We’ve lived in our Florida home about four years.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I started this painting project the first week or so we moved in.  I just had not finished it until recently.  Consequently, I found the beach decor I wanted in the first place, but did not know how to do back then!

Seahorse shower curtain cut down to fit the window. Together with a tension rod, instant curtain.

Medicine cabinet door with old hardware. Works well with the paint effect, but on the lookout for a nice mermaid or seahorse door pull.

Bright gold hardware painted with the same chalk paint used on the door. Blends well and works so I won’t change it.

Beach Decor Without Being Cheezy

I wanted to feel like I was at the beach, without going overboard!  I have achieved it with a small painting job in our guest bathroom.  Well, it is our preteen son’s full-time bathroom so I had to keep it functional for him.

The Wall Paint Is Bright And Cheery

Part of our beach style is achieved with bold color and distressing, as needed.  The fact is, real beach stuff is weathered!  Salt water and windblown sand is rough on paint.  Being too fresh and clean or painted to look new falls short in the feeling aspect.  In our bathroom, our son chose a bright blue/teal paint.  Think Key West.  The door and trim paint was white.  The old door knob is gold.  It is pretty basic for the area.  I wanted the room to feel like another world once the door is closed.

From Everyday To Vacay By Closing The Door

Painting the back of the door only and the medicine cabinet door was quick and easy with chalk paint.  I mixed up a batch of gray-brown paint in a trusty yogurt container and slapped it on in a criss-cross pattern.  Once the gray-brown dried, I used clear wax with a dab of white paint mixed in to weather the project.

Be sure to checkout the oops and clearance isles at Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot for cheap paint.

Chalk Paint Recipe

Rule of thumb (recipe) for Chalk Paint:  equal parts Plaster of Paris & water to 3 parts paint.  Give or take any of the ingredients to mix the consistency you like.  Generally, you want the first of two coats to be thickest.  The second coat can be watered down a bit.  Remember in this project I only used about half as much paint as usual because I used a dry brush technique.  Play with it and see what you can come up with!

$2 Worth Of Paint Goes A Long Way

A year or so ago, I purchased some latex paint on clearance at Walmart.  These were small sample paints in Country White and Warm Caramel.  They sound good together, right?  Anyway, I have used these little paint samples to do several beach decor projects from picture frames to this bathroom project.  I painted the trim in Country White and used the Warm Caramel mixed with a few drops of black craft paint to make the gray-brown for the doors.  I made chalk paint by mixing equal parts water and Plaster of Paris.  Then I mixed in the Warm Caramel  and black paint.  So to recap, the Plaster of Paris measured 1/4 cup and the water was 1/4 cup stirred to mix well.  Then I poured in about a cup of the Warm Caramel paint and stirred to mix well.  Then, I added the black paint to desired color.  This mixture was enough to paint one thin coat with an almost dry brush on the medicine cabinet door and on the full-sized door on the entry way.  Looking at the finished project you can still see the original paint through the brush strokes. I only painted the inside of the entry door, not the jam.  To paint more of the door, you may need to mix more paint.  Actually, the mixture I recapped above was plenty of paint with a good bit left over.  Since the remaining paint will ruin in a few days by having the Plaster of Paris harden in the bottom, you will want to do any touch-up within a day or so.  Then toss the remaining paint.


This photo shows the actual paint I used in this project, however, any acrylic craft paint will do the trick.

Plaster of Paris is something you need to keep in your painting kit.  Goes a long way and is super cheap compared to buying pre-made chalk paint.

Save those empty yogurt containers for handy dandy paint mixing buckets.  Remember to keep the lids too.  Helps keep paint from drying out too quickly.

Clear Wax or Weathered Wax

If you go to the beach often, you’ve probably noticed the weathered buildings, fences and signs.  So wanting the feel of the beach, I weathered my doors.  You can choose to use a clear wax for just a wood-look.  To do the effect I chose, just take the clear wax and mix a dab of white paint in it.  Mash it together in a disposable bowl or on a waxed paper plate.  Then use an old t-shirt scrap to rub into the painted door.  Just kind of swipe it on and then buff as needed.  A little goes a long way.  Just keep rubbing!  I put a little extra in the cracks.

While I enjoy using Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax, it is not easily available for everyone.  Pictured is one option that can be found locally by many.  Also, Minwax Finishing Paste is another.

A few drops of white paint is used in this wax to achieve the weathered finish on the project.

Lastly, Change The Hardware

I chose to change the door knobs around the house to match the new one I was using in the guest bathroom.  We went from gold knobs to satin nickel knobs by Gatehouse.  Just so happens they are beachier…hmm, I guess that isn’t really a word.  Oh, well.  They look nice.  In case you need instructions on replacing knobs, check it out in this video.