June 23, 2013

Make Custom Color Chalk-y Paint

Have you ever wanted to have a chalk paint in a specific
color to match a fabric or wall color? 
Want to know how to make chalk paint at home?
 Here is a "recipe" that I  have used on
 several projects that uses easy to obtain ingredients:

1 ounce of latex or acrylic paint
1 heaping tablespoon of powdered wall texture
(available at home improvement stores)
1 tablespoon of water
(add a little more water if it is too thick)

The most recent project that I used "the recipe" on was a 
roadside rescue cabinet.  I am in the season of life where my 
89-year old father needs to live with me for a while.  
rescue and repaint furniture, dropped Daddy off at my house,
she called me excitedly telling me that she saw a cabinet
beside the road that I should go get and put in the guest room.

The cabinet has a few "issues" so that is probably why it was
discarded by a sane person.  There a plenty of other things I 
SHOULD be spending my time on besides trying to revive a
cardboard, plastic and particle board cabinet but I actually do
need a place for Daddy to put his socks, underwear and P.J.s.

I realized that the above picture shows a few things smashed
underneath the broken cabinet that I need to be doing instead
 of starting a new painting project but I can't resist. 

To make it easier to lift the cabinet by myself to put it in the 
back of my SUV, I took the shelves out...they are in good shape.

The front door of the cabinet is warped and buckled.

The side rails of the door actually pulled away from the 
horizontal pieces when I got my husband to help me carry
it in the house to fix it up and paint it. Although there is 
probably not much real wood in this piece, I did use wood
glue to try to put it back together.

A lot of the messy glue job just peeled off of the plastic 
finish on the door. The rest of the glue got sanded down some
 and in the end, added some dimension to the surface.

The folks who put the cabinet out on the street were nice to
also put the pieces of the broken off leg out also.
It also got a lot of wood glue for a quick fix. 

Once the cabinet was in functional shape, I got to start on the 
fun part....painting. To try to mask some of the imperfections,
I decided to try a rustic, worn-over-time three color finish.

 The main fabric in the guest room is a fun mod
fabric that reminds me of the the 1960's .  It has most
of the colors that are used in the rest of the house (green, 
tan/brown, white) with the addition of the turquoise color.

I found the wall color (Sherwin Williams 6465 "Spearmint")
that we painted the guest room walls with eight years ago.
When I took the top off of the paint container, the colors 
were all separated but they mixed back together pretty well. 

Using the original wall color paint with the powdered wall
texture and water, I was able to make a custom chalk-y 
paint to use on the cabinet.  Another custom color chalk-y 

paint that I made to use on the cabinet was the brown color 
that the bed in the room is painted with.  It is "Norwich
Brown" HC-19 by Benjamin Moore.

To pull the green color of the fabric out, I still had some Valspar
"Herb Cornucopia" sample paint left over from the mirrored
screen that I first tried the chalk paint recipe out on last year.
I made it into a chalk-y paint also. 

You can find wall paints or even acrylic craft paints in colors of
 your choosing to make whatever color chalk-y paint you want.

To escape the heat and the mosquitos, I painted the piece in
my dining room.  First I put on two coats of the brown color
to imply that the piece was wooden.  Then I added the green 
color with a dry-brush technique.

The original white finish was really slick.  Maybe I should 
have sanded it down before painting but I have had good 
luck with the chalk paint sticking before (and I am lazy).
When I tried sanding or even wiping the green down with
a damp rag to distress it, some of the paint 
peeled up and the original white base color showed.

I went back over the now white areas with the brown color
again before adding the turquoise color on top.
Again when I sanded the turquoise, some white popped back
through but I just kept dabbing the colors back over the
white spots then lightly sanding until it looked "good enough".

Here are some of my favorite painted places on the cabinet:

I brushed a coat of clear wax on the painted surface to 
help seal it (and hopefully not peel anymore).

The paint just soaked up the brushed on coat of wax so
I got brave an rubbed on another coat of wax with a rag.
None of the paint rubbed off...that's a good sign I think.

There is white trim in the guest room so the white "glass" 
(actually plastic) in the cabinet door might have looked OK
 but since the piece has a rustic look, I was hoping
 for a turquoise-y color for the translucent door front.

Originally, I tried a transparent paint that is used for faux
stained glass projects.  It did not adhere to the plastic
 well and hardly showed through anyway. I peeled it off.

Then I tried painting on straight-out-of-the-can wall color
on the back side (inside of cabinet) of the plastic.

It looks horrible from the inside but the outside looks fine. 
The plastic is less transparent than I thought it would be.
That busted out place in the back won't show and I couldn't
flatten it out to glue it down...no socks will escape.

OK, so here is the little cabinet in the guest room...
...now that it is in the room, I wish I had put more of the
 turquoise color on it.  Too late, it is already waxed.

Another reason I wanted to try the layered three color look
is that there is already a color blocked TV cabinet in the room
and I don't really like match-y-match-y furniture in a room.

Since I haven't ever showed this room on my blog,
 I'll tell you a little about it.  The bed was originally a clear
pine four poster canopy bed.  When we moved to this 
house and this room went with more of a contemporary
look due to the fabric choice, we had the posts sawed off.
Then I painted the bed a brown color similar
 to the brown in the fabric.

Well, for eight years I have been meaning to put some kind
of finishing "something" on the sawn off posts.  
I got these post caps but then I worried that they would
make the bed look "country" again...What do you think?

To keep from having throw pillows, bolsters, etc. to deal with
on this bed, I made this coverlet long enought that the
 bed could just be made up with the regular sleeping pillows.
It was hard to find the right color of turquoise fabric to 
make the dust ruffle out of but I finally found this nubby
cotton by Laurie Hickson-Smith (a designer from the
 "Trading Spaces" tv show) at Hancock Fabrics.

To keep with a cleaner look in this room, I made roman 
shades out of the same fabric.

On the window seat, there is a plate that I found
last summer at Target that had the room's colors in it.

The tv cabinet in this room was originally painted more in
a McKenzie/Childs' style when it was in my teenaged
daughter's room.  It was repainted to go with the mod fabric.

The tv is elevated on a storage bin so that a person 
laying in bed can see the screen easily...classy, huh?

My husband doesn't think that a tv should be in a couple's
 bedroom so if I want to watch tv in bed, I come in here.

I'm not thinking that this is the prettiest paint job I've ever
done but it does help hide the little cabinet's faults. 

The only investment in the cabinet is my time since the piece
itself was free and I had all the other supplies. 

My Daddy likes it for his small clothing items and, 
in the end, that's all that matters. 

I am sharing this at
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal
Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage
Monday Funday @ Lines Across
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed


  1. Wow Kitty, the little cabinet turned out to look awesome! You really do know how to take a piece of furniture and transform it. I love the room, the color and the fabric pattern. I’m sure you Dad will really appreciated the extra storage space the cabinet provides. Love all the family photos, great picture over the bed. Blessings to you and your Dad, how wonderful you have one another. Happy Summer!

    The French Hutch

  2. Wow! I think that turned out just great. I really love the look of it and you would never know it is a composite board piece. The whole room is very nice and well done.

    I hope it goes well having your Dad live with you. Those are not always easy adjustments...but we do what we need to do, don't we?
    Blessings to you-xo Diana

  3. Your piece looks great in that bedroom! I love your window treatments, the fabric especially. Thanks for sharing. :-)
    Kim @ Curtain Queen

  4. Well, to be perfectly honest, I truly had my doubts as you were going through the process of gluing & painting. But......I think it turned out amazing! Isn't it crazy what people just toss to the curb -- great for those of us who do a bit of "curb-diving," however!

  5. Wow! What a rescue!! I really like the way you added so much colour and dimension in your painting... fabulous makeover!

  6. YOur room is stunning and I love the colors. Such a lovely and inviting room. Great tutorial on the cabinet and color too. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  7. Your cabinet turned out great and it looks wonderful in its new space.
    Thanks, Patty

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  9. The room is beautiful! The bed post toppers look traditional, not country to me - they look good with the fabric and the room style. And the curbside rescue sitting on top of all the "practical things I really should be doing instead" is SO familiar!

  10. Now that was an amazing transformation...turned out beautifully!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!!!

  11. Your cabinet turned out great! Such a lovely room you created.

  12. The cabinet turned out wonderful! Bless you for taking care of your dad. I so understand the challenges but also know the time with our parents is precious.


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