DIY: Chalk Finish Paint

Chalk finish Paint…to paint or not to paint, that is the question?

I have been very excited about chalk paint since my good friend and neighbor introduced me to it while we were talking about freshening up some existing and newly acquired used furniture about a month ago. Her researches lead her to Annie Sloane Chalk Paint. The draw to this type of paint is that there is little to no prepwork to achieve a beautiful antique matte finish that can be distressed as desired. I began thinking that since I don’t have experience painting furniture let alone refinishing, that this sounded fantastic and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.  I must point out that Chalk finish paint and Chalkboard paint are very different. Chalk finish paint has plaster of Paris and water added to it to make it a easy to use paint that pretty much sticks to anything that creates an antique matte finish that must be waxed after the paint application dries to prevent color transfer to seal it. Chalk board paint is a mixture of paint and non-sanded grout often used to write on with chalk after application. We were going for the chalk finish paint.

So my budget is super tight.  I was blessed to pick up three barstools for $3.33 each that a friend of mine posted on a local Facebook Moms Yardsale Site. Then on that same site I was blessed to pick up a headboard for my son’s room for $5 and a $699 pottery barn dresser for $83.60. So my total furniture cost was $98.60. I paid about 10% of what everything was worth originally by going for used . Being on a major budget I wanted to graduate my son from his crib and a non-ikea dresser to something a little more suitable for a little boy and the budget didn’t really for a $900 room makeover.

chalk finish paint before barstools

Pottery Barn Dresser Before

Barstools and Pottery Barn Dresser Before

Now the paint. Annie Sloane chalk finish paint runs around $39.95 and then the $29.95 wax brush and lasltly the  $19.95 finishing wax which totals $79.95. Yeah totally not in the budget.  The no prep work still posed a financial issue. So I went to the blogs and found on Lowes.com that they had a formula that I could make for 1/3 of the cost using their products.  I found it at http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/paint-stain-and-wallpaper/diy-chalk-paint/article  They were nice enough to have a shopping list with item numbers and everything so when I went to Lowes they were very helpful.  Okay so the pictures and everything. Here we go.

To make the paint you take 1 cup of latex paint 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 plaster of paris.

To make the paint you take 1 cup of latex paint 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 plaster of paris.

Just mix the water and plaster of paris first until smooth and then add your latex paint and mix. This does not really change the color of the paint.

Just mix the water and plaster of paris first until smooth and then add your latex paint and mix. This does not really change the color of the paint.

My measuring cup :) I didn't have one that I could part with so I measured out what I needed with marks I placed on the container.

My measuring cup 🙂 I didn’t have one that I could part with so I measured out what I needed with marks I placed on the container.

After the first of 3 coats. I wanted really good coverage so we did a few coats.

After the first of 3 coats. I wanted really good coverage so we did a few coats.

Final product in the house. After two coats of paste wax.

Final product in the house. After two coats of paste wax.

chalk finish dresser finished

The finished dresser, after two coats of wax.

So now that everything is in the house how do I feel. I love the look of all of it. The matte finish is totally in right now and looks fantastic. It does hide some of the imperfections. Now I did do some sanding instead of washing to prep the surface since I figured it would take the same amount of time. I did try to wipe something off of the barstool after breakfast and the paint color did transfer to the papertowl. So I am thinking I may need to do another coat of wax. This paint does scratch so I don’t know how long it will look like I want it but it was very easy to paint. As far as how to clean a chalk finish piece of furniture right now I am thinking a clean microfiber cloth is the way to go but as time goes on I am sure I will venture out. So if there is a piece of furniture that may not have a ton of wear and you want to have a nice matte finish this is for you. If you are indifferent about the finish and have a lot of time to prep your project and the piece will have a ton of wear and tear I would stick to a stain or just painting in a high gloss that you can scrub down. With all that said, I love the look of the furniture, I’m pretty worn out though so probably no painting for a while. This project was finished over 7 days for a total of about 22 hours. A special thanks to my friend Vanessa who painted  her projects alongside and helped the time pass:)

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