Every artist has their own favorite method, favorite style, favorite material to work with. For me, it’s chalk paint. Chalk paint is really such a versatile product. It can be used to cover any surface – plastic, metal, wood – and requires minimal to no prep. Ironically, the paint itself does not contain chalk; it’s simply named chalk paint due to its chalky texture when dry. It can easily be sanded to distress, used as a wash for a wood grain look, and dries really fast.
I love using chalk paint on many of the up-cycled projects that I do at home and on the items I sell in my shop. In my opinion, it’s the best on the market for painting projects and one quart can go a long way, covering up to 150 square feet, which could technically be up to 2-3 pieces of furniture or several smaller pieces, like the jars and frames I sell at my Have a Little Faith Shop.
Probably the most well known brand of chalk paint is Annie Sloan, but my favorite kind of chalk paint to use is the Waverly Inspirations brand. You can usually find the smaller bottles of this paint in big box stores like Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. It’s fairly reasonable in price and comes in a really nice selection of palette colors.
Some of my new favorites I have been using a lot in my shop are the Waverly Inspirations colors Ocean, Peacock and Elephant.
But maybe you’re like me and have lots of old, half-used gallons of “non-chalk” paint lying around your house that you’ve got no good use for anymore? Well, guess what? You can easily turn that leftover paint into chalk paint using this easy, peasy recipe.
- 2 cups paint (eggshell or less)
- 1/3 cup plaster of paris
- 2 T. water
- Get an old empty ice cream bucket or plastic pail.
- Mix together ingredients until consistency is smooth and no lumps remain.
- Cover or store in empty glass mason jar to preserve chalk paint until next use.
The key to this transformation paint recipe is Plaster of Paris. It can be found at your local hardware or craft store for a pretty reasonable amount. This carton I purchased for around $5.00. And since the recipe only calls for 1/3 cup, a little bit goes a long way.
This recipe comes in handy especially when painting larger items like furniture. My girls’ bedroom set was purchased for a bargain from an estate sale, brought home and painted in an ivory chalk paint, which instantly gave it a fresh, youthful face lift for a fraction of the cost compared to what I would have spent on a brand new “store-bought” bedroom set.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you want your chalk-paint finish to last, it’s a good idea to give it a seal-coat wax finish. You can buy it in clear or antique bronze, if you want that truly rustic look. You apply the wax with a brush, then go back over it and buff it out like you would waxing a car. The end result is a smooth, protected finish.
There are many ways you can revive an old, tired piece of furniture or dated item just by giving it a fresh coat of chalk paint. Now it’s time to go down into your basement, dig out that old can of paint, and see what item you can transform! (Or just call me and I’ll be glad to come help you do it!)