Make the Most of It
Because of its popularity and chalk painted items everywhere, you may be asking, “I wonder if I could do that myself?”
Chalk paint—on the brushes of any user—beautifully transforms tired furniture and frames into beautiful home decor items. Whether you’re looking for a heavily distressed finish, a smooth contemporary finish, or something delightfully in-between—rethinking, refreshing, and renewing thrift store finds and attic treasures are easy with chalk paint. It adheres to most surfaces with minimal prep that includes any required repairs, a light sanding if necessary, followed by a thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Sanding is generally not needed on every project, but a test patch will let you know.
Brand name chalk paints are eco-friendly, water-based latex paints, and clean up easy. They are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odor- and lead-free—making them totally safe for use indoors. For an economical version of the paint, try the website Salvaged Inspiration for her top four homemade, chalk paint recipes.
Remember—there are no rules when it comes to giving your flea market finds a chalk paint makeover. Have fun with it! Follow these steps and try out chalk paint for yourself.
• Any furniture will have years of built-up skin oils, furniture polish, and possibly even wax. When painting it, place [the piece] in a well-ventilated area and wipe it down thoroughly with mineral spirits and a soft cloth. Then lightly sand the surface with 220-grit and wipe that clean. Now you’re ready to paint. Some brands even say you can skip this step. To avoid disappointment though, it will be best to prep.
• Select your favorite shade of chalk paint and get started!
• Allow 30 minutes to one hour for drying completely.
• Apply second coat if needed.
• For a “shabby chic” effect, use a fine sandpaper over the paint to lightly distress your piece.
• Wash off any remaining sand grit with a damp cloth.
• Complete your piece by adding clear chalk paint or antique (black) wax.