Make Chalk Paint For Furniture

Edited by Nuance, Inukshuk, Eng, Alma

If you're pretty good at DIY Projects, and your furniture needs a little life breathed back into it, and you're in the mood to revive an old piece of furniture " Chalk Paint might be exactly what you're looking for. Chalk paint adds an interesting matte finish to furniture, and it's easy and affordable to make yourself. This is not for you if you're looking for a high-gloss or a finished look with a sheen.

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About Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is made by adding Plaster of Paris and Water to a Latex Paint. The paint dries into a beautiful matte finish. After the paint dries, the granules create a matte finish. Brush strokes and imperfections become part of the look, making it a forgiving finish to apply. The finish can be sanded in places to create a distressed look or waxed for either an aged look or more satin finish than paint alone.

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The purple used on this dresser looked much darker in the paint can. The bed, reflected in the mirror, is painted the same colour.

How To Make Chalk Paint

Sure, you can buy chalk paint already made, in many colors. But it's expensive, and you don't get that wonderful rush, the satisfaction of knowing you've done this project by yourself.

You're only limited by the colors of paint available and your imagination.

What You'll Need

  • Flat latex paint in the color/colors of your choice
  • A bucket to mix the paint in
  • A container/containers for the paint
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Plastic measuring cups (do not reuse for food)
  • Stir sticks
  • Cool water (not warm, not cold)
  • Paste wax
  • Paint Brushes (sized according to your project)
  • Cleaning rags
  • Damp paper towels (for drips)
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Be brave. Try colors you've never used before.

Easy Method for Making Chalk Paint

This will make enough chalk paint to paint a dressing table with four drawers and a mirror. Mix only the amount you need. Don't mix a huge batch, because chalk paint cannot be stored and reused.

  1. 1
    In the bucket
    Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water.
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  2. 2
    Stir the mixture until it's completely smooth
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  3. 3
    Add 1 cup of latex paint
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  4. 4
    Stir thoroughly
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Applying Chalk Paint

Get out your painting T-shirt and your old pants. If you're painting inside, you might want to consider a drop cloth. Put on your favorite music.

Make sure you have a variety of brushes, some smaller ones for fine work.

Before You Start

  • Make sure the surface you're painting is clean and free of debris.
  • If it's a glossy surface, you'll need to sand all that off.
  • Practice on a spare piece of wood to get a feel for how the paint moves.

First Coat

  1. 1
    Apply the first coat
    If you're planning on two coats, or you are painting a different color underneath, make sure the first coat is thicker than the topcoat.
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  2. 2
    Work Quickly
    Chalk paint dries really, really fast.
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  3. 3
    If debris lands on the project, remove it quickly as well
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Create a Distressed Look

To add a distressed look to the furniture you're painting;

  1. 1
    Use two colors
    Paint the first coat as suggested above.
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  2. 2
    Second Color
    When the first coat is dry, dip your brush into the second color, and then paint a rag to remove most of the paint.
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  3. 3
    Brush the second color lightly onto the surface.
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  4. 4
    When the paint dries, lightly rub the topcoat with fine sandpaper or steel wool.
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  5. 5
    If you're painting over a contrasting color, you can just do the one coat, and choose some raised surfaces to sand to create a distressed look to your furniture.
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  6. 6
    You can finish with a paste wax if you want to add sheen to the finish.
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This chair was painted two and a half years ago, and has weathered quite well.

Other Projects to Consider

  • Update an old mirror.
  • Picture frames.
  • Wicker (furniture, shelves, mirrors)
  • Bookshelves.
  • Walls - although it won't be as durable.
  • Old cupboards (consider painting the inside a contrasting color)

Tips and Warnings =

  • If you do want the finish to have a sheen, you can use a wax polish on it after the paint's dried.
  • Don't paint over high gloss furniture. Sand before painting.
  • Adding Plaster of Paris to any paint, will lighten the color a bit, so take that into consideration.
  • Painting a chest of draws 2 colors, can be very interesting. Painting it 12 colors, will look silly.
  • Think about not painting all the wood - perhaps leave the tabletop, but paint the legs.
  • If you're a good artist, you might try painting your own design on a tabletop, etc.
  • Don't over-distress your furniture, as it will look too calculated and fake.
  • Sand to create interesting textures and visual depth.
  • Consider the era and style of the piece you're working on.
  • Don't try this with wood stain - ever.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Arts & Crafts

Recent edits by: Eng, Inukshuk, Nuance

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