Just Chalk It Up To The Dark Side


November 16, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Well, I did it.  I crossed over to the dark side of chalk paint.

DIY chalk paint at that!


Well, I tried to avoid the trend, but then I heard that chalk paint requires:




I’m down.

And so, I shall now become the Darth Vader of furniture revamps.

Well, maybe.  We’ll see how this goes.

Remember my Pick The Perfect Paint poll, wherein I asked you, my readers (yeah, all five of you!), to choose the perfect paint color for my french provincial set?

Yeah, and remember how there was a tie between gray and aqua/turquoise?

And how I let you down gently by telling you I had a second magical set of furniture to be painted?

Okay, well if you don’t, you are now up to speed.

The ‘other’ set is a desk with hutch, also in a french provincial style, circa 1950.

I purchased the desk and hutch from Craigslist for $40, pretty fair, considering it is solid wood, dove-tailed drawers, and a classic look.  The problem?  Well, it has been painted the most undesirable brown.

Here it is when I purchased it.

This is a nice piece of furniture. I have no idea why someone would go through the trouble of painting only to choose this color?

Well-constructed with dovetail joints.

“Bonnet by Sears” – not super high quality, but sturdy and practical nonetheless

Very nice french provincial details and elegant hardware.

More details….

A little over-zealous with the paint sprayer

And a bit under-zealous at times…

I’d say I have my work cut out for me, wouldn’t you?

Well, the desk and hutch did not come with a matching chair.

Luckily for me, I found this cutie on the side of the road one day after dance class:

She is a cutie, isn’t she?

The seat fabric and cushion need replacing, but the chair is a lovely shape and quite structurally sound.

I decided to take the plunge with the diy chalk paint on the chair first.

That way, if it didn’t work out, I’d only painted a chair.  Not a big deal.

I used Pinterest as my guide for diy chalk paint (not chalkboard paint, that is different).

Many tutorials were only a slight variation to the recipe below:

  1. 2 cups latex paint (it really doesn’t matter which sheen or brand)
  2. 4 TBSP of plaster of paris
  3. 2 TBSP of water

Mix the plaster of paris and water together in a container until blended like cake mix/batter and then stir in the 2 cups of paint.  Easy!

I used a cleaned applesauce jar to house my concoction.  I drew a measurement guide on the glass jar to help me measure out the paint.

Remember, I chose Behr’s ‘Jamaica Bay’ in a satin sheen.

Here’s the first coat, it took me three light coats to be satisfied with the coverage.

I used a small, foam brush and a 1/2 inch craft brush to get an even coverage:

After three coats…

The next step is to seal with finishing wax, but that will need to wait until this weekend.

I also chose this fabric off the shelf, without even matching a single paint chip,

to recover the seat:

I think it is fresh and fun!

So, what do you think?  Am I headed in the right direction?

I’m about to apply the wax to seal everything this weekend.


9 thoughts on “Just Chalk It Up To The Dark Side

  1. Ooooohhhh. The dark side. 🙂 keep us posted as to the durability. That has always been my concern with all of the chalk paint tutorials- you know me: rule follower. But, if the shortcut is worth it, I might come on over. To the dark side that is. 🙂

    • Well, I can tell you, I was not pleased after the first coat. The paint just scraped away and had no coverage. I forged ahead, as I kept the faith (thanks Naptime Decorator for the reassurance), and painted two more coats. I’ll let you know.

  2. You’re a great storyteller, you know that?

    A) I love the color!
    B) That’s some fantastic fabric you picked out.
    C) I cannot WAIT to see the final product. Forge ahead, friend!

  3. Suzz says:

    sarah & i like!

  4. I’ve never used finishing wax but I think that’s what’s missing in my furniture painting equation. Any tips on this? Have you ever sealed spray painted furniture!

    Looking forward to the reveal : ]

    • This was the first time I tried chalk paint, diy chalk paint, and the process of finishing painted furniture with a wax. Given my first time experience, I can say that it pays to use a generous amount of wax, don’t be shy with it. Also, obsess over every spot, curve, plane, etc… It pays to be thorough and patient. The chalk paint leaves the painted piece very course to the touch. The finishing wax, once wiped on, and burnished off, gives a soft luster that is smooth to the touch.
      I like the result, but I don’t know if I plan to paint the entire desk and hutch in the same manner. I just may revert to good ol’ fashioned sanding, priming, painting, and clear coating. I have furniture finish trust issues, I guess. 😛

  5. I love a post, about chalkboard paint, that can make me giggle and you did just that. Thank goodness you rescued that brown desk/hutch (I do realized you paid $40 for it but still). You are definitely on the right track of transforming it back into a beautiful piece. The color, pure perfection. The fabric, I am drooling. I want to see more 🙂

  6. […] stated in a previous post, it took me three coats to be happy with the coverage.  I wasn’t going for the worn, chipped […]

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