The Miracle of Chalk Paint

One of my favorite colors is purple.

Not sedate lavender,

from whatscooking

or royal purple,

from wondercostumes

but in-your-face-Barney-the-dinosaur-obnoxious-fuschia-purple.

from giantbomb

So when I moved into the place where I currently reside and had the option to paint anything any color–

from kennysnap

–of course I chose to paint something purple. Not just any something, either.

My kitchen cabinets.

Why the hell not?


I poured over every paint chip at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Benjamin Moore.


Tried out Sherwin Williams.


Nobody had that exact shade. And since I couldn’t mind-meld with the paint lady or hope to get the right color  by saying “in-your-face-Barney-the-dinosaur…” I had to search for something that was The Purple. And I found it.

A Claire’s earring card.

from cupcakeonawire

So I happily tooled to Lowe’s with earring card, gave it to the paint lady, she looked at me like I was crazy, made the paint, and I tooled on home to slap some paint on laminate cabinets.

from apronstage

It was a nightmare. A frakking nightmare. The color was beautiful–that wasn’t the issue.

The problem was the application. Every coat of purple paint I laid down on that dad-blasted laminate seemed to become see-through like a cheap peep show.

from neatorama

I ended up painting those cabinets so many times I began to loathe the color purple. When I finally had opaque purple cabinets, I realized (with a sinking gut) that the paint lady had lied to me. I did need to prime.

Because the paint was peeling off.

from codedmonkey

So I did the only thing a sane person would do.

I coated every inch of those cabinets in polyurethane.


Now I had opaque shiny purple cabinets.

1/3 of my kitchen

I lived with them for 3 1/2 years and loved every minute of 3 1/4 years. However, these last few months I’ve begun to twitch just a little when I see the cabinets. Then I twitch even more thinking about what I’d have to do to repaint.

from filler

I confided in Earth Momma that I really, really wanted to paint my cabinets but that I just couldn’t handle the thought of sanding, priming and then painting again. I’ll deal with Barney.

She immediately hopped on the World Wide Web and did a little research. And she found….

chalk paint.

Nope–not chalkboard paint.

Chalk paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Apparently a woman named Annie Sloan invented this most wonderful and miraculous type of paint. It adheres to anything.

Anything, I tell you! Glass, metal, laminate…varnish.

AND with no sanding or priming.


 So I got into my car and tooled to Lowe’s. And they had never heard of chalk paint. Great. So I got on the World Wide Web and found out that the closest store to me that sold chalk paint was 2 hours away–totally not worth the 4 hour drive. But there was a store a state away that sold chalk paint–and shipped it. (here’s the link–check it out)

I placed an order for 2 quarts of white (and 1 of Duck Egg because it’s beautiful and I have so many pieces in my house that need beauty). The shipping time was incredibly fast. I placed the order on a Monday afternoon and on Wednesday when I got home from work I had a package of paint on my porch.

from sodahead

Let’s talk money, ok? Not in great detail, just broad thoughts.

Option 1

  • sanding, priming, latex paint, some type of sealant.

Labor intensive, cost prohibitive.

Option 2

  • chalk paint, some type of sealant.

Much less labor intensive, more approachable cost.

The chalk paint itself was $34.95 a quart. My kitchen cabinets (which are fairly extensive)  used 1 1/2 quarts for 3 coats. The shipping cost of all 3 quarts I purchased was about $17.

I think I came out ahead.

Just so you get a well-rounded picture of chalk paint and it’s magical properties, here’s a few snapshots of my Saturday.

First, here’s a really badly shot, up close and personal picture of a cabinet door.

cabinet door

One problem that began to occur over the years was portions of paint peeling off. Like this:


Here’s what part of the first coat of chalk paint looks like. It was more opaque than I had even hoped.

first coat

Two coats:


It ended up needing 3 coats to completely cover the purple.

I also have a set of 3 cabinets with really tacky inset glass that is etched and partly gold leafed. I know.


So to finally rid myself of this hideousness I painted 1 coat of white chalk paint on each piece of glass and after it dried I mixed a little white chalk paint with a lot of black chalkboard paint to get a dark grey chalkboard surface.

Here’s the first coat:


I ended up spending my whole Saturday doing this (which is why this post is a day late–everything I didn’t do Saturday I had to do Sunday and Monday….). But I am thrilled with the end product.

The final results:

view 1

view 2

suck it, martha.

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Categories: Projects


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10 Comments on “The Miracle of Chalk Paint”

  1. Earth Momma
    December 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I like it. Can’t wait to paint the walls and move the furniture! It will be like you moved…but without the blech of moving.

  2. December 26, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    I agree!!!!

  3. beachie
    March 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Wow!! You’re cabinets look great. This might be the push I needed to use the chalk paint on my ugly brown laminate cabinets. But I have a few questions:
    – do the chalk-painted cabinets have a matte finish?
    – did you use a sealer (if so, what did you use)?
    – or did you try the Anne Sloan wax finish? How many coats?
    – is the finished durable and scratch proof?

    Thanks for your help!

    • March 26, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks! It was surprisingly easy!

      –yes, the chalk paint has a matte finish. It feels a little chalky to the touch as well.
      –yes, I used a sealer. Instead of buying Annie Sloan’s furniture wax sealer, I just bought a standard furniture wax from Lowe’s and applied it with a brush. After one coat the chalky texture went away and after 2 it felt completely water-proof and slightly glossy. Not high-gloss by any means, but definitely not matte any more.
      –so far the finish is durable and scratch proof. After I painted the cabinets purple a few years ago, I had scratches and nicks to the finish within days, but not this time. I’m actually pretty impressed with the final product.

      I’d do it again, and hope that it works out for you as well!

  4. Geri
    April 25, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    FAB! Inspirational, I am going to paint my kitchen too, I have a huge kitchen table that needs doing first though will let you know how I get on 🙂

    • April 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Let me know how it goes! Check out all the colors of the chalk paint–there are some great ones.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    I make my own chalk paint. Just mix some plaster of paris into your regular paint, add a little water and you’ve got chalk paint. It makes the most beautiful finish! I’m just painting everything in the house with it. I’m doint my bathroom cabinet first before I take on the kitchen!

  6. Mya
    October 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Did you use the wax after painting?

    • November 1, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      I did! I had to do two coats, though. It seems to be holding up rather well.

    • November 1, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      I did! I had to use two coats, though. Seems to be working rather well.

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