Alright if you’re on Pinterest you’ve seen your fair share of “chalkpaint” pins. No, no … not CHALKBOARD paint. But chalkpaint. Paint mixed with chalk. And it is the obsession of all furniture refinishing gurus. (I can’t blame them.) I’ve been wanting to use it at some point, but to be honest, I was far too afraid to purchase a can of $40 (insert name brand here) chalkpaint and royally fudge the project.
Even though everyone contests it is SO easy to work with and like “painting with butter,” I know me. I know that I would open that can and spill it all over the place or use too much, use too little.
Let’s bunnytrail on a story, okay?
So let’s rewind to almost 3 years ago when my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. I woke up one day and decided that I hated the blue walls of my bedroom. Out of nowhere. Plus, I justified it (as all women do) that we were going to be renting the property soon (in like a year from that point…) so it had to be done. IT HAD TO BE DONE. Off I went to Lowe’s to purchase not at all inexpensive Valspar paint. And then I spent the next 3 days painting both bathrooms and our bedroom. Because I decided the bathrooms were awful, too. Oh and that Valspar paint? It spent a good amount of time being splashed all over the place. Thank God for drop cloths.
So you can see why I really didn’t want my first chalkpaint/dark wax experience to be with a can of $40 paint, right?
Back on track. The number one object I wanted to refinish with chalkpaint was my dining table. I did refinish two of the chairs and I bawled the whole way through them because I had to sand, and then paint (THREE COATS!!!!!!), and then seal. So on and so forth. About halfway through the second chair I decided I was going to be using chalkpaint on the rest of the project. For my sanity.
Oh and I also decided I had to first try the chalkpaint out on a lesser used (and lesser seen) piece of furniture … Our bedside tables. Because they were starting to look pretty haggard. And I decided I hate them, too.
I’m pretty sure there’s breastmilk still on this one from one night of pumping where I passed out mid-pump and spilled milk everywhere. Oh the tears. Oh the ugly tears.
Off I went to finding a way to make my own chalkpaint on the cheap. You can find COUNTLESS recipes for this online. Oh and I decided I was going to make my own dark wax, too. Because I figured … why not? If I ruin it there’s always the electric sander in the garage. And maybe I’ll cry. But we will cross that bridge when we get there.
I decided the plaster of Paris or grout recipes were not what I wanted for chalkpaint. Therefore I just bought this … (Note: The butter isn’t an ingredient for chalkpaint. It is an ingredient for happiness, though.)
Yep. Anti-acid in a bag. Calcium Carbonate.
I also purchased:
You’ll also need (but, I had them on hand…)
Soft, flat-weave towels/fabric (for applying and buffing wax) *you can also use a paintbrush for applying the wax
Plastic spoons (for mixing)
Jar or containers for mixing paint & wax
Fine sanding block or sandpaper
So, my recommendation for mixing is 2 parts paint, 1 part calcium carbonate.
You definitely want to mix this very, very well. It will be kinda clumpy. If you find that it is too thick for you (and you have to work a little quicker as it will dry much quicker) then you can thin it out with a little, tiny bit of water at a time. Until it gets to your desired thickness. There will be some little clumps as you paint, and I found that with each stroke they disappeared. If there were any remaining they were completely gone when I did a quick sanding before applying the wax.
I could have gotten away with only one coat (I applied it pretty thickly), but for extra security I put two coats on.
But you want to hear the craziest part?
That’s right … Start to finish – one nap.
And the other one? I finished in 2 1/2 hours after the kids went to bed later in the evening.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
I’m a chalkpaint convert.
Now … about the wax. This isn’t scientific. There is no magic recipe. There is no recipe. I suck, I know.
Here’s what I did …
I took my Miniwax paste wax and scooped about a cup worth into a jar. I heated some water on the stove and then placed the jar in the warmed water. Not boiling, but not lukewarm either. Enough to melt the wax. But make sure this is done with a window open as obviously the paste wax has a less-than wonderful aroma. After the wax was semi-melted I mixed it until it was entirely melted and added my desired amount of Miniwax special walnut stain. In my case this was 4 plastic spoonfuls. Told ya … not scientific. I then put the lid on and let it set up outside while the bedside tables dried and I sanded them.
After a quick vacuum and cleaning with a damp cloth I set out to applying my dark wax. You can watch a video on how to do it here:
After a coat of untinted wax and a few hours of cure time (before use) you have a beautiful piece of furniture! Guess what?
I started my table …
Want to hear the crazy part?
For BOTH bedside tables, the dining table, and my chairs the whole amount cost me less than $60! FOR EVERYTHING!
How exciting is that? I’m excited. Super excited.
And maybe one day I’ll try out that super expensive namebrand chalkpaint. But for right now … I’m loving my homemade stuff.
Anyone in the Denver area need furniture refinished? I’ll do it. Hit me up. 😉
Any questions hit up the comment section below!