This week’s project is an upcycled book case, painted with chalk paint. I’m absolutely delighted with it. I’ve had this little book case for probably 15 years. I got it at a thrift store probably 3 houses ago and have used it to store shoes out in the garage for most of that time. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get any “before” photos — trust me, it was ugly. The drawer was missing — I think I threw it away years ago when my boots wouldn’t fit comfortably in the top space. In the new house we’ve been using it to hold xbox games and controllers, and basically ignoring it as much as possible.
I got all inspired by Pinterest the other day and decided to give it a makeover. Chalk paints are hot right now.. there are lots of people doing beautiful things with them. I’d never used them before, and thought what better way to experiment with a new technique than on some furniture I really don’t care about..
I made a new drawer and drawer-box out of scraps of wood from my shop. (Did I mention my new house has a shop? With saws and belt sanders and a vice and room to work and OH I love it so) It was a little tricky to get it to fit right, since I still haven’t acquired a table saw, but I managed.
Then I sanded and primered it, before reading that chalk paint doesn’t require primer. The “distressed” look works best painted right over ugly wood. Oh well. I’ll try it that way next time.
I did a layer of brown “chai” colored paint, and then let that dry, then layered three different colors of blue over the top. Then I added the stenciling, which was a whole other adventure. I wanted a sun-shaped mandala, and so I looked online for some vector art and found this one for $0.99 in the Crickit Design Space. I got all attached to it before I realized that it was going to be very hard to use as a stencil. Stencils need to be designed with negative space in mind, and the best ones don’t have any “cutouts” to deal with. This design is made for vinyl cutting, so it has a ton of cutouts and is NOT at all designed for negative space.
I managed. It was time consuming, and I had to do a ton of weeding, but I managed it. Not. As. Easy. As. It. Looks. And I had to get tricky — I ended up using both the positive and the negative in different places with different layering techniques. It was tricky.
Anyway, I’m very happy with the results! And I’ve got more chalk paint left.. maybe I will make a matching chair? Or a standing mirror.. or who knows! This is fun.