I love a fast project. With four little kids running around all day, blog posts to write, laundry to do, dinner to cook, playing chauffeur to do, a million projects on my to do list and a hubby that would like some of my time, the faster the project the better. I put off a lot of projects because I don’t have enough time to dedicate to finish the project. I have a lot of half done projects and several projects that were broken by my kids because they were sitting, waiting for me to finish them in the danger zone I call our garage. After I finished our end table using BBFrosch Chalk Paint Powder (see the tutorial on how to use it on bigger pieces here) I felt like a whole new world of projects opened up to me. The drying time was ridiculously fast and to top it off the powder is super cheap, so this project literally cost me under $.50 in product to do (really probably much less).
15 minute transformation: Start to hanging on the wall
I found this J to go with our last name, Jenkins, at Hobby Lobby and I loved the vintage look but hated the color, it doesn’t match my decor at all. It was on sale because there were some pretty obvious scratches on the top part but that was totally fine with me because I knew that I was going to paint it with the powder/paint anyway. I scooped it up and couldn’t wait to start working on it when I got home. I literally only had about 30 minutes until I had to be somewhere, so I was going to give the fast drying time a test. Could I get this piece done and up on my wall before I had to leave the house in 30 minutes?
Ready, Set, Paint……
I grabbed some left over gray paint that I had mixed up already when I was working on another piece. In my tutorial you can learn how to mix up the chalk paint. I laid the J down on a box and put on a top coat of paint using broad hashtag strokes. I did one layer of paint first because I knew that I was going to distress it a bunch to achieve the look I wanted. I was not super careful to cover all the space on the J because I knew I wanted some of the dark color to peak through. If I had been more thorough it would have only taken me only a few minutes more. As you can see, the first layer covered a TON of the surface, using a very minimal amount of paint. I added a second coat for good measure, even though it really did not need one.
I waited less than 5 minutes for the piece to dry. In the drying time I went and cleaned off my brush. There is a fantastic tutorial over at All Things Thrifty on brush maintenance. It took me just a few minutes to get my brush cleaned up and when I came back out the piece was dry. Seriously!! No joke, less than 5 minutes and my piece was totally dry. Now that’s what I call a fast dry time (obviously the bigger the piece the longer the dry time, but even on large pieces the dry time is SO.MUCH.FASTER. then anything else I’ve tried before).
Then I did my favorite thing. I went to town roughing it up. I first used a low-grade sander block to even all the color out and then I used a high-grade block to rough it up and bring out some of the dark blue color. I roughed up the edges and then some of the surface of the J. I did all of it super fast but I knew what areas I wanted to bring out more color in and it did not have to be perfect. I wanted the piece to look aged and vintage, so there was no real “order” to how I roughed it up.
After I sanded it all up the way I wanted it I dusted it off and added the wax (also part of my tutorial). The waxing was super fast like always. I applied the wax and then buffed it up with my buffing cloth and went inside to find my hammer and nails. I was gone just a few minutes and when I came back it was all most totally dry. I could have waited longer, or over night if I wanted too, but I really wanted to get it up on the wall before my kids messed with it. I took it inside and hung it up in the spot I had waiting especially for this fine letter J.
From the time I took this J to the garage till the time I had it on the wall was 14 minutes 46 seconds. Now that’s what I call a “mom on the go friendly” project. It doesn’t get much faster than that. I had my letter done, my J hung on the wall, my brushed cleaned off, very little paint on my clothes and hands (the life of a painter), and I had enough time to grab a snack before I headed out the door to pick my son up from school. I also had my little two outside riding their scooters in the driveway while I worked. They had been begging me all day to let them go ride, so I was killing two birds with one stone. Getting my project done in lickity split time while watching my kids play? It’s every diy mommy’s dream.
It looks so pretty there. That spot has been blank for a while, because I could not figure out what to put in the space. But now it’s looking gorgeous, filled in with my quick project flip. I seriously can not tell you how wonderful it is to get something done and up on the wall that quickly. I have been an avid sprayer painter my whole adult life. Spray Paint is fast and easy, but the drying time is forever and the weather has to be just so, or I end up with streaks and dripping. I have never ever been happy when I had tried to antique a small piece like this after I had spray painted it. Usually I feel like the spray paint (on my stuff at least) doesn’t look as classy as other kinds of paint. But lets face it, honestly, spray paint has usually, up until now, been the fastest option. I have taken so many pieces to the Thrift Store because they were a spray paint fail… This project was definitely not a fail and will not end up at the Thrift store. This guy is going to be hung proudly on my wall for a long time.
I love how it looks so professional. It looks like I bought it this way and didn’t do a thing to it. It’s hard to be able to say that about finished pieces, usually I am so nit picky, I end up hating it because it’s not up to my standards. But man did this J come through for me.
He looks so cute hanging out up there with my other pieces. I love staging pieces, so it was a lot of fun to move around the decor up here so that I could make sure the J was able to shine in all his glory.
This is one piece I can definitely say was FAST, easy, cheap and most defiantly not a fail. Its achieved a hard-earned success in my book. No more messed up, wrong colored J in my house. Now I have a perfectly aged piece that’s just the right color and fit for the space.
Who doesn’t love a good before and after?
I would love for y’all to show me some of your fast and easy projects! I also am always open for tips and tricks.
Anyone have some great time saving diy/flip projects?
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