DIY Chalk Finish Paint (And Free Prints!)

The kitchen remodel is pretty much done but I still have cleaning up to do. We still have furniture from other rooms in there while we’re working elsewhere in the house. It’s a never-ending cycle of moving tables and chairs and accessories, or at least it seems that way!

The kitchen is looking good! | A Chat Over Coffee

The kitchen is looking good! | A Chat Over Coffee

If you’ve read any of the home improvement updates or seen any of my pictures on Facebook, then you know I’ve chosen clean neutrals for the room. I’m trying to keep it timeless because I really don’t want to go through this process again any time soon! However, a room full of neutrals can feel cold and boring, so I wanted to bring in some color and texture, but I had to do it on a very tight budget because most of our funds went toward the big stuff like tile for the back splash and new flooring.

I decided to frame some music prints and some of my daughter’s artwork. You’ve probably seen all of the cute chalk finish painted projects on Pinterest just like I have, but have you ever looked at the price of chalk paint? Yikes! It’s around $30 (US) for a quart of paint. I could buy some awfully nice frames for that price, if I had the budget, which I didn’t.

A little internet searching uncovered this chalk paint recipe. I had plenty of white paint left over from doing the cabinets, so I purchased a small container of blue paint and some plaster, knowing that I’d use both for other projects. I found three frames at the thrift store on half price day. You can see from the pictures that I paid $2.50 each for two of them and $2 for the third. I didn’t want the prints, just the frames and mats.

Old frames from the thrift store will receive a new look with a DIY chalk paint finish. |A Chat Over Coffee

Old frames from the thrift store will receive a new look with a DIY chalk paint finish. |A Chat Over Coffee

I brought the frames home and carefully took them apart, laying the glass and mats out between layers of paper on top of my refrigerator where they wouldn’t get splattered or broken. Then I covered my kitchen counter with a left over plastic table cloth and newspapers.

I created my own measuring cup for the homemade chalk paint. | A Chat Over Coffee

I created my own measuring cup for the homemade chalk paint. | A Chat Over Coffee

The paint recipe calls for one part water, one part plaster, and three parts paint. I knew I didn’t need much, so I created my own measuring cup to keep things simple and to avoid contaminating anything I use for food. I poured 1/8 cup of water into my plastic cup and marked the level, then added another 2/8 (or 1/4) cup of water and marked that.

Dab at the surface of the paint to add texture. | A Chat Over Coffee

Dab at the surface of the paint to add texture. | A Chat Over Coffee

Once the paint was ready I started painting the backs of the frames. I did the backs first so that if they got a little dinged up while I was doing the fronts, it wouldn’t matter. It took a couple of coats plus touch-ups to cover the backs. Then I flipped the frames over and did the fronts.

And by the way, I used a Purdy paint brush like this one. I’ve used that brush quite a bit during our remodeling and I’m kind of possessive of it. I keep it washed out and it’s holding up really well.

Chalk finish paint dries pretty quickly if you apply thin coats. I was able to recoat in a couple of hours. Since I was going for a gently distressed look I didn’t have to be too particular. In some places I deliberately dabbed or swiped at the paint to add a little texture.

Dab or wipe off part of the blue paint while the surface is still slightly wet. | A Chat Over Coffee

Dab or wipe off part of the blue paint while the surface is still slightly wet. | A Chat Over Coffee

It took three coats of white to cover the fronts of the frames to my satisfaction. Then I mixed up a small batch of blue paint. I applied the blue, let it dry for about five minutes or so, and then used a paper towel to wipe or dab off part of the blue paint to let the white show through. If I accidentally removed too much blue I dabbed some back on with my paint-covered paper towel or my brush. Basically I just played with it until I was happy with the way it looked.

The result is a softly distressed finish. | A Chat Over Coffee

The result is a softly distressed finish. | A Chat Over Coffee

Just to be safe I let the frames dry overnight before I reassembled them with the prints. I cleaned the glass while I was waiting. And where did I get those free prints?

Downloaded patent images create free art. | A Chat Over Coffee

Downloaded patent images create free art. | A Chat Over Coffee

Taking a tip from Chip & Joanna Gaines, I looked up the U.S. Patent Office and searched old, old patents for images that I could download and print. Yes, it’s free! I found a piano and a guitar that my husband, daughter, and I liked and printed them on heavier ivory paper before placing them in my freshly-painted frames.

I selected a guitar image in honor of my husband and a piano for my daughter. | A Chat Over Coffee

I selected a guitar image in honor of my husband and a piano for my daughter. | A Chat Over Coffee

Tah-dah!

Copyright © 2016 Abigail Russell. All Rights Reserved. This image is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form or under any circumstances with out express written permission of the copyright owner. Used by permission. | A Chat Over Coffee

Copyright © 2016 Abigail Russell. All Rights Reserved. This image is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form or under any circumstances with out express written permission of the copyright owner. Used by permission. | A Chat Over Coffee

While I was making a mess with paint I used some of the leftover black paint from the fireplace and painted a larger frame (not shown) for another piece of my daughter’s artwork. I’m going to enjoy having a couple of her drawings hanging up to admire every day!

Then I mixed up a larger batch of white chalk finish paint and painted a couple of wooden chairs that a friend gave to me. I almost sold the chairs, but then I found the perfect home for them in the living room where they’ll serve as extra seating when our church small group (discipleship group or life group or whatever you may call it) meets here.

New chalk finish paint freshened up a pair of old chairs. | A Chat Over Coffee

New chalk finish paint freshened up a pair of old chairs. | A Chat Over Coffee

As soon as we can get the stray furniture returned to its rightful home I’ll share pictures of the kitchen and you can see how it all came together.

If you are looking to freshen up your living space for Spring (or Fall, for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere), look around to see if you have any old paint, some plaster, and a couple of frames that you can update with a little homemade chalk paint. It’s so satisfying to do it yourself!

Have you used chalk finish paint before? What did you create?

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Update: I shared this post at Five Star Frou-Frou #43, Home Matters Linky Party #80, The Homemaking Party (3/29/16), Happiness is Homemade #115, Manic Monday #26, The Art of Home-Making Mondays #99, Bloggers Spotlight #16, and The Pretty Pintastic Party #99.

This post was featured at Happiness is Homemade #116.

 

15 responses to “DIY Chalk Finish Paint (And Free Prints!)

  1. Pingback: How to Paint a Brick Fireplace | A Chat Over Coffee·

    • Thanks! Maybe try a picture frame or a “gimmie” chair like these to build your confidence? The great thing about distressed finishes is that imperfections just add to the charm. If you do furniture you’ll want to do a wax or poly finish to protect it. That wasn’t necessary for the frames.

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  2. Leigh, you are full of good ideas! That piano one is a must for my husbands 60th birthday next week! Thankyou! And thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Hope to see you again on Friday! Love, Mimi xxx

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  3. What a fun project! I could go wild painting all kinds of things over here. That is the way I redecorate 🙂 You did a great job!

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  4. It’s like you read my mind. I have a vintage 80’s black lacquer tv stand that I have a cloth thrown over and use as a side table. It is just screaming for me to do something with it. Congrats on your Happiness is Homemade feature.

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