Homemade Chalk Paint and Chair Upcycle

Do you know how much that dang chalk paint costs? Like $89 a quart… well, no, not really, but it is like almost $40 a quart and that is INSANITY! I hear everyone saying, “oh but it lasts forever”, “you can water it down”, “it is the most amazing paint product ever invented!”… I get it, BUT, if there is a way to replicate it, I am surely going to give it a shot! I figured if it didn’t work, I would cave and spend the money on the legit stuff.

So, I found a tip, it inspired me to get serious and I was ready to give this homemade chalk paint a shot.

I read and reread the tip and ran out to gather supplies and use the technique.

I found calcium carbonate -in the powder form- at Vitamin Cottage. It was with the other mineral supplements, and you can find it in health food stores or, on Amazon.
I mixed:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of latex paint
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup Calcium Carbonate

I used an old spaghetti sauce jar and mixed REALLY well. It really isn’t a precise measurement, just eyeball it and adjust to the consistency you need.

Now, it is completely against my nature to follow directions, prepare beforehand, or look before I leap. But, I really wanted this to work so, I actually did some research before I started painting!

I read this tutorial at Perfectly Imperfect and watched Shaunna’s videos – she is cute and funny and knowledgeable. Snagged some good tips there.

Then I ran down to Littleton, Colorado, and met with the lovely ladies at The Little Black Chair. They sell all the Annie Sloan products and have a ridiculously amazing warehouse where they create perfectly beautiful stuff!
They also enlightened me on what to do when I got home.

I learned a few important things in my research:

1. You do not have to sand or prime – this chalk paint sticks to everything.
2. Use very thin coats of wax or it will never dry. Thin coats will dry in 24 hours.
3. Minwax is not a suitable replacement wax product. You HAVE to use Briwax (VERY stinky) or Annie Sloan’s soft wax (not stinky). I figured I was saving on the paint, so I grabbed the Annie Sloan’s wax ($24.95 a pop-supposed to last forever – yadda yadda yadda)

So here she is, my first chalk paint project …
and isn’t she a bute!

I took my beautiful blue paint and painted the first coat. One bonus is this paint dries SUPER fast-love it!
Then I did a second coat, you can still see brush strokes-they disappeared later.
Then I took my sandpaper and scuffed it up. Another bonus, this paint comes off so easy when distressing. However, it will come off so easy that you need to be careful you don’t strip all the paint off in one fail swoop.
I worked in small sections and brushed on the clear wax making sure it really soaked into the paint…
and then the dark wax right on top of the clear, while they are still wet -really work it into the paint.
I used a cheesecloth to rub, remove some dark wax, smooth it out, etc.
I let it dry for 24 hours, then I went over the whole piece with a soft cloth and buffed it to a lovely shine and buttery soft finish. It really does feel so soft and nice. My cloth removed some excess wax, so I am glad I didn’t skip this step. Not sure if I used too much, didn’t work it into the paint good enough, didn’t let it dry long enough, or if that is normal. I guess I will investigate further on my next piece.

Oh yeah, and of course I reupholstered that U-G-L-Y  (it ain’t got no alibi – it’s ugly) cushion.
And here we go with the finished piece!

I like it.
It worked.
I am going to do it again.
21st Century flowers are much nicer.
I went pretty heavy with the dark wax. You can go lighter and get a much more subtle look.
Or you can use only the clear and just get a nice shiny finish with just abit of emphasis on the distressed areas.

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