Google+ Nine Red: How To: Cyan Chalk Paint Nightstand

Monday, March 4, 2013

How To: Cyan Chalk Paint Nightstand

As part of the ongoing efforts in redoing our new guest room, we decided to tackle a project that was long overdue.  We've had this nightstand for a long time, and it was always the plan to paint it a super fun color, naturally. It's shuffled rooms, so the color in mind had changed, but it finally landed a permanent home in the guest room, and we decided to go with one of Ralph's favorite colors: Cyan.
Isn't she a beauty?  We did this in two evenings while dinner was in the oven. Honest.  I love the color.  It was really hard to find too, I went in knowing that Ralph wanted Cyan. Plain Cyan. But the paint chips are all named crazy things, like "Lagoon Wonderland" and "Teal's Last Stand.." (jk...fake names! no lawsuits please & thanks) that there was no hint there. So I finally just asked the guy at the counter for plain Cyan. He hadn't heard of it, looked it up, and found one with the name "Cyan"- so we mixed it up. Perfect.  I took pictures through the process so I could share a lil how-to with you guys...  read on!
This was a fun and easy project.  A really fast one.  We did NOT feel like sanding anything since we were working on our kitchen table, indoors, so that made this a chalk paint candidate. For Sure. Here's what you'll need:
  • Latex Paint (or Chalk paint if you've got it, if not, see the DIY Chalk Paint Post)
  • Plaster of Paris (if you're doing the DIY chalk paint)
  • Brushes
  • Plastic to protect your work area
  • Cup to Mix paint in
  • Tools for removing hardware (probably just a phillips screwdriver or flathead)
  • Sanding Sponge (distressing)
  • Wax (we used Watco Satin Wax)
  • A piece of old furniture!
Here is our nighstand in it's original condition.  We dusted it and gave it a good cleaning with a wet rag, then dried it. Easy enough. Oh, if you're doing this at night... I highly suggest throwing dinner in the oven. Something that needs like 45 minutes or so to cook.  (We did chicken breasts with a ton of veggies around them....yum)
Next up, remove your hardware.  Ours were pretty easy, most are.  This is also a good time to inspect for any damaged areas, or weird areas that need attention. Luckily we had none.  

So you're ready to paint, moving right along huh? We chose to make our own chalk paint, which is especially handy because we can do this chalk paint recipe to any color we want, instead of just those provided by chalk paint companies. (Disclaimer here for you chalk paint company lovers: I have nothing against premade chalk paint, this is just handier for me!)


In a plastic cup, throw 5 tablespoons of the Plaster of Paris in, and add just enough water (2 tablespoons -ish) until you get it a little soupy.  You just want to dissolve that plaster so it isn't powdery or chunky. Then, throw in 2 cups of your paint and stir........    Then start painting!
"WAIT!" You might be screaming, "You didn't sand!" That's right. No sanding. Hate it. One of the amazing aspects of ye olde chalk paint is that you don't need to sand. It sticks beautifully to even glossy surfaces like this one, which is a huge time saver.  It's also super soft when it dries....
Believe it or not that's after only one coat... we probably didn't even need a second.
It dries amazingly fast, so we threw on a second coat in the same evening. Then we cleaned up, which was perfect timing because dinner was done.

Let it dry completely (we did 24 hours) then you can start to sand! I recommend a sanding sponge, I used a medium grit - and just start rubbing here and there. We wanted the distressed look, if you don't - skip this step and head to waxing.
Keep going until you've gotten all your aggression out, or until you're happy. Either one. 
 Lookin' good lil Cyan....lookin' good.
Ok, happy with the results? Let's do the easiest seal in the world, wax! There are a lot of different types, but for sake of ease (and what I had in my shed) we went with Watco Satin Wax. I've always had great results.
Using a rag you never want to see again (it's dead to the world after) dab a generous amount on the rag, rub it in to the paint, and then ten minutes later buff it gently with another rag.  Both those rags are trash now by the way, because I don't think you ever want to wash them.  Pretty sure that's toxic or something.

If you're wondering if sealing is necessary, imagine me shouting YES. It is. You need to seal that paint in something, whether it be wax or just a clear coat of polycrylic.  It's very absorbent paint due to the plaster in it, and if one jerk at a party sets just ONE drink down on it, you'll get a ring. I don't know this personally, but I've heard horror stories. But not with wax! See why it's important? Save your future self the work!

Here we are, all waxed up and hardware reapplied:
 Welcome to the world baby Cyan!
After letting it sit in the kitchen for another night, we gave the nightstand it's final home, next to the bed in the guest room:
So cute! I love this color, which is great because we  have a TON left. Would you beleive we only used 1/3rd of a quart? I thought for sure it'd take the whole thing. Ya never know I guess.  We're accessorizing with slightly nautical red, white and navy objects.  For more about the guest room, see this ol' post.

See how easy painting furniture can be? A little here, a little there, you'll have new pieces in no time.  What furniture in your home will you be giving new life to? Remember, if you're lazy like me, consider the chalk paint... it's so rewarding, your hands will be happy you didn't force them to sand their beauty away.

Oh, if you're new around here and are wondering about that hutch in the background, all the deets are right here: The Great Hutchy.  And if you spied the triangle pattern table we are working on top of, that's here too: Triangle Pattern Tabletop.


Alright, I'm off to wrap a chandelier in Jute.  More on that soon-soon-soon.  Have a great one!

***UDATE: Guest room? Check.. See the full tour here*** 

     -Jesse
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