I'm a Little Tea Cart

I'm in the middle of planning a big 2nd birthday party for my little cutie.  I'm working on 1,258 projects to make my vision come to life.  Okay, so it's not that many, but it's starting to feel like it!  At one point I got stuck on the idea that I needed a tea cart, or more precisely, a white distressed tea cart.  Luckily I found one on Craigslist pretty quickly, but alas it was neither white nor distressed.  No problem, I thought to myself, I have some leftover white paint!  Unfortunately, I noticed that the finish was super lacquery (is that a word?) and would probably need sanding and/or priming to take any paint.  I wasn't in the mood to sand and/or prime, so immediately decided to use chalk paint.  We have a stockist not too far from here, but picking up paint also requires taking my two little bulldozers munchkins downtown into an adorable little shop full of antique furniture and a lot of cute, highly breakable things.  Randomly, as I was plotting a way to purchase the paint over the phone and have them run it out to my car Sonic style, I came across a recipe for homemade chalk paint using baking soda!  I've seen others using grout or plaster of paris but I had baking soda and I had white paint, so there was no need to leave the house at all!  This is how it went...

Here's the tea cart before.  It was in pretty good shape, but it needed to be white.

You can see the lacquery finish here.  It's like a mirror!

Here are the supplies I used to make homemade chalk paint.  The formula according to multiple online sources is 2/3 cup flat latex paint to 1/3 cup baking soda and 2 tbs. water.  Because I had already ruined my cheap measuring cups with my guest room project, I just eyeballed it this time.  I added water until it felt like the right consistency.  It helped that I've used ASCP, but I don't think that matters much.  I mixed it all up in a plastic take-out container (we have a lot of these thanks to the Pho from our local Vietnamese restaurant!).

Here are my thoughts on homemade chalk paint:

- drying time was a little slower than the real thing
- dried a lot grittier, but that sanded off fairly easily
- brush strokes were a little more visible
- coverage was similar- I didn't need to sand or prime!  However, I think the real thing does a better job with bleed through.  I definitely had some bleed through on this piece so there are some brownish stains that came through even after three coats of paint.  Since I was distressing the piece anyway it wasn't a big deal, but I don't think that would have happened with ASCP.

Overall, I definitely prefer ASCP, but for a quick project I could see myself using a diy version again, either with baking soda or one of the others.  How cute is this little tea cart now though??  I love it so much and can't wait to put it to use for the party!  Now, if someone could just come over and join me for some lemon water... my 3 year old says it's "yucky!" :)


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