Here is a truth bomb for you – chalk painting your table and chairs is not a quick weekend project. I don’t even want to do the math on how many hours I have into this set. But, at the end of the day, it was totally worth it. Here is what this mahogany set looked like originally.
My client, Jodee, was going to buy a new dining set but quickly got sticker shock at the prices. Why spend a fortune when you already own a solid wood set? So, she came to me with this table, 2 leaves and 6 chairs and a request to make it all white and gray.
Here are the supplies I used.
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If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:
I don’t think you can tell from the before pictures, but this set was quite dirty and had a lot of wear and tear. Since it was mahogany, I knew it would bleed through the white chalk paint. To prevent that, after cleaning with White Lightning I primed with a coat of white BOSS.
When trying to prevent bleed-through with BOSS, it’s best to allow it to dry at least overnight. I let the chairs dry a few days before painting. For some reason, the extra time helps the effectiveness of the BOSS.
I tried something new to apply the BOSS, the Dixie Belle applicator pad. I dipped it in the primer and wiped it on the chairs. It was definitely faster than brushing, although I did go back with my brush and babysit the drips. In other words, after waiting a few minutes if there was any pooling or dripping, I brushed it out.
Next up was 2 coats of Fluff. I usually opt for Fluff over Cotton because Cotton is just too clinically white for me. But if you love a pure white, you might prefer Cotton.
I used a small artist brush to get into the little cut out areas in the chair backs. This was another time-consuming part of the process. I am seriously considering getting a paint sprayer for future projects!
I distressed the edges and brought out those cute details with 120 grit sand paper on my orbital sander. Lastly, I brushed on 2 coats of Clear Coat Satin. I love the sheen of the satin, and it’s really easy to use over light colors since you don’t see any brush strokes.
Fun fact, those are my upholstered chair seats in the pictures. Jodee had removed the original seats and kept them at home to reupholster while I was painting, so I took mine and set them on for the pictures.
The table has 2 pedestals with little brass feet. I taped off the feet and kept them original. For the pedestals, I treated them the same as the chairs and primed with white BOSS, applied 2 coats of Fluff, distressed and then added 2 coats of Satin.
For the table top, Jodee originally requested the linen-type finish I’d done here. But after a couple days working on it, I realized it created way too much texture for a table top. When I sanded to smooth it out, it just got blotchy.
After consulting with Jodee, we decided to switch to a blended gray “wood grain” instead. Using my orbital sander again, I erased a couple days work in about 20 minutes. Starting fresh, I painted a coat of white BOSS.
Next, I squirted on Voodoo Gel Stain (which is water-based) in both Tobacco Road (brown) and Up in Smoke (gray). I blended them together using the applicator pad, and then pulled across the stain from end to end in a smooth stroke to create the “graining”.
After it was dry, I repeated the same process using Up in Smoke and White Magic this time.
Once that was dry, I added a dollop of Midnight Sky (soft black) to the Clear Coat Gloss and applied 2 coats. The tint of black was to add some depth.
If you’re considering painting your table and chairs, spindles and cut outs on the chairs significantly add to the level of difficulty. Also, the number of chairs and leaves adds as well. So just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.
Now, head on over to Shop my Faves and pick out some paint and products for your next project!
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