pop up painting class.

In the past I’ve had a few people ask me whether or not I teach classes on painting.  Last year I taught a couple of classes that focused on milk paint at the Round Barn, but other than that I really haven’t done any classes.  But I’ve thought about it, and wondered if I could pull it off at my own house.  So when a gal I knew from a craigslist purchase mentioned that she’d love to take a class, I suggested that she and a friend be my guinea pigs.  After all, I have a lot of knowledge learned on the fly, and I am more than happy to share what I know with others.

class title

The one big thing that I can offer in a class of my own is a complete lack of bias or focus on a particular product.  In other words, my class encompasses all of the various products out there, along with when, why and how to use them.  Since I am not selling any products here, I don’t need to be promoting a particular brand.  I firmly believe that both milk paint and chalk paint have their place.  Not all projects are good for milk paint, and vice versa.  I also have a couple of money saving tips, such as when you can substitute a much cheaper product, and when you can’t.

class paints

So on a recent sunny Saturday afternoon my guinea pigs, Emily and her friend Jess, came over for a class.  They each brought something from home to paint.  Emily brought some simple wood storage cubes, and Jess brought a toy box that she saved from the dumpster.  Someone she knew was going to toss it!  So she grabbed it and brought it along to paint.  I am kicking myself now because I didn’t get ‘before’ pics!  Darn!  But suffice to say, the cubes were already painted in pastel colors, and the toy box was painted black.  We assumed that all of them were painted in a latex satin or semi-gloss paint.

Emily and Jess learned how to decide which product is right for your piece, how to prep your piece before painting, painting with chalk paint, mixing and painting with milk paint, stenciling, distressing and finishing with either wax or hemp oil.

They used both chalk paint and milk paint on their pieces.  Here is Emily putting a coat of MMS Artissimo milk paint on one of her cubes, after having already painted the inside with chalk paint in Duck Egg.

class Emily

And Jess went with an undercoat of Cece Caldwell Vintage White chalk paint followed by MMS milk paint in Apron Strings for the toy box.

class Jess

We experimented with a hemp oil resist, and also with blow drying.  Here is Jess blow drying her toy chest (boy, that just somehow sounds wrong, doesn’t it?)

class blow drying

Originally Jess was going to stencil a number on the toy box, but once I showed her this french stencil, she knew it was perfect.

class toy box

“sweet dreams my child, good night”

The Apron Strings was a great color choice for this piece as well.  Jess really liked the variations in this color ranging from pink to coral.  It really worked well for her, and it was a great way for me to show them this quality of milk paint (which can be good or bad, depending on what look you are going for).

Our class lasted just a tad over 4 hours, and both Emily and Jess went home with finished pieces.

class results

It was really fun, and I enjoyed sharing my knowledge.   I think I learned a couple of things about how to make it go more smoothly next time (like actually have some handouts ready to pass out, oops).  I wasn’t sure we’d be able to fully complete our projects in that time span, so I was glad to learn that yes, it can be done.

I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head for future classes.  One idea is to have a class where each person paints a vintage cupboard door to turn into a ‘sign’, like my French Market sign.

sign 2

Another possibility is a class where everyone goes home with a painted suitcase (but first I have to get my hands on some suitcases!).

suitcase pair

But I also would be willing to just host some more classes where people bring their own item to paint.

So, if any of you locals might be interested in a class, please leave a comment or drop me an email at oakdalecarriagehouse@gmail.com

I’d love to hear from you!

33 thoughts on “pop up painting class.

  1. What did you mean by this comment,”which can be good or bad, depending on what look you are going for?” I am getting ready to try milk paint for the first time instead of chalk paint.


    1. Good question Bonnie. That was kind of a vague comment on my part ;-). Take a look at this post about a dresser I painted in Luckett’s Green (click on text to follow link). It sort of explains what I meant by that comment. In essence, the milk paint will have some variations in color. Certain color pigments tend to sink to the bottom of your mixed paint. This is why it is very important to continually mix your paint as you are using it. Sometimes this variation can work for you like it did on the toy box, but other times it can be a real pain. In the post I linked, you can read about how I learned that you can’t paint one drawer of a dresser separately from the rest of the dresser because you may get a markedly different color. This is good stuff to know before you start with the milk paint. What color are you going to be using?


      1. I was considering Typewriter. My bedroom set is 1970s modern. I wanted to do a Restoration Hardware/Pottery Barn type redo. Any suggestions? Is milk paint not the best choice?


      2. I’m relieved to hear you say Typewriter. That is by far one of the best colors to start out with. You won’t have to worry too much about variations in pigment with Typewriter at all. Also, it covers beautifully. Some people even manage to get by with just one coat, depending on how dark your piece is to start with. I love working with the Typewriter! Just remember, don’t panic if the Typewriter doesn’t look black when it dries. It will look sort of chalky. Adding either hemp oil or a dark wax as your finish coat will darken it back up.


    1. Definitely! Get that sucker out of the attic and tuck it under a dresser or other piece of furniture that has some space underneath. Or on top of a taller piece. Does it need a paint job, or is it already fab as is? Will you come all the way from New York for a class?? 😉


  2. Hello! The Reclaiming Beautiful team would love to come to a class with you!! Count the three of us in and let us know when. We are excited to meet you and learn from you!!


  3. Sounds like such fun, wish I was local. I just love the variety of stencils you have. Do you purchase them all from the same vendor?


  4. count me in! I’m local and would love to come, how many do you have space for? I have a couple of friends that would love it.


    1. I only have space for about 4 to 6 people per class. If we’re painting something small, like a sign or a suitcase, I can fit six. If it’s furniture, I really can only fit about 4 max. So classes will be small. I will keep you posted Mary!


  5. I am very interested Linda! I have my occasional table in my upstairs foyer area. I could just stain the top but if you are having a class, I would love to paint the whole thing. Keep me in the loop.


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