#craigslistfind Transformation with Chroma•Color™ Paint

We have been using a low quality drop down desk as an entertainment cabinet for the last five years. We got it for $10 at a yard sale when we first moved in to our new house. Going from a NYC apartment to a three bedroom house in Massachusetts, we were pretty desperate for furniture and it was supposed to be temporary. 

It never worked well for us. The part that dropped down was dangerous to toddler foreheads. It was too big for the space. We had painted it but did a rush job so it was always peeling. I have half-heartedly been looking to replace it for a while but it wasn’t a top priority. 

Recently, while perusing craigslist (which I do often) I came across a hutch that caught my eye. 


Every few days I came back to it. I liked the shape. The angled sides would add some interest to our living room which is full of rectangles and straight lines. The size seemed right for the space. Finally I decided to just go for it. The seller agreed to go down from $90 to $75 and Ryan (reluctantly) agreed to go pick it up. He is skeptical of my projects sometimes but if I insist he usually gets on board.  

Once I had it  home I needed to decide on a painting strategy. I knew I wanted to go dark gray or black but I wasn’t sure what type of paint to use. I’ve been hearing about chalk paint for a while and was considering giving it a try. One reservation I had was having to seal it after painting. The idea of waxing all those open shelves was not appealing to me. Time is a valuable commodity these days!

As luck would have it, my parents were displaying their vintage camper at The Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY where HGTV’s Cari Cucksey was selling her Chroma•Color™ RePurpose paints and stains. My mom said I should look into it because the colors were nice and it doesn’t require waxing or sealing. It sounded to good too be true. 

A few weeks later, we attended The Vintage Bazaar in Salisbury, MA (read about our day there). Cari was there selling her paint and doing demonstrations. I was able to meet her in person and she remembered my dad from Rhinebeck. We chatted about Brimfield, the app and some of her projects. She was so sweet and down to earth. It’s always refreshing to meet people that love what they do. 

While we were there I was trying to decide between Cast Iron Skillet Black and Model T Black. Cari’s husband informed me that one was sold out so that made my decision easy! I ended up with Model T Black. The paints and stains come in some really fun colors though and I can’t wait to try those on future projects. 

Once I had the paint home I was itching to get started but I had to hold off. Between the camper, the blog, finding a new app developer, redesigning our website, Ryan’s full time job, family visiting from out of town and two toddlers with zero appreciation for any of these things, it can be a challenge to fit everything into our days. But I was finally able to get started this week and it reminded me how much I love doing projects like this. I hope to have time for some more in the near future and Cari’s Chroma•Color™ paint can help make that possible.

Cari has said she wanted to create paints and stains that allowed a novice DIYer to be able to repurpose things with great results. I think she has done that. Like she says, you can’t really mess it up. But to me, the benefit is how much time it saves you. I don’t really consider myself a novice. I’ve painted my fair share of furniture as well as every wall, ceiling, door and piece of trim in our house. But I’m low on time these days. This project had to take place during the girls’ quiet/naptime and not having to prime first (the primer is built in) or wax/seal saved me a lot of valuable time. It also dries very quickly which allowed me to do multiple coats fairly quickly. 

Technically, I probably should have sanded a bit before I painted. In the past I would have. But I was curious to see how it worked with practically no prep (I did wash it first) and so far so good. It hasn’t fully cured yet so we had a few scrapes here and there when we reassembled the two pieces and reattached the doors but they were easy to touch up. And even with two coats, I still have a lot of paint leftover from the quart I bought. I can save this for future projects or even use it to darken any other colors I buy, which I like to do sometimes.

I loved the paint’s physical qualities. It wasn’t too thick or too thin. It didn’t drip off the brush or on the piece itself and it wasn’t gummy like most latex paints. I found it easy to work with, especially in some of the detailing on the doors and the top edge. It almost felt like I was drawing with the paint because it only went where I wanted it to. It did take two coats to get full coverage but I expected that. If the original color had been darker or I had been ok with a distressed look, one coat might have been enough. 

I’m very happy with the paint’s finish. It’s not really matte nor is it glossy. It has a tiny bit of luster and it’s silky smooth to the touch. The paint is low VOC, which is another thing I love about it. I’m already thinking about a few more projects I can use the paint on. Stay tuned!

In the end, I am happy with how the cabinet turned out. I’m not totally in love with the hardware but it did clean up nice with just some lemon juice, steel wool and elbow grease. I like the brass but it’s still a bit ornate for my taste. I’ll be scouring Brimfield for some chunkier handles!

So what do you think of it? Will you be trying Chroma•Color™ RePurpose paint on any upcoming projects? I would love to hear about them!

Thanks for following! 

Chroma•Color™ Paint and Stains can be purchased online at www.repurposeshop.com or at local retailers. I’m thrilled that Crompton Collective in Worcester, MA is now carrying them!

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  1. Thanks! I'm still curious about it but I honestly don't see myself shelling out $10 more for a quart and then still having to buy wax and special brushes and have it take twice as long. The Annie Sloan colors are gorgeous and I've seen a lot of great projects done with them, but I think I can get the same (if not better) results with this. But I'm also not really into distressed finishes so chalk paint was never really my thing.

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