In the beginning…lots of brown…
So my weekend project turned into a week. Not because it was difficult, I just added to it…and had a little bit of a learning experience as well. My original plan did not include the four ladder-back chairs. I was going to purchase long, canvas slip covers instead of painting; however, after a day of de-furring my living room furniture, I decided against it. I’ve had cats my entire life, but these two shed more than any. It’s crazy and the last thing I need is something else to vacuum.
As I mentioned in my post Creative Blah, I did quite a bit of reading of how-to’s and what to use when entering into a chalk paint project. I’m forever searching for the most efficient (easy) and most economical (cheap) ways to do things. In my research, I discovered the Rustoleum brand of chalk paint received very good reviews; some people even preferring it over the expensive boutique brand, Annie Sloan. Also, Rustoleum has a chalk top coat in clear that comes in a SPRAY CAN! No wax needed!!! I was excited – less expensive paint, no prep or sanding and no waxing. I would be done in a snap.
Day 1, First hiccup. I left work on Friday and headed to Home Depot to make my purchase. After scouring the shelves, I only found two colors of the Rustoleum chalk paint: off white and light gray. Boring. I asked the paint clerk about this. “Yes,” she said, “that is all we carry in the store.” Half the fun of chalk paint are the great colors. Slightly disgruntled, I bought the Rustoleum top coat in the spray can, my paint brush, rags and plastic drop cloth and begrudgingly headed to the boutique shop to invest in the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Two quarts (Provence and Old White) and $84 dollars later, I was home and ready to set-up. My living and dining room is one quaint area; I cleared everything from around the table and spread the plastic drop cloth under the table and chairs, not easy to do by oneself, and gave the table a good wipe-down. I painted the base of the table first in Provence (turquoise). Two coats. I liked it and almost stopped here, but I moved forward. Old White (off-white) would go on the top.
Day 2. My table opens to a large round so it was a little tricky getting everything covered that shows when folded down to a square. I also found chalk paint dries quickly, so work fast. This also took two coats.
Hiccup Two. While the top dried, I decided to remove the seats from the chairs. First one, no problem; chairs two, three and four however, did not want to part with their seats. The screws were stripped. I struggled for over an hour before I finally had them all off.
Hiccup Three. Returning to the table, I reviewed my work. Chalk paint has a dull, matte finish – chalkie if you will. My table looked flat. Something was needed. Yep, I decided to go with the distressed look. Again, not in my original plan and this also meant I would have to sand after all. I worked the base first and then attacked the top. Dust was everywhere. A plastic drop cloth does little to prevent this and two cats tracking through it does not help. It is also not good to inhale when you suffer from allergies.
Hiccup Four. This is big… please learn from this. After thoroughly removing all the dust from the table, I was ready to use the handy spray can CLEAR chalk top coat. I sprayed the Provence base first. It was a little tricky. There were some drips but all in all, it was fine and FAST! Now for the table top. As directed, I did a sweeping motion across the Old White painted top. Finished, I stepped back to check out my work. It was not good. There were splotches and a YELLOW tinge to my Old White top. “Oh no, no,” I mumbled to myself. I waited. It dried the exact same way. Oh the frustration. I was going to have to go back and buy the expensive wax top coat. I was not happy. A third coat of Old White was applied and another round of distressing and dust clean up ensued. I took a nap and drank wine the rest of the evening.
Sunday, Day 3. The chairs. With a lot of Provence left, I decided two chairs would be in Provence and the other two in Old White. Ladder back chairs are not easy to paint. I did two.
Monday, I wanted nothing to do with a paintbrush or sanding.
Tuesday, Day 4. Hiccup Five. I came down stairs to little kitty cat paw prints in blue on my floor. All I can say is I’m thankful for soap and water cleanup. I painted the last two chairs and distressed all four… more dust cleanup.
Wednesday, Day 5. I purchased the wax top coat, which resembles a small can of Crisco and about the same consistency but with an obnoxious chemical smell. You need a ton of lint-free rags for this process. You literally wax on, wax off, small sections at a time. It’s tiring and a bit tedious. One coat was applied to the table.
Thursday and Friday. Nope, not touching that stuff.
Saturday, Day 6. Head pounding from a sinus infection, a second coat of wax was applied to the top of the table for extra protection and wax applied to the chairs. The wax deepens the color a bit and if buffed, adds a slight sheen to your finish.
Sunday, Day 7. The wax was dry, the seats were put back in their proper place on the chairs (I may recover at some point…) and the mess I’d been living in for a week was cleaned up. My head was still killing me, but I was actually quite pleased with my table and chairs. That side of the room, with no windows, now looks a little more cheerful, not brown on brown and I can say, “I did that.” That is a good feeling.
I still have Provence and Old White left and I don’t intend on letting that expensive stuff dry up, so I’m sure something else will be painted soon. I am calling this a Pinterest Success!