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How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint

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This dictionary stand has been in my house for at least the last six years.  I don’t know how it got here, but my son seems to have a certain attachment to it. Which is not a bad thing.  The bad thing is that this cherry red piece sticks out like a sore thumb in my otherwise black, beige, and blue apartment.  

Yes, most of the furniture is either black or a dark brown.  No cherry in sight here.  It was time to upcycle the dictionary Stand with chalk paint. 

Before, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
What is a DIYer to do?  I could go to Michael’s and make them richer than they already are, but I have a plan here.  You see, my dear old dad is my inspiration for my creative side.  He worked as a house painter for many years and although many of you would not think of that as being creative, I remember that our home was full of hand painted pieces by him. 

Of course he used enamel paint on his furniture.  You know the old fashioned kind that is thick and gooey and drips all over the place. But I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce him to the joys of chalk paint.  

Getting ready to paint, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
I made it using an acrylic paint he had around the house. (Our house is full of paint cans).  I used 1/3 cup warm water, 1/3 cup plaster of Paris and a cup of the acrylic paint. At first my dad was very skeptical.  And when I started painting he complained to me that I was ruining a perfectly good piece of furniture.  I’m sure that many of you who have ever painted furniture have heard that one. ​

I added 3 coats of paint and let it dry overnight.  The next day I sanded it a bit… not too much, and used cream wax from DecoArt to seal the paint. 

I’ve done all this before with my bed frame makeover and the blue beach table.

after first coat, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
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Of course my dad was still skeptical till he saw this…

finished dictionary stand, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
I had him run his hand across the top…
top view with wooden tray, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
That’s when I got the desired effect  ”Oh it is really smooth” .
detail of corner, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
And… “it does look much better now!”    

That’s what I wanted to hear!!!

other corner distressed, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
He was also very impressed with the price tag! 😉

And he liked the distressing!

detail of spindle, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
In case you are interested, that wooden tray was in the first post I published along with some frames.  It was made in my home town in Greece.  We have a woodworking tradition where I was born. 
close up, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
A quick look at the before.  Now that I’m looking at it again it seems as if the spindles are a different color from the shelves.  Hummm… Maybe it was a different type of wood.  But I fixed that!
the stand before paint, How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
This piece is finally finished.  And I have shown my dad the beauty of chalk paint.  You can always learn something new no matter what your age.  

You may be wondering why I felt the need to show all this to dear old dad.  I mean why can’t I leave him alone and give him some peace and quiet?  Well, I am going to paint some larger pieces of furniture in the house the same way and I needed to ease him in slowly with this smaller piece.  See there is a reason for my painting madness. 

the finished dictionary stand How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
I hope you all enjoyed my quick how to upcycle a dictionary stand with chalk paint. Dad is satisfied!  And I am painting up a storm in my son’s apartment!  But more on that later…  

​Have you ever tried to make your own chalk paint?

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Giving a new look to an old dictionary stand with chalk paint #furnituremakeover #dictionarystand #upcycledfurniture #DIYproject #furnituremakeover #Chalkytypepaint How to Upcycle a Dictionary Stand with Chalk Paint www.theboondocksblog.com
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Sarah @ The DIY Mommy

Thursday 19th of September 2019

Wow! Such an improvement. I love the transformation!

Julie

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Wow, what an improvement! And a lesson that we are never too old to learn something new , congrats on converting your Dad to a Chalk paint fan!

Mary

Saturday 28th of January 2017

Yes I truly hope he stays converted. You know at that age they are a bit fussy.

Katrin

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Mary it is beautiful! I am happy that you are having so much fun with your dad, lol, I bet he is enjoying it a lot too and will soon paint with you! Can't wait to see more!

Mary

Saturday 28th of January 2017

Katrin he can be a stick in the mud as many are at that age but I think he is softening.

Michele

Monday 23rd of January 2017

This just goes to show that you can teach an old painter new tricks! I am always nervous when I first start a new paint job because I am afraid I am ruining it. But the new paint job always brings old furniture to life.

Mary

Saturday 28th of January 2017

Haha! Michele. I will not give up on him. Once I finish with the room he will see that it is much better with these lighter colors. And chalk paint is so easy you can't mess up.

Christina Makri

Monday 23rd of January 2017

Oh Mary it looks so updated!!! You did excellent job as always!!! I love also this dictionary stand! It is so unique!!! PS Did you leave from Greece?

Mary

Saturday 28th of January 2017

Christina I am in NY visiting my sons who live here. I'll be back home soon, but for now I am helping them out with the house.

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