March 20, 2014

My Very First Chalk Paint Piece: Red Chalk-Painted Dresser

I attempted my very first piece with chalk paint a few weeks ago and have been dying to get the pictures up to share with you!

I had a client ask specifically for this type of paint and I thought it was a great time to splurge on it and try it out. 

I'm definitely not an expert with it yet so don't think I did it perfectly but I'll tell you how I did it and what worked for me and we can go from there :) 

First things first,
I was working with a cute little Pottery Barn dresser that the client had.
She wanted it to fit with the 'big boy' room she was doing for her son and wasn't feeling the white furniture anymore. 

So it was in great condition- just needed a new look. 

Here's the before: 


Like I said, it was definitely not in bad condition and made a great canvas for whatever look we wanted to go for.
We went back and forth for a bit and then settled on painting it red with a 'waxed' finish which is basically an aged finish in the chalk paint world.

So first things first I bought my paint.
I went to our local flea market and browsed the colors they had in the Cece Caldwell Chalk paint line and landed on Traverse City Cherry.


After bringing the quart of paint home, I did a ton of research from other bloggers who had used the brand and worked with the chalk paint before.

My main concern was the aging process. 
I've heard all kinds of varying reports from how easy it is to how tricky it can be.
It also involved buying both the clear and dark waxes.
And they aren't super cheap.

So I'll get to how I got around that in a minute. 

First things first, I painted the dresser in two coats of Traverse City Cherry. 


First off, the paint was a wonder to use.
I loved the smooth application and how beautifully it went on.
Two coats was perfect to cover the white dresser. 

However, I grew concerned as the dresser dried and the pretty red started turning a dusty pink color.
I immediately ran to the computer and searched for images of people that had used this color before and found it to be a common problem.
When dried, it definitely resembles more of a salmon pink than a deep red.
Ugh. 

I kept telling myself it was a vintage red and decided to try the aging process to see what that did. 
Check out the difference: 


Ah, instant relief. 
So much so.

It immediately turned a darker red and dried that way! 
Can you see the difference in that back drawer with how pink it looks compared to the aged ones? 


So here's the deal.
And like I said, I'm no expert on chalk paint.
But this worked out amazingly for me.

I researched like crazy to see about what I could do for the aging process.
I'm definitely more of a distress & glaze type girl and I hated the idea of forking out another 70$ on waxes that would give it the same look (I figured) that glaze would.

So I looked up whether glaze would do the trick or not.
And I found several sites that mentioned that using regular glazes and sealing waxes would work fine. 
So I decided to go that route. 


After my two coats of chalk paint,
I used my regular ole' glaze that I use on all my pieces to age it.
Just like normal.

I used a brush to paint it on in small sections and then wiped it off with a soft cloth. 
It worked like an absolute charm.
Darkened the pink color and gave the perfect aged finish.

See how beautiful it turned out? 


Forgive the shadows :) 
A girl can only do so much when I forget to take pictures until 5 minutes before it's about to leave.
Have to work with what ya got!!


I also use my regular Minwax finishing wax to seal it all after painting & glazing it.
I rubbed harder on the edges of the drawers to bring out some of the white underneath. 

The wax made the finish perfectly silky & smooth like butter :) 

And that, my friends, is that.
Besides the fact that I also switched out the plain wooden knobs with some fun oil-rubbed bronze ones. 
I love how hardware can make such a big difference! 

Here are the fun before/after shots: 






It ended up being a gorgeous piece and I was so happy to have a chance to do something new and out of my comfort zone!

Here's my thoughts on working with the chalk paint: 

Pros: 
It goes on smooth and covers amazingly.
It has a gorgeous, vintage feeling to it after it dries. 
Easy clean-up and fun to distress. 
And I was much happier to know I could use my own aging products that were considerably cheaper than the waxes. 

Cons: 
Expensive- I still prefer my Sherwin Williams enamel paint if I'm going to spend that money.
Not a huge variety of colors, you're stuck with what they offer unless you mix them together which is just more $$. 

I'm sure I'll use it more now that I've played with it but only for specific types of pieces.
I still love my enamel paint too much to give it up.
But it was a fun experience!! 

I'm loving how the dresser turned out even if it was a bit of an experiment getting it done :)
Hope you guys have an awesome, amazing week!!!


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