…q&a’s

I’ve collected quite a few Q&As this month so here goes!

If the piece you have is already painted, do you need to strip it first?

Nope. That’s the beauty of ASCP. No prep work.

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I have an door that I want to make into a table. One side is painted white and the other has a dark brown stain. I want it to have the shabby chic look. I like the idea of using blue for the main color. Just not sure what to do first about the two different colors.The end result I would want to see some wood color, white and blue. What should I do?

If I understand you correctly, you want a blue door with some natural wood showing through. Correct? Choose your blue. If using for a table, try to pick something versatile that goes with the room so it doesn’t become a piece that you always have to work around. Paint the door, clear wax it and then you will want to sand quite a bit to see the wood. A door with panels will really show the wood beneath. Dark wax in these sanded places to really bring out an aged look.

Have you considered doing one on painting fabric on furniture? 

No, I haven’t! I would love to see a picture of what this would look like. My first reaction if you are painting fabric because you don’t like the fabric is that you are still probably going to see the pattern come through a bit. I’m thinking of chairs with an upholstered seat. If this were the case and it were me, I would hop online and find some fabric that I really liked and would enhance & refreshen my room. It’s an easy fix with a staple gun. If it were a very large piece of furniture I’m not sure how comfy it would be to sit on painted fabric. I think I’d save my pennies until I could have it professionally reupholstered. But, never say never.

Are any of the friends you mentioned, or are you friends with any one who is direct, local “competition”?

That is an interesting question. If you asked me 2 years ago I would have said yes. But, now I look at it so differently. If you think of it like this: a business needs a personality. We are that personality & what we bring to our business is unique & wonderful just like we all are. I think every shop, owner, business, blog should bring along the creator’s self. I think we are all different & have a different take on how we see things. I think we all have our strengths & weaknesses. I think we all have a past that shapes us and no past is the same. If I think about me and Blue Egg, I think about the 2 homes that DH and I have built. I don’t know many others that have had that experience. I know what it’s like to see a pile of 4x4s on a dirt mound and then see it become a home from scratch. I know what it’s like to pick out ever single knob and molding and tile. I also know what it’s like to have my Dad as a designer and his father before him. I know what it’s like to work in a studio with your hands and create something beautiful. I think we need to learn to tap into our own strengths and use those to shape our business. Make it authentically you.

i bought a Vintage Magnavox Astro Sonic Wood Console Stereo Player AM FM i would like to use anne sloan chalk paint and wax on it to add value.since this is vintage will the paint job take away from its value?

When you need to learn the value of an older piece and whether or not it’s a true antique, do your research. Look up what others are selling on Ebay or the internet and see what they have to say & what they are pricing the piece at. Benchmark. I don’t know about your specific piece, but I’m sure you can find some resources out there online.

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I have that late 1980’s golden oak all over my house. I am wondering if I could white wash my stair rails….what you think?

You could do your stair rails. Since these are so frequently used I would be aware that certain areas will show some more wear than others. It is a “worn” look so that works to your advantage. Let dry sufficiently.

I too would like to know how you would price pieces. I’ve got some clients that want me to paint for them and I would love some advice.

In my experience pricing is not black & white. You have to experiment a bit and then set your prices. Look around online and in your area and see what other people are getting for their wares. What does your market bare? Every area is a bit different. I shop alot and I like to think I know what others in my area are setting their prices at. If you find that you want to sell more pieces in a shorter amount of time then price lower. If you are fine with waiting for the perfect buyer for a special piece then price as you see fit. For example, I paid $230 for my antique dough bowl for my own home. I found 6 of them to sell and priced around this number. I’ve sold half of them, but I’m okay with that because I feel like they are special. Maybe you agree and maybe not. But, I’m okay with hanging onto them and looking at them everyday until the right buyer comes along.

I’m needing some advice on what to charge for doing refinishing for clients.  I’m new at this so I haven’t a clue.   I just did two end tables for someone that has an antiques store where I live and plan on doing more for her.   Would I go by size and time or just a flat fee for the piece?  

When refinishing for people you have a few items to consider. Your time, materials & labor. What is your time worth to you? I have kids and so taking time away to give to a project is not easy. I have played with these prices and have gone up in the last few years. I would rather have few clients and make more on fewer pieces than work like a dog on a ton of pieces. Make sense?

Do you have to use the clear or dark wax after painting with the Annie Sloan paints if you don’t want to distress? I would like to try the paint but not sure of the wax step.

Personally, I would recommend always doing the clear wax step. You want your piece as durable as possible. If you do not use the clear wax then your suface will be that matte, chalky texture & feel. If you wax it there will be a smoothness to the surface that I believe holds up better to wear & tear. I know I put all my water glasses on my painted surfaces!

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My husband used to work for Orkin pest control and he saw over and over again folks homes being infested with bed bugs due to flea market or yard sale or good will furniture items  brought into the home.  Sometimes the eggs can be in the furniture and lay dormant for thirty days.  Sooooo. My question is how do you go about buying pieces to redo without fear of those little critters?

Great question! I’ve never had this experience. Anyone have a suggestion?

I am excited to get started but hesitant.  Any thoughts?

Start small and work on a piece for yourself. If you finish it and hate it, start over and repaint. Don’t go crazy on the dark wax, you won’t be happy. Tread lightly.

A friend wants me to paint and distress a sofa table and accent table. What should I charge her to do this? Please help!

When refinishing a piece for a friend or family member, well, it’s just tricky. First, I would always recommend that the person pay for the materials it takes to do the piece. ASCP is not cheap and those supplies come from your wallet if you do not charge. If you are totally booked & business is booming tell your friend that you can get to it when you have a window of free time after your paid clients. If a family member/friend wants to BUY a piece of yours, well, you need to charge them. Give them a discount, of course, but hopefully they will respect you & your business enough to want to pay you for the product.

I’ve noticed that the dark wax easily scratches off.  I was wondering if you had any recommendations on some type of top coat or treatment that would prevent that from happening?

Are you using the clear wax first? Are you letting it dry sufficiently? If so, it should not rub off. Over time, you will see wear on your pieces, but because it is a worn look it will add to the character of the piece. If you feel like you need to refresh in 5-10 years then do so.

How far back do you paint?  Do you paint the entire “inside” of the dresser and/or inside the drawers?  Or do you just paint the outside?

No, I do not paint the inside of drawers of the inside of the dresser. I have never seen that done in the pieces I’ve purchased either. I really love seeing the contrast of the new paint and the old wood. Let’s remember where the piece came from by enjoying a bit of the original state.

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I was wondering if you pick up/drop off your pieces to your clients or if you only agree upon THEM dropping/picking up their pieces?

This may sound harsh, but you are not a delivery business. You are a painting/refinishing business. Do not get into picking up/dropping off. It is way too much work. Find a local mover or guy with a van in your area. Negotiate prices. The client pays for the drop off & delivery.

I want to remove some chalk paint that was applied too thick. It is completely dry now since it was done several days ago. How do I remove it?

You will need to sand down that area and repaint. Be sure to dry off the sand particles so they don’t get into the reapplied paint. The amazing part about this paint is that you don’t need to do the entire surface area to blend. You just need to do the one spot that requires your attention.

Can you sit on the chalk painted cane chair without scuffing up or chipping the paint? I am thinking about chalk painting my cane chair at my desk and I would be sitting in it often!

Again, painted furniture will get wear. I painted my kitchen chairs years ago and they are starting to wear on the seat where they get a ton of use. It works with the shabby look and I like it. A little bit of scratching is okay because it’s a part of the whole distressed/shabby chic look. I have 3 kids and kid friends over all the time and all their furniture is painted. Just make sure you apply a thorough coat of the clear wax and let it dry for a few days. 5-10 years from now you may need to refreshen, but that’s all painted furniture.If there comes a time when I need to refresh, I will. I always look at it like this – can I only improve the look of the chair if I paint? Have I come to the point where I either pitch the chair or try refinishing it? If so, you have nothing to lose and, in fact, you will be very happy.

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I was wondering if you can paint with Annie Sloan paint while you’re pregnant? I just bought a few quarts to paint a dresser but the cans say for pregnant woman to avoid exposure. Also is it a lead based paint?

I have been reassured that all Annie Sloan paint is non toxic. I will be doing a post on these facts in the near future. It is not a lead based paint.

I just finished a super cute oval coffee table and didn’t notice and water damage until after I painted it. Now I can see a whole little section that is slightly bubbled under the wood. Is there any way to fix it??

You will probably have to sand down the surface and if it’s really bad take that surface layer off completely. I have had to do this and it is a bit of an effort. You will do best with an electric sander and taking off the bubbled parts. They you will need to repaint. If you love the table it will be worth it.

Go questions? Email me and I’ll post.

Comments

  1. Denise Murphy says:

    How do you get our brushes so clean?

  2. Christen,

    These are very good questions and answers! I have never thought about infestations in wood furniture…! Thanks for sharing!

    Rita@ferrytales

  3. So glad your back!!!

  4. How do you ever decide which color to use?

  5. Hi there, LOVE your video’s on YouTube. My question is, here in B.C Canada Annie’s Chalk paint is going to cost me $50 for 1 liter. This paint is the route I want to take refinishing a piece I have but I wondering on a larger hutch, will 1 liter do? Do different pieces soak up the paint more bases off original finish of the piece? Im just having a hard time investing hundreds of dollars in paint in 1 piece and want on idea on how well the can stretches.
    Thanks,
    Nicole

    • I make my own chalk paint. I use 3 parts paint (flat finish latex) to 1 part plaster of paris and water. The plaster of paris cost me about $8.00 for a 4 lbs. box, plus a gallon of paint, I paid about $ 30.00 total. The already mixed runs you about $30.00 a quart. I will be able to paint quite a few pieces with this. I love the results! The pieces look great!! If you would like the instructions you can email me at lois.walls@yahoo.com. This way is alot cheaper than the already mixed brands.

    • Google the instructions for making chalk paint with plaster of paris. I make my own and the results are perfect!! It is very inexpensive and you will be able to make alot more for less than a quart of the name brands. It is also very easy to do!!

  6. What colour have used on dresser?

  7. Elke warren says:

    Hi, I’m just starting to use this chalk paint. Love it!!! My question to you is, since you do not paint the inside of the dressers, do you not paint the back side of dressers or hutches either. I don’t want to waste time and paint on the backside that I know always goes to a wall.
    Thank you! 😉

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