June 12, 2014

How To Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint (and how to survive a DIY disaster).

How To Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint (and how to survive a DIY disaster). Love this!
Hey ya'll. So remember the $50 Craigslist dresser I found last month for my TV stand project? And remember how I said I was going to stain it? 
Well, my first attempt at staining a dresser was a total fail. I spent two weeks on this thing, stripping it, staining it, hating it, painting it three different colors, and ultimately saving the day with some new chalk paint.
Welcome to the latest episode of disaster blog.







So, I've thought of a million ways to tell this story, most of which involve me leaving out 99% of it, but ultimately I've decided just to tell you everything.
I'm sticking my toe in the vulnerability pool. Don't let me sink.
I forgot my floaties back at the hotel.


Let's rewind to the beginning. I've been working on assembling our living room, and finding the right sized dresser for the TV has been the hardest part. I'm usually limited in the budget department, so I've always had to try and make the best of what I already own.

When we first moved in, we had a very old TV and an antique dresser (that will eventually end up in the entryway nook). It was the hottest of messes, and oddly enough, I still look back upon that time period as a great one.
Youth.


Then, Kevin was introduced. It was the worst thrift store dresser ever, and no matter how hard I tried...it just didn't work.


So, during the 3 month period that I was living at Panera and the floors were being installed, I spent a lot of time searching thrift stores and Craigslist for something better.
And I eventually found exactly what I needed on Craigslist for $50. 
Here's the original Craigslist picture.
I definitely sent Jesse to pick it up. :)



I was only interested in the shape and dimensions, and was willing to look past the orange wood color. 
So, Jesse hauled it home and I set it up in that little extra room back in the bedroom. Because although it makes zero sense, I emptied out that room and have been using it as my project room lately. 


So, this is where the story gets kinda odd. My original plan was to strip the dresser and use a combination of walnut stain and white wash to create a Restoration Hardware look.
I did tons of research, and was just sure that I could pull it off. 

I succeeded in stripping the dresser.....and then totally failed with the staining. I didn't realize until AFTER I stripped it that the tops and sides of the dresser were some sort of pressed wood veneer, and no matter how hard I tried (even using several different products), the pressed wood just wouldn't absorb the stain correctly. 


Although the staining process was a total flop, the stripping process was a success. And since I get so many questions about stripping furniture, I thought it might be helpful to include a little bit about my first experience. 


First of all, I chose to use Citristrip stripping gel and mineral spirits because they barely smell and you can use them safely indoors (even though you'll still want to open a window). The only other supplies I needed was a plastic drop cloth (to catch all of the gunk that I scraped off), a plastic scraping tool, some scouring pads, some rubber gloves (made for stripping furniture) and some mineral spirits.


I took all of the drawers out of the dresser, poured some Citristrip in a metal bucket (that you can get for $2 at Home Depot) and just used a paintbrush to apply the gel to the surface of the drawers and the frame of the dresser.


I let the gel sit for about 30 minutes, and once I saw it bubble up, I started scraping off the residue with my plastic scraper. I was totally amazed at how easily it came off. 
It was weirdly cathartic to scrape off layers of gunk.
It easily removed all of the polyurethane and even most of the stain that was heavily applied to this 50 year old dresser.


Because this dresser had a bunch of grooves and difficult areas, I then used a scouring pad (and an old toothbrush) to remove the rest of the residue.


After that, I wiped the entire dresser down with mineral spirits (to remove any of the leftover chemicals) and then lightly sanded the entire thing with 320 grit sandpaper.
And that's when I added wood conditioner and then tried to stain just the top, but when it wouldn't take, I just quickly stripped it back down.  And then I realized that it wasn't a total loss, as raw wood surfaces are ideal for paint. Cup half full, ya'll.



So, anyways, as I was wandering around the paint department at Home Depot trying to pick a color for the dresser,  I came across some new chalk paint. I've painted tons of furniture with chalk paint (including my favorite dresser), but I've always made my own with plaster of paris (recipe found here in tip #6).  
Mostly, because I'm really cheap and just can't convince myself to pay $50 for the famous kind (although I hear it's fantastic, so please don't riot.)

So, when I came across this stuff at Home Depot, I was curious enough to try it out. 
And, boy did I ever.


And this is the part of the story where my mind tells me to dry heave with embarrassment, but my heart says, 'Onward, girl.'

So, I spent 3 hours painting the dresser black. It seemed like a really great idea at the time. But, it definitely was not.
It ended up looking like a big chalkboard, and I just wasn't feeling it for the living room.



So, then, I tried to paint the dresser using the tan color. 
And I moved my workspace out into the actual living room so that I could have a better idea of what it would look like in there.



In all honesty, I thought the dresser looked okay in this color, but there were certain times of the day when it looked like a big purple blob against the living room wall.
 I also tried spray painting the original hardware with oil rubbed bronze like I used here, and it just made it look kinda bulky and outdated. 
And as you can probably imagine, at this point, I wanted nothing more than to throw a dresser bonfire party. And invite all the people.
But I marched on.



Finally, I decided to try one more time. For the win.
 Now, I know painting a piece of furniture white isn't exactly groundbreaking territory, but I looked through a bunch of inspiration pictures and found quite a few white dressers that left me feeling hopeful.


So, I decided to go for it.
 I painted it one more time...white. And then I waxed it, added some modern hardware, and finally....REJOICE.
Insert tears and delirious laughter.


So, just really quickly, here's what I ultimately ended up using.


I used one little jar of the white Americana Chalk Paint named 'Everlasting'. (*Update: You can also find it online at Home Depot here.) The best part about this stuff is that you don't have to prime or strip the furniture or even sand it. You can paint over anything and it will adhere like glue. Obviously, I took a really weird route that involved stripping a dresser and painting it several times. But, let me repeat: All you have to do with this stuff is paint it straight on any piece of furniture, even if it has a glossy topcoat. 
Isn't that fantastic? 
You can also paint over a piece that's already been painted, and it still works. 
I know. I tested that theory thrice.

And for the finish, I chose to use the Creme Wax. All you do is rub it on with a lint-free cloth, let it dry, then buff it to the desired shine. A wax finish is truly one of my favorites, and it looks so professional and smooth. I really liked the Americana wax, and I'll definitely use it again. Also, one little $9 jar of wax went really far. I used less than 1/3 of it on the entire dresser. And I was able to paint the entire dresser with one jar of paint.


For the hardware, I decided to mirror our kitchen cabinet hardware, and it totally kinda tied everything together in the main living area.


And also, since the dresser was really old and basically infused with the smell of 1960's cigarettes, I vacuumed out the drawers, and then painted the interiors and exteriors of each drawers with some Kilz primer (to trap the smoke smell) and then I used our leftover wall paint to coat the drawers. (You may remember when I did this a couple years ago with green paint.) It ended up being kinda cute....white on the outside with a little pop of grayish off white on the inside.
 In summary, now the dresser feels brand new, and I would like to erase the past two weeks from my brain.



And although the jumbotron is still back in the bedroom (where we've been living), I ventured out into the living room for the first time since February, set up the tiny TV, and slothed all day with a newly released season of a very addictive Netflix show.



And although this dresser project was a total nightmare, I'm so happy that I kept trying until I got it right. I truly do learn the most from trying new things, and all of the mistakes made along the way are usually the best teachers.
And if you had tried to tell me that while I was in the pit of dresser despair, I probably would have used some adult words.


I'll be back soon to share the living room (I'm so excited!!), and I can finally share all of the lighting we chose for the main area! 
And before I go, here's a little sneak peek of the new kitchen lighting that I'm totally in love with. I finally took down the old Craigslist chandelier and installed the Hudson Valley Hampton semi-flush mount light in polished nickel, generously provided to us by National Builder Supply.


I added a little ceiling medallion underneath, and I just love the way it looks when it's all lit up. It never ceases to amaze me how a great light fixture can totally transform an entire room.
My little kitchen feels so grown up. 
Oh, and also, I used some leftover door paint to make some black and white art that I framed over the sink. It's basically a scribble, but it seemed to work, so yay.



And that, ya'll, is finally all.
I'll be back in a week or two with the dining room reveal.
'Til then!
P.S. Thank you for making it all the way through another long and awkward post. 
10 points for being a soulsister.



How To Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint (and how to survive a DIY disaster). Love this!

That's all for today! 'Til next time!
To check out more furniture painting advice, you can check out my top 5 furniture painting FAQS here.
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96 comments:

  1. Wow what tenacity you have. You have inspired me to tackle the great antique dresser which I painted a gruesome blue. I was fed up and shoved it in the garage. That looks fantastic and I really admire that you painted the inside of the drawers as well. I HATE that old musky smell. So get down get funky girl. Great job!

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    1. Thanks so much! Definitely keep trying....I so understand the temptation to stuff it in the garage and never look at it again...but you'll be so happy if you finish it! :)

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  2. Absolutely beautiful! So glad for the info on finding the paint at Home Depot. Seems reasonably priced, too. Great job!

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  3. It looks absolutely fabulous! Congratulations on getting it finished and it looking so great, it looks like it was worth the effort!

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  4. I've found that you don't have to be at this very long before you find yourself in your own nightmare project - but it's a right of passage, isn't it? And so great of you to share yours! It's nice to know that it doesn't just happen to me!

    We inheirited a lovely armoir from a very colourful - and cigar smoking - relative Even putting it in my "moved on" son's room wasn't hiding the horrible odour! A little experimentation showed that it's the shellac (also in your primer) that seals off the smell; so if you don't want to repaint, that's the way to go!

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  5. PERFECTION, Virginia. Worth every bit of time and elbow grease invested. It looks stunning! I'm with you about shape and size - they DO matter. :)

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  6. Great job, such gorgeous finished!

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  7. Hi, any tips on veneer wood? I'm totally new to DIY refinishing/painting etc but after alot of search recently on remodeling my living room and unable to find what I wanted, I decided to start doing it on my own. However, its quite nerve wrecking. I recently found a dresser on Craigslist and fell in love with the shape. However, upon close inspection, its a veneer type wood that is peeling on the drawers. I am so new to this that I don't know where to begin. I don't know if this is something that I can save and how. If I put stripping gel on it to remove it or not? I'm so lost! Any advice? I will be glad to give you my email and exchange pictures for any advice. I am so inspired by your blog wanting to try to tackle this. Please help!! Thank you for anyone that replies!
    Aloha all the way from Hawaii!! Teresa

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    1. Hi Teresa! If the actual wood veneer is peeling, stripping it won't help. I would try to use a little wood glue to reattach the parts that are peeling, and then use a little wood filler to smooth it out. That might help.

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  8. What a fantastic post full of so many great tips! The TV cabinet looks gorgeous. I always look forward to your entertaining and inspiring blog posts......you're awesome!

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  9. Love your story of the dresser. Gave me a giggle. But I did feel for you. I probably would have given up and gone back to it in about three years time. Congratulations on your perseverance! The dresser looks great painted white.

    http://llibbyslifestyle.blogspot.com.au

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  10. Thanks again for sharing how things don't always go right at first! I think everything I try to do goes from bad to worse and then finally works out, so you're not alone.

    The dresser looks great in white, especially on your new wood floor.

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  11. It looks great! But, a question that perhaps you can answer: WHY is everyone in love with chalk paint for furniture? What makes it better than regular paint? I'm planning to attempt my first makeover soon and don't want to use something just because everyone else is, ya know? Now, if there is a good reason, I will jump on the bandwagon SO FAST.

    Incidentally, since I am about to attempt my first furniture makeover, I love this post :)

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    1. Hi Kim! I'm not sure why everyone else loves it, but as for myself, I just love how easy it is. You don't have to prime or even sand and it dries super fast, so you can apply a second coat within the hour. It's just a really great paint for using on furniture. Plus, the wax topcoat is just really pretty. (And latex paint works too, but you have to sand, prime, and usually use a topcoat like polyurethane or polycrylic.) Hope that helps! :)

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  12. Bless your little painter's heart. You endured a lot to complete your project, still you hung in there and look what a beauty that dresser is now. Stunning. And I really love the hardware you chose. It's perfect. Congratulations, Virginia, on a job well done! ~ Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage

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  13. That looks awesome.Your gift is that you can look at something and tell it's not quite right. I admire you for continuing to try. Many people do not have that gift. They just keep doing projects and wonder why the room never looks pulled together. Case in point your knobs. The devil's in the details!

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    1. Yes Gloria, I was going to say that. It's one thing I have not developed well enough yet. I'm getting better at it with my jewelry making. I KNOW if it is not right and keep trying. Not so much with decorating.

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  14. I loved this post - it's so great to see how disaster strikes everyone! I've had my share of them but it's so rewarding when you finally succeed and have the result you wanted. Can't wait to see the whole room!

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  15. The outcome is really beautiful. Your patience was rewarded.
    Virginia, thank you for your blog. It's very inspirational. I've never ever done any furniture makeovers, but after a few days "living and breathing" your blog I feel like I can try to paint my old laminated desk. I was planning to go the route you suggested with Zinnser primer + paint, but after this post I'm thinking about Americana Chalk Paint. Do you know if I can use it strait on the desk without primer?
    Thank you again for the inspiration in your blog!

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    1. Hi Marina! Yes, you can apply the chalk paint straight to the piece of furniture without applying primer. It adheres great.

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  16. Way to persevere and to tell us how it really went! DIY really is 2 steps forward and 1 step back but I've had times too where it is more like 4 steps back. Loving the white and your inspiration photo from Houzz! You are doing a great job!

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  17. See, this is why I love you (creepy much? sheesh!)! I think if more bloggers shared the fails and difficulties, more regular peeps would feel empowered to tackle projects they are intimidated by.

    I have an awesome set of dining chairs languishing in my garage. I want to paint the frames so badly, but my last two attempts at chair painting have been EPIC failures. I keep convincing myself that I'm holding off because I can't get the milk paint I want yet. I wonder if those chalk paints are listed online...

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    1. Thanks Julie! And yes, I just found the link. They have tons of colors. http://www.homedepot.com/b/N-5yc1v/Ntk-All/Ntt-americana%2Bdecor%2Bchalky%2Bfinish?Ntx=mode%20matchall&NCNI-5

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  18. That dresser looks amazing! It is amazing how the paint completely transforms it into something that looks like you bought it brand new! I have a dresser that I want to paint a funky blue or green to go in my office. Have you ever tried mixing the white chalk paint with leftover wall paint?

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    1. Hi Lauren! I haven't tried that, but I do know that you can make your own chalk paint by adding a little Plaster of Paris to any normal flat latex paint.

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  19. I am encouraged! I have never painted furniture before and I will be starting this summer on a master remodel. You have inspired me. :-)

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    1. Oh, that's so awesome, Melanie! Good luck! Let me know how it turns out! xo

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  20. Virginia, I too know that sometimes it's a process. I love that you show us the process too. It turned out just beautiful.

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  21. That is awesome! Thanks for the advice!! Does chalk paint feel like a chalkboard? I am terrified of the screeching noise that can happen with a chalkboard, which is why I've stayed away from any chalk paint!

    Your dresser looks great! Love the hardware too :)
    <3 Hanna
    http://www.goldpolkadots.com

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    1. Hi Hanna! No, not at all. Plus, once you apply the wax topcoat, it's super soft and smooth.

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  22. I love the way it looks! It turned out great, as if it was meant to go through turmoil and come out like a beautiful brand new furnishing!

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  23. Way to persevere! The dresser looks great. Can't wait to see your living room all finished!

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  24. The dresser looks awesome! My boyfriend and I just moved out of state into our first place and like you I imagined going to all the best stores and shelling out tons of cash (reality check) funds are low, rent is high, and I still want nice furniture. Lucky for me there are tons of thrift stores here. I was looking to get some tips on painting and old shiny wooden kitchen table. Should I strip it first like you did in this post? Which paint is very durable. And should I use the wax finish or the paint on formula? Id appreciate any advice from you since I'm so in love with your work. Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Amy!! Oh, I've SO been there! :) For a table, you'll definitely want a durable topcoat, but it's up to you how you want it to look. If you want it to look like it has a flat sheen and hand-rubbed, go the wax route (but you might have to re-wax once a year or so) and if you want a satin or semi-gloss look, you can use Polycrylic (if you're using a light color paint, because Polycrylic won't yellow) or Polyurethane (if you're using a dark paint color, bc Polyurethane is easier to use, applies easier, and is more durable than Polycrylic. But it WILL yellow, so only use if if you are using a dark paint color.). And if you use chalk paint, you can skip the primer, but if you use latex paint, PRIME! :) Hope that helps!

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    2. Thanks for your advice I definitely feel a little more up tp the challenge! Thanks so much for your help!

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  25. I'm glad I'm not the only one who paints and repaints. My dining set (my parents set from the 60's) has seen 4 or 5 different colors, as well as a stripping, and right now the table is brown, 3 chairs are white and one is black, lol. Maybe chalkpaint! I didn't know HD carried it - thanks.

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  26. Oh girl--You just saved me from my living room desk. It's currently covered with a tablecloth due to what I'm calling the Embarrassing Failure of Ugliness. I heart you for always keeping it real. That hardware was a great decision. Sorry it was such a frustrating journey to get done, but the result is amazing.

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    1. Thanks so much!!! I've been there more times than I can count! But don't give up!! :)

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  27. Hey! I love your blog and this post. So much that I am about to go thrifting for the perfect dresser turned tv stand! But I have a question and somewhat of a request.. do you think you could do a post on how to transform your home from traditional to modern/contemporary/chic using traditional brown furniture (ie- big brown couch and furniture set) without paint or reupholstering? I would really appreciate it! I cannot find any inspiration on how to do it and make it all flow well. Thanks for your help
    -Katrina

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  28. The dresser looks great, it has a great shape and the white is fantastic. Like the modern handles you used. I did a similar thing with my sideboard in the dining room it to me three attempts to get it right.

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  29. I'm in love!!!! I really want to do this to two of my dressers and my desk now! hahah!
    You're blog is one that I constantly keep an eye on! I've always hidden behind this little screen but now I'm actually commenting after a year!!

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  30. Hi dear, the result is amazing!
    I'll come back to see what's your next project... ;-)
    Send you greetings from Germany

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  31. Virginia,

    I love your blog, one of my favorites. I know anyone who has ever done diy has had some goofs. We have all had that perfect idea that just isn't working the way we want it to. Your time and honesty will certainly save someone (probably me) in the future. You go out and conquer girl!! Can't wait for your living room post...

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  32. Thanks so much for sharing this! I have been following your blog for a while and you have inspired me to become a DIYer. I recently finished an old buffet table in chalk paint. I used a high quality brush and finished it off with wax. After it was complete, I noticed you could see my brush strokes. Did you notice this on your dresser? If not, where did I go wrong? I still love the piece and have covered the top with picture frames and a lamp to hide it. I also have a dresser laying around that I'd like to paint white but I'm so hesitant.

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  33. Well - how smart is that! Good for you for keeping on keeping on - the end result was worth the blood sweat and tears.

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  34. Your blog is my favorite! Really! OK, I bought a quart of sooooo expensive chalk paint from the local pretty-things boutique and after reading this post I'm ready to tackle the world's ugliest orangey-wood headboard now. The paint might or might not have been sitting in my car for the last two weeks while I procrastinated.

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  35. First, let me say your blog has helped me at a really difficult time in life. Thank you! Also, you have encouraged me to try DIY version 2.0 to love my home. I feel like we are friends in my head (hee hee), but not in a creepy way. Anywho, I have a very small kitchen its like the size of a closet (I'm serious and its depression) and I want to paint the cabinets. I was thinking of using the same brand of chalk paint. What do you think? Is this paint durable enough for that and would I need to do a topcoat? I've tried stain but too dark in the "cave" kitchen and the counters are dark. Sanding my cabinets has been a pain with layers of paint and stain. What would you suggest? Thanks in advance

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  36. I'm a little new to this but do you need to use the wax with chalk paint?

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  37. Dumb question - what kind if brush should I use?

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  38. Virginia, I love your blog! Great job on the dresser. Glad to know there are products to use so you don't have to strip. Can't wait for your next post!

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  39. Love the dresser now, so pretty!
    I really do want the old ring pulls though ;)

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  40. Love your blog!!!. I have found that using stripper in the grooves of old furniture is a good idea b4 painting, using a toothpick to get old paint/stain out of the grooves gives the furniture more dimension when repainted.

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  41. This was THE BEST post ever! I love how you explained everything and showed the appropriate pictures to go along with it and not just fluff pictures like a lot of the blogs. I have been trying to gain the confidence to attempt a piece and with this post and all the info I am feeling a little more knowledgeable and secure. I hope you do many more posts like this:) Congrats on creating a beautiful piece!

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  42. Virginia, I would be interested to know what you think of "Poppie’s Famous Repurposing Paint Powder." (I recently purchased some to repaint an old school desk for my daughter.) It is supposed to be a more affordable, high-quality alternative to the expensive "boutique" brands of chalk paint. However, it looks like the "Americana" brand you used from Home Depot is even LESS expensive! Too bad we don't have a Home Depot in my town. :-(

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  43. Your project turned out gorgeous! This post is very well timed. I just received an old upright piano that has been previously painted. The paint is pretty ugly and old. So I am thinking about this method for it. My question is can you use the chalk paint inside? I'm pretty sensitive to paint fumes, etc. and don't want to smell the house up but moving the piano is not an option (it took 3 huge movers to get it where it is)! If not, what paint would your recommend? I need something durable. This piano is for my 5 year old to take lessons on.

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  44. Hello - excellent job painting. You probably already answered this but what brush/s did you use?

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  45. I can totally relate to your staining/painting fiasco! The dresser turned out fabulous and I can't wait to see your living room reveal :)

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  46. I can totally relate! I love that you said you learn the most from making mistakes because I totally think that's true. I recently had a strip, stain, paint fail.....but it ended up turning out pretty ok. I loved reading this!

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  47. Its looks so very sophisticated and pretty. I love reading your posts - you are so creative and fun but also you are HYSTERICAL! You should be a writer full time. I have a question regarding the hardware. When you change it out on your pieces do the holes from the new handles always line up? If not, at what point in the refinishing/painting do you fill in with wood filler and drill the new holes? Not sure if drilling at the end disrupts the finish? Thanks!

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  48. I love your blog! You are such an inspiration! I'm also a blogger. I was wondering what software you use to edit your pictures? I love the fonts you use. Thanks for any feedback. http://sarasweetie99.blogspot.com

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  49. I seriously love your blog! You are so real and hilarious!! Out of all the DIY blogs I read, yours is my fav! Love love love it. Can't wait to go grab some of this chalk paint at Home Depot! I also make my own, but I'm excited to try this one out :)

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  50. Love this! I have a big monster of a dresser in my daughters' room that needs to get rid of it's dark veneer. I am wondering what type of brushes do you recommend? I have been using foam brushes on furniture when I use a latex paint so it doesn't show brush marks. What do you prefer?

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  51. Your renovations are coming along very nicely! I wish I could have you on speed dial when I start doing renovations!

    Love your blog!

    www.therizaslocaslife.com

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  52. This is gorgeous! Quick question- what kind of brush did you use with your chalkboard paint? Or did you roll it on? Thanks for all your awesome tips!

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  53. what did you use to apply the chalk paint? A brush or Roller? it came out perfect you can't see any brush strokes… love it

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  54. I came to your blog via a "related pin" and I have to say I am so proud of your stick-to-itiveness with this project! Wow. It looks wonderful and now makes me rethink my aversion to using chalk paint to paint our kitchen island -- it is a tasteful, elegant black (for our tasteful, elegant white / marble kitchen) but I am really a cookie-dough-eating fuchsia girl. We'll see. Congratulations!

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  55. I love your results! I had a quick question about the waxing process. You said you applied the wax with a cloth. No need for one of those expensive brushes? Did you work in small areas or apply the wax completely, let it dry, then buff it out? How did you buff it? Do you use an electric buffer or do you manually do it with something? Also, do you usually wax after using your own recipe for chalk paint? If so what wax do you use? Same technique? Thanks for any help!

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  56. Hi Virginia! You have such tenacity to keep at this project! Kudos to you! Question - I started painting my kids room furniture white - (it's 80's style glossy laminate) guided by your post on how to paint laminate. Would chalk paint work on this kind of furniture? Or should i continue following with the "how to paint laminate" post? Thanks!

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  57. Do you think the chalk paint would stick to laminate? I want to paint on side of my pantry but it's that shiny, laminate stuff. Or should I prime?

    Signed
    Overwhelmed new homeowner with 6000 ideas

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  58. I only read about half the comments, so I don't know if someone already asked this... but what kind of a brush do you use to apply the chalk paint? Thanks for the post! I'm tackling an old dresser for my daughters room this weekend. :)

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  59. In my search for inspiration, I found this and absolutely loved it! I'm currently painting a dresser using this same paint, but I can't seem to get a finish that isn't streaky? Did you use a certain kind of brush to apply the paint or do you have tips on getting rid of the streaky finish? Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Sara! I used a high density mini foam roller to smooth out my brushstrokes. It got rid of them immediately. Hope that helps! xo

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    2. I'll definitely give that a try! Thanks!!

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  60. Hi Virgina,
    I have a couple of questions for you... 1st does the chalk board paint even itself out like some of the other paints you've used? And 2nd, do you reccommend using this type of paint on a piece that I intend to make look distressed? I have an antique china hutch that I'd like to bring into the 21st century (thank you for your inspiration btw) and I don't really think the shiny oil based paints will give it the finish I am looking for. Oh and a 3rd question, what type of brush or roller would you suggest for me to use to get into the nooks and crannies of the piece I am working on? Your advice will be very much appreciated. And I truly adore your blog.
    Thank you,
    Erica

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  61. Hi Virginia,
    Like many others on here, I would love to know which brushes you use with chalk paint. Other blogs say to use inexpensive ones, but they go for the shabby look, so I am not sure if that makes a difference. Your furniture always looks so pristine and lovely. Tell us your secrets!
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    -Vanessa

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    1. Hi there! I use a small angled brush to apply the paint (Usually the Wooster shortcut brush) and then I immediately smooth the brush strokes with a small mini foam roller. That's my go-to way of painting almost all furniture, regardless of paint. Hope that helps! :)

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    2. i cannot thank you enough for all your help and inspiration. you are amazing! xo

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  62. I am a total beginner to any DIY paint projects and just acquired a midcentury dresser set from my grandparents. It is made of maple but the outside is shiny but I can't tell if it is veneer or some type of other finish. Would you suggest sanding or stripping?

    Also, love your rug in the photos. Where is it from?
    THANKS!!! You do amazing work.

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  63. I just emailed pics of my daughter's bedroom suite to someone to get a quote on painting it all white. It is from the 60's and belonged to my teenage brother back then. It has been passed down 3 or 4 times and landed with me. After reading your post here, I may tackle it myself. I am feeling more and more confident after seeing this. I love your step by step instructions. Maybe I will try the nightstand first and see how it goes before I try to tackle it all myself or hire someone (at a cost I really can't afford). She's a great kid and all she wants for Christmas is to have her walls and furniture updated. You have me excited about the possibility of doing it myself. Wish me luck! Kellye

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  64. I think you've done a great job! I'm thinking of doing my kitchen table and chairs. Can you tell me how and when to use the wax? I'd like to give it a slight distressed look as well. This will be my first time using and redoing anything. Thanks

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  65. Looking for some advice...bought a sideboard/buffet on Craigslist that I had been dreaming about from a website...spent a fraction of the price! Problem...the Craigslist buffet is white and I want dark. Was hoping to stain it, but it is MDF. Has anyone added plaster of paris to stain to make chalk paint? Any suggestions for how to make paint look like stain? Thanks for the support and great advice on this site!

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  66. How did this paint compare to your diy chalk paint?

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  67. love your blog! where is the kitchen light fixture from?? it's great!

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  68. Thank you! This article is a godsend! I can't believe the huge price gap between Home Depot's chalk paint and the famous Annie Sloan chalk paint. Is there a difference in quality or color selection? Thanks :)

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  69. First, let me say that your blog has been a God-send! I am redoing my entryway (which includes removing carpet from stairs, sanding, staining, poly-ing, painting, etc.). Anyway, whenever I have a question and start searching the internet, I end up on your blog!
    So here's my question. . . when do you recommend using chalk paint to paint furniture instead of regular paint? What's the advantage? The vanity in my bathroom (part of the aforementioned entryway) needs to be repainted. My question is, regular paint or chalk paint?

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  70. I'm glad I found this post. I have been wanting to try chalk paint since it's become the trendy thing to do but haven't found the perfect piece to use it on. After a few failures with regular paint (stain bleeding through) I'm excited to try this. AND since you said there is virtually no prep that makes me even happier! SOO I'm going to trust your words about painting it over ANYTHING and try this! You did a great job on this dresser and I hope mine turns out just as nice minus all the tries it took you lol

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  71. The dresser looks blinkin awesome :) So glad I found this post as Im about to embark on my first chalk paint project and I suspect I may get the colour wrong several times lol.
    Hope mine turns out half as good as yours :)

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  72. It was so comforting reading this. I have been going through the exact. same. process. with my dining table. I just finished round 3 with stain and paint combos (going for the gray washed RH look) and ended up staining it a dark walnut and calling it good. But it isn't what I envisioned!! So now I am debating trying to do it with chalk paint. Gah!! Anyway- yours turned out perfect and you are motivating me to keep going after wasting a week of my life!! ;)

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  73. Love your writing style. You are soooo funny. I was laughing at every turn. Love the end result and reading the story of how you got there. Keeping this in mind might prevent me from tossing out a piece of furniture if I find myself in any of the phases you went through. I'm getting prepared to begin my first upcycle furniture projects. (Fingers crossed!)

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  74. This WHOLE story makes me feel so much better about my hesitancy to paint something. I'm worried I'll pick the wrong colors and it feels like everybody else just has a perfect eye for it!

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  75. Love your detailed story to the final beautiful masterpiece you created. Thanks for sharing

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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