How to Make Chalk Paint at Home

The best chalk paint recipe for furniture

Updated on

There are several ways to mix your own chalk paint, but we prefer this homemade chalk paint recipe because it is easy and inexpensive. Other recipes call for baking soda, plaster of Paris, or grout. Unfortunately, these additives can create a gritty texture that doesn’t store well. In contrast, this DIY chalk paint has a smooth, sandable finish that can be re-used time and time again.

DIY Overview

We love this chalk paint recipe because the result is very similar to store-bought brands. This paint has a high-quality finish because actual chalk is used to create the desired texture.

If you want to learn how to make this homemade chalk paint, follow the instructions below. However, we have a disclosure first! 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.

Time Needed:

30

Minutes

Cost:

$20

USD

Tools

– 2 large mixing bowls
– Whisk
– Paint stir stick

Supplies

1 quart latex paint, flat or eggshell sheen
– 2 cups calcium carbonate
– Warm water as needed

Steps

1. Mix a quart of paint.

Use a stir stick to mix a quart of latex paint thoroughly. Pour the paint into a large mixing bowl. 

2. Combine water and calcium carbonate.

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. Pour calcium carbonate mixture into the paint.

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. Troubleshoot the paint consistency.

After the paint and calcium carbonate are mixed thoroughly, observe the paint consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of lukewarm water and stir with a paint stir stick.

5. Reuse the quart container for storage.

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.

NOTES

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 about $5. Prices might change, but you’ll still be saving a significant amount of money. Consider that a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint costs nearly $40.

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