Saturday, 11 August 2012

Before And After: Vintage Dresser And DIY Chalk Paint

*Since writing this post almost three years ago and after many discussions with some of seems not all brands of plaster of paris mix well with hot water. So I now recommend mixing your plaster with warm water first before adding the paint. The recipe on the pictures below are still correct, only change hot water to warm. Happy painting! Cx


I have had this dresser for six months or more now...

and I have had many debates with myself as to what to do with it!
I finally had a brainwave!!

I had some plaster hidden away that I bought when we were on holidays so I could make my own chalk paint. I'd forgotten about it!

So that's what I did, and now...

this piece is a show stopper!!

And the whole thing was finished in a day - including drying time!! That's only one of the bonuses of chalk paint!!

So what is chalk paint?
It's a paint for furniture that is bordering on being a phenomenon in the DIY world.
It's major bonus is that it pretty much sticks to anything - which prep work!!
No sanding!!
Just make sure your piece is clean and dry and you're good to go.
It also distresses easily and dries super quick, which is how I could finish this in one day.

Have you got a piece of furniture at home that needs an update?
You can totally do it!! It's a perfect weekend project. 

Here's how -

*remember to use warm water, not hot :-)

You just paint it on with a brush, this dresser was two coats with enough left to do another piece!

I used a sample pot of paint (make sure it's water based) and got my plaster from spotlight.
I used two old containers - one I added in the hot water then sprinkled in the same amount of plaster - the other I measured out 3 parts paint then added the mixed plaster/water to that.
I just painted straight from that container.
Allow it to dry in between coats, which won't take long, then grab your sander and distress away!

I also seal all my pieces for longevity and also it really finishes off the look.
For this one, I mixed beeswax with a brown carnauba wax.

I didn't distress the other piece I did, but have decided that I love the DIY chalk paint for a distressed piece, but if you want a super smooth and even result, I'd stick to my paint sprayer.
Simply because there are no brush strokes.

I love this dresser and am so happy with the result!!! I will definitely use chalk paint again!!

If you want to give it a try, you know I'm here for you!!
If you have any questions or need advice- just shoot me an email and I'm only too happy to help!!

Go for it!!

Courts xx

Sharing at:
Primitive and Proper


Kylie said...

What a stunning transformation Courtney.
Thanks so much for sharing the dirt on chalk paint (which I have never heard of). I will definetely give it a whirl.
I really love what you've done with it.

Catherine said...

WOW!!! That's gorgeous! I love the colour you've chosen. I've been thinking about chalk paint, but haven't gotten the right piece for it yet. At the moment I'm trying not to buy anything else... my garage is already full!

Sue SA said...

You must have a very big shed with all these lovely pieces ready and waiting in it! So now you have added the wow factor to this dresser, do you get to keep it? If so you must have a big house too!

lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

Hi, i love this the color is beautiful! would it be ok if it feature it? let me know,

Svietka Riv said...

ok--kill me now! one of the most gorgeous pieces out there...lllooove it

Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

Well this is just amazing! I love the color and the distressing is perfect! I will be trying to make my own soon... thanks for the tutorial!

Christina said...

Great tutorial! This is the first I've heard of chalk paint and it sounds like something I want to try. :)
I like your blog updates by the way!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oooh i love that and it matches my button! ;) the finish is fabulous as well as the color, and i love that shape!

Deny said...

Wonderful color, love it!

Kathryn said...

It hardly looks like the same piece! The color is stunning!!!! Can't wait to see more of your projects... following now. :)

Do you love him Loretta said...

Great colour! Funny how it went from drab to WOW!!!!

AC Abbott said...

Love it! You mentioned a paint sprayer for a smooth finish, I'd love to see a blog post about the different types and costs of them and how you decided on the one you use. Thx for sharing the beautiful project!

Anonymous said...

When you spray paint, what kind of spray painter do yo use?

Courtney said...

Hello!! My paint sprayer is an air compressor with a paint attachment. Once you get the hang of it - it's so quick and easy!!
Hope this helps!

Rustic Vintage Country said...

Oh wow, I'm sooo excited! I have this quite large bookcase that I want a distressed cream colour and have been putting it off for ages because of the prep work involved. Thank you thank you for the inspiration! Suzy x

Anonymous said...

One question, I absolutely love this by the way! What do you sand it with to get that finish?

Courtney said...

To get the heavily distressed finish I sand with a mouse sander and 180 grit sandpaper and keep going over the areas until I'm happy with how it looks. Then I finish with a 320 grit sanding sponge before I clean and wax. Hope this helps!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding so quickly! I am about to do a test piece with an old mirror I have found. One more question for you. How do you clean the chalk paint recipe off of your brushes? Is it the same as with a regular latex or do I need a new brush for each project? Your blog is wonderful! Thanks for sharing with us!

Courtney said...

You won't need a new brush for each project, it just washes out like any water based paint. The plaster of Paris kinda dissolves and thickens the paint so you can add more water anytime you need to thin it down as you're going (cold water.)
Your brushes probably won't last as long using the DIY chalk paint but you'll definitely get quite a few projects done before you'll need to replace it.
Good luck with your mirror! :-)

megan tanner said...

I thought chalk paint was the paint that dries and you can use as a chalkboard.... I know this is in right now

Courtney said...

That ones called chalkboard paint and you can probably DIY that too!! It may even have similar ingredients - I'm not sure as I've never made it :-) something else for me to look into!! I've only used bought chalkboard paint and its quite different from this DIY chalk paint.

aravis said...

Have you ever used Anne Sloan chalk paint? I wonder how it compares to DYI one in terms of quality and pricing. I am a fun of chalk paint and have been using AS a lot. Thank you for your post.

Courtney said...

I'm in Australia and we can't get ASCP here...yet, I'd love to try it though!! From what I've read, I think the home made chalk paint probably compares quite well - it'd definitely be cheaper anyway :-)

aravis said...

Oh, I see...I heard that they are working on getting ASCP to Australia. Keep us posted if you come across it eventually. I will definitely be trying your method! Thanks again.

Amy said...

What kind of paint finish do you use? Flat? Does it matter?

Andrea Brown said...

What color paint did you use for this? I love it. I am attempting a DIY turquoise chalk paint and having a hard time picking a color.

Courtney said...

The colour I've used here is teal twilight by dulux and I always use low sheen for chalk paint, you can use flat paint too, just nothing shinier than low sheen as it doesn't seem to work :-)

Christine said...

Thanks for the great instructions and helpful tips!!! I can't wait to try this on a recent thrift find.
I have a shelf that was poorly painted bright orange, it's a nice color, I guess, just not my style.
I have sanded a good amount of the paint off, to add to the distressed look when completed.

Directed to the most recent posts;
I have a small can of a light blue/green with a satin finish.
I'm wondering if I can use the satin finish with your recipe? What would you recommend for best results?

Courtney said...

Hi Christine,

Al the research I've come across suggests DIY chalk paint doesn't work so well in anything shinier than low sheen...however I have never tried. There's only one way to find out for yourself ;-) make a tiny batch and test it on a scrap piece of wood!
Let me know how you go!

Courts xx

Amanda Dailey said...

Hey Courtney, I just wanted to say I love this piece! You did an amazing job on it. And I wanted to comment to aravis about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in comparison to the DIY chalk paint, they are very similar, but the DIY is WAY cheaper!!! I have family who sell the Annie Sloan and it is nice, but why pay so much and get the same results!?

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