When in doubt, paint it black

We have so many things at home that I’ve got in the spirit of DIY. “It’s going to get painted!” has been the ecstatic answer every time Partner in Crime have looked skeptically at whatever I found in a dusty corner of a thrift shop. Have I ever painted that furniture, picture frame or shelf? No. It has not been about laziness, it’s just very impractical. We live in an apartment with small rooms and little floor space, there are two cats who like to participate and it’s hard to close off an area for such a feat as painting.

My biggest concern has been ventilation and space for stuff to dry. We have no ventilation at all, except for cracking a window but we can’t keep them open for safety reasons unless we are at home. Also, will freeze to death or at least catch pneumonia. Anyhow, true to my new found motivation regarding DIY, I started to google paints and found eco-friendly chalk paints which you can use indoors without hallucinating clowns in every corner. I decided on a Danish brand called Jeanne D’arc Vintage Paint which is made in the EU and is easy to find in Sweden. It is water activated and this type needs a coat of wax on top when it has dried, in order for it to be water repellent.

Let’s DIY my Littlest Table. I found it at a thrift shop a few years back, hated the greenish brown color but loved the shape. All of this is done in my tiny bathroom, which can be closed off and aired out if needed. It is also the easiest part of the apartment to clear out and clean. I forgot about a before picture so here’s the only one I’ve got:

  1. I took the table apart and sandpapered the surfaces that should be painted. It was more green IRL than it is on pictures.
  2. Wipe it off with a clean rag (or in my case, an old t-shirt).
  3. Prep for painting. I found some old Christmas wrapping and a few news papers to cover the floor and used a stool a crafting table here.
  4. Time to paint the things. Do as the can tells you to do. Put in a cat-free room for the first coat to dry. For this paint, it said 1-2 hours. This paint smells nothing, totally odorless! I used a brush because of all the details on this thing and I also think brush strokes are pretty.
  5. Paint the things again. It looked very stripey from the first coat but much more opaque when I the second layer was finished. Yes, it is supposed to look grey, the wax is used to achieve the “velvet black” effect.
  6. Wax it. The wax smells and feels just like shoe polish. I used a rag to apply it with since I had no brush but I think a brush would’ve been easier. It’s supposed to be dry in 30 mins and you can wax it multiple times. I did one layer today and is happy with that for now. diy_table3

It’s an interesting color and depending on the type of light it switches from a soft, velvety black to a more charcoal tone. I’m impressed and is amazed by how nice it turned out. The same color will be used for two more projects and it’s going to be interesting to see if the hue turns out the same. It’s nice that it’s not the same semimatt black as the cabinet behind it and both the paint and the wax was super easy to work with.

2 Replies to “When in doubt, paint it black”

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