chalk paint layering

Paint Technique | Texture And Layering

Life is like a good paint technique.

It gets messy, multi-layered, and it evolves as you go.

My paint technique consists of a few core rules, but keep in mind these are my so-called “rules” for distressed paint jobs only.  Not your nice, clean, perfectly-smooth-as-glass, paint jobs.

And as always, my RULES are subject to change if I find a better way, or if I find out I didn’t know everything and… hey!- who do I think I am making up rules anyway…

1.)  I use up what I’ve got, and I mix my own paint.  (You might be surprised at what goopy, colors-mixed-together, paint can do.)

2.)  What is “Annie Sloan Chalk Paint”?  (I couldn’t tell you anything about it, because I’ve never used it.  I sure do see a lot of people talking about it though… it’s even got an official acronym: ASCP.  The truth is, 99% of the paint I buy is from the “oops” paint section at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Habitat Restore.  If I want “chalk paint”, I just mix some plaster of paris, water and paint, and ta-da!  Chalk Paint.  Better yet, MCVOCP. (mycheapversionofchalkpaint….chalk paint)

3.)  More often than not, I don’t use a paint brush.  I will use whatever’s within arms reach:  stir stick, paper towel, my fingers….   Since I use a scraper to spread the paint 9 times out of 10, I really just need something to get a glob of paint onto my surface.  After that, I use a flexible scraper, putty knife, or anything with a straight edge to spread the paint around.  (No brush marks!)

First thing’s first.

I stained the door to tone down the obvious “new-ness”.

I did the front and back, so it took a few days to fully dry before I could paint over the stain.

Staining wood door

Next up, putting on the paint/texture/age.

diy chalk paint

(We eat a lot of cottage cheese.)

I do have an issue with my husband throwing away cottage cheese containers.  They have so much repurposing potential!  (However, I could only tell you about the potential they have to hold my paint concoctions.)

chalk paint diy

Getting to it.

When I am painting something to look old, (like a door) I think about all the things that might happen to a door over time.

For example:  Layers of paint and layers of texture.  Old paint layers weren’t always smooth so…

chalk paint on a door

I started with a very clumpy chalk paint layer, using a bendy scraper to flatten it down and spread the mess.

smoothing texture

This paint was pretty dry.  There is more plaster of paris in this coat of paint.  I wanted it thick.  I also left some bumpy texture in random places.

bumpy chalk paint finish

I added an unimportant amount of plaster of paris to the gray paint as well, and schlapped/spread some gray over the white.

paint over chalk paint

Then, because I wanted even more layers, I repeated layering.  I feel like age, equals layers.  hmm…

repeat layering paint

Between layers when the paint was almost dry, I scraped some sections and reapplied the excess right back in place.  This left a more raised area of texture.

scraping chalk paint

I want to mention at this point, that I concentrated the extra texture toward the bottom of the door.  I felt like this was the area that a door was most likely to get beat up through the years.

I should also point out that with the exception of the panel that came attached to the front, this was a relatively new door.  (Found at Habitat Restore.)  The “aged” look I wanted to achieve, had to be made with more paint left on the piece than I normally would like.  I prefer to work with older wood, which makes for realistic distressing.  In those situations, the wood left exposed after any distressing is actual old wood.  With this door, I  couldn’t let too much of the newer looking surface underneath show through and give me away.  If I had removed too much paint, it wouldn’t look like an old  door.  It would actually end up looking like old paint, on a new door.

Elmer’s glue trick.

Well, actually, I used both Elmer’s glue and dollar store white glue.  I didn’t notice a difference in the application or the outcome.

This is how I did it:

I spray painted some areas with some black paint.  (And then waited a few minutes until it was dry to the touch.)

Then, I applied white glue over the black paint areas.  (The thicker it’s spread, the wider the cracks.)

After waiting a few more minutes, the glue was just dry enough (but still tacky) that I could apply paint over it without pulling up any of the glue on my brush. (Yes, I used a paint brush for this part.)

elmer's glue paint crackle

The magic behind this trick is the different drying times between the paint and glue.

crackle finish chalk paint

That’s wraps up the put the paint on portion of this project.

Part Two:  taking some off  (distressing methods) is under the techniques category


Elmer's glue for a crackle paint finish


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