July 2, 2014

Look Beyond The Color

When you see an accessory for your home that you like
except for the color, try looking beyond the color because
you can change that easily with DIY chalk-y paint.  
It sticks to almost anything. 

You can customize the color that you want for your
chalk paint too.  Because you can use even inexpensive
acrylic paint as the coloring agent, there are hundreds of
colors to choose from.

The "chalk" in chalk-y paint can be Plaster of Paris, 
plaster from the craft store or powdered wall texture. 

The chalk-y paint covers items well. You may only
need one coat to hide the "wrong" color.
Because it is so inexpensive to make, you can mix several
different shades of the same basic color to give the item a
layered paint look.  Paint on one good base coat then lightly
brush on other similar colors on top letting some base 
color still show through. If you get too much color
on top of your base color you can sand some off.

A good ratio that I have used is one part plaster (or wall
texture) to three parts of paint. Add a LITTLE water (just
enough to get the powder and paint to mix together) at
first.  Then add enough water to get the mixture paintable
and the consistency that you would like. Stir to dissolve
any powder clumps. With this "recipe" you can make
even a small amount of chalk-y paint for a small project. 

A black wooden lantern (that I found at Old Time Pottery
at a great price) recently got a chalk-y paint makeover. 

I like the lantern but I found that the only time it looked
"right" in my home was at Halloween. 

In hopes of making it more versatile and able to use it for
more seasons, it got some layers of white/cream chalk-y paint. 

The black metal top of the lantern also got painted.
To try to give it an aged copper look, I pulled out a "patina" kit
 that I got on clearance at a craft store (for such a time as this).

The original black got coated with the Black Green paint in a
solid color.  It wasn't that much of a change in color.
Then the instructions in the kit said to sponge on the Venetian
Gold color.  The Green Mist comes next. You can make the
layers gold and green layers have less of a "sponged-on"
look by dabbing the color (before it dries!) with a brush
damp with water or even plastic wrap.  

Everyone's idea of what aged copper looks like is different.
Here is a pretty aged copper roof with even several varying
shades of blue and green within itself.

I wanted a little more blue in the lantern's "roof" so I 
added some blue acrylic paint on there too.

Here is another lantern that got a copper look this summer.
It was originally shiny white.  It got a rusty/coppery paint finish
to be used with similar colored items at an after-rehearsal 
dinner five years ago.  Since then it has rarely been used.

Maybe with the new blue and green thinned out paint
colors on top, it will fit in with my home's color scheme
and be used more often. You can see more of this lantern
and how it is used in the blog post about this year's 

Some other items in the vignette with the now-white
lantern that have had makeovers are the fishing bouys.

They were originally terrible colors and had made their way
to the clearance shelves at Hobby Lobby. You can see their
transformation at the blog post Faux Lobster Bouys.

The star of the show inside the lantern is the seahorse.

She started out life as a green seahorse.  I'm not saying she
was a "bad" shade of green but she did not "go" with my
summer color scheme.  She got a chalk-y paint finish.

Her supporting cast inside the lantern is a DIY starfish (see how
to make scads of your own at Whimsical Starfish) and some 
tall candles.  Any small accessories inside the lantern just
seemed to disappear in the bottom.  To make the LED candle
seem taller I stacked two together then wrapped them with
some twine to hide the stacked place and have a surface to 
glue a shell on (without hurting the candle surface).

The other tall candles inside the lantern are real candles
(that don't get lit inside there) that have seen better days.
I didn't mind gluing shells directly on them to give them
a more summery look.

The LED candle can be pre-programmed to come on by
itself for 5 hours a day.  Only the top candle is activated
to come on at dusk to give the illusion that it is real.

The chicken wire in frames hold quotes about the sea that
I also used last year (see blog post Sea Sayings for more
close-ups and instructions how to make them).

No surprize that the frames have been painted with chalk-y paint too.
Somebody stop me!

Some of the small starfish and shells could be attached
to the chicken wire with small clothespins.  The larger
and odd-shaped shells were more of a challenge.

To make them "hang-able" a button with floral wire
through two of the holes was glued onto the shell.

Now they can hang with no visible means of support. 
A thinner and/or gold or silver wire would have been ever easier to hide...note to self and to you. 

Fishing net from the Dollar Tree was added over the
chicken wire for a more nautical feel.

With each batch of chalk-y paint that I made (even though
they were little) I would have some left over.  I started 
painting other accessories that "bothered" me about not
being a color that I enjoyed using with the left over paint. 
 Maybe now they will get in the mix more often too. 

This angel seemed to only get used at Christmas
because she was gold.  Now that she has had thin coats
of chalk-y paint added on top of the gold (which still shows
through little bit) I think I will use her more.
The white angel on the top row is without a wax finish.
You can wax the painted item or not.  The wax does help
seal the paint and make it more durable.  You can use a 
clear wax and it does not change the paint color much.
The bottom two angel pictures show her with a mix of
clear and dark wax added.  Even though I tried not to
use too much dark wax, I think I did.  That's a fine line.
You can mix clear wax and dark wax together to make the dark wax not TOO dark.  
Mash them together with a plastic fork (to throw away) like mixing butters. 

The good thing about chalk-y paint is that it sticks so well that
if you get too much dark wax on, just give your item another
coat of chalk-y paint and start over...it even sticks to wax. 

This thrift store candelabra also got lightened up.
                  Original color                                                  Painted with no wax                            Painted with clear/dark wax added

This bowl of faux daffodils had a blue and white pattern.
I used to use those colors but I don't right now.  The bowl
got painted a neutral color to go with everything now.
              Original color                                              Painted with no wax                            Painted with clear/dark wax added

I have been on the lookout for a head vase.  I saw this
teal one at Hobby Lobby this past Spring on sale.  All she
needed was a couple of varying coats of chalk-y paint to
make me happy with her.  I used a higher ratio of plaster
in her paint to make her have more texture.  I did not put
wax on her finish ('cause I liked the texture and thought 
the wax might ruin that) so I will need to be careful with her.

At a consignment sale I found two plaques for $4 each.
They were not the color I needed (I will use them in my
master bathroom) so they got a makeover with chalk-y paint.

They got a coat of the clear/dark wax mix to make the 
detail in them stand out.
Thanks for enduring this long blog post. I haven't had much
time for blogging lately and wanted to include different
 things I have done recently all in one post. 
 Hope you are having a great Summer!!!

I'm sharing this post over at
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
Imparting Grace's Grace At Home
French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday
Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Now you must know that I would LOVE this coastal vignette. That paint treatment to the top of the lantern...looks GREAT! Happy 4th of July!!!


  2. Love the power of paint!! All your projects look great!


  4. So many great ideas and tips...thanks for sharing!

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