I admit it.  I am obsessed with color.  I’ll get into these kicks where I paint everything the same color.  Not the exact shade, just the same color family.  About a year ago, it was blue.   I did my son’s nursery in navy and my guest room in turquoise.  My kitchen and my guest bathroom: You guessed it! Both blue.

IMG_0232When I first started painting furniture for Worthwhile ReStyle, I became obsessed with a color called Blue Arrow by Valspar.  It is the perfect light grey-blue.  I bought a whole gallon from Lowes, and I wish I could tell you just how many things I painted with it.  It was ridiculous!

 

It started with my oldest son’s room. Then I liked it so much I painted the back of the bookcases in our family room and the kitchen stool which I originally planned to do in a nondescript black. I think my favorite thing I painted with Blue Arrow is this little groovy slate-top side table.

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After about six months, even my ten year old started to complain about all the blue I was doing.  I admit, I was getting my fill…until..I discovered  peacock blue.  Peacock Tail to be exact.

The first thing I painted was a couple of lamps.  Did you know you can easily paint metal and all kinds of different surfaces with chalk paint?  Talk about an easy ReStyle for outdated brass lamps!  My friend, Catherine, fell in love with these and claimed them as her own shortly after I finished them.

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So when I found this sweet little dresser at an online auction, she was just calling out for some Peacock Tail!

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Once covered in Peacock Tail, Catherine took one look at the dresser and just HAD to have it.  It is now happily living in the bedroom of her new home next to the matching lamps.

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She loves the color so much that I have to offer her the “right of first refusal” for anything painted this paint.

I thought I loved this shade.  But recent events have lead me to believe that Catherine has me beat.  She loves it so much that she bought a new Keurig coffee maker just to match her dresser.  Now THAT is obsessed with color!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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 Do you ever have color-obsessions?  What shades of blue do you love best?

 

Have you heard of chalk paint??

No?  Well, as of a few months ago, neither had I.  Over breakfast, my friend told me about a very exclusive line of paint called Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.  She extoled the virtues of this miraculous paint.  What’s so great about it?   You don’t need to sand before painting.  You don’t need to prime before painting.  It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and with little effort, you get that popular vintage-y “shabby chic” look.  After hearing about it for the first time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some!

For years I’ve had furniture just begging to be painted… an Ikea bookcase, an outdated coffee table, and a tacky brass lamp… just to name a few.  But the work involved with the whole sand-prime-paint charade turned me off.  Until then!

This end table took 3 coats of satin-finish to cover and I obsessed over every brush stroke. With chalk paint, the brush strokes seem to disappear.

Where was this chalk paint months ago when I was 9 months pregnant on my hands and knees, sanding and painting coat after coat on this 70’s coffee table?

Where was it, you ask?!  Uh, only all over the Internet.   Doh!

You know how it feels when you show up late to a party and everyone else already has their buzz on? Apparently everyone in the blogosphere but me knew how great this stuff is and has been using it to paint the most amazing furniture.

My first thought: Must. Get. Some. Now.  You grab the baby; I’ll grab the keys!

But wait!  What?  This Annie Sloan stuff is $38 a quart!  A quart?!  On to Plan B.

Enter DIY chalk paint.  For a girl like me, with more creativity than cash, the make-at-home version was right up my alley.  Before I plunked down the dough for the good stuff, I wanted to see if I could make it myself.

The Internet abounds with chalk paint recipes that claim to be very similar to this Annie Sloan stuff.  Some very smart people out there figured out that if you take Plaster of Paris or even unsanded grout, and mix it with a little water and paint, you get a product with similar properties as Annie Sloan’s coveted formula.

For every decorating blog out there, there’s a different DIY chalk paint recipe.  For my projects I use roughly 1 part Plaster of Paris to 2 parts paint.

Basically I mix a little less than 4 oz of unsanded grout and water and then add it to a sample size of Behr (Home Depot) paint and primer in one product.

I have been thrilled with the results of my paint.  It is super easy to apply, and in some cases I only need one coat.  I attribute this more to the “paint and primer in one” paint than to the grout, but whatever it is, I love it!

 

This is just one coat of “Anonymous” paint by Behr – a very warm grey color.

I’m still looking forward to checking out “the real thing.”  Annie Sloan’s paint is only sold at a few select boutiques around the country and online.  Luckily for me, there’s a “Stockist” (the term for retailers who carry her line of paint) only 30 minutes from my house in Ashland.   As soon as I sell an organ to pay for it have the time, I’m going to get some and see what all the fuss is about.  Until then, I’m more than happy with my version.

 

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It’s been a Gray Morning around here.  Not because we’ve been holed up in the house hiding from the “Frankenstorm,” Sandy, but because I’ve painted everything I could get my hands on this weekend with the paint color “Gray Morning” by Behr.

It is a very soft turquoise blue – think of a Tiffany jewlry box – but lighter.  It kind of reminds me of a Robin’s egg. Anyway, I mixed up a batch of paint (yes, I make my own DIY form of chalk paint – I’ll explain in a future post) and painted a few items from my stash.

You may remember my trip to the Goodwill Outlet a few weeks ago.  Well, I realized that everything I painted this weekend came out of that Goodwill haul.

See the ugly rooster picture in the back, the wooden magazine rack on the left, and four black pinecone finials down in front?  They were all “restyled” using Gray Morning.

To the magazine rack I added a few decorative wooden flourishes and a coat of paint and clear wax.

I love its curvy lines!

Wouldn’t it look adorable in a kitchen with your most-used cookbooks or in a nursery with your favorite children’s books?  And I’m sure it would be useful in another room that, um, requires  “reading material” close-by.

 

The picture doesn’t do the color of these cuties justice.

The pinecone finials and the rooster frame got a coat of paint, clear wax, and then dark wax which gives them that great antique look.

Here’s the frame up close. You can see how the dark wax gives it that antique look.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the finials yet, especially since one of them broke when they were drying.  I could have cried!

Finally, the frame!  I just love the way this turned out.  I took out the rooster print and added a piece of burlap.  Once you add the glass back in and an erasable marker, you have a great message board to write notes, grocery lists, and to-do lists.  Plus it just looks super cute!

 

 

The magazine rack and message board will be going into the shop for sale this week.

I hope your mornings are not gray, but if they are, maybe Gray Morning will brighten your day.  I know it did mine!

And please let me know if you can think of something creative that can be made with 3 finials!

 

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