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Painting Over Paint

Yesterday, I gave a peek at the progress we’ve made in the guest room, including this door:


Again, sorry for the lame iPhone picture…

Believe it or not, this door used to look like this:

photo 1What color green is that, exactly?

Olive? Chartreuse? Puke?

And there were several, several layers of other colors under that one, too.


Again, the danger of owning a home as old as ours is that we don’t know what type of paint was used on this. The good news is, this is the only painted door original to the home. The other beauties are all wood and all naked. So I was careful to not sand off too much of the mystery paint and thus avoided getting any of it in my lungs.

Paranoid much? Maybe 😉

But I’m getting ahead of myself! First things first.

1) Remove the hardware – i.e. hinges, door knobs, latches, etc. Our doors all have glass knobs, which are held in place by brass plates, so I pried those suckers off with a screw driver (carefully, since I didn’t want to bend or scratch the things).

2) Grab a high-grit sanding block and go to town gently. You don’t need to sand off much of the existing surface – just enough to rough it up.

I didn’t take pictures of this step. I apologize. I’ll do better next time!

3) Make your paint. This is so easy, so have no fear.

And don’t go spending money on the brand name stuff, either…unless you want the soft wax coating to finish the piece. That I’d recommend. I love Anne Sloan’s. Anyway.

You’ll need:
The interior paint of your choice (this will be your base, and it will determine the color of your chalk paint!)
Hot water
Plaster of Paris

Mix the hot water and Plaster of Paris together first until the plaster has dissolved. Then, stir in the paint. Continue to stir until the ingredients are combined and you’ve reached your desired consistency.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t include any measurements. That’s because a lot of it is based on preference. I like mine thick (I do not like the “rustic” look), so I used about a 1/2 cup of hot water, 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris and 1 1/2 cups of paint. This left me with way more chalk paint than I needed – enough to completely fill a small, rectangular tupperware container (you know, the one deli meat comes in in stores). I still have about 3/4 of the it left. And I painted both sides of the door twice. I’d recommend halvesing the above recipe.

4) Get painting. Paint the piece completely. Let the paint dry (it doesn’t take too long, maybe 20 minutes…if that). Paint it again. And again, if you want to be super thorough 😉 Here’s what it looks like when it’s done, but still wet (meaning it’s not ready for the soft wax/polyurethane/whatever you’re finishing it with):

photo 4

5) Finish it with a protective coating. Again, I used Anne Sloan’s soft wax in clear. It’s useful for protecting the piece from liquids, dust and other minor offenses. I apply it with a rag by rubbin’ it on in small circles. You know, wax on…


6) Put that hardware back on and admire your handy work. If there are any scuffs or scratches (Mine had a weird mark in the paint acquired from the 45 sec walk from the living room to the guest room 😉 ), you can just paint right over it (if you use the wax or no protective coating…I won’t make any promises for how the paint will look over poly, etc)!

Have you used chalk paint? Have tips to share? Post them below!

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