Feb 24, 2013

Adventures with Chalk Paint, Part 2

Have you read part 1 about making your own chalk paint? If not, start there.

So last time I left you hanging on the edge of your seat with my 'before' picture:

Ugly, right? But great potential.  I bought this buffet off Craigslist for only $55 (plus the previous owner accidentally left some cute white napkin rings and Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers inside, so we'll call that a bonus).  It is a solid piece made of all real wood, but it needed some serious work. Obviously I wanted to change the color, and I needed to replace the glass in the front doors since one was missing and the other was cracked. 

I bought the buffet to go in this space in our dining room.  Since the room is very neutral I wanted the buffet to be a pop of color (the shelves and wallpaper were put up by the house's previous owner):

This picture was taken the day we moved in.  Can't wait to change that chandelier!

Here's what I used once I was ready to paint:
Homemade chalk paint (recipe)
80 and 150 grit sand paper
Rags & cleaning solution
Paint brushes (one small and one large)
Finishing wax (Minwax) & brush or rag (I used an old white undershirt)

For my chalk paint color I chose Eucalyptus Leaf by Behr.  If I'm being totally honest now it is a little brighter than I intended, but overall it looks great.

My first step was take out all the drawers and do some serious cleaning.  I wiped out all the crumbs, used my dust buster, and then cleaned it off with some Mrs. Meyers general purpose cleaner.  The reason I decided to use chalk paint on this piece is because I knew sanding it down first would be a huge pain.  The finish was really shiny, almost laquired, and who knows what was underneath it.  Since chalk paint requires no sanding I figured it would be much easier and still give me the slightly distressed look I was going for.

After everything was clean and dry I did two coats of my homemade chalk paint. It dries fairly quickly, so I didn't really let much time elapse between coats.  Make sure you do some light sanding between coats with a high grit sand paper.  Not enough to distress it yet, just enough to smooth out any bumps.  Here is the color after just one coat (with no distressing):

If I wanted a lot of the black to show through I would have stopped at one coat, but I only wanted to see the black on the edges where I sanded it, so I did two.  The next day after it was dry I sanded the edges and certain areas on the top and front with coarse sand paper.  Doesn't the distressing look awesome?  This part was so rewarding.

This picture shows a true color
For the shelves and inside I ended up making some white chalk paint with paint I had on hand, but honestly in retrospect I don't know why I did that.  I should have just used normal paint since I wasn't planning on distressing it.  Live and learn.

Since chalk paint does dry somewhat, well, chalky, you want to use a furniture wax to protect it from scratches. Many people recommend using a big round brush like this one to apply the wax, but I didn't have one.  I also read that a cloth or old t-shirt would work, so I cut apart one of Bobby's old undershirts that was otherwise getting thrown away.

I bunched up a section of the shirt, pressed it in the wax to get a good among on my cloth and then rubbed it onto my piece, using a good amount of pressure.  I worked in sections until it was all covered. I wiped off any excess, especially in the nooks and crannies of the legs.  Later that day (although I have since read that you should wait overnight) I used a piece of clean cloth to buff it (think 'wax on, wax off' motion). This step makes it amazingly shiny and hard.  The wax will be dry and hardened in a few days but not fully cured for 3-4 weeks, so try to be patient and not rest anything on top of your piece until then!

A note about this particular wax- Although it is labeled as 'clear' it has a slightly brownish tint to it.  In some of the small crevices on my buffet you can see where some excess wax dried and it is not clear.  So I wouldn't recommend using this particular brand on white or light colored furniture.  Get wax that is truly clear (Annie Sloan has one).

Here it is- the big after shot!

Ok, it's not a 100% after shot because I still need to replace the glass and put the side doors back on. So it's an 85% after shot.

(Top shelf, from left: Target vase, Ikea vase, Ikea plants and pots.
Bottom shelf, from left:  Marshall's candle, Marshall's hurricane jar, Target bowl,
Target ceramic urchin, Hershey Chocolate tin)

Ta da! See, chalk paint is easy and affordable!


  1. Wow! I love that blue! I've been itching to try chalk paint for a while now, but haven't had the time. Spring break project for me, perhaps!
    Found you via the Pinterest challenge. Looks like a cute blog! :)

  2. Thanks Rachel! I was nervous about the calk paint, but it turned out to be pretty easy. You can totally do it!


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