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Kids Room Decorating: Painted Nightstands FAIL

The mission to decorate the neglected rooms in the house continues. I've been working on the kiddos' bedroom. My boy and girl share, so I've had to come up with a gender-neutral decorating scheme. I had two horribly ratty veneer nightstands that I couldn't stand for one more second. They were in pretty rough shape with bubbling veneer and ultra-shiny peeling finish. (I am kicking myself that I didn't get a "before" picture. Seriously, they were so nasty!) I decided I would just go ahead and paint them with some creamy colored paint I got for a quarter at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. LOVE that place! It's like a Home Depot thrift store! I had read about how chalk paint adheres to anything without sanding, so I followed THIS recipe and painted them up.

Here they are, along with a little sneak peak of another project in the room:

I spray painted the hardware black for a little contrast. Here's what they looked like before:

And after:

The nightstands are not perfect, but they are soooooo much better than they used to be. You can still see the bubbling veneer, but it looks better painted:

I was pretty excited with how they turned out until I realized that chalk paint ain't a miracle worker. I should have taken the extra time to prime. The paint scratches off with my fingernail! Dumb, dumb mistake.

I am guessing these nightstands will look good for approximately two days. Or less.

Doggone it! Craft fail! What do I do now? Is there a way to salvage them? Uggh!
The Craft Patch
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  1. I don't have much experience with refinishing furniture, so I'm afraid I'm no help with suggestions. They do look great for now though...and I'm loving those hexies on the walls. Are they made out of scrapbook paper?

  2. Ugh! I hate it when a project fails. I've had quite a few fails myself this week. Granted it is with recipes, not crafts, but still frustrating. I do love the hexagons though. How did you adhere them? Do share!

  3. So sorry about the paint but I must say I love love love the hexagon sneak peak and can't wait to see that!

  4. I have been thinking about using chalk paint and everything I have read says you have to finish it with furniture wax. There are lots of different types you can get and I don't know much about it, but I thought I would pass it on. Good Luck!

  5. Maybe some kind of sealer? Good luck!

  6. I would buy a sealer and put that over the top.

  7. I have been debating about some type of sealer too. I just wasn't sure... will it just stick to a layer that's doomed to scratch off?

    I guess it couldn't hurt to try.

  8. Use a wax specifically for chalk paint. There are some good Annie Sloan videos on you tube to help you out. I use a different brand I can find in a local antique store, but they are all basically the same, wipe on or paint on products.

  9. When I do furniture, I have learned that if its a surface that will take a lot of wear and tear (top of a dresser or nightstand) then it always needs at least a little sanding first. Even laminate can be sanded. I had this happen with the first dresser i did so I feel your pain! Good luck! I all else fails, distress them and make it look like its on purpose. ;)

    1. The thing is, I know that I should have sanded and primed first. I just got lazy and now I'm going to pay for it. I am kicking myself! Dumb, dumb, dumb!

  10. They look great but Yup, gotta use wax to seal chalk paint or it will scratch easily. You can use AS soft wax or Miss Mustard seed wax or even Minwax furniture wax. Instead of wax you can use a polycrylic. One of the perks of chalk paint is that it is easy to remove in order to distress it and then once sealed with Wax it is a pretty tough finish.

    1. Guess I'll have to go buy some wax! Thanks for the suggestion.


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