Spend an Afternoon Learning How to Chalk PaintJune 29, 2015
Spend an Afternoon Learning How to Chalk Paint
Miss Lillian’s NO-Wax Chock Paint exists due to a happy accident.
Six years ago, Marilyn Dean of Clarksville, Tennessee, battled cancer, lost her only child and faced a divorce. Painting took over and became her therapy.
Eventually she started doing custom work for clients on the days she felt good, even if it was 3 in the morning. “If I felt good, I painted until I couldn’t move my fingers anymore,” Marilyn said. Then one day she ran out of paint.
“I needed two tablespoons of paint to cover one little vanity drawer. I completely ran out of paint, and I couldn’t get any more until Tuesday. I had to drive an hour and 45 minutes to get it. I had seen some different recipes on the internet. I thought, well, shoot, if I could make a carrot cake out of what I have in my cupboard–being a mom, a grandma and a wife and innovative enough not to have to get dressed and go back to the grocery store for the third time and fight the crowd to pick up what it was that I forgot–surely I could do that for paint. It didn’t have to taste good, it just had to work,” she said.
And Miss Lillian’s NO-Wax Chock Paint was born. For a few years, Marilyn made it just for her personal use and became an expert in color matching. Today, she and her husband Jeff sell their products at stores around the country and even travel to do paint party demonstrations. Miss Lillian’s boasts a color palette no other company has and has even introduced a line of milk paint.
In Fairmont, Kelly Kulju sells the Miss Lillian’s brand at the Art and Antiques Marketplace, 205 Adams Street, at her booth, Willow Ridge Vintage. Kelly hosted Marilyn and Jeff for a paint party in June attended by about 20 women. Learning while you laugh made for a fun afternoon.
“Chalk paint is a water-based paint product that has a natural limestone powder chalk base to it that gives it its texture and that neat mat look of long ago. It’s a thicker paint known for its adhesion and durability. Our paint’s a little different because we add a sealer to it and you don’t have to put wax over it. Traditional chalk paint if you wet it will wash right off; it has to be sealed. Waxing is labor intensive and for somebody that has arthritis in their hands, it’s very hard to do; it’s a lot of work. You don’t have to do that here, just put on the paint and let it go,” Marilyn said.
Donna Nuzum of Fairmont brought her daughter-in-law’s purple table to the June class. “She wasn’t happy with the color, so I said let me play,” Donna said. She left with a Mayan Turquoise creation with a black top and drawer pull—and a big smile.
The best thing about Miss Lillian’s NO-Wax Chock Paint is that there is no “perfect”; it’s all about what looks good to you. With that in mind, here are some chalk painting tips:
- Examine the piece you want to paint. Sometimes the color from dark, old mahogany will bleed through the chalk paint. Kitchen cabinets collect a lot of elements, so they sometimes cause color bleed. You might have to seal these pieces first.
- If your piece has a glossy finish, use sandpaper to give it some grooves to make the paint a little more adhesive.
- Pick your chalk paint colors. You only need paint, a paint brush and a jar of water to get started.
- Paint a very thin coat. Less is more. Dip your brush about a quarter of an inch into the paint and tap some paint off the brush. Paint in strokes. Let the paint dry about a half hour. You might decide you only need one coat.
- Paint the second coat and let it dry. If you’re happy, you’re done.
- After a few hours or the next day, you could try an antiquing glaze, especially if your piece has a lot of detail. Flat surfaces are harder to glaze. Pick your glaze color. A white glaze showcases the original chalk paint color. Black glaze makes the piece look aged and shows detail.
- Use a damp sponge to apply the glaze, then immediately wipe it off with a damp cloth until you’re happy with the look.
- Show off your creation. Figure out what to paint next.
Willow Ridge Vintage will host the next chalk painting class from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 19, on the fifth floor of the Art and Antiques Marketplace in Fairmont. Bring a small item to paint. All paint, class supplies and refreshments will be provided. For $65, enjoy an afternoon of fun and learn chalk painting techniques. The class size is limited, so sign up soon. To sign up or for more information, call 304-534-8980.