How to Make Chalk Paint

chalk p\paint recipe

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Making the DIY version of chalk paint is an easy and inexpensive alternative to buying it ready-made. Save yourself time and money by learning easily how to make chalk paint.

We all know and love chalk paint.  It’s amazing. Why? Well, because there is barely any prep work to be done, which is appealing to gals like myself.  And also, because it has such a beautiful vintage, matte finish to it. 

But you know what I don’t like about chalk paint? The price! 

It is not cheap. Even with all the new brands available nowadays, the prices are still pretty high.

I refuse to pay $34 for a small can of chalk paint. I mean that money can go towards an outrageously expensive pair of shoes that I have no problem buying.

Isn’t it funny what we are willing to spend money on and what we are not?

Anyway, the price was the main reason I decided to start making my DIY version of chalk paint.

Also, owning a painting company, you tend to collect a ton of paint samples. How else would I use them?

WHY MAKE YOUR OWN CHALK PAINT?

There are many reasons to make your own chalk paint.

Firstly, it’s inexpensive. As I mentioned before a can of brand name chalk paint will run you anywhere up to $34.  Learning how to make your own is a more budget-friendly option.

Secondly, the color options are limitless. You can choose any latex paint color your little heart desires because you are mixing up the chalk paint recipe yourself. 

Thirdly, DIY chalk paint tends to dry faster. No one enjoys watching paint dry so the less time waiting the better. And the more projects you can get done.

Fourthly,  it’s super durable. When compared to some store-bought chalk paint brands, the DIY version tends to be more durable. This may be from the ingredients used to make homemade chalk paint.

Finally, you have control over how you make your chalk paint. You can choose to make it as thick or as watered down as you like.

SUPPLIES FOR MIXING CHALK PAINT

The Best DIY Chalk Paint Recipe

LATEX PAINT

I use Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint samples, but any latex paint will work. Glidden and Behr are great affordable options.

Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint samples come in a satin finish. I know when making  DIY chalk paint, many people prefer using flat latex paint.

I don’t mind the satin finish, but if you want something that is going to be dead flat, make sure you get paint with a flat sheen.

A few great paint color options you can use would be: SW Light French Gray, SW Repose Gray, SW Alabaster, BM Revere Pewter, SW Mindful Gray, SW Agreeable Gray.

Also, check out the amazing neutral paint colors.

PLASTER OF PARIS

The brands of plaster of Paris I like to use are DAP or Falling in Art.  But any plaster of paris will work.

HOW TO MAKE CHALK PAINT

We have the ingredients and supplies needed to create the chalk paint next we need to mix it.

OPTION 1

  • Start with the plaster of Paris and water.
  • Add the plaster to the plastic container then slowly add the water. I say slowly because depending on the consistency, you may or may not want to add more or less water. I say start with less because you can always add more.
  • Thoroughly mix the 2.  Make sure there are no clumps whatsoever. The consistency should be completely smooth.
  • Take the mixed plaster and add that to the cup of paint. You want to make sure the plaster and paint are mixed thoroughly. Once you are done mixing, mix a little longer.

OPTION 2

  • Add the plaster of Paris and water to your blender and blend away. Using the blender is a great way to make sure it’s blended completely.
  • Add the paint to the mixed plaster and blend.

I find using a blender is a sure-fire way way to ensure the paint, water, and plaster of Paris are completely mixed.

You do not need to use a blender but, it does make the mixing process easier. I also wouldn’t recommend using your super expensive blender either. I use an old single cup blender that I purchased for about $20.


SHOP SINGLE SERVE BLENDERS

3 ADDITIONAL HOMEMADE CHALK PAINT RECIPES

In addition to the best chalk paint recipe made with plaster of paris, there are a few other chalk paint recipes that work amazingly well.

calcium carbonate

  • 4 tbs Calcium Carbonate
  • 2 tbs of water
  • 1 cup latex paint

BAKING SODA

  • 1/2 cup of Baking Soda
  • 3 TBS of water
  • 1 cup latex paint

UNSANDED GROUT

  • 2 TBS of Unsanded grout
  • 1 TB of water
  • 1 cup latex paint

Out of these four chalk-style paint recipes, I have only tried the one with baking soda. 

The recipe worked well however, it had a bit of a grit to it. It wasn’t as smooth as the recipe with plaster of paris. 

I know a lot of bloggers prefer the recipe including calcium carbonate. I want to try it but, I’m a creature of habit and I keep going back to my old trusty plaster of paris.

One day guys, one day.

As for the DIY chalk paint recipe using unsanded grout, it doesn’t seem to be as popular as the other recipes. I’d still like to try it to be able to compare the 4.

USING CHALK PAINT IN A PAINT SPRAYER

I always thought chalk paint would not work in a paint sprayer. But you know what? It does!

However, there a few things to note.

You will have to modify the recipe by adding more water to it. The consistency should be the same or a hair thinner than regular latex paint.

Once you are done spraying,  immediately clean your paint sprayer! This is intended for any time the paint sprayer is used, whether it is chalk or regular paint.

Letting the DIY chalk paint sit in the paint sprayer can damage it because of the plaster of Paris in the recipe. PoP hardens and if it hardens in the sprayer, that’s a problem.

In my opinion, using a paint sprayer with chalk paint isn’t the best option. Instead, stick to using a paint brush to get the job done.

CHALK PAINT TIPS

For the most part, painting with chalk paint is fairly straight forward. However, there are a few tips you can use to make the process easier.

Tip# 1  – Know when you need to do some prep work.

Depending on the piece you are painting, there may be times you’ll want to do prep work.

For example, a piece with chipping paint. You want to have a smooth surface to apply your chalk paint to so it’s best to sand the chipping paint off. You will have a better result, trust me.

Or a stained piece of wood furniture. If the piece of furniture was not properly sealed, you may experience chalk paint bleed.

Chalk paint bleed is when you can see the stain coming through the paint. If this occurs, stop and grab a stain-blocking primer.

Layering more chalk paint will not fix the issue. The only way that will stop that ugly bleed through is to block it will a product meant to do so.

This is why it’s always good to do test areas before starting to paint.

Tip #2 – Allow the first coat to fully dry.

In an instant gratification world, we all want immediate results. But, do not rush through the chalk paint drying process. 

Allowing the first coat of chalk paint to dry will give you a better second coat application. 

Applying the second coat to a not so dry first coat will only cause the paint to not fully adhere to the wet spots. 

The homemade chalk paint with plaster of Paris dries pretty dang quick. Trust me its worth the wait.

Tip #3 – Make the DIY chalk paint in small batches.

In my experience, the chalk paint recipe made using plaster of Paris does not store well. 

I tried it when I chalk painted my dining room table and the texture became clumpy.  I learned my lesson and started making small batches going forward.

Tip #4 – Seal your furniture.

Sealing your newly painted furniture piece will protect it from everyday wear and tear. You worked hard on it so you want it to last.

There are several different chalk paint sealers to choose from. I prefer to use polycrylic. because it’s very durable and easy to apply.  Chalk paint wax works well too, but it requires more upkeep. 


SHOP CHALK PAINT SEALERS

RECAP

Why is homemade chalk paint so amazing?

  1. It’s super durable
  2. It’s inexpensive
  3. You only need 3 ingredients
  4. It is so easy to make
  5. It dries quickly
  6. Paint color choices are endless

The best DIY chalk paint recipe is as follows:

 1 cup of any latex paint will do.

1/4 cup Plaster of Paris,

4TBS of cold water.

*Mix plaster and water until combined then add that mixture to the paint and mix well.

As much as I love the store-bought brands of chalk paint, I can’t justify spending the money when I know how well the DIY version works.

Making it yourself is so easy and it’s a cost-effective way to enjoy all the benefits of store-bought brands. 

If you are tired of spending money on expensive chalk paint, try using this recipe to make it yourself. You’ll be amazed at the results!

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7 thoughts on “How to Make Chalk Paint”

  1. Pingback: Home Office Makeover- Part 2 – West Magnolia Charm

  2. Great info!

    Okay, question about using Polycrylic! Do you apply the recommended 3 coats? Just curious. I just started using it, and 3 coats seems like a lot for legs on a coffee table lol.

    1. Hi Abigail,

      It depends on the item. For high traffic items, I’ll apply the 3 just to make sure the item is protected. But if it were a coffee table I was doing, I’d do one maybe 2, but honestly, I’d probably just do one lol.

  3. Juliette O'Connor

    I see that you use the Sherwin Williams paint samples, which I adore because the size of the container is a quart, rather than Home Depot’s 8 ox. But, recently I read some complaints on the SW website about the samples were to be used for choosing a color, not to actually paint with…because it needs to have a top coat.
    I personally don’t see an issue with this when I use the SW sample to make chalk paint, because you either wax or seal it anyway.
    Your thoughts?
    Thanks, Juliette

    1. Hi Juliette.
      That’s interesting. The only thing with the samples from SW is that they come in a Satin finish. I have used the samples to paint furniture without sealing them but I will sand and prime first. But when I use them for chalk paint I’ll seal them and I haven’t had a problem.

  4. Thanks FOR Sharing!!👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼♥️♥️👏🏼👏🏼AWESOME! I HAVE A Chair I Want To Paint BUT I Did Check The price of paint😱👎🏼it WAS TERRIBLE!! THANKS !! G-d♥️Bless😊

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