Friday, June 20, 2014

Chalk Talk

I have a new love in my life.  Her name is Annie Sloan.  She is the creator of Annie Sloan's chalk paint.  I've been collecting various bits and pieces of furniture over the years.  Stuffing things in the back of eaves, having my husband store a few bigger pieces in the basement and occasionally living with too much furniture in a room "just in case" we get a lake house.  Well the time has come to use it or lose it.  We are finally moving the chair and a half out of our room and to the lake.  It has been the laundry chair for more months (really years!) than I can remember.  Then when I got a beautiful armoire to store my laundry in it became the "we have a fireplace in our bedroom, really?" chair that covered our fireplace and of course became a dropping place for all things without a home.   I could have gotten rid of it many years ago.  I parted ways with the love seat and couch that matched it when our middle daughter proudly wrote H's all over them with permanent marker when her little sister whose name begins with H was born.  It was cute.  But not quite "let's keep the couches anyway" cute.  Luckily the chair and a half was spared.  And I've been squeezing around it in my room to get to my side of the bed for years in the hopes that someday it would come to our second home with us.  You see the couch set was the first real furniture we bought for our first house.  My grandmother, GeeGee, had given me stocks when I was little and didn't understand why I didn't get a toy.  But that money had grown enough to buy a couch set and I was so proud to be able to buy it with my own money.  So a little bit of GeeGee will come with us to the cabin in the form of a cozy chair.  I'm hoping at the lake it actually gets used for the purpose it was created for..sitting in.  Hopefully some snuggling in front of the fire, reading, or watching "On Golden Pond" happens from that chair.

Some things we've kept were about to go by the way side until I met Annie.  A friend of mine just bought a house by the ocean and she and I have been comparing notes.  Both of our houses will be rented for the next couple of years so we have a lot in common in terms of getting the house ready for others to vacation in.  I have been adding to my collection of furniture through yardsale sites on Facebook and friends and family donations.  Not everything is quite cottage ready though.  So I was imagining sanding, painting, shellacking and lots and lots of steps.  But then my friend mentioned Annie Sloan's chalk paint.  Chalk paint?  For chalk boards?  No, for furniture.  The kind of furniture that is painted and a little worn around the edges.  Perfect for a cottage by a lake.  Fun bright colors like lavender and blue and duck egg green.  And no prep.  That's the best part.  You just paint right over the surface of whatever you want to change.  It's a really easy and satisfying paint to use.  You see progress right away.  After it dries you can sand the edges if you want to give it a worn aged shabby chic look.  Then you use Annie Sloan soft wax and wax and buff the furniture to a nice soft finish.  Instantly takes $5 tables from drab to fab.  We went to a cute little antique mall to buy the paint and get some inspiration...

Last night my husband and I decided to try Annie's chalk paint on a little table we bought.  Next thing you know we were painting an old sanded door from our antique house to use as a headboard, painting a lamp from one of our girl's nurseries, painting a mirror for one of the bedrooms.  If it was wood and wasn't nailed down, it didn't stand a chance.  We even grabbed an old delaminating dresser from the basement.  Add a little blue paint and it's gorgeous!  We worked together on each of the pieces.  Each wanting to say we had a part in everything we've created.  We ended up staying up until 1:00 in the morning painting.

Here are some of the before pictures:

And the after pictures:

Then I was so wired and excited from painting that I spent the next hour researching project ideas on the web.  SO MANY COOL PROJECTS AND IDEAS!  The possibilities for this paint are literally endless!

It is so fun and so satisfying.  My husband and I enjoy painting and completing projects together.  This is a double whammy.  A painting project that also checks things off our to do list.  The girls woke up to the kitchen filled with painted furniture.  I'm sure they thought that we were crazy.  Of course they wanted to help.  So after dinner the next night they tried their hands at applying the wax to several of the pieces.  Next we will be painting a coffee table and a bedside table.  Not sure the bed frame is going to stay brown either.  We'll see how much time we have.

I feel like the house has to be done before our first renters this summer.  Although I know that's not true.  I know this house will evolve like every house and we will add and improve it a little each year.  We want to make a stamp on the house before this first summer though so that it feels like it's ours.  We seem to be choosing chalk paint for the biggest impact.  It's fun to feel creative and artistic again.  When I get back to being crafty I remember how much I miss it!  Thank you Annie for reminding me!

This table is the most artistic.  Just slapped on three colors and
gave it a striped worn look.  I think I might like it best.  

And the coffee table frame and bedside table that weren't completed in that first late night paint session. A week later we were at it again.  We also tried our hand with Annie's Sloan's dark wax for these and the dresser.  It's a little scarier to work with at first but lets you be more creative and add more aging and colorization at the end.  I would definitely use it again.  My friend keeps scoring free furniture on the side of the road for her Cape house.  The paint can be a little expensive but it goes a long way.  Free or cheap furniture is the best bet for this paint.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  In fact bumps and dings add character to the piece in the end.  We are in love with how everything came out!

Before picture (kind of):

Too excited to even take before pictures.  So in the middle pictures.
This table was chewed by a dog and definitely worn around the edges.
Originally $80 on yardsale site but one day when I didn't have access to my
phone my silence bartered her down to $20 if we could pick it up that night. Sold!
 And after pictures:

Our kitchen was a work zone for a few weeks.
Now it's all moved into the cottage and looks
like it's always been there!  Can't wait to share the
real after pictures!  

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