Saturday, October 15, 2016

Using Chalk Paint on a Large Chest of Drawers

This chest is becoming a dusty blue-green!
I'm chalk painting it. Do I know what I'm doing? Almost!

This post is a bit long, but I've learned quite a lot about chalk painting, and wish I'd found it all in one post, therefore this is my attempt to give you more.

Since painting the little chest the post before this told you about, I've done more research about chalk paint, how it should go on, and what to do after painting it and letting the paint dry. And I've begun work on the above pictured chest.

The steps are not quite the same as the first articles stated. The claim was no prep is ever needed, which is not true. At the very least the piece you plan to paint must be cleaned, wiped down to get any dirt or grime off.

The chest above I bought from a neat and clean antique store. And it looked very clean. But, when I wiped it off with a disinfectant clothes there was yellow grime on the wipes. I thought that was more than enough to do before applying the paint, therefore I went ahead.

 Most of the chest the paint covered nicely and it went on quickly. But, some places I knew when I was painting that these may be areas where the paint might come off easily. I was correct.

The You Tube videos and articles I'd read say to use a damp cloth to wipe down the chest after painting. No comments about letting the paint dry but that seemed obvious so I did do that. 

Researching again I learned when the paint has dried - at least 4 to 6 hours but preferably 24 hours - the next step is to lightly sand the piece. After trying that and taking off the paint in several places, I went back to the Internet. Finer sand paper is best! 

The results of sanding with the fine sandpaper are amazing, because the surface becomes very smooth to the touch. It will change slightly in color as well. 

In the case of my chest of drawers, as I've mentioned, some of the paint came off in unattractive splotches, so I've just painted a second coating, making sure to get as thick a coat of paint as possible.

My first coast was also very rough as the with my first experience painting the small cabinet. This sent me once again to the Internet for more information. One person told about some of the things he had done to make the plaster of paris finer grained. The basic idea was to smash it. So, I put mine into a sealed plastic bag, and used a marble rolling pin! It worked well. Next I put the water in a bottle with a lid, added the plaster of pairs I'd smashed, tightened the lid and shook it well. This also helped, so when I mixed in the paint it went on much less rough. 

I've just finished my second coat of chalk paint. It's afternoon, so I'll let the paint dry until tomorrow. I've purchased sandpaper #400 which I'll use in the morning. The next step after the light sanding will be applying the clean wax coat with a clean cloth, and wiping off and the excess. After a few hours to allow the wax to dry, the final step will be to buff the surface with a clean cloth.

If my goal was to make the chest appear old and/or shabby chic I would do a bit more sanding and expose the finish underneath on the corners of the drawers etc. and then perhaps use a wax with a dark tent wiping it into spaces that might be darkened by a build up of dust thru the years, and again wiping off the excess. 

I'll post pictures of the process and end result after this piece is finished.

For many interesting and informative videos and articles do a search or two. But, as I recently learned, do not expect all the information you need to be in just one video or post!

Continue to learn more about, or even how to do new things. It will keep you feeling younger. It does me!

Prayers for health, comfort and peace.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Final Day for Chalk Painting a Chest of Drawers

Final, final steps.

Yesterday I sanded and waxed 
the chest and drawers.

Today I buffed the wax. vacuumed the 
drawers and added clean paper. 

You know modern chests have a paper 
similar to contact paper on the bottoms 
of the drawers, but old chests have wooden 
drawers, so without paper on the bottoms 
you may end up with splinters in your 
other drawers and maybe your bottom! 

Lastly I tightened the knobs and 
pronounced the project finished!

The finish is very smooth and the chest
looks OK but not perfect.

Chalk painting is more difficult than I
 thought from the information online.

There isn't anything wrong with the top,
I just enjoy the look of a scarf on it.

One last thing about chalk painting with
the plaster of paris, water and paint mix,
I used a bucket of water to wash out the
brushes and any other tools used for 
painting, and then dumped the water
outside in a graveled area by the garage.
I threw away the rags used for wiping 
down after sanding, as well as those used
to wax and buff. 

Now, when I rest up from this project, 
I'll go back and sand, wax and buff the small
cabinet I painted before I knew the finishing steps.
It is still sporting it's very rough surface.

Good Evening Everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day Two & Backtracking * Using Chalk Paint on a Large Chest of Drawers

It's really better to put away one project before beginning another! Advice from someone who knows. The studio of a person with a cluttered mind. Proof, it's not necessary to be perfect, nor for your studio to be overlyorganized to make and do artsy stuff! 

Encouraging? Hope it is.

Back tracking:
Material I've used or will be using today 
on this project;
included are my experiences with them.

Chalk paint recipe: 

1/3 cup water, mixed with 1/3 plaster of paris. This water and plaster mix is then mixed with 1 cup latex paint. (Sample jars from the home improvement stores are usually one cup, so perfect for this recipe.)

In order to make the plaster mix smoother: 
I placed the 1/3 cup plaster of paris in the plastic bag, used this marble rolling pin to crush the grains of plaster, mixed the water and plaster in the water bottle,replaced the lid and shook the 
mixture. There are other ways to achieve a smoother mix. My decision to use this manner was dictated by materials available to me without spending more money.

Minimal prep of surface to be painted:
Although in nearly all the information I found online claimed no prep, or almost no prep is needed, but my experience is skipping some prep work is not advisable. A light sanding with a courser 
sandpaper than the final sanding will help rough up the areas where the varnish or other finish on the piece is undamaged, and is a step 
I wish I'd done! I did wipe most surfaceswith disinfectant wipes, however a better choice might have been a degreaser, as old furniture is very apt to have a greasy and grimey surface to repel most any paint.

Final step:
Clear wax applied with a cloth; excess wiped off.  I'll be trying my hand at this today.There are choices in waxes. There are different 
makers  and hues, most common are clear, light and dark. Some say it's possible to use other kinds of waxes such as Minwax, but reading labels I opted to stay with those which at least claim to be made specifically for chalk painted surfaces as it ought to be more reliable. We'll see by how my choice works.

Final sanding:
My husband suggested steel wool could be used.

I'll try this first fine grain sandpaper before the steel wool.

Cluttered mind addition:
CD/radio/tape player for noise or as needed extra stimulus while working. Personally I listen to books on CDs or tapes. Sometimes I like to listen to music on CD. 

Some photos of the chest and drawers 
waiting on today's sanding and waxing.

This is how the surface looks after first coat of paint, light sanding,
second coat of paint and before the second sanding and waxing.

The first coating, without my vigorously mixed plaster and water, was MUCH more rough with the little globs of plaster 
very visible. Even the rough surface sanded down, but of course, less roughness will take less work to sand smooth.

Until tomorrow! We will see how this all works.  So far, I love the color I've chosen and am optimistic of the outcome.

May this be a beautiful day for all of you.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My First Lesson in Making and Using Chalk Paint

This is so me!

Before I knew what I was doing I painted a little cabinet (it's pictured in it's "before" state in the post just before this one) in chalk paint I mixed myself. It came out bumpy and I didn't know why but it's not visible so, left it that way.

There are cut out placed that have woven rattan like coverings attached from the inside on each one. I believe the cabinet was some sort of radio case or speaker box. Found a small hole on one side that looks as if a cord ran thru it. The bottom inside has strange holes as well, so another indication that it was some kind of electrical equipment box.

Here is the little cabinet after I decorated it.

The pictures in the spaces I cut out of a 2013, nice - thick paper, calendar. All but the front picture I just placed in the spaces and they stayed put, so did nothing else. 

This means I can change them as I want very easily and since the cabinet will not be in a humid 
place and we have no kiddos or animals here, they will stay where they are until I want to take 
them out. The center on is glued with Elmers. I thought they all looked pretty.

This is how I am using the cabinet.

That is my computer's printer, and inside I have all the various papers. Just around the corner is a little space at that end of my kitchen with a bit of counter top at desk height with cabinets above. The perfect spot for my computer and a little card file for those countless passwords that will not stay in my head. And cook books and address books etc. are in the cabinets above. As if this little cabinet was made for this purpose and this space.

Since I painted the piece before I watched the YouTube videos on how to make the paint and how to use it, I didn't try distressing the piece. Now that it's done and back in place, I'll likely just leave it as it is. However, just this morning I have leaned a bunch of stuff!

On the videos I found no less than four actual recipes for making chalk paint, and that the name chalk paint is actually Annie Sloan's discovery and name is hers, so some call it chalk style paint. It is a mix of latex paint and some other agent to thicken it and make the paint cover over most finishes without priming or at least with out much prime work. The most common additive is plaster of paris and a bit of water. Some people actually follow the recipe - 1/3 cup p of p, sprinkled into 1/3 cup of water and gently stirred to a rather smooth consistency and 1 cup of latex paint. Others remind me of the way grandmothers make biscuits or cakes, a little of this with a little more of that and a pinch of the next. 

Each mixture can work. The small cabinet was my test piece. The piece I'm planning to really work on is the large chest of drawers, also shown in the previous post. My reason for wanting to paint it is that the poor thing smells like cigarettes and since we don't smoke and never have it's not pleasant. In fact the odor gives me a slight head ache. I have used craft paint to paint some pieces of furniture in the past and this sealed in the odor, but the paint can be cleaned right off with a bit of rubbing. Obviously, depending on where the piece is and how many people are likely to touch it, this can be no problem or a big problem. 

I have learned quite a lot just in this one morning of video watching. It feels as if I went to a seminar, but didn't have to get gressed or leave my recliner or pay more than my Internet fee! Quite nice. It's fun to live now.

As I work on the next piece I'll write another blog and of course post it on my Facebook Page. Follow me if you would like, under my name Janet Toney. You'll see a picture of me (a little bit younger but still me) and one of my fall flowers in a big, pretty punch bowl.

Have a great Saturday.