Chalk Paint Experiment

I happen to live in one of the four towns in Ontario that actually carries Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  And, as such, we seem to have a surplus of shops selling chalk painted furniture.  I’ve never been really sure if I like chalk painted furniture but I sure liked the idea of not having to sand and prime old furniture.  So when I bought a wall unit from Kijiji I thought I might be willing to conduct an experiment with chalk paint.  The unit is actually three separate cabinets that can stand together and at $150 including delivery it was a steal.


When will I learn to tidy up before taking pics?


I decided I would use one of these for storage in the downstairs “master” bathroom and the other two would go in my craft room which was also in desparate need of storage.

So back to the chalk paint dilemma.  Did it really provide good coverage?  Do you really not need to prime, sand, prep, etc?  Hence the experiment….I decided I would sand and prime one cabinet the way I would any furniture that I was going to paint.  The second cabinet got only a sanding and the third cabinet got no prep at all.

Do you love my drop cloths?

Now for the tricky part. Despite the fact that we can actually buy chalk paint in town, I decided I was too cheap thrifty to actually part with $39.95 (plus 13% tax!) and would make my own.  I found a recipe from  Sharon at Elizabeth and Co.  and used the plaster of paris and paint I actually had leftover from other projects which was Behr Eggshell Powdered Snow.

I used one part plaster of paris mixed with a bit of water to make a paste (stir it well to get rid of any lumps) and three parts of paint.  You need to add water occasionally to thin the paint out as it thickens as it stands.


Now they say that the chalk paint goes a long way but I’m not sure that I agree with that.  I needed 4 batches of home made chalk paint!  The two unprimed cabinets took about four coats of paint!!! The primed one took three!!! Not exactly what I was hoping for.

At the end of it all, I had three great storage units in a storage challenged house, so I guess I’m pretty pleased with myself since it didn’t cost anything to refinish them.  (Except for the paint everywhere….  Home made chalk paint splatters!)  I did put a polyacrylic coat on the bathroom cabinet but I’ve never had much luck with polyurethane or acrylic.  Maybe I need to sand it?  Since I don’t really care for how that finish turned out, the other two have remained “unfinished”.  I may have to spring for the Anne Sloan Clear Wax and then wax and buff the pieces.

Here’s the end result of the three cabinets….


Three coats later….

Three coats of home made chalk paint

Oct and Nov 12 cabinets, dressers etc 027

I took some spray adhesive and the same gift wrap that I used in my storage unit makeover.I’m still not sure about chalk paint but given that it cost me nothing to make it, I’m pretty pleased with the end results.


Sprayed the ugly backing with adhesive, covered with the gift wrap and re-attached the back to the unit.  Now that is what I call “pretty”!!!


At the end of the day (or week since that’s how look it took to finish them all). they’ve added some desperately needed storage and organization to this little cluttered house of mine.  I might be undecided about chalk paint but you can’t beat good storage solutions.

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  1. The chalk paint looks great!!! Glad you tried it before me!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that paper in the background. Look amazing! Great job!

    🙂 Cait @

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