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How to Make Your Own Chalk Paint

I’m sure you have seen all the amazing chalk paint projects. Folks find old chairs, benches, tables, or other pieces of furniture found a garage sales or flea markets. Chalk paint gives surfaces a matte, distressed, or antique look. To save some money and create eye-catching, aged pieces, use this recipe to make your own chalk paint at home.

Why Use Chalk Paint?

painting furniture using homemade chalk paintWhen you paint using latex or acrylic paint, you need to begin with a primer. You need to prep the piece by sanding, priming, buffing, dusting, and drying all before you begin painting, but with chalk paint, you get to skip the prep and get right to work.

This paint is thick, making it easy to use, with little to no prep involved. Plus, it’s less likely to drip, meaning less waste and less messy cleanup.

How to Use Chalk Paint

antique or distressed blue bench painted with chalk paintYou can create a multitude of finishes and styles using chalk paint alone. Because the paint is so adaptable, it is very easy to match your new piece with others in your home already. Use these tips to get the most out of your homemade chalk paint.

  1. Since this paint is very thick, you don’t need to sand or prime beforehand. This saves on prep time, especially when you are working on large projects, like a full kitchen or bathroom paint job.
  2. Use this paint like you would any other. Chalk paint drips less and is quick to dry. In fact, it only takes about an hour in between desk painted with green chalk paint and slightly distressed for an antique look
  3. Chalk paint can create different styles to match furniture pieces in your home. Use a solid, matte finish or an antique, distressed look with one type of paint!
  4. A downfall to this type of paint is that it is easy to scuff and mark up if you don’t properly seal it at the end. You will usually use a matte finish or wax after you’ve finished painting.
  5. If you create your own color, be sure to jot down the amounts of each color and save some paint just in case you need to touch up later. Chalk paint is very easy to cover up if you get a mark. Just paint, sand (if you need), and finish.
  6. Makes for easy cleanup. Be sure to put down a tarp or plastic and you’re ready to go!

DIY Chalk Paint

What You Need:chalk pain supplies

  • Acrylic Latex Paint (your choice of color, of course)
  • Plaster of Paris (dry)
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Sanding Block (optional for a distressed look)

No matter how much chalk paint you are making, you will always want to keep to this ratio – 3 parts paint to 1 part Plaster of Paris. As long as you keep the 3:1 ratio, your consistency should be right every time.


First, find the piece of furniture you want to spruce up. For this example, we used a stool that had been sitting in the corner of my shop.


Find something to mix your paint in, like a small plastic cup, wide-mouth mason jar, or even a bucket if you need that much paint. Then, create your paint mixture using the 3:1 ratio.

You’ll start with the dry Plaster of Paris. Check the packaging to see how much water you will need. Mix the water and plaster well – it should be a little runnier than mayonnaise.

Once your plaster is free of any clumps and a good consistency, add in your paint. Mix this up well. You don’t want to find little clumps or bubbles while painting because that can get VERY frustrating!

Now that you have your chalk paint all mixed up, you can get started painting. You don’t really need to prep the piece you’re working with, which is the beauty of using this kind of paint. I suggest giving it a quick wipe down to get rid of dust, then you can start painting.

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You should only need to paint 2 coats of the chalk paint.


Now it’s time to decide if you want an antique/distressed look or a matte finish. For our example, we stressed the edges a bit by lightly sanding those areas with a sanding block.

After you’ve finished painting and distressing (if you chose that route), you are ready to finish your piece. To avoid discoloring your furniture or making it too glossy (shiny), you’ll want to use a wipe-on Polycrylic, clear matte finish. It is important that you don’t use a gloss finish or the shine will take away from the flat, matte look you want with chalk paint.

Share Your Projects with Us

If you have a painting project; a fantastic, flea market find; or are just excited about a recent craft gone right, share your success with us. Post your projects on our Facebook page!

I love sharing crafty posts! Make sure you like and comment on this article if you would like to read more about crafts like this. Also, for more articles on DIY projects, take a look at our DIY Blog Category. You are sure to find all kinds of new crafts to try!