There’s a wealth of pages on the internet that extol the virtues of chalk paint, yet very few of them prepare you for what chalk paint looks like when you start to apply it on a piece of furniture. One coat in, and I was positive that I had ruined this desk I just purchased. In a panic, I went on an internet hunt trying to find what to expect. Nothing, nada, not one single thing told me that the first coat was going to look more like a milky glaze than actual paint.
The picture above says it all, the lower portion shows what one coat of the chalk paint looked like. Thankfully I forged on and tried out a second coat. By coat number 3 it was completely covered, and awesome looking. Three coats on the desk took a bit longer than I had expected, and more paint than I thought, but I was really pleased with the look.
At this point it’s probably a good thing to say that you can minimize streaks by using a high quality brush when painting. You can also put chalk paint on with one of those high density foam rollers. When you’re applying, brush over and move on. If you continue to paint in the same area, you’ll end up pulling up the other layers, and wind up with a mess. Trust yourself, watch for drips, and have patience.
The only thing I had left was to update the top of the desk. Sure, I could have probably used the chalk paint on top, but I wanted something different. I was already in experimental mode, so I decided to try some laminate paint. I’d seen this product in our home improvement stores, and was curious. it allows you to paint over any laminate counter top. It’s self leveling, so it will even out any streaks or flaws. Pricey, yes, but we’ve wanted a way to update our kitchen without replacing everything. This would make a great experiment.
I’m going to be honest at this point. I’ll never use this counter top paint again. Never. Again. For a product that will obviously be used indoors, the smell is horrid and lingering. Two days later and the stench was still around. Also, the product takes a full three days to cure. Yep, three whole days. Even with a fan going, windows open and everything, it did take a complete three days for this product not to be tacky to the touch or smudge with fingerprints. The final nail in the coffin, and the one thing they don’t warn you about, is once it touches skin, despite the three day drying, it will adhere immediately, dry and stain the skin.
Despite all the bad, the end result was still fairly nice. I went with a nice deep grey paired with the white. It’s a pleasant look. We fitted the drawer with some hardware, a nice oil rubbed bronze pull, and now it’s ready to be used to the fullest.
Overall, chalk paint is pretty useful, and I will definitely use it in other projects. I’ve actually started updating a bookshelf using the same colors as the desk. This will be the home for my fabric and thread. I still like the look of wood, and I wouldn’t use this to paint over any antique, but it’s nice to have a quick solution to turn an otherwise eye-sore into something more beautiful and useful.
If you’re looking for the beginning post to this story, or need the recipe for chalk paint, it’s here, in the first post in this series.