The Best Chalk Paint Recipe for Furniture

There are several ways to mix your own chalk paint, but we prefer this homemade chalk paint recipe because it is easy and inexpensive. Some recipes call for baking soda, plaster of Paris, or grout. These additives can create a gritty texture that doesn’t store well. On the other hand, this DIY chalk paint can be reused and has a smooth, sandable finish.

We love this recipe because the result is the most similar to store-bought brands. This paint creates a high-quality finish because you’re using actual chalk to alter the paint.

If you want to learn how to make the best homemade chalk paint, follow the instructions below. However, before you paint a family heirloom with chalk paint, make sure you check out this opinion piece on painting antique furniture.

Spoiler: there are times when you absolutely should not paint a piece of furniture.


  • 1 quart: Latex paint with a flat or eggshell sheen
  • 2 cups: Calcium carbonate
  • Warm water as needed
  • 2 Large mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Paint stir stick


  1. Use a stir stick to mix a quart of latex paint thoroughly. Pour the paint into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add 2 cups of calcium carbonate. Slowly add warm water to the bowl and mix the powder and water with a whisk. Keep adding water until you’ve achieved a pancake batter consistency. 
  3. Slowly add the calcium carbonate/water mixture into the mixing bowl while stirring with a whisk. Smooth out any lumps using the whisk. You can use a hand mixer on the low setting if needed. 
  4. After the paint and calcium carbonate are mixed thoroughly, observe the paint consistency. If the paint is too thick, add a small amount of lukewarm water and stir the mixture with a paint stir stick. 
  5. Pour the paint back into the original paint quart container and store any remaining paint inside a well-sealed container. Mix the paint well before use. 


People have different opinions on the ideal consistency of chalk paint. You don’t want it too thick or too thin. However, if you’re using the paint to add a light wash over an item, you might want to add more water for a thinner consistency. If you want the ultimate coverage, opt for chalk paint that is a little thicker.

This chalk paint recipe costs under $20 to make if you purchase a quart of paint for around $10 and a pound of calcium carbonate for around $5. Prices might change, but you’ll still be saving a significant amount of money. For instance, a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint costs nearly $40.

We hope this recipe helps demystify the chalk paint making process. Anyone can make chalk paint, and if you do, you will save you money and prep time. Good luck!

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Heirlooms at Home is an online publication dedicated to affordable antiques and old houses.

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