After seeing chalk paint all over the interwebs, I thought maybe it was time I gave it a try. Also, the cold weather of winter means that it’s too cold to spray paint, which is usually my preferred method of furniture painting. Spray painting in an apartment is NOT recommended.
But there are no Annie Sloan chalk paint distributors near where I live, and even if there were, I am not sure I could afford the paint. After all, I am a grad student. I still haven’t purchased one of the main text books for a class, and it’s finals week. Probably not worth it at this point…
So I decided to make my own. Chalk paint, that is. Not my own text book.
I mixed about 1 part plaster of paris with either 2 or 3 parts paint (depending on how chalky I wanted it). I got the idea from No Minimalist Here, which has a few different chalk paint recipes and tips. I decided on the plaster of paris recipe because they carry that at Home Depot, which is where I was going for the paint anyway. I also added a few drops of water, because the plaster of paris makes the paint thicker.
A fortunate discovery for me (though maybe not for Martha Stewart) is that Home Depot is discontinuing the Martha Stewart paint line. This means that all Martha paint was on MAJOR sale. I bought 7 of the 8 oz sample colors already pre-mixed. Each one was ONLY $0.50!!! I also bought a gallon of white Martha paint for only $13. A steal. And I bought a quart of Araucana Teal for only $5. I don’t know what I am going to do with it yet, but I figure I might want it. Plus, the price was right. So if you haven’t already swooped in on the Martha paint line remains, I suggest you do. Other
vultures DIYers are getting ahead of you.
I found the mirror on Craigslist. It was $25, which is usually a little more than I like to pay for furniture that I am going to transform, but big mirrors are expensive, and this was in excellent shape. Plus, it had truly gorgeous details. Oh! And I almost forgot the best part: it’s a skinny mirror. I hate when I buy a mirror, get it home and realize that it adds 10lbs. Skinny mirrors are always worth a lil’ extra money. Ladies, you know what I am talking about.
So I mixed up some Martha Stewart Araucana Teal, in the 3:1 paint:plaster of paris ratio and set to work, after I had done a light sanding of course. While watching MadMen on Netflix, I put two coats of this lovely teal on this lovelier mirror. The coverage of the homemade chalk paint is better than that of normal paint, but still needed two coats (I probably use less of the chalk than the commercial kind. I was timid at first). Two coats of paint, considering how dark the wood was when I started, really isn’t that bad. This paint also dries really quickly, which I love! Patience is not one of my virtues.
The mirror is actually not quite as vibrant in the pictures, but during the photo editing process (I’m a newby), in order to increase the exposure, I had to play with the color a little.It’s pretty close though and I’m learning.
Once dried, I sanded down the paint to make it smooth. In case you haven’t worked with chalk paint: you have to sand it, or it feels a little rough. Then I also distressed the details to make it look antiqued. I love how the wood grain from the mirror still shows though the paint in places. I believe this is because the original mirror didn’t have shellac or anything on it, or that I just got really lucky.
After sanding, I applied a coat of Valspar antiquing glaze to make all the details, curves, wood grain, nooks and crannies pop! The chalk paint really wanted to soak up the antiquing glaze, so I had to use a lot of water to keep wiping away the excess. It wasn’t difficult, I had just never seen paint be so greedy with my antiquing glaze before.
I knew that I would need to seal the piece in some way, and I figured I would try furniture wax for the first time, since everyone who mentions chalk paint also mentions waxing it at the end. I just bought a normal tub of Minwax Furniture Wax Paste and followed the direction on the can. I worked it into all the little nooks and crannies, let it dry for about 15 minutes (or 1/3 of an episode of MadMen), and then buffed it to a soft sheen.
I am LOVING the finish that the wax creates. It’s super smooth to the touch, and not too shiny. It makes all the details stand out even more. Plus, the wax was really easy to apply and clean up was a breeze. However, if this was a table or a desk, I would want more protection for surfaces, but I figure no one will ever set a hot drink on my mirror, right?
Aside from the fact that I love the mirror, I love that I spent only about $1 on paint (including the little bit of plaster of paris that I used). Also, learning new painting techniques is a good way to justify watching a whole season of MadMen in just a few days. Not that I did that or anything… Uh… Yeah.
I hope you all like it. And if you do, maybe leave a comment or two. Comments make me supremely happy!
Love and Teal,
PS. I’m partying here: