Hey friends! 🙂
Well, it had to happen eventually. As a home and garden blogger, I am bound by the Blogger’s Code (cue ominous monk singing) to use chalk paint on something bigger than a picture frame. It also helped that I was getting really tired of my entertainment center. It was time for an entertainment center makeover!
This is the picture of my entertainment center before:Now, I’m not saying it was absolutely horrible before… I mean, I did buy it this way, so this means that I really liked it at some point. But I tend to tire of furniture quickly, which is helpful for the blog, but not so much with my wallet. At least it’s very in to refinish your furniture instead of tossing it and buying new stuff.
I should also mention that it is laminate wood, so though it looks okay in the picture, it was looking pretty rough in real life (and not in a used, distressed vintage sort of way… more of I ran into it with the vacuum cleaner and the cats peed on it sort of way).
I also realized that I should have done the “before” pics right before I started painting it with all décor removed. The “after” pic just doesn’t have the same “wow” effect if it really didn’t look all that bad before. So from now on, I will store future furniture projects in my shop where I can shoot the before pics of said project covered in an inch of dust and surrounded by all my other crap for maximum effect.
Here’s what I used for this project:
- One gallon Speed-Cote latex semi-gloss in white
- 5 1/3 cups plaster of paris
- 1 lb Minwax paste finishing wax – regular (no added color)
- FolkArt Home Décor Wax – antiquing wax (dark brown)
- Wax brush
- 3″ paint brush
- detail brush
- round metal file for distressing (you can use sandpaper instead)
- soft cloths
First, I removed the doors and all hardware. Then, I mixed the semi-gloss paint with the plaster of paris. The measurements above are a 3 to 1 ratio. I was ready to paint! What I wasn’t ready for is that it would take FIVE FREAKING COATS of paint to cover up the darker color and keep it bleeding through.
Lesson learned: when covering a darker color with a much lighter paint, be prepared for a lot of painting!
After the first coat, the plaster of paris started forming tiny clumps whereas there were none when I started. The only thing I can figure is I didn’t mix it well enough and left a clump of plaster on the bottom of the can which got mixed into the paint later. Because of this, I had to scrape the little clumps of paint off the entertainment center between each coat of paint. Did I mention I had to do five coats? And now I had to scrape everything down between coats?
Lesson learned: when making homemade chalk paint, mix it really, really, really well.
Here’s what it looked like after five coats of paint and a coat of finishing wax:Now it was time for the antiquing wax. I’ve never used it before so I really didn’t know what I was doing, but it turned out pretty good despite myself. Here’s a few of pics of application and blending:
I blended using both the wax brush and the cloth as needed.
Then came the fun part- distressing! And it really was a lot of fun to take out my frustrations after having to do all that painting and scraping! Needless to say, I got sawdust shavings everywhere.
Lesson learned: don’t do this again in the house. That’s what the garage is for. Well, that and cars.
All in all, it was a great learning experience, and despite the multiple coats of painting and scraping, it was a lot of fun to do and it turned out awesome! Which I’m really glad it did, because after all that work, it would have really sucked if it didn’t!
Let me know what you think and if you’ve had any similar chalk painting experiences (but hopefully you were smarter about it than I was)! 😉