Sunday, February 24, 2013

Before and After: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Armoire

I've been curious about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for a while now. People talked about this magical paint that sticks to everything without primer, and looks buttery smooth after a good waxing. I'd never seen it in person though, and the idea of ordering something that costs around 35.00 a quart sight unseen from an online vendor was not appealing.

If you're wondering, "What is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?" Click here to go to the website for all the deets.

Anyway, my friend Sara bought some chalk paint in Tampa! She showed me her Annie Sloan Chalk Painted furniture, and it was so pretty, and smooth, and she loved it. It almost convinced me to order it online!  And then,  she told me I didn't have to order it online! There's a little shop half an hour away that sells it.

I finally went over there the other weekend to check it out. The shop is delightful!  It's the Sweet South Cottage, and they sell custom painted furniture, and cute shabby chic decor in addition to the ASCP. Everyone was so nice, and I even got to chat with the shop owner and catch a glimpse of some of her recent projects. 

They have a studio out back where they work on projects, offer painting workshops for groups, and they even rent it out for parties. It's basically the cutest thing I've ever seen.

It's a place of old ladders, old windows, exposed beams, and pretty stenciled floors. And through the windows you can see the shop owner's house that has turrets and gables and is painted in all the colors of soft delicious cotton candy. I want to go to there.

Side note: The drive out to the store was so pretty. This was early February, and these little white flowers were blooming all along the side of the highway. I was thinking about how glorious the weather is, and how people in other places are actually building snowmen right now, while I cruise down the road in 75 degree weather, looking at the closest to snowbanks Florida has to offer.  (So, of course, I stopped to take a picture like a crazy person. Thats normal...)

 Anyway, I finally got the chance to try out the fabled Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! I bought a quart of "Coco" and got to work painting the dresser we had stripped and sanded the weekend before.

Without further ado, I bring the very poorly lit before and almost after of the little dresser that fell into our laps at the most opportune moment:

Tiny dresses!! They make me talk in a high pitched voice and I can't help but throw the door open and show Cory itsy bitsy clothes every chance I get. He loves it.

Anyway, back to the paint.  I know you don't have to strip and sand before you use the paint. Thats kind of the whole point. But, the dresser was in bad, bad shape. The polyurethane had bubbled up over the years leaving a thick, scaly texture all over wood. So, we had to sand for a while to prep it. (Strike 1, not the paint's fault)

The sample color of "Coco" lead me to believe that the color has more of a chocolatey tone, but it really reads as more of a beigey gray on my dresser.  I swear, even the sample in the store looked a little darker. I don't know if I just got a fluke quart of paint, or maybe I didn't stir the paint well enough? I may try the dark wax on it later, to see if that deepens the color to more what I was expecting. (Strike 2)
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco, sample via

Overall, I like the finish a lot. Once I went over everything with steel wool it became super smooth and will only get better once I finish applying the wax (I said it was an almost after). The paint went on really well with 2 coats, and the coverage was good. For a piece that didn't need the sanding to fix the surface problems, it would definitely be a time saver.

I'm glad I tried it. I would  use it again for big pieces like dressers and tables that I really like, and plan to keep for a long, long time (at 35.00 per quart, momma's gotta love it to spend the dough). Next time, before I leave the store I'll ask to see a sample of the quart I'm actually buying to ensure I get the color I expect. Luckily I still like this color! So it all worked out.

And, of course, I need some advice. Perhaps you noticed that I have three different knobs on the drawers currently. I was playing around with a few different types from my knob stash (I don't know why I have a knob stash, I just do...), and now I don't know which one I like best! For me, its a tie between option #1 and #3. What's your vote?


Katie said...

It looks awesome!! I love chalk paint. Have you ever tried to make it yourself with plaster of paris? A lot of my furniture is painted with chalk paint that my MIL made! It is way cheaper.

But I seriously LOVE that color!

Katie said...

Oh, and I vote #1! :)

Kristen said...

I've never even heard of this kind of paint! Now I want things to repaint!!

I actually love the second knob!

sara raquel said...

I'm glad you finally got try it, even though you had mixed feelings about it. And I really like knobs 2 and 3, I think since its for a a baby girl I would vote number 2. The armoire is really cute too, I'm sure there's a story behind where you picked that baby up ;)

Tanya said...

It looks really good! In the close-up pictures I think it looks more like that sample. I actually really like knob #2 as well.

The Hargretts said...

Love the color and the tiny dresses ::high pitch voice:: You are going to have one stylin' little girl. I would have to say I vote for either #2 or #3 because I like how the white pops out. Either one works just #3 is easier for little hands to grab and pull I feel like so that's something to think about. =)

Kourtney said...'re so amazing! Could I keep you? Wait a second, I'm tied to you for LIFE!! SO happy to have a fabulous sister that's you!

I vote for these knobs:

But if I'm choosing from your three options, #2 is sweet for a little girl and #3 is more functional.

freya said...

Oh that venue!! Man! Those flowers! Why must it be in the boondocks??
Love the dresser, especially with your cute clothes and things! And I vote #2!

The Miller Family said...

Love that dresser!!! I vote for knob #2! Adorable!!! (But if 2 is out for you, and you're between 1 and 3, I would go with 1)

Erica said...

LOVE IT! You are awesome!

Tams said...

I actually like the way it looks with all different knobs. :)
I also like the ones your sister suggest from anthro.

I'm hoping to chalk paint some things myself soon. Thanks for your post!