If there’s one thing I have learned in the past five years it’s never, EVER pass on a solid wood piece of furniture that has lots of design if you have a place for it in your home. Over my years of having a furniture painting business, I would specifically look for things that had character and “shabby” potential. I just happen to love that look and if you are into repurposing, it also sells very well in our Palm Beach area as it fits in with a beachy look as well. About a decade or more ago, I discovered I really loved the Rachel Ashwell “Shabby Chic” look. It was soft, feminine and looked like it had been around for a hundred years.
And, it is actually a look that is fairly easy to do. Personally, I’m not a fan of dark wood. I’ve learned that the lighter the furniture, the less you see dust! Yes, I have replaced brand new dark wood pieces that I bought with thrift store finds to paint because I just dislike seeing all that dust every day. (That will probably be the best tip of this blog.) Buy light-colored furniture pieces or paint what you have light! You will spend a lot less time dusting.
While shopping garage sales one Saturday morning, I found this medium-colored solid wood coffee table. To be honest, it was pretty ugly. But, I loved the curvy legs and intricate design on the sides and legs and it was $15. SOLD!
I brought it home and decided to get some chalk paint out. I gave it a couple coats covering the entire piece in a soft white chalk paint that I made from latex paint, some Plaster of Paris and water. There are hundreds of recipes for chalk paint on Pinterest. Here is one. http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/testing-1-2-3-versions-of-chalk-paint.html
You can also splurge on the Annie Sloan version of the chalk paint or Lowes now also has a chalk paint that they can mix to any color. That is a nice option I recently discovered. This is what the Lowes chalk paint can looks like. It is great to paint with and I use a nice 1.5″ brush. I have learned that buying a more expensive brush will make your painting jobs easier. The right tools are a must! Instead of buying that cheap $3 brush, get the $9 one. You will get a lot more use of out it, but you should clean it very well after each use with warm, soapy water. Rinse it well! You will have a much more polished product in the end.
It will most likely take at least two coats of the chalk paint to cover over a dark wood piece. It helps to lightly sand with a fine grit sandpaper in between coats to make the surface nice and smooth. (This is not required but will leave a smoother surface.) Wipe with a dry clean cloth to get the residue off before starting the next coat. Finally I waxed the entire piece with Johnson Paste Wax. Rub it on with clean, soft rag. Let it sit for a few minutes (see directions on the can) and then buff off with another soft, clean cloth. It gives is a matte finish that will protect the paint.
Here is the finished coffee table in my family room.
After a project is finished – the beach is always calling!