Chalk it up

Years ago, to the delight of many DIYers, chalk paint burst onto the arts and crafts scene. And it’s not gone away. Today it is still a huge hit, and with good reason. It is super easy to use. You can spruce up almost anything you can lay your hands on. And it’s therapeutic (hello self-care!). Talana Lubbe, the brainchild behind her own chalk paint range, started with only five colours, and it quickly escalated to becoming the chalk of the town.

Talana Lubbe is no newbie to paint. When she was young, her father started Krugersdorp Paint Centre which quickly became the go-to for many. So you may assume that right after school she joined the family business? Nope. She hustled in the UK … think assistant manager at a clothing store in the picturesque town of Windsor … just a stone’s throw away from Windsor Castle.

Then came the phone call from her dad. The family business was booming and they needed her help. And missing sunny South Africa and a proper braai, Talana didn’t think twice. As soon as she landed, she started to study interior design part-time, wanting to be able to offer clients more than just the paint the store was stocking. During transforming many clients’ spaces, enquiries about chalk paint started to pop up. And Talana saw an opportunity.

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“Loads of research, endless mixing of paint, a flop here and there and finally … I was happy with the end result. A little cautious, I started with five colours, mostly neutrals and one pop of colour. I made labels, ordered one litre buckets and created a small corner in the shop to showcase Kalkie Craft Chalk Paint.”

It turned out to be a massive hit. Now she has 54 colours, and five brand new ones will soon join the Kalkie Craft Chalk Paint chart.

“Seen a colour you love, but cannot find in chalk paint? No problem, we mix more than 4000 different colours at the factory. I do love the colour ideas the clients ask for, some of those have even made my colour chart.”

With a sparkle in her eyes, Talana added that they’ve started a range of glimmering metallic paints … think rose gold, Victorian rose, blue, silver, gold, bronze and copper.

“Because who doesn’t like a touch of bling? It is not over the top but just gives a gorgeous sparkling, glimmering effect. Imagine painting a focus wall and then adding the right lighting. Stunning!”

White is the most popular colour to paint furniture with. It goes well with anything and you can change the look of it with colourful accessories.

Think you need to be a pro or artistic to use chalk paint? Not according to Talana – you can even get the kids involved as all the products, from the primer and sealer to the texture paste, Texgel and glimmer paint are easy to use.

“We all have an old, almost forgotten treasure at home that you just do not have the heart to throw away. So pick up a brush and paint, you might just surprise yourself. Also, you can almost paint anything with it. I’ve painted my husband, Jaco’s, hunting trophies. I thought they need some zooshing up and what better to do it than with chalk paint? I think it looks great, he on the other, not so much. Haha! Next on my list would be to paint a piano … I just need to find the right one.”

Whether or not you’ve heard it before, it is therapeutic to paint. No wonder Talana is on a never-ending quest to find treasures to paint or upcycle. Transforming your space or even an old piece of furniture into something you love is, in Talana’s opinion, actually good for the soul.

“Or paint something for someone special, it’s just as rewarding. And so what if you get paint on your hands, clothes, or in my instance, even my hair. You should see me doing yoga moves to get the paintbrush to reach all the nooks and crannies. Just have fun.”
When Talana is not mixing paint or thinking about new colours, you’ll find her next to the rugby field, cheering for her two boys, 12-year-old Jayden and 11-year-old Janco. Or doing girly-girl stuff with her five-year-old daughter, Taylen, who already seems to have a huge fascination with all things paint.”

So instead of buying mum a box of chocolates this Mother’s Day, why not give her the gift of something you’ve made yourself?

Mother’s Day DIY ideas:

Glass box frame with flowers

You’ll need: A wooden glass box frame (any size you prefer); a wooden block/ small photo frame; Kalkie Craft paint (I used gold glimmer); paintbrush, a family photo; flowers; glue
How to:
Paint the box with the paint of your choice.
Glue the wooden block or photo frame in the middle of the box frame. Glue your family photo onto the block or place it in the frame. Use a frame that is almost the same width as the inside of the box frame so that the flowers can be placed around the photo.
Give the box and a bunch of your mom’s favourite flowers for Mother’s Day. Once the flowers have dried out, cut the stems and place it in the box frame.

Serving tray

You’ll need: Kalkie Craft Texgel (perfect for any decoupage projects, it is a paint, glue and hardener all in one); napkins (this napkin had three layers, I separated it so that I just use the flower layer); paintbrush; an old serving tray.
How to:
Give the Texgel a good stir before using it.
Paint the serving tray with the clear Texgel. Carefully press the napkins on the wet Texgel with a paintbrush.
Wait until it is completely dry – normally about one to two hours.
Apply a coat of Texgel over the napkins. You can also apply a second coat as this acts as a sealing agent.

Upcycled old wicker storage basket dresser

You’ll need: Kalkie Craft Paint in the colour of your choice for the frame (I used the colour Seaside, and Black for the handles); clear Texgel; soft bristle brush; sandpaper; napkins of your choice

How to:

Lightly sand down the frame of the dresser. Paint it with the Kalkie Craft Paint colour of your choice.

Paint the handles with Kalkie Craft Black chalk paint.

I used a decoupage technique for the basket drawers:

Remove the white layers of the napkins.

Give the Texgel a good stir before using it. Texgel is paint, glue, and hardener all in one.

Paint Clear Texgel over the basket, and carefully press the napkin over the basket with a soft bristle brush, while the Texgel is still wet.

Repeat this technique with every basket. Wait until completely dry.

Paint the clear Texgel over the napkins to seal it. I used two coats.

The wooden top of the table was completely damaged, so I removed it and used an old steel ceiling board in its place for the top. I sanded the ceiling board lightly, to keep its antique look, then painted Texgel over it, and pressed pieces of the napkins over it, so that it blends in with the baskets.

Once dry, I painted Texgel over it, to seal it.

There you have it, a new basket drawer dresser to use as a storage unit!

Details: kalkiecraft.co.za or follow @KalkieCraft on Facebook and Insta.

Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. • Photographer: CELESTE CILLIERS. • Make-up: ANTOINETTE DE BEER. • Hair: ELAINE BOSHOFF. • Dress: LIZAN ZONDAGH COUTURE

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