Basic Beginner? Don't Make Expensive Chalk Painting Mistakes!

Shabby chic toy box painted by Wild Attic.

When I first heard of Annie Sloan chalk paint we had retired and moved to Texas. With an extensive background in being a "crafter' and experience in home decor I thought it would be a fun hobby to try painting a few small items. I quickly became hooked and my little hobby quickly grew into a full time business for not just me, but my husband as well.

Boutique and name brand chalk paints can be expensive. Before you invest in expensive paint, brushes, wax and other supplies, I spent over $100 before I even started on a little picture frame! I suggest you start slowly. ​With this in mind I want to offer a little advice to beginning chalk painters.

Purchase a few sample paints from Home Depot, Lowe’s or other vendors. Some boutique paint brands offer sample packages at a reasonable price. My preferred brand is a flat Behr Paint and Primer. The sample is less than $4 and you can choose any color you desire.

With an 8 oz size of latex paint you can mix a large tablespoon full of plaster of paris in a little hot water till runny and smooth and then mix it into your paint really well. Use a kitchen mixer to get it nice and smooth. I still strain my paint with a fine mesh strainer after mixing. Now you have your own DIY chalk paint!

You can paint wood, plastic, metal, glass, etc. Wash and clean your items before painting. This is called "prepping" them.

I like to use the $5 Wooster Short Cut rubber handled paint brush and lots of cheap "chippy" brushes. They are really all you need to get started and to create a beautiful masterpiece! There are very expensive brushes on the market but you can achieve wonderful results with simple brushes.

To seal the chalk paint you can begin with waxing with Johnson Paste wax as a very reasonable alternative to high-end waxes or other finishes.

Paint fun and simple items at first. Look around your home or visit a local thrift shop. Paint mirrors, picture frames, bread box, decorative wall shelves, etc. Experiment using different colors, distressing with sandpaper, adding wax or metallic decorative paint accents. Your imagination is your limit!

Chalk painted picture frame painted by Wild Attic.

If you need help on techniques or inspiration for you projects check out Pinterest, Facebook painting groups, Instagram and other sites like YouTube.

There is no need to spend a ton of money when you first begin. Once you decide you love painting, then you can invest in better supplies, classes, and you might want to start it as a business.

Join us next year on our Furniture Painting Business Tips Cruise, October 28, 2018, where you can learn more about furniture painting. We will help you take your painting and business skills to the next level while meeting furniture painting industry celebrities!

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