Why Use Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint was invented to restore old furniture. Since we opened 8 years ago it has come to my attention, there are a few people who think painting furniture is sacrilegious. If you are one of those people, I will try to explain why we use Chalk paint. I’m not trying to convert you but rather to bring an awareness to some of positive things that can come from using Chalk paint. 

If you do like the look of painted furniture and if you are going to do it yourself, you should absolutely use Chalk paint. It was invented to paint furniture without striping, sanding or priming. “Chalk Paint is a type of paint that can be used on furniture and other items to create a chalky appearance. It’s used for creating an aged appearance and can be distressed easily.” Chalk paint is a time saver, and we can all use a little more time in our lives, can’t we?! At ReFabulous Furnishing, we sell Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk paint and we recommend Dixie Belle as is it easy to use and very affordable. 

Now, for those of you, who hate even the thought of painting over the wood. I do get it. Sometimes the wood grain is so beautiful you cannot hide it.   But there are a few practical and understandable reasons to use chalk. As you can see, I decided to leave the drawer on the china cabinet unpainted as the veneer was in great shape and so beautiful. But the rest of piece was very beat up with severe veneer damage, the door was broken and the glass had been removed. The piece was most likely headed to the landfill due to the imperfections. 

Reason #1 – Save the Planet. This particular piece, like hundreds I have seen before, was made of real wood and has beautifully constructed drawers that easily slide, not to mention the outrageously unique hardware. For me it just had to be saved. But the piece was too damaged to strip and stain. The cabinet had veneer all over the piece, and it was stained probably 70 years ago in a very dark stain.  Through the years, the combination of the dark stain and general use made this piece beyond “a good cleaning”.

Reason #2 – Re-design what is outdated. When I first saw this piece, I knew I could not fix all the areas where the veneer had chipped.  but as I started to clean it, I realized beyond the veneer, the entire piece had deep gauges and scratches in several areas. There simply was too much damage to strip it down.
Reason #3 – Save time and money. We often strip the top of pieces to preserve some of that beautiful real wood look and give a piece a unique look. But when there is too much damage to the veneer, we use wood putty to fill damaged spots and apply paint. It would save hours upon hours of work and days of drying time to remove veneer, sand down the wood (which after veneer is removed is usually not the best wood), and then apply several coats of stain and top coats to save the natural wood look. When you calculate the time and money needed to truly restore the wood piece against what it can be sold for, there is no market for a fully refinished piece.  The paint and finishes that can be applied in 1/2 the time are just a smarter way to save the amazing craftsmanship seen in the older furniture. These are just a few of the reasons we “Refab” furniture at ReFabulous Furnishings. I’m not exactly trying to defend our actions or to convert any wood lovers, but to hopefully bring an appreciation and make some sense of the question… Why we use Chalk paint on furniture?

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