'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformations Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
A 'Better After' Starts with 'Great Bones'
I love a good deal and beautiful furniture, so when I find a good deal on furniture with great bones that can become beautiful by a DIY furniture transformation using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I jump on it!
I scour craigslist for inexpensive, well-made furniture with nice lines, ignoring the piece's current finish, because a coat of paint can change everything.
Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, with a protective coat of clear wax and maybe some distressing and/or aging using a dark wax 'stain', ugly-duckling pieces are transformed into something much 'Better After': lovely furniture with durable, water-resistant finishes that will provide years of beautiful use.
Browse through the transformations below and catch the vision to create your own 'Better After'!
Learn How to Make Your Own 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformations with Tips and Tricks from Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan's most recent book with must-have how-to info on transforming ugly furniture into LOVELY furniture!
Annie Sloan Demonstrates ASCP! - Based on her book, 'Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More'!
Learn all about ASCP and how to use it from Annie herself!
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors - Use sample pots for small, craft projects and 1 liter cans for large, furniture projectsClick thumbnail to view full-size
More Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors - Combine ASCP colors to create your own custom color perfect for your projectClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have You Ever Created Your Own 'Better After' with a DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
Have you ever created your own 'Better After' with a DIY furniture transformation using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
Yes! Can't wait to try another project!
'Before' Picture of Bow-Front Console
I spied this fabulous bow-front console on craigslist for $80 and knew I had to have it. I looked past the banana yellow color and the various water spots and saw only the marvelous lines and elegant hardware!
Inspiration Pieces and Custom Color Ingredients - There was no science used to create my custom color; I just poured and stirred until I liked what I saw, usingClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Better After' Bow-Front Console DIY Furniture Transformation
Finished with two coats of clear wax, the custom color of the console isn't a perfect match to any of my inspiration pieces, but it's a close relative, maybe a first cousin. Close enough, at any rate, for everything to live harmoniously in the same room.
Don't try to match everything exactly; part of the fun in a room's design is to have variations of a color to provide visual interest.
Console: $80 (craigslist)
Paint and Clear Wax: $160
Materials: $0 (I already had a brush and rags)
Time: A week of dilly-dallying, too scared to mix my custom color paint
When I finally just did it, it took me about 2 minutes to mix the color and 4 hours to paint two coats and apply and buff out two coats of Clear Wax.
How To Create Your Own 'Better After: DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint' - Very little prep is required, as ASCP will stick to virtuallClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Before' Campaign Furniture DIY Transformation
These pieces were described by the craigslist seller as a '2-piece dresser'. It looks to me like there was another piece that went missing somewhere along the line, but I liked the lines of the classic campaign furniture and the price was right, $60, so I bought them.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Waxes Used on Campaign Furniture DIY TransformationClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Better After' Campaign Furniture DIY Transformation - Cost? Campaign Furniture: $60; Paint, Clear Wax, Gilders Paste: $120; Materials: $0 (already had brushes,Click thumbnail to view full-size
Use Drawer Organizers to Maximize Storage Space
A place for everything and everything in its place!
Mix and match sizes to customize your storage needs
Divide and conquer with these drawer dividers
Lots of compartments for lots of stuff!
Add a polished finish to your organized drawers
'Before' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation - Well-made furniture with a well-worn finishClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Better After' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation
This refurbished china cabinet now has pride of place in my dining area and I get so much pleasure using it!
'Better After' China Cabinet DIY Furniture Transformation
I applied ASCP's Dark Wax full strength over a china cabinet hutch interior painted with 'Old White'. Using Dark Wax without thinning results in a more stried, or 'striped', appearance, which I felt repeated and reinforced the hutch's beadboard back.
By using a limited color scheme to accessorize the hutch, each item can be appreciated individually, and the overall look is cohesive.
The cost for this china cabinet DIY furniture transformation?
China Cabinet: $100 (craigslist)
Materials (1 liter each of 'Old White' & 'Graphite', 1 tin each of Clear Wax and Dark Wax): $160
Supplies: $0 (I already owned rags and brushes)
Time: 6 hours over 3 days
I now have an updated china cabinet, totally customized to my taste. If and when I get tired of the color, I'll just paint over it!
'Better After' TV Console and Side Table DIY Furniture TransformationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Before' 4-Poster Bed
I looked for weeks on craigslist to find some kind of headboard/footboard for my Master Bedroom to no avail. Finally, I found this 4-poster bed for $200. I liked the general style of the bed, particularly the reeded posts.
My husband thought it was an outrageous price to pay and ugly to boot, but I knew I would be painting it, so the current condition didn't bother me. So, I bought it, despite his objections.
Since our bedroom ceiling is only eight feet off the ground, I decided not to use the 'tester' portion of the bed (the canopy), saving that for another bedroom in another home with higher ceilings.
'Before' Bed Steps
When I read the seller's listing for the 4-poster bed, she mentioned that the top of the mattress was about 36" off the floor, much higher than most mattresses.
Being less than tall, I knew I needed a set of bed steps to make my bedside ascents and descents manageable. It took several weeks of combing craigslist before I found anything at all, and then only after adjusting my keyword search to include "stepladder".
Originally used in a child's bedroom, the bed steps' exuberant painted-on pattern was totally inappropriate for my needs, but I knew it could totally be masked with ASCP, since it covers almost anything without priming first.
An added bonus? Storage inside the bed steps!
Color Inspiration for my 4-Poster Bed and Bed StepsClick thumbnail to view full-size
'Better After' 4-Poster Bed DIY Furniture Transformation
The bed turned out perfectly! It was the first time I had used the thinned Dark Wax as a stain and, to be honest, I was so nervous applying the first brushstroke of that dark syrupy stuff.
After the first wipe, however, I realized it was going to be an easy process, albeit a lengthy one, due to the size and intricacy of the bed frame.
All in all, it was an adventure I'm glad I embarked on, since it's led me to so many other transformational projects.
ASCP's 'Old White': $40
Materials: $0 (I already had Clear and Dark Waxes, brushes and rags)
Time: About 8 hours over 4 days.
The hardest part of the project was doing the Clear Wax/Dark Wax 'stain' and making sure everything was wiped quickly and completely and making sure the finish stayed consistent from start to finish.
By the way, now that the bed is done, my husband LOVES it!
Just goes to show you...
'Better After' Bed Steps DIY Furniture Transformation
See? I knew these steps would turn out perfectly!
One of the best things about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it sticks to virtually anything, including varnished, stained wood, like the bed steps stair treads. I've used these steps morning and night (and sometimes for afternoon naps) for several months now, and the finish on the treads is still perfect.
Bed Steps: $20 (craigslist)
Materials: $0 (I used my leftover 'Old White' ASCP, as well as leftover Clear and Dark Waxes)
Time: About 2 hours to paint twice, apply clear wax, buff, apply 'stain' coat, buff (not including drying time for paint and wax)
New bed steps run from $40 (ugly ones) and up (less ugly, but not great, just more expensive), so I was extremely pleased with my custom $20 bed steps!
(If you look, you'll notice a pair of painted bedside tables, one here and one in the picture above. I painted and waxed those before I knew the secret of thinning the Dark Wax with mineral spirits to use as a 'stain', hence their streaky, stripey appearance. I'm trying to decide if I should start over, repainting them and using the Dark Wax 'stain'. For now, I'm going to live with them as they are. I think...)
What's Your Favorite 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
Do you have a favorite 'Better After': DIY Furniture Transformation Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
Today's the day to create your own 'Better After'.— KateHon
Have you used another kind of paint on a furniture project? Tell us!
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