That’s what grandmas do.
Unfortunately, Kacey’s $15 garage sale table and chairs looked like this at 8:30 this morning:
I’ve been dying to create the latest “driftwood” or “weathered wood” look. However, the weathered wood products on the market call for hours of sanding to get to the bare wood, and we didn’t have that kind of time.
I’m all about instant gratification, so if I can start and finish a project, stage it and photograph it before lunch, it jumps to the top of my DIY list of to-dos.
That is why BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder is my go-to for projects like this.
No sanding. No priming. Just start painting.
This little gem was about to get “weathered”…
The table. Not the baby.
It was the perfect test candidate, not just because I knew we could knock it out in record time, but because I knew Kacey and Blaire would agree to be my project partners for the day!
For the base of the table and the chairs, we chose “Devine Horizon” from Target’s Devine Color line. We mixed this small jar with just 2 tablespoons of BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder to make our own custom chalk paint. Click here for easy mixing directions.
For the weathered wood table top, I pillaged through my workshop paints for greys, browns, white, and black. These were already mixed into chalk paint. Time savers galore coming my way today!
I love these squeeze bottles for painting during workshops, but I’ve come to really love them for every day painting as well. You’ll see why in a moment…
Before I could get to painting, there were a few small souvenirs from the previous owner that needed attention, including stickers, scotch tape, nail polish, glue, and at least one unidentified glob of goo.
Dang, I didn’t avoid ALL prep this time around…
Luckily, armed with a chisel and my hair dryer, it took me about two minutes to remove the above-mentioned.
Kacey made a quick pass over the chairs with a damp cloth to remove a few “sticky finger” remnants, and tackled painting the blue parts, while I took on the “weathered wood” look for the table top.
The first thing I did was “kiss” my paint brush with water. Even when I’m not using a “wet” technique, “kissing” my brush with water first keeps paint from thickening on my brush for subsequent reloading.
For this technique, however, I wanted my brush a little wet to apply a “lime wash” over the whole table top. After swirling my slightly wet brush in about two tablespoons of white paint I’d put on a plastic plate, I painted long broad strokes with the grain.
Sometimes, I will wipe off excess or “drippy” paint with a cloth, but I didn’t need to this time since I really just wanted a quick white base.
If you ever try this technique on a previously varnished surface, you may notice the paint beading up slightly. If that happens, it’s only because your paint is wet. Just move your brush over the area as the paint dries, and the beading will go away.
If you are super careful like I am, you will take measures to be neat and tidy, and you’ll paint over a drop cloth.
If you’re not as neat and tidy as you think, you may miss the cloth.
Good thing chalk paint wipes up so easily, because I ALWAYS paint indoors, and I ALWAYS miss the drop cloth!
The white lime wash base was dry before I finished snapping pictures, so I moved right along to adding more colors. I played with several shades and several brush sizes, always using broad, even strokes. In some cases I applied paint more “dry” and with a lighter hand. In other cases, I applied a second color immediately following the first so the colors would blend slightly.
At one point, I got smart and just started squeezing paint in strips where I wanted to add a color.
I made sure to step back every once in awhile to take in the overall look. At one point, I felt like it looked a little “striped,” so I threw on a quick color wash of brown paint. That’s basically a lime wash over existing color. By wetting my brush before adding paint, I was able to apply a translucent coat of color that helped blend the “stripes.”
I made a quick pass with 3M 220 grit sandpaper to smooth and see if any texture or dimension was waiting to come through.
After about 30 minutes getting the top “weathered” just right, it was time for my favorite part.
I feel like this is when a piece comes to life. I chose to go straight to dark wax, but I only recommend this if you are familiar and comfortable with dark wax. My favorite wax on the planet is BB Frösch Premium Finishing Wax because it glides on like butter, and it dries and cures within minutes, not days or weeks like some of the other brands.
It’s that whole instant gratification thing again.
***NIFTY TIP ALERT***
If you want to experiment with dark wax and aren’t sure you will like the finished look, I suggest clear waxing first. Then apply dark wax. If you decide you have too much dark wax, or don’t totally love the look, you can “erase” the dark wax with clear wax.
***NIFTY TIP ALERT #2***
Figuring out the right amount of wax to use can be a little challenging, especially when working with a quick drying wax like BB Frösch. By “buttering” a thin layer onto my wax brush, I find I get just the right amount.
I always apply dark wax with the grain. I feel like applying dark wax in a circular motion makes my piece look “muddy.”
By using broad, even strokes to apply the wax, it is easy to see when the wax begins to dry and when it’s time to reload your brush. Although I was able to move most of the wax with my brush, I used a lint free wax cloth to make sure I removed any excess. You can tell when you go from the “removing excess” stage to the buffing stage because your cloth will glide easily over your piece, and you will start to see a shine. I wasn’t going for high shine, so when I hit this point, I moved on.
Meanwhile, Kacey finished painting the chairs and table base in the blue chalk paint we’d created. It took two coats in most areas, but three in some. You can see in this picture that the mixed jar of paint is still half full after completing the whole project.
Can we take a moment to discuss what incredible coverage that is?!?
The table base and chairs took only HALF A JAR of paint! Even at $4.99, that’s awesome! Of course, in my mind it only cost $2.50 since we still have half a jar left.
The table top took 2-4 Tablespoons each of five different colors. Of course, I already had the mixed chalk paint on hand, BUT! Even if I had to buy a sample jar of each color ($2.97 at Home Depot), it still would have only cost $14.97.
For you math lovers, the total cost of paint and BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder was less than $30—for SIX colors, and I still have all but a few tablespoons of each color left for future projects! Accounting for all the paint I have left, the actual cost was closer to $5.
That is a mathematic impossibility with boutique brands of chalk paint, or even with the premixed brands at the home improvement stores. Besides that, I got to choose the exact colors I wanted.
Now’s the part where you get super glad you made it through my little math tangent…
Does anyone else haul their stuff across the street to the neighbor’s for photo shoots? That’s how we roll here in Vegas when you don’t have grass and the neighbor does.
We call it grass envy.
When borrowing your neighbor’s lawn and they’re peaking through the front window, you can’t be too picky about the sun shining through the leaves of the tree and making your table-top looked spotted.
How about that adorable Peabody and Sassafrass sign?
I got a little carried away and decided to “weather” a crate I found at Home Depot.
This is how our photoshoots go…
After about 50 attempts to get a good shot of Blaire with her new table, she threw in the towel…