How To Make and Paint With DIY Chalk Paint

Hi everyone. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend– only one more week and the summer of 2012 will be history. I will remember it as the summer of my painting marathon.  When I moved the cars out of the garage and set up a hodgepodge of hand-me down furniture to paint with DIY chalk paint for my daughter.  I completed it a few weeks ago, but still have a few of the items to show you.

I will be including this and all the other painting posts I have done on a  page I am creating called–


For this post I am going to show you how I painted over a very old painted surface with DIY chalk paint.

Here is the AFTER of a cute little corner cabinet that was my husband’s grandparents. It is in its new home – the foyer of my daughter’s apartment. Of all the pieces I painted, this is both my daughter’s and my favorite.  She loves it and that makes me one happy mom.

How to make and paint with chalk paint


Quite a cute little piece and I am sure there are many of you who would like it just the way it is.  It is a classic, but the red is not one of my daughter’s fav colors. It also needed a little love.

It was painted in a milk or an early version of chalk paint – it was highly pigmented and made a mess. Time to put a mask on so I would not breath in the dust. When I started to sand it with my little hand sanding block, it came off like powder.  It reminded me of powdered tempura paint that I used as a kid in school, but since it was old I figured it could contain lead so I only removed the shine a bit and left the red on.






Supplies Needed:

Paint – Glidden Zesty Lime – satin finish
Non-Sanded Grout
Mixing bucket – I use an old coffee can with a lid.
Paint stirring stick
Paint brush
Valspar Antiquing Glaze -Asphaltum 98278.
Soft Rags
Clear Paste Wax


1. Before you start to paint anything – remove the hardware, hinges, and knobs. Mark on the back of each where it goes and place them in a baggie.  This is so important to ensure that you get the hinges and screws back in the same place when you are finished painting. If you don’t, you could and probably will have a problem getting doors to close right.


2.  You do not normally need to prime or sand first with chalk paint, but this piece was old and the red pigment was unlike any old paint finish I have ever seen – impossible to remove, powdery and dying my gloved fingers red.

To be on the safe side, I used primer to ensure the red would not eventually bleed through the lime green color.  Since I was going to be painting the cabinet with a vivid color, I used Glidden Grippe primer in Grey.  It brings out the color better than a white primer.


3.  I sanded with a block sander to smooth out the previous painted surface.  I just wanted to sand off the shine a bit and smooth spots where there were paint drips from the previous paint job.

4. To get into the vertical joints on the bead board I used a 1-inch angled brush.


5. I rolled the rest on.  I used 2 coats of primer – letting each one dry in between coats.  I did paint the inside after I finished the outside, because it looked dingy next to the new color.


My daughter chose Glidden Zesty Lime # A0913 in a satin finish.

How to Make and Paint with DIY Chalk Paint

Of these 3 recipes I like the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best, then the Plaster of Paris. The non- sanded grout works well, but is the hardest mixture to get smooth.

DIY Chalk Paint recipes


Calcium Carbonate Powder DIY Chalk Paint Recipe


Since posting the stool and table I painted with chalk paint, I have gotten a few questions on why I would use this instead of regular paint?  The main reason – no sanding or priming needed – even when you are painting over a stained piece, but the reason I like it – it takes the rubber feel out of a latex painted piece.  It goes on smooth and glossy, but dries flat. It is the calcium in the powder that gives it the chalky finish.

There are many different DIY versions and everyone seems totally smitten with the one they used so I think no matter what you use – you are going to like the results.   I had white  grout in my basement so that is what I used to make my first batch.  It worked beautifully and sold me on using it again.    Some recipes I have seen call for hot water. I have always used room temperature and it has come out fine.  If you are still uncertain about using chalk paint- try it out on a small thrift store find to see if you like the finish it produces.

When you finish it off with wax, the finish just looks fabulous.   I did age this corner cabinet with antiquing glaze, but you do not have to age or distress chalk paint for it to look good.  A thin coat of buffed wax is all that is needed and will create a modern finish on a piece.

I mixed the paint with the Plaster of Paris and water.   I dumped the whole quart of paint into a coffee can and then mixed in 8 TBS of the Plaster of Paris and water to mix it up into a nice smooth consistency.  I had some of the mixture left over and used the coffee can lid to seal the coffee can in case I need to paint with it again.


6.  I rolled on 2 light coats of it – letting the first coat dry before adding the second.


7. After the second coat was dry, I wanted to age the finish a bit and used Valspar Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltum 98278.  I bought it at Lowes.  I simply wiped it on in a circular motion using a soft rag and then wiped it off.  I worked on a section at a time until I had the whole piece covered.

Glaze is nothing more than a way to add color over paint to create different effects. It comes in clear, white, or dark colors like this antiquing one. The clear versions allow you to mix any color paint or tint to it.  Glaze is very transparent so that you are still able to see the paint color underneath. It gives a paint finish depth.  The other reason it is so nice to use is that it dries slowly so you have time to work and wipe it off to create the look you want. 


I chose not to distress the edges with sandpaper to further age the piece as the original red paint would have shown. I didn’t want it to look like it was for Christmas.


9. The last step was to rub a very thin coat of clear paste wax over the entire piece with a soft cloth. I let it dry for about 30 minutes and then buffed it with another rag to bring out the shine.



10.  I painted the hinges and tops of the screws with the chalk paint.  To keep the paint light, I dabbed the paint on lightly, let it dry and then added one more coat.  I rubbed a little glaze over them as well and clear paste wax so they would blend in.

I replaced the copper cabinet door knob with a glass one.  This little corner cabinet came out better than I imagined.  My daughter is smitten with it now and is happy that she is using something that belonged to her great grandparents.

Chalk paint and glaze truly brings out the character in a piece of painted furniture.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe and Tutorial


I did a test comparing different chalk paint formulas. You can read that in my post  – Testing 1..2…3.. Versions of Chalk Paint


  1. sarah says

    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I have another question, I am ready to distress the chairs. I have ready lots of blogs but I was wondering how you distress furniture? Do you just us scrubs or do you also use sand paper?

    • says

      Hi Sarah – To distress you use sandpaper to go over areas on your piece that would normally see wear. The edges, buy knobs etc. I use 100 grit at first and then go to about 220 so the distressed surface feels smooth. I then wax and buff over everything. If you want a more rustic look, you can wax first and then sand to distress. This leaves the sanded areas a little rough. Each way is acceptable – it justs comes down to your personal taste.

  2. says

    Thanks so much for this post, I have been researching painting furniture and came across it and I love all of your projects.

    I’m curious, I have this little cabinet:
    It is in perfect condition, but the white isn’t my style anymore and I want to do a vintage chalk paint look. Would I need to use a primer before since it isn’t “real” wood? If so, what kind would you recommend? Thank so much!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – You do not need to prime, but you do need to go over the entire painted surface with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit to give the surface some “tooth” so the paint has something to adhere to. I use a hand sanding block to to this step. Clean off the sanding grit and then paint.

      Since the previous under color will be white, if you plan to distress the cabinet after the chalk paint is on with sandpaper, know that the white is going to show up in these distressed areas. If you don’t want that to happen. Figure out in advance where you are going to distress the edges after chalk painting. Sand these areas to the bare wood. Then when you distress the areas you only see wood.

      I used chalk paint on this non-wood table:

  3. Tracy says

    Hi Diane I am attempting my first chalk paint project. How long do I need to wait between painting and waxing? I have put two coats of paint on the cabinet. I am about to distress it and need to know if I can wax it yet.


  1. […] decorate top (using scrapbooking paper glued on), and I attached a pretty, decorative paper cut-out recipe for how to make your own chalk paint (because, after all, Annie Sloan chalk paint is EXPENSIVE at nearly $40 for a […]

  2. […] Hi Mary – If you want to roll the paint on – use the Calcium Carbonate recipe. I rolled this on to a piece I am currently working on. Worked great. Two coats should be plenty – I would run medium grit sandpaper over the surface quickly and then make sure the piece is clean and dry before painting. To get the dark antique look in the carvings – you could use dark wax over clear wax. Annie Sloan and Ce Ce Caldwell both sell one. I have never used it as I like to use Valspar Antiquing Glaze with a clear wax coat over it as protection. Once your paint is dry. Apply the Antiquing glaze all over the piece. Wait for a minute or two and then start to wipe it off with a cloth. The dark color will stay in the recessed areas. You can use small paint brushes and the tips of rags to remove the glaze in these areas if you get too much on.. Just keep repeating the process until you have the piece covered. Let it dry and then apply clear wax – Johnson Paste Wax over it. Buff to a shine with a soft cloth. You can see how I did this on a piece of furniture I did for my daughter. […]

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