Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Karla's Chalk Paint Projects

Today I have a few chalk paint projects from Karla to share. If you know anything about Karla, then you know she is a totally neutral, earth-tone loving girl. And her go-to color is always green. Karla pretty much paints everything green. "It may not be very exciting, but it is a safe color." As Karla say, "Green is my color!" So when it came time to give chalk paint a try, Karla started with a can of Olive. Her order came right away, but she waited for the perfect starter piece.

This cute little dresser originally belonged to Karla's grandmother, who lived to be 101 and a half years old! Karla's father had been using the dresser up until recently, when he decided that he needed to upgrade to a nice tall "manly" dresser with deep drawers. Karla offered to find and paint a piece for him, but he said he didn't want anything "painted" and would prefer to buy something "new" from a furniture store. And when Karla told him she'd take the old dresser, he didn't understand why she would want "that old thing". Needless to say, we all got a big chuckle from Karla's dad!

The piece was actually in great shape, just "brown and blah". Karla thought the glossy top made it a perfect candidate for chalk paint.

She gave it two coats of Olive, distressed and then glazed with Minwax Express Walnut (the one in the tube).

Karla kept the original hardware, but updated it up with a little oil rubbed bronze from Krylon.

Now it's cute and updated! I wonder what Karla's grandmother would think?

Next up was a classic 1970's entertainment cabinet that came from The Mission Store. Before chalk paint, Karla says she would have passed on anything this shiny.

According to Karla, it was sooo shiny you could see your reflection in the finish. It was blinding on a sunny day in her driveway!

But seriously, this is a nifty little cabinet with a shelf inside and ventilation holes in the bottom.

This cabinet got the same distressing and glazing as the dresser.

And Karla added a cute new knob too.

Karla has a great eye for just the right amount of distressing.

What a great little cabinet! I could see so many ways to use it. And yes, it is functional and totally neutral, just the way Karla likes it!

With just a bit of Olive paint left in her can, Karla decided to spruce up this really cool mail sorter.

The cubbies are fabulous, but would have been a nightmare to paint.

So Karla just sanded the cubbies for a nice distressed look and gave the outside one coat of Olive for a great two-toned look. Just think of the organization possibilities!

So there you have it, one can of Olive chalk paint and three great little projects. Done and done, as Karla likes to say! And what does Karla think of chalk paint? First of all, she really liked the Olive color - totally neutral. She thought it was definitely a splurge. The biggest draw for Karla was the ability to skip the sanding and priming steps and that the paint sticks directly to shiny surfaces. Since finishing her first can of chalk paint, she has passed on several shiny pieces of furniture. She also thought the paint was thick and a bit hard to spread. Although she is happy with her projects, she is relatively unimpressed with the chalk paint. For now, Karla is sticking with other paint and primer in one products. She can still skip the priming step without the high cost of the chalk paint. You should also know that Karla loves using a roller to paint and that gives her furniture a bit of a texture that totally changes the finished look of the chalk paint.

There are four of us painting furniture here at Elizabeth & Co. And there is a range of different opinions on the chalk paint. Susan loves it and is using it on everything. I think the finish is unique and it is great option for certain applications. I will continue to use it, along with lots of other products. Karla thinks there are better options. And Roxane is interested in trying it, but taking a wait and see approach. She thinks you can achieve a similiar look with less expensive products.

Bottom line, I think you should experiment and give new products and techniques a try. It's such fun to play! See what combinations work for you. And it might be different for different pieces. Sometimes you will look at a piece and instantly know exactly what it needs. Other times, you need to give it a little time. But in the end, it will be uniquely yours!

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Curvy And Straight

This is the tale of two cute little side tables that could not be more different - one curvy and one straight! It all started with a request from Cari who is decorating a beach house. Cari came to our spring sale and went home with a boat load of furniture.

Cari sent me an email asking if I had anything that would work as an additional bedside table. I sent her pictures of a variety of choices and she fell in love with this curvy girl.

She asked for blue. Again I sent her a variety of choices and we settled on Mariner Blue from the Martha Stewart line, although I had it mixed in the Behr Ultra Premium Plus Paint and Primer in One - love skipping that priming step!

That little top shelf is so sweet!

And Cari asked for a cute knob. I think this one qualifies.

Don't you just love the curvy lines and the soft cottage feel? And in that shade of blue, she's just perfect for a beach house!

When Cari picked up her bedside table, she brought me another table that she no longer wanted. With it's formal feel and straight lines, it was such a contrast to the first one.

I had a brand new can of chalk paint in Provence that I was anxious to open, so I started painting immediately.

I used Old White as an accent color.

Again, I used the Annie Sloan soft wax. I love the way it goes on so smoothly, but it does take some time to set-up properly before you can buff it.

I think this one has a very prim and proper feel!

So there you have it, two completely different side tables - one curvy and one straight!

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