Home & Garden

DIY decor: Chalk-painted fireplace

In process: Michelle Wakefield wanted a technique that would be easy on her arms.
In process: Michelle Wakefield wanted a technique that would be easy on her arms. Courtesy photo

Michelle Wakefield of Wichita says she uses Pinterest “constantly every day.” She’s always looking for ideas on the social-media site that allows users to “pin” photos, recipes and how-tos on their own digital bulletin boards. “I don’t even use cookbooks anymore,” Wakefield says. “I pin everything for food. … Pinterest is very addictive.”

Pinterest home project: For the 13 years Wakefield and her family have lived in their house, she’d hated the oak fireplace in the living room. She liked the brick face but not the oak trim. She was tempted to tear out the oak — an expensive proposition — and is glad that she followed a Pinterest inspiration to use chalk paint over the oak instead.

“I’ve had two or three pictures I’ve pinned for a year or two I just had sitting there on Pinterest waiting to get the guts to do it and looking at different techniques in the meantime.”

Wakefield has a bad rotator cuff, so she wanted to do something that would be easy on her arms. “I don’t like to sand anything. I really like using the chalk paint. You just paint it right on. It’s easy to distress.” Chalk paint is expensive — she paid $35 for a quart of Annie Sloan at Mrs. O’Leary’s in Old Town — but you can water it down, and she only used about a third of it for the fireplace.

“I distressed the edges so it looked a little worn, and put on a couple of coats of poly-acrylic over that. It doesn’t heat up at all. It looks so much better.”

Projects in the works: “I did my banister the same way I did my fireplace. I’m going to do my two bathroom vanities. Once I get a technique I like, I’m going to tackle my kitchen cabinets. I’m really enthused about chalk paint.”

DIY inspiration

Do you use social media such as Pinterest, Instagram or craft site Etsy for home decor ideas or inspiration for DIY projects? Email acalovich@wichitaeagle.com about your project, and you could be featured in a future column.

Follow The Wichita Eagle on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/wichitaeagle.