I am so happy Dena is back today from Happy Home.Austin
All the rage these days in the painted furniture world is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It covers easily, with no sanding or priming required, dries quickly, and leaves a hard, protective finish. However, with it being a relatively new-to-us product out of the UK, it’s sometimes hard to find, and is fairly pricey for a limited selection of colors. A quart of paint is about $40.
Now, I must admit, I don’t have any personal experience with this paint; but after hearing so many good things about it, and seeing the beautiful finished products of those who have, I was dying to try it. Considering I prefer getting my paint from the “oops” sections of my local home improvement centers at a price of about $4 a quart, I just could not bring myself to pay ten times that for the same amount.
After doing some research, I found out that making this paint, or something similar, is not at all difficult. You can use a ~3:1 ratio (paint to additive) with calcium carbonate, sandless grout, or plaster of Paris. I used calcium carbonate, which can be found in any natural food store.
I started with this old $5 chair that had definitely seen better days.
I didn’t want to take the time to sand the whole thing, so decided I would test the homemade chalk paint on it.
So here is what I did:
I boiled a little water (maybe a third of a cup) and added it slowly to about ¾ cup of calcium carbonate, mixing it well until there were no lumps. (I have also tried adding the calcium into the paint without the boiled water, and ended up with lots of little lumps). Measurements do not have to be exact, and you can add more or less as you prefer.
I poured about 1 ½ cups latex paint into a container, added the calcium carbonate mixture to it a little at a time, stirred, added more, stirred, and so on until the paint mixture was the consistency of slightly watery paint. Again, adding more calcium will thicken it up, as will letting it sit uncovered for a time.
I then began applying it to the unsanded, unprimed wood and immediately was in love with chalk paint.
I read that you are supposed to wax first before sanding, so that’s what I did. I used Howard’s Feed-N-Wax, mixed with a little wood stain to give it a weathered look. Let that dry and then sanded it in just the right spots.
I also applied it to this side table (sorry, no before pic), that had a super shiny finish on it that, normally, I would have sanded first.
Since I have never used the original AS chalk paint, I have nothing to compare my version to, but if it’s anything like this, it’s a wonderful product. I will be using this paint recipe on lots of future projects, in many, many different colors.
Don’t forget, you can connect with Dena on her Facebook page Happy.Home.Austin!