I had been looking for a piece for Hudson’s room and I could not find anything available for purchase that I just loved-even Restoration Hardware wasn’t doing it for me. Thats when I started searching about refinishing something and then the chalk paint and wax on Pinterest came up and my interest was piqued. The claims are amazing-paint over anything, no sanding, etc. I was sold. There are a few brands of Chalk Paint you can purchase but my crafty neighbor showed me some recipes on making your own with items I could get at Michael’s and Home Depot. I love me some DIY so that is what I did once I found a piece. One of my clients was cleaning out her grandmothers home and posted this gorgeous armoire for sale for $100 and I immediately saw the potential. I picked it up that day and went off to the store to get the things I would need. Now, you can buy all of the Alice Sloan brushes and paints (hard to find where I live) but you can also improvise for cheaper and get the same results! I am all about saving! So here is what I started with…cell phone pic by JessicaI forgot to take one before we started because I was so excited!
We took the hardware off and took the backing off, as well as the glass cabinets because I wanted a changer and to be able to hand things behind the piece (my loose inspiration was this piece by Restoration Hardware HERE). And then we were ready to begin.
First, we mixed the paint. Now I love a little shine/metallic so I got Eagle Brown and Silver Leaf by Martha Stewart in her Precious Metals collection from Home Depot. I got quarts mixed and then empty galloon buckets to mix them in. I followed this recipe pretty closely adjusting it proportionately to the quart size. Add more plaster if you want a more chalky/matte appearance; or better yet, don’t get metallic lol! Its on my Pinterest (follow me HERE).
So the Eagle Brown seemed to turn a little purple once mixed but I decided to make this a first coat (if you make it more chalky you won’t need a second coat unless you want to).
So I mixed up the Silver Leaf with the same recipe BUT I added some Deep Chocolate (exterior, thick paint by mistake but it worked-see you can’t mess this up!) so this was super thick but a gorgeous greige color.
So now it is time for Clear Wax. Basically you cover the entire piece with clear wax once it is dry. They make special wax but I just used the Minwax version. They also have special brushes but they look alot like a really overused paint brush so that is what I did instead of throwing it away!
And then you can distress it to your taste. I used 120/150 grit sandpaper blocks and paper. I am always afraid to do a ton but my neighbor, Gina, actually uses a hand sander and she distresses a lot and it looks amazing!
Once that is done you wipe off the stuff you distressed and get ready to make it your own. Again, you can get special dark wax but I went to Ace and they had both Light and Dark Brown – cell phone pic here of what I used. I wiped it on with stain pads:
And then I did something more, I did a kind of gilding. You can get silver or gold and brush it in the corners but what I did was mix the clear wax, the dark wax, a little dark liquid stain, and some gold and silver gilding paste from Michael’s and brushed it on for more dimension and shine. I used my old brush, the stain pad, and even one of the kids little paint brushes to get in the crevices.
I took this amazingly easy spray paint and painted the original hardware-I wanted to keep it as original as possible in this way. Plus, with antique pieces the hardware doesn’t fit a lot of modern hardware layout.
And I went back and added even more dimension with a gold/dark wax mix in just the corners.
I am so happy with the way it turned out – way happier than if I had spent $2500 on that Restoration Hardware piece! I just love it! I love it so much that I did my bathroom vanity similar yesterday-I mean who puts light wood with that granite?!