Monday, March 31, 2014

Chalk Painting an Antique Eastlake Dresser DIY

I have had this antique Eastlake dresser for a number of years and a number of moves. Unfortunately it has not done well in the last move. The wheels underneath were damaged and the over-all structural strength of the dresser seemed to be less and less. Afraid to use it until it was repaired, it has been in my garage for a little while awaiting my inspired efforts to return it to some of its former glory.

Using my favorite site for inspiration, Pinterest, I saw lots and lots of projects using "chalk" paint. Now don't misunderstand, this is not chalkboard paint, but chalk paint. Chalk paint is a modified paint that dries to look similar to aged paint, sans the crackle that was so popular in the 1990's. After painting, you wax the piece to retain the beauty and protect the paint job.

The chalk paint is rather expensive in the DIY stores, so I made my own. Here is how to mix your own chalk paint: In a disposable plastic bucket, mix 1 quart of latex-based paint (satin or flat), 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris together. Stir well.

That's it. Chalk paint is simple to make. Just remember to stir frequently as the plaster tends to settle at the bottom and the water rises to the surface. I painted two coats for good coverage, but you determine how much you will need based on your own tastes. After the paint has had time to dry, rub on a layer of furniture paste wax. Allow to dry and buff gently.

Here are the before and afters (I will update the after picture with a better one once I move to the new house. For now I just have the garage shot):

Before. Pretty and simple.
If only it could have survived the last move.

After: Pretty and repaired.

Here are photos of the process. There are many shots I took as I went along.

Damaged wheels had to be removed.

This one is missing the roller portion.

Furniture glue and clamps along with nails to reinforce.

Adding Plaster of Paris

I mixed it directly in the can because I had used
some of the paint for another project and had room.

Use a fine brush to paint around details. 

I love the carving on this mirror.

Protect with a coating of paste wax.

Reassembled with the original marble slabs.

I love how the details pop out against the chalk paint.

Ugh, now on to cleaning that garage!