My Very First DIY Project

I have to admit something—I have never been very crafty.  My mom can paint a mural without a second thought, but her artistic ability never made it to me.  However, when my husband and I bought our first home and weren’t quite ready to drop a few hundred dollars on a dining room set, I decided to take some old chairs and make them “work.”  Luckily I already had a table that had never been used, and was in good condition.  But for a month it was paired with lawn chairs.  Ugly lawn chairs.

We had some family move that left behind their old kitchen table chairs, and my first reaction to them was no way, I don’t want those in my house.  A few weeks later, and they were in my garage.  After a little bit of research on chalk paint and the technique of distressing furniture, I decided to take it on as my very first project.  Anyone who isn’t aware—chalk paint is not cheap!  Even though I was pining for some Annie Sloan paint, I settled for something I found mentioned on another blog, Valspar Super Flat Paint & Primer.  I went with a color called Pam’s Lace, and got started.  My canvases were not in great condition, with water damage from sitting out in a barn uncovered, but I persevered anyways.  I took my sander and worked the finish down on a couple of the worse-off chairs as much as I could.  Then brushed on two coats of paint (three or four coats in a couple really bad spots), and then got my hand sandblock ready to go.  I rubbed it over the edges and curves, places that would be more likely to have “natural” distressing.

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This is what I started with (one of the worse-off chairs).

Meet Beans, my barn kitty.  He was intrigued.
Meet Beans, my barn kitty. He was intrigued.

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My tools.

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My finished products.

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And…the end result.  Yes, there is one chair that’s the odd man out.  I take what I can get.

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The Beginning

So in order to start from the beginning I have to back up a few months…to June 11–the day we closed on my dream house.  An old, brick farmhouse complete with a big red bank barn.    While my husband’s idea of a dream house is 100 acres of farm ground (who needs a house–worry about that later!), we both knew this was the place for us.  Close to the family farm, it is the ideal place for us.  One thing I learned pretty quickly is that horses are a bit easier to pick up and move than all of the things that make up a farming operation.  With our new home being over an hour away from my hometown and job, we decided to go all traditional and wait until after marriage to officially move in.  That was hard–working all week without seeing each other and spending the weekend at the house planning, painting, and just enjoying it.  But I have to say, now that we are all moved in and settled, it was worth it.