Saturday, November 9, 2013

Letting Go of Perfection

Welcome back for another episode of my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint therapy session!

You saw my recent post's on what I've been doing with ASCP here and here and here.

Well, another day, another color!

This time I used Country Grey which is not a grey at all. It's more of a beige-y color or as Annie herself describes it, a putty color.. Just as I see Paris Grey leaning blue, Country Grey leans more yellow and green and the dark wax seems to accentuate the yellow even more.

I scored this Hollywood Regency number at Goodwill for $27.00! A true bargain since I saw an identical table on ebay listed for $125. Really? And that was in its original red mahogany state! Whatever.

My parents had the same exact bedside table, so it tugged at my heart a little when I saw it.

It had a little wear and tear but nothing a coat of chalk paint couldn't fix.

Anyway, after researching a bit on chalk painting anything with a red/brown stain, I read over and over to first put on a coat of shellac to seal in the stain. Apparently, if that is not done, you will waste your time because the stain bleeds through the paint and creates a reddish mess.

Oh how I hate extra steps, but I heeded the warning and put on a coat of fast drying shellac.

 It made it all shiny and new looking!

But also sort of fake looking. Looks like plastic!

Being impatient and wanting to get on with the party, I opened my little sample jar of Country Grey and poured about 3/4 of it into a small tray and began painting.

And this is where the Letting Go of Perfection comes in.

The first coat always goes on streaky. Try as I might to go back over it with the brush, it always leaves some streaks. This is also where the magic of Chalk Paint happens too!

If you just let it go and wait for it to dry completely, you will come back and find that it doesn't look as bad as you thought when it was still wet.

The first coat took the 3/4 of my sample jar, which isn't really that much considering there are only 4oz. in a sample size jar. For the second coat, I added a little water to the 1/4 of what was left in the jar, put the top on the jar and shook it really well.

This watered down version is all it took to give my table a nice solid matte finish. Not even a full two coats! That's where the savings comes in. It doesn't take a lot of Chalk Paint to get full coverage!

I decided to add a wash of Old White over the Country Grey and let some of the white settle into some areas. I also decided to Clear Wax before distressing so I could see the difference since I had distressed before waxing on my last project.

Again, the perfection thing came into play!

I was going about distressing with 150 grit sandpaper and feeling good. I forgot that when wiping the wax back off it can also remove a little paint. So, when I got to the top surface of the table where the inlaid leather was, it ended up a little too distressed for my tatse.

My overzealous waxing removed a bit more paint than I would have liked.

Well, what's done is done, (another exercise in letting go of perfection), and I moved on to the dark wax. I knew I had to clear wax before adding dark wax. At least I got that right!

So, did I mention overzealous waxing? Yep. You guessed it! I was so gung ho on getting this done, I smeared the dark wax all over and then had a hard time wiping it all off to get the look I wanted. It seemed like it was drying too fast and not giving me a whole-lotta-time to remove it. It looked like I had been waxing it with a dirty baby diaper! I'll spare you the pictures but you get the idea!

By this time, I had the kitchen window wide open, even though it was thirty-eight degrees outside, because I had been working up a sweat waxing on and waxing off!

Luckily I had remembered reading that if you had used too much dark wax then you could remove it using some clear wax! Whew!

Using an inside-out white sock from our "socks without partners" basket in the laundry room, I dipped my sock-gloved-hand into the clear wax and went over the dark wax rubbing in circles to remove it. It worked like a charm! The dark wax was coming off on the sock. Hooray!

After all that and some buffing I was ready to call it a night. I was practically crossed eyed since it was now 11pm and I promised myself not to critique it anymore until I could see it with fresh eyes in the morning.

Here is the finished table.

It looks a lot lighter and creamier in this picture than it really is.

A few close ups.

Although I wasn't thrilled before hand, I am happy to say it is really growing on me!

This bed was looking for a bedside companion... seems the bed is now asking for a makeover too!


This really was an exercise in learning how unique each finished piece can be!

For a recap, ASCP Country Grey, a wash of Old White and clear and dark wax.

For a perfectionist, letting go and knowing when to stop takes some practice!

And because we all love a good before and after...

Perfection!  :)

Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

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  1. You put in a lot of labor to achieve the end result, however, what a gorgeous makeover! Worth your efforts. Love the color. Looks real nice beside the bed.

  2. It turned out great! It still amazes me how paint can give pieces a brand new life!

  3. I love it, it looks fabulous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, marty


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