Chace’s bedroom (see it here) is in a bit of a transition. Although I love his current bedroom, he is growing faster than my dog runs when she hears her treat jar open (FAST!) so his needs are changing. And as with most rooms, space is at a premium.
We had an awesome offer by one of Chef Kev’s friends (who is a carpenter) to build Chace a cool loft style ‘fort’ bed – a five-year-old’s dream! It isn’t complete, but knowing that it is coming got me thinking. The new bed will be real wood – fir, and Chace’s current dressers were fakey mcfakerson wood. They were two Ikea units in a birch shade. You can see them here on the left of this old photo (and look – his old change pad too – crazy!). The dressers themselves are great but it seemed time for a change.
Here is how I did it. After weighing my options, I decided to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. What really sold me was the fact that I didn’t have to sand or prime if using that product. Sold. Plus, I’ve been wanting to try chalk paint for some time. I’ve been seeing it pop up over the last few years on blogs and was curious about it.
For those not familiar with chalk paint, you can learn more about it here. Basically it is a new(ish) type of paint that goes on easily and dries in a smooth and chalky finish. After you paint, you seal your piece with either a clear or a dark wax. I used clear.
The colour I went with is called Provence and it is an EXACT match to the teal in Chace’s owl bedding. I actually wanted to do the dresser in the green (seen in the bedding) but the green in the chalk paint line wasn’t close enough. You can mix the chalk paint to get different shades, but since this was my first time using that product (and I’ve read there is quite a learning curve) I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
Chalk paint is also extremely low VOC so it doesn’t stink and is one of the healthier options out there. Yay for that.
Once I got the dresser home I set up shop in the living room.
So I gave that one area a quick sand to smooth it out. I know that I just said you don’t have to sand when using chalk paint, but the edges were raised here and I felt it would look better if I did that one extra small step there.
Nice faux woodgrain spray paint job isn’t it?
Here is a close up of one of the drawer fronts. Ah yes, Liberace gold and all. Oh feathering, you’re so pretty. Pretty fugly and pretty dated.
This is how I discovered that what looks like a tacky laminate finish, was in fact a crazy spray paint job. Laminate is okay to refinish but ideally should have a bit of thickness to it so that when you sand, you don’t go straight through to the board beneath it. I didn’t know at this point that I was going to use chalk paint so when I tipped the drawer over (at the seller’s house) to see how thick the laminate was, that is when I discovered it was actually paint.
See the overspray here on edge of the drawer? Yippee!
I should also note, since this dresser is older, I wanted to make sure each drawer went back in the right spot since I thought there may be opportunity for a drawer not to fit perfectly. To ensure this I took a moment to mark the bottom of each drawer when I was cleaning (R for right).
Double dip drill. Seems we had a second hole hiding under the flared edges.
I took a pull with me to Home Depot and took a peek down the hardware isle. I knew it might be difficult to find something that would hide the second set of holes but thought it was worth a look. Since I was going to be spraying them and the knobs black (so they would all match), I wasn’t too worried about the colour or finish.
This one caught my eye.
Since I knew I was spraying them, I thought I’d see if they had them in another finish for less money.
Once home, I checked to make sure they would work.
Everything then got a nice coating of matte black paint (that I had on hand).
And now we had a complete matching set!
Back to the painting of the dresser made me realize I didn’t really take any in-progress shots. I guess I was just too excited to start and once I get going I’m on auto-pilot. The paint went on REALLY well though. I used a foam roller and foam brushes so that I would not have any brush marks. The clean up was also a breeze. Nice.
Then I applied the wax. I simply used a lint-free cloth and rubbed it on liberally (as per directions and my online research. After that I followed with a second cloth to push the wax in and take off excess.
This is where I think I messed up. I must have put too much on (remember the learning curve I mentioned)?
You are supposed to be able to buff the dresser the next day and get a nice sheen. I tried that.
Whoops. Duller than a grade 11 math class.
Assembly was pretty simple. The screw/drill bit goes through the black ring, then you slip on the buffing cloth, pull the drawstring to tighten it and then slip the bit into your drill and lock it into place.
I buffed, and buffed and buffed some more. And in the end, I still wasn’t happy with the finish. I tried a few other things too – slipping a nylon over the buffing unit, a micro fiber cloth and even steel wool – and went to a lot of stores, but in the end I just had to accept failure and take it as a lesson. Chef Kev says the finish is fine but it will probably bug me for a long time. Sigh. Oh well. Luckily you can’t really notice it in the lighting in Chace’s room. I guess the ornery teenage won.
Other than that, I am happy with the dresser. I’ll know for next time – less wax.
Oh, and before I forget, I had one more small fix to make too. The sliding bracket came off one of the drawers.
To fix it I tried some glue that I picked up at Home Depot (called Weldbond) that is supposed to be able to bond most things together – it worked awesome! I’ve even used it since to fix a broken piece of lego. This glue is a major score.
Application was simple, a bead of glue, brush it out. Wait about 1-2 minutes until it begins to haze, put the glued surfaces together and give them a teeny tiny twist to lock the glue down. Money. Love this glue.
Okay! So I think my rambling it complete! Incase you forgot, here is the BEFORE…
Here are the new pulls…
And the old knobs.
I am obsessed with this wavy vintage detail.
And think he’s got some other good pick-up lines too.
As for what went on top, Chace’s LeapReader books and his piggy banks (currently hoarding money for Skylander acquisitions). Five-year-old priorities.
And on the other side, his stereo and collection of tunes. And an awesome soccer ball bowl.
You know, to hold your Ninja Turtle watch and boy bracelets as one does.
Oh, and the finish – you can see it here. It’s okay. I’ve hear no complaints from Chace. The perfectionist in me wishes it was better but sometimes you just need to let things go (cue the Frozen song).
And see that lone off-centred piece of robot art? As much as I love him, his days are numbered. Of course I will post what I do there when I do it :).
Has anyone else tried Chalk Paint? What did you think? Painted any new pieces of furniture lately or scored and sweet CL deals? soccer Dish!