Monday, November 14, 2011

Make your own Chalk Paint-Part Deux

So I have some updates on this topic, having just tried it again.  See my previous post on how I tried to make my own Annie Sloan chalk paint :)  This time I tried it on a 1920's french cabriole style vanity that I picked up a lonnnnggg time ago.  It had been sitting in my garage waiting for my attention for probably 6 months...I'd look at it with it's heavily chipped veneer and water stains and think "ugh, I don't have time for that one, what was I thinking?"
It had become a 'counter' in the garage for my stuff.
First there was the veneer issue, and that is a whole other topic...but in short, if you have a clothes iron you are willing to sacrifice, and putty knife it can be done. 

On to the chalk paint.  So my recipe was the same, I used 2 ounces of Calcium Carbonate to one sample size paint jar, which is 8 ounces.  Only THIS time, at the suggestion of Lauren at west furniture revival , I mixed 1/2 ounce of hot water in with the Calcium Carbonate first and stirred until it was completely dissolved and paste like (about 1 minute).  Then I added my sample size paint and blended by hand for a few minutes..super easy.  And here is what it looked like after my first coat:

You can see the bleed through of the water stains, something Annie Sloan's claims won't happen as you don't need a primer or prepping first.  However, this piece was SOOO rough on top that I'm not sure Annie's would have done the trick either...but my version DID do an awesome first coat everywhere else.  It was enough to give it that time-worn, heavily distressed look. There were some little brush strokes here and there but it actually added to it's appeal.  It glided on so much better than latex too, less paint needed and much better coverage with the Calcium Carbonate-I thought.  I decided to give it a coat of primer JUST ON THE TOP to ensure those stains didn't' come through.  Then I put on a second coat of my faux chalk paint.  Here is what that looked like;
I had already applied a glaze here, but you can see the result of two paint coats was more than enough!
I used a clear wax, then followed up with a dark wax around the edges and corners to 'dull' the brightness of the turquoise more.  And here is the finished product:
So having never swallowed the expense of using the real thing, Annie Sloan that is, here is what my recipe definitely accomplished:
*Much better coverage!  I used one jar of sample paint for this with the addition of the calcium carbonate and it was enough to completely cover twice.
*Improved Texture!  The paint glided on, didn't dry as quickly and left less brush strokes then regular latex.  That alone was worth it for me.  I could have stopped at one coat if I wanted to let more wood show through (other than the need for primer on the top!)
*Better adherence.  It removes some of that 'rubbery' feel of latex and therefore seems to cling to the wood differently, better.

So with the exception of Annie's claim to not need primer, this was by far an improvement over regular latex, for me.  I'll be using the calcium carbonate in my paint from now on, and maybe trying some of the other ingredients people have suggested  (ie; unsanded grout, whiting powder, plaster of paris, etc.)   I'd love to hear other people's experiences or suggestions as well.
Till next time! XO

Friday, November 4, 2011

Make your OWN Annie Sloan! aka Chalk Paint

a pic of their opening night party
Happy Weekend Friends!
Before I get to the chalk paint, I have some exciting news I'd like to share with you. I have just been added as a vendor to an amazing new boutique in Austin called "flock."  I am so excited about this, to think my products are finally in a 'brick and mortar' store!  In fact they cleaned out my etsy shop, so I am working at a feverish pace to restock it for some upcoming showcases as well as the holidays. But I'll have lots of new pillows, some refinished vintage desks, consoles, and even a dining set I am working on, (using my recipe for chalk paint ;) Here is a brief write up that was in the Austin paper about 'flock';

Friends flock together for business
Flock, a new addition at South Lamar Boulevard and Oxford Avenue, is a local artists' oasis nestled in a growing area of locally owned business in 78704. Flock was born from the collaboration and friendship between owner Tamara Carlisle and manager Ashley Woodson, whose mutual love and appreciation for the art and talent of their Austin neighbors lead to a business partnership. Flock carries jewelry by Tracy Tenpenny, Mari Andrade and Woodson's line. Other items include home accessories, furniture and d├ęcor, art work, greeting cards and Carlisle's Lights Out candles. The women at Flock officially opened their store in mid-September and search online marketplace Etsy to bring in new local artists each week. Flock is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 2120 Oxford Ave. 707-1093. 

Anyhoo, if you are in the area be sure to check them out.  These gals have a great mix of things that are so artfully displayed you just want to sit and take it all fact they do private parties there were you and your friends can partake in some wine, some shopping and lots of fun!

Now on to chalk paint~chances are that gorgeous piece you saw in the antique mall, the one that had that perfect patina, that time-worn distressed look was the result (and hard work!) of the refinisher and a can of this magical chalk paint.  'Annie Sloan' is the ONLY manufacturer of this stuff and its beyond expensive.  It costs 39.99 per quart to be exact.  That's per QUART, not gallon.  And there are very few distributors so most people have to pay the shipping on top which equals over $50.00 for again, a QUART.   Lately the blogs are a buzz with different recipes/concepts/ideas, etc of how to create some of this yourself.  I just wanted to share my personal experience and what I thought of it with you.  

So chalk paint, by name implies there is a chalk like substance in it right?  I've read various theories on this and here are some of the additives people have used with success: sandless grout, whiting powder, plaster of paris, and calcium carbonate.  I chose to try calcium carbonate because that is what chalk is actually made of, a form of limestone.

I bought a cheap sample size of paint ($2.50) at Home Depot-my home away from home-and purchased some Calcium Carbonate at a local health food store for 7.75, you can also order online from or other places.

One sample pot of paint is 8 oz. and I'd read whatever additive you choose should be a 3:1 mix so I went conservative and added 2 oz. calcium carbonate.
 It definitely maintains a sediment like consistency now matter how much you mix it, in fact these pics are taken a week after I mixed it and it is STILL like that.  

 I tested it on my large picture frame from the previous post. And what I found was that it still went on well, and you can add a tiny bit of water to dilute things too.  The first coat is a little scary, but you have to lightly sand after it is dry, BEFORE you apply your second coat.  Then just a light sanding and whatever distressing you want to do, and all the clumps go away.  Now I have never used Annie Sloan as I just can't swallow the cost, but this to me-is a great alternative and definitely worth experimenting with.  Especially with sample paint pots and a small piece of wood just to get a feel for it, decide on your preferences for the mixture (add more water? more calcium carbonate? etc).  I'd really love to hear from anyone who's tried the plaster of paris or the unsanded grout.  How do they compare?
I hope some have found this at least helpful in attempting to try this.  I definitely think it can be done, and I will be attempting it again and sure to post the results when I do!
Have a great weekend! XO

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chalkboard's and Chalk Paint

Happy Post Halloween!  (or the 'Halloween Hangover')
Hope yours was fun, safe and full of treats.  Our kids gather so much loot in such a short time....I end up passing half of it back out when we get home (kids kept coming until 8:30)! It was kind of a whirlwind of a day for me so this morning, after getting the kids ready and off to school (yeah, go ahead and buy lunch've already snuck candy into your breakfast)  I just wanted to veg on the couch and catch up on some of my favorite blogs.  Check out this AWESOME Halloween display that Sausha over at put up this year:

LOVE the use of old baby dolls ;)  Twisted but fun!
She's my kinda gal, a morbid fun sense of humor and sooo amazingly talented!  Be sure to check out the rest of her post to see all of the decorations. 

So I'm slowly getting back into the blogging after a bit of a hiatus.  I have a back log of desks/vanities I've been working on just to get them out of my garage.  I think I'll lump them all together in another post soon.  But a quick, easy little project that I recently tried, (and is perfect for fall, kids and gifts for the holidays) is making your own Chalkboards!  Here is all you need:
Frame of your choice-any size
Chalkboard paint (found at any hardware store)
Pressboard or even foam project board cut to size

So I found this pretty old frame at a Flea Market here in Austin a few weeks ago-$15.00!  I took it home and gave it a thin coat of blue, with a foam brush so just the details were hit with it.  No sense wasting time and paint on the whole piece for this step.
Once it was dry, I tried making my own Chalk Paint (look out Annie Sloan! :} I'll share this recipe in my next post)  and applied 2 coats with a regular brush.  While that was drying I went to Home Depot and picked out a piece of pressboard in the lumbar section and had them cut it down to the exact size (be sure to measure first!) of the inner groove inside the frame...I'm sure there is a name for that area but I don't know what it is.  They cut any piece you purchase for free, and you can keep the scraps for practice too ;)  I then sprayed it with 3 coats, or basically the whole can, of chalkboard paint.



I did some light distressing around the frame to get the blue underneath to show through and then attached the chalkboard into the 'grooves' and secured it with some wood glue...I know, super technical ;)  You are probably better off using little nails or those frame staples that hold pics in.  I was just being lazy and used what I had on hand.  Here is the final result:

And here is a sneek peak at one of the desks I did recently, same color paint was used on her.  Well I must go pry the candy out of my 3 year old's chocolate covered hands...his siblings just found him hiding under MY desk with his trick or treat bag ;p  I will post about making your own Chalk Paint tomorrow and hopefully get some more before and afters up soon!  XOXO