The Great Bedroom Makeover Pt 3 : My Recipe for Chalk Paint

 I'm pretty new to the chalk painting revolution, but I've mixed up my fair share of recipes and have developed a blend that I think gives a great finish and is easy to apply.

Before taking March off from blogging, I had shared my plans for redecorating the kiddo's bedrooms.  I've been plugging along and have finally finished chalk painting, glazing and waxing all of Isla's bedroom furniture.  (Funny story, I painted all of the pieces in two days, glazed and waxed 3 of the 4 that same weekend, and then let the last one sit for weeks just short of being finished!  Ack!)

I have shared about my chalk painting adventures previously, both with purchased chalk paint and another suggestion I found on Pinterest, but I really like this new concoction as an easy and cost effective option.

To mix up a small batch, suitable for painting a large piece or a few small pieces with 2-3 coats, combine the following ingredients in a container with measurement markings:

-2/3 c plaster of Paris, sifted (I used a fine mesh strainer to remove any clumps)
-1 c water

-Stir the water and plaster together until smooth and uniform, then add flat paint in your choice of color to obtain 3 cups total.  Stir until ingredients are well combined.  

-Add 1/4 c of Floetrol and stir until everything is fully incorporated.

I love the addition of the Floetrol, which is a paint additive available at most home improvement stores (or on Amazon through this handy affiliate link) that reduces brush strokes and increases drying time.  Chalk paint dries in a flash which can make it difficult to get an even coat, but the inclusion of the Floetrol gives you just enough extra time to get it smooth and even before the paint starts to set.

To paint the pieces, I started by sanding off any rough places and areas where I thought the previous finish might flake off.  I then wiped each piece off with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any particles.

I gave each piece two coats of chalk paint with my favorite stubby angle brush.  I was satisfied that they were evenly covered at this point, but you could do a third coat if you felt it was still uneven.  After letting the paint dry overnight, I went back with a piece of very fine sandpaper (320 grit) and sanded each piece all over.  THIS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!  Sanding removes any gritty spots and leaves the piece feeling so smooth.  It takes the wax and especially the glaze so much better after sanding.

I again thoroughly wiped the pieces down with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust from sanding and waxed all the surfaces, using my favorite Minwax Finishing Wax.  I applied it with my Size 10 thick stencil brush in a circular motion and then removed most of the wax (I wiped with a blue shop cloth until the surface no longer felt sticky.  Work on one side of your piece at a time...otherwise the wax firms up and is hard to remove).

After allowing this first coat of wax to dry overnight, I thinned the Antiquing Glaze I had on hand with some water and brushed it all over the surface, immediately wiping almost all of it off.  I left more glaze in the crevices and corners to give it that antique look.

A final application of furniture wax was the last step, and after it cured overnight I went back with a soft goat hair polishing brush and buffed it to a nice shine.

It sounds like A LOT of steps, but it goes quickly once you get the hang of it, and you really save a lot of time by not having to strip or do much prep work to most surfaces.  I'm really pleased with how each piece came out!  Her room isn't done quite yet (especially since she's still using her crib) but here's a little preview to give you an idea of what the final room will look like!

Here's the dresser, all finished with new knobs.  (Pst...this is the piece that sat around for weeks...I just couldn't bring myself to wax and antique all of those skinny places between the drawers...ugh)

I already shared about this side table in a previous post.  So cute and functional!

This antique vanity chair was forest green when I purchased it, but originally a cream color!  I loved the detail on the legs, so I stripped it, refinished it, and reupholstered the seat (not my neatest work, but it'll do for now)

 And tucked back there is the headboard (which, while purchased from a completed different person, has the exact same scroll applique as the cedar chest!  How serendipitous!)

I can hardly wait for it to all come together!

So what's your opinion of this new chalk paint craze?  Are you a believer, or a furniture purist?

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