I finally made the decision to transform my dining room into an office. This is a beautiful room in my home and the first one you see when you walk through the front door. So, now that I have chosen function for this space over only using it twice a year as a dining room, I still want it to be pretty. So out went the dining room table and in came the desk. Only, it was kind of an eye sore.
This desk came to be many years ago when we replaced our kitchen table. Yes, this used to be a kitchen table! I wanted a large desk and it seemed wasteful not to use this. So, luckily my grandfather came to the rescue. He custom built the shelves and we attached them to the table. Voila.... a desk was born!
Now years later, I really wanted to elevate this to something more sophisticated. So I decided to try the famous Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I new this would disguise this former kitchen table and make it look expensive. I did some research online and watched some tutorials. I went for it and absolutely love the end result!
So, I will share with you the process I used to achieve this look. It truly was not difficult at all. Begin with the right tools. Find a dealer that sells Annie Sloan's products or purchase them online. The products are not cheap but are really worth it. I purchased 1 quart of the Chalk Paint in Old Ochre , 1 can of the Clear Soft Wax, 1 can of the Dark Soft Wax, a medium round paint brush and a petite wax brush. The brushes are an investment but you can use them on future projects and they make the job much easier. I spent $153.75 + tax and I still have product left over for another project.
There is really no need to sand or prime your piece. This paint allows you to skip that step which is great! I just had one place where some tape would not come off. So I lightly sanded it and cleaned the piece well. Then it was time to paint! Just brush on the paint. No need to be super careful with it but try to go mostly in the direction of the grain. Brush strokes and some texture will look nice once waxed later. I just made sure that the desktop surface was fairly smooth for writing on.
Yikes this really looks golden in this picture. Don't worry too much about the color right now. It dries differently and the wax process will transform your color. However, one great thing about Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint is the ability to mix your own colors. Simply mix in either the Old White or Pure White Chalk Paint with any of her colors and you can easily achieve your own variation.
The paint dries quickly and has a great matte soft finish, the "chalky" look. Depending on your piece of furniture and the color you've chosen, you may need to do a second coat of paint. I did a light second coat on this piece.
Once your piece is dry, it's time for the clear wax. I used one of Annie's wax brushes. Dip your brush into the wax and simply rub it back and forth on your piece. Some places I used a circular motion to get into crevices or molding details. It goes on very easy and you can see a slight color change where its been applied. Work in sections and rub the excess off with a soft cloth or cheese cloth. It's a bit like applying lotion. You want to rub it in and don't want it to be greasy afterwards. This process seals the paint and gives the piece a bit of luster. I did two coats for extra protection since this is a piece that will get a lot of use. I waited overnight to let the wax fully absorb before doing the next steps.
I you want a distressed look, you can lightly sand with fine sand paper. Be sure to sand in areas that would naturally have wear like corners and edges. Then wipe clean afterwards.
Now on to the dark wax. This is the scariest step for some people. It looks like a can a shoe polish and is very dark. Don't worry though. This wipes off and you can always add more. So using the wax brush, apply it very lightly to your furniture until you know how much is needed to get the look you are after. (*Note: Once you use the dark wax on your brush, you can only use it for dark wax. So future projects will require another wax brush just for the clear wax). Work in small areas and wipe it off quickly with a soft cloth or cheese cloth. You can rub it harder for a softer look. It's really nice to leave some darker in the grooves around molding or details. Like before, make sure all of the excess wax is rubbed off.
Once you have done the entire piece, buff it with a soft cloth to ensure the excess wax is gone and to achieve a soft sheen. That's all there is to it! I hope you will try this process. It is fun and definitely worth it in the end. So my office is on its way. Stay tuned for more transformations in this room. Now I just need a chair!