One of the easiest ways to transform old furniture is to use chalk paint. Today, I am sharing how I chalk painted a coffee table using Annie Sloan Paint.
Chalk Painted Coffee Table Before and After
Something wasn’t working well in our family room. Our family/tv room is one of the main hubs of the home besides the kitchen. Since we spend a lot of time in the family room, we need to have a very functional space. We have a large sectional and up until this point, we had a round ottoman in front of it. While I loved the style of the ottoman, it was not a functional piece of furniture at all.
What ended up happening was that the ottoman is that everyone would set drinks or food on it and the items would tip or fall. Or someone would try to use it as a foot rest, but the ottoman was full of stuff. What I realized, is that we really needed a coffee table for the space and it needed to be rectangle.
Fortunately, I already had a solid coffee table that just needed a bit of TLC. I picked up the coffee table at our local Savers thrift store several years ago for $20. The table has been used many places including the toy room (as a Lego table) and a coffee table for our basement.
How to Chalk Paint a Coffee Table
I will preface by saying I am not a chalk paint expert. But, I have chalk painted numerous pieces of furniture over the years and the pieces have always turned out good enough for my purposes. There are times when I have considered hiring a professional to paint the old furniture, but then I convince myself that I can do it myself (and save hundreds of dollars).
This latest chalk paint project is officially my favorite piece! I learned a few things during this chalk paint project that I’ll share with you. First things first, you need to gather up all of the necessary chalk paint supplies.
Supplies to chalk paint old furniture:
- Paint Brush
- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
- Wax Brush
- Disposable cup or bowl
Annie Sloan Paint Brush
One thing I have learned about chalk painting is that good brushes make all of the difference. As I mentioned, I have completed numerous chalk paint projects. Yet, I have always used whatever brushes I had on hand for the project.
This time, I decided to invest the money into the Annie Sloan paint brush and Annie Sloan Wax Brush. I can honestly say it is worth the money especially if you plan to do more than one chalk paint project. The paint goes on so smooth with the Annie Sloan Brush. You will need to purchase your Annie Sloan paint for a local stockist or on the Annie Sloan website. You can read more about different type of chalk paint brushes in this post from Love Our Real LIfe.
I do not necessarily think you need Annie Sloan brushes, but I do recommend investing in decent bristle brushes that are meant for chalk paint.
Choosing the Right Chalk Paint Color
So, how do you decide what is the right color to chalk paint old furniture?
I can only speak about Annie Sloan chalk paint and I know that there are a lot of good chalk paint options out there. So, you can certainly consider different options. I’m always of the mindset to stick with what is working. So rather than try out a whole different line of chalk paint, I stick to the one I know.
The hardest part is picking out the right Chalk Paint Color. The best thing to help you with deciding on a paint color is to search Pinterest for chalk paint ideas. If you have a color in mind, you can even search for projects in that paint color.
That is the process I used to decide on Annie Sloan French Linen. I knew I wanted a gray color. So, once I narrowed down to a couple of paint colors, I looked for those colors on Pinterest to see actual project pieces in those colors. Also, if you have a local Annie Sloan stockiest nearby, the best thing to do is to go to the store and talk to a professional! Annie Sloan stockist are trained in all of the Annie Sloan colors and techniques. They have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to chalk painting.
I knew I wanted a bit of a driftwood/white washed look, so my stockist helped me to come up with the right paint combination. In addition to Annie Sloan French Linen, I also got Annie Sloan Old White to get the driftwood, white washed look.
You could even mix colors or lighten a color with white paint. There are honestly so many Annie Sloan paint colors to choose from.
Getting Started with Chalk Paint
The actual process of chalk painting is a lot easier than it might seem.
Step 1: Wipe down and dust the furniture piece.
The great thing about chalk paint is that you do not need to sand your project piece before you paint! The chalk paint is so forgiving that it covers up any imperfections.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of your Annie Sloan base paint color to a paint container.
I like to use a disposable bowl when painting with chalk paint. When the project is done, I can just throw away the bowl. You might only be using one Annie Sloan paint color. If you want a solid color look, you will only need to use one color. I have done several projects with just one color of chalk paint.
Step 3: Next, add the first coat of paint all over your furniture.
A little bit of paint goes a long way especially when you use an Annie Sloan brush. You just need to dip the top of your paint brush into the pain. Paint one layer all over the piece.
You do not even need to go in the same brush stroke direction as you paint. Keep a damp rag nearby for drips!
Let the first layer of paint dry completely.
Chalk paint dries very quickly especially if it is warm where you are painting. But, be sure to let the layer completely dry.
Step 4: Paint a second coat of paint and then let this layer completely dry.
Step 5: Now, add a thin layer of Annie Sloan wax.
You can use a few different tools to apply wax. Your options are the Annie Sloan paintbrush, any good bristle paint brush or even a clean rag. I have used all three of these options.
Just dip a little bit of wax onto your paintbrush. Again, I use a disposable bowl and I just add some wax into the bowl at a time. You are added a thin layer of soft wax over the entire paint project. Use a dry rag to wipe off any excess wax.
After you have waxed your project, you could stop here if you like your piece of furniture as is.
I opted to add a white wash layer.
Step 6: Once, the wax is dried, add the white wash layer of paint.
Dilute your white paint with water. The recommended mixture is 3 parts paint to one part water. But this is not an exact science. So, it really depends on how watered down you want the white to be. I started with a 2 to 1 ration of paint to water and decided the white was too thick. So then, I added in a little bit more water. I recommend playing around with the mixture in really small doses until you get the desired results you want. Then, you can pour your mixture into a bigger dose.
Paint and then wipe away the white layer.
My Annie Sloan stockist explained this part of the process to me and honestly it made me the most nervous. But, once you get going, it all clicks into place. For this layer, you will want to paint in the same direction. Use your paint brush and dip a little bit of white onto your brush. Brush your strokes in one direction and have a dry or slightly damp rag handy to wipe your brush strokes through.
Test the white wash on a smaller area and see if like the look of it before you do the whole piece.
Step 7: Add one more layer of wax.
Once the paint has dried, you will add a final layer of wax. This will protect your furniture from scratches, nicks and water stains. The wax will be dry to the touch pretty quickly. However, the actually curing process takes anywhere from 5-21 days. So, be very careful with your furniture for those first few weeks.
Step 8: Lastly, if you want a distressed look, you can sand your piece.
If you are wanting an aged, weathered look to your project, you can use sand paper for a distressed look. I like to start with a few small spots and then decide how much distressing looks good as I go.
Now, you are all done with the project! If the whole process still seems a bit daunting, you can start with a small project, like a picture frame and practice the techniques before you move on to a bigger project. It is nice to start with a thrifted or inexpensive item, because you do not worry too much about messing it up.
I am thrilled with our chalk painted coffee table. You would never believe that this chalk painted coffee table was once destined for the garbage. I am so glad that I hung on to it and was able to transform this old piece of furniture.
Chalk painting is a lot of fun and it brings new life to old things! Once you get started, you will want do to more painting. I have two more projects lined up now that this coffee table is done.
I am so happy to have a functional piece of furniture in our family room. It is so much more useful to have a rectangle coffee table. We use it set our drinks down and we store magazines and games in the bins.
Have you ever tried chalk painting?