This cute table and chair set was a request from my sister so it’s not so befitting for the cabin but it sure does look great in my niece’s play room! This was an old play table from her older kids and she wanted it fixed up a bit for the youngest child. She wanted it white and I wanted to try wet distressing but didn’t like the original brown color of the table. I was envisioning black underneath which meant more painting but it was a look I wanted to try. Here’s the table before.
It’s in good shape structurally despite looking pretty sad here with all the scratches and tape stuck on it. No doubt my two-year old niece is going to give it just as much wear and tear so I thought a distressed look would be perfect and I figure any really bad dings or stains could be sanded, painted and blend in like nothing ever happened (fingers crossed). I didn’t do a whole lot of sanding. I mainly removed all the tape and scuffed up the surface a bit. The chairs had different finishes too. One was very smooth and polished, the other was very worn and had very little coating left. I scuffed the red one a bit but was trusting that the primer would do its job (time will tell!) There were originally two red chairs but one broke so in lieu of trying to find another identical chair, I found a totally different style chair and embellished it with my niece’s name.
I started with one coat of primer and then applied two coats of black paint. I used Zinsser primer and a basic black paint both purchased from Home Depot.
I tried a chalk paint by the Maison Blanche Paint Company. They call it a “vintage furniture paint.” The color I used was Maison White. The Maison Blanche paint seemed a lot thicker than Annie Sloan’s chalk paint but the results were great so I can’t really say better or worse as far as comparison. Despite it being very thick I still thought two coats would look better. Depending on the look you want, one coat may be enough. Here’s a close up of one and two coats.
I’ve heard various times to wait before wet distressing but as it happens, I didn’t get around to this step until the day after painting. I was thinking it was going to take a lot of bicep work but it was pretty easy. I just wet an old rag and started rubbing in various places. I focused on places that I thought would logically get the most wear and tear but there’s a lot of random places I just thought would look good if distressed. You’ll notice the paint brush strokes in the pictures. I purposely used an inexpensive paint brush because I wanted to get a rougher look. As I mentioned the paint was thick so the brush strokes may have shown despite the inexpensive brush. I’m really not sure what attributed to the brush strokes more.
Lastly, I put two top coats of a new item I found and thought would be great for this project since it’s being used by a toddler. It’s Safecoat AcriGlaze. It’s mildew resistant, has very low VOC content and is odorless. It goes on milky white and dries clear. It brushed on very nicely and the best part was it’s water clean up. Again, time will tell on the durability but if you have kids and are concerned about using a polyurethane or other top coats on your projects, this is a great alternative.
Before I put the AcriGlaze on the back of the one chair, I added my niece’s name. I used a quick and easy method for transferring the letters. 1. Print the name out (laser or ink jet) to the desired size (you don’t have to reverse the image). 2. Using any type of pencil but preferably a soft lead, color over the whole name on the back of the paper making sure to cover the edge of the letters. You don’t have to be neat, just cover the whole image any which way. 3. Position the name where you want it, printed side facing you. I secured mine with scotch tape. 4. Trace the outline of the name and when you remove the paper, you have a nice outline of the name. This picture almost looks like an optical illusion but if you look closely, you can see underneath the paper that I lifted up is the pencil outline of the name.
I used Harrington font. Then I took a fine tip black paint marker and colored in the name. After letting it dry real good, I lightly sanded it to get a slightly distressed look. You can’t wet distress this or it will smear. And a VERY light sanding is all that is needed. I covered it with a couple of coats of AcriGlaze to seal it.
I made some seat cushions to add a pop of color and tie the set in with her playroom. Thinking like a toddler, I used washable padding so theoretically the cushions can be thrown in the wash if/when they get soiled. Hopefully my sewing will hold up! So far my niece likes her new table. She’s already had her first tea party on it!