diy chalk paint recipe

 Two years ago I promised my daughter Mollie that we would redo her bedroom, and I am finally getting around to it.

Her room was a mish mosh of furniture, not one piece went together.  After ‘pinning’ countless chalk paint ideas I finally decided to attempt making my own chalk paint! For those of you unfamiliar with chalk paint, it involves very little prep work, yet is durable & looks beautiful. There are great premixed options but they can be pricey, plus you are limited in your color choice.

The verdict? It worked amazing!!! Chalk paint turned a collection of random pieces of furniture into a cohesive, pretty room that Mollie loves! I just wish I had done it for her sooner!

It also cost very little. It’s been a few months since I finished the project & so far the pieces are holding up beautifully. Hopefully that will continue to be the case.

The recipe I chose was fairly simple:
2 cups latex paint (I used flat but you could use eggshell as well)
2 Tbs  water
2 Tbs. Calcium Carbonate
2 Tbs. Plaster of Paris *
*Plaster of paris can be omitted. When trying recipes I did both with & without. Each worked. However, plaster of paris will add extra ‘hardness’ & the dresser in this project had a thick shellac topcoat. I feared it would not grab the paint well so I added the plaster of paris.

Simple directions:  Mix the Calcium, Plaster of Paris (if using) & water until fully blended (no lumps). Add to the latex paint, stirring it well.


  • I did not sand the pieces of furniture unless there was a random flaw that I didn’t want showing through the paint. I did clean the pieces well to remove dirt & grime.
  • After two coats of paint (3 in some areas), I gently distressed the pieces with fine sandpaper & then sealed them with Johnson’s Paste Wax . For some depth of color I mixed a little bit of Annie Sloan’s dark wax in with the Johnson’s wax. This is totally optional depending on the color / look you are going for. After a few hours I buffed the waxed furniture with a soft cloth.
  • My FAVORITE step is this last one, it adds such a finished & smooth look to the furniture! Rub the pieces down with extra fine steel wool! This adds such a beautiful sheen to the finished piece. I love it! Now, if you are using a lighter color paint you will want to use extremely fine sand paper (500+ automotive sandpaper) instead of steel wool.  This will give you the same result as the steel wool without adding any color (steel wool leaves a slightly dark tint behind).

If you have any questions I’d be happy to try & answer them!

{Update: It has been a few years since painting this set using my version of DIY chalk paint. It has held up beautifully! I will say, since writing this article there are now SO many versions of chalk paint on the market that the reasons to make your own are becoming less and less. However, it is good to know that if you desire a very specific color, this version of DIY chalk paint works beautifully.}

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