Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Refinished Dining Table with Chalk Paint

There have been quite a few changes around our house lately. In fact, we have been nonstop since July! It's crazy how long it takes to remodel/redecorate when you are doing everything yourself! I can't wait to share what we've done, so I'm going to start now, by sharing my dining table refinish.

When I began my redecorating, my main purpose was to make my home feel more light and bright. I had grown very tired of the dark feel from my current colors. I still like my previous colors, but I just really needed change. After painting the walls and refinishing the cabinets, the kitchen table just didn't seem to fit anymore. It just felt too dark, I knew I didn't want it in the space.

When you are decorating on a budget, it is much less expensive to refinish old furniture than it is to buy new. I have been really attracted to a lot of painted furniture that I've seen lately, either on Pinterest, or for sale on KSL. So, I decided to refinish my table... AGAIN. That's right, again. This is not the first refinish, or the second. Since I have had this table, I have refinished it three times now!

Crazy, I know. This table was given to us years ago (maybe 8?), by Brandon's parents. It was oak, and it did have some wear and tear, because it had been used in their home for years previous.  At the time, we had no experience with refinishing, or finishing furniture at all. We were rookies. So, we somehow got the idea one day, to just spray paint the table. We spray painted it all a dark brown. No clear finish, nothing. It looked okay at first (II wish I had a picture, but I don't), but it started to chip and look terrible almost immediately. We left it that way for a few years, but when we moved into this house, I wanted to refinish it the right way. I spent hours stripping the paint off, and sanding. I ended up with what you see above. Much better!

Anyway, back to my inspiration tables. I found myself really attracted to all kinds of looks.  I liked the contrast of the chairs being different from the table, like on this picture. I even liked the variety of the chairs:
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I liked the look of mixing wood, and painted furniture, like in this picture:
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I even liked the bright colors and the distressed look of this set:
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Now I needed to decide what I was going to do with mine. I knew for sure that I was not stripping it again. I wanted it to be as easy as possible. I also knew that I wanted some new chairs. I saw some chairs for sale on a yard sale site and I liked them. I was pretty sure I could sell my current chairs for the same price I could buy them. So I sold the black ones, and bought 6 of these:
I knew I was going to reupholster  the cushion, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to paint the wood. I ended up deciding I wanted to keep the wood, since it was in excellent condition, and I like the look of putting wood, and painted furniture together. It took me quite a while to pick some fabric, but that's a loooong story. I will share my pattern picking woes when I share the entire kitchen reveal. 

After I had the chairs, I was excited to get started. I needed to decide what I wanted to do. I had read a lot of blogs, and watched a lot of tutorials about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which is not chalk board paint. I was really attracted to it because it requires no sanding, priming, or any preparation at all, prior to painting with it. Chalk paint can adhere to almost any surface, including wood, metal, and laminate. It has rave reviews all over the internet. I also read that when used with Annie Sloan Soft Wax, it creates a really durable finish, and has been very successful on dining tables. I was sold. I found the nearest Stockist (their terminology), and bought my starter kit. The downside is that t he closest place is in Pleasant Grove, and it's not cheap. However, a little bit goes a long way.  I bought three colors, which was a hard choice, but I knew I wanted to use it for a few other things too, so I decided on some colors, and went with it. I wish I could have bought them all! Another benefit of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, is that you can mix colors to create any look you want. I picked my colors with that in mind. 

Now, before I go any further, I have a confession. The table was not the first thing I painted. It was the first piece I finished. You can read all about my mistake (and learn from it), when I get around to blogging about the piano...

I wanted a color a bit more turquoise than what I could find, so I made a mixture of two colors. I ended up using 5 parts Provence to 1 part Antibes Green. I originally started with half and half, but the green was VERY strong, so I added blue until I liked the color. I don't think it is exactly the color I set out to create, but I love it. I then just painted it. Simple as that. The only prep work I did was give it a good scrub. The paint dries very quickly, and as it starts drying, it looks like it's going to be terribly uneven, but it dries very smoothly. I ended up doing two coats. 

Then comes the wax. This is the part that takes some skill. I had allowed some blogs that I read to really intimidate me, and that is where I ran into problems with my previous project. I watched tons of tutorials on You Tube, and then I finally went for it. I recommend doing the same before using this wax the first time. Here are the tutorials I found most helpful:

The one thing I read over, and over again, and the most important thing to remember, is that a little bit goes a long way. Every person who had issues with it, had used too much. The key is to use thin, even coats, and to wipe the excess off, before letting it dry, then later, after it dries, you come back to buff. Depending on the type of furniture you are sealing, you will need to do 1-3 coats of wax. Since mine is a dining table, I did 3. I had to let each coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next coat, so it took a while. After I had finished with all three coats of clear wax, I went over some of the areas with Annie Sloan Dark Wax, to give a slightly antiqued look. I love the shabby chic look, but I didn't want to heavily distress this piece. It is ready for light use after a few days, but does not fully cure for about 4 weeks. I have not touched it for a week, but plan to leave a table cloth on it for the next three weeks.

It turned out amazing! The finish is fantastic. It's completely even (many people complained about splotchiness online), and the shine is just enough. I am very happy, and plan to do many more projects this way. There are many cool techniques in Annie's book that I want to try!

None of these pictures are great. They were all taken with my phone, in bad lighting, but you can get the idea. Only one chair is finished so far, and I am nowhere near done decorating in the kitchen. When I have it done, I will share some pictures of the entire room. The fun color pop of the table really does compliment the rest of the room nicely. I can't wait to be done!

I will be upholstering the bar stools to match.

The antiquing really doesn't show up well in the pictures. The colors really are more vibrant.

 I definitely need a new centerpiece=)

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