Sister Cindy’s Decora

My sister, Cynthia Finley, has transformed herself into an erstwhile decorator. A long time purveyor of beauty products for Lancôme, she is now an aficionado of changing the appearance of furniture with a product called Chalk Paint.

Chalk Paint® is claimed to be the world’s best furniture paint by Annie Sloan who invented her revolutionary creation, Chalk Paint®, was first introduced by her in 1990, and she hasn’t stopped refining and improving her formula since then.

Introduced to the concept by her daughter, Jessica, she has proceeded to ply her talents on furniture like a dining room table, china hutch, bed frames, chest of drawers, and more. And believe it or not, it actually looks good. When finished with the base coat, she adds character with a small rounded brush and whisks on streaks of a darker color to add some flare.

Last time we visited her and her husband for Thanksgiving in Mandeville, Louisiana (New Orleans metro area), she showed us her handiwork. Since I had completed my stint as a contractor doing high end interior woodworking projects in South Florida, I was impressed with the concept and the finished product. So she inspired me to give it a try on our own stuff.

My First Try

We had been making numerous trips to her area to gradually retrieve the massive amount of belongings we had piled up in a storage unit there. Two of those items we brought back to our house in North Florida were a custom made modular office desk system that I made, and a large, metal, horizontal drawer filing cabinet.

Since my wife needs an office now, and I don’t, I decided to “refurbish” these items with a Chalk Paint spinoff product made by Valspar Paint ($30.). I chose this route because I would have had to drive over 45 miles to get the Anne Sloan product as referenced above or order it by special carrier online. My local Lowe’s Home Improvement center supplied the product that I chose as an alternative.

When I covered the modular wood desk units with the paint using a soft brush (2 coats), the finish turned out fine. But the metal cabinet kept showing multiple areas with tiny brown spots all over the place. A second application made it look worse. So I had to figure a solution to save the project and keep from projecting the appearance of rust bleeding through.

My Viable Solution

What I did was buy a quart of Valspar Signature Paint & Primer Flat Wall Paint ($15), and used it on the filing cabinet. One coat covered all the problem spotting, but I used two applications to play it safe. And it works fine. The brushed-on look gives the final product a certain bit of character and textural patina.

I kept the natural lacquered coating on the long desk top that had already been applied as part of the original finish. I did this to add a bit of contrast to the grey painted chalk-style finish of the modular desk units underneath. To complete the final touch on those pieces, I coated the units with Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Clear finish to seal the paint for furniture-style usage protection. It does not leave the tiny bubbles and rough feel that oil based coatings do. And it gives the overall end product a satin sheen appearance.

Chalk Paint needs to be sealed with either wax or a clear coat application as described above. The trouble with the wax is that you have to keep applying it periodically to protect the piece of furniture. With the Polycrylic product, one or two applications does it.

What I Do Now

Since the Paint & Primer Flat Wall Paint did so well, I decided to refinish the book towers that sit on the desktop with the same paint. I used the same procedure: 2 coats of paint finished off with a final application of the same Polyacrylic clear coat. 

So what next? We have horizontal wood slats (1 x 12’s) covering our walls in the living room, hallways, and entry. I thought about using a bleed-through stain to expose the grain, but I hate to see knots in wood, so I plan to use the Chalk Paint technique for those areas as well. After I apply the paint and let it dry, I plan to follow up with a slight horizontal dry-brush texture using a paint that has a slightly different color contrast to give the walls some character.

As of this writing, I have not determined how that final effect will pan out, but I will give an update when I have found the solution. I like to experiment with different procedures, but I want the end product to have a professional looking touch to it when I am done.

I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf as a masterpiece when you are done. FATE STALKS A HERO I: RESURGENCE, FATE STALKS A HERO II:THE FIJI FULCRUM, and THE SAGA OF HERACLES PENOIT. I will be giving excerpts on these works in upcoming blogs to familiarize you the reader with exciting details about the contents of each one. Thank you!



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