A friend of mine lives in an old farmhouse. One day she went into the attic of said farmhouse and discovered this really old shelf.
She asked me if I wanted to redo it and I asked her what she had in mind. She said “I don’t know…just do something.” Do something…I can run with that.
First thing I did was remove the little corner doo-dads. Two were broken so I thought that ripping them off would be easier than attempting to fix them. Luckily I know someone who thinks tools and destroying things are just about the best thing ever.
Next we had to de-wobble it. To do this I just added some wood glue to the joints, clamped them tight and let everything dry for about a day.
And then I set out to try something new…
That’s right, chalk paint…the real thing baby. A friend actually gave me this quart, saying she wasn’t going to use it. Awesome, right?
So, the nursery that this shelf is going into has a grey, white, and yellow thing going on…except that the only yellow that is in it (at least that I can remember) is in the bedding. Therefore, the shelf needed to be yellow. The chalk paint I had was white. I had a gallon of obnoxiously bright yellow paint leftover from a project at the church. Google was no help when I tried to find out if mixing the two was okay. So, I just mixed ’em.
I did 3/4 chalk paint and 1/4 yellow paint and if you keep reading I’ll get to the review part. For now let me move onto my brilliant idea for the top. I wanted to do some sort of design on the top, but instead of painting or staining it on, I wanted to burn it into the wood. I know, I was excited about it too. I remember my mom having a woodburning pen when I was a kid, so I called her up and asked if she still had it. She did!
The date it was made was stamped onto the instructions…here is a close up…
This suckers from 1992. You might be thinking “Hey, 1992 wasn’t that long ago!” It doesn’t feel like it, but 1992 was 20 years ago. This pen was made back when Ross Perot took on Bill Clinton. Back when Wayne’s World and Sister Act were what the cool kids were watching and Americas Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget was what I was watching. In 1992 Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” was just hitting the air waves and you were probably rocking out to it in your stirrup pants and slap bracelets. Oh 1992, if it wasn’t for you then wedding receptions everywhere would be missing out on the awesomeness that is the Boot Scootin Boogie.
Anyway, I wasn’t up for freehanding a design, so I traced a stencil pattern onto the top.
Now for some weird reason, I decided that I should probably practice a little before I started burning a design into the shelf. Normally I would just jump right in without a second thought, but not this time. Something about a 20 year old flaming hot metal tool made me want to test it first. So I did…
…and it totally didn’t work. If I held it one spot it would leave a mark, but there was no way I was going to be able to draw lines. Dang…I was hoping to start an awesome new trend or something. The new woodburning pens on Amazon have some pretty good reviews, so maybe it’s just mine that didn’t work. I may never know. At least I practiced first, I have no idea how I would have fixed a partially burned wood top.
Luckily it was really easy to erase the lines, so no harm no foul.
From there I gave the top a coat of light stain (golden oak), distressed the whole thing, coated it in polycrylic and can successfully say that I “did something.”
And now for my chalk paint review….where to start? I like the paint. I like it a lot actually…it’s thick but smooth, has good coverage, and you don’t have to prime. It sands well and is easy to distress. It’s way better than my homemade stuff (though I know my homemade stuff wasn’t the best and there are much better recipes out there).
I still have one big hangup about the paint. It’s so expensive! I mean, the paint it great…but it’s not magic paint. You still have to do multiple coats and put a finish on it. It’s not that much easier to distress than regular paint. It’s advantages don’t justify the price (to me) I don’t think I’ll purchase it over cheaper paint in the future.
Anyone else feel the same? Anyone else super disappointed that my woodburing idea didn’t work out?