A few years ago I started getting emails from product companies about chalk paint. Chalk paint this, chalk paint that. It was, dare I use the word; trendy. The advantage of chalk paint over other sorts of furniture paint was that, in addition to a soft matte finish, the application process was far more forgiving than regular paint. Minimal prep work, less-noticeable brush strokes, and some nifty self-leveling properties that made any paint job look professional. Neat stuff right? But the price tag for the trendy chalk paint ran around $40 for a quart. And even more if you bought the finishing wax. So, all-in, you were looking at $80 in supplies to paint a $10 thrift store chair? No thanks.
Granted, those emails were from people contacting me to offer free samples, but, when you are a blogger and you take stuff for free there is an expectation that you will post about it, and that puts the blogger in an awkward spot. If I hate the product and I post an honest review, it hurts the company and makes me look bad for whining in public. If I like the stuff and talk about it, people second guess the honesty of the review and/or it looks like I’m pandering for free stuff (which is hilarious because the last thing in the world I need or want is MORE STUFF). So, for the most part, the only time I take a product review or sponsored post is if I have already put my own hard earned money on the line to buy it. Because if I buy it and like it, I can tell you, with all sincerity, that it is worth the money. Which brings us to the product of the day: Deco Art Chalky Finish Paint.
I saw this on an end cap at Michaels earlier this year and grabbed a few pots. I liked the colors – muted and pale but not pastel. I liked the size – at 8oz they are bigger than regular acrylic tubes, smaller than a quart of house paint, large enough to dip a whole brush in the top. I liked the price tag – under $10. Way, way less than the $40 I had seen (and spent) on those other kinds of chalk paint. So I thought, why not give it a wirl? And you know what?
It goes on LIKE A DREAM. It has a sort of creaminess to it that you don’t find in acrylic paint. The color is opaque without being too thick, but dries smooth in a way you usually only get from thin house paint. So yeah, I’m a fan. So when the folks at Deco Art asked if they could sponsor a post wherein I overhaul a piece of furniture with their line of chalky paint I was like UMMM YES PLEASE.
Most people use chalk paint finishes for revamping old furniture – flea market-esque, antiquey looking things with distressed edges, which is AWESOME, but I wanted to see if it could use it for something for modern. Utilitarian. Functional, yet whimsical. And then I rolled over and saw my old Ikea dresser and an idea was born.
Back to the paint. For this project I needed three things;
First you paint the base. I’m thinking you know how that part goes. However, two things worth noting here. 1. You don’t have to sand furniture before chalk paint but I scuffed up the top because the surface of this piece gets used daily – so not only do I want to make sure it sticks, I want to even out any existing damage (the paint is forgiving, but c’mon, help a sister out!). 2. I like painting flat surface furniture with a flat sponge brush. The wider the better. It’s great for spreading thin, even coats, but is great for cleaning up the corners and edges were drips usually accumulate. For a more rounded or ornate piece I’d use a regular brush.
I let it dry for an hour then added a second coat. One coat probably would have worked on an older piece, but I wanted it to look new-ish. Two coats was best.
Now for the fun part: dashes. Did I also mention I’m nuts about dashes?
Dashes are the new polka dot. Polka dots were the new chevron, and chevron was the new stripe…but that’s all yesterday’s news because dashes are in. Not just dotted line dashes, but imperfect, non-symetracl, floppy dashes. Footprints in the snow kinds of dashes. Dashes with crooked edges and uneven spacing. Dashes are a DIY’ers dream because they require very little skill and look best when slightly sloppy. What?!
I know. Dashes are fantastic!
After everything dried overnight, I went over it with the cream wax. You can use a brush but I just smeared it on with an old rag. Initially it deepens the color slightly, but it dries clear. Not shiny, not matte, just a soft wax finish like you would expect on good quality furniture. An hour later I added the knobs and put the whole piece back my bed where it belongs and BAM. Here it is!
It look the better part of one pot to do the base coat of this dresser, but I saved the rest for other purposes. It’s high quality enough that I used it on some of my flower paintings – you can see the grey here in this one…
And there again are those dashes.
Dashes today, dashes tomorrow, dashes forever!
You’ll find a variety of Deco Art paint pots at your local Michaels store. This project speaks specifically to their chalky finish, but I also like the satin enamels. Haven’t tried their metallic line (yet) but I have plans for it and some Christmas ornaments. They are going to look seriously cute together.
Have you joined the chalk paint parade? Join in the fun. And let me know how it turns out!
In the spirit of full disclosure, this post is sponsored by Deco Art. All opinions expressed within are my own and my praise for this product is unbiased – the stuff is just that good. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible.