So Many Paints, So Little Time

So Many Paints, So Little Time


Paint is one of the oldest forms of decor, yet the technology of paint production and use has progressed to keep up with current technology.  The choices you have for painting your furniture are varred.  The primary types of paint used in furniture painting are chalk style paint, milk paint and latex paint. Oil-based or Alkyd Paint is not typically used in furniture. There are plenty of variations within those categories.


Chalk Style Paint

Essentially any water based paint with a chalky binder is chalk paint.  Chalk is defined by Webster as “a soft white, gray, or buff limestone composed chiefly of the shells of foraminifera or a prepared form of chalk.”  In the paint world, this chalky substance has expanded to include fossil, mud, plaster of paris, tile grout and more.  While the market previously was dominantly by Annie Sloan, there are now loads of great chalk paints on the market.  My far leading favorite is a newcomer on the block:  General Finishes Chalk Style Paint.  The color palette is rich and deep, the ease of use and cleanup are unmatched and the leveling properties are remarkable.  No matter how many times I have to go over and fix one of my mistakes, the finish always comes out smooth and consistent – no brush strokes.

General Finishes Chalk Paint Color Pallette

I am also a fan of making my own chalk paint from latex paint – described in the Latex section..


Milk Paint

Milk paint is a nontoxic water-based paint. It is made from milk and lime, generally with pigments added for color.  Borax may be added to the milk paint recipe to assist the lime in dissolving the casein (milk protein) and as a preservative.  Milk paint has been used for thousands of years. It is extremely durable, often lasting for hundreds of years if protected from the elements. It is made of all-natural ingredients, and is very safe and non-toxic once applied. Traditional milk paint is sold as a powder and must be mixed with water for each use.  Once milk paint has been mixed, it must be used within a day.  My favorite milk paint is the next generation of technology.  General Finishes Milk Paint is a high quality interior/exterior pre-mixed paint. It’s not a true “casein based milk paint” but a modern version of old world paint with a strong mineral base. It is adaptable and UV resistant, and can mixed, lightened, distressed, glazed and layered.  It is the best paint on the market, in my opinion, for painting kitchen cabinets.  This translates to furniture by providing rock solid adhesion after it has cured for three week.  It does not need a top coat, but I always use a wax or poly to a furniture paint job.

Generla Finishes Milk Paint Color Palette

You can make your own milk paint at home that is closely related to the original version.  Here is a recipe from Earth’s Pigments and a recipe from Martha Stewart and a recipe from Bob Vila.


Latex or Acrylic – or is it – Latex and Acrylic

I often get asked about the difference between acrylic and latex paint.  Essentially there is no difference.  Natural latex is a milky fluid produced by various seed plants (milkweed, spurge, and poppy families) and is the basis of rubber. Latex paint is a category of paints that includes several types of acrylic paint.  This Latex category is water-based and made up of synthetic polymers that resemble natural latex—but there is no actual natural latex in them.  So, when comparing, it’s not latex or acrylic: the terms can loosely be used interchangeably.   Generally speaking, the higher the acrylic amount, the better the quality.


When making my Furniture Rescue Paint, I like to use Behr Matte Premium Plus Ultra.  It is paint and primer in one, can be tinted to any color, is super durable and mixes well with plaster or paris. Here is my recipe.

Pick Your First Piece of Furniture to Paint

How to Pick the First Piece

The shape of your first piece will determine the scope of your project rather than the size.  The easiest piece to paint, in my opinion is a small to medium night stand or a small chest of drawers.  They are essentially the same piece, they just vary in size.  The solid surfaces and clean intersections create less of an environment to make a mistake.  These items pictured below are small enough to lift myself and can easily fit on my plastic folding table.

I like to use a plastic folding table, because it doesn’t take up much room when it’s folded up, it’s very strong and has been able to hold as much weight as I’ve been able to lift onto it (so far) and I don’t care how much paint I splatter or drip on it.  It has a wonderful colorful patina on it now.  It used to look like this,folding table2

If you are interested in painting a really heavy piece, a spindle bed frame or a set of spindle chairs, you might consider getting a few easier project under you belt first.  These projects are not super hard, they are just much more time consuming.  While a chair is small, each spindle need to be painted separately.  While a bed has flat sides, there are lots and lots of flat sides. If you’re just starting out, it feels great to be able to start and finish a job in one day.  If time drags on or you have to wait for help, it could be frustrating.  Build up your confidence with a fast win.

Lots of spindles
hard to paint1hard to paint2

Super heavy
hard to paint6hard to paint5

Lots of surfaces
hard to paint7hard to paint8

Now that you’ve picked out what you’re going to paint, you need to decide what paint you will use.  Stay Tuned

How to Make Furniture Rescue Paint

Furniture Rescue Paint
DIY Chalk Paint
Recipe for Furniture Paint


There are lots of recipes out there in the blogosphere. I’ll just add mine to the mix. (Get it, mix…) I have used this for years, and it has served me well. Customers have come back years after I painted furniture for them and consistently say that it’s holding up well. I have detailed making a quart, but will add amounts for a gallon at the end – the process is the same.

Here’s what you need:

1 Qt. Behr Premium Plus Ultra

behr ppu gal

¾ cup Plaster of Paris

plaster of paris

½ cup of cold water


Disposable plastic bottle with screw on lid – the wider the mouth the better.

gatorade bottle

Here’s what you do:

  • Remove about a cup of paint from the quart. If you store this extra it in a disposable plastic container, you can add it back later. The reason for removing a cup of paint is to make plenty of room for the plaster of paris and water mixture and still leave room to shake the can later.
  • .Add ½ cup of cold water to the container.
  • Add ¾ cup of plaster of paris to the water in the container. Use a plastic funnel if necessary
  • Screw on the bottle lid very tightly
  • Shake, then keep shaking. This is the most important step. The plaster of paris needs to be completely dissolved, not just suspended. Wait at least 5 minutes from the time you add the plaster to the water, and shaking often. (Did I say keep shaking?)
  • Add the dissolved plaster of paris to the quart can of paint.
  • Recap the disposable plastic bottle and throw it in the trash. Do not rinse the contents down the drain and do not put it in the recycling.
  • Replace the top onto the quart can of paint and shake well. Let the can sit for a bit after you shake to reduce the amount of paint on the underside of the lid.
  • When you open the can, stir well with a stir stick. After subsequent uses, you should stir the paint rather than shake it. This reduces the build up on the top and saves paint.

Modification for a gallon
Buy a gallon of paint
Remove three cups of paint
Add 2 cups of cold water to the water bottle
Add 3 cups of plaster of paris

Fall Fantasy – Is it reality or just wishful thinking?

The kids have moved back to college, started back to high school, and my midweek “sneak to the mountains” days are over.  This is the perfect time for Fall Goals, even if it’s just a fantasy.  It’s the same, but opposite of Spring Cleaning.  Forget the New Year’s Resolution and all the guilt it brings – I’m going for my Fall Fantasy instead.   Clearly, the very best thing about Fall is falling leaves, new school supplies and pumpkin spice latte’s.  Other than that, I have compiled a list of my goals s that make up my own personal Fall Fantasy.

Taking care of me

Relax, take a walk, read, spiritually renew, say no sometimes, reconnect with old friends.  These things all come together to make be a better me, a better wife, a better mom and a better friend.

go for a walk

Dinner planned – every night – on time – at the dining table.

“Every night” is a total fantasy – but what the heck?  Throughout the summer our family becomes more and more disjointed.  Cereal is the go to dinner, and the salt and pepper, napkins and sriracha are more likely to be found with the TV remote than in the kitchen.  I love reading through cookbooks and making menu plans and shopping lists.  I get to restock my pantry with tons of healthy snacks, and break out the crock pot.  The best part is the outcome: creating traditions and just spend time together.

chili in a crockpot

Washing all the laundry, swap out seasonal clothes and donate

Wash all  the laundry including the big lumpy stuff that keeps making it to the bottom of the hamper.  Get all the clean laundry to the proper owner or storage spot.  Go through closets and drawers, hang, refold and sort. Pass down the clothes that are too small, and DONATE everything that is not being worn.

folded stacked sweaters

Make a schedule and stick to it.  Be organized.

Get to school and work on time.  Make sure the backpack and briefcase are ready the night before. Clean up the foyer and have a place for everything to be dropped when you walk in the door .  Keep all the family administrative stuff and homework organize.  Do your homework or housework right after you get home (right?)

Fall Organization

Get a shiny new planner, colorful pens and stick to it

Look pulled together – even it it’s just for show.

I miss wearing cute outfits that are thoughtfully planned and accessorized.  No more yoga pants and a t shirt everyday. I plan to actually blow dry my hair and style it – the days of walking out with wet hair clipped up are over.  I can’t use the excuse that my warehouse is too hot and I have to keep my hair off my neck, or, I have to wear oversized clothes with paint all over them because I might need to paint something.  No one believed me anyway.

Take the time to style your hair

Project time

Spend some time to pick a fun winter project.  Check out Pinterest for ideas.  Watch the sales adds and gather up your supplies.  Carve out a space, so all your stuff is in one place.  By the time snow falls, you’ll be ready to go.

Convert an old TV cabinet into a Craft Closet

Let’s see how long I can live in my Fall Fantasy world before I become utterly disorganized again.









Just a few days left before Labor Day.  Perfect timing to jump into that furniture painting project you’ve been procrastinating over for months (or years). gvpaint3







All van Gogh Fossil Paint is dramatically discounted.  Regularly $39.95, now through Labor Day, marked down to $25.00.








Check out the van Gogh website to read about this awesome line of the chalk paint, created specifically for furniture and cabinet painting. paint_cans2

It’s Back to School Time!!


It’s that wonderful time of year again!  The kids are back to school and it’s time for you to reclaim your house.  Shake out all of the summertime sand, clear out the clutter of lazy days, freshen up the foyer, and rejoice in the time to finally fulfill all of those decorating dreams!  Just remember as we dash about in our styling frenzy to keep our eyes open for that yellow schoolbus and all precious cargo that might be crossing the streets.

Wine Tasting at The Front Porch

Monroe Bay Vineyard

Monroe Bay Vineyard

We are super excited to announce that we are teaming up with Kiki and Walter from Monroe Bay Vineyards.  Kiki is the owner and winemaker of this Chesapeake Beach vineyard.  Join us First Fridays for FREE wine tasting at The Front Porch.  We will be sampling wines from the vineyards from the right here in the Commonwealth  The First Friday at The Front Porch will be rockin’ in September.  Start off your Labor Day Weekend with a lovely taste and perhaps a purchase of wine.  Drop by any time on Friday, September 4, 2015 between the hours of 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  Kiki will share her wealth of information on wines, grapes and wine-making, both here and in France.

Please let us know you will be attending HERE


Danish Cord Stool

Need a Danish Cord chair or stool that needs a little love?  Here is a stool that I recently finished for a customer.   This is how the stool came look when it arrived.

Danish Cord stool that has come unraveled

I took all the old cord off and was left with just the plain green frame. I nailed the end of the cord to the frame and started weaving.   I held the cord firm with clamps as I was weaving. Here is the new cord halfway through the project.

Danish Cord weave, halfway through

The stool was woven with only two pieces of cord.  I could have used only one, but it was way too long for me to work with.  There is one knot in the center of the bottom, but I was able to easily hide the knot on the inside.

Underside off the Danish Cord stool

Ta Da.  Here is the happy newly woven Danish Cord stool.

completed Danish Cord Stool

Visit our Flash Sale

flash sale banner 2
What the heck is a Flash Sale?
These eight items will be on sale 50% or more, off the regular price, on Friday morning, July 3 from 10 til noon. After that, if they are still in the store, they will go back to regular price.  These are each unique one-of-a-kind pieces – so if you want to take advantage of these great prices, you will need to act fast.  You can call as early as 10 AM and charge your purchase over the phone or come in person into the shop. No presales, no holds – It’s first come, first served.
This Flash Sale is at The Front Porch.
Stay tuned for one coming soon to The Back Dorr.
Originally $100, Now $50

Originally $100, Now $50

Originally $80, Now$40

Originally $80, Now$40

Originally $60, Now $30

Originally $60, Now $30

Originally $150, Now $50

Originally $150, Now $50

Originally $175, Now $87

Originally $175, Now $87

Originally $140, Now $70

Originally $140, Now $70


Originally $350, Now $175





Originally $300, Now $150

Originally $300, Now $150