Make Your Own Chalk Paint

June 19, 2014
I’ve known about chalk paint for some time now. I just have never gotten around to trying it out. After my sister-in-law, Abby painted a couple dressers with it, I knew I had to give it a try. If you haven’t heard, chalk paint is currently all the rage. What makes it so awesome is that you do not have to prep most surfaces before painting. You can paint just about anything with it, that includes MDF board! Because of the texture it leaves, it’s great for distressing. There are some big name chalk paints out there, such as Annie Sloan, CeCe Caldwell’s, etc. I’m sure these brands are great, but they also can be pricey. When I decided that I wanted to try out the chalk paint, I decided to start with my office furniture first. I had very little attachment to it and it was given to us. I figured if it didn’t work out we weren’t out anything. After doing some research on the different brands, I decided to make my own. There is huge savings when making it yourself and it is just about one of the easiest things I’ve ever done! I found this chalk paint recipe on Lowe’s website. Here’s what you need:1/3 cup Plaster of Paris
1/3 cup cool water
1 cup Latex paint in whatever color you choose
2 Mixing cups
1 Paint brush (good quality)
Furniture wax
Cheese ClothThis recipe makes enough to paint a 6-drawer dresser. Chalk paint tends to be a little thicker than regular paint. A little bit goes a long way! First take and mix the cool water and the Plaster of Paris together. Stir until smooth and all lumps are gone. This took me literally a minute. I was reading online where some people were having problems with clumping. I’m not sure why. Mine was smooth with very little effort. Next measure out a cup of paint.
Now you want to pour the cup with the Plaster of Paris in it into the cup with the latex paint. Stir well until combined.
Now you’re ready to paint! Make sure you have wiped clean the furniture your painting. Everywhere I have read says you really do not need to do any sanding, I found this not to be 100% true! I painted a desk and a small bookshelf. The desk had been used a lot over the years, so the top coat of poly probably had worn off a little. The shelf however, still had a very thick coat. I did not sand either piece. This was a mistake. The desk took the paint great! On the shelf the paint wanted to chip when it came time to distress it. I had to strip it all off and start over. I just went over the top with some light sand paper and repainted. I wish I had known that in the beginning. I also noticed that the piece I sanded actually took less coats of paint! I would recommend sanding anything that has a high amount of poly on it and table top surfaces to make sure that the paint adheres well. When you brush the first coat on, it wont look like much. Most pieces will only need 2 maybe 3 coats. The chalk paint dries quickly! Once you’ve finished painting, you can now distress the piece if you choose to. You want to use a medium to fine grit sand paper. I just went over the natural edges of the furniture. Here’s how they turned out!
I did apply two coats of furniture wax to each piece after distressing them. If you prefer you can use polycrylic instead. I chose wax because it does not have the strong fumes. The waxing was really simple. Online I read that many people have a hard time with it. I’m not sure why. You use a cheese cloth or rag and rub it into the wax. You just want enough to coat the rag, that’s it. You then just rub it onto the furniture in a circular motion. Once you’ve covered your piece, you then take a clean rag and buff it out, using the same circular motion. At the right angle you can see a shine start to come through while you’re buffing it out. It dries within 10-15 minutes! Below are some other pieces that have been painted with chalk paint. The dressers are the two pieces that my sister-in-law painted with chalk paint she purchased at the Woodstock Mart in Woodstock, GA.
Have a wonderful Thursday!


  • Reply Ashley January 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    What color paint did you use? Any recommendations? Thanks!

    • Reply TheTaleofanUglyHouse January 31, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Ashley, I used a color called “Eggshell Creme” on the office furniture. It’s a color by Behr. I used “Dolphin Fin” by Behr on the bench. Eggshell creme is one of my go to colors when painting furniture. I recently used it on a head board build that I did in Dec. You can see the picture of that on the blog as well!

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