Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint

OK, so let me start off by saying, THIS. IS. MY. FAVORITE. FURNITURE. TRANSFORMATION. yet

And the kicker is, I have a lot of furniture purging planned for the Spring and this desk was on the to-go list.  Can you believe I was going to sell this beauty?!

Here’s the before and after + a few closeup shots.  I’ll share the details of the transformation on the other side…

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.netPretty crazy that it’s the same piece, right?!  And I am in love with the color.

So this month’s Lowe’s challenge for the Creative Team was to create / transform something using make your own chalk finish paint.  Since I’m in the midst of my master bedroom makeover and this desk was about to go curbside, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to jazz it up. If the result wasn’t right, nothing lost, nothing gained.

The desk was purchased years ago from the Bombay company (during my dark-furniture-all-over days) and it’s served it’s purpose well, but I was ready to say adios.

The making of my own chalk paint made me a bit nervous, since I’ve only used the premade mix by Annie Sloan and that took a bit of getting used to (more for the wax application than the actual paint).  But, I decided to jump right in.

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Latex flat paint (I used Valspar Signature latex)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Stir sticks
  • Plastic bucket
  • Water (cool, not warm)
  • Measuring Cup ( do not reuse for food)
  • Sealer – wax or polyurthetane

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

Here is the formula I used:

  • In a mixing cup, add 1 cup of latex paint
  • Then add 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris + 1/3 cup cold water
  • Mix all together until the Plaster of Paris is fully dissolved

The mix will make enough chalk paint to apply about one coat to an average-sized 6 drawer dresser.  I ended up using only 1/4 of the mix and apply 2-3 coats, so it makes a lot.  Chalk paint goes a lot further than typical paint.

Once the formula was mixed, I was ready to paint!

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

It’s important not to have too much paint on the brush, especially when painting furniture.  It’s better to apply thinner coats.  When applying too much paint at once, drips and runs could develop in the corners and crevices of the furniture.

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

If that happens, no worries.  Get as much paint off the brush as possible and drag out the “puddled” paint so it thins out and covers more of the furniture surface.

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

I forgot to mention this neat tid-bit about the desk… it actually opens up to a writing surface.

Before Desk

The difficult part was deciding where to start and stop the paint because I did not want to paint the inside – too difficult.

In the end, I chose a start and stop point for where the paint would go.  At first I was only going to paint the legs, but wasn’t thrilled with the look.  Here is a peak…

Before Deskpainting on the counter is so much easier than on the floor!

So in the end, I decided to paint the top as well, leaving only the line of the desk that opens, the original stained finished.  It actually makes for a more interesting piece – well, I think.

Here’s the top with one coat of chalk finish paint.

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

2 coats later (3 in some spots), the desk was complete…

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

And ready to display in my room…

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

I sealed the entire desk with wax that I had on-hand.   Others that have used their own chalk finish paint have used clear finishing wax (Lowes link) or polyurethane.

If you want to read more on applying wax, head over to this post

Applying Clear Wax

The revamped desk fits perfectly next to my existing dresser with a new gallery wall above (more details on that coming soon – I’m still finishing it up)

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

The chair wasanother furniture transformation from a few years ago and I just recently added a new cushion using black and white striped fabric from The Online Fabric Store.  The furry looking throw draped over the chair back is actually fabric that I plan on making some fun pillows with.

Check out what this space looked like before…

Master Before

BIG DIFFERENCE!

Let me show you a few more ‘after’ shots…

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

What do you think?

What’s your favorite part of my desk?  The new color? The lines of the desk? Or the ‘secret’ compartment of the writing desk?  For me, it’s all fun, but I think I love the paint color the best.  By the way, the color is Benjamin Moore Martini Olive.  Lowe’s color matched it for me and used their Valspar Signature Latex paint.

Benjamin Moore Martini Olive

Before and After Desk Makeover using Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint.  Transformation by @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

My thoughts on making my own Chalk Finish Paint.

I really like it!  Comparing it to other chalk finish paints, it is very similar and obviously the cost is a lot less AND you can make any color you’d like.  With other chalk finish paints there are only about 30-40 different colors to choose from.  When making your own, your color choices are limitless.  The cost is also significantly less because the Plaster of Paris is about $6 and a quart of paint is about $15-20.  Since only one cup is needed, a sample pod / tester most likely would have been enough for this project.  Also, I could have used a latex color that I already had on hand (in my stash).  Comparing the application process, it’s very similar and the finish result is about the same.  A dull, chalky (but not grainy) finish is what you will get.  Waxing is important when using any chalk finish paint because it seals the color and finish. I’ve also heard of people using polyurethane as a sealer, but I have never tried that.

Why chalk finish paint?

I feel the advantage of using chalk finish paint is the elimination of sanding, prepping, and priming the existing wood.  When using chalk finish paint, you can simply start the painting process directly over the stained or painted finish.  *If a piece of furniture has a hi-gloss, then I would recommend sanding and possibly priming first so you have a thorough base to paint.

I hope you enjoyed my adventure of making my own chalk finish paint.  I love trying out new things and this is a winner!  Have you used chalk finish paint?  Have you made your own or have you used a premade mix?  Would you try this on a piece of furniture?

 

Lowes Winter 2014 badge

 

To gather even more unique, fun, and creative ideas for your indoor and outdoor Winter spaces, I would definitely suggest downloading the Lowe’s Creative Ideas app on your iphone and/or ipad.  I’m always checking out the FREE app for great seasonal + do-it-yourself inspiration. And even better, this Pallet Christmas Countdown creation will be featured in the upcoming Winter guide – how cool, right?!

 

 Also consider following Lowe’s on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as well.

Disclosure: I am part of the Lowe’s Creative Team and was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to purchase items for my project.  I was also compensated for my time to use the products.  No one told me what to create, what to buy, how to use the product, or what to write.  All opinions are 100% mine!




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Comments

    • Jenna says

      So-so. The finish is very dull, so it really depends on the look you want to achieve. I would, of course, recommend using clear wax or polyurethane to seal the paint. Homeowners have used this on kitchen cabinets, but since I haven’t, I can’t 100% say…

  1. elaine says

    I love that color! I have found if you mix the Plaster of Paris with water first and then add it to the paint, you get a smoother product. How do you think it compares to Anne Sloan paint? I have never used the AS paint, only the diy version.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Elaine. I think it’s very comparable to AS paint and I actually share more of my thoughts on it in the post towards the end…
      Jenna

    • Jenna says

      Much thanks Trina! I love a pop of color in a room and the green is so warm. I’m sure you love your armoire just as much. Thanks for the kind thoughts.
      xo
      Jenna

  2. Cheryl Siciliano says

    Jenna,

    That is a really cute desk and the color is great. I love all the tips!

    I wish I knew where to begin with getting a blog started because i want to show you all of the inspirational
    projects I have done with your help!

    Cheryl

  3. Kip says

    Love your desk. I experimented with chalk paint this summer on a table that I have on the front porch outside. I used an tinted wax to the barn red paint and it looks great. So I decided to use the paint on the sisal rug by the front door to coordinate.

    Will you let us know when you plan your furniture purge? I live in Ticonderoga and have been following you since you appeared in the BH&G magazine.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks so much for following along and I’m so happy to hear you found me through the BHG feature! So your table has held up well with the outdoor elements after using chalk paint? Great idea using it on a rug as well. I’m thinking Spring for a big garage sale – I will keep readers posted. xo Jenna

  4. Sara L says

    Wow that desk turned out amazing!! Thanks for sharing the formula for mixing your own chalk paint as well as a good recommendation for the wax to use. I am about to get brave and try this.

  5. Lori says

    OMG!! I love it ! I myself don’t know if I could paint it but I love that you did! And I love the color!!!

  6. says

    Just had one of these desks come in to my consignment shop and am having a very difficult time finding any other photos of it besides yours online! do you happen to remember how much it was bought for or the name of the model or style of the desk by Bombay Co?

    • Jenna says

      How funny. I don’t remember any of those details since it was well over 10 years ago. Maybe it was $100-$150? Sorry I can’t be of more help…