Shabby Chic Furniture Painting Class Teaches DIY Methods for Chalk Paint

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Michelle Solorio, owner of The Flea Market Chic, shared trade secrets and techniques to refurbish old furniture.

EL CENTRO — One of the hottest products on the market right now for do it yourself (DIY) projects is chalk paint, which has gone from an expensive niche specialty product to one that can be made at home with little cost.

Sharing her secret chalk paint mix as well as tricks and tips learned throughout the years, Michelle Solorio, owner of The Flea Market Chic, taught ways to give old and used furniture an aged, distressed, shabby chic look.The class was held at the home décor store Odds N Ends Wednesday afternoon.  

“Making your own chalk paint versus buying it at the store is much more cost effective,” said Solorio. “I have been working with chalk paint for over 20 years and decided it would be a good idea (that) I share my secrets and give others the opportunity to distress their own furniture.”

Solorio said this will also give homeowners the opportunity to update their furniture at an affordable price, rather than purchasing new furniture.

“Sometimes people have old furniture or maybe something that might have belonged their grandmother that maybe just needs a fresh new look,” explained Solorio. “Refurbishing that piece of furniture in the long run will save you lots of money.”

Chalk paint can be used to paint almost anything including walls, kitchen cabinets, metal, wood, and even fabric and leather.

“To make one cup of chalk paint you mix two and one half tablespoons of Plaster Paris, and one and one half tablespoons of cold water until it looks like a pancake mix, then you add one cup of flat paint and mix it all up,” explained Solorio. “Wipe down the piece of furniture and apply two or three thin layers of paint. Once it’s dry, sand it down, and distress it to the way you want it to look. Finally, apply either a polyurethane, bees wax or a wood stain to seal the project.”

Students were encouraged to bring a small piece of furniture or picture frame to paint and a favorite paint color, if any. For those who showed up empty handed, unfinished pieces were available to purchase. All materials needed to complete the project were supplied.

The next class is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, at 5:00 p.m. at a cost of $25.00. To register, contact Odds N Ends at (760) 871-9122 or visit the store located at 617 W. Main Street in El Centro.

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