Before & After: Counsel makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


Chalk Paint Makeover, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, furniture upcycle, Chalk Paint ideas, Annie Sloan Charcoal, Annie Sloan Florence

Have you ever made one tiny change in your home that lead to a major project? Like deciding to replace the faucets in your bathroom and pretty soon you have an entirely new bathroom and flooring in the adjoining hallway because one thing just keeps snowballing into the next? Well, that is pretty much what happened with this counsel table.

Over the summer Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell fame, came into town to teach at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. As I was suggesting various local hot spots to check out in her down time, Lee suggested we hit up some estate sales. I found one that claimed to have sewing stuff.

Aside from an old wooden ironing board, we found no evidence of sewing stuff, but I did find this counsel for about $20. It is kind of beat up, and definitely dated in its appearance, but it was solid wood and had some great details on it, making it a great candidate for a chalk paint makeover.

Like most candidates for furniture makeovers, it spent some time in my garage before coming into the house for some TLC. I completely failed at life and didn’t take any during photos, but I started with two coats of Annie Sloan Graphite to give it a nice even look that was much more modern.


Then I dry brushed on one really sparse coat of Annie Sloan Florence and finished it off with a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. I left the hardware alone because the dark features look great with the new color scheme.

I am pretty much in love with the new look this creates and here is where the snowball effect came in. So when we bought our house eight years ago I hadn’t developed my sense of color yet. I was still a pretty new quilter and hadn’t gotten wild with color yet. Plus I watched WAY to much HGTV and painted the entire house various shades of earth tone neutrals. I loved it then, now I am so sick of beige.

I’ve been trying to talk my husband into repainting everything a nice cool gray so I can change out the quilts whenever I want and they will look good, but I kind of doubt that will happen. I also would like to get rid of the furniture we have and replace it with a nice mid-century modern charcoal sofa, but that also isn’t going to be in the budget anytime soon. So I am trying to make my love of color work with what I already have.

Chalk Paint Makeover, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, furniture upcycle, Chalk Paint ideas, Annie Sloan Charcoal, Annie Sloan Florence

The snowball started small by moving the bookcase to the opposite end of the room so the counsel could sit against the wall near the couch and behind my husband’s beloved recliner. I hate this recliner by the way. It is way to bulky for my tastes, but in marriage you make compromises, and this ugly thing is one of them.

But that left the counsel in an out of the way corner and it was just too pretty for that. So in the middle of a cleaning spree I completely rearranged the entire living room, moving the couch from in front of the picture window to perpendicular to it. Then I put the counsel behind it so it is the first thing you see when you walk in the door.

I unearthed a stenciled sign I made with friends at least a year ago that I never hung and some owl artwork and decor that had been stashed in the same box I walked out the door with when I quit my marketing job to run Quilt Addicts Anonymous full time and got this fabulous handcrafted vase on Etsy and started staging the room.

Chalk Paint Makeover, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, furniture upcycle, Chalk Paint ideas, Annie Sloan Charcoal, Annie Sloan Florence

I also pulled out the second quilt I ever free motion quilted on the longarm. This one has been hanging out in my quilt closet for a while because it didn’t really go with anything. But now the browns and teals look great with the made over table and other decor I have come up with.

It was a really simple chevron quilt I made years ago and used as practice after I took my first of many Craftsy classes taught by Angela Walters. This one was Machine Quilting Negative Space.

This thing took me 10 hours to do and it is far from perfect, but I loved every second of it and haven’t stopped practicing and learning. I have since met Angela in person, and she is pretty fabulous. You can listen to her appearance on the Sit & Sew Radio podcast right here.

So within a couple hours, I had a very clean, living room that is much closer to expressing my style for less than $100 for the counsel and the vase.

The snowball is not done yet though. The new layout has created a nice open space that will be perfect for a treadle sewing machine, that also has been spending some time in the garage waiting to be made pretty again, so that makeover is still coming.

Progress happened. The dining room is looking more like a dining room. #honestcraftroom #beforeandafter

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And I finally cleared out my dining room after having it filled with sewing stuff for the last two years. It will soon be filled with a dining room table makeover project and my couch is in need of some custom throw pillows to help tie the blue and teals together. The piano may even be getting a makeover if I am brave enough to give it a try.

So I’ll just let that snowball keep on rolling until my living room and dining room look like me today instead of me eight years ago when I though beige was a fabulous color.

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