Monday, August 13, 2012

My first attempt at DIY Chalk Paint

So, I have longed for the time when someone would come out with a brand of chalk paint cheaper than $40 a quart. I even tried to figure out to make some of my own. I googled the heck out of it.

For a while I didn't check my blogroll, at all. I lost touch with what was going on with everyone because I was busy working, raising a child, etc. Oh y'all do that too and still manage to read your blogroll? Maybe it was more out of jealousy because I was too busy for any makeovers, or home additions, or new kitchens. Boo. Anyway, I'm back and ready for action!!!

Finally some incredibly smart people came up with a few different recipes for DIY chalk paint!! Woohoo! I mean, I was seriously contemplating crushing some chalk right into my paint can(and it might have to come to that if I'm desperate, or out of Plaster of Paris). Needless to say, I was so excited when I saw so many people had come up with different ideas to create a knock-off version of chalk paint, FOR CHEAP!

For weeks I looked at the many ideas and thought of ways I could use it on something, I've desperately wanted to try the "real" versions, but there are other things in my budget that are more important. Finally, I came across this Cavalier chest on good ole Craigslist for only $75!

Of course I did what any cheap thrifty girl would do, and asked for less :) We agreed on $65 and my husband gained a friend. You see, we watch Storage Wars religiously and even thought about starting storage hunting before the show aired! I mean, how fun! Well, this guy bought storage lockers and sold the contents on CL. They instantly connected and talked all about it! The hubs says he is going to go with him and check it out and wants to start buying them. We'll see.

It was in pretty rough shape, I mean, the drawers are all functioning and they are no huge gashes, but the stain was horrible and there were dents here and there. It needed help.

Originally, I wanted to keep the natural wood look and re-stain, but one of the original handles was missing and it's dang-near-impossible to find ONE single handle that matched and was the same width from screw holes. So, I chose to paint and rearrange existing knobs with pulls that I had from another project. Now on to the DIY chalk paint recipe....if that's what you want to call it, I didn't measure a thing.


I had purchased some flat latex paint from Walmart for this project. I'm sure any low luster paint would work fine. I also purchased Plaster of Paris from my local supply store. These totaled about $15 for both. 

The first mixture was PoP and paint together. I then added water. Not the best arrangement. The PoP should be mixed with water first and then with the paint. I read somewhere that it needed to be about pancake consistency, so that's what I aimed for. The first batch was thick and lumpy. I used it anyway. The lumps spread out while painting and surprisingly didn't look that bad. I recommend mixing the PoP with water until you get a slightly thinner version of pancake mix and then adding the paint. The paint will help thicken it up. Here she is with two coats of DIY chalk paint and distressing....

I wasn't sure I wanted to distress, but I liked the look when I got into it! I used steel wool and sand paper. The steel wool actually left a gray tint, so probably won't use it again with light colored paint, but I did like the way it distressed the paint. I purchased the Johnson's Paste wax from the HD for another project and decided to use it on this baby. 

It stinks like something serious, but goes on pretty smooth. I put a thin layer on and buffed it after about 30-40 minutes. It gave it a nice sheen and I will probably use it again!

The handles turned out to be brass plated and not real brass, and the Barkeeper's Friend I usually use on my brass, wouldn't touch it. I decided to spray paint them with Rustoleum's Metallic Gold(Antique gold I think)

And it worked perfectly! They started out looking like this...

Pretty disgusting, right? Since the handle on the bottom drawer was missing, and the two handles in the top drawer were smaller than the other 6, I decided to take the two smaller ones and put them on the second drawer and use the crystal looking knobs I already had on the top drawer. Luckily, the knobs had a brassy looking base and matched the handles perfectly after being sprayed. 

Now she is a BEAUT! And I'm so excited to have her in my bedroom! 

If my master was finished and beautiful, I would show you the whole thing, buuuttt, notgonnahappen. Not anytime soon, at least. I still need a new headboard(H pulled out all the buttons, sheesh), bedding, and matching nightstands(I have those and working on them now). But isn't she gorgeous? I think so. Hubs is not so sure on the distressing, but he will come to love it too, I know it. Here are some closeups...

The first picture is crooked...and has a piece of painters tape on it. Humph. The starfish you see came from my recent visit in Destin, Fl and the coral came from Destin last year. The sand dollars are also from this visit, all bought. The signed picture is from our wedding two years ago in Gulf Shores, AL. Is it hard to tell we love the Gulf coast? We were super excited to be able to spend our second anniversary at the beach with our family!

Maybe tomorrow I can show y'all the nightstands! I hope they turn out fabulous!! Stay tuned!

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  1. Isn't it amazing what you can find on Cragis list - you really lucked out with this amazing piece - and what a gorgeous transformation!
    Your newest follower - would love to have you come by when you can and follow back!

  2. This turned out fabulous! Thank you for sharing! I'm your newest follower. Please stop by any time!



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