Going Blonde

Confession: I have had a multi-year love affair with… chalk paint.  Earth shattering I know, but luckily nothing that makes my husband too jealous (wink, wink).  Lately, however, I have found myself looking for something that isn’t the hussy that chalk paint is. I mean it’s everywhere!  I knew it was easy which is why I was drawn to it.  No sanding or priming necessary?  Yes, please.

Perhaps I have evolved or am simply bored, but my new obsession is pickling, aka white washing.  I love the beach you look it provides and the fact it preserves the wood grain look.  Here’s a few examples in the virtual universe that I adore:

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Photo Credit Perfectly Imperfect

I’d love a set of these handsome chairs from Safavieh at my dining table:

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Photo Credit Safavieh

I have a side table I was given my my MIL that I would love to pickle/ white wash.  I didn’t want to mess it up since it was her mother’s so I thought- I need to practice first! This is a new concept for me since normally I dive right in head first, but call it maturity or learning from past mistakes- I decided to try my hand first before I refinished the table.

I picked an old dresser that 1) I had rescued from a trash pile and 2) had been repainted in Annie Sloan chalk paint by yours truly.  Since hindsight is 20/20, I of course forget to take a photo of the piece before I sanded it.  Here it is:

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I used a toothbrush and goof off stain/paint remover to get the paint out of the grooves and edges. Since it was chalk paint it came off relatively easy. I would have used the remover on the who,e piece, but there a lot of divets, scratches, and imperfections that really deserved a good sanding so the final product looked more refined.  For the actual pickling, I used minwax because I am confident in the brand.

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Directions say to use a synthetic bristle brush and to not leave the stain on longer than 3 minutes before wiping it off. Perhaps because it was a hot day, I found I needed to wipe the stain off in less than a minute to achieve the look I wanted and before it got too sticky to wipe off. I also worked in small areas so I could apply evenly and wipe off quickly.

This first pass on the top required a subsequent resanding and do over.   My second attempt worked on half the top at a time (to give you an idea of how big an area you need to work at a time). In parts I reapplied to deepen the saturation of the grain and achieve a lighter look.

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The end result has made me ponder abandoning chalk paint altogether.  It looks fantastic, was relatively easy to apply once I got the hang of it, and brightened the corner its nestled in for the moment.  Three cheers for trying something new!

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