It started with a dream. A dream to turn this sweet little wood desk I spotted at my local Goodwill into something beautiful!
From the moment I saw this desk I knew I had to upcycle it. (Any other DIY’ers ever feel like furniture pieces beg you to make them pretty?) I loved all the detail and the charm of its smaller size. I wanted to give it a facelift but also keep its vintage details in tact.
Enter: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. My current paint obsession. Not only does Annie Sloan require NO Sanding and NO priming – but the classic beauty of the Old White color ensures this piece will always look beautiful regardless of trends and fads.
Step 1: Paint piece with 3 coats of Paint.
Takes only 30 minutes to dry between coats. Another reason I love Annie’s paint! I used a small foam roller brush on the larger sections, a regular paint brush, and trim paint brush for the other sections.
Step 2: Pick the correct Sand paper
After all coats have dried its time to decide how intense you would like the distressing to look.
I first used a fine grit sand paper, but that seemed to be taking a while to get through the paint, so I switched to a medium grit sand paper. These should be at any hardware store or through *Amazon.
I would recommend having both kinds on hand and starting with the fine grit sand paper because it is always easier to distress more, than to have to go back and “un – distress.”
I know, because when I switched to the medium grit sand paper, I started going a little crazy with the distressing. Maybe I had some pent up aggression that day or something, because I just started sanding every surface I could find. When I stepped back to look at it, it looked like long deep kitty claw scratches were all over my masterpiece. Ugh, frustration! Fortunately Annie Sloan paint covers a multitude of painting sins, and so I repainted the areas I had distressed too heavily, and it covered flawlessly. Which brings me to my next point…
Step 3: Plan the areas you want to distress, before sanding.
A good place to start with distressing is on corners, side and details already on the piece.
This piece had some unique lines on the drawers, so I put the sand paper in between the lines and rubbed to bring out the detail.
If you want some additional distressing beyond the sides and detailing, take your sand paper and rub on a few random spots throughout the piece. Once again, let me caution you from my own mistake, start with a small amount of distressing and then build from there if you decide you want a heavier distressed look.
Step 4: Clean up
When you sand a piece of furniture there will be a fine layer of paint dust all over your piece. I would recommend distressing outside or in a garage that is well ventilated. I took a Swifter Duster and brushed a lot of it off, then our shop vac worked great to vacuum up the dust on the floor and the dust still remaining on the piece. Just be careful if you are vacuuming your piece to hover the hose over the furniture or lightly on it so the hose doesn’t scratch it.
Step 5: Seal the Furniture.
Option #1 – Annie Sloan Soft Wax in Clear
For this option you will need to buy Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax. Annie Sloan waxes and paints are only sold through specific distributors. If like me, you do not live near a location that sells Annie Sloan, you may need to purchase it online. Find an Annie Sloan Distributor.
You will also need a wax brush it will not work to use a regular brush ( I tried!). I bought mine through an Annie Sloan distributor that does not sell online. I found a similar one through Amazon. Normally I would never direct you to a brand I hadn’t tried myself, but last year (not living near a distributor) I spent hours searching online and at craft stores locally and was not able to find one – I don’t want you to go through that same frustration! I was excited to see that *Amazon finally sells one! Clear Wax will gives it a matte affect and I think worked beautifully on my desk, keeping it true to its Shabby Chic look. The Clear Wax takes a while to get used to. This is my favorite You Tube Clear Wax Tutorial from Simply Reinvented.
Option #2 – Mini Wax Polycrylic Sealer in Clear Gloss
I bought mine at Home Depot.
I used this sealer over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Old White” on a dresser and bathroom cabinets I refinished. You can see in the photos it gives it a much glossier and modern feel. For this sealant option, you will need to paint 3 coats. Dry time between coats is 2-3 hours. I found it to be closer to the 3 hour mark. However, they were drying in a garage during a Texas summer – hot and sticky. So I would imagine in dryer climates it would not take so long.
This sealant needs a high quality synthetic bristle brush. I found mine at a local hardware store. Also available on *Amazon.
I hope this post gets those creative juices flowing! Have you upcycled any furniture lately? I would love to hear about it!
*(Note: Clarity with Charity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. These are my amazon affiliate links, if you should decide to buy them, I receive a tiny percentage.)