Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vanity in Chalk

Several years ago, I had my bathroom partially remodeled. I say partially, because it isn't big enough to move anything and I didn't see any need to replace a toilet and sink that worked fine.  

I did go shopping for a new vanity, however, nothing available would fit the bill.  I needed my vanity to have drawers, and nothing available in that small size had any drawers!  Ugh!  They all just had a door and it was suggested that I go with a trendy pedestal sink.  Um... The point was that I needed storage.  Not suddenly less storage, but at least as much.  More would be even better.

After the bathroom was finished (ok, it still lacks the crown molding I had before...) I discovered that the second mirrored medicine cabinet wasn't put back up.  I was told I didn't need it, by someone who didn't even live here.  Then I discovered that mysteriously, one of the doors had been broken since it was last hanging on the wall.  Hmmmm.... Now I had even less storage than before, and a salesman suggests a pedestal sink to eliminate almost ALL storage possibilities. 

Men.  I blame this on men who don't understand that ladies have stuff, and it needs to go somewhere.  Somewhere out of the way.  Somewhere hidden and uncluttered.  Like maybe in a drawer or medicine cabinet, you think?!?  (Yes, I'm still mad, and having the first medicine cabinet rehung off center from the light bar overhead and the sink does not help.) 

So I kept the crummy old vanity for lack of a better option.  Painted the bathroom "Twilight Mauve" (Valspar) because I love purple and that was a dusty, not-in-your-face option that matched my beloved shower curtain.  :D. I decoupaged the switch plate covers with a scan of the curtain fabric, and I painted the woodwork white.  

And when you walk in the bathroom, it feels small and crowded, all because of that horrid cheap oak stained builder's grade vanity with the brassy hardware.  Uuuuugly, even from my point of view, and I have ZERO talent for decorating.  

I accidentally came across chalk paint, the magical paint treatment, on Pinterest. Supposedly, it will stick to nearly every surface without prepping or priming.  Hmmmm!  So I chose my color, got a sample made at Lowes, and brought it home, ready to mix in the plaster and water.

And ready to make learning mistakes.

I cleaned the surfaces and mixed a few tablespoons of water into a bowl lined with aluminum foil. (Didn't want to ruin the bowl!). I poured in the cup of sample paint, mixed well, and put on that first coat of, appropriately enough, Tagsale Linen.  Sounds like my life.  

The first coat does look pretty awful.  That's okay.  After you put the third thin coat on, you can distress it, then seal, but I didn't want to distress.  It's a good thing, too, because after two coats, the paint scratched and chipped when it touched anything else.  

I went to bed, prepared to work on it the following afternoon.  That's when I discovered that the plaster in my chalk paint had set up.  Hahaha!  I should have known that.  The entire sample of paint was ruined.  Back to Lowes I went, for a new sample (it was only $4, after all). I waited my turn, and when it was my turn, this woman cut in front of me and the paint guy just gave her everything she wanted and I had to wait even longer.  Rude.  Poor customer service.  I suppose he thought he would make it all better and somehow boost my ego by calling me "Babe" when I asked for the sample.  

Wrong.  I feel demeaned by it.  Surely he didn't think I'm a high school girl or 20-something in need of an ego stroking from... him?  The boy with the unkempt and unattractive long beard? Yuck.  I do look younger than my age, I'm told, but a polite "ma'am" or even "miss" would have been appropriate.  Maybe I should've responded with, "Thanks, sonny boy."  Seems appropriate.

This is what I get for being quiet and polite, instead of being a pushy and obnoxious entitled bitch.

Anyway...

I decided to put on a light coat of Polycrylic to stop the scratching, then put on the third coat. It helped, but it wasn't perfectly durable.  One more coat of Polycrylic on everything, and I think I'll be finished.  

I didn't do any sanding, because of the fragility of the paint, so if there are any time bumps, they will stay.  I may add a little dark glaze to make it look antiqued, but for now, I'm satisfied that my vanity is a light color that makes it visually recede toward the wall and make the bathroom seem bigger. 

Of course, over the last two days as I have worked on this, rain rolled in and then the chilliness came back.  Aargh.  So that makes doing everything at once on the workbench outside impossible.  I haven't seen any temperature restrictions on Polycrylic, but you never know, right?

One last task.... What color to paint that awful brass hardware? Oil-rubbed bronze? It's pretty trendy these days.  But do I like it?

Note: I have discovered Unicorn Spit, and I think I'm in love.  I want some to play with!!!

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