After reading Korrie's post on DIY Chalk Paint over at Red Hen Home, I decided I just had to mix up a little paint and try it for myself. If it would work, then WOW what a money saver it could be. I had just been to Robyn Story Designs that very afternoon to pick up a couple of cans of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) and I walked away with a much lighter wallet although I was excited about the colors that I chose.
I just couldn't stop thinking about the DIY solution, however, and I had come upon this little desk on Saturday for $15 and I really wanted to paint it blue with a walnut finish top. Hmm...blue was not one of the ASCP paints I had purchased.
So, I grabbed an old can of Sherwin Williams paint in the color "Rain" which is a pale blue. I had used it in our guest room on the walls and had about a half gallon left over.
Mr. 1101 was definitely up for the challenge of re-finishing the top with a walnut stain so he got to work right away.
In the mean time, I mixed my paint. I decided to use baking soda rather than the grout that Korrie had used. She had said she had to do lots of sanding to get the "grit" out and I thought I'd rather avoid that step. Sherry over at No Minimalist Here had stated that she used Calcium Carbonate and when I looked that up on the internet, I found a site that said it was a substitute for baking soda.
So, I decided on baking soda.
The recipe was two parts paint to one part powder.
So, I mixed up my paint (added a tad of water) and stirred and stirred and stirred.
I went right to painting. (No prep on the desk what so ever...but I'll say it really didn't need any prep no matter what type of paint I chose. The former owner had only stained it. There was no topcoat on it anyway).
It did dry a bit gritty. So, I did have to sand it but it was very easy to sand it smooth.
Here are some photos that I'm hoping you can see the difference between the sanded drawer and the untouched drawer:
I was immediately excited about how easily this sanded and how beautifully it distressed. This was, afterall a latex paint and in the past, I've had trouble with peeling paint when I distress using latex which is why I don't use it on furniture. But dried quickly and distressed nicely.
I did use ASCP dark wax to age it. I alway have trouble with that and it was no different on this project.
I apologize for the coloring of this photo. Mr. 1101 and I moved the desk to three different locations (inside and out) trying to get a photo that showed the true color but it just wouldn't come out blue. Even with the photo tools, it just isn't very attractive. Most of my photos make it look grey.
Once again, Mr. 1101 did a great job on the top. I think it is the prettiest part of the desk.
So, here is my opinion if you care...
I loved it as an occassional solution. It is not something I would use all of the time.
In fact, I would NEVER use this solution on a piece with many details or little grooves. You would never be able to sand those parts smooth and then when the wax (if you use a wax) touches the unsanded parts, it will just make it look dirty. I have a few spots like that on this desk.
I would like to try this again and top it with a polyacrylic rather than with a wax. Even though there are two coats of wax on this desk (clear followed by dark), it still does not have the nice smooth, professional feel of ASCP.
It opens up lots of possibilities on colors that I did not previously have simply because ASCP is so expensive. And, I expect I will use it often for painting my signs.
However, there is one more important note that you should be aware of.
I stored my left over paint mixture in a sealed container for future use. Five days later, I used it to paint a board for a sign. Unfortunately, the odor was quite foul! OK. In better terms...it stunk to high heavens!!! I wonder if, like milk paint, it must be used within a day or two of mixing. I did paint the sign and functionally, it worked great (I'll show in a future post). I'm hoping once I add the top coat, it will no longer smell.
I won't stop using ASCP (and other fine professional furniture grade paints that I use) for furniture. But it is a wonderful tool to have in my little painting tool box.
I am so inspired by the many talented people I meet out here in blog land.
Please keep the ideas coming and if you've tried a DIY chalk paint, I'd love to hear your thoughts & feedback in my comments.
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