DIY Chalk Paint

So for those of you who are new to painting furniture or thinking about trying it, this will be great news! Those of you who have been redoing furniture for a while may be rolling your eyes as there are tons of posts on this available on the internet. So, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

This bench was painted with DIY chalk paint (Behr Polished Pearl). Then finished with Howard Feed'n'Wax.

This bench was painted with DIY chalk paint (color: Behr Polished Pearl). Then finished with Howard Feed’n’Wax. As we wanted a modern look, there was no distressing.

Chalk paint is not chalkboard paint (the kind you apply to stuff so that you can write on it with chalk). It is paint that has a chalky consistency. You do not need to strip, sand, or prime your piece before painting. Once applied, it dries quickly and then is easy to sand if you want your furniture to have an aged or distressed look. It is then commonly sealed with a wax, but you can use oils, or even poly over it depending on the type of finish you want.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has taken the DIY decor world by storm the last few years. I believe hers was the first on the market and it is a dream to use. I can honestly say that it changed my life. It’s what I did my first few projects with and I had such wonderful experiences that I gained the confidence to start trying other things. It also runs about $38.00 a quart and comes in a limited color range.

At some point in my DIY sleuthing I came across a homemade chalk paint recipe. Wow! Make my own… love it! So, I tried a couple recipes and this is the one I liked best. There are many online if you want to try a few and pick your own favorite.

Here’s the recipe I use:

Plaster of Paris

  • 2 cups latex paint
  • 4 tablespoons Plaster of Paris (so named because it was originally mined from under Montmartre in Paris to make plaster-sorry, I just read Paris by Edward Rutherford and couldn’t stop myself)
  • 2 tablespoons water

* I usually mix the plaster of Paris and water first. Then add in the paint. I find I get the plaster of Paris better blended that way.

Drill Attachement Paint Stirrer

I’m crazy about this drill attachment. I think it cost around $2.50. If you plan to mix paint a lot-this saves so much time and you know the paint is well mixed.

I always put on 2 coats sometimes more if it’s a light color going over dark or if I was a little too heavy handed with the water. You can always add more of any of the ingredients if you don’t like how it’s going on. But remember, this is going to be thicker than regular paint, it will dry quicker and if you have a drip or thick spot it is easy to sand down to a smooth finish once dry.

DIY Chalk Paint

Mixed DIY Chalk Paint. I usually mix mine in a resealable container. It keeps for a couple weeks. I usually add a little water and mix it well before using it again. 

After you paint, you’ll want to seal your piece. I often use Howard Feed’n’Wax this stuff smells good and works great and leaves a durable finish. If you want a shinier look you can use something like Minwax or Briwax and if I want a really tough finish I use 2 or 3 coats of wipe on poly letting each one dry before applying the next.

Distressed DIY Chalk Paint on 2 Tone

This piece was painted with DIY Chalk Paint and distressed with 220 sandpaper before 2 coats of Howard Feed’n’Wax

I hope this was helpful! Please let me know if you have tried this or if you plan to!

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