Friday, May 2, 2014

An Experiment with "How To Make Your Own Chalk Paint", the results and finished shabby chic project.

Ok, so if you have read my blog before you may have picked up on my love of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I love the wonderful and complete coverage over any surface that it provides as well as the easy ability to distress the paint as much or as little as you want with your project.  I also love how waxing applied after paint creates a butter smooth and hard surface on a piece of furniture.

Those of you who have tried painting with chalk paint before understand the 
expense.  I usually go ahead and splurge because I know the paint
is always consistent and the finished product is exactly what I want.
I have so many projects currently and really would love to work with 
more colors than my current stash of paints provide.  There are many 
tutorial and recipes online, so I thought I would try an easy and 
popular, low cost version.  

I am going to share each of the steps with you here and the process.
(Warning:  This may be an overload of photos and info., but I wanted to be very
thorough for you.)


PLASTER OF PARIS  $6.99@ Home Depot
PAINT ( I used a sample size of 7.5oz color of choice shown here Behr-Venus Teal)
roughly $3.00 @ Home Depot
PLASTIC CONTAINER for mixing and storing 
PLASTIC SPOON or STICK  for stirring
WARM WATER  ( just a couple Tbs.)

The Plaster of Paris is such a large container and I only use a few tablespoons for about a cup of paint so this will last forever, literally a very cheap paint to make.

Pour Paint into container for mixing, I just used old yogurt container that had a lid.


Add a couple of tablespoons ( I used 3) of Plaster of Paris into other mixing container


Add a couple of Tablespoons of WARM water to stir until smooth.

(mistake in background…I accidentally added some to my paint first… be sure to add
your plaster of paris to water and stir before adding to your paint!)


Add mixture to your paint and stir completely until smooth and consistent.  
You do not want ANY lumps here.

I really like this color it is not a green or a blue but a nice mix in between.  

OK, So that was easy, I just made Chalk Paint for less than $4.00!!  
I only made 1 cup worth here, but making less at a time works for me, incase
I do not like the color.  
SERIOUS Cost Savings  
So, now lets look at "How To" Paint with it and what the finished product looks like.

Here is the chair I have decided to makeover:

 The chair itself is quite chippy and about 80 years old with MANY layers of paint.
Lots of scratches on the surface and a bit rough to the touch.  

Here is where I differ from some others on this project… I DID NOT SAND first!
I do on a lot of projects like a finished dresser, desk, end table, etc., but I wanted
to create a very distressed and shabby chic look here, also, I wanted to see how 
the coverage of my homemade paint worked!

I just kind of slap on paint when I paint with chalk paint, I know a lot of people
have different methods, but I like mine, I am not one to do things exactly by the book.
I go with what works for me, I certainly try not to show too many brush strokes, but first coat usually doesn't matter.  But, one of the best things about
Chalk Paint is that you can lightly sand and smooth down the finished product without removing the color!


Note:  I always use a natural bristle brush… It is best!!  

This is the chair after only 1 coat!!  Pretty good coverage.  I applied 2 coats.


Here, I show my palm sander, which is one of my most beloved and used tools.  I use the palm sander with the highest grit paper to create a smooth finish on my projects.  

OK, with this homemade paint, it took off more of the paint than I originally was hoping for, but then starting liking the look of the piece with the white underneath and kept going, but for other areas and 
smoothing surfaces I used a small sanding pad of the highest grit again.

NOTE:  What ever color or finish is underneath your chalk paint will show, so if you want a dark background, paint the piece before you add 
your finish color.

This particular chair like I mentioned is very old and has so many coats
of paint, it took quite a bit to get the original finish to show.  So , another note; 
maybe sand project before applying  homemade chalk paint.  


I am going to share how to get a smooth and perfect wax coat over your painted project.

Here, I am using Minwax finish paste.  I currently do not have the Annie Sloan soft wax, which is a much softer wax and less smelly to use, but both create the hard coating 
and smooth surface.

You will use a soft cloth  to apply.

I always focus first on the edges and roughed up areas. This creates a seal and smooth to touch finish. Then I apply a coat in a buffing like manner all over the rest of the piece.  You really do not need a lot of wax to create the finish.  I just dab my cloth into the wax and use small bits at a time.

If you use too much, you will have  a sticky end product.  So after I have buffed and waxed the entire area, I buff again with a clean cloth to remove any excess.
(Now, many people use a wax brush, which I hope to purchase in my near future.)

The wax really brings out the wood undertones of the piece.  
Also what I have created is a hard protective surface over my painted chair.


Now, this style may not be everyones cup of tea, but I love the totally chippy and distressed 
look of this piece, I love the white and wood showing underneath.  

This closeup is to show you the coverage of the homemade chalk paint.  The smooth
finished edges and surface from waxing.  


Well, I will not say that this is my favorite chalk paint, but really the comparison between the top name and my homemade version for less than $4.00 is really close!

  I still achieved
a great coverage and finished product, my only complaint (which may be my own fault…I didn't let the paint dry an entire day before I distressed; I wanted a complete tutorial to share today), is that when sanding; much more paint chipped away than with the Annie Sloan paint.  Also, I could have just sanded by hand  for a softer distressing.

I have a few more color samples that I had picked up from Home Depot and plan on trying a two tone look on a few french provincial tables, I will share those results as well.

I still think I may try at least one more recipe for comparison next week.  So stay tuned!!
More "How To's" to come.

Thanks so much for reading!

I love to hear from you and would love any tips on your experiments with "Making your Own Chalk Paint".  

Have a colorful day!



  1. Loved how you explained every step. I can't justify Annie Sloan paint for small projects and this is a great alternative.

  2. is your chalk paint like the "I can write with chalk on it" paint? Thanks

    1. Thank you for your reply… The chalk paint I feature here is not writable chalk paint, it is a furniture paint that has a matte finish and complete coverage over any surface! It is easy to distress and featured all over the shabby chic community!!