NOTE: Since posting this post, I have found what I feel to be the best homemade chalk(y) paint recipe. You can find it here.
I did it. I painted my inherited chairs.
The guest room actually started out with this chair.
When I realized that I would get getting six of the new chairs, I knew I needed to make room, so this old chair (and its twin) went to my friend Peggy. (Sorry Peggy, looks like the kids spilled something on your new chair.)
This is what the inherited chairs looked like when they arrived.
In my post on the new bed and chairs, I asked readers whether I should paint them or not. Some of you voted to keep the chairs the way they were, but most of you said to paint them, and paint them I did. I also changed out the fabric on the seats.
Here’s a close-up of the old fabric,
and the new.
And what was this fancy fabric I used, you ask? (Okay, if you didn’t ask, then just pretend that you did.) Why, it’s painter’s dropcloth of course. I bought a 9 ft by 12 ft one for about $25. I recovered all of these six chairs, AND I have lots left for some more projects.
Now let’s talk paint. Many of you have starting making your own chalky paint. I found a recipe for chalky paint on No Minimalist Here, and Larissa Hill Designs. You can also Google homemade chalky paint (without the ‘y’) to see what others are doing with it. (Once again, I know another one of my blogging buddies did a post on the paint, and I can’t remember who it was.)
I used my own chalky paint for these chairs. But here’s my cautionary tale. I mixed one part plaster of Paris to 2 parts of paint and I got a glob of something that looked like very stiff mashed potatoes. Then I thought, oh, I will simply add the plaster of Paris in smaller amounts, stirring in-between. The result was VERY lumpy paint. It was a disaster. And that was the last of my paint. I had ruined a half a gallon of paint. Yuck. And the nearest paint store was almost 30 minutes away. I didn’t have time to go to the store to buy more paint.
I decided to stir like crazy and try the paint any way. Oh yes, I did. After painting, if I had to describe the table in one word, it would be “Lumpy.” Remember the kid on Leave it to Beaver named Lumpy? (If you don’t know what I am talking about, then go to your room, right now!) For the first time in my life, I had a table I could name “Lumpy” and no one would have to ask why. All they would have to do is look at it. Then they would turn their heads sideways and ask, “Oh. Did you mean to make it that way? Is it supposed to have those bumps all over it? Is that the new look?” To see Lumpy, click here.
So here I was with a lumpy table and mashed potato paint. I was NOT happy. So what’s a girl to do? I could have easily obsessed over the table and had a miserable day, or I could choose to have a good day. I chose to have a good day, and you know what? I DID!! I simply set the table out of the way, and pretended that it wasn’t there. I even took my glasses off when I came near it, so I couldn’t see all of the lumps. I knew I could sand them off later any way.
Back in the city, I bought more paint for a third try. This time I took a different approach, I mixed about 1/2 cup plaster of Paris with a 1/4-ish cup of water and completely dissolved the powder, THEN added it to the paint. The plaster of Paris did not mix very well and needed to be continued stirred but it did work! I was able to use this formula to paint all six of my chairs.
After sanding them slightly for some distressing, I waxed them with Annie Sloan clear wax. Here are some close-up views of the chairs.
Since then I have heard that calcium carbonate works even better so I went in search of that elusive elixir. At first I asked for it at the health food store. The clerk gave me a weird look and asked what I was going to take it for. I explained that it wasn’t for me… it was for my chairs. Now I got an even stranger look. I said perhaps too quickly, “Oh well, it’s actually for the paint that will go on the chairs, not for the chairs themselves… since chairs don’t… actually… eat anything.” Now not only was the clerk staring at me, but the other customers in the store had joined in, and they began to move away from me as if I were a leper or a CRAZY person. (I have teenagers so that look doesn’t really work on me.)
The clerk informed me that they don’t carry calcium carbonate and if it is something one adds to paint, then one should look for it in a paint store. At this point, I decided to cut my losses. What was the point? There was no need to explain that paint stores don’t carry calcium carbonate, that normal people don’t buy it for paint, only crazy bloggers. Well there you have it, perhaps they were right all along, I was a bit odd. So I smiled at her, thanked her and left. Then I did what any “crazy” blogger would do… I went straight home to my computer, got on the internet, and ordered it from Amazon. It arrived in the mail a week later. I hear the calcium carbonate dissolves the best, so I can’t wait to try it.
Here’s a look at the rest of the room.
Oh my, I don’t sound crazy to you, DO I??? BTW, I repainted the table and I’ll share that with you later, Darlings.
Want to see more of this room?
You can click
here to see the post on the chest,
here to see the paint technique used on the shutters,
here to see the new headboard
here to see the post on painting the night stands, or
here to see the post on painting the lamps.