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My First Time: The Story of a Virgin DIYer

The story begins on a warm, sunny April day in north Florida. The butterflies were fluttering around, the bears were terrorizing each other in the background. My then-fiancé was out of town. It was time for me to play.

I really wish I had some "before" shots of this little guy. They would have included a vintage telephone table that I bought for $5 back in 2009 or so, with water spots and beat up finish. There would be extra one of my then-live-in-boyfriend (turned fiancĂ©, turned husband- yes they're all the same person) cackling at me as I try to use the high-tech $40 multi-piece sander he bought me. He had faith.

After I had sanded it down. To BARE wood. It sat inside at my entryway all winter long, housing my potted herbs.  Then, we bought a house and moved to the country.

I used a Glidden paint from Walmart, not wanting to have invested a lot of money for this to not go right. I mixed a small batch of chalk paint.  There are hundreds of versions out there, but I used 1 part plaster of paris with 1 part water, until the plaster was disolved.  Then I added 4 parts paint and stirred until smooth. I put it on using a foam brush, which kind of worked out any little bumps of plaster that I had missed. Already, I could tell the coverage was better than paint alone, and it was drying super fast.

Distressed edging and chippy legs.
Smooth as silk with the Finishing Paste
A good thing when you're not the most patient person. 

I put a couple coats of the chalk paint on, maybe an extra on the legs, which weren't properly sanded- I figured the over-sanding on the rest of the table made up for 4 measly little legs.  Then, I sanded the whole thing with fine grit sand paper, sanding a little extra on edges of the table, and spots on the legs to distress it.
I finished the whole thing off with a coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. This was another first. Totally see why it was necessary. It turned the chalky texture of the paint to a nice smooth, glossy finish, while sealing the distressed portions so there's no way that the paint will chip more than I did on purpose.  I did about three coats of it total, and 8 months later, it still looks great.  It is currently housed in our living room, and held Husband’s Playstation 3 for a while.  The heat from the system hasn't done any damage with the protective coat of wax on it.

My first time painting furniture wasn't nearly as disastrous as I thought it would be.  It prompted me to do more projects, and ultimately, to try my hand at this bloggin' thing.

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