I’ve been wanting to try chalk paint for quite some time now, but I just couldn’t justify the cost of Annie Sloan. It’s nothing personal Ms. Sloan. We live on one income and have teenagers. With an eensie weensie teeny tiny budget like mine, it is imperative to find alternatives to the “real deal.”
I’ve seen several homemade recipes on pinterest for chalk paint. When I finally found a pin that featured four recipes, I just had to check it out. Denise at Salvaged Inspirations put all four to the test. Since she has worked with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before, I trusted her judgement. Her results and the recipes can be found here.
I used the No. 2 recipe to paint these dining room chairs. It only took 2 coats of paint and I didn’t even have to use primer!
I wanted to age them and bring out the design on the chair back, but all I had on hand was plain paste wax. So, I did the sensible thing and went to Pinterest. My search wasn’t resulting in a DIY of tinting plain paste wax. So I went to Google. I ❤ Google.
I found what I was looking for at Saving 4 Six. Carrie took on the experiment of tinting paste wax for a project. The DIY tutorial can be found here.
After Sanding the “aged” areas and applying the tinted paste wax the chair looked like this:
I apologize for the poor picture quality. We’ve been having a lot of summer rain lately and the garage lighting is awful.
Here is a quick roundup of the chalk paint and tinted paste wax:
Because I do not want to take credit for the work of others, please refer to the instructions on the links above.
What you need to make chalk paint:
3 Parts Latex Paint
1 Part Plaster of Paris
A little bit of water for mixing
What you need to tint plain paste wax:
Oil based stain
What adventures have you had in DIYing your own version of an expensive product?
A few weeks ago I found a treasure trove of items at my local thrift store…all at 30% off the sticker price. Oh how I love the Purple tag sale days! I found a Rococo style mirror from the ’70’s, a Rococo style wall planter thingy, two matching wall decor frames, and this beautiful bronze candle sconce from the ’60’s. Okay, I know, it’s ugly. But I knew that it had the potential to be beautiful.
I removed the mirror and then sprayed the sconce down with a light solution of TSP and water and then scrubbed it with a nylon brush.
After it had dried, I noticed that the dust/dirt build up in the crevices was still there, so I sprayed it again with the TSP and used a brass cleaning brush. I got a set of three prepping brushes in the paint section at Lowe’s for about $3; Included were: a nylon brush, a brass brush, and a steel brush.
After it was dry–again–I gave it a nice coat of primer.
Now to choose a color. Blue? Turquoise? Yellow? Red?
I really could not make up my mind, so I posted the pics up on FB for a vote.
And the winning color was: Turquoise!
And if you forgot how ugly it was here’s a before and after to enjoy.
Anyone who is a fan of DIY vintage furniture and Pinterest has seen those darling vintage suitcase tables. There are even a few leads to a semi tutorial on Pinterest. However, I have yet to find one with full details, not to mention photos of the interior.
About two months ago I found two fantastic vintage suitcases. The tweed suitcase is from the 1940’s and the interior was in bad shape. But it was only $10 at my local ARC Thrift store. I bought them with the intention turning them into tables. I also found two great mid-century modern end tables at the thrift store–for $4 each!
I put the project off for a while because I wanted to find the perfect fabric for the interior. I had finally given up my search for the perfect fabric when I realized that I had a tablecloth that I had found on clearance at Target for around $3 last year. So I finally got to work on the suitcase. It turned out to be a lot more work than I had thought it would be.
First, I had to rip out the old interior–which wasn’t so hard because it was peeling off everywhere. I could have sworn that I took a pic before I started tearing out the interior–but alas it is NOT on my camera. So here is a partial pic for you to enjoy.
The interior is still quite a mess–even after a mild scraping.
This is what the interior pieces looked like before I prepped them for cutting.
Though I liked the satin fabric, I wasn’t a fan of the color. And they were SUCH a mess!
My first step (besides cleaning out the suitcase, which I was putting off for as long as possible) was to determine the best way to make a pattern with the pieces. I figured that I would use the hems of the tablecloth to my advantage, so I laid the trim for the bottom of the suitcase out like this:
*Take note that the longer piece was supposed to cover the back of the suitcase where the hinges are (from the bottom to the top).
After cutting out the edging, I wanted to give it a dry fit.
Yeah, that is NOT right! I must admit that when I began this “little” project it was almost midnight and I’m not sure that my logic center was awake.
Instead of trying again, I just cut the excess off. I figured it would probably look ok without the long piece to cover the hinges. So I carried on.
I really wanted to make sure that I lined up the seam of the fabric with the seam of the suitcase for a more professional look.
*Note–the picture above most accurately reflects the color of the fabric.
Using push pins, I placed the fabric just beneath the “lip” of the suitcase interior. Be careful not to push the pins in too far–you don’t want to puncture the suitcase.
I did run into another snag while I was dry-fitting the edging. The suitcase has two little hooks that perhaps at one time held a divider in place. i pinned around over them and decided that I would figure out how to integrate them later.
I really liked the way it looked and fit. Next up was pinning and cutting out the top and bottom interior pieces.
I also dry-fit the top and bottom pieces, crossing my fingers that it would work (I really didn’t have the energy to try again if it didn’t). i folded the raw edges under to give it a clean look.
Perfect! But I really wish I had started with the top and bottom pieces first! Would have made life easier.
Still avoiding a thorough cleaning of the suitcase, I decided to work on the vintage table in the morning.
It was easy to disassemble. The tabletop was screwed into the wood base with 9 screws. I love the top so much, that I am thinking about turning it into a tray–but that is a project for another day.
I sanded the legs down with 100 grit sandpaper, followed by 120 and 150. The wood was gorgeous. Initially I had thought that it was made from pine and stained a dark cherry. Nope–it IS cherry wood! So after using a tack cloth to remove all of the dust & grit, I coated the legs and base with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish. I really love water based products–clean-up is so easy!
Absolutely beautiful! I just knew the table base would look fantastic with the suitcase.
No longer able to avoid the inevitable, I set out to clean the suitcase while the table base cured. Does polycrylic cure, set, or just dry? Well whatever the correct term is–I gave it a whole day.
I really don’t know why I was avoiding cleaning out the suitcase. With a putty knife, a wire brush, and a little elbow grease, it cleaned up quickly and nicely. Since I’m covering the interior with fabric, I wasn’t too worried about the bits that didn’t want to come off.
Now it was time to finish the suitcase table. I measured the exterior and the table base at least 5 times (because I am that paranoid about screwing it up).
Then I realized that I needed to find the center point of the suitcase and the table base. Okay, I’m not great at math and studied extra hard with tutors just to get a “B” in Liberal Arts Math. I’m not dumb, but when it comes to math my brain wants to shut down.
Anybody remember Windows’ Blue Screen of Death? Yup, that’s my brain with math.
I Turned my suitcase upside down and placed the table base on top. I measured from the outer edge of the table base to the inner edge (where the rubber edging started) and the center of each side to center the table base on the suitcase.
When I had the table centered over the suitcase, I had someone hold it in place while I drilled the holes.
I thought that it would be easiest to work with the top of the suitcase before screwing it into the table base, so I went ahead and glued the fabric to the top of the suitcase at this time.
Having learned from the dry fitting, I glued the top piece in before I started on the edges.
I used hard coat Mod Podge.
I coated the entire “top” of the suitcase in Mod Podge, making sure that to do a heavy coating around the edges. I began on the center edge and smoothed it up, down, and outwards as went across the surface. I also made sure to add a little extra up the sides to ensure good coverage. Next, I started on the edging.
*Note* I learned the hard that I should have at least used the no sew hem tape on the raw edges before I began. If I were to do this again, I would have pinned the raw edge while doing the dry fitting.
Remember those little hooks? I cut a slit in the fabric, close to the finished edge and slipped the hook through it. Worked out well.
After all of the edging is done, let it dry for about 15 minutes, then seal the fabric with a top coating of Mod Podge. After the top coat of Mod Podge was applied, I used the push pins around the corners and along the seam to hold the fabric in place while it dried.
Once the top was dry, I screwed the suitcase onto the table.
It is finally time to add the fabric interior. Again, I started with the main surface piece and used the process as I did with the top.
Now you have a fantastic and unique accent or end table.
I was enjoying a cup of coffee in my not-so-formal-formal-living-area and was suddenly struck in the face by a wall. I really was minding my own business and thinking how nicely my formal living area is coming along—slow, but steady progress has been made. That is I was admiring it until I noticed the large and long wall that joins the formal dining room to the formal living room. It’s not like I have never seen this wall before—I just chose to ignore it. Well now I can no longer ignore my boring white wall. It has jumped out and slapped me square in the nose. So, for the next hour I contemplated the long and very white wall. I just stared at it. And then she arrived.
My muse is not the subtle type. Oh noooo. She does not simply blow her fine glittery magic dust in a little swirl of brilliance. She throws a huge fistful of glittery brilliance at my head. Did you know that glitter is sharp and it is quite shocking when suddenly thrown in your FACE?
I suddenly remembered seeing this lovely 1920’s painting titled Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire by Russell Patterson and thought, “that would look great on that large wall!”
Only, to find a reprint in the size I need is WAY over my budget…which had been $0.00 until I was slapped by a wall and glitterized by a not-so-amusing-muse.
My only option—since I could no longer focus on anything but my very long and very white wall—was to create my own art. I am creative and talented, but a reproduction of this gorgeous painting was way out of my league. I contemplated the very long and white wall dilemma for about another hour.
Like a flash of lightning seen out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the largish area rug that was rolled up and leaning in a corner of the room—it was patiently awaiting a trip to the thrift store.
It is four feet by six feet—and BLACK!
If you know where this is headed, then you are one step ahead of where my mind was at that moment.
First, I thought “I will get a wall stencil—some kind of damask—and paint the carpet silver or white.”
After some perusing online I decided that I really didn’t like that idea.
Maybe a landscape stencil? Nope. They were all either too expensive or too small.
Big groan. I decided that my muse was mean. She threw glitter at me and I came up empty handed. But the idea was still there….simmering. Then I was struck by more glitter.
Why couldn’t I just make my own stencil? GREAT idea! So I got out an old roll of wrapping paper and covered the carpet. Time to get fancy! Problem. I can’t draw. I do stick figures and rough idea sketches, but that is as far as I go. Stupid mean muse!
I’m lying on the carpet that is covered in scribbled on wrapping paper from two Christmases ago still envisioning Patterson’s painting on that wall when my beautiful and brilliant muse drowns me in glitter. I can’t draw, but I can make a stencil from an existing object!
Another problem—how the heck am I going to enlarge it? Aha! Microsoft Paint!
Why stop at a simple stencil? I envision a masterpiece. I will frame it in crown moulding. I will use a long silver chain, crystal beads, and silver fabric.
My husband then comes home, and as I am laying out my printed stencil I excitedly explain my brilliant idea. He says “sounds interesting, what’s for dinner?”
Here is my project thus far. Oh, and if you read all the way through this chaos, thank you! I promise to post updates as I work on this monstrous “masterpiece” of mine.
So back in ’89/’90 I had almost the exact same outfit as pictured and now my 15 year-old daughter wants one. Brings back the memory of wearing bell bottoms and flow-y type tops (or other miscellaneous 70’s tops/vests) with clogs (they had REAL wood bases and REAL leather).
My mom looked at me decked out in my awesome thrift store threads and sighed.
“Really, why would you wear that?” she inquired.
To which I simply replied, “Because it’s like totally cool, mom!”
So here I am. I’m now old enough to have a child call her high-waisted shorts “mom jeans” and digging through the endless thrift store racks for treasures of my past while listening to Madonna (the early years) and Cyndi Lauper on her MP3 player (because I refuse to buy the trendy i-gadgets). I clearly remember “discovering” and falling in love with my mom’s Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel albums (on vinyl of course).
When did this happen? Was this always destined to be, or is my daughter just like totally cool?