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Hey there! Let’s jump right in, shall we? I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at chalk painting and let me tell you it was sooooo easy!
I was super intimidated by all of the really pretty furniture I had seen done by others that I thought, “Ain’t no way mama gonna make it look that nice.” Well, I proved my self wrong and have a fantastic finished product to show for it. Now I’m going to show you how I did it!
I found the style of sign that I wanted at Hobby Lobby (A. K. A. my second home) and also the chalk paint I was going to use. I wasn’t sure if my piece would turn out as nice looking because the chalkpaint is on the cheaper end of the spectrum but it turned out better than I had imagined. I highly recommend the Folkart chalk paint for newbies or for smaller projects because of it price and ease of use. And if you make a mistake, you’re not out that wad of cash you spent on the more expensive kind.
I applied two coats and there is still half a bottle left. I am brainstorming as I write what other projects I could paint with it.
I painted the piece first in “Linen” by Folkart paint (not pictured). I wanted a creamy color peaking through after I distressed the piece. Let that dry and painted a second coat on top of that.
Next came the chalk paint.
I have never used Annie Sloan chalk paint or any other professional chalk paint so I have nothing to compare it to. This chalk paint is very smooth and dries very quickly! It says it takes a couple of hours to dry between coats but mine dried much faster because I was in a nice toasty room. Applied a second coat to cover up the cream color and waited for it to dry.
Next, I used a really fine grit to sand the edges of the sign. 220 grit, to be exact.
It’s hard to tell in the above picture but I only sanded the edges to give it depth and dimension. It only took a few strokes to take the chalk paint off to let the cream show through.
Next came the more trickier part.
I was originally going to free hand the lettering because I have done so many times before buuuut not with paint. So I didn’t trust my hand this time because paint isn’t as forgiving as pencil or actual chalk.
I found this pretty font here and traced it onto the board. I created some guidelines so that the words would be straight. I took off part of the curl on the C because it was too difficult to trace.
I used a white eraser so as not to leave any pink smudges on my work. I didn’t bother erasing the lines in the letters themselves because I knew the paint would cover them up.
This part was a little more time-consuming than the rest of it but the sense of accomplishment when you finish is well worth the effort, right? Like when you finish organizing your pantry…oh, just me that feels that way?
Okay, moving on.
I used the same color as the base coat and started painting my letters on it.
The above picture is the first coat. See, the pencil lines are already covered even with just that one coat.
And here’s the second coat.
Now comes the part I was most terrified of. The wax coat. I even left the project sitting several days because I didn’t feel up to the task. That, and my children and laundry were calling to be taken care of.
Then I just had to bite the bullet and get on with it.
Again, I haven’t tried the wax from Annie Sloan, or any other wax for that matter, but this seemed to do the trick. For those of you new to chalk painting and such, you need to wax your piece afterwards so all your hard work doesn’t get scratched off. This is what’s called “sealing” your work. If your piece is a going to be in a high traffic area you should seal it with something more heavy duty like a polycrylic. Otherwise a soft wax should be just fine.
I went with a clear wax because I didn’t want it to have that antique look like a brown wax would give because I didn’t think the brown wax would look good over the grey. This Folkart wax is super runny. Very similar to Mod Podge. You need to allow the wax twenty-four hours to dry before your next coat if you want to do two. When it is dry it feels very smooth. The bottle says you can buff it with a rag and that it can be washed with soap and water, which is good to know because I want to hang this in the kitchen where food could potentially get splattered on it.
Time to add the hardware.
Lay your work on a towel (or an old t-shirt of your husband’s) so your work doesn’t get scratched and draw a long line across the back so your hanging hooks will be lined up. To keep these little babies from moving around while you hammer in the nails just put a little piece of tape across the top of it. Now you’re free to hammer away.
I put two hanging hooks on the back because I wanted it to be extra secure.
This is the hook size I used. The 1 1/4 inch measurement is the length of the hook not including the screw thread. Make sure to bring the cup you will be hanging on your board with you to the hardware store or measure the width of the coffee cup handle because the first hooks I bought were too small and I had to take them back. Your local Ace Hardware store will most likely carry these or you can get them here.
Flip your piece over and add the hooks. I spaced mine about 3 1/2 inches apart. I estimated this spacing by placing the cups in a hanging fashion next to the work to see how far apart I would need to space them so they didn’t knock into each other.
These little hooks hold up to 20 lbs! Do you hear that? That is the sound of my heart beating thinking about how much coffee a cup that big would hold!
Any who! These hooks are fairly easy to screw in. Just apply a small amount of pressure and twist at the same time and the hook should screw in smoothly.
And now, the piece de resistance…
Aren’t these little espresso cups adorable? These cups are from Starbucks but I don’t think they make this kind anymore. There are very similar ones here. My son loves drinking hot chocolate out of these and pretends that he is drinking coffee like mommy and daddy. The cups only hold 3 ounces so I don’t feel bad about giving him that little of hot chocolate.
Well, there you have it folks!
What chalk paint projects have you been dying to try but have been too intimidated to start? I would love to hear from you!