Saturday, September 28, 2013

My First Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Project!


I am in LOVE with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! I tried so hard to make the DIY stuff work (with issues of grit and waxing), but I finally had a little money and some birthday money saved to splurge on a few cans of the AS paint, and boy am I glad I did! Not only is it fabulous...but it's so beautiful and the finish is amazing! 

So without further is my first piece:

Vintage Country Cottage Style End Table/Accent table painted in French Linen and a mix of Pure White and Old White. I began by covering the entire piece in the french linen, and doing the drawer in the white mix. I then covered the table in the areas that I wanted with the white, and the drawer in the french linen. 

I distressed (I'm getting better I think in being able to do it without having a mini heart attack. Though taking the sandpaper to the surface at first is very frightening!)...

And Distressed some more...

AJ put these awesome knobs I bought off Etsy for about a $1 a piece (steal of a deal!!). The details in the knobs are almost a deep purple/maroon shade - but they match so nicely with colors of the table. 

I love the detail in the drawer - the way it's made to look like 4 small drawers, but only one. 

Distressing the top was the hardest part...but I did it! 

I finally finished by waxing - and that was NOT fun! The first coat of wax I did ended up blotchy and uneven in areas, no matter how hard I tried to get it to work out. I then sanded the top down lightly to get the wax to distribute more evenly, which helped. After that dried I added a second coat of wax which evened it out much better. The silky smoothness of this paint - whew! Just can't beat it! 

I'm in love with this piece and so excited to start my next one! 

Currently joined linky parties (for the first time - eek!) on,, and 

Refinished Children's Rocker

This rocking chair was one of the easier projects! My younger siblings grew up sitting in this chair to watch TV or movies, and so my step-mom gave it to me for Jase to sit in and do the same. It holds so many memories, I knew it just needed a little clean-up and restoration and it would be good as new! 

Here's the before:

A friend of mine did the first coat of DIY chalk paint, and I did the next one. After the second coat, I distressed and waxed. Lastly, I glazed where the details of the rabbit and bear were in the back of the seat to help make them pop a bit, and spray painted the seat with a brown I had lying around in my paint cabinet. 

I like the way it turned out, but boy this distressing stuff makes me all distressed sometimes! It's so hard to see such a nicely painted piece all roughed up in random spots! But...once you step away (gotta step away) for a bit, even take a break and come back to it, you begin to see with a fresh pair of eyes. :)

Children's Bench Photography Prop

This children's bench was my 2nd project with DIY Chalk paint. 

Here's the before:

Looks like an almost nice white shabby chic, but honestly, it was dingy and in need of some serious love and refinishing. My idea was to turn it into a photography prop. I pictured a little baby for their monthly photos sleeping on the bench, sitting on it, or standing next to it. 

I loved what we did with my son's toy box with the trim on the front, so I wanted to do that again (thanks hubby!) and add a chalk board to write stats on, or for a child to color or draw. 

Next I distressed and waxed with clear wax, followed by DIY glaze instead of dark wax this time. I really liked how I could work with the glaze for a longer period of time and how easy it was to apply, but again - still a learning curve. 

So once it was finished we sold it for almost $50! In retrospect, we may of been able to ask for more...but I'm pretty new to figuring out how to price these things. 

Vintage Reclaimed Window turned Coffee Table

My husband is so amazing, no truly, he is. 

I bought these windows off of craigslist - $3 a piece. 

And because Pinterest and Etsy are amazing for inspiration, I found the idea of turning an old window into a coffee table and knew we HAD to try it! I had the old window, AJ had the skills to build the coffee table, and I knew I wanted to try my hand at refinishing. 

Well, I kept hearing all this stuff about chalk paint - so I figured it was time to try it. Thing was - the $$ wasn't exactly there to purchase the expensive stuff, and honestly, I didn't see the point at the time because I knew I could make it. So I made the country red color using unsanded grout, water, and latex paint, and covered the entire surface of the table, inside and out, with the red.

Then I painted the outside of the table with a paint and primer in one, a creamy white, and distressed it (this was soooo hard to do for someone like me, a perfectionist!). Once distressed, the beautiful country red undertones really started to pop on through. 

We threw on some beautiful hinges, the handles, waxed her with clear wax, and then finished with a DIY dark wax to really age and antique the piece. What a difficult task!! It was hard to do the dark wax, but it really made the trim contrast nice next to the white.

We sold this piece for $250 in less than 24 hours! And, we found a hobby that my husband and I both enjoy doing! Win win if you ask me! 

My First Flea Market Flip!

This was my first ever flea market flip!

Check out the before:

I got this chest from a local barn (sort of flea market-y place) for $15 - talked down from $20. I had a vision in mind of what I wanted to do with it and set out on getting it done!

I'm so thankful for such a handy husband! Hubby has always been into woodworking, so I knew that I wanted something for Jase that would be kind of "like father, like son" and do a toy chest that would be unique and practical to fit that goal. So AJ did some trim around a cork/peg board where we hung the toy tools, and we painted with a high gloss paint. For the seat cover, since I can't sew a lick, I micro-managed (haha!) my grandmother, while faithfully cheering her she sewed me up the perfect seat cushion cover with tools and a peg board on it to match the toy box.

It came out fabulous and I couldn't be any more pleased! Thanks to my husband, Mother-in-law, and grandmother for all of their help in getting done my first flea market flip!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY Chalk Paint vs. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is all the rage right now.

No sanding, no priming...count me in!

Only thing is, the price is booku $$$$$.

So what's the deal - do you really need to buy the expensive Annie Sloan paint? Or can you make your own with the same results?

Let's look at the pros and cons of each.

DIY Chalk Paint:


  • A fraction of the price of AS Chalk Paint
  • Large number of color choices
  • The finish often 'looks' the same
  • Low odor
  • A little goes along way
  • It has a gritty texture, not just chalky, but gritty
  • Sanding can flake bits of grit and paint off in an unflattering way
  • Sanding is toxic with the unsanded grout
  • Fibers of the lint-free cloth get stuck in the wax because of the grit, this will sometimes leave a 'fuzzy' finish
  • More work to prepare and mix

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

  • Super smooth finish once waxed
  • Low odor
  • No work - already mixed and prepared
  • A little goes a long way
  • $$$ - it's not cheap at about $35 a quart! 
  • Limited color choices (though mixing colors does open up other options)

Personally, I didn't want to like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I tried and tried to make it work with the DIY recipe, trying to figure out how to get rid of the gritty finish and not have problems with the fibers getting stuck in the wax. I sifted the grout, mixed with water prior, sanded, did everything to avoid this dilemma. But finally I gave in, I splurged, and I tried the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And honestly? I'm not sure I can go back. I am SOLD on this stuff! The finish is beautiful, the smoothness (I have texture issues, lol), and the fact that there is no work required makes it that much more appealing to me. 

But, if money is an issue, try the DIY recipe and decide for yourself. Just a quick note - do NOT get a paint & primer mix, and try to avoid Valspar paint. Both of these thicken in clumps very quickly, and even adding water doesn't quite do the trick all the time. And a quick FYI - if you get the sample sizes of paint at Home Depot, they are all pre-mixed with primer (even though it doesn't say it), so you either have to get a bigger size, or try somewhere else. At least that's what they do at my local Home Depot, so make sure you ask at your own. 

What do you think? Have you tried any DIY recipes that you like, or are you an AS fan?

Johnson's Wax vs. Minwax vs. Annie Sloan Wax

With so many options, which do you choose?

 When dealing with Chalk Paint, waxing is the bear everyone is talking about. And believe me, what a bear it is!! But this post is not about 'how' to wax, but the pros and cons between three of the more common waxes used: Johnson's Paste Wax, Minwax, and Annie Sloan Wax (thanks to my grandmother for letting me have some of hers!).

So lets' look at the Pros and Cons of each.

Johnson's Paste Wax:


  • Inexpensive at around just $5 a can at Lowes or Home Depot in the flooring section
  • Same finish as the Annie Sloan Wax
  • fairly soft
  • Quick drying
  • Smell - harsh fumes

Minwax Paste Finishing Wax:

  • Somewhat inexpensive at Lowes or Home Depot at around $10 a can
  • Appears to be the same finish 
  • Quick drying
  • Smell
  • Can yellow furniture over time, especially lighter colored pieces
  • Harder consistency

Annie Sloan Wax:

  • Butter like consistency - very smooth
  • Same finish as the others
  • Low odor (though still some odor, so ventilation and mask is still recommended)
  • $$$ At about $25 a can!
  • Drying time is recommended to wait 24 hours

Overall, they all do a good job at protecting your finish and working well with the chalk paint. While I love Annie Sloan wax, the price of Johnson's paste wax is hard to contend with. When you're on a budget, Johnson's is great, but Annie Sloan is definitely a first in my book if you can afford the cost. The butter-like consistency and low odor is pretty great! 

Now...if only the learning curve in using it weren't so steep!

What's your experience with wax?