Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint
OK, so let me start off by saying, THIS. IS. MY. FAVORITE. FURNITURE. TRANSFORMATION. yet
And the kicker is, I have a lot of furniture purging planned for the Spring and this desk was on the to-go list. Can you believe I was going to sell this beauty?!
Here’s the before and after + a few closeup shots. I’ll share the details of the transformation on the other side…
So this month’s Lowe’s challenge for the Creative Team was to create / transform something using make your own chalk finish paint. Since I’m in the midst of my master bedroom makeover and this desk was about to go curbside, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to jazz it up. If the result wasn’t right, nothing lost, nothing gained.
The desk was purchased years ago from the Bombay company (during my dark-furniture-all-over days) and it’s served it’s purpose well, but I was ready to say adios.
The making of my own chalk paint made me a bit nervous, since I’ve only used the premade mix by Annie Sloan and that took a bit of getting used to (more for the wax application than the actual paint). But, I decided to jump right in.
Here are the supplies I used:
- Latex flat paint (I used Valspar Signature latex)
- Plaster of Paris
- Stir sticks
- Plastic bucket
- Water (cool, not warm)
- Measuring Cup ( do not reuse for food)
- Sealer – wax or polyurthetane
Here is the formula I used:
- In a mixing cup, add 1 cup of latex paint
- Then add 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris + 1/3 cup cold water
- Mix all together until the Plaster of Paris is fully dissolved
The mix will make enough chalk paint to apply about one coat to an average-sized 6 drawer dresser. I ended up using only 1/4 of the mix and apply 2-3 coats, so it makes a lot. Chalk paint goes a lot further than typical paint.
Once the formula was mixed, I was ready to paint!
It’s important not to have too much paint on the brush, especially when painting furniture. It’s better to apply thinner coats. When applying too much paint at once, drips and runs could develop in the corners and crevices of the furniture.
If that happens, no worries. Get as much paint off the brush as possible and drag out the “puddled” paint so it thins out and covers more of the furniture surface.
I forgot to mention this neat tid-bit about the desk… it actually opens up to a writing surface.
The difficult part was deciding where to start and stop the paint because I did not want to paint the inside – too difficult.
In the end, I chose a start and stop point for where the paint would go. At first I was only going to paint the legs, but wasn’t thrilled with the look. Here is a peak…
So in the end, I decided to paint the top as well, leaving only the line of the desk that opens, the original stained finished. It actually makes for a more interesting piece – well, I think.
Here’s the top with one coat of chalk finish paint.
2 coats later (3 in some spots), the desk was complete…
And ready to display in my room…
I sealed the entire desk with wax that I had on-hand. Others that have used their own chalk finish paint have used clear finishing wax (Lowes link) or polyurethane.
If you want to read more on applying wax, head over to this post…
The revamped desk fits perfectly next to my existing dresser with a new gallery wall above (more details on that coming soon – I’m still finishing it up)
The chair wasanother furniture transformation from a few years ago and I just recently added a new cushion using black and white striped fabric from The Online Fabric Store. The furry looking throw draped over the chair back is actually fabric that I plan on making some fun pillows with.
Check out what this space looked like before…
Let me show you a few more ‘after’ shots…
What do you think?
What’s your favorite part of my desk? The new color? The lines of the desk? Or the ‘secret’ compartment of the writing desk? For me, it’s all fun, but I think I love the paint color the best. By the way, the color is Benjamin Moore Martini Olive. Lowe’s color matched it for me and used their Valspar Signature Latex paint.
My thoughts on making my own Chalk Finish Paint.
I really like it! Comparing it to other chalk finish paints, it is very similar and obviously the cost is a lot less AND you can make any color you’d like. With other chalk finish paints there are only about 30-40 different colors to choose from. When making your own, your color choices are limitless. The cost is also significantly less because the Plaster of Paris is about $6 and a quart of paint is about $15-20. Since only one cup is needed, a sample pod / tester most likely would have been enough for this project. Also, I could have used a latex color that I already had on hand (in my stash). Comparing the application process, it’s very similar and the finish result is about the same. A dull, chalky (but not grainy) finish is what you will get. Waxing is important when using any chalk finish paint because it seals the color and finish. I’ve also heard of people using polyurethane as a sealer, but I have never tried that.
Why chalk finish paint?
I feel the advantage of using chalk finish paint is the elimination of sanding, prepping, and priming the existing wood. When using chalk finish paint, you can simply start the painting process directly over the stained or painted finish. *If a piece of furniture has a hi-gloss, then I would recommend sanding and possibly priming first so you have a thorough base to paint.
I hope you enjoyed my adventure of making my own chalk finish paint. I love trying out new things and this is a winner! Have you used chalk finish paint? Have you made your own or have you used a premade mix? Would you try this on a piece of furniture?
To gather even more unique, fun, and creative ideas for your indoor and outdoor Winter spaces, I would definitely suggest downloading the Loweâ€™s Creative Ideas app on your iphone and/or ipad. Iâ€™m always checking out the FREE app for great seasonal + do-it-yourself inspiration. And even better, this Pallet Christmas Countdown creation will be featured in the upcoming Winter guide â€“ how cool, right?!
Disclosure: I am part of the Loweâ€™s Creative Team and was provided with a Loweâ€™s gift card to purchase items for my project. I was also compensated for my time to use the products. No one told me what to create, what to buy, how to use the product, or what to write. All opinions are 100% mine!