I may be behind the times a bit, but I just caught on to chalk paint. My friend, Annette first told me about chalk paint this summer. She raved about how easy it was and how much she loved it and just sold me on the idea within minutes. Then she told me how much it cost . . . . and she lost me. At a jaw dropping $35 or more per quart, it was never going to happen. My “keep it cheap” sensibilities would not allow it.
I’m really into bargains. It just feels so good to get a great item and get it cheap. That goes along with my love of DIY too. My parents are largely responsible for teaching me value and budget conscious shopping.
Before Brad and I were married, neither of us had ever lived on our own yet. We had no furniture and not much money to buy any. My mom went to a garage sale and picked up a table and two chairs for $25 which she gave to us. That was our first “dining set”. They were in good condition, but well used even then and while I wasn’t overly fond of them, they have served their purpose and in fact they are still serving us because we still have the set and that was over 25 years ago! Though we have a much larger dining table and chairs now, I am a bit sentimental about our ugly first “dining set”. It isn’t all bad or I would have gotten rid of it long ago. I use the table for crafts and other messy things and the chairs are a sturdy solid wood.
Surprisingly, I have never redone those chairs. I love DIY and being creative and trying new things, but I really need to be inspired to do so. Up until now, no inspiration for those chairs has struck.
Recently, however, after learning about chalk paint and all its wonders, I got inspired. I even came up with a list of things that spark inspiration for me. What I love best of all is when every criteria on this list are met. Then it’s not just a spark, it’s a flame and I’m on fire.
Here is what I need not only for inspiration, but also motivation when I’m considering a new project.
The chalk paint idea met every qualification on the “Inspirational Sparks” list but one. COST. Which for me could be a deal breaker.
So, I did what I always do. I researched to find a better option. Just as I suspected there are wonderful DIYers out there that have come up with quite a few recipes, but instead of trying them all to find my favorite, I went with the one that seemed to be the clear favorite of those who did.
Here’s what I found out. There are four main recipes out there, they use Plaster of Paris, baking soda, unsanded grout and calcium carbonate. The clear favorite that gives the results most like all the retail chalk paints is the calcium carbonate recipe.
In a nutshell, here’s what I did. I found a needy subject, one that could benefit from a big change, which of course turned out to be my over 25 year old chair. See what I mean? Yuck!
I decided what color to paint it and bought the paint and other supplies. Then I cleaned it up by scrubbing it with soapy water and a kitchen scrub sponge.
Next, I laid down newspaper on my kitchen floor and measured and mixed the chalk paint.
Then I started painting my first coat of paint. I only had to wait 30 minutes between coats and only painted two coats.
When the second coat had dried, I distressed it as much as I wanted to with sandpaper.
Finally, I put on the first coat of wax with my little blending brush and waited about 10 minutes before buffing the wax off with one of my husband’s old cotton t-shirts. I waited until the next day and applied a second coat of wax, then another 10 minutes of waiting and a final buffing.
Et voila! I have a new chair and I absolutely love the results! This old chair went from pukeness to cuteness in a short amount of time with very little money. Want to know just how little? Keep reading and I’ll tell you everything!
Here are the details for my Super Simple Chalk Paint Transformation and everything you need to do this to some poor neglected piece of furniture in your home.
- 1 Sherwin Williams paint sampling in “Green Sprout” – on sale – $5-6
- 1-5 lb bag of calcium carbonate (limestone) – $10 including shipping (will last for many projects)
- 1 Paint brush – really any will do and I already had mine – $0
- 1 Short blending brush – at Hobby Lobby – $3 (great for applying the wax, could be any brush though)
- Howard Citrus Shield Premium Paste Wax – at Home Depot – $12 (will last for many projects)
- Sand paper or sanding block in fine grit 150 – 220 (had some already) – $0
- Old cotton t-shirt for buffing wax (buff more for more shine) – $0
Recipe I used (I needed less than 1 cup to do two coats on my chair)
- 1 cup latex paint in any color (I used 3/4 cup “Green Sprout” and 1/4 cup “Fleur de Sel”)
- 2 Tablespoons calcium carbonate
- 1 Tablespoon water
Instructions: 1. Measure 1 cup of latex paint in container you will paint from. 2. In a small dish combine calcium carbonate and water and stir well. 3. Add calcium carbonate mix to latex paint and stir well. 4. Apply one or more coats to your piece as needed, waiting about 30 minutes between coats.
- DIY Chalk Paint comparisons by Denise at Salvaged Inspirations
- Recipe I used by Diane at In My Own Style
- 5 lb bag of calcium carbonate on eBay
If you look at how small an amount of the calcium carbonate I used, the cost is easily under a dollar. It’s fair to say that I can do many more projects with this one bag. As for the paint, I used less than one cup of the 3-4 cups in the sampling. The same goes for the wax. So with all of this in mind, my total cost to transform this chair was around $2.50 in consumables and $3 for a reusable brush.
Now that’s a bargain!
I’d love to hear about your transformations!