Have you ever had a project that takes years to finish. This was one of those projects. It was on my “Honey-Do” list for two years. Mellow Man asked me to please, please finish it, and I did– earlier this fall. Honestly, I love how it came out, and was delighted when I found this high chair for sale at a consignment sale for $5. It seemed like a steal, and I figured that with a coat or two of painted, I could have a wonderful thrifted, chalky paint high chair that would look perfect in our dining room.
This is the first of a number of projects that I am doing with the chalky finish paint. I’ve painted many things before, but Chalky Paint or Chalk Finish Paint or Annie Sloan Chalk Paint feels a little different from the Behr paint that I typically used when painting my house. I got advice from my friend, Jill over at Weathered Pieces. She is a master painter and blogger, so she gave me some tips and tricks on how to make this thrifted high chair look its best. When I originally purchased this high chair, it was September 2013, and the Monkey had just turned a year old. I found it at my favorite children’s Consignment Sale. In fact there were two high chairs, but the second one had some splitting, which I thought might hurt little fingers. Regardless, the high chair was in rough shape.
I started by using the American Paint Company mineral based paint in Beach Glass directly on top of the original black paint of the high chair. I didn’t do any sanding or prep. I don’t have a lot of patience, and while I’ve done it when necessary, I do like that a chalky paint doesn’t require you to prep so much. On the other hand, the layers of paint that I used for this project, ended up making me wait, a really, really long time!
I used a sample size of the Beach Glass paint, and it was enough to get two good coats of the blue all over the high chair. Between coats, I tried my best to sand down any areas that had too much paint or looked rough. When I was done with the layers of Beach Glass, I actually (on the advice of Jill) put a bit of the clear creme wax down on areas that I wanted to have a more distressed, shabby chic appearance. Then I used a basic white Chalky Finish paint that you can find any popular craft start cover the Beach Glass paint.
This probably took another two coats to get the coverage that I wanted. Again, I did touch-up sanding as I went, and finally put down some more clear wax to help with the distressing I was going to do toward the end of the project.
My last layer of paint that I added was the grey. I liked it because it went well with the walls in my Dining Room (check out this post for a few images of my dining room). Upon completing the grey paint, I used a fine 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the layers of paint, and then I switched to a slightly finer grit (320) to begin distressing.
When the high chair looked like what I was imagining, and had sufficient level of distressing. I stopped. In some places, I sanded all the way down to the original black paint. The areas that I had put the wax on between the layers of paint distressed easily, and those areas were more easily distressed. I also wanted the rough spots of the chair to be smooth, so it didn’t hurt my little guys’ bums.
The last step is use the creme wax to cover the entire chair. This was a clear wax, and there are many different brands The American Paint Company wax is very thick, much like coconut oil (as is the wax by Annie Sloan), but other brands of wax, like the one that I’ve used with Decoart, are more like honey. They work in much the same way. You put a liberal coat all over the piece of furniture. Let the wax harden and set, and then buff the wax away. It really changes the look of the chalky finish. It also changes the texture of the paint, making it feel smooth and silky. I love it!
The next project up to share is the redesign of some old dining room chairs! What do you think of the chalk-style paints and waxes?