Step 1: Enlist a buddy. Anti-procrastination insurance!
Marie, who is an awesome friend, had never chalk painted anything before either, but she had a small table passed down from her mother-in-law that she was willing to try it on. We went with a home-made chalk paint recipe I found online that uses satin latex paint (1 cup) with plaster of paris (~3 T.) mixed with a little water (~2 T.) added in.
I chose Glidden's Tropical Coral for my piece (not the color I'd gone to the store with the intention to buy, but that's another story).
Marie went with a Dutch Boy color called Crushed Seed.
Here are a couple of before pictures of my clover-shaped, very old table. I'd given it a quick sanding. Ha, ha, ha, quick! Who am I kidding, it took as long as one would expect to hand sand a table with a lot of little knobby bits on the legs.
You're not supposed to have to sand something you chalk paint, but you have to use your discretion when it comes to that. My table had obviously been sitting for a long time in a place inhabited by spiders and other creatures who did their business. I think I sanded off equal parts dried poo and wood.
Marie didn't sand her table at all, just made sure it was clean.
Then we commenced to painting. After one coat, I was loving Marie's table. Mine, not so much.
When her first coat dried, we both decided we liked her table just as it was. Some of the underlying finish showed through the paint, giving it just the right look. A couple coats of wax, and she was done, lucky girl!
Since she had some of her chalk paint mixture left over, and mine was not the color I was looking for, we mixed the rest of my paint into hers, which yielded a sort of coral-y salmon color that looked just about right to me. She helped me put the second coat on my table. Much better!
In the evening, after it had dried a few hours, I lightly distressed the paint with some medium grit sandpaper. It nicely revealed the underlying color, and some original wood, if I worked a little harder. I didn't want it too distressed, though.
Then it was time to wax. It was very warm yesterday, so my Johnson's paste wax was quite soft and could be brushed on with a large natural bristle paint brush. Working in small sections at a time, I followed the clear wax immediately with another smaller paint brush loaded with dark wax, otherwise known as Kiwi shoe polish in black. I then followed this a couple minutes later by swabbing over the waxed parts with a piece of cheesecloth containing more clear wax. This works the dark wax in where you want it while removing the excess and smoothing it all out at the same time.
Then I let the waxed table dry overnight.
I cleaned my brushes, took a shower, changed clothes, watched a movie and went to bed—and still had the smell of Johnson Wax in my head! Not a bad thing, but definitely a little weird. I asked Norm if he could smell it. He said no, but said every time he waxes the car, he smells wax for the rest of the day.
Today the wax was dry (and the phantom smell in my head was gone). I buffed the table with an old t-shirt and a horsehair shoe brush, which worked wonders on those knobby legs!
The paint color was definitely deepened by the dark wax. In the end, it's more of a rosy salmon. I do like it. Were I to do it again, though, I might have omitted the dark wax and just went with clear. Overall, I'm very pleased with how it turned out, especially for a first attempt with this particular medium and technique.
I think it will look nice in the corner of the bedroom with aqua/blue colored walls, below my paint-by-number collection!
Linking to: Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?