This Chalk Paint Tutorial of my son's bedside table makeover is perfect for your next DIY project.
This honestly wasn't the post I had planned for today. But, I was so excited about this little red bedside table when I finished it over the weekend, that I knew I just had to share it with you this week.
If you've never worked with chalk paint, it's definitely a good one to try. In my opinion, it's very forgiving in its nature. It also requires little to no prep.
This little bedside table was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor's Silk (this is not a sponsored post...but I am a big fan of this paint and use it frequently). I also used a dark wax (also Annie Sloan brand) on top of the paint, after lightly weathering the edges.
While this doesn't always happen, I have to say, this came out exactly as I had envisioned. This piece is in my older son's new bedroom (which is actually my old office). We've been working on it a lot and I hope to show you the whole sha-bang in the (hopefully near) future.
This was the second table I purchased to fill the role of 'nightstand' in his room. The previous piece ended up being a bit too much refinishing work...and it didn't have all of the handy storage shelves like this one did (I got a little overzealous at a junk sale...story of my life, really). I still have that first piece, though...I plan to tackle it at one point and hopefully use it somewhere else (the best laid plans, right?).
I love that this little table has lips on its shelves...because let's face it: the whole thing is actually for Lego displayishness. He obliged my wish to have it "staged" for photos and then proceeded to remove all of the pretties. Ahem. I did make him keep the little wire basket for his growing Lego magazine collection. Because crumpled Lego magazines stuffed here and there are the bane of my existence.
I stumbled onto this table at my Goodwill. It was $29.
To start out, I gave it a good dusting and then simply started to paint. If you read the ASCP website, it does say sanding is a great idea, but honestly...I've never sanded with chalk paint. I feel like that's a part of its draw (am I right?). To be up front, the "wood" on this piece is pretty peculiar. I mean, it seemed like real wood, but the more I messed with it, the more I'm convinced the top was not actual wood...maybe composite covered with some kind of veneer-like piece (not real veneer, either). Honestly, I've been refinishing furniture for over 15 years and this was new to me, y'all. It all worked out in the end. But it was the best disguised wood I've ever seen...I'll give it that.
For $29 and 1/3 can of paint, I really didn't care. It turned out fabulously. It's not how you start...it's how you finish.
I used two coats of the chalk paint on the legs and top, and one on each shelf. Again, with the eclectic mix of "wood" and "almost wood" used to create this piece, I needed more here and less there. What I really love about chalk paint is that it's not too persnickity about grain. I mean a little...but not really (I know that's ridiculously unhelpful). Basically, if I'm using regular paint (like acrylic or even oil based...ick), I stay with the grain of the wood when painting. But on areas like spindly legs, going with the grain is a total pain. With chalk paint, it at first appears a bit thick when applied to these areas...but miraculously it heals itself (I probably sound like a total ding dong here...let's just go with it, m'kay?).
Once chalk paint is dry, it's super duper matte. You can certainly leave it as is, but that opens it up to bumps and scrapes and makes it a bit more vulnerable to life, in general. On this piece, I lightly sanded the edges for a weathered look. You can see in the above pic that the sanded areas turn slightly pink...that's how matte it is. Since I knew I would be waxing, I wasn't too worried. I like to use sanding sponges on pieces like this, too. These are the exact ones I use here. They're used dry...the word sponge can be misleading. The squishyness of the sanding sponge is what gives me a lot of control over my sanding.
Normally, I don't use dark wax. I usually do my stain and wipe technique (see that video tutorial here). But, I knew the red chalk paint would be something that really needed wax and I wanted the darkened "dirty" look, too. So this worked out pretty well. Darker wax is harder to control than regular wax. I don't use a fancy wax brush...I've always used a thin handyman rag for my wax finishes. These are the kind I like here.
Just use a dime to quarter-sized amount and work it into the wood in smaller areas. If you use too much (it will seem greasy and won't properly work itself into the wood), you can actually use a dab more wax to pull the original wax off (sounds counterintuitive, but it works like a charm).
The wax actually serves as a seal to the piece. There are other options, but this is how I finished this particular piece.
Before and after: one of my favorite little Goodwill finds, now.
I think it fits perfectly into the vintage vibe I've been working into his room. I seriously can't wait to show you the whole thing...I have a few more little projects to tie it all together.
I love how the dark wax gives it the dirty look. Let's face it...it's a ten year old boy's room. I need all the help in making the dirty look as purposeful and well thought out as possible.
Have you ever used chalk paint? Do you love it like I do?
If you like this post, check out a couple of my other popular painting posts:
My grandma's 100-year old dresser (also with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)