Happy Wednesday everyone! After two busy weekends working on my kitchen re-model, I am finally back at blogging and excited to share a DIY project that I helped with this month.  If you are interested in re-doing furniture and/or using chalk paint, hopefully you find this article useful.

FullSizeRenderLola is a friend of mine that recently moved here from San Diego and we’ve been sharing blogging ideas.  She is the creative mind behind Lola’s Cocina blog where she shares her Mexican family recipes and puts a creative spin on all things food.  She asked me to help her with some furniture DIY projects, and in exchange, she bribes me with food! She made us a delicious breakfast (hibiscus quesadillas, fresh squeezed hibiscus limeade, chile with eggs, and LOTS of other delicious entrees!). Let me just say that her.food.is.to.die.for. Shameless plug here but check out her blog for recipe ideas!

Ok, ok, enough about food! For the DIY weekend, we set out to re-upholster a cute bench Lola found at a thrift store as well as two of her kitchen stools.  The bench needed to be completely re-cushioned and all three pieces needed to be painted.  We decided to try out chalk paint for this project because we didn’t want to have to sand the pieces.  Chalk paint has an advantage because the paint is low in chemicals (VOC), has no odors, requires little to no sanding, and dries REALLY quickly.  We used Annie Sloan chalk paint (the original creator of Chalk Paint) but I’ve heard you can actually mix your own paint yourself if you are feeling REALLY creative! :)

IMG_0270Our List of Supplies:

  • 1 quart chalk paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan in the color of your choice
  •  Paint Brush
  • 1 tin of Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax (can also get dark wax)
  • Annie Sloan Wax Brush
  • 2 Clean, soft cheesecloth rags (although old, clean tshirts or rags would work too)
  • Foam cushion for bench
  • Fabric for bench
  • Staple gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloth (we taped down old wrapping paper for a less expensive option)
  • 220 grit sand paper
  • Paint can opener/wood stirrer

Lola actually bought a chalk paint starter kit for $140 which included a quart of paint, wax, a brush, a wax brush, cheese cloth, and some soap to wash the brushes.  We had a ton of product remaining after we did these three pieces! The paint goes a long way.

Per the Annie Sloan website, “Chalk paint very rarely requires any preparation, such as sanding or priming, and can be used indoors or outside, on just about any surface – from wood to metal, and plastic to terracotta. It can revitalize old furniture, walls, ceilings and floors with ease. It’s easy, fun and makes amazing results accessible to everyone.”  So we decided to dive in…

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - BeforeOur bench required two major steps – upholstering the cushion and painting the wood base.

Cushion Makeover

Using a screwdriver, we pulled out the staples from the old fabric that was on the cushion.  We actually found that there were two layers of fabric on the cushion – someone else had already covered up the old, antique pink silk fabric.  Since the bench was so old, the cushion was not thick enough for it to be comfortable so we pulled off both the fabric and the foam (or what was left of it).

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - Remove Fabric and CushionThen we put the new foam on the wood board base, placed our fabric around the foam and cut it so that it would be shorter on the edges for us to staple. Lola got the fabric at Jo Anne’s and had them cut it around the foam so that there wasn’t a ton of excess.

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - New Foam to Base of CushionMake sure to center the fabric how you want it to look before stapling it!

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - New FabricUsing an electric staple gun, we stapled in the fabric, folding the corners to make sure the fabric was neat and clean.

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - Staple FabricAfter the cushion was complete,  Lola brought out the champagne and snacks to keep us going all morning…what a way to do crafts!

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - Champagne and Snacks

Bench Makeover

We wiped down our bench before starting to paint.  If your furniture has grim or grease, make sure to wash it clean with water and soap before starting.  Luckily our piece was clean so we just wiped it down quickly. With chalk paint you don’t have to sand down the furniture (bonus!) but you do have to wait longer for the wax to really harden and cure.  We got our paint at the Little Black Chair near South Glenn shopping area in Denver.  The owner is super sweet and gave us all of the instructions we would need.  We bought a paintbrush from her to do the main base paint (which was “old white” color) and then also got a wax brush for the clear wax we used as the top coat.

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - First Coat of PaintWe painted two coats of paint on bench and let it dry between coats for about 20 minutes between coats.  Lola was looking for a slightly aged/rustic look with the paint so we also took some 220 grit sandpaper and sanded down the edges once the paint was fully dry.  Make sure to sand down the areas that would naturally get worn in for a realistic look. And don’t worry about making a mistake – you can always re-paint if you don’t like the look!

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - Sandpaper to DistressWe used a cloth to wipe away any sawdust before applying the clear wax.  We used the Annie Sloan wax brush to apply the wax.

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - Apply WaxThere are a lot of wax options out there that will give you different looks of distress (dark wax over light paint, dark wax over dark paint, white wax, etc.).  Check out the links below for the best tutorials I found about Chalk Paint.  Once the wax is on, you wipe it off with a cheese cloth to remove and residue. The furniture should be super smooth and soft at this point.

DIY Chalk Paint Bench - After Pic Close UpFor furniture that will get a lot of use, like a kitchen table, you will want to let your wax cure for 30 days.  For the bench, we weren’t as worried about the wax being cured before screwing on the cushion. Even Amado, Lola’s handsome 14 month old son, wanted to help with putting the final screws in the bench! :)

image1After we finished the bench, we also painted two kitchen stools to match Lola’s kitchen table.  Lola has a gorgeous new table and she wanted the stools to semi-match for when they have extra company come visit.

DIY Chalk Paint Stool - BeforeWe followed the same steps as above to get this look…

DIY Chalk Paint Stool - AfterIt was so much fun painting these pieces of furniture and would really suggest Chalk Paint to anybody! They also offer classes at the Little Black Chair or the Shades of Amber in Monument (or anywhere near your home if outside of Colorado) if you would rather someone instruct you on how to apply. I’m actually hoping to take a class to learn other painting techniques but you can also do it yourself easily by watching YouTube or just going for it!


Good luck with your own projects!

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