Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
The world of decorative painting was revolutionized over 25 years ago when Annie Sloan produced the first chalk paint. After feeling there was a lack of paint options, she created this signature paint suitable for anyone from DIYers to interior designers.
Since the launch of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, there have been many brands producing similar products, but all come with a higher price point than regular paint. If the cost of a brand name chalk paint is stopping you from trying it, you can easily make your own at home with little fuss.
What is Chalk PAINT?
Chalk paint is a latex based paint mixed with a fine granular powder.
Why use Chalk Paint?
Chalk paint can be used to revive and upcycle old furniture and home accessories. It provides a matte chalky finish. You can sand it in places to create a rustic distressed look with ease.
Benefits of Chalk Paint
- Chalk paint requires minimal preparation. You can forget about sanding or priming, this paint can be used on surfaces both indoors and outdoors after a quick clean. Chalk paint can go on almost any material, from wood to metal, plastic to bricks.
- As it is latex based, you can easily clean your paint brushes with soap and water rather than using spirits. You will also be able to clean paint of your skin and clothes much easier too.
- Chalk paint is known for its ease of use and versatility and gives amazing results, revitalizing furniture, ceilings and walls.
Chalk Paint Recipes
There are various recipes out there to make chalk paint that contain different ingredients (granular powders), so let’s look at just some of the options you have.
*Note: ** As all recipes do include a portion of latex paint they are not 100% organic. **
Calcium Carbonate Recipe
Calcium Carbonate is in fact chalk, so it’s the perfect ingredient to have in your chalk paint.
- Mix together until you get a smooth consistency.
- Depending on where you live, you may find the calcium carbonate powder difficult to find. Check with your local pharmacy or order online.
While this calcium carbonate recipe is the least economical, it gives you chalk paint that has an identical finish to brand name chalk paint. It has excellent consistency, dries in around 30 minutes and leaves you with a smooth, chalky and beautiful finish.
Plaster of Paris Recipe
Plaster of Paris mixes well into paint to give you a smooth textured chalk paint with great consistency.
- Make a smooth paste with the plaster of Paris and water before stirring it in to the paint.
- Mixture does thicken and can become grainy after storage but this can be fixed with stirring and adding a little water.
- Plaster of Paris can lighten the color shade so be mindful of this when choosing a color.
Plaster of Paris adds an extra hardness to paint so this is a great choice for painting over heavy varnishes or top coats.
Baking Soda Recipe
If you are after a weathered ‘country’ look for your furniture, then using a baking soda recipe is perfect.
Baking soda chalk paint has a real chalky finish but is not as smooth as some of the other kinds. It does give a great rustic look to your furniture.
What Kind of Paint Should you use to mix with?
You can make chalk paint with different kinds of paints such as satin finish or paint & primer all-in-one, but you will get the best results using a flat latex paint.
- Ensure that your chalking ingredient (baking soda, plaster of Paris or calcium carbonate) is free of lumps before mixing it into your paint. This will help to achieve a smooth velvety texture. You can remove lumps by vigorously stirring with a whisk or fork, or alternatively you can put the ingredient through a sifter. Just make sure to wash thoroughly before using for cooking purposes.
- Use a clear container for mixing so you can see more of the mixture and check that there are no lumps hiding in the bottom or sides.
- If your paint mixture is too thick, add some water to thin it. Alternatively add more chalking ingredient to thicken it.
Storing your Home-Made Chalk Paint
If you have any leftover chalk paint you should store it in a glass container or jar rather than a plastic container. Using freshly mixed chalk paint will give you better results so try to only prepare as much as you think you need for the project at hand.
- While chalk paint does not require you to sand, prime or strip your furniture before painting, make sure to give it a good clean before starting.
- The coverage quality can be different depending on the type of paint you use, so you may need more than one coat to achieve your desired look.
- The type of brush you use will affect the final result. A cheap brush will give you a more distressed look compared to a smoother finish that a quality brush will give you.
- It’s much easier to remove any particles or lumps when paint is wet, so keep a paper towel handy and you can touch up as you work.
It’s easy to replicate the original chalk paint that you can find in stores, with just a few simple ingredients, minimum fuss and less money. Why not give it a go and see what masterpieces you can create upcycling your old furniture.
What are you going to paint?