Are you a fan of DIY projects? I LOVE the thought of them but loathe them once I begin. I think it’s because I don’t have a lot of extra time and I’m super impatient- such a lovely combination!
For a shopaholic, I’m pretty cheap and will hang on to things forever. I have no desire to replace things that don’t NEED replacing, such as old furniture. J and I have three dressers between us. The one I currently use is likely as old as me but is in perfect shape! However, the style is outdated. I want pieces of furniture that fit with my aesthetic, but why replace something with good bones when I can just refurbish it?
After obsessively searching Pinterest for months, I decided to use chalk paint for my project. If you’re not familiar with chalk paint, it received the name from its creator, Annie Sloan, because of its “beautiful velvety, matte finish.” It’s reportedly easy to work with, requiring little, if any, prep work, and can be used on anything. Some things you won’t find on the site: it’s relatively expensive (as are the brushes) and it’s hard to find. You cannot buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint everywhere; only certain distributors sell it. Unfortunately it’s not sold in my town, and while it can be found in Lexington and Louisville, the store hours are not particularly conducive to my schedule. Shipping costs are high… so what to do? I looked for alternatives and found one that came highly recommended.
I settled for Home Depot’s Americana Decor brand.
Paint brush (I used one from our living room makeover this winter)
Chip brush for waxing
Hardware (from Lowe’s)
I was drawn to chalk paint because there is no sanding or priming needed. J is dealing with an injury and there’s no way I’m dragging a dresser down the stairs to sand in our garage. My accident insurance does not go into effect until tomorrow- I ain’t takin’ any chances. I had limited space as I conducted the entire project in our guest room.
I imagine the texture of this brand differs from Annie Sloan, but it’s still thick- almost has the consistency of Elmer’s glue. I know everything and decided to not listen when every tutorial told me not to apply too much (you’ll see why later). It didn’t immediately give me the smooth, opaque finish I imagined.
I applied three coats which is much more than I intended or thought I’d need. To paint, I used the brush we used for trim. You should apply thin coats; if it’s too thick, it will run and chip. Chalky paint is quick-drying so I was able to complete the project within a few hours. After all three coats dried it was time for wax.
I applied wax using a chip brush- chip brushes are incredibly cheap and found at Lowe’s (I think I paid $2.00). It is suggested to use the Annie Sloan wax brush, but my research indicated that cutting an inch or two off the bristles of the chip brush would give me a similar effect. I soaked the brush first as the bristles fall out easily- I’d rather they do that up front instead of picking them out of the paint. After soaking and drying, I cut the bristles and got to work. The wax is thick (similar to the paint) and I applied it to the dresser using firm, circular motions. I then took an old white tshirt and buffed it to smooth the finish.
I tried to salvage the hardware but it was too antiquated for my taste. The dresser is so old that I could only find one type of handle to fit properly- it’s not exactly what I wanted but it will do for now!
As you can see, the finishes of the knobs and pulls do not match. Nothing matched those damn handles. Apologies for the flash: our guest bedroom doesn’t have a ton of light.
I’m pleased with the finished product! The paint is thick in a few places so I may try the real deal for my next project. Between paint, wax, brushes, and hardware, I spent around $60.00. A 16 ounce can of paint covered three coats with some to spare, and the wax is still half-full, even after using it for another project. The hardware was more than I wanted to pay but the small sized forced my hand.
Tell me, have you ever tried chalk paint? Do you refurbish your furniture?