For those of you out there who love to carefully paint a piece of furniture just to beat it up a little bit, you're among friends. And we're here this week to share a little secret in giving your furniture, doors, cabinets - you name it - just a bit more character.
You've likely heard of a very expensive product known as chalk paint. Heck, we buy it like it's going out of style in our house. However, the big-name brand of chalk paint isn't cheap, only comes in small containers and has a limited color palette. So, like any good household dilemma, we've finally figured out a less expensive alternative to that oh-so-smooth finish, and are here to spill the beans.
For a perfectly distressed furniture finish use DIY chalk paint. Simply mix 2 cups of latex paint with a mixture of 5 tablespoons Plaster of Paris and 4 tablespoons of warm water (see the slideshow for photos of the step-by-step process). Be sure to mix the warm water and plaster powder together first, then add to the paint to avoid lumps.
One of the most amazing things about adding plaster to your paint is that it removes the need for sanding and priming. Just clean your surface and go! As far as we can tell it doesn't affect the color of your paint either.
The only downside? Because the plaster adds a chalkiness to the finish, you do have to seal your paint job with a wax once it's dry. However, there are great wax pastes available in both large and small hardware stores for around $6, and they'll leave your piece with a durable, smooth finish.
Oh, and back to that distressing - prior to waxing, the paint is perfect for a light beating. Sand lightly on your corners and trim for a perfectly distressed look, then wax as described above.
So go forth, make something new look a little older or something older look a little new. Your choice, just know that both can be done on a tight paint budget.