Horizontally Challenged Series: Homemade Chalk Paint

Warning!  I have started a new post series. Nope, not lights this time, but a variety of horizontal surfaces that I have either refinished, painted, built and finished from scrap wood, or cobbled together from different things around the house.  I am excited about all of them, but thought that at least three deserved their own post.  So why not do another series. Hope you are up for all things horizontal (ahem, surfaces, that is)

This first table redo was a Craigslist find that I was pretty happy about.  I had looked for a round solid wood table for a few weeks but could only find whole dining sets that I wasn’t interested in, or ones that were in good condition and so were more than I wanted to pay, or just more than I wanted to pay.

I decided to keep looking at earlier and earlier dates until I finally found a local gal that had the perfect table in the perfect condition for me to refinish and for a great price.  So for thirty-five dollars I got this baby:

This table sat in the garage for quite a while, while we wrecked the kitchen.  Finally, a few weeks ago, it was time to get her done.

I have been wanting to try Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.  Click on the link if you haven’t heard of this paint before.  It looks really awesome, and the best part, you don’t use primer.  You can paint over ANY surface without sanding or priming…WOOT!  The colors in the line are beautiful too and I so would love to use and sell it locally.  From what I have read, Ms. Sloan prefers to only have small shops dedicated to repurposing furniture sell her product line, not just vendors on the internet, but even cooler, not big corporations either.

So bummer, I don’t have a shop (yet?) and two, it is quite pricey. Too much for me to pay for paint and the wax that needs to go over the paint for protection, since no one sells it around here, add shipping to that cost too.  I hear it is totally worth the money, so someday, I will break down and get some, but until thenI learned from some fellow bloggers and DIYers, that you can make your own.

According to Liz Marie Blog, it is as easy as mixing 1 cup of flat paint with 1 tbs. of unsanded grout.  Jamielyn at I Heart Nap Time mixes 2 cups of paint with  5 tbs. of Plaster of Paris and 2 tbs. of water.

Chalk paint is NOT chalkboard paint.  Chalk paint has a very flat finish that mimics the old finish of painted antiques. Actual calcium carbonate (chalk) is, or was, typically used, hence the name.   Many people love to distress the edges so their newly finished furniture will look like old well used pieces.  The paint sands super easy after it dries, which is really fast, within minutes really, so it is easy to distress the edges.  Latex peels, if you have ever tried it. And what a time saver.  No priming, sanding or waiting hours to paint between coats. These characteristics are why this paint finish has become extremely popular.

I had some unsanded grout left over from a kitchen redo at my old house, so I went with Liz Marie’s recipe.  I usually follow recipes to a tee, but I didn’t want to spend money on this project, especially since I have two gallons of white paint that I use on all my trim and board and batten. It is semi-gloss, not flat or even eggshell, so I crossed my fingers that it would work.

I mixed the tablespoon of grout with some water.  Just enough to dissolve the grout well.  Then I added a cup of paint:

Others that used this technique warned me that you may need to sand down the paint to get off any residual grout or PoP clumps that didn’t dissolve, so I was prepared for a somewhat uneven surface. I knew this might still happen though I tried really hard to mix it well before adding the paint.  Below are pictures of the first coat:

I definitely had some small clumps that would need brushed off, but man, did it dry fast.  By the time I went all the way around the base, the first areas were dry.

Here is pics after the second coat:

So far, so good.  I was really digging the new paint technique.   If you look closely, you can see little clumps of grout that didn’t dissolve.  I didn’t stress about it since I was duly warned by others.  When the paint was dry, I took steel wool #0000 and gave some quick, light strokes that sanded the surface smooth.  Super easy.

When  it came to the top, however,  and I have somehow lost the pictures, after the second coat, there was some bleed through where  the nail polish remover spilled and ruined the original finish.  Bummer.  I decided to spray prime those spots and when dry, I coated in just straight paint.  I could have used the chalk paint again, but decided I best go for a solid cover up on the bad area.

I am thinking that the oils in the nail polish remover is still in the wood and that was what was bleeding through.  The primer took care of it, as well as  the third coat of straight paint on everything.  I still plan to wax the top for extra protection after I do a touch up and maybe run the steel wool over it again.  Some debris from drying outside looks like it settled on it here and there.  This table has quickly become our go to table for everything.  Exactly what I envisioned.

Here are the after shots:

So, do I think this recipe is a keeper?  Yep, I do.  I loved not having to go through all the prep work that painting furniture normally takes.  The chalk paint sanded smooth with great ease and the paint adhered very well.  And though I didn’t go for a distressed look, I will let it happen if the edges start getting worn.  I don’t mind the look at all, I just wanted to go with something polished in the beginning.  I was told though, that the paint adheres so well, that it might not happen.  We shall see :)

Have you found and used ASCP yet?  I would love to chat about your experience with it.

Thanks for being here,


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~ by Perfect Prospect on September 27, 2012.

3 Responses to “Horizontally Challenged Series: Homemade Chalk Paint”

  1. I love how your table turned out! Did you wax it after or what? I used ASCP not too long ago to refinish a gigantic hutch, and I was iffy about it. I wanted a super covered look, and I had to do a lot of coats to do that. You can check it out here: http://azcubed.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/refinished-farmhouse-hutch-with-tutorial/

    • Hi Arzea, I just looked at your hutch and you did a great job. It is so nice. I have heard from one other blogger that chalk paint wouldn’t coat well even after three coats. How many did you end up doing? Also I have not waxed yet, but plan too for extra protection on the top.

      • Without the wax the ASCP chips like crazy…like super easily. I ended up just using minwax though, and it was great. I just ended up doing the 3 coats (PITA), and it was good after that. I ended up using a quart and a half, so even though it is supposed to go very far, I didn’t think it went much further than regular paint. Thanks!

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