If you spend as much time reading furniture and design blogs as I do, you’ve probably read about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Well, I had read about 5 million blog posts where people use this magic chalk paint to change their furniture into a Paris flea market find look alike. I had two major issues with this:
- While the chalk paint was cute on romantic antiques, I was sick of seeing people apply a "cottage chic", "parisian flea market" style to Danish midcentury modern tables. It just didn’t make sense to me. Some of the furniture looked great, but did every piece of furniture a person laid their eyes on need to be painted? And in this way? Gahhhh.
- It’s freaking $36 a quart. And by the way, you really have to buy wax to put over it, which is another $26.
But really my main reason was that there’s this real snotty side of me who just isn’t interested in embracing something seemingly ordinary that everyone else thinks is awesome, especially when I can see how it all turns out online. It’s the same reason why I never read the Harry Potter books. I mean everyone and their mother (literally) was reading it, and I already knew the story, and I didn’t feel like reading a bunch of long books just because everyone else loved them. I’m doing my same snotty move when it comes to the Hunger Games. I also fully rejected Uggs. There are some trends I embrace fully, but those are just some that I have snubbed.
Which is why you may be surprised that this post is about my first experience with chalk paint. Yeah, I caved. It happened after I went into a store for Benjamin Moore paint chips and asked the color consultant what her favorite whites for furniture were. And then I had this conversation:
Color Consultant: “You’re painting furniture? Have you tried that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?? Oh my gosh, my sister and I picked up some paint and a bunch scrap wood and tried a bunch of different treatments. It is so fun!”
Me: “Nahhh, it’s just so expensive.”
Color Consultant: “But it goes so far! And there’s so much you can do with it!”
Me: “Huh yeah maybe I’ll try that…anyway, do you recommend any whites?”
This store didn’t even sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. But it was around that point that I decided if I was going to be even semi-professionally involved in this industry, I should try this new and popular product. Plus, I’ll admit, I was curious. So I headed to Stifel and Capra in Falls Church and picked up a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence from the stockist, Stylish Patina.
I decided to do a paint/stain treatment on an end table I bought on Craigslist. Before I applied the chalk paint, I had to sand and stain the top. I applied Minwax Dark Walnut stain to the surface. After the stain had dried for a couple days (not necessary, just my lack of time), I lined the edges of the table with painters table to prevent the paint from getting on the recently stained table surface.
After the paint dried, I went over the edges and details with a sanding wedge. Then I used a rag to wipe off the dust so that I could apply my wax. I ended up buying the Annie Sloan wax because it was high quality, easy to use, and I would’ve had to order other recommended wax so the price seemed worth it. I also splurged and bought a waxing brush because, well, I just love new tools and this one looked so cool.
Waxing was mega easy. I used Miss Mustard Seed’s video tutorial, and I highly recommend you do the same.
After I applied clear wax and let it dry for a while, I used a little bit of my Dark Walnut stain mixed with the clear wax and applied it to the table with a chip brush. I let it dry a tiny bit, and then spread it and wiped off the excess with a clean cloth. I really liked using this technique because I didn’t have to by dark wax (saving me another $26), and because it gave the color some very subtle depth.
The next day, I used a cloth to buff the table, giving it a subtle sheen.
I’m very happy with how the table came out, and I definitely understand why so many people are using chalk paint. It applies easily, and the best part about it is that it’s not supposed to look perfect, so if you make some mistakes, it just adds to the character. And because it covers very well with just two coats, and is easily watered down to give more of a wood-wash look, it does really go a long way. This paint looks good, and it goes on quickly. It may be $36 a quart, but time is money, right?
I can’t say that I’m going to start painting every piece I see with chalk paint, but I’m definitely going to keep it in my stash and use it when I feel a piece is calling out for it.
And oh yeah, this table is probably coming with me to the Lucketts Spring Market May 19-20 if I don’t sell it earlier! (If you didn't know I was selling, check out this post.)
Linked: Miss Mustard Seed, My Repurposed Life, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Redoux, The Shabby Nest, Savvy Southern Style, 504 Main, Somewhat Simple, Primitive and Proper