Upcycling is all its chalked up to be!

Upcycling is all its chalked up to be! My furniture makeoverI decided to take advantage of my time this winter break and my daughters room needed a facelift. More like a girly touch. All of her furniture is hand me downs. Her dresser is from her great grandpa handed down by my MIL. Her crib is from her big brothers. Having a girl is so much fun. It’s a completely different world from boy stuff, but man is it expensive. Being a student and living on one income does not leave much room for brand spanking new much of anything. I don’t mind it that way, but I’ve never really taken something old and transformed it into a new piece.

Crib BeforeI took to Pinterest almost immediately, a few years ago. It’s actually a horrible drug that I avoid like the plague. After talking to my favorite crafter and doing some pinning I decided to look into painting furniture using chalk paint. It’s easily made and can be quite the fixer upper. I started by deciding my color scheme. A mermaid room was a must for my girl. Not the Disney version, but something low key, girly and beachy was my goal. I absolutely loved the colors- turquoise, shades of greens, pinks, purples and beachy whites. I loved the idea that she could grow with it if she choose to. I knew the pieces I wanted to transform, and got a recipe for homemade chalk paint:

1.5 cups of latex paint (low to zero VOC, preferred)

1 c plaster of Paris

1/2 c water

I sat in the paint department looking for samples for over an hour. It’s nerve wrecking. Not to mention I decided to be bold with my pieces and color choices. That in itself is scary. I would have loved to use Annie Sloan chalk paint. Where we live it’s not available unless it’s ordered, and it’s pricey for our current budget.

I took to Valspar paint at my local Lowe’s store and chose my colors. Went home. Still felt unsure of the moves I was about to make. Balls to the wall, I mixed my paint up and started on the crib. The cool part about chalk paint is the no effort prep work that goes into it. I didn’t have to sand or strip a thing. I simply wiped down the crib to eliminate debris and I chose to gently sand the bite marks along the railings. I applied the paint with a foam brush for the crib edges, also using a cabinet foam roller for the bigger areas. I was pleasantly surprised at how even the paint distributed. Chalk paint dries incredibly fast. It’s also easy to wash off hands, especially when wet. After it was all completed, I let the crib sit for 24 hours. I decided I LOVED the way the color came out and didn’t want to distress the furniture. I picked up some finishing wax and distributed an even coat, let sit for 2 hours and added another coat of wax and let it cure for another 24 hours.

Crib AfterI followed this piece with a dresser. I did all of the above, but distressed it for a shabby, beachy, cottage feel. YouTube helped tremendously. It’s intimidating the first time you decide to take sandpaper to a beautiful paint job. I chose areas I wanted to look worn and aged and took a medium 120 grit sand paper to them. You get a sense of being unsure just before you really LOVE the distressing. I just remember thinking I made a mistake and shouldn’t have sanded the areas and then suddenly it looked perfect.

Distressing the DresserWhat I would suggest is finding a low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint to use for your chalk paint recipe. This makes it a safer medium, lowering the fumes and toxicity the paint gives off. I used Valspar paint, which has a low VOC. Especially with my daughter’s crib, which was a major concern of mine.

I will definitely find more items around the house to take a brush to. It was such a fun treat and upgrading my daughter’s room was a huge plus for me!

What was your latest home project? Have you ever used chalk paint?

Enjoy your next project idea!

The Naturalist Mom

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