Concrete Effect with Craft Paint

If you’ve read my hall tree DIY post, you know that I’m working on upgrading the look of my mudroom. This wood planter from Ashland lived on the windowsill before we moved in, and it has been there since.

At some point the wood suffered some water damage, and the fake plants have faded. However, the box is the perfect size for a windowsill herb planter, so I couldn’t let it go. This weekend I had a chance to think through what I want it to look like in its second life. I decided on a concrete effect.

First, the handles had to go. They’ve begun to split anyway, and those skinny loops would be a dead giveaway of my faux concrete. They popped right off, and then I pulled out the tiny nails with pliers. Then I found this DIY Outdoor Paint by ArtMinds at Michaels in “Concrete” and thought, Awesome! Easy-peasy concrete look coming right up!

Wrong. This paint does not provide a concrete effect whatsoever; it’s just concrete-colored gray satin paint. I failed to read closely. My bad. I applied this paint with a foam brush anyway, but it just yielded a very solid, very smooth, satiny gray — not achieving my dream of a heavy concrete-looking planter. So, I went digging in my box of miscellaneous craft paints and found my DecoArt Americana Chalkboard Paint. This seemed like a good option, since it has a very matte finish.

To fix the smooth texture, I added granulated sugar to a cup in about a 1:1 ratio with some of the ArtMinds concrete paint and a few drops of the black chalkboard paint. Without mixing, I applied the paint-sugar mixture by dabbing it on with my foam brush. The paint ended up thick and took extra time to dry, but the sugar did the trick with adding the right texture.

After the paint dried, I filled the bottom seam with more paint to camouflage it. Home Depot still had some herb plants, so I bought a few and hid their pots with some burlap.

For a similar look, HobbyLobby’s Rectangle Compartment Wood Box is similarly sized. Any gray paint and chalkboard paint would yield the same effect with something gritty added, like sand or sugar.

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