May 11, 2012

Project Personality: Cheesy Good Chalk Paint Tutorial

Project Personality
with Apple Box Boutique founder Leanne Playter Korsos

Hello!  I`m happy you made it!

Today a semi-confession: I have a close personal relationship with cheese.  I love it equally as a food and a sense of humour.  I love it in movies, books, sauces and fashion.  And it is well known amongst my friends and family that after a lifetime of indulging, I believe I am mostly made of it.

So it only stands to reason that I like cheesy, kitschy (+ inexpensive) household stuff and this post is about how I manage to mix that adoration with my love for beautiful interior décor.

Enter the 1960s/70s plasticy, cheesy wall hanging.  They were everywhere. Plastic arrived in home style magazines as a must-have and people couldn`t get enough of it.

There were these fruity, lattice thingys,

scary bird plaques

and fab flowery whatchamacallits.

There is a teeming overabundance of molded polysomethings that sit unloved in second-hand stores across the nation.  Most current decoraters wouldn`t touch them with a 10 foot pole unless their client was all retro-loving and insistent.  Ahhh, but not I!  These are the things I covet because I know "the secret".

Not the secret that made author Rhonda Byrne famous.  If that were the case, I`d be rich and would hire someone else to make over my plasticy, cheesy wall hangings.  No, this is a secret that some believe is, well, wierdish and that I am far too willing to share.  So, here goes... tutorial time!

During a visit to Value Village, I saw this poor little spoon-hanger-planter in the "no one wants me" pile.

Of course I snapped it up immediately.  The brownish-black bronzy-copperish colouring is seriously dated (and defies explanation) but I liked the detail.

Off to the cash counter with my $4.99 prize and then to the boutique where the most difficult decision of the project was choosing which Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) to use.

Part of my secret weaponry, ASCP paints onto practically everything without primer and I use it on glass, plastic, metal, crafts... anything requiring a little pizazz.

After some mulling, Duck Egg Blue was selected.  I really wanted to bring out the best in this... planspoo?...plangsploon?... splanter! by giving it an old-world patina.

Because it is an uncooperative shape I took it apart to make it more manageable, dusted it off and got started.  No surface prep required.  Just the paint, a chalk paint brush and a little newspaper.

I gave it two light coats of paint and found something to do for a few minutes while it dried.

Hello Willow...

Oooo... nice candelabra arrangement by my broomy Leslie (that`s short for business roomate... yup, more cheese):

 Gratuitous shot of my new Annie Sloan sample board:

AND... time to wax. 

These are the finishing tools of the trade: ASCP Clear Wax, ASCP Dark Wax, my favourite wax brush and good quality lint-free cheesecloth (what else!).

I brushed on then rubbed off one coat of the clear wax and buffed through in areas I felt would be naturally distressed to give it "life".   Once the clear wax was no longer tacky to the touch, I brushed on a smattering of dark wax to bring out all that ornate loveliness. The waxes have the consistency of room-temperature butter and I used the cheesecloth to wipe away the excess until I liked the look.  

I`ll take a close up.  

That`s better!

Once that was set, I gave it a quick buff with clean piece of the cloth, and Voila!

The painted splanter was in the boutique for a few days and we were asked so many times about it that a tutorial seemed to be the thing to do!

That and squirreling it away to take home with me.

 What do you think?  Moldy Oldy or Cheesy Good?


  1. The colour and finish you chose is beautiful! I think people stay away from the 60s and 70s cheesy decor because it's what they grew up with. I know I stay as far away from sponge-painted walls and dusty-rose ducks as I can! That's what I grew up with.

    1. It`s so true! A lot of eyebrows raised last year when I started looking for dusty rose linens for our wedding *lol

      I`ve had a long and firm distaste for rooster art but the other day I saw a Warhol take-off and roosters are back on my OK list :D

  2. Your splanter looks beautiful Leanne! It is amazing what some paint and wax can do to transform something from tacky to chic! You would never know how it originally looked!

    Since you and Jo are talking about cheesy, outdated decor, what about the blue geese and yellow sunflowers that our Mother's used to use to decorate thier homes? I run really fast when I see them in the thrift store. LOL I don't think any amount of paint could disguise the cheesiness of those things!

    1. Thank you, Carrie! :) LOL... I had a flashback when you mentioned the geese/sunflower combination :D Here`s hopin' that`s one trend that never makes a comeback!


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