Homemade Chalk Paint

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Chalk Paint Recipe

I’ve been wanting to make my own chalk paint recipe for some time now. I scored a few awesome tables from a garage sale for only $5 each! Now was the time to test my homemade chalk paint recipe and technique. By the way, if you haven’t read my Garage sale series yet, check it out here. It’s amazing the stuff you can find at garage sales!

Paint furniture the easy way using Homemade Chalk Paint!

Chalk Paint Recipe

There are all kinds of chalk paint recipes on the net but how do you know what really works? You have to just dig in and try it and that’s exactly what I did. Let me start off my telling you that the most popular chalk paint for furniture (or anything else) is Annie Sloan chalk board paint.

It’s amazing stuff but it’s also a pretty penny. You have to buy the paint, the clear wax and if you want a dark look you will also need the dark wax. I would highly suggest using Annie Sloan chalk paint for major projects such as a dining room table or kitchen cabinets for sure. I was not about to drop that kind of cash for a couple of $5 tables though.

Colors of Chalk Paint

Not gonna do it!  One of the most popular colors of Annie Sloan paint is the Duck Egg Blue.  I found the Behr “Green Meets Blue S-430-4” color is almost identical to it so that’s what I used. Oh, one other thing.

If you have a beautiful piece of real wood furniture that has scratches, you may want to try this DIY Oil and Vinegar Furniture scratch removal recipe.

It’s an old recipe my grandma used to make back in the day.  It was her furniture polish solution and it works wonders on scratches!

Ingredients needed for homemade chalk paint: (this recipe will give you enough to do a small table)

  • 1 jar of 7.5 or 8 oz sample size paint (I these photos I used Behr color: Green meets blue S430-4 that was only $2.59 at Home Depot)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris (dry mix)
  • 1 tablespoon of water (keep more on hand because you may need it as you go)
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 large paint brush
  • 1 small paint brush
  • 2 spoons for mixing
  • 1 small wet wash cloth
  • 1 can of Paste finishing wax
  • Optional: Antiquing glaze or Metallic paint is what I used.

Instructions for homemade chalk paint:

Start by wiping down your furniture to clear it of dust and particles. Add the sample jar of paint to one bowl. In the other bowl, add the Plaster of Paris powder and water. (Important:  be sure to wear a mask.

Wear a Mask when working with Plaster of Paris

Plaster of Paris can be extremely dangerous if you inhale it)  Mix until it becomes a smooth like paste. I had to keep adding a few drops of water to get that consistency. Once your plaster is smooth, add it to your colored paint and mix it until it’s completely mixed in with no lumps.

Pro Tip: Keep water close by because if you paint starts to get too thick you can easily keep adding more water. I ended up adding more plaster than this recipe called for and I had to do this.

Note for chalk paint use

There’s no need to sand or prime your furniture because chalk paint adheres nicely. That’s one of the biggest benefits to using chalk paint on furniture. Coat your furniture with one layer of paint and let it dry.

Optional: Coat your furniture with a second layer of paint if you like a less distressed look. (this is what I did). Here’s a photo of the finished painted project but before I added the metallic glaze:

Homemade Chalk Paint Once you have finished painting your project be sure to allow it enough time to dry. Then wipe it down with the finishing wax. The chalk paint is a bit dry and this will seal the color.

Adding another chalk paint color

If you add another color before putting the wax, the first coat of chalk paint will such up another coat.  By adding the wax, it won’t be as dry and won’t absorb the second coat as quickly.

I did this before I put on my metallic coat of paint so that it wouldn’t be too dark. I highly suggest you test what look you are going for on a scrap piece of wood before applying it.

The last optional step would be a slight amount of sanding around the edges if you are looking for that antique look.  Use a fine grade sand paper sponge to achieve this look.

Now that I’ve created my masterpiece, I cannot wait to see what other pieces of furniture I find our local garage sales or flea markets!! Happy painting my friends!

Use homemade Chalk Paint to paint furniture the easy way!
Use homemade Chalk Paint to paint furniture the easy way!
Use homemade chalk paint to paint furniture the easy way!

Chalk Paint Furniture DIY

Here’s another before and after example.  This one was a project done by a friend of mine.  She was so excited after reading this article, it inspired her to update one of her furniture pieces.  Beautiful!

Chalk Painted Furniture using homemade chalk paint

Another Chalk Paint Project

I just did another project with chalk paint!!!  I’m hooked I tell ya!!  Chalk paint is so easy and fun to do.  I found a cute twin bed real wood bed set and a nightstand at a garage sale this morning.

I paid $15 for both pieces.  They were ugly!  Not when I got finished with them.  What do you think??  You likey??

Trash to Treasure with Homemade Chalk Paint

Have you ever made homemade chalk paint?

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  1. I LOVE THIS!! I had a question tho was your paint sample a matte finish? I have been reading so many DIY chalk paint and they all call for flat finishes so i wanted to know if this was a flat finish or if it was satin? Thank you and you did a great job!!

    1. Can I chime in? Either paint will work just be sure its water based Latex.
      Chalk paint goes on looking very flat because of the Chalk.
      True Chalk paint is made with powered Chalk as well, calcium carbonate. You can buy a bag cheap from Amazon so save your money on Amne Sloan, paint those kitchen cabinets and use any colour you want.
      Mix paint, chalk and a bit of water and remember the measurements so you can replicate it!
      To age your piece, cover it with clear wax, allow to harden. harden. Then cover with dark wax getting it into every knook and cranny then wipe the dark wax off (as much as you like) with the clear wax again and rag. Sand edges for a worn look as well if you please.

    2. I know this is an older post, but I noticed no one answered it, so in case someone else wanted to know, I thought I would answer it. Most companies sell sample paint of their colors which usually come in about 8 oz. size. This paint is flat, which is the only sheen you can get it. So, you don’t have to use samples, but it does have to be flat. If you use a paint with a sheen I don’t think it looks right. I’m not sure because I never have tried it. Every artist I know uses flat, so if anyone else knows different let me know! I may try it sometime just to see what happens!

  2. Okay, that’s it! I am officially chalk painting some ugly old wood furniture in my house! Thanks!

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  4. Hi
    Every chalk recipe I have read, does not state what type of paint I should you. Can you use normal emulsion paint for internal walls or do you have to use acrylic paints

      1. What do you think about using the Acrylic Craft Paint in the 2oz.plastic bottles? I want to give it a try. You could get a great selection for next to nothing!

  5. Very pretty…We do an extreme amount of furniture and lots of larger pieces as we have a shop. In the last few years we have gotten very spoiled with using a paint sprayer…Could this solution be used in a sprayer or does it have to be brushed on?

  6. Hi, I have a few questions for you! What kind of finishing paste did you use? Was it a clear paste? If I were to use a dark paste, would I get a “distressed” look? And lastly, after you added your final metallic coat, did you seal it with anything like a polycrylic?
    Thank you very much! Hope to hear from you soon!!

    1. There are a few finishes I’ve used:
      Water base Polyurethane. I’m picky though so I prefer this one: http://amzn.to/18xGrYQ
      The metallic color was a glaze. So glazes work too.
      Minwax makes a regular and dark wax as seen here: http://amzn.to/1N2mZTv
      I’ve also used Zinssser’s brand Shellac too (the spray kind seen here: http://amzn.to/1wwXkrG )
      Out of all the finishes, I prefer the Poly and the Shellac. They are less work and easy to apply. The Shellac can be used before a project if you want water stains, or any type of stains you want to cover and not have them bleed through. It can be pricey though but worth it. I try to hold the can about 12 to 15 inches away from the project to get a very fine and even mist of spray on my project. I love the results.
      To answer your question about the distressed look: I would paint your project with two colors (the first color that you want to peek through when distressing) then I would lightly sand the edges and such to get that look. The dark wax with slightly change the color so it really just depends on what look you are going for. I would test it on a scrap piece before I committed to anything.

      I hope that helps. Good luck with your projects. I would love to see photos when you are done.

  7. Hi! I just had a quick question about the little nightstand that you painted (the one with the twin bed) it had quite a bit of staining on the top, water rings, I know you said you didn’t sand it at all before painting, so did the water rings show through after you finished the project?
    Glad I found your page Also!! You have lots of great info and recipes!!

  8. This all sounds very interesting and informative, but I am wondering what paint grade I should use for a dining room table. It won’t get heavy use as no children at home anymore and it isn’t a fine antique. Should I use flat, eggshell, or semi-gloss. The semi-gloss is more durable but probably defeats the purpose of a “chalky” finish.


  9. Yippee, I just stumbled across your site and will have to give this a try. I have a few pieces that need an update and I happen to have all the needed materials on hand. Thank you!!!

  10. IJennifer,
    I absolutely LOVEthis idea for reclaiming furrniture. The possibies are endless. I am curous. You call it chaldboard paint. Can this actually be used as as a chalkboard? (like basi chalkboard paint purched at hardare stores)
    I love what you have done with some of your reclaimed purchases. I have to say though, as someoe who grew up in the industry of restoring antiques I have a personal adversion to takinga beautiful piece of wood furniture and covering it with paint. It is ingrained in me and thre is not much I can do about it. I see too much beauty in the wood itself in a more natural state with just some stain and varnish to enhance it. The table you posted that you added the bluish color on almost made me cry because the original piece was so beaeutiful to begin with. I can see why youwould do the bed becuse to refunish it would be a tremendous amount of work and your fiish prduct is verry lovely.
    I am not new to reclaiming or repurposing but I am new to your page and look forward to learning many new ideas and techhniques. Thank you for sharing your talent.

    1. We don’t call it chalkboard paint. We call it chalk paint because it’s made with a plaster. I can appreciate that you would rather restore the antiques instead of painting it. I have lots of friends that prefer this too. I prefer the trendy colors. Welcome to our page!

      1. I think she thought you meant that what you used was chalkboard paint because in your narrative you mentioned the “Annie Sloan Chalkboard paint”! I actually was a little confused when first reading it also, but I reread it and then understood!

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    Love your tables. Can get over the fact that you got them for only $5. An awesome deal! And I definitiely plan to try you grandmothers furniture scratch removal recipe too. Can’t wait to see how it works. What color paint did you friend use for her antiqued white cabinet? That color would be perfect for my home. Would so love to be able to try it. Thanks.

  12. Jennifer,
    I am opening my shop in a few weeks, God willing after 9 long months of renovation and have been stumbling upon some amazing garage sale finds to redo and sell at the shop. I recent purchased an gorgeous old iron bird bath for a song and wanted to know if you think it can be used on iron and exterior furniture? Or should I look for an exterior min wax to seal it? I think I have seen those in my frequent hardware store travels? I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I stumbled upon your site while perusing Pinterest. I can’t wait to look through all of your projects and other tabs! I am shop poor! LOL

    1. i hope you dont mind me butting in my two cents but in my experience most projets like this wil work with many types of bases. they key is to begin with a paint that is specific to the medium you are working with. although i have never tried this particular techniqe, i do know having the right foundational materia is key.

      I look forward to Jennifers response to see if the technique will work on iron. i have a few items i would like to try it on myself! Good luck with your project1 I hope i get a chance to see the finished result and hear how things went for you.
      P.S. I am thinkng for my objects a crackled glaze would be a nice touch L;0

  13. Jennifer,
    First of all, I love the new site design. Absolutely gorgeous!
    I am an avid garage saler too, and I can’t believe you purchased that table for just $5. Seriously! In my area, it would have been at least $15. Great find and amazing make over. Thanks for all the tops!

    1. Thanks Amanda. I love the design too. Simple and clean. I love my g-saling friends! I feel like we are a secret group or something. lol! That table was an awesome find. I get lucky cause I go pretty early though.

  14. I would like to know what type of sample paint should I buy for the chalkpaint recipe…acrylic or oil based? i really want to try this recipe!

  15. I have a 60 year old laminate desk and I would like to paint it can I paint over laminate with chalk paint???

  16. Why did you decide to paint the drawer pulls? Just curious.
    Also, you mentioned that chalk paint adheres nicely so no need to prime or sand. I have a bathroom in a very old cottage that I am renting out. The problem is that no matter how well I seem to strip the walls in between tenants, the bathroom (which has an exhaust fan in it to remove steam and a window as well) paint always just cracks and peels off the walls. It is awful! One tenant tried to solve the problem by putting in wallpaper, but that peeled off, too. No one is sure why the paint always peels in there. Do you think chalk paint might work? And do you think primer would be a good idea given the situation? Or, maybe it’s the primer, itself, that is causing the problem.

    1. I opted to paint the handles because they were ugly and rusted with some chipping. About your issue, it seems as though the steam from the bathroom is causing you lots of issues. I wonder if there’s a way for you to force the fan on every time the light comes on. Maybe it’s a matter of actually using the fan to help you. I’m not sure that chalk paint will help you. It’s not water proof or steam proof. It adheres nicely to wood but I really don’t think it will help your issue. Just my thought anyway.

    2. Seajoule,

      I have done a lot of remodeling and reno projects and my guess is that at one point there was oil based paint and it was either primed and/or painted with water based latex paint. I am not sure if it will work but I think it might…buy Kilz or Binz OIL BASED primer but ask the rep to make sure it is the primer to seal oil based paint to be painted over with Latex. Or you can skip the latex paint and paint it with oil which in my opinion is more durable, cleanable and mold resistant. Yes the clean up is not as easy but I always buy disposable rollers and brushes when using oil and throw them away when I am done. If you can’t finish the job in one day, simple load up brush and roller with pain, wrap in plastic bags and pop it in freezer or fridge until you can get back to the project. Let me know how it works, I will be back here often. This site is a gem of resources!

  17. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net.
    I most certainly will recommend this blog!

  18. I have melamine painted kitchen cabinets, do you think it would adhere to these. Painted them years ago and they’re looking pretty tired.

    1. I’m not sure. I would try this paint on a melamine bowl first to see how it holds up. I have found this paint adheres to lots of stuff and I wouldn’t be surprised if it works!

      1. I will be the guinea pig! I picked up a Honey Oak look melamine two door cabinet to used near my desk at my shop but wanted to paint it teal to match my desk. I primed it with Kilz and the primer pealed right off. I will own up to not scuffing the plastic paper finish first to rough it. My bad. At this point I have nothing to lose so I will try it and let you know so you don’t ruin your cabinets. Or you could test it on an inconspicuous spot inside?

  19. I’m wondering what the difference is between regular paint one might use to chalk paint? I cant see going through all of it if there’s not a beneficial side, I’m guessing there is otherwise it wouldn’t be popular. Please get back to me if possible, the fact I’m into all sorts of crafts has my curiosity controlling everything running through my mind at the moment that could be done/changed/made and oddly enough a metal cabinet that needs to be repainted is on the top of my list, for the last 3 years – I’ve just left it because I don’t want it to come out looking like “just painted by a amateur….you know the look, the primer car look” and if it could be applied to this, fantastic!! 🙂

    1. Yes! I’ve seen it done on kitchen cabinets. If you are worried about the outcome I highly suggest testing it on a scrap piece of wood first. I’ve been using this recipe for a long time. If I were re-doing my cabinets I would use this recipe!

      1. So glad someone asked & you replied to this question. I rent and have very old UGLY kitchen cabinets….wanted an easier way to paint them. Thanks!!

  20. FacebookI am very excited about finding you!look forward to a great relationship .I love crafts?Sold paint supplies for 30 years,I understand you !

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