Chalk Paint 101

Chalk Paint 101

 

There is no escaping the buzz in the crafting and diy world right now, everyone is talking about chalk paint. This amazing product has been around for quite a few years across the pond. Annie Sloan in England wanted a paint that would be fast, easy and cut out the prep work of painting furniture. Smart woman. The arduous task of sanding and prepping a piece of furniture has been eliminated. You just slap it on, I kid you not. I recently picked up some of this fabulous paint at Rusty Hinges  at the Hydrostone in Halifax. If you have never been to this lovely store you are in for a treat. Reclaimed furnishings, linens, soaps, mirrors and of course a rainbow of Annie Sloan chalk paint colours.

 

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You can take a curb side find and transform it into a customized piece for your home, with very little effort. The furniture piece I made over recently was a Bombay Company buffet passed on from my Mother. It was in great shape to start with but I wanted a new look for my dining room. No sanding or prep needed, just wipe down to ensure no dust or sticky fingers and start applying, any which way. No going with the grain, you want brush strokes to show, that’s part of the rustic, shabby chic look.

 

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I chose to use 2 colours. Greek Blue on the top and Paris Grey on the base, one of the most popular shades. One coat of blue and move on to the base. By the time I had finished the base the top was dry, that’s how fast the process is. Once the piece has dried do a little bit of distressing with sandpaper. Around the corners, top of the drawers, edges, handles, anywhere you would normally see wear and tear. You can remove the hardware before painting or just paint right over them as I did.

 

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An absolute must is the wax. This is applied after the paint has dried. Available in clear or dark finish, the wax protects the piece and gives a wonderful sheen and smooth finish. It can be applied with a brush or a lint free rag ( I raided husband’s t shirt drawer) It takes a little bit of elbow grease but is so worth it.

 

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Here is the finished piece. It took about 4 hours from start to finish, so so easy and it really changes the look of the pieces. I also made over a small hall table and bench that was in really rough shape. Same technique, Paris Grey and dark wax. I added the new fabric and it makes a great place for keys in my entry way. This smaller project only took a tester size of the paint, a great way to try it out before you commit to a larger can. Here is the before and after.

table before & after

 

Rusty Hinges also runs chalk paint workshops at their store, give them a call for details, the ladies are so helpful.

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Annie Sloan Stockist Halifax

Staging bathrooms.How to get that “spa” look.

Bathrooms are a big deal for homebuyers,so if yours is a little lackluster you need to up the glam factor.
Removing all the clutter and all of your personal items is a given when prepping your home for sale .Buyers don’t want to see your hair brush,tooth brush or your cat’s litter.Now is the time to sort through what you really need to keep,give away,sell or throw out. Recycle where you can.Counter tops should be clear with the exception of a few accessories.

Artwork adds interest in a bathroom

Clean until every single thing sparkles in this bathroom. If you have a shower curtain buyers will pull it back to see the condition of the tub so clean all the grout until it is white.
One of the biggest changes and best investments is painting your walls. Choose a neutral paint colour that will go with the colour scheme of your home.Think ‘spa’ and calm.Aqua blue with white always creates a fresh,tranquil feeling.

Calm tranquil colours work best when staging for sale

If your lighting fixtures are outdated,you can find very current brushed nickel or chrome light fixtures for very reasonable prices at Home Depot,Ikea,Lowes, Canadian Tire or Costco.The old brass or “hollywood” fixtures just don’t have the look home buyers want.
Flooring does not have to be an expensive item for your bathroom update. There are many excellent products on the market. Peel and stick tiles work beautifully in small bathrooms and powder rooms, or of course tile is the way to go if budget allows. Choose a neutral tile not too dark and not too bright. Avoid using carpet in a bathroom at all costs.

Paint a tired looking vanity

Inexpensive replacements for sinks and counter tops can be sourced at ReStore Habitat for Humanity, Costco, Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Lowes. There are many excellent low cost laminates that you can use for new counter tops.
Toilets that are dated in colour such as green,pink,burgundy or blue should be replaced with new white toilets and toilet seats. Try and keep all of the furnishings in the bathroom white or off white. Tubs and shower stalls can be more of a challenge if they are old and full of mildew. At the least clean as much as possible. Sometimes you can create a cleaner look simply by using a strong environmentally friendly cleanser and a toothbrush;then add a new grout.Another option is reglazing if a tub or shower is in really bad shape.Well worth the expense.

White shower curtains,a good choice for staging

A new shower curtain in a fabric rather than plastic will add warmth to the room. White is always the best colour but other colours may work if you coordinate well.Think‘spa’and hotel ensuites.
Cupboards and shelving should be white, off white or a dark chocolate brown with nickel hardware works well. If you have wood such as oak now might be the time to consider painting it. You can buy a primer and then a latex paint to update the look.
If your mirror is cracked or slightly damaged now is the time to replace it. The current trend is to individual mirrors rather than one large mirror often found in homes. Find a mirror that suits the style of your home or consider framing your large mirror to create a more polished look.

Two mirrors are better than one!

Depending on the size of your bathroom hang some art that is restful to the eye and in soft colours. Select contemporary accessories for the finishing touches. Avoid using bathmats when showing a bathroom. You can cozy up the room with your paint colours, towels and shower curtain. Keep the floor clear and clean to maximize square footage and ditch the garbage can for viewings and online pictures.

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