Friday, August 1, 2014

Chalk Painting Tutorial for Miniatures

Chalk paint has a velvety, dull finish that gives the appearance of old, painted furniture. You may have seen chalk paint used on full size furniture found on Pinterest and on blogs. Here is a tutorial for mixing your own chalk paint and adding a finish to create that perfect, vintage look!

This is a great way to enhance the look of manufactured dollhouse furniture!

Tools and supplies
  • sifter
  • various grits of sandpaper
  • small whisk to use in paint
  • stain in your choice of colors
  • X-ACTO knife with extra blades
  • airtight plastic container for paint
  • soft rags for wiping stain and buffing wax
  • paintbrushes: 3/4” wide flat brush, approx. 1/4” wide flat brush, small detail brushes
  • paints: off-white latex/household emulsion; acrylic colors of your choice to tint the off-white paint
  • calcium carbonate (available in small quantities from wine making shops)
  • paste wax (I like the American Paint Company brand because it is not harmful to breathe or to work with)
Mix 2 parts latex/household emulsion paint and 1 part sifted calcium carbonate into a small, airtight container. Whisk together until the paint is completely smooth (this takes a while).

Add a VERY TINY amount of the acrylic paint to the latex mixture and whisk. Keep adding acrylic paint and mixing until the desired color is achieved. Remember: the paint will dry darker than the color of the wet paint.

Creating samples
Make sample chips using scrap pieces. This is a great time to learn about chalk paint and using it with stain and wax finishes, so don’t skip this step! You may wish to try various combinations of finishes, for example:
  • stain, paint, wax
  • paint, sand some areas bare, stain bare areas, wax
  • paint, wax
  • how about stain, paint, gold marker, wax?
Have fun and be creative! Don’t forget to write your recipes on the back of your sample chips!

Applying finishes
When you’ve chosen a look that you like and the color, proceed to sanding your piece and applying the finishes. Sand between each coat of stain/paint.

Finish the piece with several coats of wax, buffing between coats (following instructions on the container). 

Used in the photos 
BLUE CABINET: A tiny amount of green and yellow acrylic paints were mixed into the off-white latex paint (mixed with calcium carbonate) to achieve the color of this cabinet. The cabinet was sanded between coats of paint. Clear and dark wax was applied. Pink Chintz and Blue Chintz Decals and Dish Blanks are available from Doll by Marcella Cupello, Cutie Mini Dolls.

WHITE CABINET: This cabinet was painted with the off-white latex/household emulsion paint mixed with calcium carbonate, sanded, stained in the bare wood areas with dark walnut, and waxed.