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Do you want to update your furniture but you’ve been too nervous to try? Are you worried that once you’re done, it will look worse than it did before? Concerned it may cost more money and time than its even worth?
These were all the same thoughts that ran through my head before I decided to take the plunge. But let me tell you, I’m so glad I did! And if I can do it, so can you with this chalk paint tutorial!
So lets get to work!
Step One: GET ALL THE SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
Items you will need:
- TSP Cleaner & Sponge
- Disposable Rubber Gloves
- Microfiber Cloths
- Fine or Medium Grit Angled Sanding Block
- Cheesecloth (you can use another microfiber cloth instead)
- 3-Inch Wide Chip Brush OR 3-Inch Wide Nylon Brush **I wanted a distressed look for my pieces so using a chip brush worked just great. If you DON’T want a distressed look, I would definitely use a better brush; like the nylon paintbrush I listed.
- DecoArt Americana Decor Chalk Paint
- DecoArt Americana Decor Clear Wax
- Waxing Brush (you can use another microfiber cloth instead, but I definitely recommend using a waxing brush)
You can essentially get all of these items at HomeDepot, but personally I would also go to HobbyLobby and DollarTree as well. Or you can order all these items from the comfort of your own home on Amazon.com, by clicking the links I provided above.
Now, before ordering or running to the store to get your supplies, you will first want to decide what chalk paint color you want your piece to be. This way, you will have a clear vision of how you want your finished piece to look AND when you get to the store you won’t feel overwhelmed by the copious amounts of chalk paint colors they offer.
I based my decision on not only the look of the end tables, but where I would be putting the end tables in my house; which would be my family room. My family room is mainly based off a gray palette with creams, so I wanted to make these end tables a creamy white color.
When I arrived at the store, what would you know, they didn’t have a color available that matched my creamy white end table vision. So, I got creative and ending up buying two colors to mix together to create my perfect color. I used the two AmericanaDECOR colors Timeless & Everlasting.
Step Two: REMOVE ALL HARDWARE
Remove all the hardware from your piece, making sure you keep all pieces. There’s nothing worse than finishing your project and missing a screw! Now if you know that you plan on replacing the hardware with new or different hardware then obviously feel free to trash it.
Step Three: LIGHTLY SAND YOUR ENTIRE PIECE.
The beauty of using chalk paint, they say, is you don’t have to sand! While this is very true, I still like to give a quick sand over my entire piece. Now, you don’t have to go crazy! Just a quick and light brush with your sanding block over the entire piece will do just fine. I wouldn’t say there is any real elbow grease required in this step, just lightly roughing up the piece to ensure the paint you put on later has a good hold.
Step Four: CLEAN THE ENTIRE PIECE USING TSP CLEANER & A SPONGE
I like using TSP because it’s a heavy duty cleaner that also helps prepare the surface for paint. It helps to remove any and all dirt, grease, grim, or dust. I feel it even helps in taking off some of that glossy finish some furniture pieces may have. – For safety purposes, this is the step I use my disposable gloves in. I don’t want my bare hands exposed to the harsh cleaning agent. Oh! And don’t forget to clean the hardware pieces you removed!
Step Five: MAKE SURE YOUR PIECE IS COMPLETELY DRY AND FREE OF ALL DEBRIS
Here is where we use our microfiber cloth and cheesecloth. In my opinion, using a microfiber cloth to dry and/or clean areas is always best. It really soaks up any wet or dirty areas like a magnet. Once the area is dry I would pull out that cheesecloth. Now, for the cheesecloth, like I said, you don’t HAVE to use one; but I highly recommend it. The cheesecloth is a sticky cloth that really helps remove any debris that may have been left behind from the microfiber cloth. I would especially recommend a cheesecloth if your piece has a lot of small or tiny grooves where dust and debris can hide. (For example: my pieces had a lot of tiny grooves in the detail work on the front face close to the top.) You don’t want any dirt or grim left behind because it will get into the paint, and not only stay on your piece once its finished, but it will look grimy, tacky and just plain yucky!
Step Six: START PAINTING
In my case, I needed to mix my two colors before I started painting. I kept track and measured out how much I used of each paint color and mixed it in a disposable bowl. Once I was happy with the color I wrote down exactly the proportions of my mixture. That way, if I needed more than what I poured in the bowl, I’d know how to get the exact same color.
Now, if you are going for the “distressed look,” use your chip brush. If you want a more “polished look” use your nylon brush. Be aware when you’re painting that your brush strokes are matching to the grain of the wood underneath. Make sure you cover all areas with a nice thick coat, working fairly quickly. I say quickly because chalk paint dries FAST. Try not to go over the same area too many times because if it already has started drying and you brush your paintbrush over it again, before fully drying, it may cause an unwanted look. Once it’s fully dry, you can always go back and add a second coat, third coat, even a fourth coat! There’s no set rule, this is your project! For my pieces, I used two coats of paint all over. Also, don’t forget about your hardware if you want to paint that as well!
Step Seven: DISTRESSING YOUR PIECE
**If you are going for that more “polished look,” you can completely disregard this step.**
Before starting, make sure your furniture piece is completely dry, and does not have ANY wet areas!! Using your sand block start to lightly sand around edges you want to look distressed then move to flat areas like the top and sides. You want to make sure you take your time and do this step SLOWLY. You can always add more of the distressed look, but taking it away if you’ve done too much, isn’t so easy!
One you are happy with what it looks like, use your microfiber and/or cheesecloth to clear the piece of dust and debris. Like I’ve stated before, I highly recommend the cheesecloth!
Step Eight: APPLYING YOUR FINISHING WAX
If jumping from step 6, please make sure your piece is completely dry before starting this step. To apply the wax, take a small spoonful of the wax and put it onto a paper plate. With your wax brush, lightly dab it in the wax, and then in an open area of the plate push down on the wax brush swirling it in a circular motion. We are doing this to not only get an even coat of the wax on the brush itself, but to make sure we don’t have too much wax on the brush before applying it to the furniture. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!! I can’t stress that enough! Once you feel you have a good amount of wax and it’s evenly distributed on the brush, firmly press down onto the brush on the furniture piece and again make the same swirling circular motion. Do this all around the furniture piece, adding more wax to the brush when needed.
Now, like I said you can use a microfiber cloth instead of a wax brush for this step too. But, I highly recommend using an actual wax brush. If you decide to use a microfiber cloth you will follow the same instructions although make sure you’ve folded the microfiber cloth to have a flat surface to apply the wax and not all crumpled. If the microfiber cloth is crumpled when applying the wax you will end up with clumps of wax everywhere; you don’t want that!
Once you have covered the entire piece with a wax coat, use a clean microfiber cloth to lightly buff the entire furniture piece; making sure you don’t have any real greasy areas or clumps. Now, it takes a while for the wax to fully set; the actual wax container recommends keeping the furniture piece free from moisture and heavy use for seven days.
You did it!! I’m so proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself! I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Please share your beautiful updated furniture piece(s) with me on my Facebook Page, I’d love to see your finished pieces!