I have spent several years using CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay Paints and Stain & Finish to transform old things into stylish and functional pieces for my home and have been selling upcycled furniture and home accents using CeCe Caldwell's Paints products for a year or so. I use CCCP because it is a great product. I like the paint and I love the Stain & Finish. I find the finishes astounding and easy to use. The best part is that they are also made and sourced in the USA and are VOC free. Yes. No stink. No chemicals. Made in the USA. Read this post for more specifics about why I use CeCe Caldwell's Paints products.
I have been asked many times lately questions about what CCCP can be used on and what kinds of prep and finishing needs to be done on pieces before and after they are painted or stained so I figured a post was in order!
When I am looking for a project to flip or as I am shopping for fun upcycling prospects at thrift stores and antique malls I look for these things:
- simple design
- the right shape/wrong color
- basically good condition
This is not a must. The object doesn't have to be wood. One of the coolest things about CCCP is that it works on everything. I paint Mason Jars, laminate furniture, ceramic, metal, and pretty much anything that stands still long enough. Wood is easier to repair, the paint and stain love it and who doesn't love something wooden painted up all cute?
Also not a must. Ornate mirrors are one of my favorite things to upcycle and they are not simple in design. Generally speaking simple furniture and accents are easier to restyle with paint because they are easier to sand and easier to paint and can be repaired more easily. Consider the legs of a chair. Would it be easier to make straight legs look nice or turned legs? Straight. Think of a storage cube. Will it be easier to paint or stain one that is plank/pallet style or one that is box style? Box style. The more edges, corners, etc. there are the more likely you are to have drip marks or missing paint spots.
THE RIGHT SHAPE/WRONG COLOR
Regardless of what paint you use and what color you paint something its shape will remain intact so be sure you like the item's basic presence. If you find a cute little wooden bench but it has a heart cut out in the back of it and you hate heart cut outs no amount of paint or stain or anything will ensure you are happy with the item. If you find a little bench and it is painted pink but you need it for your son's room then it is absolutely possible to transform it into something you will love.
BASICALLY GOOD CONDITION
This is the tricky one for some people. There are repairable items and items that cannot be fixed. If you are an expert at veneer then by all means take that free desk from the curb even if it is missing big chunks of veneer. If you know how to fix a dresser drawer then it is okay for it to have a broken drawer but if you don't then you might want to pass. Dresser drawers can be tricky, especially old dressers. Sometimes it is hard to find the parts even when you are willing to spend the money on the new part. If there is a drawer pull missing then go for it. Totally fixable and easy to DIY. If the hardware won't stay on the drawer because the hole has been stripped so much that the nut comes through from the inside of the dresser go ahead and get it. Totally fixable and easy to do. If there is a small bit of veneer cracked or missing (like an inch or two) then you can probably fill it with wood fill and paint it. Know what you know and pass on what you don't unless you are okay learning something new and possibly having to ditch the entire project if you can't figure it out.
So these things are my favorites. Things I never pass on:
- wood shelves (especially floating)
- wood frames
- wood trays
- candle sticks
- anything that has hooks
- dressers with working drawers
- end/accent tables
- organizational caddies