My Love Affair with Chalk Paint

I'm not sure when it started, but some might offer that it has turned into an obsession.  I don't know if I would go that far...I would just call it my go-to medium.  Spray paint used to do it for me, but now as I look around, I must admit that chalk paint is favored for my transformation quests.  I have DIY and creativity in my being, along with the genetic inability to throw things away.  This combination seems to serve me well in terms of furnishing my home.  I suppose that my addition to Craigslist feeds my chalk paint escapades.

I can't remember if it started with a visit to The Coop which prompted me to explore chalk paint or deciding to paint my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint that lead me to the Coop, but regardless I think that it is probably to my benefit that the store moved from within walking distance of my house to a couple of miles away!

 I bought three colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to begin my first adventure in my kitchen for the cabinets and then a fourth to transform the back wall of my "baker's nook".
 From there and pictured in no particular order, every time I found a piece of second hand furniture or had something to transform in my house, the logical choice was chalk paint.  I upgraded my brush to the recommended A.S. brush and did the same with my wax brushes, which solidifies that when you have the right tools, the job becomes that much easier!
 The "brick wall" that is the back side of my kitchen cabinets and part of the dining room and new "breakfast bar".

This is my latest and I think my favorite, and perhaps the most labor intensive only because it involved four colors, sanding, two waxes...but the driftwood/Restoration Hardware look is totally worth it, and I'm hopeful it will be enough inspiration for me to get my room put together to become a sanctuary like bedrooms are supposed to be instead of a laundry/storage room with a bed in it.  
You won't find tutorials here.  I'm not organized enough to take and upload step by step photos and instructions, but I will say that if you can imagine it, Pinterest has a tutorial for you!  Or, you can just do the trial and error thing.  That seems to work best for me!




I like chalk paint because the prep is as minimal as wiping the dust off prior to painting.  Sometimes there is a little more, but typically it is just decide and then paint!  It's also pretty darn fast.  Most projects take me a day or less.  The bed was an exception...each side probably took a day, but that was merely because it was hot and I had to wait to turn each piece over to the unpainted side.

 My favorite colors are probably obvious.  A mixture of Old White and Old Ochre, Graphite, Coco and Versailles.

 I've learned that I like dark wax, partly because I like the distressed, aged look and partly because I don't have to be so precise in my finish.  Plus, it makes it easier to just hide the evidence that our family can be kind of messy and hard on things.
 Starting her early...
 Salvation Army couch for $20.  Thought about painting the wood, but I ended up just painting the upholstery and making new cushion covers.

 Vinyl chair off the curb...

Another one of my favorite pieces.  And, of course a Craigslist find.  In all honesty, as I sit in my living room creating this post, I look through the room to see one piece of furniture that is an heirloom piece from my Great Grandmother, one new-from-a-catalog piece and every single other piece of furniture is from CL.  The rest of the rooms in my house are not much different.  I am accused of furnishing my home with garbage, but I think it's pretty stylish garbage.  

 I kind of have a hard time looking past a cool piece of furniture.  Even if I don't have the space for it, I can't help but think how great it would look with a fresh coat of paint and a little artistic wear.  My kids can be heard instructing me from the back seat of the van to keep driving...don't stop...there is nothing to see on the curb.  I'm sure that in 20 years, people will look at all of this painted furniture and wonder what crazy person would cover up such beautiful golden oak veneer, but for now, it suits my taste, fills my creative needs and provides unique pieces of furniture for our home.
 The orange table was just an excuse to try a new color I think.  It didn't need to be painted.
 This is an example of a color swatch notebook at The Coop.  I'm not organized enough to have my own and it's probably going to bite me in the butt one day when I try to match colors from a previous "recipe".