Monday, February 16, 2015

A Little Pop of Red: Homemade Chalk Paint

 As John Denver sang... "Gee, it's good to be back home again".
Although we had a wonderful time in Tennessee taking care of these cuties... is always good to come back home.

We normally are only away just over a long weekend whenever we visit anyone...
...but his time were gone eight days!
Adam and his family moved into their new country home a few days before Christmas.
Since we visited then, they have gotten settled in pretty well,
although on the outside it is still somewhat of a construction site.
The cold weather had prevented some stonework and concrete from being completed.

But inside, it was warm and toasty :)

Early on, way before the construction on the house had started,
 Adam built a really cool table from an old barn door but wasn't sure about chairs for it.
They had planned to get rid of the current chairs they had been using,
not liking the yellow oak with all of the other wood tones in the house...

...but yours truly talked them right out of that.
I had a vision...I was seeing red.
 And they agreed...only little did they know I had a surprise up my sleeve!
So while the kiddos were at school, I got busy.
I decided to go with chalk very first attempt, I might add...
...since I wasn't up to doing any sanding or stripping.
Jim and I went to Lowe's and to my dismay, they didn't carry chalk paint yet.
Not until March.
They did, however, present me with a printed recipe to make my very own...
...along with a very enthusiastic employee who convinced us that this was the way to go.
Well let me tell ya, I was just a bit uncomfortable with this idea...
...not only had I NEVER used chalk paint, but now I was making my own??
My dear, sweet hubby talked me into it.
The bottom color on the paint chip is what I chose...
 but found out later that the plaster of Paris will lighten it up.

So here's the recipe and their directions:

*flat latex paint (any color)
*plaster of Paris
*water (cool, not warm)
*plastic paint buckets
*plastic measuring cup (do not re-use for food)
*stir sticks
*plastic measuring cups (do not reuse for food)
*paste wax or other sealer

Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser. Chalk-finish paint should not be stored and reused. If you have a smaller project, mix smaller amounts of plaster, paint, and water in the same proportions.
I actually doubled the recipe for the four chairs I painted, painting one coat.
I admit that I ran out with about 1/4 of the last chair to do....UGH!
As you see, the directions say not to store to reuse...well, let me tell ya...
...I painted one chair on one day and the other three the next day.
The paint stored overnight in the plastic bucket with a tight lid was still just perfect.
But I was horrified when I saw the color after the paint was applied.
It looked almost neon pinkish-coral and I nearly had a heart attack!

Thank the good Lord it did dry darker but it was still way too bright.
I knew I needed a dark wax to calm the color down but I didn't want to use the paste wax...
a long, drawn out and expensive I did a little research.

I decided on Minwax Wood Finish in a dark walnut shade.

It is basically a rub on stain/sealer that can be applied with a brush or a rag...
...and then all of the excess is wiped off.
It worked perfectly and created just the effect and color I was hoping for!
The wood grain was still showing through a bit and it created the most beautiful shade of red...
...a far cry from the neon pinkish coral!

 The day Adam and Carrie returned I made sure that their "new" chairs were in place at the table.
They were totally surprised and beyond thrilled with their little pop of red!

Isn't that just what any country kitchen needs?

It just thrilled me to be able to do this for them.
Living so far away, we are unable to do many of the things we would like to do for them.
Not only was it such a blessing to be able to spend the time with Parker and Olivia,
but also being able to do this little project blessed me as much as it did Adam and Carrie.
Yes, this was one worn out Mawmaw by the end of the week.
It was that good kind of "worn out" though...
...the kind that makes you realize you had given something of yourself to someone you love.
So as I sit here looking around, I wonder to myself...
...what might my next homemade chalk paint project be??
It may or may not happen :)

Sharing with:


  1. wow! that 'experiment' turned out awesome - even after a moment of hot pink panic! :)

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous chairs, Debby! I would have panicked, too, but they look great now. I've got a few pieces of furniture that I would like to finish with chalk paint, but I've been too afraid to try it. After seeing your results I just may go for it. Have a great week!

  3. chalk paint is great and home made is best. I painted our kitchen chairs too.

    Yours look GREAT. love the last red, not the pink red though lol.

  4. Great project, Debby...with great results!! The new chairs are charming! What a lovely gift for your son and his family!

  5. Hello dear Debbie and welcome back to the lovely Blog world! What a wonderful time you must have had, athough I have to agree with you that home is just so very good:). I am going away in April and I know that I am going to miss my home something terrible! :).
    I LOVE how you upcycled those lovely chairs and the end color is really stunning! A big well done - you did a fantastic job:)
    Aww....and such sweet little children with gorgeous smiles!
    Hugs and much love to you!
    Kelly-Anne xx

  6. What a lovely thing to do, and look after the grandkids as well.


  7. Wow...what a difference after applying the wood finish. You achieved the perfect country red. Those type of projects always make me nervous not knowing how they'll turn out. Great job.
    Farmhouse hugs,

  8. What a great gift you gave them! That table is so great and the chairs just added to it!

  9. They turned out great, love the red! I've never made my own chalk paint, you are brave and did so well, what an accomplishment. Glad you got to spend time with family.
    I too wish we got more snow! Mainly freezing rain...there is still a bit of winter left so I am still hoping for at least a few inches!
    Have a great week and thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY

  10. Oh mind is swirling with thoughts of painting stuff...

  11. Debby, this is an inspiring post and I'm glad you stepped out of your comfort zone to do the project and then share with us. Also, I'm happy you had the solution to darken the chairs - the end result is wonderful - love the colour.
    I had no idea that chalk paint has plaster of paris as an ingredient, I'll be pinning this for future reference.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  12. I totally love how they turned out! What a great idea that was...

  13. The chairs turned out so nice! At first I wondered about the first coat but good for you to figure out the stain part. Good for you to do the whole project and to try to make your own! I have read before about making it and how much cheaper it is. Interesting that Lowe's is going to start selling the paint; it is hard to find so that will make many people happy. What a wonderful thing to do for your kids. The table/chairs look great!

  14. Fantastic! So many wonderful suggestions that I am pinning. (Hope that is okay.) At first, I thought that you were going to paint the table.

    Your grinning grands are so cute! Bet you all miss each other!

  15. Boy, those chairs turned out really cool!! I love them! They are a perfect match for that table - and by the way, I love that table and just might have to *borrow* it...

    I am not a crafty sort of person (at least not in an arts and craft sort of way!), so I admire anyone who can create things, transform things. This project was one of my favorites ever.


  16. Those chairs turned out beautifully.

  17. The chair makeover turned out just perfect! I love reusing and repurposing and projects like this are the reason why. The home looks lovely and the interior so cozy. I used to craft and create a lot but haven't been doing as much lately. Maybe I will get inspired again : )

  18. Absolutely great way to paint the chairs and now they fit so well with the table! Good for you!

  19. Hello, Yes, they turned out perfect. Those surely belong in that country home! So glad you had a good long visit! Your work will be appreciated for sure by your children!Red is so country...
    Blessings Dear Friend! Roxy

  20. What a labor of love! The chairs are wonderful. I can't believe the difference the wax finish made on darkening the color and making it look so rich.

  21. Those are two sweet little faces there! I love the red chairs. Every home needs some red.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  22. I got so caught up with what you done with those chairs that I totally forgot to tell you what cute grands you have! Sorry to be so late saying it.

  23. Such sweet and beautiful children and how wonderful for you to have time with them. The chairs are amazing! You made them look so perfect! I am so excited about how you made it! Just gorgeous!

  24. Debby, what a beautiful transformation! The final shade of red is rich, rustic and very pretty! Hmm, who knew that a little wax and some elbow grease could create such a wonderful effect! What a sweet and thoughtful gesture, my friend. And, like you said, you were one worn out Mawmaw, but a good kind of worn out. Don't you just love it when that little light bulb in your mind ends up brightening the homes and hearts of your loved ones? And speaking of loved ones, your grands are adorable!

    Happy Thursday!


  25. Your family's home is so neat! It reminds me of my DH's uncle's place near Roanoke, Va. I guess they'll be glad when all the cold and wet is over!
    Thanx for stopping by Christ in me. I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

  26. oh that was a fantastic touch to the chairs, I do like them darkened!

  27. Debby Ray, my sweet friend, I have missed YOU! It's so nice to visit you :)

    Your chairs are fantastic! The final look is quite different from the lighter shade... are you sure you didn't want pinkish chairs? :) I love it, my dear. Thanks so much for sharing at ROI. Hugs to you!

  28. The chairs look great! Aside from the chalk paint, that is exactly how I did furniture ( purchased unpainted many a time ) . A coat of paint and then the wood stain over it! :)

  29. The chairs look great! Aside from the chalk paint, that is exactly how I did furniture ( purchased unpainted many a time ) . A coat of paint and then the wood stain over it! :)

  30. Hi the red! A pop of color indeed! Thanks for your visit and so nice to meet you!

  31. That stain sure did save the day because that color was bright and a tad pink, LOL! Wonderful transformation. Did you have to sand the chairs before painting? I am tempted to paint my breakfast room chairs sometime, but I don't want to have to sand the finish off first.

  32. I love your "pop of red!" My husband and I are planning on redoing our country kitchen cupboards with a rustic barn red. It will be a lot of work but well worth it in the end.
    It is do good to visit you, Debby, I've missed you!

    Enjoy your day, Debbie

  33. Looks like an awesome place--very nice job on the project!


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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