Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rocking Chair Re-do ...

I love rocking chairs -- you know, the all wood, old school style, rocking chairs? So when my mother offered me this:

I was thrilled! It's smallish, which is perfect for my 5'3"-on-a-good-day self. It's real wood with no funky fabric moments. Best part though? It rocks just enough. As I looked at my cute little rocking chair in my corner each day though, I realized that I wanted to change it up a bit. I just wasn't sure how.

Veering completely off the track for that train of thought ...

For some time now, I've wanted to do my house in a french country vintage style with blues and creams as two of the key colors. I just haven't had the time or the money. The other day though, it dawned on my that -- because most of my things are fairly neutral -- it would be quick and easy to change a few things and end up with exactly what I wanted.

The car is finally fixed, so I splurged on a couple of quarts of paint. (Normally, I just watch the clearance paint for the right color, but this time, I had something very specific in mind and I wanted it now.)

I've been in love with the look of milk paint and chalk paint for quite a while. Luckily for me, Pinterest (I love that site!) had a couple of great tutorials for how to use both. After comparing pros and cons, I decided that chalk paint and I are going to become dear friends. I could have cried for sheer joy when I found this link:

Of course I popped right over to Twice Lovely. I think it might be my new favorite blog. I read several posts and finally felt ready to leap right into my own furniture makeover. I knew just the piece to begin with ...

And the train jumps back on the track ...

Knowing that I already had the plaster of paris, I headed to Home Depot and found the perfect colors. As I mentioned, caution flew to the winds as I recklessly purchased a couple quarts of beautifully blue paint. Since I was making chalk paint, I needed to get some Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. (Save yourself some time and look for it by the wood waxes and polishes. Trust me ... ) After 3 coats of chalk paint -- an undercoat of darker blue and two coats of light blue -- and 3 coats of finishing wax (applied after the paint was DRY) and my chair is completely transformed.

Every time I look at it, my heart leaps. I think perhaps I've found the new love of my life ...

(Don't mind the piles of books and papers. They belong to the bookshelf that's also under renovation in a deeper shade of blue ...)

I have to admit that I was terrified to distress this chair. I've never distressed anything inanimate before, and the thing is, I've seen some projects where the distressing has ruined a beautiful piece. I think that distressing furniture is a lot like tweezing your eyebrows -- under-do it and it doesn't add anything to the finished product, over-do it and look perpetually and painfully surprised. Hence the fear ... I decided to give it a shot anyway. The end result? Chair love ...

I'm still planning on making a different pillow for this, but for now, I even like this one with it.

Things I love:

*The distressed finish

*The variability of this color -- when it's really light, it's the color of the sky. When there isn't as much light, it's a peaceful, muted blue

*The texture of the chalk paint and finishing wax -- both in appearance and feel

*The splash of elegant color this adds to the room without overwhelming the space

Things I learned:

*A half-batch of the chalk paint was enough to do a full coat of paint on both the rocking chair and the book case and its shelves with a bit leftover.

*Chalk paint is one of the easiest projects I can think of. NO prep is required. (Okay, fine ... if your piece is dusty, you may want to take care of that, but seriously -- this stuff adheres very well to just about anything I've tried it on, including the spray-painted ceramic vase I painted over.)

*Finishing wax is really easy to use, but a bit time-consuming if your piece has a lot of scroll work or detail.

*I'm more in love with chalk paint in real life than I was when I saw it in pictures.

*I'm really happy with the do-it-yourself version which, by the way, is far less expensive than the real version. (A quart of the real stuff will run around $50. Since I had the plaster of paris -- which runs about $5-$6 at Walmart, the DIY half-batch cost less than $3. Even adding in the plaster of paris, one half-batch would have been about the same cost. You can't tell by looking at it that I used any of my plaster. My little quart of paint ran about $11 and will be enough for 4-5 half-batches at least ... ) I'm not sure I'll ever try the real deal, but I will definitely mix up my own for several more projects.

*Finishing wax is a bit stinky. I did apply it inside, but I kept a window open during the process. 

*A new chair in a pretty color can make you see the world differently. (My L said that looking at our chair is "like looking at the sky. It's so pretty!" Maybe this will temper any seasonal depression that may come. We've got our own piece of sky in the living room ... )

Linking up with:

The Girl Creativemaking monday marvelous linky party
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

1 comment:

Nicole {WonkyWonderful} said...

I love the rocking chair makeover. I have been wanting to try the diy chalkpaint too :)