Are you looking for an easy way to paint your furniture, but don't want to spend a lot on fancy chalk paint? I've got an easy, inexpensive way to make your own chalk paint with the paint you have!
When you go vintage shopping, do you fall in love with that matte, soft look of chalk paint? Furniture painting doesn't have to be expensive or a hard undertaking.
That is, until my mother-in-law showed me her secret formula to painting furniture without needing to prep or sand the piece. Yep, you heard right. There is no need to sand with chalk paint!
Of course, sanding would be preferred, but if you don't have time for that, it's okay. It will turn out great as well!
Chalk paint recipes come in varying flavors and ingredients, but I've used one single chalk paint recipe that I've used on pretty much every piece of furniture in my home.
Store bought chalk paint and designer chalk paint can be found four time the cost of normal interior wall paint (I'm talking like $25 a pint). That is INSANE!
I've purchased some of the designer ones, and while they are great quality, they are THICK, which typically means more runs in the paint.
In This Post
What is chalk paint?
I just want to clarify that chalk paint is NOT chalkboard paint. It has a matte finish. The paint is thicker typically and is perfect for antique pieces!
Chalk paint was made trendy by Annie Sloan, which provides a beautiful, matte look. The term chalk paint is actually copyrighted by Annie Sloan. When you are searching for manufactured paint, they may use different terms like chalky or chalked paint, like this one does.
What are the differences various recipes for chalk paint?
Honestly, the only thing that is different between all of the homemade chalk paint recipes is the amount of the additive material. Here are some of the recipes that I've seen. These are the ratios of each ingredient to a cup of latex paint:
- Baking Soda (1/2 cup)
- Plaster of Paris (1/3 cup)
- Calcium Carbonate (3 tablespoon)
- Corn Starch (1/3 cup)
I prefer calcium carbonate because it feels like a finer mineral that can easily be mixed together without a lot of effort. In addition, it's a plastic jar that I can keep in my craft room!
I'm sharing with you the super simple make your own chalk paint recipe so that you're not having to spend $35 for a 30-ounce can!
Why make your own homemade chalk paint?
You will love your own DIY chalk paint more than the store bought ones, I promise. I made the mistake of buying a brand name one and regret spending $35 on a small 30 ounce can when mine was wayyyyy better.
The calcium carbonate is literally $10, and you can use any paint you have in the house (matte finishes preferred).
Where can I buy calcium carbonate?
I've searched for it in the store, and it's hit or miss if I can find it. You can find it on Amazon here and get it delivered next day for less than $10! It's the exact one I use and keep in my paint supply closet!
Ingredients for Chalk Paint Recipe for Furniture Using Calcium Carbonate
- 3 tablespoon of calcium carbonate
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup of latex paint
Supplies for Mixing Chalk Paint Recipe
- stirring sticks or wood popsicle sticks
- container for mixing
- container cover for chalk paint
Recipe for Mixing Chalk Paint
Step 1 | Mix Water and Calcium Carbonate
I typically use a solo cup to mix so that I can quickly throw it the extra paint away with less cleaning.
You're going to mix the calcium carbonate and water together until well blended. You can use stirring sticks. I've used handheld kitchen mixers and blenders before as well! (Clean it well afterwards!!)
Step 3 | Choose a Latex Paint
If at all possible, start with a paint that lends itself to the matte finish. This will make the chalky appearance stand out.
Step 2 | Mix Latex Paint with Mixture
Now, slowly pour the mixture into the latex paint and slowly using a paint stirring stick to blend in the mixture. You want to make sure the grain is completely mixed into the paint.
What consistency should the chalk paint end up being?
It should have a texture like shampoo. Your chalk paint should be "goopey", but not too thin and runny.
What brushes should I use with chalk paint?
You should use these paint brushes, the ones that cost around $7-10. The cheap brushes tend to have bristles that will come off during painting, which is annoying to take off and have to repaint an area. I also love these types of brushes because they hold more paint!
How should I prepare my furniture to paint with this calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe?
Clean Your Furniture
You'll want to make sure that you use a tack cloth to remove fine dust and particles from your furniture prior to painting with the homemade chalk paint recipe.
Using the tack cloth will help easily pick up lint, dirt and any sanding residue, especially inside corners.
Check out my post on how I used this chalk paint recipe to paint a frame.
If you really don't want to make your own, here are some links to
Keep mixing so that the paint is smooth.
Sand for a Better Finish with Your Chalk Paint Recipe
You don't HAVE to sand, that's the beautify of chalk paint. However, if you want a smoother and cleaner look, I would recommend at the very least a light stand. I love using these sand blocks to smooth the wood or wood veneer so that my paint goes on smoothly.
During the painting process, homemade chalk paint tends to dry fairly quickly. If you are trying to finish a painting project quickly, this is definitely the chalk paint recipe for you! Keep in mind how fast it dries though!
Do I need to paint my inside panel drawers?
No. I debated this quite a bit, but when you look at furniture that's finished on the market today, they aren't painted at all. So that's just more of a reason why you don't have to paint it!
What type of finish should I have for something that's been chalk painted?
I learned the hard way on this. Our house has a bright, cottage style feel, so most of our furniture is painted with Benjamin Moore's White Dove paint. It's a bright white. I painted the wrong polyurethane and it turned my furniture yellow! So heed that warning. Use this polyurethane so that your furniture does not yellow! It also has a clear satin finish, which is very similar to matte that I absolutely love. It does NOT yellow at all!! I regret not buying this sooner.
Can I paint over a piece that is already painted another color?
Of course! You can choose to strip off the old paint or paint over it if you want! Make sure you don't rush through the repainting process though - you can't just slop on a coat and rush through adding a second one. Be patient.
What are some other ideas that I can use my homemade chalk paint for?
I completed a large chalk paint picture frame to put our family photos and quotes in that you can find here!
I hope you love this amazing chalk paint recipe and are able to use my tips to make your project something you absolutely will love and treasure for years to come!
The calcium carbonate/water mixture thinned the paint instead of thickening it! I used a good brand of paint too, Sherwin Williams. I painted the back of the piece and it didn't dry to that powdery finish that real chalk paint does. I am trying to just add the calcium carbonate directly to the paint as another site recommended, hoping that it will eventually thicken up enough to give that chalk paint finish
Jacqueline Del Fonso
I definitely want to try this. If I were to paint on raw bisque white tile, should I first prime them before painting on them with chalk paint?
Love the inexpensive method and the quick dry time. Would you know if the homemade chalk paint have the capability to reactivate with water like the expensive chalk paint?