Distressed Duck Egg Dining Chairs Makeover

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Remember that post the other week when I poured my brains out to share the ideas I had floating around for our breakfast area? And remember how I polled y’all on Facebook and Instagram with paint brush in hand as I struggled to swipe on that first drop of paint onto our kitchen chairs? I kid you not, even after all of that, I still stood in our kitchen for an embarrassingly frequent number of times just staring at those blasted manufactured “weathered” wood chairs teetering on the question, “to paint or not to paint?”

Until you know what I did? Flipped a coin to make my decision. I wish I was making this up. I literally left this decision to chance because I could not for the life of me land on my choice on my own. But I’m so glad it landed on tails (what I assigned to “paint” in the coin flip).

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I mean, hello? What was I so afraid of?

I knocked out painting three chairs before remembering that I should take a before shot, so here they were before. They were great the way they were, but I wanted some contrast from the table. (Super matchy furniture makes me antsy for some reason.)

And, yes, I tested chance even more by not using a dropcloth. Just paper plates under the legs.

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These chairs take a beating regularly. Cute little toddlers can make the biggest messes, and this chair still had remnants of Olivia’s oatmeal from breakfast. Lovely.

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I realized that I’ve never really written a post with a basic step-by-step for painting with chalk paint, so why not today? There are tons of chalk paint tutorials out there, but if you’re a newbie to it and you’re afraid to take that first step, I promise you have nothing to be afraid of. So consider this my beginner’s guide I guess.

I gave them a quick wipe down of soapy water, wiped again with a damp rag, let dry, and they were ready to be beautified. (Do you spy my little helper hiding under our table there?)

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I happened to have nearly an entire quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg leftover from my coffee table makeover. It is my absolute favorite color for injecting a little life and interest into an otherwise neutral room. Great for all of us color-fearing gals.

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I use a 1.5″ angled Purdy’s brush. This thing has seen its share of projects for sure.

I work straight from the can and just place the top on between dipping my brush so I don’t waste any.

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And paint away!

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Side note:  It’s moments like these when I wonder why I ever decorated with anything but this color. I like this shade so much that it was the main color in our wedding.

Exhibit A-  (I love these beautiful ladies to the moon and back.)

(c) Brandywine Photography and Cassie Leigh Photography

If you wear the color all the time, are drawn to it like a magnet when you go shopping, and put it on your own bridesmaids, decorate with it for goodness sake! No idea why it took me 3 years to figure that out.

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If you’ve never painted with chalk paint before, don’t freak when you see this (above). Streaks are normal.

This paint dries lightning fast, and was already dry in some places before I even finished the rest of the chair. After an hour, I used 100 grit sandpaper to distress.

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I concentrated on all of the edges where natural wear and tear would occur. Then roughed it up all over to have the weathered wood underneath show through.

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Well hello, pretty distressed duck eggy weathered woody finish.

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Once I was done having way too much fun with the 100 grit, I went back over it with a 220 grit to blend away the scratches. Then wiped everthing down with a damp cloth to remove dust.

When I first attempted painting furniture a year ago, I had bought a can of Minwax Clear Paste Finishing Wax, and it has been used on so many pieces. I still have a lot leftover. I like to use an old sock and wear it like a mitten to apply the wax.

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This stuff makes the painted piece silky smooth, and I won’t have to worry so much about Olivia’s messes discoloring the paint as it protects the chairs.

It took no time at all to rub on the wax and buff it.

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And since I chose the distressed finish, Olivia can distress them even further and it won’t bother me a bit.

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Do you see a sneaky peek of our breakfast nook changes already? Those curtains are getting a hem job tomorrow, and then it’ll be finished!

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What do you think? Are you as obsessed with this color as I am? Or had a total “duh” moment in your decorating? Or maybe had to flip a coin to make a decision? Sometimes the hardest part of making over furniture is the deciding part.

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  1. Hi – Can you share where you found your chairs ? I love them and I can’t seem to find them anywhere. Thanks so much !

  2. I haven’t started my chalk paint project yet…for some reason it’s so hard to just “get started”! I have read various blogs from people who use it and I have read that you need to wax your project again, after a year or so. Do you do that? Do you ever put a spray clear coat over the chalk paint and wax? Thanks for any help you provide:)

    1. Yes, you do have to wax again later, unfortunately. I’ve started using Fusion Mineral Paint lately though and like it sooo much better. It’s a lot like chalk paint because you don’t need to prep or prime, you can distress with sanding if you want, and you can add dark antiquing wax for looks. But Fusion doesn’t require any kind of clear wax to seal it. It’s literally one step, unlike chalk paint. I have a few posts about it, here if that helps: https://www.blesserhouse.com/?s=fusion+mineral+paint

  3. I immediately started following you after I found your mason jar pendant light post, and I fell even more in love with your whole blog!! And even more so when I learned where you’re from ( I live in Clover, Sc). Beautiful wedding shot! And if it’s Brandywine photography out of Kings Mtn, I know her! Such a small world!!!

    1. Just re-read your Bio and I must have missed the colorguard part before. You may (or may not) know my instructor-turned-photographer Alisha Rudd. I’m sure we have some mutual friends. I know a good about of people in Carolina Crown. It’s crazy the about of similar interests we share and we grew up a hop and skip away from each other!

  4. I like how your chairs turned out. However, I really love the color of your table. Did you finish it yourself? I would love to know the color or colors you used.

  5. I LOVE this color. Looking on amazon now for all the good I need to complete this EXACT same project (which I have had on my To-Do list since this spring!). I wasn’t sure what color to get, but I love this so much. I can’t find Annie Sloan on amazon. Do you recommend any other brands that are similar in color? Or, do you know what stores often carry this brand?

  6. Hi, how many cans of the chalk paint did you have to use for four chairs? I’m about to refinish four chairs and I would love to have an idea.

    1. Hi, Kayla! I only had to use 1 quart of chalk paint. And actually I think I only ended up using half of the quart. 🙂

    1. Hi, Kelly! No priming or sanding, but I did wipe them down with a washcloth with a little bit of soap and water to clean them from any leftover food that my 3 year-old might have left behind on them. Once they were dry, they were good to go. Hardly any prep work is required with chalk paint.

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