July 8, 2012

A Make Over With Chalk Paint

After years of indecision about what to do with the antique
bookcase/chest that I have in my dining room, I finally gave
it a make over with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Old Ochre chalk paint

It's a nice piece of furniture but I had just gotten tired of it.
Plus, there is just too much wood color in the small dining room.

I did a blog post about a year ago asking for opinions on
whether or not to paint this piece: "To Paint Or Not To Paint".
The votes were pretty divided on whether or not to paint
the piece but almost everyone agreed that I should move
the books out of the hutch part to lighten the look.

After being in Miss Mustard Seed's seminar on furniture
painting at Haven, I decided I should just go on and paint
the piece.  What's the worst that could happen?  I hate it
painted and strip it back to wood.  When I ordered Annie
Sloan Chalk Paint last year, I got "Old White" , "Old Ochre"
and the dark wax.  I used the "Old White" and the wax
 for a dresser in the bedroom.
(If you would like to see how that make over went click on the post "Old White for a New Look".

 The "Old Ochre" can was almost still full.  The two colors are
similar.  I did do a small project with the two colors together
if you would like to see the difference.  It is detailed in this post.

The "Old Ochre" was painted onto the bookcase/chest.

A smaller jar of one of the newer colors "CoCo" (that I
received in my swag bag at Haven) was used an accent color. 

The dining room was turned into the workshop for this
project because the piece is very heavy to move AND it
is too hot to be working outside in the carport.

Even to move the hutch part over to the table was hard.
Here is a shot of the wood planks on the back of the hutch.

I'm pretty lazy...nobody will see the back so it did not get
painted.  Also, it seemed like too much trouble to empty the
drawers so I just painted them with the stuff left inside.

After a good coat of "Old Ochre", I painted on a layer of a mix
of the ochre and "CoCo" watered down a little.  Then a
blotchy application of "CoCo" by itself. 

The purpose of the second and third coats is to sand them back
to mimick a time-worn look as if the piece has been
 painted several times and the top coats are wearing away.
(The next two photos are  before sanding away some of the CoCo layer)
(Doesn't the green Frog Tape look good with the blue/green back boards?)

For the rest of the summer, I am planning on putting
my home-made coral collection in here so I painted the
inside a mix of beach-y colors.  Have you seen these paint
color samples at Lowe's?  You get a pretty good amount of
many decorator selected colors for only $3 each.

After getting the piece sanded down to the look that I wanted,
I made the "big boo-boo".  Some spots could have used a little
more interest so I thought to add some weathered wood
crackling product in spots.  My plan was that when I added the
tinted wax the next day, the wax would settle into the cracks
the product would make and make it look older.

When the product (which had gone on clear) dried,
 it had a yellow tint to it. 

In an unnoticeable place, I tried the tinted wax over the
crackle product. To cover the yellowish color took too much
of the dark wax and I did not want the color of the overall
piece to look that dark. I decided just to use lighter wax and
live with whatever yellowish showed through. 

To make the dark wax lighter, it was blended with generous
amounts of clear wax. 

Some folks don't like to use the cheaper, more readily available
MinWax clear wax because it is comparatively harder than the
Annie Sloan wax (which is about the consistancey of sour cream).
I just smash it up like creaming butter with a fork to make it softer.

Then add just a little of the dark wax to the creamed wax.

This was my palette of waxes for the bookcase/chest:
Clear, dark, and a mix of the two.

There is a special wax brush that you can buy to apply the wax.
I am cheap...I just put it on with a white cloth.

Just work a section at the time with the wax so it won't start
drying before you get the color that you want.
Here is a photo showing the difference between non-waxed and tinted wax areas.  The 
excess  wax in the top corner will be rubbed in then scooted over into the non-waxed area.

This also shows a non-waxed area and, on the right, a place where the tinted wax
 has begun to be added. If you like the look of the piece of wood on 
the left, you could just use clear wax without color.

  On dings and other imperfections that I wanted show up better,
pure dark wax was dabbed on then clear wax.

For those spots, I would rub a tiny amount of dark wax over
the area and work it into the dings...

...then immediately rub the clear wax only over the area to
spread out the dark wax.  The clear wax is almost like an eraser
when you get a spot that is too dark.  The result is this:
If you want your dings to show up better than that, you can add
back some dark wax and keep working it.

I did not wax the back boards because I think I might
re-paint them seasonally or put papers over them for variety.

Maybe I'm a slow poke but it took me about two hours
to wax the piece...is that normal?
Together again at last

The make over for the bookcase/chest turned out a little
more rustic than I had in mind.  I'll let this be my
"Summer Shabby Look".

Before                                                                                  After

 Before                                                                               After 

Like the chandelier in the dining room too, the chest has
a "finished for now" designation.


  1. It must be the official Try Out Your ASCP Sunday. I am painting the backside of my breakfast hutch. I was a chicken, I started small. LOL Waiting for my second coat of Duck Egg Blue to dry, then I will wax. I'm not going to sand mine, b/c I don't want as much of a Shabby Chic look. You were brave to paint that pretty piece. I like it, The corrals are beautiful.

  2. Your cabinet is absolutely beautiful and I can't tell you how grateful I am for all the tips on painting and waxing. I didn't get to that class but you obviously learned bunches of info and I'm glad you've shared it.

  3. Good grief what a lot of work! And in the end it's stunning!
    Love it!

  4. You did a great job and you have inspired me to do some painting.
    I am a new follower-

    Enjoyed visiting,

    White Spray Paint

  5. Great job on that hutch! All of your hard work really paid off! It really looks so much better now. :)

    xoxo laurie

  6. THAT was a lot of work, girl! It looks great though..and you would never know it was the same piece. How are you feeling about it now that it is all done? xo Diana

  7. Looks great! I love that you described your cheapskate and lazy tricks - you sound just like me! I'm know going to come back to use your tips! I love the way it looks in your dining room. It's so very pretty, and a great way to display your corals. Your newest follower!

  8. This is a lovely cabinet! I love the colors on the back. For the method you are using to wax, 2 hours is about normal. I have done several pieces with min-wax/dark wax combo and it takes a little longer to do it the way you do it. If you wax the whole thing lightly with clear first the dark wax step doesn't take as long because you don't have to do as much removing.

  9. Wowza! Amazing job with all the details! I picked up some of those Lowes paint samples over the weekend. Not sure what I'll do with them but I loved the colors! Thanks for sharing all the photos! They are really helpful since I've never attempted that painting technique but I'd love to try!

  10. Gayle, The transformation is wonderful! I love how the piece turned out.

  11. Just Lovely and what a big job that was! Im inspired to try this with my big ol hutch thank you:)

  12. Your piece is just beautiful! I love how you mixed those sample colors in the back of the cabinet. I have limited experience with the waxing, but I have always applied the clear wax before the dark wax. Your room looks lighter and refreshed!

  13. The cabinet looks great. I think it looks much better with the books gone. That lightened up and de-cluttered the whole look.

  14. You really did a lovely job! Thank you for taking the time to explain all your steps! Thank your for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday at 2805!

  15. beautiful!!! love the finish you did on this. I really liked how you had it in the before shot too, but the new looks is so fun especially with the aqua interior. Nice!

  16. Beautiful! I love it and the display of beach items is wonderful.

    Have you ever tried Butcher's bowling alley wax. I've use it on everything in my home. It's soft and easy to work with. It does not yellow and gives everything a nice glow.


  17. Awesome job on this piece. Interesting how you mixed the waxes. I love how it turned out.

  18. I think this came out really nice! Great job! Painting and waxing... You must have some incredible patience!
    You Rock Miss Kitty!

  19. I had to click on one of your photos and look at them in the enlarged pop up window (on my little laptop) to really appreciate the beauty of your work on this piece. I wish I could see it in person! I don't just consider this furniture painting or refinishing; it's a work of art. It takes true talent to blend all those colors of paint and wax so beautifully. I like your idea of leaving the inside unwaxed so you can more easily change it. I just really love this project.

  20. I LOVE this. The inside color and all that coral is such a great summer look.


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