Monday, February 11, 2013

New Chalk Paint Recipe and a Desk Reveal

Several weeks ago I posted about the desk I worked on with my mom on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. By "worked on with" I mean painted while she busted her butt to sand and refinish the entire top. I didn't get it oiled and moved off the porch and back into the house until a week or so later. Ever since I've been meaning to move our desk stuff back into it and stage it for some glamor shots.

That's not going to happen in the near future and I'm working on being honest with myself about what I can actually accomplish and not starting new projects I won't finish.

I've come to terms with it. I hope you have too and you appreciate the poorly lit shots I took.

Before I show them to you I want to share my mom's new homemade chalk paint recipe. It is a MASSIVE improvement over the old one.


1 part HOT water
1 part plaster of Paris
3 parts paint

Mix the water and plaster and shake the bejesus out of it, shake it like a Polaroid picture, shake it like I don't know what, but shake it really, really well. Then just add the paint and shake it a bit more. It was the most amazing painting experience I have ever had in my whole life.

I mean that.

My WHOLE life.

Anyways, so those iffy, dark pictures of the amazing desk I promised you.

Someday you'll see some improved shots. Maybe when I add the room to the house tour.


  1. Your post couldn't come at a more perfect time!!!!! I was going to try a homemade chalk recipe this weekend! This is the one I am starting with. :) Thanks Amber.

  2. Amber, did you have to seal the desk? If so, what did you use? Thanks

    1. I'm glad it was helpful. I don't know if I "had" to seal the desk, but since chalk paint is porous I opted to use boiled linseed oil on it.

  3. Plaster of Paris is toxic to breathe. Be sure to wear a mask when mixing and no kids in the room. It is a Carcinogen.

    1. You should check your packaging and follow all the instructions, especially those related to protective equipment. However, not all plaster of Paris is carcinogenic. That depends on whether or not it contains crystalline silica which is carcinogenic and is sometimes included in small amounts. If you're in doubt, you can always look up the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

  4. Amber, what is your secret for making it so chippy? I used your chalk paint formula and it is turning out GREAT! However, I am not getting any chippy spots....It is distressing great on the edges, but I LOVE the legs of your desk, but am not having any luck getting that look. Any advice? Thanks.

    1. I think that actually may be the result of not cleaning the desk before I painted it. In which case my advice is be as lazy as humanly possible. In case that's not it, I sanded it using the waterproof super fine (like 220 I think) sandpaper and a power sander. I think that generally ends up looking chippier than hand sanding, but I'm not really sure if that's the case. I've also heard that taking a hair dryer to the surface to dry chalk paint can make it extra chippy/cracky, but that's only helpful on your next project. Let me know if a power sander works. I'm actually super curious now.



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