Adventures in Decorating

In CategoryAdventures in Decorating

So yesterday when I asked if anyone is interested in pictures of the new house, thousands hundreds tens fine two people said “sure, what the heck. It can’t be worse than your usual swill.”

A couple weeks ago, I abandoned my family and the unpacking, and went to visit my Best Friend. We decided to look through some of the downtown antique shops and get a coffee. I found lots of stuff I wanted. LOTS. But I showed admirable restraint until I saw this –

Chalk Painted Chest @ Not Inadequate - Before

It was marked $85, which is higher than my budget for Random Impulse Purchases of Tables. The owner came breezing through, saw me looking at it, and said, “It’s Best Price Day!” and I said, “what is that?” and he goes, “it means today is the day for a good deal” or something like that.

So I, emboldened from my big mattress experience, said, “does that mean you’ll sell this to me for $50?” and he came back with $65. “Sixty-five is a good price!” “Fifty is better,” said I, but I was mostly goofing around. I couldn’t believe he went for it, and wasted no time pulling the car around before he could change his mind.

Now, I realize that this little table does not necessarily look like much. However, it is solid wood, and it has three drawers. Drawers are expensive (furniture trivia! you’re welcome). Plus also we has been seeing little chests like this all day, and they ranged from $150 to $350.

Chalk Painted Chest @ Not Inadequate - Before
just ignore all those boxes that need unpacking and all that laundry that needs folding, please

Plus I wanted to try this chalk paint thing that’s all over Pinterest, so fifty bucks seemed like a good price point for a mystery project.

After reading all the blogs about painting furniture, I hit Home Depot for a quart of paint and some Plaster of Paris.

Chalk Painted Chest @ Not Inadequate
I realize this picture could be better. I think we’ve established that photography is not my gift.

In retrospect, I wish I had gone bolder with the color, but I love it nonetheless. It’s a perfect nightstand.

For the chalk paint, I mixed a cup of Plaster of Paris with slightly less than a cup of hot water and mixed it in a bucket until it was smooth. Then I added a half a quart of my paint and stirred well. I didn’t sand or prime or prep the chest at all before I started painting.

It was very dry and sucked the paint right up, so I did three coats. I couldn’t find any of the recommended waxes at Home Depot, so I bought the VERY EXPENSIVE CeCe Caldwell wax from a local antique store. I did two very light coats of wax, buffing after each coat.

Buffing sucks. Just putting that out there. I though my arm was going to fall off.

But! I love the finish. It’s very silky and smooth. I’ve painted furniture before, and this finish feels more like a high-end finish than you can get with regular latex paint. The wax is the key, I’m convinced.

I also waxed the top, and I think it brings out the wood very nicely. The aqua glass knobs came from Amazon, and I LOVE them.

I did not distress it or use the dark wax or get all crazy with sandpaper like you will see on many of the Pinterest Painting Projects, because it’s not my style.

So here it is in the bedroom –

Chalk Painted Chest @ Not Inadequate

Remember that time I told you that I bought a table in Missouri and we hauled it all over creation in the back of the trailer for the next 6 months? Well, this is it –


It’s an old school desk. I love those for some reason. I only buy the ones with the flat tops, though, and they are harder to find. I had it in the living room at first, and I didn’t like it there. I actually was concerned that I hated the table after all the hassle Jim had put up with. We moved it upstairs and I love it there. It’s the perfect nightstand for him.

And now, just in case three hundred and fifty-seven pictures of some blogger’s bedroom aren’t enough, here’s the whole thing –

I am going to have to move that painting an inch or two to the left. It’s driving me nuts.

Sure, this side looks nice and neat, but never fear, the other side of the room looks like this –


Which I am ignoring, because the view looks like this –

Nightstand 8

In conclusion: I love chalk paint. I’ve done another project with it already, and I have a third waiting in the wings. Also, you are probably going to have to suffer through more pics of my attempts at decorating, so brace yourselves.

 (that artwork is from, in case anyone wonders. hmmm… I can see that I overpaid for it)

12 Responses to “Adventures in Decorating”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I was pretty impressed with your bedside table until I saw the “view”. OMG, my house would have more than a couple of laundry baskets on the floor whilst I went off exploring. Actually my house actually does have more than just laundry baskets messing it up … the view would be another excuse I could use.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Do your children suffer from PSES?

  2. chocolatechic Says:

    I see that Jim got the bad end of the night stand deal. Not only is yours larger, it has drawers too.
    chocolatechic´s last blog post ..3/4

  3. Kathy King Says:

    Inquiring minds want to know…will you be chalking on that lovely surface? It’s beautiful the way it is, but on the other hand, what is the point of chalkboard paint if you are not going to chalk on it?

  4. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem Says:

    Those tables are beautiful! Wow, Deb. Wanna come paint mine after we move?
    Eddie – The Usual Mayhem´s last blog post ..Mud Literacy Activities

  5. Nan | Says:

    I love it!

    I’m not familiar with chalk paint (don’t judge — I live in the boonies! In Canada! I’m still wearing my hair like Jennifer Aniston is season 1 of Friends!), is the goal a particular texture? Because I have seen the term before and thought it was a DIY chalkboard affect, but now I’m just confused. Don’t get me wrong: I think the finished product is a huge improvement!

    But as a follow up to yesterday’s email: I have no qualms with painting old/antique wood furniture. I know a lot of people think this is sacrilegious, but I like painted furniture. Colour is good.
    Nan |´s last blog post ..Life according to pinterest.

  6. Deb Says:

    Okay, I did some looking around on the chalk paint vs. chalkBOARD paint, and I found this:

    So, no, they are not the same. Similar, though. There’s a lot of good info on that site if you want to know more about it –

    I mostly chose this method because every blog SWORE up and down that you didn’t have to sand or prime or do any prep work at all before you got to the fun part. Lazy!

    A pink headboard for Little is in the works…

  7. Julie Says:

    nice job! I am inspired!

  8. Kristy Says:

    Is that seriously your view out your door/window that you see every day?? Seriously, how do you stand it? It’s gorgeous!!

    I love your painted project. I do not think that I could function in a room with mismatched end tables though. But that’ just me. I’m OCD like that.

  9. Nancy G Says:

    That is, indeed, a lovely view! In what area are you now living? I’m in Green Mountain (SW Metro Denver), about five miles from Red Rocks Amphitheater, so I enjoy wonderful views, as well.

  10. Ingi Says:

    Well, I’m moving in. Just get ready for more laundry as I’ll be too busy lying on your bed, looking at that view. K?
    Ingi´s last blog post ..3 more sleeps…

  11. Melanie Says:

    So pretty! Such a great deal, and you did a lovely job on the paint! I really like unusual end tables. We bought an expensive matchy-matchy bedroom set when we were young and before I knew matching end tables get on my nerves.

    Your view reminds me of the one we had in Alaska. Gorgeous!
    Melanie´s last blog post ..Another Butterick 5526

  12. Cathy Says:

    Love your new work of art. And I love the other end table being an old school desk. So eclectic. And those mountains are amazing!