Desk Redesign with Chalk Paint

This painting project was my very first time working with chalk paint and painting furniture. It was definitely a learning experience for me. In order for me to transform the desk from navy blue to this very light cream color primer was a must! Only on the first coat I didn’t realize that the temperature of my home here in Alabama would affect how quickly the primer would dry and how that would cause it to go on unevenly. Never having done this before I had no idea how that would affect the rest of my project. I was so eager to jump into the painting part of this project but I knew I really had to wait for the primer to dry and make sure that the dark blue wasn’t showing through the primer. 

Living in an apartment in the middle of Alabama forced me to do this painting project in the middle of my own living room. It was much too hot to be able to paint outside. So I went about laying out a bunch of cardboard boxes in the middle of my living room before starting this project.

No surprise my living room looked like a mess for an entire week. My husband LOVED it. Keeping myself occupied between coats of primer was no fun either. All I really wanted to do was get to the fun part. 

The first day of the actually painting started out great. In the morning I got a base coat of Vanilla Frosting on the entire desk and that seemed to go rather smoothly. No pun intended. I needed to give it at least two hours before starting a second coat. So in the meantime I went about taking my sample sized jar of Sage Advice paint (which I got for free from Country Chic Paint company last month when they did a free giveaway) and putting it on the inside and outside of my three desk drawers. Leaving those to dry I went back for my second coat on the body of the desk. This time around my paint wasn’t spreading as far as the first one. It took me some time to get a complete coat on the desk, but in the end it looked really rich and beautiful. There were a few bumps from where the layers of primer had not gone on quite smooth. After some research I found out that sandpaper even after painting should take those out and according to the paint fliers would actually give my desk a soft finish. 

Since I had given my desk two whole coats the first day I read the tough coat can and saw I should give my project 24 hours before applying. The next day thinking I was going to be able to be applying the tough coat later that day I went and looked at my desk. I saw that while drying I had ended up with some tiny cracks in the paint. I talked to a retailer of the paint who said I should sand it with a really fine sandpaper and it should take those out. This is where I made my big mistake. I had purchased a pack of sandpaper in the painting section of a Jo-Ann store. It had three sheets in it and they were 120,240, and 400. With the top sheet barley looking rough and the bottom sheet being the roughest. The error that I made was thinking that the barely rough sheet was the “fine” sheet. I later learn that that one was the 400 sheet. When sanding barely gave me any improvement I read up on it. Even with my AC blaring I still had a relatively warm apartment here in Alabama. So I cranked the AC even more and waited for the temperature to go down. Once it did I added a little bit of water to my paint to give it a smoother spread and that all went well, but because my sanding hadn’t gone over very well the cracks reappeared but a little more prominent this time. Instead of fixing the problem with that third coat of paint I had made the problem a little more prominent. Instead I should have worked it out better with the sandpaper. Lesson learned for me for my next project. Which yes I do have planned out!

After seeing how it turned out with the cracks I accepted the fact that there was no fixing it with more paint. So back to sanding I went. When time showed that it wasn’t helping I decided that it wouldn’t make things worse by grabbing the next grit up in sandpaper. I was excited to realize that was working better! This was when I realized my mistake. the back of the sandpaper said 240. If I had only used the proper sandpaper after the second coat I might have ended up with a smooth finish… but I didn’t. Even after using the correct sandpaper I was only able to get the deep cracks to become fine cracks. My husband thought it “looked cool”. In a way it kind of did. It had an almost authentic antique look to it. Like it was worn from years of use.

I had to let the desk dry again for another 24 hours since I had painted it again. In the mean time I was checking out other products on the paint website and any last-minute tips. Turns out that they actually sell paint crackle! They sell stuff to give projects the look that I had somehow created with my hot and humid apartment. That knowledge made me feel less unhappy about how my project had turned out. I was still a little bummed because I had another project in mind and didn’t want this to happen again. Next time the AC will be on full blast and the proper sandpaper used. Tough coat went on super easy and gave the surface a polished look. Only thing left to do was give the desk drawers a slightly distressed look, reattach the handles and I was all done! 

I definitely recommend the brand of paint I used for this. The colors were great and the paint really went far. The sample I got did three coats of paint over all three desk drawers. I think it would even cover a small end table no problem. The paint website has all kinds of products and tools. The part I love the most was I had seen a post they did on Pinterest of all places and fell in love with a color that they had said was limited edition. Come to find out they are actually willing to make custom colors for a small fee. I have since then ordered the perfect shade of paint for my next project. My living room coffee table! Post on my living room redecoration to come. 

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