Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On using Chalk Paint and wax to create a unique piece of furniture...

Hello, Long time no see!
Remember that old boring broom closet I acquired a few weeks back? It was sporting it's original depressingly DARK Victorian stain.
 Normally I am not one to paint over wood, for I love the patina that only  age can give a nice old table or dresser. But this is different, it has no patina and is not a valuable antique by any stretch. I purchased the piece for $40 to use on our porch for garden tool storage. It really is an ugly thing.... and I have a PRETTY porch. My porch has wicker furniture and flowery cushions and antique metal plant stands with moss covered clay pots, AND a "shabby but sweet" 1920's Sellers Cabinet to hold my garden books, seeds and such. Yes indeed, my porch is quite romantic, despite the frequent unwanted visits of my feathered friends, who tend to spoil my porch's perfection; what with their scattered feathers and unmentionable deposits I must clean up every day.
 But, I digress. My plan was to paint aforementioned Ugly Duckling Broom Closet to match the look of my porch. I decided upon Chalk Paint, which has many nice qualities, one of which is the fact that it can be painted over any surface at all with no need for stripping or primer.
There are several brands of Chalk paint, so named for it's chalky, antique-like appearance on furniture. Most of these brands are outrageously expensive, BUT, you can make your own chalk paint using this simple recipe: Your choice of latex paint, flat or satin, water and Plaster of Paris. Mix water and  the Plaster of Paris to  a syrupy consistency. Next use a ratio of 3 parts paint to 1 part P.O.P mixture and mix well.
 Now, Paint right upon your ugly broom closet. I started with an off-white and painted  the entire closet. You can be pretty sloppy with the paint, you can see the dark walnut stain still showing through. I actually want this.
On top of my white, on the center panels, I apply a sea foam green.  I mixed my own colors for the green .
 The neat thing about chalk paint is that you can wipe it off in spots while it is still wet.You can see  the white paint coming though, AND the dark varnish underneath where I have "wiped it off" on the left side.
My goal is to create a piece, that looks as if it were painted  a hundred years ago. If this were the case, the piece would show it's age with worn corners, missing paint, cracking and darkening of the color. To achieve this look, I will have to distress it.
So, as soon as my chalk paint is dry to the touch, I am going to begin the distressing technique using a rough, and then a fine, sandpaper. I will wear down the paint on corners especially, around door handles and hinges.... flat surfaces as well. This is fun!
You can see the dark wood coming through, you can also see the white paint coming through beneath the seam foam green. I want a REALLY REALLY distressed piece. It is not necessary for you to "age" a piece to this degree, but it IS what I want on my broom closet.

This was a old doorknob I already had, it was covered in rust. I painted with the chalk paint, let it dry and sanded it . It now looks as if it has been on this piece of furniture from the beginning.

 Although the piece is now painted and distressed, it is not complete until you do the final and most important step, WAX.
 Above and below  is the surface after a coat of dark wax.

It is the wax that transforms a chalk painted piece from Looking as if it has just been painted and distressed.....
to looking as if it REALLY IS is 100 year old paint.
 The Wax seals the chalk paint, giving it a wonderful smooth surface and a patina.
 First I used a dark soft wax by Annie Sloan. This really did the trick, the dark wax settled in the cracks and crevices and was amazing in aging the paint.

  I buffed it  and then applied  "Annie Sloan's" clear wax atop, this softened the surface and made it smooth, albeit aged.
 This has been waxed on the front but not the side....YET.  You may see the subtle difference if it weren't for my bad photography.

I wish you could run your hand across the front of the piece, it is smooth as glass.
 I still must wax the sides, but I have already stuffed the inside of the cupboard with garden tools.
Now the porch is covered in leaves and I've gathered the last bit of garden sedum and twigs of beauty bush for the market basket... also chalk painted!

SO, if you have an  ugly piece of furniture that you would love to re-create, I recommend trying out the Chalk Paint. I advise you to mix your own Chalk Paint. DO, however, spend the extra money on the wax. I tried Min-wax, and it just didn't do the trick. I splurged  on the Annie Sloane soft wax,  and there are several other brands which are just as effective: CECE and American Paint Company make a nice soft wax as well.

( I had a little paint leftover and used it a the wicker table to tie it together with the broom closet)


  1. WOW JERI!!!
    It really is outstanding!!! I have just learned so much from all of these techniques that you have shared!!
    Man it sure looks so wonderful on your porch, like it has always been there :-)
    (And doggie big boy sure looks comfy )
    I'm so glad that I came over to see if you were back !!
    Many Blessings, love, and warmth , Linnie

  2. That is beautiful! They are selling chalk paint locally now. I just haven't found the piece of furniture I was to paint.

  3. What a fantastic makeover and it is oh so lovely now. What a great tip about making your own chalk paint too and the tips on the wax too.

    You are one amazing and talented lady Jeri. Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  4. Oh Jeri, YOU DID IT! You made your own paint; I need to do this because I want to paint our exposed beams (that are now a dark stain) a shabby white. But you took this piece though old, and made it a valuable-looking antique that goes perfectly with your farm style home. BRAVO! And I just loved your description of how your feathered friends leave "unmentionable deposits"....you are so talented in even your descriptions!!!


  5. You did a beautiful jog there. The cabinet looks great.
    Your dog has that...I want a pillow right here...face. lol

    1. He chewed up his pillow! Now, I refuse to give him another and so he is pouting.

  6. What a wonderful piece it is now. You did such a fabulous job of making the entire thing look warm and loved. xoxo Oma Linda

  7. I too, hate to paint old wooden things but this piece looks really nice the way you have done it. Very timely for me as well. I have a newish/old bench which has graduated out to the porch and needs some attention. I was not looking forward to sanding down all those spindles so this chalk paint will fill the bill nicely since it will go on over anything. We're lucky to have a store here in town that sells the soft wax as well so I am looking forward to trying out these new processes.

    Thanks for all the information.

    1. Vic, You really should try it, it is so fast and easy to do. And as you can see, it transforms a piece of furniture completely.

  8. Your cabinet fits right in on your porch! I love your shade of green. And thanks for the information on how to make your own chalk paint.

  9. Dear Jeri - this turned out beautifully. Now I know who to call when I see an old piece of furniture that needs redone. Just lovely - hope you have a great week-end. Hugs!

  10. That piece really has good bones. It looks wonderful. Only problem with mixing your own paint - I'm sure you already know, but others might not, is that it is almost impossible to replicate again if needed. Poor puppy needs another cushion lest he start gnawing on the furniture. Hope you finally get to enjoy autumn after all your shows.

    1. Donna, that naughty boy already had a cushion AND a pillow... I found it all over the yard. I want to buy the dogs a fluffy doggy bed, but I don't trust them at all. You are right about mixing your own paint, you can get in trouble if you need it for many purposes, but this was my only project. I actually mixed up "leftover" paints from previous projects that I had no further use for.

  11. How lovely your broom closet looks on your porch! You are so smart to make your own chalk paint as it is quite expensive. Thanks for the tip about the wax. I have a little bench I've been thinking of using chalk paint on. Your fall flowers look just beautiful atop the closet! ♥

  12. JERI LANDERS, good morning....

    Thank you sweet artist and friend for coming to view my home. Ah yes, to even walk through one of those ancient homes in France, it is a treat. When I was there, I was able to see many of these old farmhouses and what an experience. Home is such a fun place to dream, isn't it? This weekend with the chillier weather, I am excited to be home to read, dream and read, write and just keep on dreaming. Have a luscious day filled with more wonder my friend. Anita

  13. Hi Jeri,
    Well I sure have missed something here. It looks GREAT Jeri! You have created a lovely addition to your beautiful porch...
    Thank you for visiting, Jasper is doing much better. Gets his stitches out next week.
    Is that Keats laying on the couch? He really looks put out.. He sure is a beautiful companion.
    I hope your show was a great success Jeri...
    Love and blessings,

  14. Hot diggity! Your painted broom closet is fantastic! Thank you for the paint recipe. Two summers ago I visited an old salvage place near my home and they were selling chalk paint and wax. It was expensive so I decided to hold off on it but then eventually forgot about it. This post has rekindled my desire to chalk paint something awesome! I love how reading your Hopalong Hollow Blog and books makes me feel like a child. Your passion and love for old, rusty things, and God's creations are truly inspiring.

  15. Really, nice job on the piece! I don't think I've heard of chalk paint before!


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