Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

It’s been quite some time since I finished this makeover. I felt as if I needed to make peace with this little TV unit before I could share it. All I wanted was a quick and simple makeover of my entertainment unit with a chalk paint wash. Sound easy, right? Well … this was one of those times when nothing seemed to go right … but boy did I learn a lot!

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

Here is the before photo. I’m not a huge fan of TV or entertainment units and it took me a while to find one I liked. I wanted a unit that sat low, would hide the DVD player (and DVDs), and wasn’t too “heavy-looking”. This piece had a good coat of polyethylene which I needed to remove as I wanted to finish the unit with a light chalk paint wash.

My first mistake was to put myself under time pressure. I tried to strip this piece in between running my daughter to school, then heading off to watch her swim, and finally the after-school pick up … I need to be around to monitor the stripping process.

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

I found this medium-sized “Orchard Oak” TV Unit in a light grain oak timber at Early Settler.

Using a paint stripper on my chopping boards had worked well previously … so why not here? After applying the paint stripper to the unit and allowing it to cure, I then started scraping off the varnish.

My second mistake was then to use steelwool and water to wash the piece down. Afterwards I ran off to pick up my daughter from school. Which allowed plenty of time for the water to react to the steelwool particles left sitting on the top.

I nearly cried when I got home and saw this …. WHAT HAPPENED?!

Makeover of My TV Unit with Chalk Paint Wash

And here is another perspective of the horror – I probably couldn’t get this effect again if I tried! I thought … this is it, I’ll have to paint the unit black! Not at all the light bright look I wanted.

What to do?! After a bit of research it seemed oxalic acid, which is often used as a wood bleach, would remove the black stains caused by water penetration.  However I tried sanding to remove the marks first. Oxalic acid is pretty heavy duty, and I only wanted to use it as a last resort. But those marks were here to stay and I really didn’t want to paint the piece black.

I found a great step-by-step tutorial here, which I followed to the letter.

Makeover of My TV Unit with Chalk Paint Wash

The top was much worse that the rest of the unit. You can also see Ollie’s tail as he checks out my debacle!

If you’re thinking of using this method please remember to nuturise the bleach with vinegar. Make sure this method will work on the type of wood your piece is made from, as well as the type of stain. This really was a last resort for me but it worked wonders!

(You’ll have to excuse the rather poor photos … I was so sure I would never share this makeover with anyone!)

Makeover of My TV Unit with Chalk Paint Wash

I allowed the unit to dry for several days and finished with a light sand using fine sandpaper (about 210 grade). I then started on the chalk paint wash, using Annie Sloan Old White and a damp rag. I applied the chalk paint with a paint brush and then wiped off the excess with a damp cloth.

Makeover of My TV Unit with Chalk Paint Wash

You would have thought that after all of this there would be nothing left of the original finish. Not so! Some of the polyethylene had remained, which meant the paint wiped straight off. I thought perhaps I could get away with this but it left little strange shapped bald patches.

My next mistake was not removing all traces of the polyethylene before applying the paint wash. The varnished simply acted as a barrier between the wood and the paint.

I left the paint to dry and then sanded the bald patches with medium 120 grit sandpaper. Using sandpaper to remove the polyeuthene was probably what I should have done in the first place … live and learn.

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

On the upside, I loved what was happening when I left the paint to dry for a minute or two and then wiped it off. Thicker in some places … ohhh, not at all what I had in mind but I love it! So I ran with it, swapping between a damp and dry rag, and experimenting with how long to leave the paint to dry before wiping off.

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

Once I was happy with the look, I left the unit to dry for a day or so. I followed with a clear wax, buffing to a nice shine after a couple of days. I ended up putting the original knobs back on.  I’m not completely happy with them, but by this stage I really needed to walk away and leave this poor little unit alone.

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

I had learnt the hard way … when using paint stripper on a big piece, it’s best to do a small section at a time – and yes, don’t leave it, and go off somewhere else! I’m letting my subconscious work on what type of knobs would look best while I have a nice cup of tea and watch my favourite show … phew!

Makeover of a TV Unit with Chalk Paint

Do you have any tips for applying a chalk paint wash?

For more tips and tricks on using chalk paint, please check out my Pinterest board

Also sharing:

Dream. Create. Inspire., Your Turn to Shine, Creativity Unleased, Grace At Home, The Inspiration Gallery, Catch As Catch Can, Home Sweet Home, Shabbilicious Friday, Foodie Friday anad Everything Else, Feathered Nest Friday, The Painted Drawer, The Pin Junkie, Furniture Feature Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Frugal Friday, Link Party Palooza, The Creative Collection, DIY InspiredBest DIY Projects And Recipe Party, Saturday Sparks, Bouquet of Talent, Found and Foraged, Silver Pennies Sunday, Sundays At Home, That DIY Party, Amaze Me Monday, Something To Talk About, Metamorphosis Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Something To Talk About, Tutorials & Tips Link Party, Made By You Monday, Show & Share, Tweak It Tuesday, The Scoop, Wow US Wednesday, August Before and After, One Project At A Time,

39 responses

  1. I love the honesty of this post. Not all projects go without hitches here and there. I’d love to use chalk paint for furniture but don’t know if I’ll be able to get the right finish. Seems like quite a process. Your tv unit came out wonderful! No one would know the hiccups along the way. 🙂

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    • Thank you 😀 The hiccups are all part of the learning curve! I made lots of silly mistakes with this makeover … chalk paint is generally quite easy to use and you can achieve lots of different finishes. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Wow, you really stuck it out til the end on this one! Even the best laid plans get out of control sometimes. Nicely done and I appreciate knowing I’m not the only one who has project mishaps!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. What a huge difference – it looks beautiful! You really took a tough situation and made it work. I would have been just as horrified when I saw those black spots. Nice job working through it – you have a beautiful piece now!

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  4. Oh, my goodness, so happy things all turned out alright. I love the finished product (even though you experienced many bumps along the road). In general, chalk paint is relatively easy to use as most people sand the finished product or distress it, so perfection is not always desired. And that’s a good thing! Thank you for sharing your learning process.

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  5. Pingback: Summer DIY Projects - Skip To My Lou Skip To My Lou

  6. It’s funny how life throws you a curve ball sometimes. Your redo turned into a black spot fixing tutorial. I think it came out very pretty. Thanks for posting. Hello from Foodie Friday.

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  7. Fantastic makeover! Featuring on The Painted Drawer link party this week! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Pingback: Makeover of a Side Table « HONEY & ROSES

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