7 Things you must know before using chalk paint:

Unintentional glitches can add character to your painted furniture. Like chipping, peeling and cracking for example. Yes, you may want to weep at first, but consider that a lot of popular paint techniques started out this way! 
(The striking dresser from www.petticoatjunktion.com above is a perfect example!) 
Still, if you prefer a more reliable outcome - these are a few vital points:

1. PRIMING ~ NOT NECESSARY (but please read nr. 2)

2. SANDING ~ NOT NECESSARY - That said, some surfaces may need a light sand (eg. Melamine and similar super smooth blended surfaces) + a first thinned coat of chalkpaint (allowed to dry) before a second normal coat, for better results. Furniture previously treated with coatings containing silicones can repel paint. 
Sand areas that are resisting the paint down, and you may also need to coat the area with a waterbased varnish to create a barrier, then repaint.

You don't normally need to sand, strip or prime but CLEANING is always vital.  As with any paint or coating, the surface about to be painted needs to be free of oil and grease - or it can affect your finish. Unless of course you, like me, enjoy that element of mystery and sometimes paint over dust as well as spiderwebs :) 
Either by leeching through or resisting the paint. Use water and dishwashing liquid to wash and then dry your item.

DIY handpainted wall signs ~ with free graphics

I will never look at old scrap wood the same way again...
Michelle King's bedroom art turns an average setting into a stunning interior! Below is a dead easy diy guide and some free lettering to create your own.   

Image from Michelle King's Pinterest board

(PS: Get the printable lettering on the left on the Free GRAPHICS page HERE)

1. Paint a rough strip of wood with a hasty layer of chalkpaint or no paint at all.
(or join 2 or more strips by gluing them all onto a piece of masonite with a gluegun --> another gem in your diy kit!!)

2. Trace the lettering onto a nice rough strip of wood

3.  Fill in the lettering with black acrylic.  Don't worry if it isn't perfect, it's not meant to be ;)

Something NEW, Something OLD AND RUSTY

Why can't new things have the same charm as objects touched by time and history? 
If it isn't old and rustic, we can at least make it look that way, right?

Let's take rust. There are many tutorials out there for creating faux rust. Some suggest combining about 3 colours of paint using sponges, there are also (toxic) metallic paints and rust activators.
If you're like me, you prefer one-step non-toxic DIY.

Scrape some rust off old objects and collect it in a jar for when you need instant rust, then simply apply it with craft glue. (PS: If you're going to do this, please wear a mask to avoid inhaling fine corrosive elements).


This chair make over was such a pleasure!  The previously brown chair got a few broad strokes of natural white chalkpaint (one coat), after which I sanded the edges here and there, and stained some of those edges with a damp teabag for extra 'ageing' (it's fun avoiding professional products I swear).

The lettering is from the Graphics Fairy. (Find it on the Free Graphics page). On the seat I used the reverse lettering technique. (Print the lettering out reversed-----use wood glue to glue it onto the chair --- wait a few hours for it to dry---- then gently rub the top layers of paper off with a damp earbud until mainly the letters are left behind---Rather leave more paper then rub off too much and lose big parts of your letters....!)

The chair is available at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood, Durban. (PS: If you wanted to buy it and find that  it is sold , please do let me know, I will do another one just for you.)
PS: 'VISITER' is the French spelling for Visitor :) 
This was the ellie before going to the make over spa! :D
For 'Visiter' I used normal decoupage (simply print out the lettering - not in reverse this time-----paint it front and back with white woodglue + a dash of water, to apply it) The edges were torn carefully vs cut with scissors, to avoid hard edges. The cute little elephant used to have an old floral pattern (see right). I gave it two coats to get it very white----and decoupaged the pretty butterfly onto it (also from Graphics Fairy).

A few notes on reverse transferring:
Your prints: 
Inkjet ink won't work it is too powdery, it must be laserjet, which most printers are nowadays :)
Reverse transfers: When to paint on the wood glue - The best technique is to give your piece of paper a light coat of wood glue (with a dash of water) and print onto that when it is dry. (ie the order of the layers will be paper, glue, ink) The letters seal better like this and won't rub off easily - but takes a bit more time and hopefully won't jam up your printer :/

The thinners method: 
The old method of simply rubbing thinners (in small quantities, or the ink will flood) on the front of an image so that the back of it stays behind on your new surface. For this method you must not have the image in reverse. Also make sure you do this outside it generates FUMES and TOXINS. Not my recommended method, I like to keep it non-toxic! :/

Re-loved, vintage coasters

I fantasize that they're relics from the Titanic's colonial dining hall! 

They look a little like they were salvaged from the deep don't you think?

I used the reverse glued on method for this - it gave a nice authentic look vs using thinners, which gives you more of a faded look. I wanted these to look like they were used, not just old. 
How to get the effect:

The graphics are available on the Free Graphics page here.
  • After a quick wipe I painted one coat of chalkpaint.
  • About 20 minutes later I roughly and randomly sanded the edges, giving the front a scratch here and there too. 
  • Wiped a damp teabag (that had stood for a while first) along some of the edges for extra ageing.
  • Printed the graphics with a laserprinter, back to front, cut them out and positioned them on the coasters.
  • Glued them on with white woodglue and a bit of water to make it a bit more fluid. (between the coaster and paper only, not both sides)
  • 12 hours later I dropped a bit of water on the back, and rubbed the damp paper softly with my finger to 'roll' off the layers of paper on top. (Takes a bit of practice....I also use the thinners on the back method*) Sometimes too much comes off, but you can retouch if needed with some black acrylic artists' paint. 
  • Once that dried (about ten minutes or so) I sealed it with white wood glue mixed almost 1:1 with water (twice to make them more hard wearing)
SEALING: The reason I use white wood glue is because it is non-toxic and water based, I avoid toxic materials as much as possible - too many hazardous fumes and highly flammable*.