Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chalk Paint: Cleaning and Painting

My mom and I decided to work on a few chalk painting projects and I wanted to share them with everyone.  We had done a bit of garage sale hunting as well as cleaning out and finding some old frames to put this collage for the cabin together.  Neither of us had used chalk paint other then a class my mom attended.  After much trial and error and continued practice, we have completed this small groupings of frames.  Here are some of our tips...

First you need to find the piece(s) you want to update, whether it was at a garage sale (like this piece we found for $11) or one you already have.  Next, it is important to clean your piece.  This is often overlooked, but it really does help the paint adhere for the long-haul.  Here is what we used to clean our pieces:

The Jasco TSP cleaner helps get off years of grime and dirt that is often on a lot of older pieces.  Just follow the directions on the container.  Then we began our chalk painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  The color we used on the frames was her "Duck Egg" blue. 

The first time chalk painting a piece can be a bit aggravating.  The texture and feel of the paint is quite a bit different then any other paint I have ever used.  After a bit of trial and error (which continues with different pieces), here are our tips:

Chalk paint is MUCH thicker than most paints. 

1.You do not need an expensive paintbrush; 
2. Just paint it on and use as few brush strokes as possible.  Chalk paint tends to fill itself in and if you keep painting over it, the wet paint reactivates the original coat of paint and makes it look more streaky/textured;
3.  The max amount of coats you need is 2 (in my opinion);
4. Chalk paint is meant to have a more matte rough look.  If you want it smooth, take a fine sand paper or block to gently sand away any unwanted texture;
5. Keep your paint can covered!!  When it is exposed to air, the paint thickens MORE and is difficult to use;
6. If your chalk paint is too thick/hard to work with, you can add a little bit of water to thin it out.

Annie Sloan chalk paint is pretty expensive, so if this is something you are interested in, but don't want to invest in her paint, there are lots of chalk paint recipes online! Here is one you can try from one of my favorite blogs:

If  you are considering a frame collage in your home, find frames with different textures when painting them all the same color.  With ours, we have some frames that match, and other with a lot of texture to grab the eye.  

Hope this was helpful!

P.S. our next chalk painted piece will be a bench that we used two colors on and I will walk you through tips and techniques for that look.


  1. These turned out GREAT! I love a fun thrift find! I'm featuring you today! XO, Aimee


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