Since buying my house in 2013, I’ve realized just how expensive it is to furnish it. Luckily, my boyfriend has the unique opportunity to get furniture for FREE through work (he owns a moving company and sometimes people have really nice things that they don’t want to bring with them to the next house). Sometimes, he sells it, or, if it’s something I think we can use at home, I’ll take a stab at cleaning it up and making it functional for us. For this piece of furniture, he actually found this on the side of the road 10 years ago, and never did anything with it. I wouldn’t let him get rid of it because I liked it – it’s solid wood, and even though we wouldn’t use it as a buffet (there is no room in our dining room for this), I thought it had great potential to be a TV console in my office. Also, it was free.
See this old buffet…
I’ve really been into the furniture makeover posts on Pinterest and I’ve started following some groups on Facebook as well. I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite for this piece of furniture. I wanted a dark color, and the graphite has shades of grey and blue that I thought would look great with the slate floor near the entry in this room. I picked up a can at my local stockist, and I had some clear wax left over from a prior project that I decided to use.
I forgot to mention the best part of using Chalk Paint – there is hardly any prep on the furniture!! Other than cleaning it with a bit of soap and water (I used Dawn dish detergent), and then wiping down with just water to get any residual soap off, there is nothing else to do. No stripping, no sanding, no nothing. Prep couldn’t be any easier! Another thing that I really like about using the Annie Sloan chalk paint is that it is a lot less messy to use than latex paint, at least in my experience. It doesn’t seem to drip, and the paint is just a tad thicker. It’s just so much easier to work with while painting furniture.
This particular piece of furniture had some holes that I needed to fill before I could begin the painting process. I use this stuff called Plastic Wood to fill the holes. I used an old spatula to fill and smooth it out. A putty knife would work best, but I didn’t have one on hand, and I didn’t want to purchase any new tools. Once it drys, you sand it smooth. Then clean the furniture and paint!
Painting this was tricky, mostly because of the narrow shelves on it – it was hard to get my brush all the way to the back and make sure I covered the paint evenly. In total, I painted 3 coats of graphite, using the entire can of paint on this piece of furniture. I waited for each coat to dry before painting the next. Since this was such a big piece of furniture, once I finished one coat, it was ready for the next. It seemed to soak it right up. It’s important while using chalk paint to try and paint all in one direction, especially while using the darker colors like graphite. This is especially important for the last coat (see this great post from my local stockist, The Purple Painted Lady) on this process.
Later that night before bed, I put my first coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax on it. For this process, I put a glob of wax on a paper plate, then use a wax brush to apply to the furniture. Then, I take a microfiber lint free cloth to wipe back any excess wax. This process is tricky, and honestly, I’m still not very confident in this step. Again, I recommend watching the Purple Painted Lady’s video on how to apply wax and try to replicate her process. The next afternoon, I put my second and final coat of clear wax on the furniture using the same process. It is said that the wax can take up to 30 days to fully harden and cure, so it is recommended not to place any heavy items on the furniture on until that process has completed.
I love the finished look of the paint with the wax on it – it does add a little sheen to it, however, it still has a more matte look compared to other top coats. With the look I was trying to go for with the graphite paint color, it is just absolutely gorgeous. The wax enhances the paint colors, and now instead of looking like a flat gray color, you can see some blues coming through as well. It looks awesome near the slate floor in this room! If you are going for more of a shiny look, you can buff the waxed finish. People tend to use either fine grade steel wool or buffing brushes made specifically for this! I’ve decided to skip for this particular project.
Another step that I’ve skipped since it doesn’t match the look I’m looking for is distressing this piece of furniture. I’m not a huge fan of the overly distressed look, but if that is what you are going for, chalk paint seems to be the standard!
Last but not least, I needed to pick out hardware. This was a little tricky because the cabinet door had a 1 inch hole where a knob would go, and most knobs aren’t that big. I found these knobs on amazon, which seemed to do the trick in covering up that large hole, and it looks super unique as well. For the two pull drawers, I went simple and selected these handle pulls from Amazon.
And finally, here is the finished product! This is in my office, where I spend most of my day (I’m lucky enough to be a remote employee and work from home), so I will be looking at this a lot. Luckily, I like how it turned out! We plan to mount the TV in the future, but we will be keeping the record player on top, along with a picture frame or two and maybe a small house plant (I’m thinking a terrarium with succulents).
Have any questions or comments? Leave them here!