Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Microwave Cart Makeover

I have been wanting to try out chalk paint for quite a while now and after visiting my parents for the holiday I found the perfect opportunity. My mom had been wanting to redo a large credenza she had in the family room (now converted billiards room) but did not know how it would be possible since it was too heavy to move outside and sand. Chalk paint presented the perfect option since no sanding is required. We would not have to worry about getting dust throughout the house and wouldn't have to come up with a means of getting it outside. Since I had never used chalk paint before I decided to try it on a smaller piece of furniture, a microwave cart. This had been laying around the house collecting dust and was in desperate need of a makeover. 

I forgot to take a picture before I started setting everything up. I had already removed the doors for easier painting and had placed a flexible work light so I could see where I was painting.

This is what the doors looked like before with the original handles. This is the back of the door with the handle just sitting on top so the black hardware won't be visible when the doors are reattached.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I like completing my projects in the easiest and cheapest way possible while still getting professional results. You may even say I am a bit of a penny pincher. So while there are some chalk paint distributors close to where I live, I was not liking the prices nor the limited choices on colors. I decided to do some research online and found a good recipe for homemade chalk paint. I found the blog How to Distress Furniture which compared three different chalk paint recipes. I thought they did a wonderful job showing the differences between the various types. The one I went with used Plaster of Paris: 

  • 1 cup latex paint 
  • 2 1/2 Tbls Plaster of Paris 
  • 1 1/2 Tbls cool water

I did not want to use my measuring tools that I use for food so I just estimated amounts which worked pretty well for me. The paint mixed up really well and went on smoothly. One 10 oz sample size of paint from Lowe's was enough to do three coats. I let the paint dry overnight and then applied a coat of Minwax finishing wax. After a new set of handles the microwave cart looked brand new. It was a drastic improvement and will fit perfectly in my mom's home office for additional storage space.

I decided to use a brighter color since it was a smaller piece of furniture. There is also some distressing on the edges that are difficult to see in this picture. I am hoping to add some baskets or bins in the open space for organizing papers.


  • Microwave cart: Free
  • 4 lb box Plaster of Paris: $6.50
  • 4 oz sample paint: $4.00
  • 2 bronze handles: $8.00
  • Minwax Finishing Wax: $9.00
  • Paint brush: Free
  • Scrap rags (for applying wax): Free
  • Water: Free

Total: $27.50

Overall, I love how the cart turned out. This makeover cost less than $30 which is a steal, especially since almost all of the items can be reused. I barely touched the Plaster of Paris and Minwax finishing wax. I cannot wait to paint more things with this paint recipe. Next up will be that credenza!

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