Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

(UPDATE: This coral beauty is FOR SALE in the Chicagoland area. Contact me if you’re interested.)

I’m not gonna lie friends. This one was a struggle.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen each painful step, starting with the wood stain.

The first attempt was streaky. I didn’t know why but thought it must be because I didn’t strip the old finish thoroughly.
So I started over.

The second attempt was spotty because after stripping the old finish I didn’t clean off the stripper residue completely. (Read more about that HERE.)
So I started over.

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

The third attempt was streaky because I didn’t know I was dealing with a soft wood and needed to use a pre-stain wood conditioner. (Looking back I realized this was really the problem with my first attempt.)
So I started over.

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

Finally, on the fourth attempt, the planets aligned, the clouds parted and the wood-staining gods smiled down upon me. Success at long last.

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

Next was paint. I used this DIY chalk paint recipe with Valspar’s Amber Rose color. I’m happy to report that the paint went on with no problems! The color was perfect and the chalk paint was as amazing as everyone claims. I finished it off with a couple coats of SC Johnson Paste wax – stinky but effective. (If you’re trying to compare expensive Annie Sloan Chalk Paint with the more economical DIY versions I highly recommend you read this post from Diane at In My Own Style. So much valuable information!)

All that was left was to pick out some shiny gold hardware and she would be done! Easy squeezy, right?

Wrong.

You guys I couldn’t find anything to fit the holes. I tried everywhere I could think of. Internet, retail, antique shops, referrals from friends – nothing. There were a couple that were the right size but completely wrong for the age and style of the piece. And a couple of others that might have worked but they were around $30 each. Not for this thrifty chick.

I considered drilling new holes but even if I used a stainable wood filler the old holes would be obvious. And ugly. The only way to completely cover them would be to . . .

paint

the

drawers.

The same drawers that I just cried and agonized over for weeks. That I stripped, stained, and sealed four times.

I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t. There had to be a better way.

So I wiped the slate clean and started my search over again, hoping something new and different would pop up this time. First stop: Lowe’s.

I walked to the same jumbled wall of handles and knobs I had looked through before and THERE IT WAS! Not a perfect fit but a contender that, with a little spray paint and strategic placement, might finish off my coral queen.

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

It was super, super close but they work! Here’s the trick: they don’t match the existing holes in the drawers but instead, cover them (with not a millimeter to spare). Yes, we did have to drill into my newly refinished wood to install them. And yes, it did totally stress me out. But the result is 100% worth it. You can’t see the original holes at all and I love the way the finished pulls look. Their simple style and rounded edges compliment the details of the piece perfectly.

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.com

Coral Dresser With DIY Chalk Paint | laughingabi.comI fought hard for this dresser and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. It was my first adventure with chalk paint and my first time using the color coral. I will definitely use them both again.

I should mention that this beauty is for sale so if you’re in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a pop of feminine color in your space, we should chat.

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Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard

Welcome to Day Two of “Five Days of Fall”. Instead of my usual one post this week I’m writing five, each with a different fall-themed idea. Nothing fancy, just some simple, inexpensive ways I cozy things up around here when the leaves start to turn. Today we’re talking chalkboards.

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

If you’ve been here for a while you probably recognize this chalkboard that hangs right inside my front door. Last October it looked like this.

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

But this year I wanted to go with a Fall theme, something I could leave up through Thanksgiving. I was searching for inspiration one day and spotted this on Instagram.

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Super fun and super simple. Perfect for us.

After experimenting with different fonts and sizes I came up with a layout I liked then used this method to transfer it to the chalkboard.

NEW TIP! Did you know you can sharpen chalk with a pencil sharpener? True story. Find one of those cheap little sharpeners with two holes (you’ll use the oversized one) and give it a try. You won’t believe how much easier it is to draw with.

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

I added some freehand swirlys and leaves to fill things in and it was done.

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Five Days of Fall: Fall-Themed Chalkboard | laughingabi.com

I’m really happy with how it turned out and I love the playful message. I almost changed it to “get off the computer, put down the phone, and go jump in the fling-flanging leaves” but it wouldn’t fit.

(My apologies to those of you who were expecting something pumpkin flavored today. I had it all ready but then my photos turned out kind of suckish so I’m going to try again. I promise it’s coming soon.)

If you missed Day One you can find it here.
Day One: Fall-Inspired Bookshelf

12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating: Countdown To Christmas Chalkboard

12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating: Countdown To Christmas Chalkboard

Chalkboards are everywhere right now and my house is no exception. I love doodling new things on this one in our entry when the seasons change. (See my Halloween board and tutorial HERE.) I asked the kids what they thought it should say for the holidays and they both picked a Countdown To Christmas theme. (Did you hear what I said? They agreed on something.)

12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating: Countdown To Christmas Chalkboard

Since I don’t like my own handwriting much I went searching for a font that seemed “countdowny” but wasn’t too detailed or fussy. I landed on this one called Sandwich Paper. After a quick download and install I got to work, following the same steps I used at Halloween.

12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating: Countdown To Christmas Chalkboard

As for the little fillers, a quick Google search for “chalkboard doodles” or “chalkboard flourishes” will turn up about a zillion ideas. I found my inspiration here but you could use anything. I just felt like swirls and twigs that day.

12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating: Countdown To Christmas Chalkboard

Then all that’s left to do is hang it up and admire its loveliness. Oh, and of course change the count each day.

PLAN B:
Like the look but don’t have a chalkboard? There are plenty of sites that sell chalkboard prints you can just slip into a frame and hang on the wall. Some even offer free printables. They won’t be countdowns but they will look like a Christmas chalkboard. I found a few good options here, here, and here.

PLAN C:
Some companies even sell peel and stick chalkboard panels. You just stick it on the wall, draw your countdown art, and then take it down when the season is over. How perfect is that? It seems like I’ve seen them at places like Target or Kohl’s but my online search didn’t come up with anything there. I did however find several different options here.

Hopefully I’ve given you more chalkboard ideas than you ever thought you would need. Do you have a countdown tradition? Does it involve crafting or creating something?

This post is Day 3 in the series “12 Days of Easy Christmas Decorating”. Click these gallery pics to see all the projects in the series.

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DIY chalkboard with a secret tip

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

By now we all know DIY chalkboard paint can be used to transform a wall or door or wine glass. But I didn’t want anything that big or fancy. I just wanted to make a simple, lightweight chalkboard to fill a cute frame from my sister-in-law. It seemed like an easy enough project but I had no idea what material to use.

So of course I turned to my favorite creative resource — Pinterest — and found out most people just use plywood. So I went digging through my garage and came up with this.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

And here’s how it turned out.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

Two words: Epic fail. (BTW, the piece in the bottom left is before I “seasoned” it with chalk.)

Plan B was the craft store, specifically Michael’s. After searching around for a while I stopped and asked an employee in the custom framing department for help. She recommended this product because it would hold up to the moisture of the paint. And it came in standard frame sizes — BONUS. And it only cost $3.50 for a 2-pack — DOUBLE BONU$.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

But wait! Here’s the top secret tip: don’t use the front. Instead, flip it over and paint the perfectly smooth back to get this bit of loveliness.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

Now that I had a chalkboard it was time to frame it up. First challenge? Keeping it from skooching around inside the frame when we wrote on it. Solution? Hot glue (of course). Just a little dot in each corner did the trick.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

Next I needed to “fill” the back of the frame so everything was flush. Three pieces of foam core cut to size and a little duct tape took me from this . . .

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

. . . to this.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

Oh, and see those velcro-looking strips on the back? That’s what I used to hang my finished masterpiece. They’re one of those amazing Command products that don’t damage your wall when you take them down.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

One last detail. The thickness of the Command strips made the frame stick out from the wall a bit so I added these felt circles to the lower corners. They’re just enough to keep just to keep everything flat against the wall.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

Another project done! I actually made two, one for each of the girls’ new lockers. I’ve got a few more back-to-school organizing ideas to finish up and then I’ll post the finished closet. Can’t wait to share. I know I’m a total dork but I love this time of year.

DIY chalkboard with a secret tip | laughingabi.com

What have you painted with chalkboard paint? Any surprises along the way?

My spray paint addiction and a spring chalkboard

Some people dream of planting flowers when spring weather hits. Others race outside to jog or ride their bike (pffft). Me? I can’t wait to get my hands on a can of spray paint.

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

So far this season, in between the freak snow storms and flooding rains (we live in Chicagoland), I’ve finished up three spray paint projects.

The first, Teen Queen’s portable ballet barre, I’ve already shared with you.

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

What I didn’t show you are the scars it left – a spray paint junkie’s track marks, if you will.

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

The next project was part of Baby Girl’s bedroom redo. Sorry about the goofy before shot. It’s the only pic I could find with the purple handles. See Baby Girl behind the dresser building her loft bed?

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

I will never get over how a few swipes of paint can take a dresser from Purple Princess to Tree Top Kid.

And finally, my entry chalkboard.

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

Spray paint addiction and spring chalkboard | laughingabi.com

This transformation is my favorite. I’ve always thought the frame would be glorious in glossy white. And it is. It’s so much more clean and modern and . . . purdy. I’ve got it all chalked up for spring despite the freezing rain blowing outside my front door. Mother Nature is such a fickle b!tch.

What spring addictions are you hiding? Keep it clean people, I don’t want to know all that. Tell me just enough to make me feel normal.

A year of chalkboards

The chalkboard in our entry is one of my favorite things to doodle and decorate. Sometimes I’m inspired by a holiday. Other times by the crazy people living in my house. These are some of my ideas from the past year and a link to the Pinterest board where I keep my lettering inspiration. Enjoy!

Love & laughs,
abi

Christmas chalkboard

Valentine's & Halloween chalkboard

Thanksgiving chalkboard

Awesome & Easter chalkboard

Winter chalkboard