This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Blueprint Social and the wonderful people
at Plaid Crafts who sent me FolkArt® Home Decor™ Chalk to use for this furniture makeover
and provided compensation. The tutorial and opinions are all mine.
Remember when it was below freezing and the snow was driving sideways and the drifts were rising an inch and hour? Way back then, my friend Alice asked me if I would be willing to help her paint her antique washstand. We live in the same area and there was no way I wanted to drive a half an hour in the crazy winter weather we were having then, so I told her I’d love to, in the spring.
Spring came and with it an opportunity to try out the new FolkArt Home Decor™ Chalk.
So, late one night I sent Alice a Facebook message about the opportunity and she agreed to bring her antique washstand to me and let me give it a chalk paint makeover. But before the project could begin, Alice needed to select her chalk colors. It’s a good thing she had a vision in mind for her washstand. With 16 great colors to choose from it could be hard to make a decision. I think I heard Salmon Coral calling my name for another project.
Did you know you can mix the colors to make more colors too? I wonder how many different colors you could make? Hmmm….that might be fun…but I digress.
That night, already in her bed, Alice selected Sheepskin for the undercoat and Castle for the top coat and we were off to give the tired antique washstand a bright new look.
As I was prepping this lovely washstand, she was adamant that I used her name: Louise. A beautiful Victorian name and one that fits her well, don’t you agree? So from here on in, I will refer to her as Louise.
It was a cool cloudy day when I brought Louise outside for her before shot. She did her best to look proud. In spite of her years, she is in excellent shape and has amazingly good bones.
Before we get too far, here’s what I used to give Louise her extraordinary makeover.
Supplies for Washstand Louise’s Chalk Paint Makeover
- One 8 ounce FolkArt Home Décor Chalk in Sheepskin (I painted one coat of Sheepskin for the base coat.)
- Two 8 ounce FolkArt Home Décor Chalk in Castle (I painted two coats of Castle.)
- One 8 ounce FolkArt Home Décor Clear Wax
- One 8 ounce FolkArt Home Décor Antiquing Wax
- 2 inch angled paintbrush for latex paint
- Fine grit sandpaper (I like using a sponge sanding block.)
- Medium grit sheet of sandpaper
- Clean soft cloth
- Chip brush (I used a 3 inch)
- 1/4 pound clean deli containers for holding chalk and wax
I love that FolkArt Home Decor Chalk is a no prep acrylic paint.
I’ve been known to create on a whim, so it’s great to know that when painting previously used furniture and home decor accessories, all we need to do is clean the surface with window cleaner to remove dirt or dust particles. Glass and ceramic surfaces should be wiped down using rubbing alcohol. But, I confess that as an over-achiever I did a wee bit more than that. Yup. I gave Louise a very gentle sanding with my fine sanding sponge, just enough to take away the faint patina that comes with her years and prepare her for her face lift. As I was doing so, I noted that she was held together with some lovely square nails.
Beauty in the details.
While sanding Louise’s pretty, but plain drawer, I discovered the most beautiful dovetail construction I have ever seen. I was so intrigued that I did an internet search for more info and discovered that this is considered to be a “non-dovetail machine drawer joint innovation of the 19th century called the scallop and dowel joint or the Knapp joint, named after the inventor.” Learn more here. I was careful not to apply paint there so that this fun and unusual joint could still be seen.
Next, I made sure that Louise was dust free. This an important part of a project…don’t skip this step. A slightly damp lint-free cloth or paper towel will work to grab any dust.
It was time to apply Louise’s first coat of color. Her “foundation” choice was Sheepskin. To apply the paint I used a two-inch angle paint brush. The paint is like pudding, so a stiffer bristle was helpful as I brushed it on. I poured some FolkArt Home Decor Chalk into a one pound sour cream container rather than using it out of the plastic jar, after stirring it, about a quarter of a container at a time.
FolkArt Home Decor Chalk dries in minutes so you can layer and sand it to give you the perfectly distressed look and feel. So, immediately after each coat of color, I carefully cleaned my paintbrush with warm water and a little dish soap. Did you know if you shake your brush hard it releases more water and dries more quickly? I usually do this outdoors.
As per the directions on the label, I waited 2 hours for the chalk to dry and then took my fine sanding sponge to a few areas that would be naturally worn with time and removed a wee bit of paint. And then ever-so-lightly sanded over the entire piece again to lessen the brush marks and dusted it well so that the surface was squeaky clean.
Louise was looking younger already. We next gave her a beautiful finishing color, Castle.
Here she is with one coat of Castle after I gave her a little distressing.
Earlier as I was preparing Louise’s drawers, I went to remove her pulls only to find that they were actually pegged and glued drawer pulls. They are so cute, I don’t think I’d want to change them anyway. But, they were a little bit of a challenge for painting. I discovered that you can also work this FolkArt Home Decor Chalk with your fingers. Although I brushed color on the drawer’s knobs, I worked the color around with my fingers to achieve the look I wanted. And it was much easier than trying to use sandpaper to get the distressed look I hoped to achieve. When I added the second coat later, I worked the color on the knobs a little more.
At this point I decided to give Louise one more color coat for added depth and richness. Be careful to not apply the paint too thickly, though.
Here she is looking so regal in her Castle color.
After another drying session, which was overnight, I got out the fine sanding sponge and some medium sandpaper to give her a little bit of an aged or worn look. Just enough to give her the character of the era. We didn’t want her to look like a painted lady…that would be over the top!
One thing I discovered here was that it was more difficult the next day to distress sand her with a fine grit sandpaper than it was after just two hours. I made a note of that for next time.
Being the finicky painter I am, I very lightly went over her entire surface with my fine sanding sponge again. You. Do. Not. Need. To. Do. That. At. All. Chalk shows more brush strokes and I prefer a finer finish for fine furniture like Louise. This is personal preference. A style thing, if you will. I would have finished my project a lot sooner if I wasn’t such a slave to that sanding sponge. 😉
Here she is….looking fabulous and ready for her waxing.
Wax on wax off….
I love FolkArt Home Decor Wax. It’s virtually odorless and water based for easy clean up so I felt free to use my good paintbrush to stroke the wax all over Louise (But, you can use a soft lint free cloth, if you prefer.). To make it easier, I poured a little bit at a time into a one-inch-tall deli container.
As you stroke on the wax, be sure to cover every little bit of surface area. I missed a few spots, so I had to go back and give Louise a little extra coverage. Allow the wax to dry an hour and buff with a soft cloth. I used a soft old wash cloth for the first rub down and some cheesecloth for the second to even out the areas where I put the wax on a wee bit heavier. The more you rub, the more polish or sheen you’ll get. If you’re waxing a piece of furniture, be prepared to get a bit of a work out. It’s a good time to work on your ambidexterity.
Here comes the scary part; applying the Antiquing Wax. Just kidding! If you’ve never applied an antiquing wax before and you rub it on the surface of your project, you just might start to freak out. Seriously, all this time and effort and your project is looking extraordinary and here you go and mess it up with some dark color. That’s what I was thinking.
Don’t freak out!!
If you follow this helpful tip, your anxieties will be calmed immediately.
Fill a small container with clear wax and have your paint brush at hand. The clear wax when painted over the antique wax will soften and blend it out, so that when you begin to rub it off you will still retain most of the color of your project with just a little antiquing in the recesses or surface as you choose.
I used a 3 inch chip brush (see above), with just the bristles at the far end of each side of the brush dipped into the antiquing wax, and giving a quick stroke or two of the wax on my project. Don’t get overly ambitious and paint on a lot of antiquing wax at one time. Trust me. Almost immediately after stroking on the antique wax take your clean cloth and rub down the wax to create the look you want.
Also, if your antiquing wax gets a little stiff and doesn’t seem to be coming off the way you like. Again, give it a quick coat with some of the clear wax. I can’t tell you how great the two work together. The artist in me came out when I started playing with the antique wax. Aside from having tired hands by this time, it was fun.
Be careful to not work the wax with too much pressure. Some over zealous person (I don’t know who that would be!) managed to rub off the paint all the way to the wood in little minute spots. It worked out well for my distressed look, however everything is water based, and you are wetting everything again as you apply the liquid wax, so consider that when you get to rubbing hard on your project. Another possibility would be to let the wax cure an hour or so after buffing between clear and antique applications. At least that’s what I will do next time.
At some point in Louise’s life, someone decided that they needed to change out her door knob to something more practical. I’m not sure if it should stay or if it should be replaced with something more whimsical. What do you think?
So what do you think of Louise’s chalk paint makeover?
Isn’t she beautiful? FolkArt Home Decor Chalk and Wax transforms your everyday items into one of a kind treasures, or gives your one of a kind treasure a lovely face lift.
Since I had plenty of paint leftover, I thought it would be fun to paint a glass nut jar with FolkArt Home Decor Chalk for the photo shoot. I painted the color Castle first and then overcoated it with Sheepskin and gave it a light sanding to distress it a bit. I could wax it at this point, but I really like the ultra matte chalk finish and since it is simply for decor I just might leave it. Then again, I love antiquing with wax, so you never know!
Doesn’t the nut jar turned old-time canister look fabulous?
To make arranging the lilacs easier, I placed a tall glass filled with water inside the nut jar. It’s the little things. Always.
Now it’s your turn!
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