower part of the shelf.
And this is a close-up of the top. It wasn't in good shapes - but the chalk paint covered it all perfectly without any sanding.
For this project, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I went back and forth deciding whether to use Annie Sloan or another brand. I was split down the middle, and I ultimately decided to use Annie Sloan because of the chemical warning I saw written on the wax container of the other brand - in comparison to the natural ingredients used in the Annie Sloan wax (like beeswax). That, coupled with the fact that it was my first chalk paint project, sold me on the Annie Sloan brand.
For the top of the nightstand, I used primarily French Linen (keep reading for how I made it look like distressed wood), and I used Pure White on the rest of the piece. The Pure White is very white.
Now, it seems like a lot of materials, but there is a lot of leftover paint, and the paintbrushes will be reused. The other thing you might be worried about is using wax. However, do not worry - the wax was simple!! Way better to use than polyurethane, and it went by way quicker than the painting.
Here I am ready to give this old nightstand a fresh new look.
Step 1 - Clean Your Piece
Step 2 - Work on the Top
As far as creating this look, I found this part of the process so much fun, and I am not an artist. Rather than just painting brush stroke after brush stroke to cover area, it was something different - and was quite fun and relaxing to create this dimensional look.
Also, as mentioned before, if you make mistakes or aren't happy with the way it looks, it is easy to fix by touching up the paint.
Step 3 - Paint, Paint, Paint
I also suggest working in the brightest light possible. If you can, bring more light into your work space so your space is as bright as possible. This will accentuate any dripping or streaking which will help if your piece will be in a room with lots of light.
Step 4 - Waxing In Circles
Waxing is actually a piece of cake. If you are good at cleaning, then you'll be great at wiping on this wax.
I would use different rags for the top than the rest of the piece in case there is any bleeding from the paint onto the rags.
Also, you could wax the gray top after the top dries in Step 2, instead of waiting until the piece is done. I did this, so I got used to the whole chalk paint profess from start to finish, before doing the whole piece.
Last, I replaced the knob. Home Depot, Lowes, and Hobby Lobby are all good choices for knobs. This knob I had on a different piece and didn't love it there - but it looks great on this nightstand!
I finished this nightstand within 24 hours I believe - as I kept moving as soon as each coat dried. It was definitely my best turnaround time on refinishing furniture. When you take away the sanding, priming, and all that dry time, it really speeds up a project.
I loved working with chalk paint, and the results are just amazing. It simply doesn't look like the same piece. Even my dad's jaw dropped when I showed him the before and after! He usually only gets impressed with Ash's projects :)
Also, I have a ton of leftover paint. I went through about 1/8 of the quart of white and barely touched the gray.
Our old piano is going to be my next chalk paint project - I can't wait to see how it will look.
Stayed tuned (ha ha pun intended!).
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Hi! We're Ash and Eileen, and we are sharing our home project stories with you. From crafty projects to home maintenance to more ambitious DIY endeavors, we hope our stories inspire you to check a few things off your project list! :)