Have you ever wanted to try chalk painting but were put off by the cost? Or you knew what color you wanted but couldn’t find it on the shelf of your craft store? Well, I found the solution! This post contains both written instructions with photos AND my very first PPR YouTube video, if you scroll down to the bottom.
Over the years, I’ve sanded my fingernails to shreds while prepping surfaces like my front door, which I painted last fall. Or the hours upon hours I spent stripping and sanding the kitchen cabinets in our first home in San Jose.
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Chalk paint is magic. It doesn’t require stripping or sanding or anything other than a quick cleaning of the surface of the piece. I’d been wanting to dabble in it for years (can’t resist a pun), but I didn’t like the price tag or the limited selection of hues.
Well, folks, I found the solution. I made a last-minute decision to go to the Texas Pinners Conference a few weeks ago to meet one of my favorite bloggers/podcasters Dana K. White of A Slob Comes Clean. As someone who struggles with keeping on top of household tasks, I appreciate her low-stress approach in How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets. We had an enjoyable chat, and she signed my well-loved copy of her book.
Walking around the booths at the Arlington Convention Center, I got plenty of ideas of crafts to try, but I wasn’t tempted to buy until I came upon a chalk paint vendor.
They were selling BB Frosch Chalk Paint Powder. The powder can be added to any flat (or matte) paint, and voila, it becomes chalk paint. A small container that would transform a quart of paint cost me $10. The boutique brand of chalk paint at my local hardware store runs $36 a quart.
A quart of chalk paint will cover a lot of territory. I mixed up an 8 ounce batch, and it covered my small end table with two full coats and a few ounces to spare. After I got the powder, I ordered a Brossum 2-in-1 Round Chalk Paint and Wax Brush from Amazon for just under $10 (now it says its $15.97), another brush from Michaels at $7 with my 50 percent off coupon and clear and dark waxes from Walmart at $6 each.
Wax protects the piece and gives it a lustrous finish. If you just want to see the lovely hue of paint you chose with painstaking care (or found in your stash of leftovers on a dusty shelf in the garage), clear wax is all you need. Because I wanted to give my little end table an antique flair, I opted for a dark wax on top of the clear. Be sure to read through my instructions if you want to go with the dark wax.
This end table sits between my leather couch and the Fix-it Farmer’s ancient rocker-recliner, which won’t appear in any of my pictures because it’s kind of hideous. Don’t judge. We bought it decades ago in California to rock our first child.
The small table holds a lamp and a batch of pens while leaving enough room for a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea. I bought it several years ago at an antique store in town (Memories & Treasures for folks who are local, a.k.a. The Haunted Antique Store that I featured in a story I wrote a few years ago for my day job).
I think it cost me $50 and has a handy little drawer for remotes we don’t use but keep for unknown reasons and a cabinet to stash old magazines I forget I have. Discolored rings and lines marred the wood stained surface, so I decided it would be a great first candidate for my chalk painting experiment.
Before embarking on this project, I consulted helpful chalk painting tutorials online and looked at the instructions on the BB Frosch website. Most of these steps are the same whether you have ready-made chalk paint or a batch you mixed up yourself using the powder.
If you’re using pre-mixed chalk paint, just skip steps 3 and 4.
What you’ll need
- BB Frosch Chalk Paint Powder and flat or matte paint (OR pre-mixed chalk paint and omit next two items)
- a few ounces of water
- tablespoon measure and container marked with ounce measurements
- painters tape
- 1 1/2 inch angle brush
- flat round brush for clear wax
- flat round brush for dark wax
- two clean microfiber cloths
- two small paper plates, one for each wax
Step-by-step Chalk Painting
- Wipe down your piece with a gentle multi-surface cleaner that works on wood and allow it to dry.
- Remove any hardware you can and tape off anything you don’t want to paint.
- Mix BB Frosch Chalk Paint Powder with water, two heaping tablespoons of powder to one tablespoon of water. Mix until the consistency of doughnut glaze. You may need to add a little more water to get it right.
- Add 8 ounces of flat paint. You can use eggshell or satin, but it won’t be as good for distressing, according to the website. Mix well. That 8 ounces will go a long way, and the experts recommend mixing 8 ounces at a time even if you know you’ll need more.
- Start painting! After the first coat, I let it dry for another 30 minutes.
- Add a second coat of paint. On the tabletop, I put on a third layer and let it sit for an hour. Chalk paint dries to the touch pretty fast.
- Wax on, wax off. Wax is necessary to a lasting finish. I used a chalk painting and waxing brush to swirl on clear wax in sections that were no bigger than one foot square, and then rubbed it into the surface with a microfiber cloth.
- Go to the dark wax immediately so it will be easier to work with on top of the clear wax. Follow the same procedure with a clean brush and cloth. Experts say that using the clear wax first and then the dark wax right away makes the dark wax more blendable, and you’ll find it easier to attain the right finish.
- Allow the piece to dry overnight, re-attach the hardware and enjoy your revived furniture!
I completed this project, start to finish, in one Sunday afternoon. On the stress meter, it registers two out of five bananas. The banana scale is something I just invented. One banana is so easy you can sing a merry tune or, better yet, whistle while you work. Five bananas makes you want to rip your hair out, scream and slam doors. I would give my door painting project at least three and a half bananas, maybe four.
Now for the video I promised earlier. Please be kind. I said “so….” so many times, with a few “ummms” thrown in for good measure. Also, I talked way too slow. I promise I’ll do better next time. Meanwhile, get a load of this…