Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On A Whim's Desk Transformation

I'm so excited to write a blog about a furniture transformation. And using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™, nonetheless! At our booth during the Riverwalk Festival in Lowell, we met Kimberly. She purchased a whitewashed end table and an upcycled sign. She then took our card, mentioning that she may be interested in having us  refinish some furniture for her. About a month later, she called and asked for a quote on a desk.

Here is the desk as it was...
This was a nice piece to begin with. A solid wood desk with 2 pull out shelves at the top of each cabinet door. The right-hand side cabinet has a cubby space for your computer tower and the left side cabinet has another slide-out shelf. Not to mention the slide-out keyboard area in the center. In other words, a lot of nooks and crannies to paint! And some nice edges to distress as well.

Our client  wanted a black distressed finish to give this great piece of furniture an updated look. She was going to have us work on the bottom only and leave the hutch for later as she wasn't sure she would use that portion or not. After our initial consultation, she decided to go with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Graphite. I told her it would distress very nicely, even though it wouldn't be a true black, as she had originally requested. I've transformed other pieces, but hadn't had a chance to work with ASCP before. I was so excited!

Eric, Gavin (Eric's son) and I went to pick up the desk. And thank goodness Gavin went with us because this baby was HEAVY! When we got there, we learned that our client wanted us to do the hutch portion as well. Yay! So we brought both pieces back to my house and a day later I started painting.

Here is a pic of the partially painted desk (along with some laundry in the background. lol)...

It was a lot of work because of all the cubbies and areas to paint. But, that being said, it wasn't nearly as much work as it would have been had I needed to sand the desk before I painted. I had read up on chalk paint (in other words, I had done my homework). But I was pleasantly surprised to find the claims were all true! The paint worked like a charm on the unsanded wood! At first, I used it straight out of the can. But I found that when I watered it down a bit, it went on just a little easier for me. And it really goes a long way too. Both of these large pieces (at least 6' wide) were done with only 1-1/4 quarts of chalk paint. And the time I saved on the sanding made the paint well worth the price.

Once I finished painting the desk, I started on the waxing. I have to say I was a little bit nervous about this part. I'd never used wax before and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. But it turned out to be super easy to use. :) I waxed the entire piece in sections, wiping off the excess with a lint-free cloth, sanded the edges to distress it and then applied dark wax over the clear in order to give it an aged appearance. All according to "the book" (or, in this case, the internet. Like I said, I did my home work!)

I was in love with the piece once I got the waxing started. It made the color just a little darker and, with the addition of the dark wax, the piece was really coming together beautifully. When it came to sanding for the ditressed look, what can I say... best paint ever to distress with. The sanding process was so easy. And I found that the wax would erase any stray sandpaper marks I might have accidentally left when my hand slipped off an edge and I scuffed an area I didn't mean to.

When I got the desk finished, I started on the hutch. My client had a date in mind she had hoped to have the desk back by but wasn't as concerned with the top part. But, once I started on the hutch, I got that all finished in just a day and a half. The Chalk Paint™ dries very quickly, making the entire process that much faster.

Last night, we prepared to deliver the finished desk to Kimberly and her husband. Alas, no Gavin this time, so I had to help Eric load it onto the trailer. But, we managed. :) In my normal fashion, I oopsied. I had mistakenly read my client's text wrong on Monday, thinking that she said Tuesday would work for delivery. But when I looked at the text again last night, after we had already gotten the desk loaded onto the trailer, I noticed that the delivery day was actually supposed to be Wednesday. I thought for a moment that Eric might shoot me. But, I'm happy to report, he did not. lol. Things worked out fine. Our client was home so we were able to make the delivery anyway. Ahead of her in-hands date too! The most important thing: she and her husbnad LOVED the transformation! We were so happy, this being our first consigned job and all. Up until now, we have only transformed our own pieces. This was the first time we'd worked on someone else's furniture. And they couldn't have been more pleased. Whew... {insert sigh of relief here}

We can't wait to work on our next client project! Looks like it might be Kimberly's curio cabinet, refinished to match her new desk. :)  And I am officially a huge fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™. It works great and I'm excited to start using it on a couple of end tables in my garage!

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