DIY Chalk Painted Coffee Table

As a new home owner who just about doubled our square footage and built from the ground up, I was very conscientious about using what we had if we could since I knew we would be spending some serious money to fill the new space.  I had dabbled in a few chalk painting projects in our former house but took it to a new level in this one.  Headboard, nightstands, console table, barn doors, vanity, frames, side table, and even a file cabinet!  I’m excited to share these projects with you soon.

I wouldn’t say I’m a pro by any means but I think everything has turned out pretty darn good and I get a lot of compliments.  Best part….it’s SO EASY!!  Anyone can do it.  Seriously!  No sanding.  No priming.  Just clean the piece and start painting!

A lot of the pieces I simply chose one color and went for it.  Later I discovered some other tricks, including how to distress, thanks to my bff, Pinterest!

I have only used CeCe Caldwell and Annie Sloan and have been equally happy with both.  I am a big referral/review girl so when a friend advised me to stick to those brands after she had bad experiences with some others, I headed her advice.  Find your local retailer on their websites.

The small cans they come in go a long way because you apply it with very thin coats.  I had some left over so I thought I would be on the lookout for some pieces for sale on the Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade groups I’m a member of.

I picked up a coffee table for $50 on Monday and got to work this week.  While I’ve completed many projects in one day, I took a few days for this one due to my schedule.  You really only need a couple hours in between coats.

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I gave her a quick wipe down and began with two coats of Annie Sloan Graphite on the top and CeCe Caldwell Simply White on the legs and bottom (waiting for first coat to dry before applying second).

I decided to give this a vintage distressed feel.  I applied one coat of CeCe Caldwell Savannah Praline Stain over the Graphite top while wiping away any excess with a lint free cloth.

On the bottom I applied a mixture of Annie Sloan dark wax (only about a tablespoon) and Mineral Spirits.  This is very runny so I had a lint free cloth in hand to wipe excess.  My goal was just to take the edge off the brightness of the white but it’s all about what your eye wants.  If you want it darker, wipe less and increase the wax to spirits mixture.

Once the stain dried I gave it a quick coat of white wash.  Simply mix a few tablespoons of Simply White with water.  As with the dark wax mixture, have a rag handy and wipe as you go to achieve the look you want.

Next I applied a thin clear coat of wax all over with a brush (after dry).  I have used wax you apply with a cloth but ran out and bought this in a pinch and find it much quicker and easier to apply.  After a few hours I buffed with a lint free cloth.  It dries within a few hours but I’ve read it can take up to a month for wax to fully cure so I try to be careful with it until then.

Lastly, I spray painted the brushed nickel knob for the drawer with Krylon All-In-One Metallic Copper paint.  I’m so into copper accents right now and had some paint left over from another project.

Here are all of the products I used.  Note the brushes.  There are fancy chalk paint brushes you can buy and maybe some day I will.  I have been using these 2 inch chip brushes with pretty good results.  Once in awhile it sheds so you do have to be on the lookout for fibers in the wet paint.  I picked up this chalk paint brush and I have been very happy with it.

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What do you think??

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Next step is trying to sell it.  Wish me luck!

Mabel Gray

Being a foodie in Detroit has never tasted so good.  One of the hottest new restaurants is located in Hazel Park and I suggest you go to opentable.com stat to make your reservation for next month.  That’s right.  Reservations for Mabel Gray are currently being made about 30 days out.  With a total of about 10 tables open for dinner only and a reputation that proceeds it, it has become one of the most sought after tickets in town.

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It has a casual yet eclectic atmosphere.  Mismatched dining ware and room temperature tap water served in empty wine bottles.  Wear something you can be cool and comfortable in because the open concept kitchen brings the heat!

The hand written menu changes every couple days.  A friend posted pics from her visit just a few days before I went and a dish I had my eye on was already off the menu.  Sad face.

My husband and I started with crisp and refreshing glasses of Rose’ and Chardonnay with a Mexican shrimp and crab cocktail appetizer.  They had me at crab.  The waitress described it as including Michigan shrimp, pickled onions, cilantro, and lime.  What?  We have shrimp in Michigan?  Our faces must have given away our confusion as she further explained that they are farm raised under the best and controlled conditions, attempting to refute the bad rap farm raised typically has.  The cocktail sauce had the perfect amount of spice and the presentation in a wine glass brought the class.

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We had our choice of small plates or entrees and opted for entrees.  I had the scallops which were served with tomato risotto, shaved french green beans and basil.  The scallops were a decent size and not fishy at all.  While I’m not usually a big risotto person and tomatoes aren’t usually my thing, this was the star of my meal.  Tons of creamy flavor.

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The hubs went with a pork fried rice which was described as including pork tenderloin that is smoked into a ham and a farm fresh egg.  Before I could capture the presentation he was already mid bite haha!  Of course I had a bite (or two!) myself.  DELICIOUS!!!

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We don’t always go for the dessert but I just knew it had to be good.  I was right.  The coconut flan was served with toasted coconut chips, caramel, sea salt and melon balls.  The perfect combo of salty and sweet!

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To top it off the service was great.  I highly recommend Mabel Gray for a date night or a night out with (only a few!) friends.

Giving the Cold Shoulder

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Well here we go!  I’m clearly not a professional photographer or stylist but I know what I like!  I’ve been digging the boho/festival vibe that seems to be continually evolving.

I added this little number to my collection since my husband seems to REALLY like another cold shoulder dress I have.  This Mimi Chica gives a summer punch of color and added detail with the tassel ties (my newest item of desire!).  I found it all by it’s lonesome at my local TJ Maxx but I’ve included a similar style below.

I opted to dress this up for a date night at a new restaurant we’ve been wanting to try (more on that later!) with my MICHAEL Michael Kors wedges (scored at Nordstrom Rack) and Rebecca Minkoff fringe clutch (I squealed when I found it at TJ Maxx – also includes cross body strap) in addition to a lace choker, tassel earrings, and hand chain.

I’ve been known to dress this look down with some cute flat sandals or tall gladiators, a vest or duster, and a cross body bag. Either way the comfort factor is on point!

What do you like to wear for date nights?

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