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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chalk Paint Paisleys (and a Chair!)


Good evening! Sometimes I come up with a quippy little title for a post and that makes me very proud. Other times I pretty much punt. ^ Oh, well. It covers all the important stuff!  :)

The home decorating and DIY blogs are full of posts about chalk paint, and you can't avoid all the chalk-paint-painted furniture ideas on Pinterest. (Not that you would want to!) Nevertheless, Yours Truly had never so much as dipped a brush into a reclaimed margarine tub of the stuff. Not being one to miss any opportunity to make a mess (just ask my mom or my husband), I felt compelled to give it a go. 

I understand that there are some lovely brands of chalk paint on the market. They come in a wide range of  colors and go on very smoothly. But I was planning to paint a chair that took a detour on its way to the burn pile, so I didn't want to pay the rather high price for one of those colors. I did a good bit of reading online and found several variations on basically the same three recipes. One uses Plaster of Paris (POP), another uses non-sanded grout, and the third uses calcium carbonate powder. I went with the POP because I'm cheap frugal. 

I've mentioned before that I'm not really one for recipes. But I thought it might be a good idea to use other peoples' experience to my advantage. I went with a three-to-one ratio of paint to POP, with enough water to dissolve the plaster powder. In a reclaimed margarine tub (You thought I was joking, didn't you?!) I mixed a little water into the POP. Once it was nice and smooth and about as thick as pancake batter, I added the paint. I used a flat white that I kind of splurged on. I was shocked at how little odor that paint had. 

I used a cheapy disposable brush and slapped on a couple coats of white, then added a few drops of acrylic to tint most of the paint that was left, saving just a little white for the stenciling. I wish I had taken pics, but it was just an experiment. I didn't expect to blog about it!

I painted the seat, the strip across the top, and the...uhh...flat piece in the middle of the back(?) with the blue. Honestly, I only left the legs and the spindles white because I wanted to get to the paisleys and it takes a long time to paint around all those spindles. Then I got to break out the stencil!

After all the paisleys were painted, I scuffed everything up a bit with sandpaper. I tried to keep it to the areas that would have worn over the years, like the tops of the stretcher where your feet rub, or where you'd grab the top to pull the chair away from the table.

Next I mixed a little stain with some good old fashioned furniture wax. I think I've had that can in my utility room cabinet for 15 years! I'm sure it was happy to be put to use. The stain was a very red shade, so the white paint looked very pink until I buffed it. I learned that if the wax sets up too thick (in this case, too pink!), you can rub in a little fresh wax and it softens so you can remove a little. Nifty!

Ok. You saw the seat up above. That pic is now the homescreen on my iPad. Here is the rest of the chair:


And another angle....


It will soon have a spot at our booth at Ava Belle's Flea Market in lovely downtown Aurora, Missouri. Hopefully someone will adopt it and give it a loving home. I see it in a nursery. 

Now that I'm on the chalk paint bandwagon, don't be surprised to see more painted furniture, and yes, most likely more paisleys!  ;)

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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