Before I jump into this awesome DIY chalk paint project, I guess I should address the fact that it’s been a full year since my last post. The question I have been asked over and over again, is “why aren’t you blogging anymore”? Honestly, the truth is that life simply got in the way and it required me to focus my energies on my family and the things that needed my undivided attention. I know each person reading this post can attest to the fact that there are times when it seems like the demands of your time are simply overwhelming, and you are forced to reassess your priorities. Although I absolutely love blogging, it takes up a lot of time and energy that I needed to walk away for a bit to make sure that I wasn’t selling myself short in other areas of my life. That break was supposed to be a few weeks, which turned into a few months, and when I looked up, it was closing in on a year. I don’t regret the break at all, but I absolutely missed sharing this lifestyle with my readers. Now, don’t get me wrong. Although I haven’t been blogging, it certainly does not mean that I haven’t been staying true to my thrifty ways.
As you may already know, I am an active duty service member. Last year around June, my family and I moved from the beautiful San Diego, and relocated to Annapolis, Maryland. If you have ever moved before, you know that your life becomes somewhat chaotic until you settle into a groove. With the move, came a new job, new city to learn about, new friends to make, and new house to make our own. My life has finally become normal again, and I am beyond ready to show you how I have adapted to a thrifty lifestyle on the East Coast. This time around, you can expect to see thrifty inspiration beyond fashion on my blog.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into one of my completed projects. As I mentioned above, one of the hurdles of moving is to actually making a new house feel like a home for your family. However, I promise you that this does not have to cost an arm and a leg.
One of the things that happen every time we move, is that furniture in one home does not always work the same in the new home. This is the case with a dresser that we previously had in the old guest room. There was simply no need for it as a dresser in my new home, but I was very hesitant to give it away because it was solid wood and in excellent condition. I had saved several pins on Pinterest about turning old dressers into functioning pieces around the house. In my case, I really wanted a buffet for the breakfast area, but was not ready to shell out a lot of money for this item. This dresser was the answer to my wish. Additionally, I spent less than $5 on this redo.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a before pic, but you can tell from the distressing, that the original wood in the dresser was that of a blonde color. I knew that if I wanted to use it as a buffet, I would absolutely need to paint it, and chalk paint is the easiest paint for all of my furniture makeover. In this case, I actually made my own chalk paint.
What Is Chalk Paint? If you haven’t heard about chalk paint before, allow me to introduce you to the product that makes it look like you are a furniture remodeling goddess.
Chalk Paint was designed by Annie Sloan and can literally go on nearly anything you could ever wish to paint without the need for any prepping or sanding. That “no prepping” claim might be a little exaggerated, but for the most part, you really do not need to prep your pieces prior to painting. It covers easily, dries quickly and helps you achieve a beautiful end product that is perfect for distressing with very little time and effort. This sounds amazing right! Here is the caveat. Annie Sloan chalk paint is a little too expensive for this Thrifting Diva. It can cost $34.95 and up per quart.
However, the other wonderful thing about chalk paint is that it is also very easy and inexpensive to make yourself. Yes that is right, you can make your own chalk paint, and that is exactly what I did for this project. There are several recipes online for making your own chalk paint. I used the following to transform my dresser into my buffet for the breakfast area.
Chalk Paint Recipe
Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint (any color of your choosing) and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser.
I had some Behr “Silverstone” gray paint left over from painting some of the walls in my new house and figured this would be a great color for the area.
I simply used a rag to wipe off any dust on the dresser, removed the hardware, removed the drawers and painted the dresser and drawers using my DIY chalk paint. I painted two coats for great coverage. Once this was complete, I wanted to give my buffet a slight distressed look. I used a variety of 100 – 220 grit sandpaper to do my distressing, and it helped to have a sanding sponge to wrap the sandpaper around providing a little more to grip. The general rule when distressing is to sand on sections that would naturally receive wear and tear over time such as corners, edges or raised decorative details. You can always go back and re-paint or touch up any sections that you may have over-distressed.
After I completed the distressing, I added some dark wax to darken the bright gray color a little. I used Annie Sloan dark wax and Annie Sloan clear wax for this step. Warning for those who will attempt to use the dark wax. Do not apply dark wax directly to your painted piece without first applying some clear wax. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
Additionally, you want to work in sections, rather than applying the clear wax to the entire piece then the dark wax. Simply apply some clear wax to a section of your piece with a wax brush or a lint free rag. Then apply the dark wax on the section with the clear wax with a different wax brush or lint free rag. Your piece would instantly look like it’s dirty. Simply use a different lint free rag to remove the excess dark wax. If you have put too much dark wax on the piece, add some clear wax on top and wipe off with a rag. However, if you don’t have a layer of clear wax under the dark wax, it will be absolutely difficult to remove the excess dark wax.
Continue to do this until you achieve the look you want. The more shiny you want a piece, the more you will buff with a cloth. There is no magical formula to this. It’s all about what you want your end product to look like.
I was extremely impressed with the end results. Less than $5 to purchase the plaster of paris, and I had a completely new piece for the breakfast area.
Have you tried making your own chalk paint?
Share your experience or tips on how you made your own chalk paint.