Saturday, April 23, 2011

shells, a gem, baby birds & a kitty fountain

So one of my favorite blog friends left a comment wondering what all the hype is about regarding chalk paint, especially considering the expense.  Since then, I've gotten at least two dozen comments or emails regarding chalk paint.  Please read the following with this disclaimer ~ I am not an expert.  I am not even an amateur with this stuff,  I've been using it for all of three weeks :)  That said, here was my response, which I've edited to add all of the thoughts & tips I can possibly come up with :

I totally get what you're saying.  It IS expensive, and I'll be the first to admit I wondered what all the excitement was about.  I'll post more about it soon, but here is the gist of it ~ 

The pro's of chalk paint (in my opinion)…

*NO prep.  No sanding, no priming.  Right there, you save a bunch of money & time, because we all know primer is EXPENSIVE.
*It is easy to work with.  Aside from the quick drying time (very quick), it goes on smoothly and gives you a very uniform coat.
*It takes very little paint.  The blue dresser in my last post took less than 1/4 of a can.  The shell dresser in this post took about 1/4 of the can.  That's about $8-10 worth of paint, which considering you're not using primer isn't as bad as it sounds.  It is cheaper than spray paint, that is for sure!
*It goes where you tell it to go.  No taping off drawer sides, because this paint will not run.
*It'll go on with a brush, a roller or foam.  And, from what I hear (although I haven't tried it yet) a sprayer.
*Two coats are pretty much max.  With no primer.  Saves time & money, as I've had to do as much as five coats with some paints to get a uniform finish
*It is true to color.  No surprises here, what you see is what you get.  
*Ease of cleanup.  Soap & water, no problem.  I even got some on my black lululemon pants (gasp!) and it CAME OUT!!
*Odor.  Simply put, there is none.  I painted something in my dining room the other day & no one even noticed!
*It distresses naturally - no globs of paint flaking off or peeling off.  It is ON there.

Now, the downsides (in my opinion)…

*cost + shipping.  this adds up.  However, how many people have Rustoleum's Heirloom white shipped?  I'd be willing to bet the prices aren't that different when you add in primer.
*Color selection ~ you are stuck with their limited selection of colors.  (Although for people like me, this is also a 'pro' as I can spend hours looking at colors!)
*availability.  Again, you have to order it online.  No running to the hardware store to get some at the last minute when you run out.
*finish coats ~ I'm not clear if all finishes work well with chalk paint.  They may, but I haven't tried many yet, aside from the wax.

Now, onto my next piece.  You've all seen these shell-motif pieces before.  This one is incredibly solid, heavy & well-built.  It is a fantastic piece and I snatched it up quickly when I saw it.

Of course, I had already gotten started when I remembered the 'before' picture.

 I put on two coats of chalk paint in country gray, which is actually more of a deep creamy color with a touch of khaki in it.  Two coats & done.

I then put on a coat of a paste wax + some stain/finish in one product.  I put the minwax paste in the microwave (not sure I'd do that again due to the stench) to make it a bit easier to work with.  It really helped to soften it up a bit.  Then I just mixed in some stain/sealer in one (jacobean) and brushed it on/wiped it off.  I really liked the finish it left, almost leathery.

Finally, I added a coat of just wax.  I poured water on the top (yes, I did) and it beaded up.  I let it sit an hour ~ still beaded up.  I poured diet coke, same result.

We (I mean my husband) added all new hardware.  He was very thankful I was able to find something with the same size, as he would have had to drill 30 new holes otherwise.
I love it.  It'd be a great dresser (original intent) or sideboard/buffet/server.  It might stay here, I haven't decided yet.

I have to share a gem I got this week.  I found this listing on craigslist and called right away.  It was listed for $125… before I could blink, I was in the car going to meet this lady in Virginia Highlands.  I can't get over it.  She kept telling me all the faults it has, and I was just trying to get it in the car as fast as I could :)

Isn't it gorgeous?  This one is staying here for sure.  In fact, I spruced it up with some restorer product and its already in my home :)

So I have to share my baby birds.  We have this robin's nest in our front yard, in a bush.  This picture was taken last Sunday.

Some of these are taken with my iphone, sorry for the quality.

A few days later on Tuesday…

Then Wednesday…

Later that afternoon…

I said to the boys "Aren't they precious??"  I got an uncertain silence… I guess they aren't that cute, yet!

This last picture was taken yesterday (Friday).  All four have hatched now, can you tell how much bigger they are than just a few days ago??

Momma is very patient with me, although she does fuss when I get close & stay too long.

Last but certainly not least, in my last post I shared about my high-maintenance, fresh-water-drinking kitten Sam.  One of my very dear friends showed up in the carpool line the other day with something for me.  Actually, she clarified, it was for Sam.  Guess what it was?

A fresh water fountain for kitties!!  You plug it in & it gurgles to keep the water circulating.  He is obsessed.  He must have stood there staring at it from every angle for 15 minutes.
A million thanks, Donna!!!

Have a great weekend everyone, and a very happy & blessed Easter!

linking to these great parties:
Centsational Girl's Paint Projects
Redoux's Friday Redoux
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
My repurposed Life's Catch as Catch Can
Blue Cricket Design's Show & Tell Wednesday
Domestically Speaking's Power of Paint Party
Primitive & Proper's Piece of Work Wednesdays
The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday
Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesdays
Mama Hen's WOW Wednesdays
Remodelaholic's Anonymous 


  1. You are wasting no time getting back into the swing of things! Thanks so much for the pros and cons of chalk paint. I've been waiting for weeks for my order to arrive, definitely a con! Love your dresser and that sideboard was a great find!

  2. love your new stuff! interesting info about the chalk paint...we will wait and see ;)

  3. So much great information! That chalk paint sounds great, maybe someday I will have to try it out! Love the baby birds and kitty fountain! Especially love the dresser/buffet! Once again, so glad you are back.

  4. Yes!! love me some chalk paint! I agree the cost per quart is quite pricey-but I also think the of the time I save from sanding/priming etc.. I've only done 2 pieces of furniture with it-and hope to do some more!

    AND LOVE LOVE the lil baby birds. We had a lil family of wrens on our front porch early this month-it was so fun to see them poke their heads out looking for their momma!

  5. i love the pictures of the eggs and babies! the blue is beautiful, they look like easter eggs! and i love they giant mouths just waiting for that mama to feed them. so amazing.
    i hope you and your family had a blessed easter weekend. thanks for sharing your new pieces. and of course the chalk paint info. :)

  6. Love your review of chalk paint. I am anxious to try it--but haven't quite swallowed the cost yet! Maybe...soon.

  7. Oh my goodness this piece looks gorgeous!!

    Love the baby birds!

  8. Your piece is beautiful, I'd be keeping it too! Sweet bird pictures...thanks for sharing!

  9. I did not know anything about chalk paint -- now I'm off to google! Thanks for all of your great information -- that looks like amazing stuff!

  10. I'm your newest follower! I have that same dresser and three drawer chest. Love the paint. You said VA Highlands? If you are in Atlanta, I should go with you on your shopping trips ~ you are finding amazing pieces. :)

    Thanks for the advice on chalkboard paint. The color looks fabulous!


  11. I am dying to try chalk paint and have read many review. Your dresser looks great, Kathy. I have a small shell dresser that would be nice to freshen up.

  12. Your dresser looks wonderful! Thanks for the tips on the chalk paint.

  13. Thanks for the information on chalk paint - I've been clueless and now I'm sold. Your dresser is beautiful, and I love the color. I also love your baby birds - wasn't it fun watching them hatch and seeing Mama feed them?! Thanks for sharing at Blue Cricket!

  14. I wish I could afford chalkpaint :(
    I can't believe you put the wax in the microwave!!

  15. I ordered 4 pints.....yep, broke down. lol Thanks for the advice on the US distributor!

  16. This was good to read~I've been trying to decide if I want to buy some chalk paint or not. It looks like the pros outweigh the cons. Have you tried the wax that's sold with the chalk paint, or have you just stuck with minwax?
    Your dresser looks so good!

  17. what is the restorer you used on the last piece?