How to Make Chalk Paint
Chalk paint is so versatile it makes refinishing projects a breeze. Due to its adhesion properties, you can use it on just about any surface, with little to no prep. However, this trend can be expensive if you buy the paint 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! Here’s how to finish and protect your chalk paint projects.
Step 1: Materials
- Base paint (latex)
- Plaster of Paris
- Calcium carbonate powder
- Warm water
- Mixing cup, stick
- Fine sandpaper or sanding block
- (Optional) Sealant – Polyurethane, finishing wax
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. In fact, 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.
Step 3: Mix the Paint
Start small with this simple ratio, and scale-up if more paint is needed.
- 2 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris
- 2 Tablespoons Calcium carbonate powder
- 1 to 2 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 over mix. Which paint is best for your refinishing project?
- Add to 1 cup latex paint and stir well.
Step 4: Apply the Paint
Apply paint with smooth brush strokes and let dry according to latex paint directions. If desired, lightly sand and apply a second coat. Here’s how to chalk paint your cabinets.
Step 5: Customize the Finish
What you choose to do with your project once the chalk paint has dried will depend on the look you prefer and durability needed. You might choose to leave the paint as-is and let gentle wear and tear create an aged patina. A distressed look can be achieved by lightly sanding edges until the original finish shows through, this technique but does not offer any protection from further weathering. To protect a piece from moderate use, a finishing wax can be applied with a rag, and for the most durable finish, a clear coat of polyurethane is recommended.