Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chalk Paint Recipe + Projects

Besides collecting quarters in order for my husband and I to wear clean clothes, another hobby of mine is to buy cheap items at yard sales or thrift stores and give them a second chance at life. 

In the past year, I've noticed a trend on Pinterest that I loved: shabby chic, country, rustic furniture. I'm sure there's a condensed name for this style, but I've yet to learn what it is.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:


I loved this look and had to figure out how to do it myself. So my research began. I realized that all the pieces I really liked were painted with chalk paint. But here's the kicker: Annie Sloan is the only company (that I know of) that sales this by the gallon, and it's about $40 a can. No thanks! As I continued to look, I stumbled upon a few recipes to mix this stuff up myself. After reading review after review I decided on this one:

You can find Plaster of Paris at Home Depot or Lowe's for about $7-$8, and will last you a lifetime. I've used this recipe several times and haven't even put a dent in my carton. So it's a good small investment. 

There's oh so many perks to using chalk paint.
  • It doesn't leave brush strokes.
  • It sands down easily.
  • It leaves a rustic, matte finish.
  • It drys quickly.
  • AND you can just slap it on with a foam brush.
Have I convinced you to try it yet?

If you're considering painting a piece of furniture, you more than likely don't need a gallon of paint, probably not even a quart. My best find so far are the Valspar color samples that you can get at Lowe's for $3 or $4.

You can choose any of the hundreds of paint selections, and they'll mix it up in this 8 ounce container for you. Even if you buy two of them to complete a project, you're still coming out way ahead than if you would've bought a quart. 

Since I usually just use one of these at a time, I adjust the recipe for it. Thanks to my good friend, Google, I learned that 8 ounces is a cup, so I just half the recipe. If you haven't noticed, 5 is not an even number, so just use 2-3 Tb of the Plaster of Paris. No need to be exact here people. We're not mixing explosives. This step is very important! You need to completely mix the Plaster of Paris and water together in a bowl before you add the paint or else it'll be very clumpy. Then I just take a plastic container (recycle the container you get from your deli meat) and combine the paint and mixture. Easy enough, right?

The only con about chalk paint is that you typically have to paint a 2-4 coats (depending on the look you're going for), but since it drys so quickly, it's really not that big of a set back.

After you've slapped on all the coats to your liking, take a medium grit sand paper and let out all your frustration. In my opinion, to make a piece look more natural, you should only sand the parts that would naturally get warn: the corners, edges, places that might get used/touched most often. 

Lastly, if I'm painting a piece of furniture, I'll generously rub Mini Wax all over the piece with an old cloth. I'm not really sure what this does besides protect the wood. I've just been instructed to do this by a few bloggers, so I obey. 

Here's a few pieces I've redone using my chalk paint concoction:

I found this ratty side table at the same dump as my kitchen table. 

These frames were quarter yard sale finds.

This was another yard sale find for $1. It was an ugly gold and red color.
You can read about this project here.

I found these botanical prints at Goodwill. The frames were an outdated brass, so I just slapped some chalk paint on them to bring them to this millennium.

I hope this has been informative and that I've at least motivated you to finally get to that project that you keep putting off. So, get to it already!

1 comment:

  1. I love all of this!!! But lets be honest, my project would end up a disaster! So, Im just going to read you blog and stop there. Miss you!