Monday, September 26, 2011

My $3.00 Chalk Paint Project

So I was reading this great article by Sherry at No Minimalist Here last week about making your own chalk paint.  I thought it would be fun to give it a try, so I looked for a victim in my garage.  This cute little writing desk has been asking me for a makeover for a while and I've been ignoring her request.  Well, last week Elaine was on vacation and I was having a little bit of a hard time moving furniture around on my own, so I had to stick with items that were light weight.  So she finally got some attention.

shabby chic writing desk

I guess the reason I had been ignoring it for so long was that I couldn't exactly figure out what to do with it.  I originally had planned to keep it two-tone, but instead it kind of evolved into multi-tone.

I used the Plaster of Paris Method, which was $6.00 at Michael's and $3.00 with my 50% off coupon.  I took some celery green paint (left over from Elaine's living room) and some true blue acrylic and mixed it to make a greenish/blue color.

plaster of paris

The paint gets thicker the more plaster of paris that you use.  My first layer was a yellow mixed in a little thicker.  This way I avoided priming.  Then I used another layer mixed a little thinner with the green-blue that I made.  The third layer was dark stain.  I then went back through and highlighted some of the colors.

paris desk

shabby chic dressing table

antique vanity

I love the paper on the inside of the drawers

wrapping paper lined drawers

All in all I'm pretty sold on this plaster of paris paint idea, especially on these shabby/ paris apartment chic projects.

What kinds of paint techniques do you love?




  1. I have been looking all over for the calcium carbonate to do the chalk paint with and finally had to order it online. I could not find any plaster of Paris in town either! I have been so frustrated because I want to do some pieces with it. It looks great!

    My biggest question is how much more durable is the finish then just priming and painting?

  2. I have a question about your painting the interior drawers. Do you have a problem with them sticking? They are so pretty!

  3. Monica, This piece turned out fabulous and I like that you layered the colors...beautiful. I would love for you to link this up at my Open House party that starts Wednesday evening. Thanks so much for the mention.

  4. I don't really have a problem with sticking drawers. I always either spray paint or use a thin layer/wash of paint to prevent added thickness.


  5. Dee...
    I found plaster of paris at Michaels and I think you can also get it at any hardware store. Let me know how the calcium carbonate works.

  6. Tried this yesterday and it looks like chalk paint but not durable at all. Made the paint and primer in one less durable than before I added it. DId you find yours durable or did I do something wrong?

  7. Hmmm...Mine is actually very durable. You may want to play around with your ratios. It may also be that I use so many thinner layers of paint which is actually kind of time consuming, instead of one thick layer. I will say that the first layer was made on the thicker side and I also sanded it before laying another layer. I also don't do many solid pieces, but if you wanted a more solid look you would have to paint several coats, so in that case I would just do paint and primer.

  8. Thanks for responding back. I agree. I thought it would be durable like the REAL Chalk paint and it is not. I personally think the Minimalist lady sold a bill of goods to people. I will have to spend the money on the real stuff to find out if it is worth the money or not. I would love to find something durable that did not take several coats... like primer and paint. Like the CHalk Paint claims.

  9. I'm going to pick up some of Annie Sloan's chalk paint next week as I want to refinish a hall cabinet I've had for SO long. Have you ever used the actual chalk paint?

    I am looking for a small writing desk to fit in a small guest room and would like to be able to refinish it the color of a pale blue dresser I just bought. OR, white can work too. Tomorrow I'm getting the paint to match the dresser. I'm wondering what the best way would be to refinish something using this same color?

    First, I guess I need to find the desk! You did a great job on this one.