Let's Get Painting!

Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Blog? Work? Such a dilemma these days.

With the inaugural camping trip coming up I’ve been working frantically on the camper/glamper/caravan/trailer. There are so many projects I’ve checked off my “to do” list, and so many more to go, but I want to provide you some updates and inspiration.

I’ll start with the project I had the most fun tackling: chalk painting the kitchen cabinets.


There are numerous chalk paint tutorials all over the interwebs. I’m adding one more to the google list. I’m by NO MEANS an expert. This was my first go at chalk paint. Since I had to piece together several different directions (don’t worry, Boss… I was working, too!), I decided it might be helpful to put together one complete post - from start to finish - with everything you’ll need.

My goal was to make the tiny kitchen stand out and look like an antique cabinet. Because I live in the pacific northwest and the trailer always seems to feel slightly damp, I had concerns about using chalk paint and sealing it with wax alone. Several posts showed the water damage that can happen over time. I’ve got a one-year-old and a full-time job -- Momma ain’t got time for project do-overs. So, I opted for a wax finish varnish that you paint on. WOW! I’m so glad I did. It was easy peasy and took no buffing. Amen! Halleluja!

Here’s a look at my supplies:


-A brand new, high-quality short-handled paint brush

-Dover’s Chalk Paint Mix


-Behr Premium Plus Paint and Primer - Interior Flat Matte (red can at Home Depot)

-Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish Satin Finish

-Small bucket

-Sand paper (not pictured)

-Mixing Stick (not pictured)

-White Vinegar (not pictured)

Here we go:

1. Sand: I know so many of the tutorials say don’t worry about it. In this instance - I disagree. A light sanding took off any varnish on the old wood allowing the paint to adhere. I used a power sander and did a quick once over.

2. Clean: Wipe down all of your cabinets and doors with white vinegar. You want them to be completely clean.

3. Optional - Edges: Paint the edges of your cupboard and corners of the doors and drawers with an alternative color. I was going for the distressed look and wanted white to peek through under the gray when I sanded later. I did a quick coat of cream on any area I intended to sand later. Let it dry.


4. Mix chalk paint: There are plenty of name brand chalk paints out there, but I wasn’t crazy about any of the colors. Plus, it’s hard to know if the color on the website is really the color in real life. Instead I opted to make my own and get the exact color I was after. Behr Premium Plus Paint and Primer is the one recommended most often. The red can is the Interior Flat Matte. You’re mixing in chalk and really don’t need anything other than matte. I then found Dover’s Chalk Paint Mix online. It’s all ready to go - you just add it to the paint of your choice with a few simple steps. The mix is an 8 to 1 ratio. Take about a quarter of a cup and mix it with half that amount of water. (I think it needed more water, so I eyeballed it and added a touch more.) Once that’s all dissolved and smooth, add your paint. It helps to have bucket with measurements on the side to know how much to pour. It’s really not scientific and nearly impossible to screw up, so don’t stress too much. Here’s what some other instructions leave out: Add a splash of Floetrol. It’s this incredible product that helps to keep the paint from drying too quickly, and so it reduces brush strokes. It’s my go to paint additive now for all my paint jobs. (These companies really should all be paying me for my endorsements! HA!)

5. Paint: Get a good glob on your wide brush and start painting. Go with the grain and try to go up and down only to keep it smooth. You’ll want the paint to go on thick, but not gloppy. Let it dry. Luckily with chalk paint it doesn’t take long. I finished one coat on everything and then started the second coat.


6. Second coat: Ya Ya. Some people will say you don’t need a second coat, but this 50 year old wood sucked up the paint. For a super smooth finish, I painted again and let it dry overnight.


7. Optional - Distress: To get the distressed look I took coarse sandpaper and scrubbed all the edges and corners until I could see the white paint peeking through. It turned out very subtle… a nice blend of the white and the lighter wood. I could have sanded more, but I didn’t want it to look too old, just slightly worn. Make sure to wipe off everything once again so you’re not painting over dust.


9. Second coat: For extra protection I added one more coat after the first completely dried.

10. Celebrate: Stand back and admire your work because THAT’S IT! You’re done!



I’m so pleased with the way it turned out. The cupboards are silky smooth to the touch and the paint seems to be quite sturdy. I’ve already scuffed the walls of the trailer, but this hasn’t scratched or scuffed at all.

Maybe once I finish the trailer I’ll find something else to chalk paint because I have more than half of the chalk paint mix left. Look out dresser… I’m coming for you!

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