Whether you are a seasoned chalk painter, or you’ve never heard of the latest-and-greatest addition to the DIY world, THIS POST IS FOR YOU! I’m about to share the Three Key Elements to a successful (not to mention professional-looking) chalk paint experience.
Believe it or not, the Three Key Elements have less to do with talent or how much your paint costs, and more to do with wedding cake…
But, before we get to why…
Raise your hand if you jumped on the chalk paint band-wagon when you heard or read about any of these awesome benefits…
Raise your other hand if your projects turned out more like these chalk paint FAILS…
(Note: the above FAILS were painted with expensive, boutique chalk paint!)
…and a little less like Pinterest-worthy specimens you may have envisioned:
I believe the reasons behind chalk paint FAILS start with efforts to avoid these not-so-awesome features of traditional chalk paint…
The Three Key Elements to having a successful chalk paint experience take into account the positive attributes of chalk paint as well as avoid the negative ones, and…
THEY AREN’T WHAT YOU THINK!
KEY ELEMENT #1
Your cake would NOT turn out as expected! Even though baking soda and baking powder look and feel almost identical, they have very different properties.
The same is true with chalk paint!
DIY “recipes” include ingredients NOT INTENDED FOR CHALK PAINT, some of which may even be caustic—definitely NOT a property of true chalk paint. Ingredients that cause paint to harden or require protective gear when using DO NOT CREATE TRUE CHALK PAINT!
Other “recipes” include ingredients that look like “chalk” but don’t contain all the features of the minerals contained in a true chalk paint. They may help paint bond, but they lack other desirable properties like manipulatability. Chalk painting is MORE than just getting paint to stick to any surface!
There is no reason to sacrifice any of the features of chalk paint just to save money.
This is the #1 reason I use BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder. It’s affordable, I can choose my own color, and I mix up just as much or as little paint as I need for zero waste. BB Frösch is made with all-natural minerals that were specifically formulated for making chalk paint.
BB Frösch is more than just the right minerals for bonding, self-leveling and manipulatability, it is processed optimally to a super-fine density for an incredibly smooth and gorgeous finish.
I firmly believe that a well-done chalk painted piece should not only LOOK amazing, it should FEEL just as amazing.
Think again of the wedding cake…
When the recipe calls for an egg, imagine using a hard-boiled egg…see why the way the ingredients are processed matters?
KEY ELEMENT #2
Imagine making the delicate flowers on your wedding cake with a plastic fork. Sure, with years of experience and unfathomable amounts of patience, I suppose it’s possible. But, when you use the right tools for the job, the outcome is not only beautiful, the process itself is waaaaay more rewarding.
When it comes to chalk painting, TOOLS MATTER! People ask me all the time if they have to have the “expensive” brushes. The truth is, chalk paint can be applied with any method typically used for any other kind of paint.
This means you can use a roller, a sprayer, a cloth…heck, use your fingers if you want. After all, the paint will bond, but it’s more than just getting paint to stick to stuff, remember?
They key is knowing which tools will achieve the results you are after, and then using the right tool.
Don’t blame the paint when you use a cheap brush and get brush strokes—it would be like blaming the cow when your steak comes out gross because you cooked it in a toaster.
When brushing, I use BB Frösch brushes. They are less expensive than traditional boutique brands, but they have a few added features over cheap brushes and brushes that are made for different kinds of paint.
When spraying, I prefer the Homeright Finishmax. It provides an even finish, consistent pressure, and it doesn’t need a separate compressor.
Incidentally, the right tools aren’t just limited to a good brush or sprayer. Believe it or not, sandpaper, lint free cloths and water are also all tools that, when used right, can achieve incredible results.
KEY ELEMENT #3
Back to the wedding cake…even armed with all kinds Pinterest photos and blog posts about how to make a wedding cake, it only makes sense that a little practice and some hands-on experience go a long way to achieving the most beautiful cake possible. Without it, even if you have the right ingredients and tools, you can end up with something like this:
Photos and tutorials are amazing. Even having someone describe how they achieved a certain look can be helpful, but attending a hands-on workshop saves all kinds of time when it comes to understanding the countless ways to manipulate chalk paint. If you don’t live in an area with a BB Frösch master, email the company to find out about workshops coming to your area.
A little practice allows you the opportunity to play with chalk paint and discover which tools, processes and finishes you prefer. You may discover that what one person recommends isn’t your preferred way of doing things at all!
True, chalk paint IS amazing and, well, MAGIC, but get a little practice under your belt with a couple smaller projects first before tackling a project like kitchen cabinets.
ALL three elements are essential. One or two without the third yields less-than-desirable results. Trust me. These elements are the difference between just getting paint on a piece and having a beautiful, professional-looking (and feeling) outcome…
…the difference between just painting and having an amazing experience that transforms…
…a difference like this: