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For years I’ve had furniture just begging to be painted… an Ikea bookcase, an outdated coffee table, and a tacky brass lamp… just to name a few.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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