These little seemingly innocent tables became my new arch nemesis over the past couple of weeks. Do you ever have a project that you think will be great, and then something goes awry and the wheels just fall off? Ya, that's what happened here. You'll have to forgive me because I have no 'in-progress' pics for you. The space I had to work in the garage was minuscule to say the least, and it was cold, and honestly I just got so frustrated with these tables that I couldn't even think about taking pictures.
I had mentioned in that earlier post that I thought I'd try out chalk paint on them. I was going to go buy chalk paint, but then decided I'd try and make my own first (frugal to a fault). I searched and searched Google and finally settled on using a recipe that was 1/3 baking soda to 2/3 flat latex paint. I mixed it up (with some paint I had left over from our basement) and it all seemed good. The baking soda didn't clump, but it did make the paint incredibly thick. Too thick to use a roller. I proceeded anyway and used a brush to apply the first coat of paint. I didn't sand or prime - apparently that's one of the bonuses of chalk paint...no sanding or priming needed. All I did before I stared painting was fill some of the cracks on the bottom molding using wood filler. Once the first coat was dry I noticed that the finish was really gritty. Like give me goose bumps gritty. I just ignored it and gave the tables another coat the next night. The night after that I then went about sanding down all of the grittiness. Ok, the bumps did sand down pretty easily, but to get a nice smooth finish took some serious time and arm power. I think I was in the garage for way over an hour just sanding down the already painted tables to try and make them smooth. I could just cancel my gym membership if I sanded like that every night. At this point I was wishing I had just used regular paint.
After I sanded to smooth, and then distressed a bit, I just wasn't loving it. The tables just looked blah. Big blah grey blobs. And what do I do when something is blah? Add to it of course! So, out came the glaze. I didn't have black paint, so I mixed the glaze with black stain. I am almost 100% positive that glaze is not intended to mix with stain, but I just crossed my fingers and started smooshing the glaze mixture on. It worked. It provided the bit of depth that I was looking for.
After letting the tables dry for yet another night, they were still looking a little too blah to me. Meh. Solution? Add more! I added some liquid silver leaf to some of the edges....and let it dry overnight again. The next day I resanded everything to distress a bit more and to blend the silver leafing. Better. They were finally looking a little less blah. I finished everything off with a clear wax.
Here's what I ended up with after my million layers of paint.
I debated adding new hardware, but after looking at a few places I couldn't find anything that seemed substantial enough. Instead of replacing, I just spray painted the existing hardware. I love how chunky the handles are
Here are the details in case you are interested, although I think recreating this madness could prove difficult:
Paint - Benjamin Moore Trout Gray colour matched to Sherwin Williams Duration flat
Glaze - Benjamin Moore glaze mixed with Ikea stain in black (not sure if I'd recommend this - use black paint if you have it instead)
Liquid Silver Leaf
Minwax clear paste wax
I have to admit, they didn't turn out at all how I envisioned, but I do think they look a lot better than they did. I'm glad I gave the DIY chalk paint a try, but I am not sure I'd do it again. Honestly, I think I am more of a fan of just plain old latex paint.
I have these guys up for sale now, and I'll see if they go (I don't have a lot of hope). If they don't, I might just see how they look in our master bedroom.
Have you ever tried DIY chalk paint? If so, do you have any tips/tricks? I know a lot of people seem to like the Plaster of Paris recipe, but I had baking soda on hand already so that's the one I went with.