A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Testing Colors & Paint: Bookcase in Cece Caldwell's Carolina Sun Yellow

While trekking up to Cumming, Georgia this weekend to pick up a few new [old] pieces of furniture, I stopped by The Green Bean Exchange, a cute antique mall I hadn't heard of before. I saw they carried Amy Howard, [my current favorite brand of chalk paint] and knew I wanted to pick up some paint from her line. But while looking for it, I stumbled across a section of Cece Caldwell paints and supplies.


I didn't know anything about it, but did see that the paint was zero VOC, meaning I could work indoors, which comes in handy during the pollen apocalypse that's happening right now!  It's a clay and mineral based paint, which intrigued me.  I also picked up this bookcase at the same antique store. I immediately was drawn to its skinny frame, because I love finding furniture that can work in almost any space.  The teacher in me envisioned this piece in a classroom, painted in a bright color and filled with books.


Since it's such a kid friendly piece, I went for it with a bright, buttery yellow. I followed the instructions on the can [and referred to the Cece Caldwell website], but I found the paint very runny.  I've had this happen with other brands, and giving the paint time to thicken by leaving the can open usually works, but it didn't with this paint.  So I just trudged forward and slicked on the paint. Because it didn't cover very well, it needed two coats, plus several touch ups [which probably equates to 3 coats, but I was getting a little tired!].

The other major difference I saw was drying time; it took nearly FOUR hours for the first coat to dry! Someone like me doesn't have the patience for that, which is partially why I like working with chalk paint to begin with. [traditional latex paint is even worse- it can take days to dry- 'aint nobody got time for that!]  I'm assuming this long wait time is due to the lack of chemicals in the paint and that it's clay based, which I do respect about this product.


Despite taking almost three times as long to complete compared to other projects I've worked on, and touchups being quite a pain, I'm really happy with the end product.  It's one of the more fun pieces I've done in a while, and definitely brings out the teacher/mom in me, who wants to fill it with all my favorite children's books [I randomly chose a mixture of books to style with it, and I actually started picking up a few and re-read them while taking the photos!]. For the extra smaller kid in your life, you may want to anchor this piece to the wall, since little ones tend to be climbers, or have the immediate urge to pull things off the shelves. Since it's such a skinny bookcase, that's something I would do, if I had this around any little one under four.  


This bookcase also works well as a holder for your child's favorite stuffed animals. My oldest teddy bear, [circa 1985] even made an appearance. One lucky little man or little lady is going to get to fill these shelves with all their favorite reads, and it makes me really happy!

I just posted it for sale on Craigslist and in my shop, so snag it while it's hot and freshly painted! [But remember, it's a zero VOC piece, so this is completely safe to have around even the teeniest of babies!]


I decided to save the best photo for last...usually the cats like to pose with my furniture, but this time, Kona and Watson decided to get into the modeling business.  They're kind of the cutest, but I might be slightly biased...