In my previous chalk painting days, I found one of my favorite parts of redoing a piece with chalk painting was learning about where the piece came from or even the “how” of taking it on as my own. I’m naturally a bit of a Nervous Nelly, when it comes to meeting new people, so when I started the endeavor of furniture picking, I had to step outside of my comfort level and know that I was going to take some chances when it digging for just the right piece to paint (unless it was left behind like this one). Fortunately, I always made it out without a scratch on each pick up and from time to time would be pleased to find I’d left with a new friendship to put in my Rolodex.
One piece that comes to mind when I think of friends I’ve made along the way, is a little chest of drawers that I loved as is, but I knew when I saw it, it just had to be yellow! One day, I had inquired about a little white vanity that a local woman was selling. I had been hoping to find one for my little girl and though this one wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, it had been the only thing to come up in my desperate search. The seller said come on over and see it, so I headed that way. I ended up deciding against the vanity, but fell in love with so many pieces and things that she had in her home. I could tell the minute I met her, we could have done some serious damage to any flea market that crossed our paths. Gizmos and gadgets she had aplenty, and had whosits and whatsits galore! Everything she’d picked up because she just couldn’t live without it, was the same thing I myself would have clutched on to dear life to. I was in Heaven! I couldn’t pass up a little green dresser that sat in her basement and so instead of a little girls vanity I hauled away a cheery little chest of drawers.
It didn’t amount to much in size; small enough for a child’s room, or a guest bedroom, or maybe an accent piece, but it made up for it’s lack of stature in detail. The turned legs, the added cornices along the bottom and top, the swirl of the inlay, and the grooves in the frame; it had so much character and character was what I was all about.
Once I got it home, I argued with myself on leaving the green paint. I almost loved it enough just the way it was to leave it untouched. I knew either way I’d have to strip the top that had been painted a salmon color and that was new territory for me. Using chalk paint meant that I never had to strip, sand, or prime a piece before painting it, so I was walking on unfamiliar ground having to remove the paint to stain the top. But, that green. I just couldn’t decide. I knew it would look so great with a golden yellow, but the green had a perfect patina that screamed more than gently loved. Ultimately, I decided that I couldn’t rightfully resell it without putting in the effort of redoing it fully and she needed a makeover, so painting it would be.
When I first taught myself to paint furniture was when Annie Sloan paint hit the market. I bought up a ton of it and loved it as a beginner. I loved her colors and the application was so easy to work with. I used her brushes until nearly every bristle fell out, but I lived too far away (a couple of hours) from the closest distributor and once I found out I could make my own chalk paint, Annie and I severed ties. (*in my prior season of chalk painting I would pick a color I loved from a paint swatch and add that to my chalk recipe. It’s a personal goal this year to create my own custom colors that I will use from here on out).
This was about the time that I visited Ace hardware for the first time. It was fairly new to our town and I was a super fan right away. I became a regular at the paint counter and I very much appreciated the knowledgeable staff. Every time I presented them with a newer and crazier idea, I knew they’d have my back and send me out of the store with everything I needed including a plan for achieving what I was setting out to do (I wish, so much, that I blogged when I created industrial curtain rods out of pvc piping..I’m telling you…it was awesome and I couldn’t have done it without Ace). I love this store so much that I have asked for Ace gift cards for Christmas and my birthday many times in the past! I’m never disappointed. So, I headed in and within no time was armed with the exact yellow I’d been dreaming of, new brushes, paint stripper, a putty knife, a wire bristle brush (say that three times fast) for scraping, and the confidence that I could add paint stripping to my furniture flipping repertoire.
After cleaning this piece and mixing my paint, I slathered on the first layer of stipper to the table top portion only. I let this set overnight and in the mean time I removed the too big and mismatched knobs and started painting the drawers. When I added the first coat of paint, I hated it. Then I added a second coat. Still hated it. It was sooo yellow! Too yellow! Wasn’t that what I’d wanted? I’d thought so, but I just wasn’t digging it. At all. Drying time for chalk paint it relatively quick, but I let everything sit until the next morning and I gave it my first attempt at removing the salmon paint off the top. It came right off, of the flat surface that is. The little dovetail back with the etched designs required more attention. It took repeating the steps of applying the stripper and scraping it off about three times before I had the little designs all cleaned out.
Too fix the “in yo’face” yellow, I knew what I had to do. I still had a bit of leftover Sloan wax (if you’ve ever paid for it, you don’t waste it) so, I used the walnut stain that I’d bought to re-stain the dresser top and mixed it in with the wax. I carefully and gently rubbed it in the grooves of the inlays, on the turns of the legs and any other crevice or groove I could find. Then, I took a deep breath and very cautiously working in circles, I coated the rest of the chest with the stained wax.
One of my favorite things to do with my painted pieces is to update the hardware using two different, yet coordinating knobs. As you may have noticed in the original photo the knobs that had been on this piece were ALL WRONG. In fact, there were three different types of knobs on it (all of which were too big), some spaces for knobs were empty, and a pull had been screwed into the middle of one instead of using the proper spaces. I wanted to pull out the color of the darker stain so, I opted to use dark oil rubbed bronze for the main hardware pieces and then accented them with a smaller cute glass knob with a brown flower pattern. I may not be the one who thought up the idea of using coordinating knobs, but I like to think it’s my signature touch.
Now, all I had to do was clean the stripping residue off the top and stain it a nice new dark walnut. This was another first for me. I had never stained anything, but I found that I loved it. I applied two coats to get an extra rich color and stood back and admired my work.
There isn’t any part of chalk painting that isn’t fun for me. I love the hunt, the brainstorming, the process, and of course the final result. Sometimes, I know exactly what a piece will look like when its finished, sometimes I know only the color, but most of the time the reveal is as much of a surprise to me as anyone else. I always found it exciting to finish a piece, stage it and photograph it to post it for sale and see how well it was received by others. I might say it about all of the furniture that I’ve re-done, but this one may be one of my most favorites.
What do you think of this transformation? Could anything be better than Trombone yellow for this little chest? Interested in my chalk paint recipe? Click below and I’d be happy to send it to you!
Chalk Paint Recipe???
Have you been wanting to update your worn out furniture? Don’t know what to do with mom’s hand-me-downs? Making your own chalk paint is a snap. I’ll even give you the recipe! for FREE!
Jackpot! Now check your email to confirm and get your recipe!
Would you like my FREE Chalk Paint Recipe???
Have you been wanting to update your worn out furniture? Don't know what to do with mom's hand-me-downs? Making your own chalk paint is a snap. I'll even give you the recipe! for FREE!