DIY Chalk Paint: How to Make Colored Chalk Paint

Updated: Oct. 14, 2023

DIY Chalk paint is so versatile it makes refinishing projects a breeze.

How to Make Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is so versatile it makes refinishing furniture and other projects a breeze. Due to its adhesion properties, you can use it on just about any surface with little to no prep. This can be expensive, however, and it comes in limited colors. Using this DIY recipe, you can turn any shade of household latex paint into chalk paint for a fraction of the cost!

custom chalk paint supplies

Step 1: Materials

  • Base paint (latex)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Calcium carbonate powder
  • Warm water
  • Mixing cup and stick
  • Paintbrush
  • Fine sandpaper or sanding block
  • (Optional) Sealant – Polyurethane, finishing wax

chalk paint

Step 2: Choosing a Base Paint Color

Most household latex paints will work as a base for this DIY chalk paint recipe. This is a great opportunity to color match a specific hue, use up small amounts of leftover paint from other projects, or try inexpensive paint samples. Small paint samples work perfectly for one batch of this recipe, and you can mix right in the sample container. For best results use flat, eggshell or satin paint for that chalky matte finish.

chalk paint

Step 3: Mix the Paint

Start small with this simple ratio, and scale up if more paint is needed.

  • Two tablespoons plaster of Paris
  • Two tablespoons calcium carbonate powder
  • One to two tablespoons warm water

Mix until paste forms, adding small amounts of water until consistency resembles pudding. Stir thoroughly so there are no clumps – you cannot overmix.

  • Add to one cup latex paint and stir well.

chalk paint

Step 4: Apply the Paint

Paint the furniture or woodwork with smooth brush strokes and let dry according to latex paint directions. If desired, lightly sand and apply a second coat.

chalk paint finished product

Step 5: Customize the Finish

What you choose to do with your project once the chalk paint has dried depends on the look you prefer and the durability needed. You might choose to leave the paint as-is and let gentle wear and tear create an aged antique store patina. A distressed look can be achieved by lightly sanding the edges until the original finish shows through. However, this technique does not protect against further weathering. To protect a piece from moderate use, finishing wax can be applied with a rag. For the most durable finish, a clear coat of polyurethane is recommended. Don’t forget to check out our collection of chalk paint furniture ideas.

Colors of Chalk Paint

Are you looking for color ideas for painting furniture? Chalk paint comes in any color imaginable, but some of the most common chalk paint colors include:

  • Soft creamy white
  • Varying shades of gray
  • Light pink
  • Lilac
  • Multiple shades of blue

Where to Buy Chalk Paint

You can buy chalk paint from almost any home improvement retailer including Walmart, and Ace Hardware.