My lovely Mother is back today talking all about her experiences with chalk paint!!
First off, this is NOT a tutorial! I would not consider myself knowledgeable enough in the painting department to be doling out advice. However, I have completed several furniture painting projects with both interior latex and chalk paint.
Before I ever painted my first piece, I sought the advice of a friend who does a lot of beautiful painting projects. In fact, years ago when I started painting the interior walls of my home, she insisted that I purchase a Purdy brush. I cringed when I shelled out the big bucks for a paint brush, but that was the single-most important piece of painting advice I ever got. (Thanks, Margie!)
I rarely tape anything when painting with my trusty Purdy!
Back to the furniture…following the advice of my friend, Krista and I painted her table, chairs, and two dressers a while back using interior latex paint and finishing it with a polycrylic protective finish. The entire process was pretty labor-intensive (like lots of coats of paint and finish AND sanding in between finish coats). The prep work was another project in itself. (Thanks, Kane, for the hours of sanding!) I do love the way these pieces turned out and they still look great over a year later! You can see these projects here.
Wouldn’t you know it, shortly after we finished those pieces, chalk paint hit it big on the internet…and everywhere! One step…no sanding…no polycrylic…this sounded too good to be true! I started doing some research and found that there are at least a gazillion ways to use chalk paint. Use criss-cross strokes, use even strokes, apply shellac first, don’t apply shellac, sand, don’t sand, use wax, don’t use wax, dilute the paint with water, stir but don’t shake, on and on it goes. By the time I started my first piece with chalk paint, I had way too much information!! I was a bit confused, but I gave it a try!
I started with these book cases.
The first one took 5 coats of paint (Maison Blanche) and 1 coat of clear wax and 1 coat of dark wax. I switched to a different brand of paint (Amy Howard..also less expensive) and the second one took 2 coats of paint and 1 coat of clear wax and 1 coat of dark wax. Actually, I finished up the first one with a coat of Amy Howard. I used criss-cross strokes on both and I love the way they turned out.
Then I tried my great big crafting table. I absolutely love the color (sorry, Krista), but I don’t love the finish.
(Can you spot my painter’s helper, Lucy, in these photos?!)
I used even brush strokes, thinking that such a big surface would look “messy” if I didn’t. I really like the look of the criss-cross strokes better. This method really adds to the character and patina. I used clear wax and dark wax. I feel like I’m always buffing smudges out of it. If I paint another piece that gets lots of wear, I will definitely consider a polycrilic finish, even though it’s a real pain to apply. (Notice the metal filing cabinet in the back. I painted it with chalk paint also and it worked great!)
With these three projects under my belt, I decided it was time to move on to a more challenging project. I have my grandma’s old sewing machine cabinet, and this thing has seen it’s better days! It has cracks across the top and lots of water stains. Chalk paint is supposed to be the cure-all for projects like this! Yay! Now that I know which paint I’d rather use and the technique I prefer this should be a breeze!
Part way through this project I thought about sanding it down and starting over. I’m glad I stuck with it, though, because it turned out to be my favorite piece yet. It seems like chalk paint can withstand any amateur’s mistake. In part 2, you’ll see why I have fallen in love with this stuff!
Thank you, Mom!! We absolutely love chalk paint in our house! Kane painted our kitchen cabinets, (he promises he will write a post on that someday), our end tables, coffee table AND stair rail with it. He prefers the Annie Sloan brand. I’d be interested in your opinion of that brand since you’ve used two others!
Have any of you used chalk paint? Which brand? What method?
Let us know!!