Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dixie Belle Homeschool Room Makeover!

Welcome to my homeschool room...The room which has been a true labor of love, more than any other room I've ever "created."

Before you read any further, you must know that I'm a total newbie when it comes to chalk painting furniture. 

We bought our home in May, based on this one room. It has beautiful French doors which lead into the backyard. When I saw this "bonus room" I instantly envisioned teaching my own children and having them take turns playing outside as the other learns. And then my imagination took me to the years after our homeschooling journey ends, and how this would be a homework room and a room in which they could continue to learn and do art and lay on the couch and read. This would also be my office in which I help my hubby's insurance business or if I go back to teaching (my previous career) in some capacity (perhaps as a homeschool teacher of parents).

A room full of dreams carries such high expectations on my part, and it has taken four months thus far in its creation.

As I tell you the "homeschool room makeover story" you will see exactly why it was a labor of love.

This is how it started--with dirty dressers that I had bought used, and my grandmother's desk that was built by her father many, many years ago. (And with an adorably hammy standard poodle named Jack). 

I gathered my Dixie Belle products in great anticipation, hoping to create a sun and sand getaway. Dixie Belle had sent me the most beautiful colors based on this poster.

I was drawn to Dixie Belle products when I read that I didn't need to do much prep at all. The directions for using this chalk mineral paint product is to simply paint. In many cases, no primer is needed as well as no finishing product.

In this case, I did need to cover up the marker and pen which graced the dressers. This marker and pen was the reason why I got these dressers at such an incredible price!

I felt that I needed to sand it because there were indentations from the pen marks. The kids were thrilled to help!

Hubby was "thrilled" to help too. Well, maybe not as much as the kids, but he knew the dreams I had for this room and wanted to see them come true.

I then used Dixie Belle's White Lightening Cleaner because the dressers were incredibly dirty. Dixie Belle's new product, Boss (Blocks Odors, Stains, Stops Bleed Through) was the last step of our prep work, and this is what covered over the marker and pen and most importantly, the stain that was already on the dresser. (Remember this part, as it will come up later...)

The products are safe to use with children, so I let them have at it.

They painted for a few days alongside my hubby and I. And before I continue, I need to mention this utterly important part of the story. Please forgive the grossness factor. About a month prior, I had begun passing a very painful kidney stone. Well, technically it wasn't passing. I'm quite used to this happening, so I moved homes and then began this project and painted through the pain. Doesn't that sound like so much fun?? I mean, who wouldn't take on a makeover project with a kidney stone??

We used Dixie Belle's most popular color, which is Drop Cloth,  I believe. It is an off-white that is the perfect amount of white and not too bright.  

After we painted, (and I pained...eek!) I decided that I wanted to distress the dressers. I've always loved shabby chic...

Except that it turns out that apparently I don't always love shabby chic, therefore I repainted it. Oops.

But the (almost) end product was beautiful, without a doubt.

And then I had to have my kidney stone surgically removed, with a hospital stay and a contraption in my kidney for two weeks which I care to never speak of again, and then an ER visit due to a kidney infection from said contraption.

I then decided it was time to paint my grandmother's desk. I mean, who wouldn't want to do this during this craziness??

So I picked up some adorable knobs that I knew my grandmother would have loved. These knobs truly called to me. The paint was Dixie Belle's The Gulf. A perfect beachy color.

After having had painted the dressers using a sponge from Dixie Belle primarily, I decided to "dry brush" the desk, which really meant that I dipped the brush in a small amount of water and did very light layers of paint. I purposely left parts of the desk showing because I wanted to remember what the desk that my great-grandfather had painted for my grandmother looked like and I wanted to remember them whenever I looked at it.

Isn't it beautiful? I used Dixie Belle's wax to bring it a bit of shine and something happened...I noticed the beachy blue was turning yellow green immediately, and that is when I learned that stained pieces need to be primed ahead of time or else the stain will come through. (See, I told you I was a total newbie). Commence freak out. Surprisingly, all was not lost. It actually turned it patina-like in some parts which I just loved. I could have used Dixie Belle's Satin Coat or Gator Hide on it to start again...but I actually loved the look. I distressed the desk and it's stunning.

I was going to stop at that, but that would obviously be too easy, right?

The dressers needed to tie into the desk somehow and I wanted a pop of color...

Our round table was next up on the makeover block and this project was the easiest. This table was not stained so there was no priming that I had to do. I simply brushed on Dixie Belle's Sand Bar. I distressed it by sanding to let the old white show through and then I applied Gator Hide to the top because this is where my children do their school work and art projects, and it needed to be durable. I did the Satin Finish on the bottom. It is so beautiful. The Gator Hide finish is just so smooth and soft.

And now (drum roll please), I present you with my just about finished homeschool room. 

The before again: 

And the after:

Because I'm a perfectionist, I want to paint the bookshelves but I know that at this point, it's time to just enjoy the room. I want to rip out the carpet and put down tile and change out the rainbow drawers. But... We've had to switch the charter that we homeschool through and are trying to make friends in our new town and find where we belong in this new place with our new homeschool room. It's been a hard few months due to our move and getting situated and the kidney stone and said contraption which was never to be mentioned again. The room was a glimmer of hope. It was a true labor of love and I cannot wait to make memories this year and beyond, as my children grow up here.

Thank you, Dixie Belle, for providing me with the beautiful tools which turned my drab bonus room into a darling homeschool/homework/working/relaxation room for many years to come. 

Dixie Belle paint was extremely easy to work with, fun, and gives drab furniture new life! It glided on like smooth butter and I'm itching to makeover my large living room mirror. I will certainly continue to be a lover of their products.

Dixie Belle provided me with the paint and painting materials, but this review is my true and honest opinion of their wonderful products.