Jan 30, 2015

Project Challenge #1, Paint/Stain - Chalk Paint and Dark Wax

Some talented bloggers and I have challenged each other to come up with a unique item/project made with a different product each month.
This month our challenge is using paint or stain. Luckily, I have been up to my ears in painting this week so I am super excited to share something that you've seen being used a million times already but I am just barely there.
I want to share my review and thoughts with you about chalk paint and dark wax after using it on this all natural wood piece that has a lot of pretty detail. To me, the best way to bring those details out is to paint and glaze it. I have never had good luck with the store glazes so if you read further you'll see what else you can do to get that look besides what I am showing in this post.
After sanding the shine off the wood surface (still a little skeptical about the not having to sand with chalk paint) I decided to try my own mixture of chalk paint as so many DIY-ers are doing.
To make my own chalk paint I just added 1/2 cup of plaster and 1/2 cup of water together in a disposable bowl and mixed it really well. Then I added that to my favorite color of paint - Northampton Putty by Benjamin Moore (about a quart or a little less).

To reduce the brush stroke lines I used an eggshell paint finish along with applying the chalk paint with a sponge roller then back brushing. 

Rolling on paint and back brushing is the key to NO brush stroke lines.

I like the thickness of the chalk paint mixture and it seemed to dry fast and hard.  I used a little mouse hand sander to distress the paint once it dried. 
OK... so the other new thing I tried is this dark wax. I read HERE that applying clear wax to the painted surface first is important so I did. The detailed areas were then brushed in the dark wax full strength after the initial clear wax coat.
(I painted the drawer white because I love two toned furniture.)

I used a cheap paint brush to apply the dark wax into all the nooks and crannies in the wood. Then using a piece of an old t-shirt dipped in clear wax I rubbed in circular motions to spread the wax around. 
It was beautiful after I rubbed it all in. I seemed to use a lot of clear wax and I thought I was working with it for a long time but maybe I wasn't - I didn't look at the time.
The embellished areas are accentuated with the darker color. I don't think my results would have been good without clear wax. It helped dilute the darkness.
I have to tell you though - I get this same look with another technique by using stain as I did the dark wax here and then baby oil as the clear. 
(You can view that post tutorial HERE. I think the baby oil way is easier and cheaper but I had to see what all the rage was with these new products).
I don't know why I like the look of painted hardware but I do. The great part is that chalk paint will even stick to metal.
New knobs went on the white drawer and I lined the inside with chevron contact paper. It's an "old with the new" look. :)
Isn't it pretty? So let's re-cap:
The paint color is Northampton Putty by Ben Moore in an eggshell finish.
The drawer is just a white wall paint I have around - it's semi gloss.
Both are mixed with plaster of paris.
Roll and back brush!
Sand with about a 220 grit paper for a distressed look (distressing techniques can be found in THIS post)
Use clear wax on the whole surface first (and not just a little).
Apply dark wax to the details with an inexpensive paint brush.
Use an old t-shirt or cloth dipped in clear wax to blend it all by rubbing the surface in a circular motion.
Will I use chalk paint again? - YES!

Will I continue to use dark wax? - Some of the time :)

OK....so go see the other bloggers that are sharing their Project Challenge today and enjoy! 

Thanks so much for reading and happy Friday!!!

Jan 24, 2015

Jan 22, 2015

Upcycle a Baby Crib

Do you have a baby crib hanging around from the days of "no sleep"? Well, we had two! For some reason I couldn't get rid of one of them - maybe I was holding onto it for sentimental reasons even though neither of our kids really used them much. (we were those parents that slept with their babies)

Jan 19, 2015

Concrete Top Dresser

At the shop where I rent space to sell my stuff, another vendor had brought in this cute piece of furniture that came with a tri-fold mirror. I wanted the mirror and the price for the set was great.

Jan 15, 2015

Down to Earth Accents - retail space.

Today I remembered to take my camera to the shop where I sell my creations and re-purposed furniture so I could share some pictures of my new space with you.  I love decorating a retail spot because it doesn't have to really function and over decorating is acceptable. :)

Jan 13, 2015

Up-cycle 80's Style Scalloped Wood

Do you go to yard sales, Goodwill stores or flea markets? If so, you probably see old fashioned shelving or boxes with scalloped edges or even heart cut outs on the trim.

Jan 10, 2015

Make a Wood Table Runner

You have seen wooden table runners, right? I love the rustic look of them and how narrow they can be. One of the best features is that the display on top of it can be removed all at once instead of one by one if you like to display more than one item in the middle of your table.

Jan 6, 2015

Down to Earth Style 2014 Favorites

Happy New Year!
I am sure glad 2014 is over! Not to be negative or anything but some years are better than others. Right?

Dec 30, 2014

Old Tray ~ New Chalkboard

Once in a while I like to stop by our Goodwill store. It's always so busy in there. Yesterday I found this old tray.

Dec 28, 2014

Make a Branch Star

One afternoon this winter I brought home some small branches from my walk with Mazi...

Dec 27, 2014

A Shutter Headboard

When my parents came to stay with us for Thanksgiving I needed to put a guest bedroom together pronto!

Dec 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Card Display

This year I was able to get a family Christmas card together and sent out to all our family and friends. I am always so touched by the Christmas cards we receive. I enjoy seeing updated photos of our friends.

Dec 22, 2014

My Christmas Village

My sweet mom painted a whole Christmas village for each one of my brothers and sisters and I. Each year on Thanksgiving she would present each of us with one hand painted house, school, church or antique shop to add to our collection. I have fifteen!

Dec 18, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Make a Sturdy Wooden Bench {instructions}

I like to make simple pieces of furniture. I actually took pictures while making this bench today so I can show you.

Dec 7, 2014

Little Tree on the Porch

Do you love little candles on a Christmas tree? I think the idea is so super sweet but, of course, who could keep them lit up? 

Dec 4, 2014

Special Delivery!

I love pulling up to the house and seeing a package waiting for me on the porch.  This time of year is especially fun because most of the boxes hold a sweet Christmas surprise,  That is what gave me the inspiration to make these decorative, rustic gift boxes.
There are so many ways to make them unique. I have posted some others that you can view in this post and this post.

Here is a close up of each one.

Dec 2, 2014

Super Chippy Painted Table

Next to the chair is a little table. It's perfect for setting a drink on or placing next to a small chair. I found it at a thrift store and then repainted it.
Let's take a closer look.....

Nov 29, 2014

Life is Beautifull Fence Sign & a Birthday

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Mine was great. My parents were here to share the holiday with us. I am still full from eating so much delicious food. It's nice to indulge sometimes.

Nov 24, 2014

Ebony & Fossil Dining Table

This dining set was really pretty when I got it but a little too red of a wood for my taste so I painted  all the chairs and legs of the table with Rust-Oleum 2X's cover in Fossil. It's a spray paint.

Nov 21, 2014

Burlap & Muslin Knot Wreaths

Burlap adds such a great natural texture to almost any decor. Cutting it? It's a mess! I'd rather work with muslin fabric.
So when I wanted to make burlap wreaths, I decided to make them with Burlap and Muslin together.

Nov 19, 2014

Make Wooden Christmas Gift Box Decor

Don't you love the look of Christmas presents under the tree? It's so exciting to wonder what is in each special package.
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