Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chalk Paint - Using Builders Lime.

If you've been popping in here for a while you might remember this dressing table which is in our main bedroom....It was once my grandmother's, she gave it to Mum and it was in our childhood home for all the years l can remember, Mum then offered it to me in the 80's and l spent way too many tedious hours stripping back 50 years of paint colours.... so even though l was over the brown timber look YEARS ago, after all that work l was reluctant to repaint it again....However the time had COME and last week l decided to make up some chalk paint to give it that vintage painted look....l was going for pretty, but not perfect or precious in any way.

There's a before pic at the end of this post.

l decided to make up my own chalk paint for a few reasons....the main one being that l didn't want to have to order and then wait for it to arrive, l wanted to paint NOW....(Bron's so patient...said NO-ONE EVER:-)
Also l wanted the option to make up my own colour and the fun of experimenting with the builders lime which we had on hand in the garage.....l'd read that calcium carbonate made the best chalk paint and since that's pretty much what lime is, l figured it should work much the same way. 

l used 2 teaspoons (level) of lime which was mixed with the same amount of water. This mixture was added to about a cup of paint (Dulux acrylic). It thickened up quickly so l added more water to keep the texture to that of pancake mix. If you want to try this it might pay to wear some (disposable) gloves and glasses (l used sunnies) as (hubby says), the builders lime may be an irritant. Once the mix was blended into the paint l removed the gloves and glasses had no problems. The paint was lovely and smooth and painted on easily. No undercoating or sanding was done at all, but since the dressing table had previously been coated in high gloss varnish, 3 coats of paint were needed for good coverage. l did NOT use any wax finishing...nothing about this paint job was to be shiny or new looking, nor did l seal the paint for protection.

The three coats of paint were done the same day, then l waited 'til the next day before l went at it with the electric sander....This was done fairly randomly, though paying special attention to what l considered might be the wear points.
l thought about painting flowers on the drawers, but decided instead to use decoupage cut-outs. You can see in this photo where the decals were sanded before pasting, to give them a time-worn look as well. Some of the decals tore away in small areas which to my eye adds to the effect.
The drawer pulls are ceramic and were some l already had....they were right for the job, except for the colour (burgundy and white stripes) so l painted them too with 3 coats of the same chalk paint and was surprised at how well it covered, l don't think it'll wear off seems to be stuck hard.

l also experimented on this old jar....l chose this one because of the embossed writing on the surface. Once the entire jar was painted and dry l was able to sand across the lettering to make it stand out, and also sanded away at a few of the edges of the lid to add the vintage touch.

This cardboard hatbox also got the treatment, l'd found the cardboard crown months ago and the lid of the box seemed like the perfect place to glue it on. The crown was painted and rubbed back for effect. 

Any way to me the dressing table matches the bedroom way better and that corner is no longer dark and uninviting.

l really pared back on the stuff l kept out on the dressing table as well, and chose only the things l use and just a few pretties:-)  


Before....boring, ick orange/brown.

Well l hope you enjoyed this post and that it's of help if you're looking to try out your own chalk paint experience:-)

Have an awesome weekend whatever you're up to.

Til next time,




  1. witam z tej strony anita z polski wspaniale to wszystko uwielbiam. pozdrawiam serdecznie.

    1. Thanks so much for popping in and leaving your comment, have a great week:-)

  2. I love, love, love this room. Nothing could fit any better than the dresser. The redo is incredible.

    1. Thanks so much Bonnie, l'm so glad you enjoyed the makeover.

  3. Una meravigliosa trasformazione!!!

    1. Thanks so much Blella for your lovely comment, it really was a fun makeover:-)

  4. This is an absolutely stunning transformation!! It is an entirely new and different piece - so light and pretty! I love what you did to the jar and hat box as well. This shade of light pink is so gorgeous! You have inspired me to be more creative. Thankyou as always for your beautiful photos!

  5. Thanks so much for your lovely and much appreciated comment Jennelise, and l'm so happy you enjoyed the post....l mean that's what it's all about isn't it.... being inspired, and hopefully inspiring others on our journey across the land of blog:-))

  6. Wow.... really impressive!!!.... love it very much.

  7. l'm so glad you stopped by Sandy as it gave me the chance to pop and visit your blog which is beautiful, l love what you did with the chandelier..... l'm now your newest follower. Thanks so much for your lovely comment:-)

  8. !What a lovely transformation! , Love the softness of the color.

  9. What nice and cool! What a differance! Nice style do you have of your room!
    Regards Janny
    Paper roses