I’m training Hubby to keep an eye out for possible makeover material. We live in an area where throwing away good items seems to be the ok thing to do. I hate that. There are so many places to take used items in this town that it drives me crazy people can’t take the time and send it to the landfill.

Anyway, one day, he gleefully tells me when I come home from work, “I found something for you!” And I am thinking “Oh God, what now” because sometimes when he is gleeful about something, I am not quite as gleeful, know what I mean?

But he scored on this one.

Curbside Find Before

Curbside Find Before

It is probably a Target cast off, so it is not a really high quality piece of furniture, a little worn around the edges, but it was still sturdy and useful. I wanted to foray into the chalk paint thing that the DIY décor blogs talked about, so I thought this would be a good piece to learn on. This was my very first project with chalk paint.

I didn’t have the color in latex paint I had in mind and I didn’t really want to go buy paint for a test piece.   I had a cottage white from Glidden so I pulled out my acrylic craft paints, and thought, “Why not?” Custom colors! I added some green and blue acrylic craft paint to the chalk paint until I got just the shade I wanted. I can’t tell you how much of each, just start with a squirt or two, don’t go overboard. It is easier to add than to take away! Tip: the paint will dry a little darker. If you want to test it, find an inconspicuous area (that means the underside) to do a swatch test first. Make sure it is dry and is the color you are looking for before painting the whole thing. Trust me, I learned from experience.

If you want the recipe I use for chalk paint, review my post on the French Farmhouse chairs here.

I used a petroleum jelly (Vaseline) technique which was suggested on one site. This is applied to areas where you don’t want the chalk paint to adhere, so when you sand, it comes off easily.  This allows the wood underneath to show on distressing without too much trouble. Use it sparingly, it goes a long, long way. It smears easily and the paint won’t adhere anywhere there is a suggestion of the Vaseline!

I painted the table with the first coat and thought it was too light and robin egg blue. Pretty, but not what I had in mind.

Painted Console

Painted Console

I added more green and painted the second coat.

I painted all one direction, so when I sanded, the lighter paint underneath looked like streaks. Ok, this was a learning process and I didn’t know any better, so I left it. It doesn’t look too bad in the end.

I sanded with 150 grit paper after the paint dried overnight. Tip: I do suggest a dust mask. Yeah, it doesn’t look cool, but it gets real dusty with the plaster of paris. Save your lungs. It is amazing how smooth that turns out!  The petroleum jelly did help in the distressing, it gives it a more milk paint type distress.  The paint slides right off where the petroleum jelly was put on.  I liked doing this with the dark wood underneath.   I have not since used this method again, though, because I have been doing projects where I wanted less distressing.

I wanted to find a cool graphic for top of the table, so I went to the Graphic Fairy. She has over 3000+ free, yes I said FREE graphics. Most of them are old graphics that don’t have any copyright to them, so use to your heart’s content! She plays around with the graphic, taking out text and doing all kinds of things for us crafters. I think she is great!

I found a graphic, and went to Block Posters to enlarge it. This is a great sight that was suggested by a few other bloggers. It is FREE. It is amazing all the free stuff out there! So I got my French Wine graphic, in French!  I also used just a section of a scroll for the little corner designs. I used the tracing and transfer paper method which was time consuming, but worth the time. I traced it, then used extra fine Sharpie markers in black to trace over it. This is another really cool tip I got from lots of other makeover bloggers out there. You may need to use more than one marker.  The chalk paint does a number on the marker tips. It was a little dark, so I just went over it lightly with the sand paper again and that distressed it a bit.

Graphics from the Graphics Fairy

Graphics from the Graphics Fairy

Then, comes the Minwax furniture polish. Didn’t even know they still made this! But Home Depot had a couple of cans. Some bloggers use a polish with some color to it to give the piece a more aged look, but the clear did enough for me. Tip: Never use stain on the chalk paint! It just soaks it right in and you can’t wipe it off. Some of you might be saying, “why not poly? Wouldn’t it be easier than putting on the polish and buffing it?” Well, here are the reasons I won’t ever go back to polyurethane.

1. The Poly is shiny. Even the matte still doesn’t have that time-worn glow that the wax has.

2. Poly drips. I am terrible with putting on nice even coats that don’t drip. I don’t have that problem at all with wax.

3. Buffing gives your arms a work out. FREE work out! And it really doesn’t take much.

4. I find great satisfaction in seeing that warm glow come out when I buff. Honest! I do! P.S. This is more fun in the winter when it is not 90 degrees outside.

Tip: You may notice that the bottom shelf on the table is sagging in the middle. I really should have fixed that BEFORE painting, but I was anxious to try the paint. My tip is to always repair before painting. I could have screwed some supports underneath, attached some molding between the legs to hide the supports, and then painted it all at the same time, and no one would have been wiser. It would have made the table sturdier, too, and I wouldn’t have a table with a saggy bottom! Since I am using this table for myself, I am not going to fix it right now. But if I decide to sell it, I will have to fix that.

Completed Console

Completed Console

Oh, I almost forgot! I changed the drawer knob. I think it matches the little Frenchy scrolliness of the graphics better. There is a little story behind that. Hubby and I were driving around mid-Massachusetts during a fall foliage foray (here is a plug for my Hubby, he has a fall foliage blog here, if your interested), and we came across a little junque/antique shop full of old tools and hardware, some dishes and such. There was a wall of old hinges, pulls and knobs. I found this little beauty among the rabble.

Vintage Knob

Vintage Knob

I smiled with glee! Most of the “rabble” had no prices, but I wanted, coveted that knob because I knew it would be perfect on this table! When I brought it up to the counter with the other items I had snagged, um, purchased, the guy threw it in for FREE! He actually ran an antique toy shop next door, and was watching this place at the same time for the owner who had stepped out. I won’t name names here ‘cuz I don’t want to get the guy in trouble! But thanks, Mister!

Console After

Springtime Sampler