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 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.
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.
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....".