I couldn’t help but insert a quote from one of my favorite movies: “Shrek”. I’m such a throwback. But on to more fabulous things!
I’m always on the look out for a good deal, even if it is something that will take work. It’s all about the end product and seeing the hidden potential. Which is why, when hunting in my favorite thrift shop, The Red Door Thrift Shop, here in St.Johns, FL, I came across a wing chair and ottoman…
Dayummm. That is one horrible shade of purulent pink. I think at one time it was mauve, but whatever it was, it is HIDEOUS now. But…I see some potential. And at 50% off, I get the chair and ottoman for $20. Madame has arrived!
Now what to do with it? I’ve done some pretty sweet no-sew slipcovers but I wanted to try something different. All over Pinterest there are references to painting upholstery with chalk paint such as this gem:
Since I have been reading so much about chalk paint it was high time that Madame waded into these murky depths and gave it a go. But have you SEEN how much chalk paint costs? Oh HAYULL no. Of course, I look for hacks and I came across the most epic site that reviews the most popular DIY chalk paint recipes:
I’m poor and thrifty so I decided to make my own chalk paint using latex paint I had on hand, and only needed to pick up a carton of Plaster of Paris and soft creme wax (more on that later).
I adapted the recipe a touch from the Old Things New Blog and used the following:
1 c. latex paint (I used Valspar in Antique White)
2 1/2 TBSP Plaster of Paris
2 1/2 TBSP Water
This is scaleable, meaning that I doubled and tripled as necessary to make more paint. Here is how I did it:
1) Mix the Plaster of Paris and water together first until there are no lumps.
2) Add the mixture to 1c. of paint. and mix thoroughly to eliminate any lumps.
3) Dilute the mixture by 30% with water. Mix.
4) Clean the fabric, then spray with water from a spray bottle to moisten the fabric (not drench!). Apply the chalk paint liberally. I used an artist brush for the piping and folds of fabric.
5) Allow the paint to dry completely. Here in FL, I could recoat in just a couple of hours.
6) In between coats, sand the fabric with 220 grit sandpaper. This reduces the stiffness and any surface anomalies.
7) The first couple of coats, you will look at it and go “nooooooo!”, but this is okay, have faith. The first few coats are to soak into the fabric and if you are working with a very porous or dark fabric, it will take more coats.
Here is what I had to work with after 3 coats:
Pretty scary and I almost panicked. But Madame doesn’t scare easily…
8) Some users reduce the dilution of the chalk paint with subsequent coats, but I did not. I simply sanded in between coats and applied enough layers to ensure adequate coverage.
9) I painted the legs of the chair and ottoman with Valspar flat black paint for a nice contrast.
10) Lastly, I applied a layer of soft wax to the chalk paint. Because this paint is more porous, it needs to be sealed. Polyurethane is relatively inflexible and discolors when exposed to sunlight. A wax is recommended for chalk paint and while good ‘ol Annie Sloan has her version, might I reiterate that I am POOR and won’t empty my wallet on something I can get inexpensively elsewhere. I got mine from Home Depot:
I am waiting for the Annie Sloan Army to be banging down my door like Avon from hell. But I digress.
11) I applied a light coat of wax to the whole chair and ottoman, then buffed with a soft cloth. The result? A completely different piece of furniture that feels like leather or at least a textured vinyl. It is not stiff or uncomfortable but soft. A little sticky, not unlike a leather chair in Florida so pretty standard for a humid climate. This chair sits really nicely and looks amazeballs in my reading nook.
I absolutely love this chair. It is comfy, looks fab and were I to sell it, I know I could make some coin gurl, so trust and believe I will be doing it for dough next time. Here are the results:
Needless to say, I’m going to try this out on some other pieces of furniture. I am working on a HIDEOUS circa 1990’s Florida style dining room chair that should be taken out back and shot…but let’s see what I can do with it. I have to say chalk paint is a fun medium and its true, you don’t seem to need to prime before painting which saves time and resources. More pieces are in the works!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Drop me a line!