How and Why About DIY Paint

There are many paints on the market for furniture painting, but I find DIY Paint ultimately the best for artisans because DIY Paint is a chameleon for furniture artists and other types of art because it is clay-based and blends naturally. DIY Paint is specifically designed for furniture with no need for sanding or priming before you begin (See minimal preparations below.) It adheres to nearly any surface including metal, plastic, laminate, and glass. 

All paints have different ingredients and formulas; however, many chalk-type paints are acrylic based like latex paint and I find them difficult when cleaning up even if water-based. I clean up with DIY Paint at my kitchen sink.

Some paints boast about being a clay paint, but in all likelihood the clay is just an ingredient.  What does clay-based mean? Clay is to DIY Paint what flour is to a cake. Flour is the cake’s foundation into which all other ingredients are added; Clay is DIY Paint’s foundation. CRAY CRAY FOR THE CLAY CLAY!

DIY Paint does not need self levelers and that’s SUPER DUPER for furniture artisans and others. It takes five times the amount of pigment to work with the clay in order for that pigment to color the clay base. We can build the paint up with thick layers or water it down to blend and smooth, yet it will still retain a high pigmentation.

The clay creates highs and lows, so your whole piece has continuity when blending without having to worry about match-ability. DIY Paint is natural; nothing is more beautiful than nature’s blend-ability.

When it comes to blend-ability, “DIY Paint does the work, so you don’t have too.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Love, water, clay, porcelain clay, chalk, alcohol, ester (as a binder), cellulose, pigments, preservative.

The happiness of nature allows DIY Paint to have no VOCs and be eco-friendly. No more gloves, harsh chemicals, respirators or toxins to harm our skin or our land. No need to know where to properly dispose of this paint!

NO FUMES IN YOUR ROOMS with DIY Paint and it’s safe for our kids and pets.

Nature is simple yet complex which makes DIY Paint so minimal, yet so rich. 

Want texture, you got it! ~ ~ ~ Want a smooth surface, you got it! 

Want a century-old patina, like shutters in the New Orleans French Quarter, you got it!

Just paint it on thick or use a palette knife to push and pull the paint.  You can even burnish the paint like pottery.

Want drips saturated with color, you got it! – Simply add water.

No other paint mediums are needed since adding water to DIY Paint does not compromise the color.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Below is HOW I prep and paint with DIY Paint.  For optimum know-how, be sure to read this entire blog post because the HOW TOS are part of the WHY.  

Sample Boards When I am trying a new technique or color combination, I sometimes experiment with sample boards. Sample boards can be anything from wood scraps to cardboard! You learn a lot and avoid mistakes. However, some mistakes turn out to be no mistakes at all. 

Preparation DIY Paint is a minimal prep paint.

  1. Clean your piece with Dawn dishwashing liquid and water from a bucket, then wipe with a clean damp rag. 
  2. Does your piece need any repairs? Fix those first.
  3. Are you working with a dark wood like mahogany or cherry?  The tannins in dark wood could bleed through your paint, DIY Paint Salvation Solution is a stain-blocker and the bleed-through solution. I will be addressing bleed through in a separate blog post and video. Until then, contact me or drop me a comment below.
  4. Is the surface of the piece shiny or slick? If the answer is yes, you may need to scuff it up a bit with a light sanding.


  1. Drop Cloth to protect area (especially if painting in your home).
  2. DIY Paint
  3. Brush(es)
  4. Paper plate or small paper bowls
  5. Spray bottle
  6. Paper towels, baby wipes or old rags
  7. Plastic closable bags or cling wrap (for storing brushes until project is done.) I simply wrap my brush bristles in cling wrap and use that same piece until I’m done.

How I Like to Paint with DIY Paint

  1. DIY Paint is thick and does not separate easily.  I stir the paint rather than shake it.  I use a paint stir stick or large popsicle stick to stir the paint making sure to go all the way to the bottom and around the sides. I scrap the excess paint off, then put the stick on the paper plate or bowl I am using, so I do not waste paint.
  2. I do not paint from the paint container. I use paper plates or bowls to hold my paint to avoid contaminating the paint especially when using several colors.  (See my upcoming video and post on blending different paint colors.)
  3. Be careful not to use too much paint.
  4. Use a synthetic brush for fewer brush strokes.
  5. Use long brush strokes and do not overwork the paint by continuing to brush over the wet paint.
  6. The first coat may not provide full coverage on the piece.  That’s okay.
  7. Let your first coat dry at least two hours.  Drying time will vary depending on how thick the paint was applied or how dark the color is because darker colors have more pigmentation. As a rule of thumb, I find two hours minimal; however, I have left a project overnight or for several days before applying my second coat. That’s okay too.
  8. On your second coat, use light strokes.  Don’t push hard.   You can spritz your brush with water and then dip it in the paint especially if you notice your brush is starting to drag. (Some people like to spritz water directly on their furniture piece and that’s okay too.)


  1. Keep in mind hand-painted furniture is just that, so you will see minimal brush strokes. Personally, I like this look because I am not creating for perfection and, thank goodness, I am not a machine of mass production. You can use a natural bristle brush. Synthetic brushes will show less brush strokes. Use either type brush to achieve the look you want.
  2. Optional – To produce an even smoother surface on the top of a piece, I sometimes apply what I call the “Color Washed Top” to the top surface after the second coat dries.  The “Color Washed Top” technique is simply another option to consider if you feel there are paint irregularities remaining on the top of the furniture piece. I create a color wash by taking a small amount of paint on the brush tips and dipping the brush into a cup of water (no need to measure) and swirl it around. 
    1. Then, I dip the brush into the color wash and off-load the excess onto a paper towel or rag.  You want your brush saturated, but not with excessive dripping.
    2. Lightly brush the color wash over the top of the piece in long strokes in the same direction. Overlap your strokes, but do not keep reapplying in the same area. Let dry. — You will see the color wash reactivating some of the paint underneath to naturally blend any paint irregularities into the existing paint to create a smoother paint finish. 

I hope you find the Whys and Hows of DIY Paint helpful. DIY Paint should be sealed, so please be sure and watch my upcoming videos and blog posts on DIY Paint wax and finishes.  You don’t want to miss out, so please subscribe to my You Tube Channel and follow on social media.

Questions or Comments, please contact me or comment below. Don’t forget — Sign up for our newsletter, “What’s In Your Dewdrop?” I bet it is DIY Paint! LOL — Thanks Again, Terri 

DIY Paint – The Paint Named After Us! Safe, Sustainable & More

As a DIYer, do you want to create safely from home? Did you know there is a paint named after us that is safe and sustainable?  That’s right, DIY Paint!

The DIY Movement continues to grow and safety is our priority.  At Morning Dewdrops, we went from wearing this this…

DIY Paint is safe.  You can paint in your home with no fear of harming yourself, pets or your kids.  And our younger kids always want to help!

DIY Paint is safe and sustainable because it has NO VOCs! (volatile organic compounds)

INGREDIENTS: Love, water, clay, porcelain clay, chalk, alcohol, ester (as a binder), cellulose, pigments, preservative.

When I first started painting years ago, I thought I was using a safe, eco-friendly paint.  It said clean up with soap and water and the paint claimed, “low or minimal VOCs,” but there was a health warning on the label.  I also had to dispose of the waste safely according to state law. OMG! 

In addition, we received a call from a customer who was using another brand of paint with our JRV Stencils. She complained that a film would not come off her stencils. She stated she scrubbed, but the particles floating in the water kept adhering to the stencil.  These particles were probably from an acrylic or other bonding agent.  Acrylic is a transparent plastic that is added to most chalk-based paints on the market today and has a negative impact on our environment.   DIY Paint contains no acrylic, latex or harmful bonding or self-leveling agents.  Remember NO VOCs!

With DIY Paint, I rinse and clean my brushes in a small bucket, then pour the water out in my backyard.  

DIY Paint – Quality, Ease & Affordability

DIY Paint is so minimal, yet so rich.  The foundation (base) is an all-natural clay.  Think of a cake – the foundation of a cake is flour to which you add other ingredients.  Other brands claim their paint is a clay paint, but it is not the foundation.  DIY Paint is

  • 5 times more pigmented than other paints
  • Thick and Creamy
  • A one-step paint meaning no sanding or priming before painting.  This is known as No Prep or Minimal Prep.
  • And there’s no loss of saturation when mixed with water, so drip away!

No. 1 Customer Praise – Easy Blendability

Customers find DIY Paint the best for artisans, beginners and experienced, because the paint is a chameleon for furniture or other surfaces because of its blendability.  The clay creates highs and lows, so when blending, your whole piece has continuity without having to worry.

  • Want fewer brush strokes?  Blend with water. 
  • Want a century-old patina? Paint it on thick or use a palette knife or scraper to push/pull the paint to create the look of shutters in the French Quarter.
  • Want to burnish?  Just like burnishing clay pottery. 
  • Want to see layers?  Wet distress before sealing.
  • Want easy blending?  When blending two or more colors, the clay creates highs and lows and you don’t have to worry about matchy-matchy. Water can be spritzed using a spray bottle for even more blending.


DIY Paint is competitively priced, but you also save by doing it yourself.

  • Décor on a Budget
  • Two Step – Side Step (the expense of paying someone else)

DIY Paint is made in the USA and supports small businesses all while being safe and protecting our environment.

It’s a WIN WIN with DIY Paint, the Paint named after Us!

(Website/Location and/or Shopify Button)

Visit us at Morning Dewdrops by Terri Stephens at Booth 65 in Pineville Treasure Chest Too, 2878 LA-28, Pineville, LA 71360 …

Meet Delta – DIY Paint Dresser & Mirror

DELTA –H 34.5” W 40” D 20” Delta, a solid wood 1940’s-50’s dresser, was completed during the hurricane in Louisiana in 2020 and comes with wall-hanging oval mirror.   Delta is stunning and painted in DIY PAINT Colors of Bohemian Blue, Old ’57 and French Millinery.  She’s finished off with DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat and Clear and Dark Wax.  

Please follow to get notification of You Tube videos of how she was painted.

Delta shows off her sides to that have been decoupages in a beautiful high-quality paper with cooper script and scrolls.

Delta is adorned with copper glass knobs and paisley raised stencils on her front and sides. The raised stencils are made with Golden Glass Beads and Modeling Paste with DIY Paint Cooper Patina (Pennies from Heaven). As an artist, I have used these Golden products on canvases, wooden panels and now furniture.

Please subscribe to my You Tube channel and sign up for our newsletter, “What’s In Your Dewdrops?” I’ll be doing a video soon on how I adorned Delta with these stencils.

This is Delta’s mirror that hangs on the wall above her. It is painted in the same colors as Delta in the DIY Paint colors shown above.

Tell me what you think or let me know if you have any questions about these techniques by leaving a comment.

Clay Pots – Painted & Stamped


I was on the hunt for a big clay pot and this one is as big as a car tire!  Here it is in my booth at Pineville Treasure Chest Too with a picnic basket in it, LOL.  Gotta take advantage of small spaces.


I finished these pots during COVID19.  I bought the bigger pots at an estate sale the month prior and I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.  I was inspired by a video I saw on YouTube by Iron Orchid Designs (IOD) and they used one of their gorgeous, larger (clear/unmounted) stamps.  You should check them out.

I used a stamp I already had and I am certainly not comparing these pots with the one done in the video, but I like how they turned out.   The pots are sealed, so they can be used outdoors.

It didn’t take long before someone took home the big guy; one of a kind!

Love to get inspired – to inspire you! – Terri

Vintage Tray, Aged Patina, No Sanding – DIY Paint


I love the patina on this 1980’s vintage wooden tray and how easy it is to achieve with DIY paint.  I did not sand or wet sand, so the wood was not harmed. Natural patina is worn beauty, not tortured salvage.   It doesn’t have to look like someone tied the tray to their bumper and went hauling down the road.    

To get this look with DIY paint, simply use a wet rag.  That’s one of the beauties of DIY paint; it responds to water prior to sealing the paint with BIG Top topcoat or one of their waxes.

The flower image was also easy to distress and it looks like the image simply faded over time.  Wetting the paint with a continuous spray or fine-mist water bottle does the trick.

“I love me some drip action.”

Take it from someone who has painted for over ten years; this paint makes these painterly effects easier.  People will ask how you did it; well, I’ve gotta say – We have enough frustration in our daily lives and I don’t bring it into my creativity.  It’s the quality of the paint and the tools you use that make creating more enjoyable.


DIY paint colors – Crinoline, Hey Sailor, Gypsy Green and Petticoat Pink.  BIG TOP topcoat.  IOD (Iron Orchid Design) stamp.

The Vine of a Chair

I have not posted a blog except for one in a very long time.  I’ve missed it.  A lot has happened in my life; changing and growing like the vines on this table and chair.

I put myself out there again and had a show at a booth in October 2019.  I did not care for the tearing down/loading and unloading.  My husband and I are not that young anymore.  So I got a permanent booth at Treasure Chest Too in January 2020 and I am hooked on upcycling and reburishing vintage furniture pieces.  And, of course, all my drawing and painting experience in mixed-media is coming into play.

I am bursting with ideas.  My art pictures did not do that good in the booth, but the furniture is doing great!  It’s the venue and I am so glad because I love doing this.

Wait til I tell you about my Artelier! (French for workshop!) and social media plans.

So tonight I leave you with sweet dreams, pursue them no matter your age.  We can be like these endless vines on the chair that grew to the small table.  The Vine that doesn’t die; you know that one and His name is Jesus.

Fear Not


These are the same women; one lives in fear and one does not.

IMG_0875Some of us live in a state of fear today.  There has not been a pandemic in the USA that I know of since the 1950s and then the polio vaccine came out in 1955 and polio was all but eradicated in 1955.  I pray we have a vaccine for COVID-19 soon.  However, we are now experiencing black men being gunned down for no reason, looting and riots.  It all sounds like 1968 all over again.  Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy shot dead and riots and protests of the Civil Right Movements.

We are moving backwards it seems; how is his happening in 2020, some 50 years later?  I don’t have the answers, but I know this.  I will find the good in all.  No matter what I will find and see the good in someone; there is good in all of us.  I will not judge.  We are not put here to judge, but to love.  Love conquers fear.  Light always triumphs over darkness.