Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DiY Chalk Paint & Steamer Trunk Redo

Dear Marleigh,

I finally got around to doing my first DIY project at our new apartment. We are getting settled in nicely but I'm waiting on my taxes and a few more purchases before I do any kind of reveal. Scott and I call this place "The Pig" and all my projects and attempts to make it home is putting "Lipstick on a Pig". Ha, I promise it's not that bad but it is nothing glamorous let me tell you. Well I'll get to it. 

I decided right after we moved in that I NEEDED an antique steamer trunk and I was going to make it into a coffee table. Of course, Scott looked at me like I was crazy as he does with all my project ideas until I really do them and he tells me how cool they actually look. Being the Craigslist junkie that I am, I scoured the site for weeks looking for the perfect trunk and the perfect price(; Well last monday I finally found it, we went and purchased it on friday (Scott's birthday, happy birthday to him, ha) and I was arms deep by sunday.

Here's the trunk at the resale shop I purchased it at:

and my inspiration:

Not exact, but pretty close right? This picture also makes me sad I gave my antique corona typewriter to my Grandpa Russ because he begged me for it (but I typed and taped a note on it that said, "To Be Returned Upon Death" and Grandpa thought that was hilarious, sick minds I know.) 

Now that I had my beloved steamer trunk I decided how I was going to do this. I have heard so much about Chalk paint and wanted to try it for a while now but at $35 a quart that just wasn't going to cut it for me. So I took to the trusty Pinterest site and found a recipe to make my very own chalk paint. This whole process has been a lot of trial and error by the way. 

I know that with chalk paint you don't need to prep, but I did it anyways, the paint before was shiny and with this becoming a coffee table I know it will get some wear and tear. I washed it down with warm water and a splash of vinegar and let it dry before I started sanding, cause it was pretty dirty. I used 240 grit sand paper.

After I sanded it all down pretty well I washed it a few times with warm water to get rid of the dust from sanding. Finally, I can paint!

My first batch I used this recipe:
1/2 cup Plaster of Paris (can be found at Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, and I've heard Michael's or Hobby Lobby as well)
1/2 Cup of Water 
1 1/2 cups paint (I used a Satin premixed from Menards)

First I mixed the 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris with the 1/2 cup water and I mixed until all the lumps were gone and got a thin paste-like substance.

Then I added the 1 1/2 cups of paint. This is where my trial and error comes in, if I could do it over again (which I did in my second batch) I would mix the plaster of Paris first in a separate container and then add that to my paint, because this way was pretty hard to get the plaster of paris mixture off the bottom of the bucket and to mix smoothly into my paint. Learn from my mistakes! I Mixed it as good as I could, it seemed runnier than I wanted.

I did two coats with this recipe with a sponge brush, It dries much faster than regular paint (most of the time the top was done drying by the time I finished the whole thing). I read in another blog (I can't recall which one) after I finished painting that you should lightly sand in between coats to achieve a really even finish, I wish I would have done that. Lessons for next time. After two coats I knew I wanted to change something in my recipe because other blogs say you can cover in two coats, and I knew there was no way my paint would do that.

Second Batch of Chalk Paint:
2 Heaping Tablespoons Plaster of Paris
2 tablespoons Water
1 Cup Paint

Mix the Plaster of Paris and water in separate container until the lumps are gone, I had a thicker paste this time around and was happy with it. Then add that to the 1 cup paint and mix well. (I wish I had a mason jar cause I would just shake the heck out of it and be able to store leftovers for later). This batch was more paint-like this time, and covered much better. I was able to cover with the third coat and just went around and touched up after that was dry.

 Here it is with the painting finally done. I am going to distress it and wax with Johnson's Paste Wax hopefully over the weekend and then add the legs. Next post will be my trial and error with the waxing process and the final reveal! Come back and see it soon :)


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