4 DIY Chalk Paint Recipes | DIY Experience

4 DIY Chalk Paint Recipes

DIY chalk paint can save you from forking out quite a budget when you’re about to take on a furniture makeover project. These 4 cost-efficient alternatives to store-bought chalk paint are worth every minute invested in the mixing process. The key ingredients in the DIY chalk paint for furniture recipes are baking soda, plaster of Paris, grout, and calcium carbonate. Here’s how to actually mix them up.

1. Calcium Carbonate DIY Chalk Paint

There are several variations to this recipe for homemade chalk paint, but the most popular definitely is latex paint & calcium carbonate. Depending on the final result you wish to achieve, you can mix it with plaster of Paris or not. Adding two parts paint and one part calcium carbonate in the mix will render the chalk paint smooth and ready for extra sanding or distressing effects. What goes into this recipe? Follow this list of ingredients:

  • Latex Paint (3 parts): it’s easy to dry and incorporates any powder with ease.
  • Calcium Carbonate Powder (1 part): to get that chalky and matte, yet smooth finish.
  • Plaster of Paris (optional, a few tablespoons): add only if you are aiming for a grittier texture.

All you need to do is mix two parts of the latex paint with one part calcium carbonate powder. Stir vigorously until the two are fully incorporated. It is advisable that you stir each time before applying the DIY chalk paint to the piece of furniture as the powder may still deposit as a chalky residue, thus leaving some traces. This recipe is easy to mix, offers full coverage, dries in about 30 minutes, and is great for distressed furniture projects.

distressed garden furniture with DIY chalk paint

Image source: Flickr

2. Plaster of Paris Homemade Chalk Paint

Plaster of Paris is another secret ingredient you can use in combination with paint before applying to wood boards or furniture. Get the ideal chalky finish by mixing the plaster with water before stirring the latex paint and paste together.

  • Latex Paint (3 parts): choose any color you want, but take into account that you will also add other ingredients that will tone it down a bit.
  • Plaster of Paris (one part): belonging to the group of gypsum cements, plaster of Paris has a dusty consistency that gives off a matte, chalky finish when mixed with paint.
  • Water (one part): to dilute the paint if you accidentally add too much plaster of Paris.

Mix the plaster of Paris with water until the paste has a silky smooth, creamy consistency. You can keep the DIY chalk paint for approximately one month, sealed in tight-lid jars. Nevertheless, it will thicken a bit, so make sure that before reusing it, you give it another good stir. This will result in a high-coverage chalk paint that can be applied with no previous preparation for the surface and dries in 40 minutes to an hour. Although it’s a bit more difficult to distress than the previous recipe, sand paper will do the job and you will get a longer-lasting distressed coat.

distressed dresser made with DIY chalk paint

Image source: Flickr

3. Baking Soda Chalk Paint

Among the few chalk paint DIY recipes out there, some use baking soda to get the chalky finish. The final result, however, has a grainy, sandy feeling. To make this recipe you will need:

  • Latex paint (two parts). Any color of your choosing will do, just make sure it’s a reliable brand.
  • Baking soda (one-two part). This gives you the grittiest DIY chalk paint you could get.

Stir together well. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this DIY chalk paint will have a gritty texture despite your best efforts to break it down. The more baking soda you add, the grittier the texture of the final paint. This recipe will yield a paint with the same consistency as store-bought paint but with a weaker coverage power than the previous recipes. About two to three coats of this paint are needed for full coverage, or you can just stop after the first to create a unique look. It will dry in 30 minutes at most, can be sanded for distressed finish, but will not lead to a smooth aspect. Use the baking soda homemade chalk paint for those furniture staples on which you wish to achieve a distressed shabby chic look.

DIY distressed table with homemade chalk paint

Image source: Wikimedia

4. Non-Sanded Grout Chalk Paint Recipe

Painting the furniture, board or sidewalks with this matte finish DIY chalk paint using non-sanded grout is a pleasure. It’s easy to apply, has great coverage power and a rich pigment. Nevertheless, the non-sanded grout tends to thicken the composition quite rapidly, even when mixed with water. Here is what you will need:

  • Latex paint (one cup): brings the mix together and offers a color base.
  • Unsanded grout (2 tablespoons): adds the grit you need to make a homemade chalk paint.
  • Water: enough to mix in with the non-sanded grout to create a smooth paste of medium consistency.

As in the case of plaster of Paris, you will need to mix the grout with water until it forms a smooth paste before mixing the latter into the latex paint or vice versa. Keep water at hand as the non-sanded grout thickens quite rapidly. The final result resembles branded chalk paints, but has the strongest coverage power among all these recipes. It dries in about 30 minutes and is easy to distress with sand paper.

distressed green wardrobe with DIY chalk paint

Image source: Flickr


You can try these DIY chalk paint recipes at home for just a few dollars. Find which recipe works best for you and your DIY chalk paint projects by experimenting with each of them during a lazy weekend, or pick one based on your needs. Our personal favorites are the calcium carbonate and the plaster of Paris ones due to their ease of making and very satisfying and easy to obtain results. What is yours? Let us know in the comments!

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