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Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 | 2 comments

Easy Kitchen Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Easy Kitchen Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Ever since we moved into our home two years ago, we have never been quite in love with our kitchen. Though it was brand new when we bought the house and we were able to customize the counter-tops, the overall cabinet style and color is just not our thing.


Replacing the cabinets or remodeling the kitchen is not an option, so we decided to paint the cabinets. When I received my designer kit from Devine Color earlier this year, the color “Devine Ripe Banana and Beans” immediately caught my eye and I started to see yellow in our kitchen’s future. My husband and children all agreed on yellow but it took us about a week to decide between different hues. We tested out four colors on large pieces of poster board.


We also tested two colors on the cabinets. Sherwin Williams’ “Butter Up” (below, left) was my family’s favorite and I liked it for its crisp and modern character. After viewing the paint samples for several days in different lighting, the softness and versatility of “Ripe Banana and Beans” (below, right) won as it seemed to be the perfect match for the “Swedish summer vacation” feel we envisioned for our kitchen.


We decided to start with painting the kitchen island and the backrest and cut-outs of the built-in bench around our dining table. I was inspired by one of my clients to try chalk paint — she just moved into her new home and is planning to paint her kitchen cabinets with chalk paint.

I have worked with chalk paint in the past and love how easy it is to apply and how little I have to prepare the surface. However, I did not want the chalky finish in our kitchen and simply wanted to take advantage of its qualities as a bonding agent and forgo stripping and sanding the cabinets before painting them. Ready-mixed chalk paint is quite expensive, so I ventured out to make my own. After reviewing different recipes for DIY chalk paint, I opted for a single-step procedure of simply mixing one part calcium carbonate (ordered via Amazon) with two parts paint.


This was indeed easy. However, when I first applied the mixture to the surface it turned out a little lumpy. I sanded down the lumps and tried again. Knowing that the paint brand can matter in this procedure, I did another trial with a white Benjamin Moore paint leftover from a previous project. It turned out lump-free and it bonded securely to the cabinet surface.

For this project, I used the white DIY chalk paint as a primer and then applied two coats of the yellow paint straight from the can. I sealed with three coats of water-based polyurethane (polycrylic) with light sanding in between coats. Oil-based polyurethane is slightly more durable, but it has a yellowing effect which I wanted to avoid with a light and yellow paint color.



Here’s the before shot of the bench.


And after, with accents of yellow and a mix and match of pillows.


The whole project took about a week from start to finish. We love how it turned out and have decided to paint the rest of the cabinets once we are back from our summer travels. Hopefully by the end of the summer our kitchen makeover will be complete.


  1. I love this post! One question – what accounts for the difference in the texture of the pre-made chalk paint and the DIY chalk paint?

  2. Hi Katie,
    I only used DIY chalk paint for this project. The difference in texture I noticed was based on the paint brand I used for making chalk paint. The yellow paint is Devine Color, which is a Valspar product. This paint turned out lumpy once used as chalk paint, something other bloggers experienced as well. The Benjamin Moore paint turned out lump free.
    Does this answer your question?

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