I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday! Our family spent nearly the whole weekend outside enjoying the much-needed break from all that rain we’ve had. The weather here yesterday was glorious. The kids were thrilled to spend several hours playing in our backyard as the Husband and I worked frantically to finalize everything for the One Room Challenge. At least I can say that the rainy days weren’t wasted. I actually used that time to try my hand at using chalk paint for the first time!
If you’re into crafting at all, you probably already know about chalk paint, or chalk-style paint, and have used it yourself. If you’ve never heard of chalk paint, it was originally developed by Annie Sloan for use on furniture and other surfaces. According to most sources, it is supposed to be incredibly durable and requires almost no prep work at all. The result is a very matte, almost chalky finish. Most people use it to create a distressed look because it is easy to use for that purpose.
So why haven’t I used chalk paint before? I primarily avoided chalk-style paint because of the cost. A quart of chalk paint costs around $35, the special brushes cost between $25 and $50 each, and the finishing wax (to ensure durability) costs about $25 (source). Furthermore, the original Annie Sloan paint is only sold in limited stores and limited online sources. I don’t like to spend my time chasing around a single project that expensive. Since Annie Sloan chalk paint was originally created, several other less expensive and readily available versions have come on the market.
But being a DIY girl, I was more intrigued by the notion of creating and using my own chalk-style paint in whatever color I wanted. If I’m being totally honest, the idea to use chalk paint came to me at Lowe’s and I was walking around, scrolling through my iPhone searching for chalk-style paint recipes while I was shopping. That’s just how I work! Luckily I found a post from Salvaged Inspirations that provides four different recipes for making your homemade chalk paint, and reviews of each recipe. Since I was at the hardware store already I picked up a container of Plaster of Paris, and a small mixing cup. Using the 1/3 Plaster of Paris to 2/3 regular paint recipe and some paint I had on hand at home, I mixed up small batches of chalk-style paint in blue, green, and yellow.
I started by painting mason jars and glass jars that I’ve been collecting for years. I don’t always love the distressed look, but it’s very pretty on these jars. They can be used in so many ways: vases, candle holders, utensil holders for forks and knives at a party, pencil cups, and so much more.
How to chalk paint glass jars:
- Wipe down the outside of the jar with rubbing alcohol and a gauze pad.
- Using an inexpensive brush, apply a thin layer of paint starting at the rim and then flipping it over to finish the jar. Note: you will likely see some brush strokes in the final product. Make your paint strokes in the direction you would like the brush strokes to be seen. I painted mine vertically.
- Let the jar dry completely, about 2 to 3 hours.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you achieve your desired coverage.
- Let the final coat sit overnight, or at least 8 hours.
- Sand down the outside of the jar to reveal the patterns on your jar and to achieve a distressed look. I experimented with 180, 120 and 220 grit sandpaper, and found that my favorite was 180 grit for most of the jar, and 120 grit around the delicate areas. Wipe off any excess dust.
- Seal the jars with a finishing wax or an acrylic sealer. I used a spray-on acrylic sealer that I had on hand.
After the glass jars were painted, I still had some paint on hand, so I started having some fun. We had a cinder block lying around from another project, so it got a fun geometric print with all three colors.
That ceramic bird has been sitting around my house for years. I’ve always wanted to spray paint it, but with the nasty weather, I decided to use some chalk paint instead. I love the results!
I came across an unfinished tray at Target just two days before Mother’s Day and immediately knew I could use the chalk paint on it. I finished the outside with a homemade stain and painted the inside with the blue chalk paint. I love the contrast, and already have plans to use the tray in so many different ways!
By the end of my first week with three very small batches of homemade chalk paint, I painted 8 jars, a cinder block, the ceramic bird, and the inside of the tray. And I still have some paint left. I went looking around and found that Average But Inspired Pulled together a list of 17 non-furniture uses for chalk paint. I can’t wait to try some of the ideas she found!
Have you ever used chalk paint?
How would you use it if you had some right now?
Other Posts from this One Room Challenge: