Monday, August 29, 2011

Antique Distressed Dresser using Chalk Paint

If I know one thing about marriage, it's about compromise.

When we moved into the house we live in now it was the first house that my husband and I owned together.  In fact, we built the house ourselves creating a space that fit our family perfectly.  However with more space came lots  We didn't quite have enough furniture to fill our new home.  Fortunately my gracious in-laws decided to send us a truck of furniture culled from both of my husband's grandmothers' previous homes.

Some pieces were lovely, some pieces were not so lovely and others just needed a little TLC.

Once we got all of the pieces arranged around the house we were left with a dresser that was a bit of an odd man out.  It just didn't work in any of the rooms but Georgia Boy refused to get rid of it because of its sentimental value.

As an anti-hoarder I am usually inclined to immediately part with something if it doesn't work or we don't need it.  I don't like keeping things around "just because."  But Georgia Boy wasn't going to budge on this one.

One evening while contemplating the ugly dresser dilemma it finally dawned on me that I might be able to make the dresser work as a kind of sideboard in our sitting room.  I asked Georgia boy if I could paint it and he agreed!

In most of the living areas of my house I tend to favor warmer colors but my bedroom is very cool and calm.  I decided this would be the perfect place and piece to try to create the pale blue French antique look instead of my traditional warmer/off-white tones.  I also decided this would be the perfect piece on which to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Here is the dresser before.  Great lines, no real problems but it was the traditional 1960's brown with black flecked finish.

I first painted the whole piece in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White.

I then lightly glazed it with a mixture of 3 parts clear glaze and 1 part Sherwin Williams Silvermist latex paint and then distressed it with a rough grit sandpaper along the edges.

Next I applied one coat of Annie Sloan clear wax with a stiff brush.  I then applied a coat of Annie Sloan dark wax.  I was tempted to skip the step using the clear wax but I had heard stories of people who went straight to the dark wax and ended up regretting it because it turned their piece way too dark instead of giving it the lightly distressed and antique look that I wanted.

The trick for this piece was to use the clear wax first and then use a very light hand to apply the dark wax.  I barely tapped the end of my bristles into the dark wax and very lightly, with an almost dry brush technique, applied the wax.  I then rubbed the dark wax into the piece with the brush that I had used with the clear wax to soften the appearance of the dark wax.

I left the hardware in its original state.  I really felt like I couldn't improve on the color and the contrast with the painted wood kept it from feeling too girly.  I am really pleased with the result and the good part is that Georgia Boy gave his approval too!

No rest for the weary, though, because I've got more pieces waiting in the wings!

Happy painting Cheap Mamas!


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