Redo with CeCe Caldwell paint

November 01, 2012

Trying out CeCe Caldwell chalk paint and wax on a an decorative item. 
I’ve had this decorative drawer for years – got it as a present probably eight years ago? I think? 

Anyway, it’s from Pier 1 and I love that it’s a bigger piece, but it’s been a long time since it’s been displayed:

I’m pretty sure it started out green and then got a redo years ago during my let’s-paint-everything-black phase. I mean…everything. It was a little crazy. :)
Because it was a perfect fit for the shelves, it needed a redo. It was a great project for the CeCe Caldwell chalk and clay paint:
CeCe Caldwell chalk and clay paint
The lovely ladies from Bungalow 47 near Lansing Michigan drove down to central Indiana to show a few of us bloggers how to use the paint. You may have heard about chalk paint recently – it’s booming! I told you about the Annie Sloan version here and the CeCe Caldwell paint is very similar…but has some differences.
One of the things I love about chalk paint is that you don’t have to sand before you start painting. You’ll want to clean the item well (just with regular cleaning supplies or wipes), but sanding is not necessary. Here’s the thing though – to get a great, hard finish, you’ll want to use a wax over the piece when you’re done. That’s what protects it. Otherwise I don’t know if the paint would hold up to wear and tear without it.
I wanted to give this one some dimension, so I started with one of the brighter colors the ladies brought us to try out – this one was called Blue Montana Sky:
Trying out CeCe Caldwell chalk and clay paint
I love painting with chalk paint, especially the first coat, because it doesn’t need to be perfect. This coat is just to peek through the second, so it took no time at all to get it on there. It goes on SO fast.
I did notice in comparison that the CeCe paint dries slightly slower than the Annie Sloan paint does – which I found to be a good thing. I could touch up parts without the paint dragging.
OK, so here’s a cool thing about this paint – the CeCe Caldwell brand has clay in it – which makes it so you can see where the paint is drying. You can see in the pic above the dry and wet spots – I thought that was cool! Since I had to get home to get the Bub off the bus, I hurried my drying time along with a hair dryer – super fast!
Then it was time to add the second coat. For this one I used Pittsburgh Gray. After it dried I pulled out some of the blue behind it by giving it a quick sanding:
CeCe Caldwell chalk and clay paint
The drawer on the top had been sanded, the one below had not. You can see how a tinge of the blue is coming through – love it!
If you aren’t doing two colors, you don’t have to sand. And if you are just wanting a slightly distressed look, you’ll just want to pick and choose your spots. I hate sanding with a passion, but this wasn’t bad.
Sanding gives it a great, smooth as silk finish. Next up was the wax – this was the other difference I noticed from the Annie Sloan wax. The CeCe wax is non-petroleum based so it has ZERO odor (and that means it can be shipped!) and it was very, very light when spreading it on.
It was slightly easier to apply because it’s so light, but as far as the result afterwards, the finish was similar as the Annie Sloan version. You just brush it on, then wipe it off and kind of “buff” with the rag as you do.
Many of you have asked about the wax I’ve used lately, and this is why I love it, at least with the chalk paint products:
CeCe Caldwell wax
You can see how it makes the paint color rich and deep and brings out the undertones. This also makes it easy to see where you’ve put it. :)
I’ve used wax on top of regular latex paint as well and love the result there too, it just doesn’t change the color of the paint quite as much.
When it was dry (I waited till the next day), I put the hardware back on:
CeCe Caldwell paint
And the little redo was complete!:
Trying out CeCe Caldwell paint
At first I was worried the gray was going to be too dark, but I actually really love how it turned out. It’s got a Restoration Hardware vibe that is perfect for the bookshelves:
Redo with CeCe Caldwell paint
What’s funny is I didn’t think I’d like the chalk paint products before I tried them, but I like these paints more and more each time I use them. They are perfect if you love a distressed finish, but you can see by my piece that it also works for more streamlined stuff too.
I love that with the wax, the finish is SO smooth, like something from the furniture store. It’s crazy!
The downside to the chalk paints is the price – they are more expensive than regular latex paint. (The CC brand is slightly less than AS.) But what they say is true – I find they last MUCH longer than a regular quart of paint. It goes a really long way. (The wax goes an even longer way.) When you factor in the price/time of primer, it may come out as a wash, depending on what you are painting.
The older I get, the more I paint stuff, the more I realize the value of a good paint. This stuff is good and I’ll keep using it for sure. I’m already eyeing some frames that need a makeover. :)
So there you go, my take on another paint product – and if you have any questions about CeCe Caldwell paint, the ladies (Jill and Chantelle) from Bungalow 47 will answer them in in the comments over the next couple of days! They will know better than I what works and what doesn’t. Ask away!
**I was not compensated to write this post – I just like sharing my thoughts on new DIY products with you!
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  1. I used some CCC paint recently and I have to say I was very disappointed at how it did NOT cover well. I had read so many times how great chalk paint was for using only a coat or 2--and then when I tried it, I had the opposite experience. It took more than 3 coats to cover two small footstools. Given the high price of the paint, I expected much better than that.

    The one advantage to the CCC was that I loved how easy it was to sand off drips and brush marks--MUCH easier than doing the same with regular latex paint.

  2. It looks pretty... and you found the perfect spot for it!! Ohh... and your library bookcases are AMAZING!!

  3. Heidi, my blog friend Beckie (from Infarrantly Creative) had a similar problem with one of her pieces a few months ago. I don't know what the ladies recommended to her for next time -- maybe they can offer some advice here!

  4. Love your project!

    I'm still not sold on chalk paint... my experience so far has just been "meh"...

    But, I love what you've done; maybe it's time for me to pull out the chalk paint and give it another chance.

    And BTW, your library built-ins are SUPERAWESOME. Love!

  5. Your "black phase". That made me laugh! I'm still recovering from mine. I bought all black picture frames back then. Now I would like to paint them a bright white. Which of the white colors from this line of paint would be best? And since the frames are either on the wall or sitting on a tabletop, would they need to be waxed? I would hate for the wax to take away the brightness of the white paint.

  6. Oh this is such a helpful post. I still haven't had a chance to use chalk paint but was curious as to what the fuss was all about. I have an AS sample from Haven I should try out on something! Love the way the blue peeks through once you sanded it, great idea.

  7. Cool! I'm originally from the Lansing area and I had not heard about this company before. I'll have to check it out next time I'm back home! :)

  8. I've painted two things with AS paint. I used Old White for one and Duck Egg for another. I haven't done any distressing with it yet though and I've only used the clear wax, not the dark. One of these days I may branch out but I just feel like the distressed look isn't really my style right now.
    But seeing how your drawers are distressed but modern I may have to give it a try!

  9. So glad to finally have a tutorial on chalk paint. I know everyone is talking about it, but I didn't get what it was all about. Now I know! Now I want to use it too!

  10. Heidi, Would you mind sharing what color you were using that didn't cover well? Most colors will cover with 1-2 coats. Dover White is one with NO pigment that is used as a white wash or as a base to add pigments to, so you won't get coverage without many coats, so I hope it wasn't that one. We'd love to have you try us again! The paint is thick and luscious. We'd love to answer any questions you might have!

  11. Thanks for sharing about our paints! What a fabulous post. Sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you at the big event! They said I just missed you! Maybe next time?

  12. I love ASCP but haven't had a chance to try CeCe Caldwell. It's been on my list forever. Thanks for the side by side comparison! And my own take for Heidi above...I've found the lighter colors of ASCP do take more coats, especially if it's a dark piece underneath. I've really only had problems with this with the old white and pink. So I just go ahead and prepare myself to use more paint if it's the lighter colors!

  13. Hi Sarah, I met you at the Haven Conference! I am the retailer in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for CeCe Caldwell's Paints. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone! I hope you continue to use it, your shelf looks amazing!

  14. Beautiful little cabinet.. love your choice of paint
    colors.. now to find the perfect little cabinet for
    behind, yes, my toilet in the guest bath !
    I have tried ASCP, but not these.. maybe it's

  15. Hi! I have a chalk paint question?
    I would like to redo my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint but..... they are a dark pine now (38 years used).... I am wondering about chipping paint with the use and abuse. Should the cabinets be treated with something that will help the paint to bond? & is the polish strong enough to survive kitchen wipe downs etc... or would I need to use a clear coat?

    thanks Jane in Oregon

  16. I love your makeover. I love CeCe paints too. I really adore the wax and the Satin Finish. Satin Finish is perfect for kitchen cabinets and is all natural too. Love the blog.

  17. Love my CeCe Paints - Im anxious to hear Heidi's response as well - I carry other paints as well and especially love my Cece BECAUSE it covers so well - the Dover White doesn't count but it's one of my favorites as the ultimate highlighting paint over other colors. Love your finished piece!

  18. I have used AS Paris Gray and CCC Alaskan Tundra Green. I also have Destin Gulf Green and Blue Montana Sky samples. I love the CCC paints particularly because the colors are more "me". I do the love Paris Gray and I will be getting some AS Duck Egg Blue and Provence at some point. I have also used the Maison Blanche La Craie paint, too (in Pecan which is a gorgeous cocoa brown). I had very similar experiences with all three. I have not used any of the waxes because I have some Johnson's wax that I need to finish before buying anymore.

    Glad to hear about the CCC wax not being petroleum based. I painted the wording on a sign in acrylic paint and the Johnson's wax started smearing all the lettering. I had to clean everything off and go back and paint the wording with an oil paint. I bet a non-petroleum wax wouldn't do the same thing.

    Thanks for sharing! I didn't know about not needing to sand, either. My old eyes can't read the fine print on the can!


  19. Loved your post and I'm also a CeCe paint retailer in Jarrettsville, MD at Belle Patri. I love the fact I can paint in my house with my kids and dogs and there is no oder from the paint, wax or satin finish. 2 coats of paint is my preference for a more finished look & love the option of sanding or using a damp rag to distress. I can't say enough about how easy it is to use! :)

  20. NICE! I think it is HILARIOUS that you think 'library' is too fancy a word. I used your 'Nook" as inspiration to make a reading area for my grandchildren; my 1 1/2 & 2 1/2 yr old grandbabies call it their 'library'.

  21. How pretty! I was wondering if you were going to share anything about those cute drawers up there! :-) Thanks! I love the blue peeking through just a tad.

  22. What a fabulous job! Of course you have great taste (we have the same rug after all!). I love the color combo you used. Thanks for giving CeCe a try!

  23. It looks awesome! It is perfect on your new bookcases!

  24. Um. Did you put anything IN those little drawers after the redo? That's all I can think of..what's IN them...secret stuff? :)

    The library is beautiful.

  25. Thank you for trying CeCe Caldwell's Paints products. Your drawers are great; the color combo is perfect. I am envious of the built ins in your library. Peace. CeCe

  26. I am so glad you posted about CeCe Caldwell's paints. I have been wondering about other products aside from Annie Sloan...which I love. But I like that this gives a few more color options! :)

    Blessings - Sara

  27. Have you found that you can use the Annie Sloan wax with the CeCe paint and vice versa?

  28. About a month ago I decided to paint some furniture I had with chalk paint. An acquaintance of mine had rave about Annie Sloan cp and since I didn't have anywhere close to me that sold it, I researched for it online. I'm pretty detailed in my research so while doing so, I found Cece Caldwell paint. So, I started reading reviews between the two paints, hearing both are great and of course people had personal preferences.
    The one thing that swayed me to Cece was that everyone said that it was zero voc's and non toxic. This was said about both the paints and the wax. This is really important to me because I am chemically sensitive!
    Again there were no retailers close to where I live in N. California so I ordered online. I got really excited and lined up several pieces to paint and wax. After my 2nd piece, I felt my fingers were tingling and with the 3rd piece, the tingling turned into burning. The only thing that I was really touching was the wax.
    So I read the can and looked up the ingredients. Carnauba wax is safe, beeswax is safe, linseed oil is not. Raw linseed oil is called flaxseed oil and is not used in furniture wax as it takes forever to dry and doesn't harden. Boiled linseed oil is what is used in furniture waxes and has added solvents / metallic dryers which are indeed toxic!
    I thought I had to share this because I may not be the only one that is chemically sensitive. In fact I think many of the people who choose chalk paint do so because they think it is completely safe. The several pieces I did were for my daughters room and now I am not so sure that the wax is safe for her to be constantly touching, although I am hoping the toxic junk evaporates.
    The pieces look great and were fun to do, but the wax is my concern. I guess you could wear gloves, though it's not the same as being bare fingered. Cece Caldwell should have a warning about linseed oil though. I haven't painted for days and I still feel the tingling.

  29. I just completed my project with CeCe paint and clear wax. However, when I rub my hands over the top of the table it feels "Chalky" and some of the paint will come off on my hands. Did I not wax correctly or do I need more wax? It was done 2 days ago.
    thanks for any advice you can give me!


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