Well, it’s official.  I’m in love.

I wondered if it would ever happen to me – if I would ever meet the perfect….paint…that I’d want to spend the rest of my life with.   I’ve dated so many paints over the past years: Annie Sloan, CeCe Caldwell, Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint.  All turned my head and kept my attention for a while.  They were well-bred, good looking, but also high maintenance and sometimes unpredictable.  Oh, and expensive.  These were short term love affairs.  Don’t get wrong, I still like to have a one-night stand with them every once in a while, but it just wasn’t the true love I was looking for.

I’ve been going steady with my current DIY “chalk paint” for a long time now.   Although there are a ton of recipes out there, 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout plus a tablespoon of water added to about a cup of paint has served me well through hundreds of pieces.  It’s been good, but not great.  It can be temperamental and dare I say, lumpy.  Let’s face it.  Lumpy is almost never a good thing.  Oh, and it smelled.

You know how when you’re in a long-term relationship and it’s fine; it’s working. But then you meet a new guy and you’re like, “Wow, I didn’t know how bad it was!”  That’s what my relationship with homemade chalk paint has been like.  So I went searching for something better.  A chalk paint that would give me the flexibility of color but inexpensive and easy to use.

Well, I finally found it.  The perfect paint.  Allow me to introduce you to the new love of my life: Websters Chalk Paint Powder.

So what is it?  It is an all-natural powder that you mix into any latex paint of your choice, and voila: chalk paint!  Any brand!  Any color!  Can you say options, option, options?!  One of the things I couldn’t tolerate about my past paint-loves is that they wanted me to be monogamous with their paint pallet.  That just won’t do for a fickle, color-loving girl like me.

Websters allows you to skip the sanding and priming steps and go straight to the painting. The finish dries smooth and hard (I’m blushing!), not lumpy or chalky, and it distresses so easily.  Now here’s the biggest turn-on: its 100% nat-u-ral!  I never felt good about the grout in my DIY-boyfriend-paint, not knowing what sort of toxic things he exposed me to!  With Websters, I don’t have to worry.  And since I can mix it in no-VOC paint, it’s better for me and my environment.

Through the Garden Gate Display Booth

I love Websters so much and want to share it with my friends, that I recently become an Authorized Retailer of the Chalk Paint Powder.  (Does that make me a polygamist or a pimp?!?)

Odd Balls Booth Display

I’m thrilled to announce that Websters Chalk Paint Powder and the accompanying wax and brushes are now available in my booths at Odd Balls Antiques in Richmond and Through the Garden Gate Antiques in Mechanicsville.  If you’re not in the area and want to try it out, contact me here and I will be happy to ship some out to you.  There’s plenty of love to go around and I don’t mind sharing!

I admit it.  I am obsessed with color.  I’ll get into these kicks where I paint everything the same color.  Not the exact shade, just the same color family.  About a year ago, it was blue.   I did my son’s nursery in navy and my guest room in turquoise.  My kitchen and my guest bathroom: You guessed it! Both blue.

IMG_0232When I first started painting furniture for Worthwhile ReStyle, I became obsessed with a color called Blue Arrow by Valspar.  It is the perfect light grey-blue.  I bought a whole gallon from Lowes, and I wish I could tell you just how many things I painted with it.  It was ridiculous!

 

It started with my oldest son’s room. Then I liked it so much I painted the back of the bookcases in our family room and the kitchen stool which I originally planned to do in a nondescript black. I think my favorite thing I painted with Blue Arrow is this little groovy slate-top side table.

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After about six months, even my ten year old started to complain about all the blue I was doing.  I admit, I was getting my fill…until..I discovered  peacock blue.  Peacock Tail to be exact.

The first thing I painted was a couple of lamps.  Did you know you can easily paint metal and all kinds of different surfaces with chalk paint?  Talk about an easy ReStyle for outdated brass lamps!  My friend, Catherine, fell in love with these and claimed them as her own shortly after I finished them.

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So when I found this sweet little dresser at an online auction, she was just calling out for some Peacock Tail!

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Once covered in Peacock Tail, Catherine took one look at the dresser and just HAD to have it.  It is now happily living in the bedroom of her new home next to the matching lamps.

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She loves the color so much that I have to offer her the “right of first refusal” for anything painted this paint.

I thought I loved this shade.  But recent events have lead me to believe that Catherine has me beat.  She loves it so much that she bought a new Keurig coffee maker just to match her dresser.  Now THAT is obsessed with color!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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 Do you ever have color-obsessions?  What shades of blue do you love best?

 

In my last post I shared about the DIY “chalk paint” that I use on all my projects.  Among the things I love about this paint (no priming required and one coat coverage, just to name a few) is that you can just as easily paint wood as plastic and metal.

One of my favorite things to paint (besides mirrors and frames) is old brass – lamps especially.  You may remember these that I did recently.  I scored the pair at a yard sale for $3 and totally transformed them with just a little peacock blue paint.

My friend liked them so much that she asked me to paint an old lamp she had sitting around.

Here it is before.

It’s your standard run-of-the-mill metal lamp.  It has good curves though, so we knew it would look cute with a fresh coat of paint.

First I cleaned the lamp with a Clorox wipe.  I generally use these on my wood projects as well.

Since I already had the paint mixed up ( I add Plaster of Paris to Behr’s paint and primer in one) I was ready to paint.  I did two coats because I wanted nice solid coverage. Unlike wood, which I can sometimes get away with doing only one coat, I find that metal usually looks better with two.

I allowed the paint to dry over night and then sanded it lightly with 600 grit paper.  Since the paint is kinda “chalky,” there is always a bit of white residue when you sand.  This wipes off and then disappears once you apply the wax. More on that later.

This is how the finish looked after sanding.

Once I wiped it clean, it was time to distress.  My friend wanted a little of the silver showing through, so I grabbed my 120 grit sandpaper and lightly hit the edges.  You need to use a very light hand when distressing metal, or you will chip off large pieces of the paint.

The silver shows through nicely on the curves of the lamp.

Next came my favorite part of the whole chalk paint process. The waxing.  I love to wax!

No, not that kind of waxing!  Get your mind out of the gutter.  You know I am prone to TMI, but do you really think I would announce that kind of thing on a blog?  Anyway…the wax.

Remember I told about Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint?  Well, even though I make my own paint rather than paying her $38 for a quart, I did spurge on her wax.  The wax is the finishing touch to the paint process.

The wax is clear and feels soft like margarine. You apply it with a large brush or cloth.

You can see how the wax evens out the color.  It seals it and gives it a smooth finish. Once the wax is dry, you buff it out with a lint-free cloth.  I usually use my husband’s old tee shirts.  God knows he had enough of them with yellow pits that I could commandeer.  Kinda sad, but it really says more about my laundry skills than his sweat production.

Here’s an up-close shot of the finish.

What a difference, huh?  I hope Shannan likes her lamp!

Do you have an old metal lamp or outdated mirror that needs restyling?  I hope this little tutorial will motivate you to give it a try. Or if you’re not willing to tackle it yourself, let me know.  I’d be happy to help!

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Have you heard of chalk paint??

No?  Well, as of a few months ago, neither had I.  Over breakfast, my friend told me about a very exclusive line of paint called Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.  She extoled the virtues of this miraculous paint.  What’s so great about it?   You don’t need to sand before painting.  You don’t need to prime before painting.  It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and with little effort, you get that popular vintage-y “shabby chic” look.  After hearing about it for the first time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some!

For years I’ve had furniture just begging to be painted… an Ikea bookcase, an outdated coffee table, and a tacky brass lamp… just to name a few.  But the work involved with the whole sand-prime-paint charade turned me off.  Until then!

This end table took 3 coats of satin-finish to cover and I obsessed over every brush stroke. With chalk paint, the brush strokes seem to disappear.

Where was this chalk paint months ago when I was 9 months pregnant on my hands and knees, sanding and painting coat after coat on this 70’s coffee table?

Where was it, you ask?!  Uh, only all over the Internet.   Doh!

You know how it feels when you show up late to a party and everyone else already has their buzz on? Apparently everyone in the blogosphere but me knew how great this stuff is and has been using it to paint the most amazing furniture.

My first thought: Must. Get. Some. Now.  You grab the baby; I’ll grab the keys!

But wait!  What?  This Annie Sloan stuff is $38 a quart!  A quart?!  On to Plan B.

Enter DIY chalk paint.  For a girl like me, with more creativity than cash, the make-at-home version was right up my alley.  Before I plunked down the dough for the good stuff, I wanted to see if I could make it myself.

The Internet abounds with chalk paint recipes that claim to be very similar to this Annie Sloan stuff.  Some very smart people out there figured out that if you take Plaster of Paris or even unsanded grout, and mix it with a little water and paint, you get a product with similar properties as Annie Sloan’s coveted formula.

For every decorating blog out there, there’s a different DIY chalk paint recipe.  For my projects I use roughly 1 part Plaster of Paris to 2 parts paint.

Basically I mix a little less than 4 oz of unsanded grout and water and then add it to a sample size of Behr (Home Depot) paint and primer in one product.

I have been thrilled with the results of my paint.  It is super easy to apply, and in some cases I only need one coat.  I attribute this more to the “paint and primer in one” paint than to the grout, but whatever it is, I love it!

 

This is just one coat of “Anonymous” paint by Behr – a very warm grey color.

I’m still looking forward to checking out “the real thing.”  Annie Sloan’s paint is only sold at a few select boutiques around the country and online.  Luckily for me, there’s a “Stockist” (the term for retailers who carry her line of paint) only 30 minutes from my house in Ashland.   As soon as I sell an organ to pay for it have the time, I’m going to get some and see what all the fuss is about.  Until then, I’m more than happy with my version.

 

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