Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homemade Chalkpaint Recipe and How-To


If you are new to the DIY furniture painting world, let me be the one to tell you that chalkpaint is not chalkBOARD paint :) We all had to learn it sometime. It's a hard finish paint with a smooth and almost chalky finish that doesn't need wood to be sanded before you use it.

Chalkpaint is actually paint with calcium carbonate (chalk) and water and such added to it. Annie Sloan was the first to pioneer it, and thus she can charge a pretty penny for it! And if you have some pretty pennies in your pocket and want to use them on expensive paint, I've used her stuff and it is gooooooood.

In my world I can't afford to spend $40 on a (little) can of her beautiful paint, so I've been trying out other alternatives. I've finally settled on a recipe and routine that works for me. 


The best routine I've found is as follows...

Find a large canning jar, tupperware, old spagetti jar, or something of the sort that you will never want to use agian, because it will be ruined. Use a cup measurement and fill it up with 2 cups of water. Use a sharpie marker to draw a line where the 2 cup line is. Fill the paint up to that line. Then mix in 1/3 Cup Plaster of Paris (I found mine in the craft section of Walmart) and water until it reaches the consistency that you like. This is where high-quality paint is very important. In the spirit of not going to too many stores with 2 small children in tow I bought a gallon of antique white paint at Walmart to refinish this: 


It did turn out beautiful and I was able to sell it for a nice profit. The problem was that since I used cheap latex paint as a base, instead of a nice Behr, it got these hard little balls all over I had to sand off. In the end it was fine after a good sanding with my little mouse sander, but I would rather not deal with little hard balls all over and will never do this recipe with Walmart paint again.

Here is the before if you are curious...

So anyway, you mix up the paint with a paint stirrer in the jar or tupperware and then just start painting! I usually clean the piece with a rag and bleach water, remove the drawers and hardware, then paint right over the glossy finish. I do two coats, the sand for a smooth finish and distress the edges with my Black and Decker Mouse Sander (BEST tool if you are going to be refinishing and distressing lots of furniture!) Then finish with your wax. Annie Sloan's wax is nice, but once again pricey, so I go with Minwax. Just get a rag and wipe on and kind of buff it up.


If you are venturing into the world of making your own chalkpaint I hope this helps!

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