“Chic” Changes for 2016

At Cottage Blue Home, we have always been a little resistant to the “chalk paint” craze and when people ask us why, the answer is simple: it’s a quick fix.The benefits of chalk paint are supposed to be that it eliminates prep time, has good coverage, and creates a mat finish that doesn’t necessarily require a top coat—and these are all great qualities! But for the purposes of refinishing antiques and new pine furniture to sell, we have always found chalk paint to fall a little short; in our experience, the finish just doesn’t last.

While we do like the look of chalk paint (actually, chalk paint produces a finish quite similar to our own technique), we have never been entirely convinced of its durability. We were so excited to try chalk paint when we first heard of it, but after experimenting with several different brands we were a little disappointed. Most products chipped or were scuffed up after a relatively short period of time, especially on pieces that tend to get a lot of wear and tear (like dressers, for instance). This is why we’ve always told our customers that chalk paint works well if you’re looking for a quick DIY and you want to avoid investing in all of the different products that we use to prep the pieces we refinish, or you don’t have a workshop to house the inevitable mess that comes with sanding and priming. As a business, however, we do everything we can to ensure that any pieces we send home with our customers are durable, and reliably finished. To do this, we thoroughly sand, paint (minimum two coats!), and wax or seal our furniture. This process is described in detail in one of our earlier posts, “Transforming an Antique Buffet.” Cottage Blue has been finishing furniture this way for a long time now and it has always served us well, so it was going to take a pretty amazing product to entice us away from our current, tried and true methods of finishing. But guess what: we found one!

country chic paintRecently, we have found a product that technically is not “chalk paint,” though it shares all the same benefits. “Country Chic Paint” is a Canadian-made, chalk and mineral-based paint that strongly adheres to just about any surface, usually eliminating the need for sanding or priming, and creates a very hard and durable finish. Although seems similar to chalk paint, it is made with an entirely different formula. We have been testing out various paints from Country Chic over the last few months and we couldn’t be happier! The texture of the paint is much easier to work with than most chalk paints, and (even better!) despite lots of scratch tests and rough housing we have found the paint to be very durable when applied correctly! Although this paint creates a nice, hard, mat finish without a top coat, the company also offers various waxes and hard coats to render that finish even more reliable. Furthermore, these top coats allow you to play with the finish of your piece to create all sorts of creative and exciting effects! If all this weren’t enough, Country Chic paint is eco-friendly, with no VOC! We are very pleased to announce that, not only will we be using this product ourselves, but it will be available for sale in-store! Soon we will be carrying a full line of paints, waxes and various other finishing products to help you with your own DIY projects!

Our customers, like ourselves, have always shown a lot of interest refinishing and up-cycling, and many have requested that we teach classes. Unfortunately, holding classes and workshops never seemed feasible with our usual very messy, and very long process of sanding, priming (waiting for the primer to dry), painting (waiting for paint to dry, which, if you haven’t heard, isn’t very exciting), then painting several more coats, sanding again, and eventually waxing and polishing— the workshop would have to be a full three day event! But now, thanks to Country Chic Paint, we’ll be able to cut out a lot of the prep work and use workshops to demonstrate a much shorter finishing process, without compromising the quality of the product. Our workshops will feature a variety of different techniques and products (shelves, boxes, lamps…you name it!) and we are always open to suggestions. If there are any particular techniques, products or pieces you’d like to learn about just let us know and we’ll try to put a workshop together! If you would like us to send you more information directly regarding these workshops, please send us an email at cottagebluehome@hotmail.com.

workshop
We will host these workshops right in our
store in Cornwall, in our new work area! We have been busying with renovations this week and have created a work area in the back of the store to display hardware, unfinished pieces, interesting architectural pieces, future projects and, of course, our new line of Country Chic Paint— all of which will be on sale! It also provides with a handy space to work on projects right in the store, and to host work shops were you can learn more about the finishing process yourselves!

As you can tell, 2016 has lots of changes in store for Cottage Blue Home and we just can’t wait!

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