Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Painting With DIY Chalk Paint

If you've been on Pinterest or read any DIY or shelter blogs or known someone who goes on Pinterest or reads DIY or shelter blogs in the last couple of years, you've no doubt heard of chalk paint.  Chalk paint is supposed to be this glorious paint that can go on any surface without needing to be sanded or prepped.  Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, this chalk paint is usually associated with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the best of the best.  As far as I know, they were the first ones to come out with the stuff, and it's pretty remarkable.  Gone are the days of being unable to paint laminate furniture or having to spend hours sanding things down.  Just slap on some ASCP and you're good to go.  It's usually used with pieces that get distressed and then waxed to get that shabby chic look that some people really go for.  The distressing is an important aspect of the chalk paint, because normal latex paint just peels away if you try to sand it down, where chalk paint will give you that worn down edge.

Anyway, chalk paint is cool, but it comes with some issues.  First, it's a little too expensive for a cheapo like me.  Second, it isn't carried by everyone.  I believe there's a store in St. Thomas that carries it, but that's the closest retailer that I know of.  Third, it comes in a limited range of colours.  They're beautiful colours, but limited nonetheless.

So I thought I would give one of the DIY chalk paint recipes a try and see how it goes.  I used this tutorial, which I liked since it gave a couple of different options and compared the results to ASCP.  For my purposes, I decided to use the plaster of Paris method which seemed to be the easiest/cheapest option.  Basically, you use 1 part hot water mixed with 1 part plaster of Paris.  Mix that together well, then add 3 parts of your paint.  To do this piece, I used 1/2 cup water and PofP with 1 1/2 cups paint.  I did another piece that was bigger so I doubled it (I don't have pictures of that yet though) and I found it to be a little difficult to mix that much paint, so I would suggest doing a smaller batch and then just doing another batch for your second coat.

Chalk paint is different that regular paint in a few ways - mainly that it's thinner and grainier.  It really sticks to whatever you're painting and it dries quite a bit quicker than regular latex paint.  I was pretty happy with the results - check it out!

I decided to finally give a coat of paint to that little campaign-y style dresser that I got for Vivian's room.  You might remember it from this post.  Here's what it looked like before...


And here's how it's looking now...



I took off all of the hardware - including the corner bits - and polished them all up with some Brasso, following Centsational Girl's advice.  The corner pieces cleaned up really nicely, but the drawer pulls were tougher since they had more nooks and crannies and weren't real brass.



I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out though.  Any rough spots are just going to be called patina.

Because the paint was thinner, it was pretty easy to get it to fit into all of the bits of cane on the face of it without having big globs of paint everywhere, like you probably would with just plain latex paint.  And it was definitely easier than spray painting it.

I had it in my mind to paint it a nice, bright blue and then realized that I already have a bunch of blue paint sitting around from the basement, so I just used that instead of getting something else.  Because you thin the paint down, it's a bit lighter than it started out, but I'm still pretty pleased with it!

And so was Vivian!




(And this picture is why I took the initial pictures in the much brighter living room!)

So that's a very long winded explanation to what I was up to last night.  Have you tried out chalk paint yet?  I didn't wax this piece, because I kind of like the grittier surface of just the plain chalk paint (and yes, also because I couldn't find the wax in the store) but I might want to try waxing even just the top to make it easier to wipe down.


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