(I’m sharing this project as my first contributing post over at the SNAP! Blog. Please hop on over and check out this great blog. I’m going to be attending the SNAP! Conference for creative bloggers this April, and if it’s something you might be considering as well, I encourage you to register soon! Tickets are selling quickly and are sure to sell out. I’d love to see you there!)
I picked up this sturdy old dresser from the local Craigslist. It’s mammoth weight and the dove-tail joints told me that despite it’s ho-hum appearance, this piece was built to last and needed a fresh new look so it could be loved and enjoyed again.
DIY Chalk Paint Recipe
I’ve been hearing about different methods of making your own chalk paint at home. I’m always for ANYTHING that saves me moolah!! After some research and on the recommendation of some furniture refinishing friends, I settled on trying out this recipe:
(It actually ended up being way too much paint for the body of this dresser, and I would think a half recipe would cut it for most projects.)
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed working with it! I’ve only had one experience with the pricey chalk paint (that shall remain nameless) so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I applied the paint without priming or sanding and the adhesion was great!
A tip if you try this recipe out for yourself: Don’t try and overwork the paint. Just lay it down and let it set. If you try to brush it on and keep brushing over, it will just lift up, and you’ll get ticked off.
This beachy blue gray color (a mis-tint I picked up from the hardware store) took 2 coats to cover, each coat taking about 30 minutes to put down. Quick and easy!!
After the paint was set up, I did quite a bit of hand-distressing with some 120 grit sandpaper to give it a beachy kind of look. After that was done, I applied Minwax Paste Finishing Wax with a clean rag (I keep our old t-shirts around for just this purpose) and when that was set, buffed to a nice luster with another clean rag.
The original wood pulls got the same treatment as the dresser’s body, but I wanted to bring in a natural wood treatment on the drawers for a two-tone look that is SUPER hot in design right now.
Weathering Wood with Tea and Rusty Vinegar
To achieve a time-worn, antique looking wood finish I tried another internet method that has intrigued me, and it was so fun and remarkably effective! Using just a strong brew of tea and a concoction of rusty vinegar, you can age any wood to weathered gray.
- First, fill a glass container with white vinegar, some fine steel wool, and something rusty. (I added the “something rusty” part. The online recipes I saw just said to put the steel wool in the vinegar and it would start to turn a dark brown, but after leaving it soak overnight, no such thing happened to mine. I’m not sure why. The next day, I decided I would try and put a rusty ol’ valve that I had in there too, and that seemed to do the trick for me.)
- Brew a strong cup of tea (I used Lipton Black Tea, but I think just about anything you have that isn’t an herbal tea would work.)
- Remove any finish that’s on the wood with sandpaper.
- Paint on the tea and let it completely dry (about 20 minutes or so).
- Apply the rusty vinegar with your steel wool, then watch the magic happen as this dries! You’ll end us with a nice weathered, gray wood!
With the addition of some Howard Feed-N-Wax, you can take the gray, weathered wood to a deep, natural brown that is stunning! This is life changing, people. I may never use stinky canned stains again. Who knew you could get this look completely naturally? I sure didn’t.
And here are the beauty shots. I could totally see this piece is a little boys room, or a beachy guest room. TONS of great storage!
On an unrelated note, take a quick look at the weeping willow tree in our backyard…
Yep! Those are buds! Spring is just around the corner!
(Our early springs and late falls in Arizona might make you in colder regions jealous, but you’ll be laughing at me come mid-summer when it’s as hot as the lowest setting on your kitchen oven!)
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