Tuesday, 11 December 2012

DIY Dark Chalk Paint - What I've Learnt

This post is for my fellow DIYer's ;-)

If you've been following along lately you'll know I've been in a chalk paint phase and, I just love the stuff
You can read all about DIY chalk paint here if you need to catch up on all the deets about it, but today I want to talk about dark chalk paint.

The piece I learnt on! My kithchen stool.

The recipe for chalk paint that I use has plaster of paris mixed in the paint and when you start sanding in between coats, you can see a chalky-ish look to the paint job you've just finished. (It looks like you've used blackboard paint and have rubbed chalk over it.)

The first time this happened to me I thought I'd muffed the recipe and I was going to have to start again.

Exhibit A...chalkiness.


Time by myself is sometimes hard to come by and often, that's when I paint. I've tried it with my little helpers and it just does not work. Ha! Who am I kidding?! It was a disaster...I had to strip it all off and start again!!

Anyway, lets get back on track. :-)
So with the knowledge that I may not get a chance to re-do the piece that was going all chalky on me for another week, I kept going.
I pretended the chalkiness wasn't there and cleaned the piece ready for its second coat - chalky look still there even after cleaning.

BTW, I use good ol' baby wipes for cleaning sanding dust off :) always have plenty of them around!

On goes the second coat, looking great. It dries and I distress it with my mouse sander then go over the whole piece with a 320grit sanding sponge. Wipe all the dust away and it still looks chalky. Of course! Why did I think that by just painting another coat on the problem would go away?!
Wishful thinking!

So I just kept going. I knew it was for us so I could live with it for a while then re-do it one day when I had a chance. (as if...hehe!)

I wiped on the beeswax then buffed it in...as I always do and lo and behold -
the chalkiness was gone!! Halelujah (cue angelic music)!

Chalkiness gone!!

And so...

The moral of the story-:

Sometimes it pays off to pretend everything is ok and just KEEP GOING!

You can quote me on that - I used 'sometimes' so that covers me either way ;-)

What I've Learnt So Far Using DIY Chalk Paint So You Don't Make The Same Mistakes-:

1. Measure, measure, measure! Stick to the recipe 'cause it works! I know I'm a culprit of going all freestyle on paint mixing when you've done it a few times but trust me - you cannot get away with it with the chalk paint recipe I use.
2. Always sand in between coats - once it's dried of course - with a 320grit sanding sponge. This goes for all furniture painting as it will give it a super smooth finish and be the difference between a professional looking job and a crap 'non-professional' one.
3. Always seal after painting. (I usually use beeswax) This protects and nourishes and adds a slight sheen to the hard work you've just completed. Kinda like why you need to condition your hair after shampooing! And why yes...I have done a post on that particular topic, thanks for asking! You can read all about washing your hair the right way (my way) right here.
And as you've just read...beeswax will take away the chalky look to DIY chalk paint, which is especially noticeable when you are using a darker paint color.

And just a reminder...

I hope this post has been a wealth of information to you as you embark on your DIY journey, I know its helped me by just writing it ;-)

Now go and create people!!

Courts xx


The Moerks said...

Great inspiration Courts. I have a bed for Miss B that needs some chalky goodness. You are very kind to share your recipe and tips.
Gosh it is getting hot again, stay cool.

bec said...

ahh...chalk paint my newest addiction...no piece is safe in my house at the moment from my paint brush!
I love going to buy sample pots of all the luscious colours I plan to use.
great post thanks again.
Bec x

Lea said...

Thanks so much Courtney. I plan to give it a whirl. Do you think particular colours have a better result eg bright over pastel, dark over light or is it much of a muchness?

Deb Hrabik said...

Great Info! I have made my own just a couple of times.
Still have a lot to learn about that,
Thanks for sharing!

Catherine said...

Thanks for the tips - and I love that bed! I've just bought one for Harry and am planning to use chalk paint, but no idea what colour. So it's on 'the list'.

Courtney said...

So far I've found all colors have the same awesome result...just you see the chalkiness on the darker colors. Until you wax it of course:)

Katrina said...

I'm confused, I thought the idea of chalk paint was the chalky finish it gave? I've bought a sample pot of paint and some plaster of paris to do up a table I have, but I don't have beeswax to finish it off, as I thought the paint was all I needed.

Courtney said...

Hi Katrina, sorry if I've confused you! You don't HAVE to finish with beeswax...but the end result is soo much better if you do - as you can see by the pics above. If you love the chalky finish then not sealing is probably for you, the best part of using chalk paint for me is that I don't have to prep a piece first and it distresses really easily.
Forgive me, I'm still new at it and try to post more details as I learn them myself:)

marthaleonedesign.com said...

Great info. I've been wanting to write about this also as I India had my freak out moment also with the dark homemade chalk paints. I use all brands of paint for my recipe and have found that Martha Stewart reds do not produce that chalkiness you area talking about. Thanks for the post.

Katrina said...

Thank you for clearing that up Courtney! I'm really new to chalk paint, and I'm actually just about to paint a spice rack I've had for years, which isn't painted. I've never liked it the way it is, but didn't have the heart to throw it out, so we'll see how I go!

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