Saturday, June 25, 2011

The B$#CH Is Back...

and better than ever. You may recall this bench that was a real "you-know-what" to sand and refinish. This is what she looked like when I last showed her to you.

I left her alone for several weeks before trying, once again, to convert her into the sweet piece of furniture I knew she could be. I scraped and sanded her within an inch of her life, until I got her to look like this.

As you can see, that awful black paint was still soaked into part of the seat. There were also a few small areas where the varnish wouldn't let go.

I have been wanting to try the Annie Sloan chalk paint for quite some time, and several of you suggested I use it for this project, so I figured this bench would be my guinea pig.

I originally intended for the bench to be painted black so I chose "graphite," which is described as a soft black.

Annie Sloan Graphite

I loved the way it covered. It was very easy to work with and dried very quickly. It did take 2 coats (more in some spots), but I still have 3/4 of the paint left over. I used the brush recommended for chalk paint use, but got frustrated with the way it was shedding and switched to my good ole Purdy brush. 

This is how she looked when the paint dried. 

As you can see, the chalk paint leaves a very matte finish. In this light, it does appear to be a soft black. I used wax to protect her from the inevitable dings and scratches that 4 boys leave in their wake.

I haven't worked much with wax, other than occasionally applying it to my pine farmhouse table. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I just put some on the brush and worked it into the bench. When I was done, I started buffing it with a rag and noticed that it seemed tacky. Lint from the cloth was also sticking to it. 

I sent the paint stockist, Patty from, an e-mail asking her what I had done wrong. Apparently, the wax should dry for at least 24 hours before buffing. OOPS!

I suppose I could reapply the wax and buff again, but I actually think she looks fine the way she is now.

In this light and with the sheen of the wax, I would describe "graphite" as a gray with blue undertones.

Can you hear my sigh of relief?  I am so glad this project is finished! 

I'd love to know... Have you boarded the chalk paint wagon yet?

Sharing at ...

Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
Metamorphosis Monday
Tuesday's Treasures
Sizzle into Summer
Wow Us Wednesdays
It's A Party at A Creative Princess
Transformation Thursday at  The Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. Cute what you did and I'm paying attention because I have a settee that I am doing...but I don't have such a big space to sand just the small area but lots of ridges...great job it really turned out great

  2. Darling bench and great color. I don't envy you doing all that sanding. Not my favorite thing to do either. So many bloggers are using the chalk paint. If I ever get the urge to refinish another piece of furniture, I'm going to give it a try.
    Nice post,

  3. I love that color. Good to see it on a piece. I have been using chalk paint and love it. You could have done that without sanding. I have never let the wax dry longer than thirty minutes. That is what I love about using chalk paint. No prep and fast.

  4. That seemed like a lot of hard work but worth it because your bench looks great! Blogland is so full of chalk paint but I haven't yet seen it in South Africa. I hope it will get here eventually. x Sharon

  5. LOVE the bench! Don't touch a looks perfect. I love the color, I see the blue undertones and its stunning. Great impressed with your vision and rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done.
    Very impressive!

  6. I love that you described that process. I've been wanting to try chalkpaint and I need a "Painting for Dummies" tutorial. lol Your bench looks fantastic. Love the color and love the shape of the bench. Looks GREAT!!

  7. Nice Job! I love ASCP! I just finished a little pedestal table in Old White and Napoleon Blue that I posted on my blog if you want to check it out. Tootles, Kathryn

  8. I have a table that I need to do something with, but I need to increase my staying power first. I'm too impatient. I'm still learning to take a picture BEFORE I start my small projects. You did a fantastic job. It looks great.

  9. That looks really good. I like the graphite look a lot. Thanks for sharing with the party.

  10. The bench looks terrific! You did a great job with it. Love the pillow, too. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Beautiful beautiful transformation... loved how you used the graphite color on it.. with the blue undertones and the pillow is looking so gorgeous! Loved it! Thanks for sharing the how-to's on chalk paint... It's all the rage in blogland right now. Haven't tried it yet but I loved knowing all the tips. Thanks for sharing this beautiful bench transformation and your sweet comment on my peonies. Enjoyed your visit!~Poppy

  12. Nice! I'm following from Debbie's blog.

    ciao from newport beach

  13. Wow...what a transformation! Looks lovely.
    YOu must have worked really hard on this one...I'm doing a sanding project myself and its quite time consuming....but I see that the result is well worth it.

  14. I love that bench. I just used that same color and when I put the wax on and started buffing [5 minutes later] the paint came off in a few places. Oh well...looks distressed!

  15. Love the bench! I've used graphite chalk painted and was also very pleased with it.

  16. that bench is not a b#@ch anymore!!! love the shades of navy/grey/black !

  17. I did a dresser in Graphite and love the color. Your bench looks great!
    Stacy title ever!

  18. Your bench looks great and like a lot of work finally done.

  19. it looks wonderful! great job, and what hard wook!

    question though, if you were just going to paint it anyway, especially annies paint, why did you go to all that work to strip it down in the first place?

  20. Your bench turned out beautiful!! I have yet to try the chalk paint, I have heard good things about it.
    Your blog is adorable and your home is gorgeous! Thank you for your sweet comment on mine and I am following you as well. :)

  21. great how it turned out I like that color of chalk paint too

  22. I have not boarded the wagon yet, but have been dying to try this paint! I love your bench and the pillow looks perfect sitting on it! Guess I better go get this paint!

  23. This looks really good, I like that color. And, I really like that throw pillow with it too. I haven't yet tried chalk paint but I have been seeing it all over blogland.

  24. I had the same trouble with Graphite too. I did my piece, in the garage, in the heat. Fingerprints kept showing up on it, so I had to take it inside to cool the wax. After the dark wax I added clear and it darken it down to a soft black. It was not as dark as I had hoped either. Great job though!

  25. Love your bench, Carolyn! Yes! I have boarded the chalk paint wagon! I just did a dresser recently and that was my practice piece. I have a headboard to do next. I went with the Old White and used both the clear and dark wax on it.

    Visiting from WUW! : )

  26. Great Job! Definitely on the chalk paint wagon, but was definitely wanting to see "graphite" on more pieces before I ordered it. Your bench definitely reads more black than the grey I was afraid graphite might lead to. Beautiful job, and for the record, I hate stripping furniture too!

  27. It's just gorgeous!!!!
    I love how it's not a true black, so pretty!
    I will be working with the paint on my next project and can't wait!

  28. You did an awesome job! I would love for you to link up Thursday to "It's a Party"!

  29. I like the way it turned out - great job! I know that must have been a huge job removing the old finish with all those bumpy spindles - kudos to you!! I'm very undecided about trying that paint. Probably don't have quite the right project yet. Looks wonderful in your lovely home :)

  30. A friend of mine who has a shop in town just became our only local Annie Sloan stockist. Until she announced her accomplishment, I hadn't heard of it at all! Now, it seems it's EVERYWHERE on the design blogs. I'm looking forward to using it this summer. :)

  31. Such a difference! I really want to try out the chalk paint soon!

  32. I am almost there with chalk paint.

    I am a slinger when doing projects, so I hope it isn't too temperamental.

    I enjoyed visiting, and I am a new follower.

    White Spray Paint

  33. GREAT job on that bench, Carolyn! I've been aching to try that chalk paint for sooooo long. I keep entering all the giveaways hoping that I'll win some before shucking out all that money for some. :) I'll keep trying....but I feel myself getting closer to just biting the bullet! lol!'

    xoxo laurie

  34. That bench turned out great! I love black furniture so that was an easy pick from Transformation Thursday. I also can relate to your blog. I live with three boys, including my hubby, but my boys are teens.. My daughter is all grown up and living on her own. Not sure I'm liking being the only female. I am definitely following and I hope you check out my TT submission #238.

  35. The bench looks great! A classic piece of American furniture. You have more patience than I do when it comes to sanding.

  36. Thank you so much for linking up, Carolyn!

  37. Love your bench! I just painted a thrift store dining room table for my son's first house in Graphite. Getting ready to wax it today so I was glad to see your post. I'm using the clear wax then the dark wax over it. I tested it and it definitely makes it darker.
    So glad you shared at A Creative Princess!

  38. That turned out just beautiful!!
    I just jumped on the Chalk Paint wagon :)


  39. This project turned out beautifully and I love the blue undertones in the paint color.

    I am hopping over from Sarah's big paint party. (Link #34)


  40. Hey you,

    Well, I LOVE Graphite too!! It's a gorgeous grey - I guess the colour of pencil lead? It looks awesome on your bench. I LOVE it!!

    Did you know that if you use chalk paints next time, you DON'T have to get the piece back to wood. It paints beautifully over varnish.

    Thank you so much for linking up to my Paint, Please link party.


  41. I'm glad to see that others are still painting furniture black. I have been see a lot of brightly painted projects lately.

    I mention this because I posted how I painted my sofa table black. I guess I cheated... I just spray painted... nothing else. It has been over a year and the finish is still great.

    I think I'm one of the last entries on this party.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  42. Hi Carolyn, the bench is beautiful. It's hard to believe that it is the same piece of furniture. You sure did a great job. Thanks for sharing. Sorry to be so late in commenting. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris