Home made paint with a chalky finish - what a concept! No sanding? No priming? Are you serious??? OK I'm so in!!!
I found so many recipes online that I was a little overwhelmed. I chose to use the variety with hot water, paint and Plaster of Paris because these ingredients were so easy to find. The Johnson's Paste wax for a top coat was another suggestion I took to heart. So off I went to the local hardware store to collect my supplies. Unfortunately, Johnson's isn't available in Canada so I opted for Minwax Dark Furniture Wax.
My inspiration photo:
|Source: Pottery Barn|
The subject? My oak armoire:
My first step was to change the hardware on the drawers. My inspiration piece had wood knobs and since I have a whole bunch of wood knobs on hand AND I love the old-fashioned look of them, on they went!
Next step, find the right colour of paint. I love the blue I used on my baby greenhouse (a green paint I bought last summer and didn't like with white paint added until I got a colour I did like). So after two coats of my own mixed paint plus Plaster of Paris and hot water applied about an hour apart, I tried wiping the wax over the top. I don't know what is in that wax, but it caused my rag to disintegrate!! and I was getting a major headache from the smell, so I stopped using it post haste. Here is the armoire when the paint dried and with a little of that wax rubbed on the top:
I was too lazy to fill holes and replace the original pulls on the door section with the knobs, so I just painted over them. I don't know that I like the way that looks either.
In addition to my growing discontentment with the look of the cabinet, I had issues with the paint mixture itself. First the paint mixed with water diluted the paint colour to a really light blue that I wasn't happy with. Then the paint recipe itself didn't work all that well. Not sure what I did wrong with the mix, but the paint scratches off very easily. Here is the recipe I used:
3 Parts Paint
1 Part Plaster of Paris
Plus warm water
(enough to wet the PofP before mixing in with the paint)
I wonder if maybe I mixed too much water in the mixture?? If I use this again, I'll use less water & see if that makes a difference. Otherwise, if anyone knows why this failed, please let me know!
So I spent the whole day struggling with the fact that I didn't really like the look of the armoire when it was done. I found it kind of bland and way too pale so I sat and stared at it, wondering what to do to make it into something I would actually love. I decided to sleep on it. I woke up in the night several times with different ideas - I could paint the knobs chrome or black. I could paint the armoire a different colour. I could sand the whole thing down and start all over...
When I got up, I searched through Pinterest for ideas and Pinterest NEVER lets me down :). I found this piece of furniture that I absolutely loved. (click on the link to see)
I love the darker colour & how worn it looks. Being that the paint finish on my piece wasn't adhering, I figured I might as well go for the gusto. Instead of sanding, I decided to wipe a darker paint colour over the top. I used a damp paper towel dipped in Behr's Agave (the green base colour I didn't like) and began smearing it all over. During the process more paint was wiped off and my "glaze" coat came out uneven and blotchy. Despite all that - I LOVE IT! Sometimes mistakes actually work out better than the original idea (something that happens to me more often than not).
The darker colour and the blotchy, scratched up look suits me better. I am just a blotchy, scratched up kinda girl! So much happier :)
Guess you think this post is over now, huh? Welcome to my obsessive compulsive side that keeps me picking at a project until I'm either perfectly happy with it or I've completely ruined it!.
After composing this post, I decided to add MORE TURQUOISE!!! I really got into it, cramming the Agave paint into all the crevices and wiping more of it ono the drawer and door surfaces. It became an art project for me and if you follow my art portion of this blog at all, you know I'm never satisfied with my art...
So here is my poor armoire again, from original inception to its duly beaten up and painted to death final version:
Version #1 Version #2
PERFECTION!! Now it's got more depth, a darker colour and I like it much better than the other two versions. Onto the next project!
Have a happy week!
With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!