I picked this diamond in the rough up at my local Goodwill and it took FOREVER for me to finish…Slow and steady wins the race right? It was not cute to begin with:
Ew, right? Very dirty, plaid fabric and painted, sticky brown top! But it wasn’t hopeless! I wanted to the two tone look with white chairs/base and a dark beautiful wood on top. So I got to work! I sanded the top and it turned out to be a really cool grain that would show a lot of beauty once it was stained! But I’ve got to come clean…sanding isn’t all candy canes and lollipops…it’s hard, and messy, and difficult. Enter: Annie Sloan!
A water based chalk paint that dries in hours (seriously!) and has very low fumes…like so low that I painted INSIDE my house. It’s a thick paint that is sold in quarts…you’d think it isn’t enough but it is…it goes for miles. It does leave brush strokes but you can combat that if you want a really clean look by using a roller brush. But here’s the best part: NO SANDING!!!! You just brush right over your furniture. I’m not kidding. These chairs were glazed and shiny and so off white but in a bad way. After one coat of Annie, they were a bright white and fresh and clean. I could breathe again!
Trash bags worked great for this…. Turning the table upside down to do the base is the easiest….word of advice: do the top last so you don’t have to worry about messing it up at this part
After a couple hours, the paint was dry….Annie sells waxes that I highly recommend using…it seals in the paint. If you want to sand or distress, you sand AFTER you wax. And a little wax goes a LONG way…too much wax is bad. bad. bad. Just trust me and don’t do it. Pretend you’re putting it into your hair…it should be VERY little. You can always add more. After that, it was on to the top! Sanding the paint off to start off was truly the hardest part. Staining is best thought of in layers… The pre-stain is helpful for a lot of projects and I definitely used it here….It goes on very wet and makes the wood look conditioned and brighter. Pre-stain helps the wood get ready for the stain and go on evenly. I would definitely recommend it. Then lightly sand. Always sand in between your layers and coats. Always….that’s what gives it the nice smooth finish and not the sticky, cheap finish!!! It’s important! Then the stain…I love stains. They’re beautiful. I used Min wax (oil based) and really liked it. The grain on this top has so much character and staining it only adds to the effect. I decided to a stencil on my table so that went on before the pre-stain to make sure it was “locked in” and protected. I stenciled, sanded lightly, pre-stained, sanded, stained, sanded, went over stencil, sanded, stained, and sanded again. To finish: a gorgeous couple layers of wipe on poly in a matte finish. Glossy wasn’t the look I was going for and this matte finish was wonderful. Velvety smooth. This is just your run of the mill black acrylic paint. I wanted a really thin brush so I ended up using cake decorating brushes and they worked great!
The finished product:
You can see a few “flecks” of unstained areas on the table that I probably could have sanded out…but I decided I like it! It’s such a smooth table and so much better than the sticky mess that was on there before!
Want a tutorial on how I recovered the chairs? Here you go
So….the real question: How has it held up?
Well….they’re still white! The Annie Sloan chalk does get a little dirty but nothing that gets under my skin….I haven’t even completely finished waxing them yet and they still look great. I just love the two tone look of the table and am so glad I did it! The top has held up great and I love to run my finger along the smooth top and not feel anything sticky….unless of course I served pancakes for breakfast!