Over the years, I have refinished a few pieces of furniture by sanding them down, staining them, and applying a sealant. However, I haven't had the chance to try the chalk paint that seems to be taking over the DIY home decor world so I thought I better give it a go!
We decided that our living room furniture could use a fresh, new look so that set was first up to get painted with chalk paint. Back in our university days, we purchased a Hemnes tv bench from IKEA and we really liked the simple look of it, so we added to our collection with a Hemnes coffee table and side table (that IKEA no longer sells so I can't include the link - sorry!). Our living room furniture has held up really well structurally, but the brown-black colour that we purchased no longer flows smoothly with the rest of our decor so that's why we decided that we would love to take this opportunity to paint the set white. With a busy toddler in the house that could damage furniture any moment, we love the idea of giving our living room furniture a fresh look with paint instead of investing our money in new furniture at this stage in our lives.
Here are some before photos of the furniture:
You will also notice in this before photo that we were keeping the speaker on top of the tv bench which didn't result in the clean look that we like. So we decided to start this refresh project by cutting into the piece of wood that separated the open shelf space into two sides. Once this cut was made, we sanded the cut down so it would have a smooth finish again. This quick cut enabled us to sit the speaker on the shelf above the two drawers.
In past refinishing projects that I have worked on, the next step would typically be to sand the piece of furniture, but since chalk paint is known for its fantastic adhesion, I did not have to do any sanding other than where we cut the hole on the shelf for the speaker. What a nice step to be able to skip since nobody loves sanding and all of the dust that it creates!
The next step was to take off the hardware and tape off anything that shouldn't be painted. We used Rust-Oleum Chalked Interior Paint and we chose the colour 'Linen White'. I primarily used a mini roller to apply the paint since I am not a fan of paint brush streaks. However, we still had to use a paint brush to get into some of the corners. I applied the first coat of paint and then followed the dry time instructions on the can to apply a second coat of paint.
After the two coats of paint were dry, I took a very close look at each piece and found a couple of drips that I didn't catch in time to smooth them out while they were wet. So I went ahead and created a 'distressed' look in these spots by sanding out the drips with a sanding sponge.
I continued to choose other edges, corners, and spots that I thought would look good with a little distressing and I lightly sanded them down to the brown-black layer. I distressed spots until I liked the overall look of the piece of furniture. I continued to run my hand over the furniture to find any areas that felt a little rough to touch and I proceeded to ever-so-lightly sand these spots.
Next, we brushed all the dust off the furniture with a dry paint brush. You could certainly use a dry cloth or a vacuum (with an end that won't scratch the furniture). And then we applied Rust-Oleum's Ultra Matte Chalked Clear Protective Topcoat. We used the spray paint, but it also comes in a liquid form as well if you feel like you would like to apply it a little thicker. The sides of the furniture only required one coat of topcoat, however, we added a second coat of protective topcoat on shelves and on the tops of all the pieces of furniture. We applied the topcoat in the garage, with the overhead door open, with a fan running because this stuff had a pretty intense stink to it.
We loved the fresh look that we achieved with the chalk paint. And I loved the chalk paint itself as well and here's a few reasons why:
- We were able to apply the paint without sanding the furniture first
- The adhesion was good
- The paint sanded very easily with a sanding sponge, allowing me to easily create the distressed look that I am loving these days
- The paint dried very quickly so we were able to get the 2 coats of paint applied, some sanding to create the distressed look, as well as the two topcoats completed in a couple of evenings.
- The final result was a matte, creamy look that I really love
- So far, it's holding up to our toddler really well
1- 887 ml paint can @ $26 = $26
3 - 312 g spray cans of top coat @ $9 each = $27
Spending $53 to extend the lives of 3 pieces of our living room furniture sounds like a pretty good deal to me since we're not really interested in buying a new tv bench, coffee table, and side table when we have a busy little boy in the house right now. The white living room furniture makes the whole space look light and fresh. We were happy with the impact we were able to make in the living room with $53 and a few hours of work - I can see why the chalk paint is a hit!
Here's some final photos of the furniture:
Easy as pie. Mmmmm pie.