10 Mar 2013

Refinished Teal Dresser

For the past few months Fin's room has been a rotating display of dressers.  When we first did her nursery we had a dresser that was way too big in there (that dresser later became the emerald green dresser that I sold).  The big dresser was good when she was a baby and we had to house blankets, a million sleepers, etc, but lately we weren't even using half of the drawers.

When the emerald dresser sold I moved the milk paint dressing table into her room.  I did really like how it looked, but we went from one extreme to the other and then didn't have enough storage!


I stalked Kijiji for a while until I found this one.  


If you missed the story about buying this dresser, you can read all about it here.  It involves my poor husband and a lot of chatty birds.  (For those of you who have requested, I am still trying to convince him that I need an audio recording...)

The dresser is veneer, so I knew right away that I was going to paint it.  I thought about using my go-to BM Advance, but decided that this would be a good piece to give DIY chalk paint another try.  I had tried DIY chalk paint previusly on the hexagon end tables with so-so results (even though they did sell for a great price and quickly).  

This time I enlisted the expert.  I emailed Helen from Picked and Painted and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions. (If you haven't visited her blog before it's well worth the visit....she's a master with chalk paint). Could I roll it? Yes.  Do I have to distress? No.  I felt confident enough to embark on the DIY paint experiment once again.

I headed to Home Depot and picked up a quart of Behr paint in Sweet Rhapsody.  I was going for teal, but I think it's actually more of an aqua colour, and in some lighting it looks more baby-blue. 

I mixed the chalk paint - 1 cup of paint to about 1/4 cup of baking soda.  I decided to risk it and not prime, so I just started painting away.  I had fully intended to use a roller on the top, but the brush was working so well that I just kept going with it.  After 2 nights and 2 coats of paint I had complete coverage - thankfully with no bleed through.  

Here's the thing....I  HATE the feel of dried chalk paint.  I actually dislike it so much that I think it's enough to make me not want to do it again.  Just rubbing my finger against it gave me goose bumps (just like sandpaper does).  I powered through the goose bumps though and sanded the whole piece with a super fine sanding block.  

I hadn't intended to distress, but the paint started coming off on the raised areas.  First I freaked out....then I went to bed.  The next day I felt better about the whole thing and decided that a bit of distressing was actually the way to go (does sleep do that to anyone else?).   A little distressing felt more true to the era of the dresser. 

After I had the whole thing sanded down and smooth, I decided to glaze it with a dark brown glaze to highlight some of the detail on the sides.  I mixed my BM glaze with some dark brown paint and started adding it to the raised parts on the edges.  And....I knew pretty much right away that I wasn't digging it.    Nope. Not feeling it at all.  It was changing the aqua to a colour that I wasn't loving.  So....I wiped it all off and applied another coat of paint just to the area I had glazed.  (Poor Mr. Swell was subject to quite a bit of my ranting during this time.  Why did I decide to do this?  Where did I put the paint? Why are we out of foam brushes? Who invented glaze?  Poor guy...he very calmly told me it was just paint and to breathe.)

Once that final coat of paint was dry I then re-sanded the area and applied a coat of paste wax all over.  I buffed with an old nylon (works great!) and then let it sit for a few nights before moving it upstairs.

I set it up in the entry way so that I could take some pictures of it with the mirror.  I wanted to show you how nice it looks with the round mirror.....I wish that the mirror would fit in Fin's room, but sadly it doesn't.

DIY Chalk Paint Teal Dresser

I really like the way the old hardware looks on the new aqua.  I have plans down the road, when we do Fin's big girl room, to replace the hardware but for now I like it the way it is.

Teal Dresser // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I am still not entirely sold on the whole chalk paint thing.  It is really nice to not sand or prime, but I can't get over how thick the paint is.  I also don't seem to be able to get a completely smooth finish with the DIY version.  I always have spots that look rough, even if they don't feel rough.  I can sand them down, but since I didn't want to distress this piece too much, I was hesitant to go crazy with the sanding.  Maybe I needed to sand between coats.  Any advice?


You know Dief likes to photobomb....


He was making sure that my distressing was up to par......



The dresser now resides in Fin's room, sans mirror.

Teal Dresser with yellow rocking chairs // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

eal Dresser in Nursery // www.aswellplacetodwell.com

It is the PERFECT size.  I just love it.  My plan down the road is to paint the inside and sides of the drawers, but for now I have just left them (ugly floral contact paper and all).  

The aqua adds so much more vibrancy to her bedroom and really brightens it up. 

So tell me, is there anyone else who's not completely sold on chalk paint?  Am I doing something wrong?  Has anyone else had the problem with the paint looking rough?

p. s. I wonder what the birds would say now?  "caw, get your shoes on and bring that puuuurdy dresser back over here....".  

Linking to: Miss Mustard Seed

TDC Before and After

25 comments:

  1. I love chalkpaint, I even love the feel of it... You can lightly sand between coats to reduce the roughness of it. You can add a paste wax finish over the top which makes it smooth and a bit shinier. I always apply with a foam mini roller, gives me a nicer finish (I think).

    I love that blue!!!

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  2. I wouldn't call myself an expert but thank you :-)

    I like to call that rough look a textured look.... Lol. I haven't found a way to make it look smooth but im okay with that as long as it feels smooth!

    The dresser came out great and I LOVE the color!!!

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    1. Ya, I think I would call you an expert. Way more of an expert than me. I am glad that yours looks rough too - I totally thought I was doing something wrong. The thing that drives me the most crazy is that it looks a little uneven in certain lights - like there are shiny and dull parts. it's always one of those things though, that you stare and stare at while you are doing it, but once it's moved into the room and stuff is on it you don't really notice. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. SO pretty! love the soft teal you chose and the light distressing! it looks lovely! :)

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  4. The teal dresser looks amazing! The old handles are perfect. And next to the yellow chairs. I want that room! :)

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  5. Hi Kelly. I too have been experimenting with home made chalk paint, except I use plaster of paris (Rona/HomeDepot). I just did a mint dresser, and loved it. I painted a coat, lightly sanded, then painted another caot and sanded. the finish was sooo smooth and soft. I then coated with water based varathane. Absolutely loved. Hope this helps. Check out my post from today, documented it all. Best of luck girl.

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    1. I saw your mint dresser...it's fantastic! Maybe I'll have to try the plaster of Paris recipe one time.

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  6. I still want to try chalk paint. I need to find something to paint first. Which means I need to save the money first. Which means I need to stop buying Starbucks drinks. Which means I need more self control. *sips my Starbucks* Eek! =]

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  7. Love the pop of color on the dresser! It looks so cute in her room. I have never tried home made chalk paint, but have heard of a ton of people making it. I have used Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint for almost everything and anytime it gets too thick, I just add a lil bit of water to it which helps with the finish. Not sure if you can do that with the homemade kind? But definitely not as smooth as the BM Advance finish. And I'm totally like you...hate the feel of dry chalk paint. I try to get that wax on there as fast as possible! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

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  8. What a beautiful shade of blue! Your dresser turned out great, nice job!!

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  9. I am the only person ever who has not tried chalk paint, so I can't help ya there! But I LOVE this color, and I'm actually kinda crazy about that hardware too. Such a cute piece!

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    1. Thank you. I am sure you are not the only person ever :)

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  10. Despite the hassle, I think it looks fantastic. Great color choice!

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  11. I have an old dresser just like that one, from my grandfather. I had no plans to do anything with it until now. Thank you! Looks awesome and Teal is my favorite color ever!

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    1. I love pieces that have history! So yours would be extra special if you paint it!

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  12. SO pretty! Love the color - and the pup checking it out ;)

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  13. Love Love Love this dresser! You did a great job! Still haven't worked with chalk paint, but it looks great to me!

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  14. Hi Kelly,
    So true ref looking at something too closely and seeing all of the flaws, I can't see any of the roughness that you are referring to. I have not tried any chalk paint myself, I am dying to, as everyone's projects look so killer! I am sad however that you couldn't fit that mirror in on that sweet little dresser. What are you doing with that mirror BTW, for sale? ;)(hint) Dief and Fin photo bombed ya, too cute! I love your little vignettes, that owl and the yellow chairs, awesome job!

    ~Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc.

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    1. Thanks Laurie. Sorry, the mirror is not for sale. It's sitting in our basement right now, but once we re-do Fin's roo into her big girl room I will make sure to find an area in the room so that the mirror can fit.

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  15. That looks great! I have a dresser that I think I could do this to, but my stepfather painstakingly restored it to its natural wood finish and now I don't think I can bring myself to touch it! Sigh.

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    1. Thanks Samantha! I love natural wood though, if you have a piece that's been restored I'd totally keep it. Find a cheapy one on CL and go to town! Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Ooh! How Lovely! That's might favorite shade of blue after Turquoise. I haven't tackled chalk paint either but I plan to.

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