I started, a year ago, sanding a head and base for an antique bed, and a matching dresser. These pieces have sort of taken over my studio and this has created a big problem for my artistic output.
Since then, I also picked up a couple of antique dressers at the Women In Need shop to accommodate the rest of my clothing. I announced months ago that the pieces in the studio were ready to be primed. I lied. I ended up getting very picky about the paint removal and have only recently come to the point where, in fact, I am ready to prime. I will be painting a Chagall image on those afterwards and will treat the primary colour as I would any other latex painting project. Once the paint is applied and dry, I will use a varnish to seal the work.
My friend, Carol, asked at the beginning of this project, “Why don’t you use chalk paint?” So, my curiosity got the best of me and I looked this process up on the internet and decided that this would be perfect for the two dressers that were already sitting in my bedroom, as well as an old hand made side table that I had also picked up for $2.00.
I thought I’d share the process with you, a process that is less than half the cost of the completely prepared system marketed by Annie Sloan, a specialty supplier of Chalk Paint. There are several DIY videos on this subject, but I find the presenters a little verbose in their delivery and at times, downright irritating. I also think that they are unrealistic in terms of how ‘simple’ and ‘fast’ they articulate the process. For example, I began working on the painting of the primed pieces at 8:00 this morning. It is 12:20 at the time of this writing and the first coat is drying. I will apply a second coat before I head out the door at 4. So, allow a bit of time.
These two dressers were varnished with a high sheen, so I decided to prime. With chalk paints, it is possible to paint over any surface, however, I didn’t wish to encounter any problems with coverage. I went into Ben Moore’s paint shop to chat with a very helpful gent yesterday who recommended this product. In fact, this would be helpful if painting over any smooth surface. Using this product, with overnight drying would prevent the possibility of scratching off the surface of a polymer based paint. It’s called STIX.
I primed right over the hardware on the drawers. If you have some interesting pulls, then I would take them off first, but given that these are fairly simple, I decided to create the distressed look on them as well. Because I’ve been involved with paint removal, I decided to be very clean in terms of the areas that I painted and to leave the dove tail joints as is, as well as any screws or fittings used to construct the furniture.
Today, I mixed up my home made chalk-like paints. I used three table spoons of Plaster of Paris, mixed with a half cup warm water, with every cup of latex paint I used. I mixed it up in an old peanut butter jar, so that I could continue to use it after taking breaks. I mixed up two and half cups of latex and after painting two dressers and all of the drawers, I still have a half of the mixture left. I’m letting this dry, as mentioned and will put the second coat on shortly.
To follow that, instead of using the Annie Sloan clear wax and dark wax, I’ve chosen two products as replacements. In her method, you would wax clear, then dark, then clear again. I’ve decided on a warm stain gel that I will apply after the second coat of paint is dry and then I will end with a clear wax finish. These are the products I am using. I might add embellishments of copper acrylic as a rub before the clear wax because I’ve used copper on my walls.
By the way, I’ve chosen a blue-green colour to complement the warm red-orange that I applied to my wall. Contrary to the folk who like a serene environment for sleep, I focus more on warmth…I like to be surrounded by ‘happiness’. While all chaos has recently broken out in my bedroom, stay tuned for the eventual resolution to all of this DIY!
I’ll keep you posted about progress…going down to see if my first coat is dry!