I recently rescued this vintage chest of drawers; a neighbour who was moving out had thrown it in a rubbish skip on her drive. It caught my eye when I walked past, and again later. I know it looks sad and unloved here, but I could see potential in it to be quite pretty and useful once again.
When I plucked up the courage to knock on the door and ask if I could take it, I was glad I did because the lady was so nice and even offered me a second piece of furniture that she wanted rid of, a pine chest/toy box – more about that next time!
I’d been wanting to try some chalk paint and the vintage chest of drawers seemed ideal. There are loads of recipes on Pinterest for homemade chalkpaint using left over paint and Plaster of Paris, but as I have neither at the moment, I thought I would buy some proper Annie Sloan chalkpaint. I’ve read lots of good things about it, the best being there is no need to sand or prime! That is my kind of furniture makeover.
The cost was £16.95 a litre, plus a fixed delivery charge of £7.40, no matter how much I ordered – so I ordered two tins in French Linen and Old White, which can be used on their own or mixed together to make different shades.
It arrived the next day and I couldn’t wait to try it. I found the consistency nice and rich and got busy with a brush and the French Linen; it dried really quickly, to a chalky finish (no surprises!). After I had applied two coats of paint, I waxed it a couple of times, using clear Briwax since I already had a tin. It does the job, but stinks to high heaven when you are applying it. (Apparently the Annie Sloan wax doesn’t smell so bad.) The finish after the wax has been applied is more velvety and gives the colour some depth as well as protection. All the veneer on the drawer fronts was not in great shape, one drawer was particularly flaky. I thought it would be best to chip it all off, since I would be painting the drawer fronts anyway. MISTAKE!
Although a lot of it fell off easily, some of it just wouldn’t budge. I scraped and chipped and soaked with a wet towel. It was a real slog and left me with not a great painting surface. So with the two other drawers, I just flaked off the worst and used wood filler in the gaps, letting it dry and sanding it down.
The top drawer was missing its handles and I thought about replacing with glass knobs for glamour, or vintage style crackle-glazed ceramic. There were so many to choose from on Ebay – I was spoilt for choice! But then an unusual pair of Anthropologie drawer knobs caught my eye, which I think will work a treat, have a tiny peek…