I think I’ve hit nesting mode in this pregnancy, at least for the moment, with the holidays quickly approaching. All I want to do with my time is take hot baths (does wonders for sore my sore back) and work on baby stuff (which sometimes just exacerbates a sore back). So, we’ve been figuring out what furniture needs to go where and getting stuff ready with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. I painted my kitchen table with this stuff recently, and it was the easiest paint I’ve ever used. The other big plus with this paint is that it does not give off dangerous fumes, so I can paint while pregnant and even paint indoors. It went on fast and well, even on shiny laminate/veneer finish. I decided this stuff would be perfect for our worn-looking highchair that was a fabulous resale find. I’d also been meaning to re-do an old wooden divider that we had inherited, that has been very useful though not very chic-looking.
I forgot to take a “before” photo, but here’s the only picture I could find of it – it had fabric on the top portion via two dowel rods in each opening, and the entire piece was dark stained wood.
First, I wanted to replace the fabric with chicken wire, to be a place for clipping cards or baby clothes, or photos, etc. I wanted to make this a more versatile piece of room decoration.
Pulling out the fabric took about 2 minutes. Then, I was ready to measure out my chicken wire, cut it with wire cutters, and attach it to the frames with a staple gun. This went quickly, although I did have to double up my chicken wire in the middle of the “frame” to ensure the sharp parts were only on the sides of the frames, not the top and bottom – I didn’t want to finish our project with anything sharp exposed!
As you can see, my Honey took over the next step. We bought wood trim from Home Depot, and my Honey cut the pieces to be the length of each frame’s two sides. Then, he trimmed any chicken wire edges that were too long to be covered by the trim and nailed the wood trim on top of my sharp edges where the chicken wire was stapled to the divider edges. For this, he just used tiny nails and a hammer, and my daughter, who had by this time woken up from her nap, played outside next to us as I kept her from walking on top of the chicken wire or into a neighbor’s yard…
Finally, it was ready to paint! I quickly slathered on a single layer of chalk paint (watered down by 10%) with just some touch-ups as it dried. We started with the piece lying on the floor and finished with it standing up; I used a sponge brush to dab paint on the chicken wire and the cracks between chicken wire and wood, but a regular paint brush for the wood.
Here’s a close-up of how the sides looked pre-paint and post-paint.
Next project: high chair
Seriously, the highchair looks a million time more fabulous with the paint job! To do this, we simply had to unscrew the plastic tray and straps, so that all that was left was wood surfaces. Obviously, this had a laminate coat on top that I simply painted over – no pre-sanding!
For this project, I slathered on one coat of paint, then allowed to dry and lightly sanded corners and edges and indentions for a shabby chic look. To make sure this high chair can stand up to numerous cleanings and baby spills, I also brushed on a layer of Annie Sloan Soft Wax, using her technique of brushing on and wiping off. Now that I’ve got the “white” tray back on, the chair looks even more lovely and definitely more polished than before the paint job!