Several weeks back as I was sitting in our living room I noticed how dark our room seemed. Not the walls or even the lighting (we have two huge picture windows that take in the afternoon sun), but our furniture seems so dark and in need of a little personality.
We have a 120 year old dresser in a dark oak to act as a console for our TV; our barn door sofa and coffee tables in mahogany, an antique rocking chair that belonged to my grandparents in a dark wood, two bookcases in mahogany, and then my sofa is gray. Also in the living room was our old entertainment cabinet that has been acting as storage for extra pillows and blankets while I have been searching for an antique wardrobe to fit the bill.
As I was pondering what all I could do to infuse a little personality to our main living space an ingenious idea popped into my head! This idea was so good that it fixed two problems with one move.
I decided that instead of continuing to look for an old wardrobe, why couldn’t I take what we had been using and make it over?
To achieve the look I wanted I decided that it was time to take the plunge and try out chalk paint. I was very reluctant after researching online, but a visit to a local shop near Spartanburg, (Terris Treasures) put my fears to rest as the owner was more than happy to offer tips and advice to help me tackle this first project.
Terris told me the key to chalk paint was to brush it on thin. It didn’t take thick coats at all.
I have heard so many good things about Annie Sloan paints, so that was the brand I chose when purchasing products for this project. Besides the paint, I also purchased good brushes (I’m a huge fan of Purdy) and a sanding block to aid in fixing little mishaps.
We moved the wardrobe into the room that I hope one day to make a den (right now it’s carefully containing my clutter) and I began the task of painting.
I decided to go with two colors for my project; Paris Gray for the bulk of the wardrobe and then Old White for the insets in the door panels. The beauty of chalk paint is no prep… no sanding no priming. You just slap the paint on.
After the first coat I was really worried how the paint would looked finished, but after the second coat of the gray I knew it was going to be OK!
Since I had decided to use two colors on the piece, so after a day of letting the Paris Gray paint dry I used Frog Tape to mark off the insets where I used Old White to fill them in. I loved the fact that the Frog tape didn’t stick hard to my cabinet and none of the paint peeled when I removed it, eventhough they were fresh coats.
After the painting was finished, I let the cabinet set for a day, then applied a coat of clear, soft wax.
At this point we moved the cabinet (plastic and all back to the living room for optimum lighting to apply the final step of the project, a dark wax coat.
I finished this last step the day I arrived home from the Haven Blogger’s Conference in Atlanta where coincidently I won a wax brush from the Annie Sloan representative there! I couldn’t wait to try it out!
Audley helped with the dark wax, wiping it as I brushed it on. I wanted the wardrobe to look old, and the dark wax totally gave me the look I was going for.
Knobs picked out from Hobby Lobby (50% off this week!) and buffing the cabinet completed my project.
Now that the cabinet has been accessorized I totally love how it turned out! It’s hard to imagine that just one piece of furniture can add so much personality to a room, but repurposing this entertainment center did just that! It also continues to act as storage for those necessities I try to keep around for our guests like fluffy pillows and cozy quilts.
Now I think I’ll work on that antique rocker sitting next to it by recovering the seat with some cheery fabric and refinishing it to her former glory.
Have you ever used chalk paint? What do you think of it?