Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dresser Gets a Face Lift

After spending my entire birthday on airplanes and in airports, I arrived home a week and a half ago with only ten minutes left before the clock would strike midnight and my special day would be over.

Needless to say, I was exhausted and a bit depressed.

However, walking in to see my dining room not only decorated with streamers, presents, flowers and a cake . . . but also completely transformed was a total surprise.  Imani and Jason made the last ten minutes of my day so special and I realized that the best gift was returning home to my family. 

I was completely overwhelmed  when Jason handed me eleven hand-written pages that would become his first blog post (He didn't know the ins and outs of how to actually go on and post it himself . . . but I will teach him so that he can post again).

And he got my birthday wish, so all of you Giants fans can thank me.

His post was an inspiration for me to set aside time this weekend to blog about a project we finished a while ago, but I just hadn't had the time to write about.

Sometime shortly after New Year's, Jason and I finally got around to giving our bedroom furniture a little face lift.

You might remember we've altered one piece before.  Remember last year when Jason cut up a dresser (literally) to make room for a bassinet in our bedroom?!  It's definitely one of the crazier projects we've attempted so if you haven't read it, be sure to check it out here.

I've been wanting to get rid of the dark brown furniture for a long time, but we've been on a mission to save money and attempt to be debt-free (remember last year's resolution?)  We've done an AMAZING job so far, especially given that Jason is now a stay-at-home dad.

I haven't been happy with the color of the dressers and I hate that it all looks so manufactured.  I wanted something that was lighter in color and  looked more antique, more worn . . . but purchasing new (or antique) dressers was out of the question.   By the way, if you like the look of dark furniture that looks new, you should stop reading NOW because I'm about to share how to make this baby look older and worn.

I've already had some people come over to our house and see our finished product and think we've lost our minds.









"matchy, matchy"


Here is the original dresser, complete with antiqued brass handles.

Many of my followers of this blog suggested Annie Sloan Chalk paint to me and to be honest, I'd never heard of it before. 

After a little research, I discovered that Annie Sloan chalk paint is NOT chalkboard paint -- it's TOTALLY different.

Annie Sloan Chalk paint is like magic.

It requires NO primer.

And it can be used on just about any surface.

It's really magical.

So I found a dealer in Upstate New York -- the Purple Painted Lady, located in Palmyra, NY.  Tricia was super helpful in teaching me how to apply the paint and how to distress the furniture if that was the look we wanted.  If you need to get some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, check out the Purple Painted Lady online or if you live in Upstate New York, make the drive to the store - it's totally worth it!

I walked out spending roughly $62 with one jar of Paris Grey and one jar of wax.

At first, Jason was skeptical about using a can of paint on manufactured furniture without stripping it, priming it or prepping it in any other way.  He also didn't think the small can that Tricia sold to me would be enough to cover a large dresser and nightstand.

But he'd heard me talk about all I'd read about Annie Sloan Chalk paint online and he decided it was worth a try.

So Jason set off to work on the bedroom furniture (sorry for using the flash -- we were working at night and had a very hard time getting the photos right without the flash . . . a year later and I'm still figuring out my DSL camera)

He applied one coat directly to the nightstand.

It looked almost white when it was first applied, but it darkened up after it dried.  He didn't even need to add a second coat. 

We were amazed that this paint had virtually no smell either (and no, I'm not getting paid for this and I did not receive free paint.  We were just amazed by this paint).  Jason was painting it in our house at night and I was about to open every window in the house for fear of killing my kids from paint fumes, when I realized it didn't really smell (don't worry, Mom; I did open a window for ventilation so your grand kids were fine).

The Annie Sloan website says this paint gives off extremely low VOC's so it's good for the environment too. 

In fact, here are the reason's the paint is so special, according to the Annie Sloan website:

"1. It's the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way

2. No need to prime or prepare

3.Extremely low VOCs so it is good for the environment

4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out ( the outside of our shop was painted in it- perfect!)

5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain

6. The colours are mixed intelligently and the web site shows how you can adapt your colours for your use

7. It's a girls' paint, but boys can use it too.

8. It's flexible so you can be creative and change your mind

9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls

10. You can use it as an impasto ( thickly) - leave the lid off to thicken

11. We've been making it since 1990 so it's tried and tested"

After waiting for 24 hours, Jason distressed the dresser using 100 grit sandpaper and then applied a coat of Annie Sloan wax.

After applying the wax, he let it dry for 48 hours and buffed it using an old white t-shirt.
Then, he applied the new hardware I'd purchased at Hobby Lobby (on sale for 50% off).

I'm totally in love with the new look.  

And Jason is now obsessed with Annie Sloan Chalk paint.   He'll never use primer for furniture again.

Maybe I'll buy him a can for Valentine's Day.



  1. Stephanie,
    I have heard about this paint and bought some from a store here in Tampa, Robyn Story Interiors. Robyn even has mentioned it on her Blog many times. Anyhow, I bought it to redo a chair I bought at a flea market, but I haven't yet as I thought I would have to strip off the finish. I am so intrigued by your post as you did nothing to prep the dresser! Knowing this I may paint and wax my chair this week. Thanks so much for posting this info!! I follow you by email in case my name does not look familiar to you.

    Thanks so Much!!
    Huggs, Nancy

  2. Love love love! I've read all about the paint but was doubtful all was true...I thought it was even more expensive than you have said. Hmmm. I also have an old mixy matchy, dark sideboard (faux mahogany) that is now in my husband's study. He can't stand it, and with reason! So I've been debating what to do.
    So just one coat? Is the actual color a light gray? Do you have to use the wax? What does that do?? I have a feeling our piece would look just about like yours, and I adore what you've done. And, of course, new hardware is essential.
    Well, thank you BOTH for all the advance help: stay tuned!

  3. Wow...that is amazing - love how it turned out. Doesn't even look like the same piece! Great job.

  4. Stephanie! This is Trish...aka "The Purple Painted Lady!" I love ......LOVE how the dresser turned out! Great job. And wonderful write up. At my shop- if anyone comes in and would like to purchase Annie Sloan Chalk paint products and has never used them before- I will take the time to actually show them and have them (if they would like) to use it hands on- right then and there. Especially when it comes to the application of the wax- which is super easy to apply but can seem complicated to some. So- if you live in NY - and are anywhere in Upstate ....give me a call or email me. If you let me know when you will be visiting- I will make it worth your while not only with the selection of inventory, but more importantly - showing you and having you try the paint yourself- so when you get home- you have the tools and knowledge to paint everything! I also share with people- when purchasing paint through my on-line store- you receive me as your very own Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Consultant. Have a question with the paint- call me. Need help with selecting a color- call me. Customer Service is KING and in this case - QUEEN! Thanks for the post and I hope you stop in for your Valentine's Day can of paint!

  5. Stephenie,

    I attempted to leave a comment earlier in the week by our internet died during the process. The dresser is beautiful! I love the color. I knew you and Jason would love chalk paint once you tried it.

    Your Friend,

  6. Stephenie, it looks fantastic!! Great job!!!


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