Chalk Paint

There are many ways to make chalk paint.  You can use baking soda, calcium carbonate, Plaster of Paris, and a number of other chalk type materials.  I chose to go with Plaster of Paris because that is what I have heard more about.  To get started, you’ll need:
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Flat Paint
  • Mixing Stick
  • Paint Brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Wax (My choice was Minwax)
Basically, mix Plaster of Paris with water and create a pancake batter consistency.  Make sure you get all lumps out of it.  You’ll want to do 4 parts flat paint with 1 part batter.  Stir, stir and stir until it is evenly mixed into your paint! 
A couple of tips to keep in mind:
  1. Mix small batches because the Plaster of Paris thickens quickly.
  2. Add water to your mixture as it thickens.  If you notice that it is going on really thick, thin it out!
  3. It’s better to do several thin coats instead of 1 thick coat.
  4. After your first coat, sand any imperfections that you may see and reapply chalk paint if coat is too thin.
  5. Paint in the direction of the grain of the wood.
Once you have painted your piece several times, you’ll want to choose the look you are going for.  I suggest at least finely sanding your piece to again get rid of any imperfections in the chalk paint.  You’ll want to sand with the grain of the wood.  For a piece that you want to distress and show the grain of the wood use a heavy grit sandpaper.  For a piece that you don't want to distress, use a fine grain sandpaper.  If you are working with real wood, you will want to focus on the edges of the piece where you would find natural wear.  I sand with the grain of the wood but I’ve seen people sand against the grain and in all kinds of directions.  It really just depends on the look you are going for!

Next, you’ll want to apply a thin coat of wax with a clean soft cloth.  I worked on my pieces one side at a time.  When I got my first coat on then I would go back and buff before it actually dried.  Again, I applied and buffed with the grain of the wood.  Then once the tacky is gone I buff, reapply, buff and buff again.  The wax will give more dimension to your piece and will somewhat age it to a somewhat darker color.  You can also choose to use a wax with stain to darken the piece. 
My first piece was an antique Tom’s Peanut cabinet from my grandparent’s old Gulf gas and mercantile store that was on Old Highway 280 in Westover, Alabama.  I have had it for years and painted it a number of times.  This time I decided I would try distressing it to give it more of an antique look.  I decided it was perfect to display my keepsake blankets. 

 This is an antique door from an armoire I had.  I have taken it over to my neighbor, Joanne, who has a magnetic chalkboard business.  She is going to help me re-purpose it into a chalkboard.  I hope to soon have photos of how it turned out.   
The armoire door is made out of oak and was stained dark.  This was a great piece to distress along the edges which is exactly what I did then I put a clear coat of wax on it and buffed it out. 
I painted these candlestick holders for my daughter's fall auction at school.  They turned out cute.  The high bidder has already told me that she has them on a tray on her ottoman in her living room.     

This is my latest adventure.  It's a settee that I am having upholstered.  This is what it looked like before I began.
This is how it looks now.  I plan to finish it by glazing it to give it more depth and more of a french finish.  I'll have to show later how it turns out but here it is for now.  Isn't it amazing how paint can freshen things up?

 I have always wanted to try chalk paint but had never used it.  Being a decorator, I have distressed a number of pieces with other techniques but never done anything for myself so these were my first pieces.  If you are thinking of trying chalk paint and have never distressed furniture before, I suggest you try something small, like a candle holders or any kind of wood accessory. 

I love the process of distressing furniture.  It can add character to your home and help re-purpose a piece you may otherwise discard)
Until next time, remember that Great Design Takes Time!


No comments:

Post a Comment