How It All Began
My love affair with chalk paint began after a dismal attempt at refinishing the 1980's oak cedar chest my parents gave me for my 18th birthday. The project involved smelly stripper, gloppy latex paint, and old sand-paper from some other long-forgotten project. Sadly, the hours of prep work, my careful "with-the-grain" paint strokes, and the awkward sanding spots yielded less than stellar results. It turns out, latex paint doesn't actually want to be "delicately" distressed.
It was a miserable experience that didn't yield the DIY results I'd imagined!
Watch the VIDEO HERE
I needed a new plan of attack. I had other furniture projects waiting in the wings, and I wasn't about to spend just as much time as I had on the cedar chest only to be too embarrassed to show them off.
That's when I turned to the internet–Pinterest and Google and blogs, Oh My! It was the first time I'd ever heard (or read, I guess) the term "chalk paint." I was hooked after reading, "…no prep."
And, I was inspired.
After several hours of research into the chalk paint phenomenon, I couldn't wait to jump on the no-prep, no-primer, no smelly-stripper-chemicals band wagon!
So, I hopped in my car and drove 45 minutes away to the nearest "stockist."
And dropped nearly $300. OUCH!
At that point I crossed my fingers that all the expensive paint and fancy supplies would magically make all the difference.
Turns out, the paint WAS magic!
I fell in love from the very first piece I painted. Not only was it easy and fun, the results were stunning and "professional"–a far cry from the cedar chest debacle.
An interesting thing happened. Unexpectedly, that first chalk paint experience not only transformed a piece of furniture...
It transformed ME.
It was more than a new hobby. It was therapy. It was satisfaction and fulfillment.
It wasn't long before I'd purchased every color of paint and every size of the specialty paint and wax brushes. I was single-handedly keeping the only Las Vegas stockist in business!
In an effort to support my chalk paint "habit," I began selling the pieces I'd refinished–often right out of my own living room. Before I knew it, my hobby grew into a business, and I became known on social media as "The Shabby Bride."
The more I painted, the more I got bored of the limited color palette. On top of driving 45 minutes for paint and spending a fortune, I wanted to choose my own colors--three nagging problems that had to change because I wasn't about to give up my newfound passion. I was determined to solve all three issues: availability, price, color choice.
So, I researched online DIY chalk paint "recipes." Unfortunately, the DIY recipes not only yielded dismal and unpredictable results, many of them were NOT eco-friendly which meant I couldn't paint indoors (not a sacrifice I could make given that it's 100+ degrees much of the year where I live!)
Most of the recipes were toxic and called for ingredients that AREN'T INTENDED FOR PAINT! Some recipes turned my paint into hardened plaster--NOT exactly something enjoyable to work with, let alone something I wanted to put on my furniture!
The "recipes" were a far cry from the boutique brand I'd fallen in love with--they were more or less recipes for making paint stick to furniture,
NOT recipes for a genuine chalk-paint transformation experience.
I was determined to create a powder that would yield incredible results every time--results that rivaled the fancy brand at a fraction of the cost, and of course, would allow me unlimited color options.
I started from scratch to educated myself about minerals, bonding, opacity, distressibility, mineral processing and more. After months of a science-lab kitchen, I'd finally developed the perfect mineral balance, texture and consistency without sacrificing any of the eco-friendly and dreamy qualities of chalk paint I'd fallen in love with.