Friday, June 15, 2012

Homemade Chalk Paint On A Bamboo Chair

I've been painting this old bamboo chair for the past couple of days and I think I can now call it done.

I had intended to use up 2 cans of Ballet Slipper Pink spray paint that have been in my garage for quite some time. They must have been out there longer than I thought because apparently both cans have gone over to the dark side. Of course, I didn't realize this until I sprayed them onto the chair where they sputtered, spit and spewed all over the place. You know how you think that if you just shake the can and keep on spraying it will get better? Yeah, 2 cans later it never got any better.

I had hoped to avoid having to brush paint the chair since it would be a pain with all the little nooks and crannies that the bamboo creates. But since I pretty much ruined it with bad spray paint I was left without a choice. Good spray paint wouldn't hide all the drips and blobs but good chalk paint would if it was extra thick.

I can buy the uber chic and expensive Annie Sloan paint here locally but at almost $40 a quart I'd be a fool to do so when I can make it myself. I can't remember where I saw this recipe (Pinterest probably) but I've tried it and it works great. I've painted several small pieces of furniture with it and I'm really happy with the results. Here's the recipe:

Dissolve plaster of paris in an equal amount of hot water.
Mix with 3 times as much paint.
The end.

How simple is that?!  The great thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to sand or prime the surface. I recently painted this metal cart with homemade chalk paint without prepping the surface in any way. I can scratch the chalk paint with my fingernail and it won't come off...of slippery shiny METAL!

After the paint is applied I usually top it off with a furniture wax or paste. Annie Sloan sells her own but so does Minwax and Johnson's and I've just ordered some all natural beeswax furniture polish from Daddy Van's. I'm excited to try it because it doesn't have any solvents in it so I can use it to fix up my beat up old cutting boards.

Okay back to the chair. I didn't take a picture of the spray paint disaster because I was so focused on fixing it that I forgot. I mixed up some pale pink chalk paint and ended up with this:

It wasn't bad, just a little boring. So I mixed up a watery brown glaze and ended up with this:

Much better. Now we have some character going on. But I wanted it to look shabby and worn, not disgustingly filthy. I dry-brushed some pink back into it to tone down the brown and here's how it ended up:

I just love it! Yeah okay I spent way too much time on it but I never know what I'm doing so I have to figure it out as I go. That learning curve adds a lot of time onto a project.

Can you see the soft sheen on the chair? I didn't use any kind of sealer or clear coat, that's from the finishing wax I used. All the paint was flat and adding plaster of paris to it gives it an even more chalky finish. Waxing it at the end gives it a soft luster and protects the finish as well. 

I'm not a very good photographer and my phone isn't a very good camera so the details might be hard to see. Here's a close up:

It looks great with my desk and the lamp I fixed up just recently. I picked up that quilted pillow top at a thrift store for $1. I should say that this is not the desk I actually sit at to pay bills and stuff. That desk is a built-in thing in the kitchen. This desk stores our household files and office supplies. Underneath you can see the shredder and our grab-and-go hurricane box that has all our important papers in it: tax returns, birth certificates, insurance policies, passports, etc. Jayson prefers to evacuate for a hurricane but I prefer to ride it out so guess which one we do? Yeah buddy, we ride them out. I am willing to evacuate but I trust my instincts to tell me when that's necessary and they haven't done it yet. So far they've been right.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading straight for my local Ace Hardware to redeem the coupon I printed from their Facebook page. If you "like" their Facebook page you will get a prompt to print out a coupon for a totally free quart of paint. Do you realize what that means? I can get a free quart of paint in any color I choose!! That excites me because the only paint I ever buy is what I can find on the oops racks at Lowe's or Home Depot. The upside is that I can get an entire gallon of paint for $5. The downside is that I'm stuck with whatever color happens to be there. I always find good colors that I can use but still it would be nice to choose my own without having to pay full price.

I will probably be so overwhelmed by the color choices that I end up with white.  


donnaj said...

Guess i need to try that paint technique too. I had something i wanted to paint w/out priming and all that stuff, but can't for the life of me remember what it was.
oh well.

donnaj said...

ps-love how your chair turned out.

Melissa said...

Thanks! I have been wanting to try the $$ chaulk paint but the $$ have kept me from it. I will try this recipe when we get home from vacay...I appreciate you sharing it with us!

Margaret said...

Aren't you glad the Pink Ballet Slipper didn't work???

Nothing against pink -- it's my favorite color -- but this is so much more complex and sophisticated than plain ol' princess pink would've been.

XOXO... Happy creating, Margaret