Hi friends!

Y’all know by now that I like to paint things. I’ll throw a coat of paint on almost anything, without an invitation. If it’s in our home, it’s probably been painted multiple times. I have MCPD…Multiple Coats of Paint Disorder. It’s a real disorder, I found it on the internet when I was researching my symptoms….

I decided to paint my antique icebox. Gasp!! If you believe that every vintage piece should remain unpainted, stop reading right now. I don’t want to be responsible for raising your blood pressure.

photo credit from google images, the creativity exchange

I said more than once I would never paint it. But……………well times change as they say, and I changed my mind about this old piece one day and decided it needed to be white. In my defense, it had already been refinished a couple of times so the “value” of it was already diminished. And truly, the value of anything is only what someone will pay for it.

My ice box had damage from rot on one of the rear legs, didn’t have all the original parts inside, had a large hole in the galvanized cladding inside, and had broken  and lifted veneer, which could not be repaired. So painting it would be a mercy. The wood was dry from years of hard use, I’d waxed it about 20 years ago with Briwax and while that gave it a soft luster, I guess in the end, I just wanted a different look.

prepping for paint

How is it I can find no “before” photos?? And I didn’t take any before we took the doors off. I have a hard time remembering the photo thing. So just imagine the ice box with brown doors.

I decided to use Krylon Chalky Paint in a spray. Colonial Ivory seemed to be the logical choice. I prepped the ice box by removing the hardware, lightly sanding, inserted cardboard cut to fit the door openings, (to protect the inside from overspray) and wiped it down to remove sanding dust. When the prep was done the change began… I’m always a little nervous and excited as the first coat of paint goes on.

First coat and all is well

I do not recommend using a new product on a large important piece of furniture. I’ve used spray paint for years and am usually successful. I started this project with high hopes, I wanted a smooth matte finish and I’d successfully used this paint on a frame, so I didn’t think twice. However…….it pays to read the information on every can of paint. Especially when using it for the first time on something important.

First coat on the door, coverage is good

I Rookie mistake. The project got off to a great start. I applied several thin coats with an hour between each coat. On the very LAST coat, (why it is always the last one that goes sideways????) I guess I failed to shake the can enough to get it mixed properly, the paint came out darker and like a fine powder. It was as if I’d sprayed cornmeal on it!! OMG!!! and other words of distress!!! Words that shall not be published.  I was not happy. I was horrified. I had to let it dry. And then sand it down to try to smooth it. All that careful painting only to have my project ruined at the last moment. I was in tears.

I read the info on the can, it recommends shaking vigorously for a full minute (of course you really should shake it another minute or so). And to shake during painting. I know this part. I shake cans of paint vigorously. What I didn’t do was shake it periodically during painting. I don’t know if I was just in a hurry or was excited because it was going so well.  The range of temps was also an eye opener. Turns out you aren’t supposed to paint in 90+ degree weather with humidity to match!

most of the “damage” was on the left side, and with the usual dim light in this room, it isn’t noticeable

Good grief. So humiliated and head hanging low, I sanded and sanded some more starting with 150 grit and then using 120, then 220. And finally with 400. It didn’t take all the dark shading off and it still feels rough to touch, but it’s done. I’ll wait a couple of weeks and then add wax, at least to the top. I bought a small buffer to make it easier on my neck and shoulders. I’ll live.

Although the finish isn’t the perfectly smooth matte finish I’d envisioned, I like the new look

So the verdict??? Krylon Chalky Spray Paint gets a 7 our of 10 stars from me. It will leave a nice smooth matte finish in perfect weather conditions. Which I rarely have. Humidity is a beast here and the temps seem to get hotter every year.  If I waited to paint when the temps are between 65 and 85 degrees with relative humidity I’d only be able to paint in November through February. Um…..that ain’t happenin. I can’t wait for perfect weather to spray paint something. I could…..but I won’t. So there’s that.

I do think this paint is great for small projects. I won’t use it again on larger pieces. Even though the bad finish was due to operator error, and ultimately the weather conditions, the cost of buying multiple cans of paint isn’t worth it.

Remember: Reading is Fundamental

Lesson learned. Read the directions. All of them. Pay attention to the recommended weather conditions. Shake that can, then shake it again. And shake it during painting. I spoke to a Krylon rep who said shaking the can is even more important when using chalk type paint. The paint is thicker and the ingredients sink to the bottom, so shaking is mandatory throughout the painting process. The powder that was sprayed at the end of my project? That was the ingredient that gives that matte  finish. By not shaking my can often enough or hard enough the paint and other ingredients didn’t get mixed properly. Duh. Well, I know that NOW……

Create your sanctuary one spray paint can at a time. Create the home you see in your heart, no matter where you live.

  • Linda Mains says:

    Well, it photographs beautifully, and that’s pretty important! And I love the painted version, of course! I’m firmly NOT in the ‘don’t paint antiques’ camp.

Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

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