Be my guest: Primitive and Proper

I'm sure most of you already know my next guest.  Cassie has been around the blogosphere for a while and was one of the first furniture blogs I started reading.  She greatly inspired me to start my own blog and furniture refinishing.  This girl is so sweet and a genuine blog friend.  Always taking the time to comment and reply with sweet messages.  So here she is Cassie from Primitive and Proper!

Hello Between Blue and Yellow Friends!   I am Cassie from Primitive and Proper, where I blog about furniture makeovers (and have a weekly furniture link party), home decor and design, and all sorts of creative miscellany!  I am so excited to be here today on Kathleen's blog! In blogging terms, Kathleen and I go waaaaaay back and I am so looking forward to meeting her in person when we go to Haven!  And I get to spend an extra day after that with Kathleen, as she shows me the awesome shops in her neck of the woods.  I can't wait- we are going to have a blast!

Anyhow, a love of redoing furniture is what originally brought Kathleen and I together, so I thought I would share a furniture makeover with you today.  And how bout a little mix-it-yourself chalk paint, too?

I found these chairs on my local craigslist.  It was a set of 5 for $50, but one of them still needs some work, so I painted a set of 4 for now.  Here is what they looked like before... (sorry for the car, recycle bins, etc, but hey, we do live here, too!)

Now, if you follow me on my blog, you rarely see me do chair makeovers, and there is a reason.  I really do not like sanding all those small detailed areas that really have to be sanded by hand.  Chalk paint is a great solution, but at $38/qt, it's not exactly easy on the wallet.  So what's a girl to do?   Make my own chalk paint of course!  Because there was no way in heck I was sanding all those little spindles!

I have had a few blog friends already try this process out, so I checked out their posts about it.  I think Sherry was the first person to write about it, and then Sharon and Carmel both tried it, too.  Well, if a few of my blog friends could do it, I knew I could, too!  All I needed to buy for this was Plaster of Paris available at Home Depot.  I bought a small carton (And to tell the truth, I actually had my husband pick it up so I don't know the exact price, but it is dirt cheap.).

I mixed 2 parts latex paint to one part Plaster of Paris.  I used Dutch Boy's Lake Champlain left over from my sideboard.  Now to give you an idea of the aqua on the sideboard here is a picture:

As you can see the aqua is very pretty, but more vibrant than I wanted on the chairs.  I wanted the chairs to be more "faded" and worn looking.  I had heard that this method of mixing chalk paint created a lighter variation of the original color, so I went on mixing to see what would happen.  And the color came out perfectly!  It was exactly what I wanted!!!

I didn't prep the chairs except to lightly sand the backs and seats with my orbital sander.  Then I applied two coats of paint, which was plenty to provide the right coverage.  Now, as a note, I was very nervous after the first coat that it wasn't sticking properly.  However, once I added the second coat and the paint was thicker, I did not have those problems.

After the two coats dried, I used 150 grit sandpaper to distress the chairs by hand.  Here is an image that shows the chair on the left undistressed, and the chair on the right already distressed.
 I found the distressing with the homemade chalk paint MUCH easier than distressing with store bought. Also, with store bought, I go through several pieces of sand paper as the paint "gunks up" on my sandpaper.  I used one piece on all 4 of these chairs, and here is what it looked like when I was done.... still perfectly usable for the next distressing project!  I also liked the "chippy" look this paint had when distressed.  They looked well loved!

The final step I took was applying a finishing wax.  There are several brands out there, and I have a couple of favorites.  The one I used for this project was Briwax in natural.  I simply dipped a rag into the tub, and picked up a little at a time, wiping all surfaces of the chairs.  When I had finished, the chairs had just the look I was going for, and the wax gave them a nice hard finish.  Here they are, ready to be pulled up to a rustic farm table, or perhaps a modern white tulip table.  Chairs like these mix well with many styles!

Thank you so much, Kathleen, for having me here today!  I hope you will pop over and visit me at my blog!


  1. Oh, those chairs have a perfect aged chippy look! Love the style and color too! So glad the homemade chalk paint worked well for you. Isn't it fun to mix it up? I feel like a made scientist!And it's nice to have options!

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for posted this. I have been thinking about making my own chalk paint but you gave me the push I need. I didn't know I could get plaster of paris at Home Depot...thanks for that tidbit. I have a bunch of furniture lined up. These chairs are beautiful! I absolutely love them! If I lived closer, I would be buying them. Are you selling them or did I imagine that LOL! Love them Cassie!

  3. It looks really great Cassie, I guess I need to try to make my own chalkbaord paint! Thanks for telling us the finished color comes out a little lighter too...good to know!

  4. Cassie I'm so glad you posted on making chalk paint! I'm dying to try it! Love the color on the chairs.....robin's egg blue prettiness.

  5. Cassie is so brilliant! I didn't know you could make your own chalk paint like this. Those chairs are SO charming.

  6. Awesome Cassie! Thanks for the tip on the chalk paint! Makes me want to try it even more. Love the color you used! They look great!

  7. So awesome. Cassie is the guru of all things furniture! Thanks for sharing this guest post with us :)

  8. So trying this! First I need to get through my stash of ASCP, though. ;)

    I love the way they turned out, Cassie! Thanks for showing us your process.


  9. Cassie's makeovers are always fabulous, but I just LOVE this one! The chairs look so authentically old! The homemade chalk paint sounds good, too.

  10. thank you SO much ladies for all the wonderful comments! i will definitely make my own chalk paint again- it was to easy! :)

  11. BEAUTIFUL!!!!! If I lived closer to Cassie, those chairs would be MINE!!!

  12. I'm intriqued with the homemade chalk paint. I'll have to give this a try. I love Cassie's chairs and one of my favorite colors! She did a fantastic job on these. Cassie is such a sweetheart and always comes up with another wonderful furniture transformation. How fun you are both going to Haven and get to meet one another! I hope to be able to go.


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