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To Chalk Or Not

To Chalk Or Not

Is your house ready for the holidays? Well, mine is not! So, to get things moving in the right direction, I decided to update some old furniture with paint. A friend of mine is always posting picture of her cute creations (Kings Creations) and it made me think I could do this too. So, I started to collect a few things from the local Swap Shops…I found a kitchen table and chairs, side table, and coffee table, along with head/ foot boards.


Here are the pieces when I bought them off Swap Shop:

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I had never heard of chalk paint, but that is what the craze was on Pinterest, so I thought I would give it a try. I read and posted so many links, just trying to figure out the best way to do this, but what I found out is that trial and error are the best way to learn! My daughter helped me and we first started with the table and chairs. We primed the table first.image001 2

But after we primed the table and chairs (not fun) I found out that with chalk paint, you can skip the priming step…wish I would have known that! :-/ So here we are with a white table and chairs…and several other pieces that still needed cleaned really good. This is when the weather turned cold, and life got in the way of these projects. So, several weeks later, I carved out a few hours to work on these little gems. Since it was cold, I moved the table and chairs into the kitchen. I heard the paint works better at a temperature between 45-75 degrees…and I was FREEZING in the garage at a low of 30 degrees!

At this point, I wanted a glossy black finish on the table and chairs, so I thought I knew what I was doing (I mean really, I had read several posts on Pinterest and that’s like the crafters Bible) and bought some high glossy paint and started painting away. The table looked great at first…then these bubbles started to form and the top of the table was a mess. As if I didn’t have enough stress in my life, I sat on the floor to cry…I felt like a failure! Ok, compose yourself I thought. I did, then went back to the drawing board…so I contacted my friend Theresa and she talked me off the ledge…lol! Recommendations were to strip the table, thank goodness I had not started painting the chairs, and begin again! If you have never painted chairs, get ready, they are HORRIBLE!!! You paint, and paint and when you think your done, you paint AGAIN!! They seem to love the song…It’s the Song the Never Ends…It Goes On and On My Friend…I’M REALLY NOT KIDDING!!!

At this point, I have now moved everything back out to the garage to get it out of the way and a few days…maybe even a week later, I begin to strip the table. This is NOT a fun job, I can’t seem to get it all off, and I start to rethink this “I can Do It!” attitude…maybe I should have just bought something already painted!! Frustrated, I decided to start the chairs. Now remember, I told you painting chairs were NOT fun, but I didn’t know this at that point. So, moving on to the chairs, I soon find out that yes indeed these SUCK too! My pity party begins to take over again, my back is breaking from bending over, I’m in the cold garage and I want to give up!! Again, I move on to something else. I think I have a problem, I have no finished projects, my garage is full of furniture that is unusable at this point and I have to get into a cold car in the mornings because I can’t park my car in the garage, and that’s really a BIG problem!!

I begin the coffee table, I’m painting it red…my favorite color, so this should be fun! I have learned a lot about painting furniture by now and really think I can tackle this before I have to run my kids to their next activity. The coffee table goes as planned, I’m really excited with how the paint is covering, and it looks beautiful! I have now gone back and put on the second coat of red paint and let it dry while we we’re gone. That night when we returned, I went in and sanded/ roughed up a few of the corners…oh, I was so happy! I thought I was done…moved the coffee table inside and put the glass back in, celebrated! BEAUTIFUL!! But oh wait, I forgot a step…I forgot to wax it. Wait, what?!?

Thank goodness this was the easiest step of them all…I had bought a rub on wax, and used an old t-shirt to apply. I did this right there in the living room. Ok, now I LOVE the coffee table MORE than I did about 30 minutes before! The wax brought out the vibrant red color and added a since of texture to the table…by far my most favorite piece, well heck, it was my only finished piece!!

This story goes on and on…with ups and downs, but it has a good ending with a few pieces of furniture finished at this point…I’m still working on that dumb kitchen table, but I think I am in love with painting/ refinishing furniture! Please remember when beginning a project like I did, it’s a learning process and nothing is perfect all of the time…go with it and decide if you should Chalk or Not!

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