How to make DIY Chalk Paint

I first learned about DIY Chalk Paint from a post Sharon at Elizabeth and Co did. She sold me on the convenience of working with chalk paint & the color she used on the buffet {linked above} is just lovely! While I would love to one day try the real thing (aka Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) it’s just not in the budget right now.

So here’s what you’ll need to make your own Chalk Paint

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Behr Paint and Primer in One
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Clear paint paint bucket
  • Paintbrush

You can get everything you need at the big Orange store. Except probably the plastic spoon – which you’ll use for mixing. Please don’t use a spoon you’ll be eating with later.

DIY Chalk Paint - Make Your Own

You want an approximately 3 to 1 ratio of paint to plaster of paris. Take your plastic container and add plaster of paris to the 50ml line. Add one spoonful of water at a time and stir until you have a smooth paste. Make sure there are no lumps. (I usually add about 3 spoonfuls of water).

Next add the paint. There is a 150ml and a 250ml line on the plastic bucket I have. I eyeball adding paint until it’s approximately halfway between those two lines. Stir everything well. Check the bottom and sides of the bucket to make sure that all of the plaster of paris mix has been incorporated.

That’s it! You just made DIY chalk paint!

Craigslist Bench with Grey Dot Pillow

Now, there are lots of rumors out there that you don’t need to sand or prime before using chalk paint. While I fully subscribe to the no-priming philosophy, I always sand. Mainly because the one time I didn’t sand, I ended up with a train-wreck of a project. So make sure to do a quick sanding of whatever it is you’re about to paint. Then wipe it down with a damp rag. When it’s dry you’re ready to paint.

  • Paint one coat. Don’t worry about brush marks or slightly uneven coverage.
  • Let it dry. (About an hour).
  • If you got so-so coverage, just slap a second coat right on top of the first coat.
  • If you got great coverage, skip to the sanding step.
  • Once your paint is dry, lightly sand with fine sand paper (220 grit or higher).
  • Wipe it down & let it dry.
  • Add one more coat of paint and let it dry. (About 1/2 day)

I like sealing my furniture with water-based wipe-on poly in clear gloss. I do 2-3 coats with a light sanding in between. Thin and even coats are the name of the game. Make sure to let it cure for 24-48 hours before using it!

Here are a few of my favorite DIY Chalk Paint Projects:

* Blue Chalk Paint Frame

DIY Chalk Paint Frame with Chalk Board Contact Paper insert

* Chalk Paint Chair

Chair and Guest Room After

* Chalk Paint Nightstands

Updated Nighstands

* Chalk Paint Craigslist Bench Makeover

Craigslist Bench - Sideview

* Green Chalk Paint Frame

Green Frame with Birdie Fabric

Have you tried DIY Chalk Paint? Have you tried ‘real’ Chalk Paint? What did you think?

Heart Sarah

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10 thoughts on “How to make DIY Chalk Paint

  1. I ended up with a lumpy mess! my POP and water mixture was very smooth, however as soon as I incorporated the paint it turned on me. I attempted to use cheesecloth to strain it. I failed and made a huge mess in my attempt to save it. What can I do differently?
    Thanks!

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  4. my first attempt with chalk paint was a disaster I used grout left over from a bathroom remodel and it was too thick and lumpy. Im going to try the plaster of paris as soon as I figure out how to convert your receipt to ounces

  5. I’ve used Annie Sloan and it was amazing! But I’m dying to try this to see how it stacks up. The biggest problem I had with the Annie Sloan was that it doesn’t come in black, at least a year ago it didn’t. I was pretty disappointed, but now I can make my own. YAY!

    • I didn’t know Annie Sloan didn’t come in black. That’s kind of strange, I think. The one thing to watch out for is that the Plaster of Paris does lighten up the paint a tad, so make sure you start with a really black black, and not a dark charcoal or somethin

  6. I think the recipe I use is way less plaster of paris than most people recommend…..I’m going to have to try it this way next time and compare! never used the real stuff–I’m curious, but can’t bring myself to pay that much.

    • I love this recipe! It’s not a ton of PoP, but enough that you get that nice chalky finish. I’m hoping to get my hands on a free sample of AS chalk paint at some point, so that I can compare!

  7. Pingback: It’s Amazing What People Will Give Away: The Bench | This Sarah Loves

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