Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Chalk Paint Facelift

I love Pinterest. I love the ideas it gives me (half of which I will never do), I love the recipes I find, the products I discover and the styles I fall in love with. I recently have been seeing a lot of pins regarding chalk paint. What is chalk paint, you ask? Let me fill you in. Its the greatest fad and craze in the up-cycle world. It is a hassle free formula where you don't have to sand or prime and the dry time is quick! Anything that takes less time and sweat? Sign me up! The first guinea pig project I had was a mirror that my parents were throwing out. They just redid their bathroom (lucky duckies) and had purchased a new one. I wanted to hang this gem in our family room to give some brightness to the space. 

That detail was so fun and I almost wanted to leave it white because its super cute, but we just painted our interior a light grey (pictures to come) and I thought it would be a good contrast to have a darker color mirror.

Remember, the chalk paint is so hassle-free that you don't  have to sand but I decided to anyways. I wanted to get rid of any excess buildup of dust or dirt. No, my parents aren't that dirty, but the mirror was in their bathroom for 30 years so I decided to just give it a light exfoliation.

Smile for a sanding selfie!

Now heres the fun part. When I started researching chalk paint I discovered that there are a few companies that produce it but you have to find it at a local distributor and the prices were INSANE. Like, $35 for a small can. This paint is genius and amazing because theres no prep hassle but you are paying for that ease. I was outraged because these are DIY projects. If I wanted to spend a lot of money, I would be buying new furniture not a can of paint and labor over it. Oh dear, this has turned into a #DIYrant . Sorry, enough of that. I decided to find cheaper alternatives and alas! I found it. Homemade chalk paint recipes. After watching about 532 youtube videos I was ready! This formula calls for any latex paint but bloggers suggested buying an 8 oz. sample can of paint from Lowes. This was a great idea and it actually was enough to finish 3 projects with. The other great thing about chalk paint (are you adding these all up) is that you don't have to use that much. A little chalk paint goes a long way. This recipe also calls for a thing called calcium carbonate. Where would you find such a thing?! I know, I asked the same thing. I realized you can find it at some pharmacies but I found it online from a private distributor.
  Calcium Carbonate powder here you can find the product. At $11 for 5 lbs it truly is a great deal. Especially cause you won't use that much in the recipe. Okay, I am rambling. Here it is- 

 2 Tablespoons calcium carbonate powder 
1 tablespoon warm water
MIX until dissolved 

Then ADD 1 cup latex paint of your choice. 
Mix mix mix and you are ready to go. 

See, I told you it was easy!!! I mixed it all together in an old tupperware with a lid and stored the extra in my fridge to use for future projects. I also used a tough bristle brush to get in all the little crevices. (ew, I hate that word.) I ended up giving the mirror two coats with drying time of 1 hour in between. The chalk paint does a great matte finish, which I love. 

Now, you could stop there and call it a day, but I was going for the distressed look so after all my hard work I took sandpaper to the project. Yes, I know. It was a tad tough to think about. But,  I wanted my piece to have some definition to it and not look super contemporary. The bloggers suggest to go rough up the places that would be worn originally by old age like the corners and the edges. But hey, honestly, theres no right way to distress your piece. 

I loved the finished product.

The last step (and totally optional) was to add a clear wax coat to the top to protect it. This was a bit scary because I had never used wax before, but I found this cheaper alternative on Amazon and i was very happy with the product. Dovers Chalk Paint Wax . Doesn't that just sound serene? Dovers wax. Anyways, you apply it with a tough brush making sure to only use a little enough to cover the piece in a satin and not sticky overlay. Kinda like using candle wax. After you leave it for 30 minutes and then buff with an old t-shirt. the wax should dry satiny and clear. So there you have it. Chalk paint in a nutshell. I also had some paint leftover so I painted my chalkboard to match. Its a little country bumpkin but I ain't mad at it.

Have you ever used chalk paint before? Got any favorite products? I'd love to hear them!