Testing 1… 2… 3… Versions of Chalk Paint

Jessica from Décor Adventures who was my roomie at the Haven blog conference left me a comment on my last post where I showed you how to make and paint a piece of furniture with chalk paint.  Her comment:

Hi Diane, Looks great! I have a question though. Is this how to make chalk paint or chalk board paint? Can you write on that with chalk? I mean before you put the wax and glaze on. I’ve seen the same recipe for both and wanted to clear it up!

In My Own Style and Decorating Adventures

Her comment got me thinking. I didn’t know the answer, so I set out to find out what the difference is.  I also want to answer all the questions I have received to clear up many readers’ confusion about why you would use chalk paint in the first place, but first – the experiment.

I got a sample jar of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at the Haven blog conference this summer in the color Provence.  This is my first time to use the brand.  I wanted to see what it smelled like, its consistency, how it felt to the touch when dry.

When I opened it– it smelled like chalk and is a bit more watery than paint, but it had a nice smooth consistency.   I am going to to compare it with two of the most common DIY versions of chalk paint – Non-Sanded Grout or Plaster of Paris.

Update:  Read this to find out more about more chalk paint brands and another DIY version using Calcium Carbonate Powder. 

 

Read this post to find the best DIY chalk paint mixture for durability and outdoor use.

My studioffice became my lab.  If science projects were this much fun in high school, I probably would have gotten all A’s and enjoyed the class instead of dreading it.

Chalk-Paint-Test

I bought two sample jars of paint in a satin finish as close to the Annie Sloan color as I could find so when the paint was dry, they would look similar making it easier to compare.   I taped off a piece of scrap molding into 3 sections and marked them.

There are many different chalk paint recipes on the internet. Most use either the grout or Plaster of Paris. Some say chalkboard and others say chalk paint.   All use different amounts of plaster, grout or Calcium Carbonate Powder and water.  Some use hot water, 2 in one primer paints, flat, and Ooops paint.  For this experiment, I used the recipe I have been using with the grout and a version using Plaster of Paris that I found on Pinterest.

Note:  If using the non-sanded grout recipe, do not use Valspar Signature paint or any Primer and Paint in One formula of paint. It will harden right away because of the primer.

****  Read more in my update post **** before choosing what DIY recipe you want to use.

DIY-CHALK-PAINT-RECIPES

When adding the water to the DIY versions, I tried to get the same consistency as the Annie Sloan paint which was thin like pancake batter.  I added more than each recipe called for.

To get it mixed well – add the water and the powder first to help dissolve it and then use an old electric beater to blend the paint in.  Or you can just stir very well until mixed.   I painted two coats of paint on each section of the molding and let it dry between coats. Once it was thoroughly dry, I felt the surface of each. The Annie Sloan brand was smoother to the touch. Both the grout and Plaster of Paris were a teeny-tiny bit rougher.   Once the wax was applied they all felt the same.

To answer Jessica’s question, I tested the surface on each to see if chalk would write on the paint.  It did on all 3.  All versions produced an ultra hard finish.  So I think there is no difference between DIY chalkboard and chalk paint recipes.

Annie-Sloan-Chalk-Paint

Next I wanted to see how each paint mixture would stack up to the distressing test.  I used medium grit sandpaper to distress the beveled edge on the molding. They all passed beautifully – exactly the same – nice and smooth.   I added the clear paste wax to the right side of each sample and buffed it until the cloth slid easily over the surface.

Johnsons  paste Wax

Here you can see the results.  Note the Annie Sloan is a lighter shade of blue than the other two. I tried to find a color that matched as closely as possible. The left side has no wax and I wrote Hi using white chalk. The right side has one coat of buffed wax on it.  The wax makes the surface smooth to the touch.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence

Annie-Sloan-Chalk-Paint

Valspar Latex paint in the color Flood Tide mixed with non-sanded grout and water.

Non-Sanded-Grout Chalk Paint

Latex paint mixed with Plaster of Paris and water.

Plaster-of-Paris Chalk Paint

In this photo you can see how the sheen of a thin buffed coat of clear wax looks against the un-waxed side.

DIY Chalk Paint Comparison test with the Annie Sloan brand

Two more photos to see the wax sheen.

Chalk Paint sheen test

 

sheen-Test-flat

My conclusion  – there is not much difference between Annie Sloan and the DIY versions.   If I was forced to make a comparison I would say the Annie Sloan brand felt smoother, but that is probably because it was mixed and blended well in a factory, not by hand at home.

  • When making your own – use water and mix it very well into the powder first, making sure the powder dissolves and you get a smooth consistency before adding it to the paint.  Since there are many recipes out on the internet  I think all of them will work just fine.  Each brand of paint you add to the grout, plaster of Paris, or Calcium Carbonate Powder has a slightly different consistency – you will have to tweak the recipe every time you make it.  You don’t have to measure exactly.   It is more about getting a smooth consistency – like pancake batter with no lumps of powder.  Use an old electric beater to mix it – it works perfectly.
  • Many readers, myself included, have had problems at times with Valpsar paint.  It contains a primer. Any paint with a primer or acrylic in it my bind the paint.   If buying paint to use to make chalk paint, don’t use this brand or a paint/primer in one product.
  • All of my pieces have been painted with Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish.  Make sure the label does not say Paint+ Primer in One Formula.
  • I painted three pieces of furniture so far with DIY Chalk paint, two using non-sanded grout and another with Plaster of Paris.  Each mixture’s consistency came out a bit differently, but went on well and each has held up beautifully.  I used white over dark wood on my first piece and was a bit skeptical about not priming it first.  It is as white as the day I painted it – so it is true  – no sanding or primer needed.  I do however sand my pieces with a hand sanding block and 100 grit sandpaper. It only takes 10 minutes and will only help with adhesion in the long run.
  • On my most recent piece – the green corner cabinet –I made a lot of the P of Plaster mixture and had extra. I stored it in a covered coffee can and I checked this morning – it is still smooth and viscous after 3 weeks.  The sample paints I made for this experiment both dried out quickly and I had to add more water. I found out why – they had a primer in them.
  • The weather, type of paint, and mixing method may vary and change the outcome.  If you give 5 different people the same food recipe – the outcome would be that each came out a bit differently due to the age of ingredients, weather, oven temperature, etc. I have found it is the same with Chalk Paint recipes.
  • Plaster of Paris is cheaper than a bag of white non-sanded grout so if cost is a factor, the least expensive version would be the Plaster of Paris. It is sold in the paint area by wood fillers at Lowes and Home Depot. It was $6.00. The bag of non-sanded grout is sold where tile is sold. It runs around $11.00 a bag. No matter which one you choose – one bag or container will be plenty to paint quite a lot of furniture.  UPDATE:  Check out this updated review post for more recipes of DIY chalk paint to try – using Calcium Carbonate Powder  before choosing which one to use. After painting many pieces of furniture and trying all the DIY recipes, I prefer and would recommend using Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is sold in the health food store.  $6 for a one pound jar. You can also get it on Amazon.
  • This outcome got me thinking – would chalkboard paint sold at home improvement and craft stores be the same?  I had some craft store acrylic black chalkboard paint in my stash and I tried it on the piece of molding.  When it was dry, it was a bit more shiny. When I distressed the edges with sandpaper – it didn’t distress as nicely as the others and it was not an ultra hard finish.  I could chip it off with my fingernail.  Not sure about the cans they sell at home improvement stores as the Lowes near me was out of it.

 

Chalk Paint FAQ #1:   Why would I use it instead of regular paint? 

  • Chalk paint is perfect for transforming furniture.   You could use is  for walls, floors, door, trim, or counter tops, but remember you have to wax it.  Waxing takes time, not sure I would want to do it on anything but furniture.   I would not use it in a kitchen because of the heat on cabinets near the stove or oven may melt the wax. I would use  polyurethane over the paint, but I read somewhere that Annie Sloan is coming out with a book on how to paint kitchen cabinets with it.  If you want to paint a kitchen table with it – add a few layers of wax. You  may  need place mats and a new coating of wax every so often.
  • You can wax and glaze over regular latex paint the same way you do with chalk paint, but it doesn’t distress as nicely and may not sink into the paint.  When sanded, straight latex paint rolls up and shreds a bit. With chalk paint, it turns into powder that wipes away leaving a smooth aged looking finish.   The main selling feature of chalk paint is that whatever you paint does not need to be sanded and primed first.  This is a huge time saver and makes the process of transforming a piece of furniture much easier.

Chalk Paint FAQ #2:   Why do you need to add wax? 

  • When topped with wax, chalk paint produces a beautiful finish that adds depth and character to a piece of furniture unlike regular paint. It also adds a little bit of protection to the painted surface.  Chalk paint dries to a very flat finish that has a chalky feel. You can write with chalk on it.   The wax brings out the color and adds patina.   If you add colored wax or glaze over it, you even further enhance.  It gives it depth and a tiny bit of shine.  More buffing – more shine.    The wax should be applied very sparingly – just a very thin coat is all that is needed.  When you buff  – the magic happens  – it transforms furniture into so much more than just a painted piece of furniture.

Chalk Paint FAQ #3:  Why not just buy the Annie Sloan brand?

  • The main reason is that it only comes in limited colors.  They are coming out with new colors, but being able to make your own custom colors will make your piece truly unique.   I would not have been able to paint the corner cabinet for my daughter in the lime color if I didn’t make my own.  The other reason for wanting to make your own – a quart of Annie Sloan is $35.   DIY versions cost less.

I have experimented with different brands of Chalk paint even more. You can read an update to this post at:  Update To DIY Chalk Paint Post

I hope this answers all the questions I have received. If not – just leave one here.  If anyone has used any of these versions of chalk paint or has another please share it  -I would love to hear about your experience with it.

 



Comments

  1. JP says

    You say several times “mix to a smooth consistency” but otherwise, I can’t tell if it should be like pudding, or more like pancake batter, or thinner yet. How would you describe it besides smooth? Otherwise all the discussion and testing were wonderful and very helpful to those of us who are contemplating DIY versions of chalk paint.

    • Tina says

      “When adding the water to the DIY versions, I tried to get the same consistency as the Annie Sloan paint which was thin like pancake batter”

  2. Cheryl L. says

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It took the scary out of DIY chalk paint! I’ve wanted to paint a vintage tea cart a certain paint color that is not available in the Annie Sloan line. I’m very excited to get started!

  3. says

    I have done a couple of small pieces in DIY chalk paint made with Plaster of Paris. I make it up to a consistency similar to pancake batter. But then I’ve also made it a bit thinner and it seemed to work just as well.

    I’ve not waxed any of them because they’re pieces that don’t get much wear and tear (two mirror frames and a small stool). I did use some dark oil based stain/varnish-in-one on the top of the stool just to see what would happen. It turned it darker, as one would imagine and gives it a bit of protection. I’ve not tried any distressing on the aforementioned pieces.

    I also used DIY chalk paint on some decorative metal pieces and loved how it came out. All I did to distress them slightly was use an emory board (very fine grit) cuz hubby had all the fine grit sandpaper with him ;-)

    I’m going to do a test piece of wood using DIY chalk paint with a darker latex glaze over top. If it works out, then my end tables will get that treatment.

    As for Annie Sloan chalk paint (ASCP), someone who really, really has experience with it is Amy at Maison Decor. (I read her blog.) http://maisondecor8.blogspot.com/
    She paints everything in it, even walls and her own kitchen cabinets, and has had wonderful results. Also, you can mix up any of the Annie Sloan paint with any other color in her line to make other colors. However, at this time, she doesn’t have quite the unlimited color choices offered with latex paints, of course. Then again, she’s sorta catering to the colors one would use for French distressed looking pieces and the like.

    I found that my DIY chalk paint dried very quickly and yes, I did two coats on the first pieces mentioned but not on the metal scroll work pieces because I wanted more of the dark metal showing through anyway.

    I know that a quart of ASCP goes a long way and almost decided to order some. But I don’t paint that much furniture so I thought it was more cost effective for me to use a DIY version.

    For those contemplating using DIY version, I’d say try it :-) If you really are going to get into painting a lot of things with chalk paint, then you may want to consider Annie Sloan. There’s also another brand of chalk paint called CeCe Caldwell. http://cececaldwells.com/

    So painters, there’re a lot of choices out there. Guess we’re all going to have to get busy :-)

    Thanks Diane for this really in-depth post about your experiences with chalk paint. I’m especially glad to see your results with a different brand of wax other than Annie Sloan’s.

    • Colleen says

      Hi,
      Just wondering is any of the chalk paints you have mentioned could be sprayed? We have a large project to do and wondered if that we speed the process along? I really appreciate all of the information and work you have put into this. I am excited to start our project
      Thanks,
      Colleen

      • says

        Hi Coleen – Yes they can be used in a sprayer. I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe since it is the smoothest. Just follow you paint sprayers directions on the thinness it requires.

  4. says

    Great post! I would like to just mention that you can use a poly coat over homemade chalk paint if you want to use on a piece of furniture or cabinet that will get a lot of heat or water. You have to distress with a glaze but it does work. (I will try ANYTHING just to avoid a lot of prep work!)

    • Marsha Stopa says

      Suzan,

      Thanks for this tip. I’ve been wondering about using poly over chalk paint for certain pieces. I’ve been collecting resale “finds” for my place and you’ve just helped remove the last doubt about what to do with them.

      Onward!

      Marsha

  5. Em says

    Thank you so much!!!! I’ve been doing a lot of research about homemade chalk paint vs ascp and durability and coverage and it was driving me nuts. This helps so much. Thanks!!!

  6. says

    Diane, this is a very informative post that should clear up the questions that a lot of people have about chalk paint. I have used both ASCP and the DIY version using Plaster of Paris, both with success. You made a good point when you said it’s the waxing that gives the piece a beautiful sheen.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I thought I was the only one out there who has not tried the chalk paint, but this helped so much, that I now feel better about trying!

  8. says

    Enjoyed your informative post! I have been thinking about buying some Annie Sloan paint but it seemed too expensive. You’ve eased my mine into trying the DIY version. Thanks so much!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for the results of your experiment! I made some of my own chalk paint several months ago and felt the same about ASCP being so much creamier going on but the end result was about the same. I made mine with calcium carbonite and sample size paint/primer in one from Home Depot in a custom color. ASCP did not have a color close to what I needed.

    I’m eager to try Miss Mustard Seeds Milk paint now!

  10. says

    This tut is a keeper. Thanks for doing the side by side. I use Plaster of Paris and have had great results. I used this paint on a 1970’s formica top table…top, apron, legs…everywhere. It took a $3.99 table from Goodwill and made it a proud member of my home’s furniture.

  11. says

    Well Diane, That was a fabulous analysis! I have painted with my own DIY chalk paint and learned much from my first attempt. You have answered all the questions beautifully. Big tip was; combine the grout and water until smooth first. And you probably will need more water in the mixture than you think. Since I’ve never used the original ASCP,
    I wasn’t sure about the consistency. You make me want to paint again!
    Cheers! Rita

  12. Marsha Stopa says

    Diane,

    THANK YOU so much for the science experiment and the in-depth comparison. You answered all the lingering questions I had.

    Now I can’t wait to get painting. Thank heavens for a long holiday weekend coming up!

    Cheers,
    Marsha

  13. says

    Thank you so much for doing this tutorial and posting the results! I have been making my own chalk paint for a few months now and have been quite pleased with the results. I never wanted to pay the price for Annie Sloane paint, but I always wondered if it is was better or looked nicer on the furniture.

    After reading your post, I have decided that the DIY chalk paint looks just as good as the expensive stuff. Now I can rest assured that I’m not really missing out. :-)

  14. Maria says

    Excellent post, well researched, thank you. Ok, I’m sold I’m trying a DIY chalk paint. I have ignored it when seeing on blogs but now it seems interesting.

  15. Mary Chris says

    Thank you so much. I logged onto my computer today with the intention of finding a chalk paint recipe, how nice to find it in my Google Reader. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

  16. says

    Thanks so much for you informative experiment! I have made my own chalkpaint with unsanded grout, my recipe I use is the same as yours. I have yet to try Annie Sloan but have often wondered what the difference is. A couple weeks ago I mixed my unsanded grout with Valspar’s paint & primer in one, started painting and within 5 minutes it turned into a big lump in my container. It sat there in my container with the water I added all around it, like it squeezed the water right out of it. The more I tried to stir it the harder my lump got. I figured it must be the paint and primer together but I saw in the comments above someone used HD’s paint & primer so not sure what the problem was. But I have used the unsanded grout with regular satin latex paint with great success.

  17. says

    This is the most thorough and well written information I’ve seen on the web regarding home made chalk paint. Thank you for taking the time and effort to document your results so clearly and concisely.

    • says

      Hi Laurel – I wish my 10th grade science teacher could read it – he would see that I was not such a total science slacker and I actually did pick up a few things in his class :)

  18. LaTonya says

    Hi Diane. Thank you so much for this post! I was also confused about chalk paint vs. chalkboard paint and why you would use it on furniture if you are not going to use it as an actual chalkboard to write on. It was very informative. Another experiment you could add testing how each surface looks after attempting to erase the chalk. I’ve found that some surfaces are more eraseable than others. Just a thought.
    Also how often do you have to rewax furniture when using chalk paint?

    • says

      Hi LaTonya –

      The chalk erases easily from all three with a damp cloth, but on furniture it would not really matter since you are not using it as a chalkboard – just as a paint that needs no primer or sanding to adhere. I showed the chalk writing to make a point that chalk paint and chalkboard paint are the same. If you were using it to paint on furniture so you could have fun furniture to write on then you would not add wax. The wax is only to protect and bring out the patina of the color. It should be applied very sparingly and buffed. Depending on usage – you may not have to wax it again for a long time. If the area around a drawer knob wears down or you see an area wear down- you could add a small amount and buff to keep the surface protected.

  19. Megan says

    Unless I missed it above, the explanation of using wax didn’t say if you can still write on it with chalk. Will chalk still write on a piece that’s been buffed with wax and if it doesn’t write and wipe off why go through the work of mixing and waxing chalk paint in the first place?

    • says

      Hi Megan – Chalk will not write on it after you wax it. Writing on the piece is not what you are after, I just wanted to show that chalkboard paint and chalk paint were the same. Chalk paint is wonderful to use when painting on furniture – no sanding or primer needed. If you use regular latex – the surface needs sanding and priming first. When the wax goes on – it brings out the character in a piece – so much more than just painting a piece. It truly transforms the piece. When I first tried it, I wanted to know why you would use it instead of latex. After doing over a side table with it I was amazed at how good the table came out – so smooth and creamy. I was sold! I have painted hundreds of pieces of furniture with latex and oil paint and this paint mixed with wax offers a high end finish with ease and an affordable price. I will still use latex paint and primer on certain pieces, but this paint/wax is now a part of my furniture makeover supplies.

  20. says

    Dear Diane you are sooo generous, and kind to share the benefit of your experiences! I think your blog rocks! I love Annie Sloan paints, and use them quite a lot. I have also made DIY chalk paints as well. I have not used your Grout Version..yet. I use the Plaster of Paris version. One time I used it , and followed the 1 part Plaster of Paris to 3 parts paint, like I always do, and it was like a brick. Never had any problems with that recipe before, or since. Weird. Thank you for your examples! You really are the best!

  21. Erin says

    So for an actual Chalk Board would you recommend Chalk paint homemade or Chalk Board Paint, store bought? Thanks for all the trial and error. In an old Mary Englebriet magazines they said that exterior latex flat was the same as chalk board paint. HMMMM, another experiment?

    • says

      If you mix it very well to a thin pancake batter like consistency- use the grout version for an actual chalkboard. This is the one Martha Stewart uses. This way you can make any color you desire. If you want a traditional chalkboard color like black or green use the store bought in a can that you can buy at a home improvement store since the color is already made for you. I believe that about exterior flat paint. It is rather chalky. So many options :)

  22. says

    Thank you so much for writing this and doing all the tests for us. I have often wondered about all the hype. I have only used the DIY verson with the unsanded grout and love the results. I not only use the flat paint as recommended but other types as well. All seem to work pretty well for me so far. Love how the finished result is so nice with so little effort. I have much more to paint and now I am so happy to know that even though I can’t afford AS paint, my projects are just as nice.

  23. says

    Diane – thank you so much for this great tutorial. I have been using DIY chalk paint made with the plaster of paris and have had very good results. I had been wondering if my pieces as good as ones done with ASCP – now I can see there is really no difference. I have had a problem with storing my paint – it wants to become hard as cement on the bottom of the container and when trying to reuse them I find they are full of hard chips of plaster of paris. Don’t know what is causing this except I have not been mixing them as thin as you say to do. Maybe that will make a big difference. Again, thank you so much for clearing up so many questions I had. Now on to the rest of my projects I had been putting off due to uncertainty…..

  24. Linda says

    Thank you Diane for this in depth explanation. I can’t wait to try this. Really appreciate all the information.
    Linda from Macungie

  25. says

    Such a great post! I’ve used Annie Sloan and just love it, but the cost is definitely an issue. I bought two cans of paint and a can of wax and I spent over $100. OUCH! Needless to say, my hubby didn’t know.
    The saving grace is the paint goes a long way. I might have to try the DIY version.

  26. says

    Great post Diane! I thought I would mention that I have been using equal parts of lightweight spackle, primer and paint for my chalk paint and I have loved the finish. It is super thick like cake batter and I have been thrilled with each project. I also increase the spackle for thicker trash to treasure projects when I am looking for a thicker plaster-like finish. Thank you for all of your great info and research!

  27. says

    Thanks for an honest assessment of the chalk paints. I really thought you’d endorse Annie Sloan paint and was happily surprised with your candor. I appreciate it. Will try it soon.

  28. says

    Diane, this is so much great information. I really appreciate it. Can’t wait to try making my own chalk paint now!
    Ann
    Shabby French Country Cottage Basement

  29. says

    Hi roommie! I’m so glad my question prompted this amazing scientific experiment and has cleared up all our questions!

    Thanks for the mention, I’m glad I know all of this now. I have not yet made my own chalk paint but have lots of ASCP to use. I recently got the Florence and Graphite.

    Now we all know the difference!

  30. Kim T says

    Wow, this is a fabulous tutorial ….. thank you so much I actually am going to try this and cannot wait to see the results!

  31. says

    Thanks for this indepth post. We’ve been looking at some options for making chalkboard paint and want to try a couple of these out. Thanks!

  32. says

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful, helpful post! I recently bought a quart of Annie Sloan and loved the performance but the cost was a bit high to purchase more colors. I will be giving the DIY version a try!

  33. says

    great post Diane! I’ve used all three, and for the $$ I prefer using the Plaster of Paris version.
    Pinned it!
    gail

  34. Susan from Michigan says

    I have been wondering what the difference in grout verses plaster of paris was. Thank you for your experiment. Now I know.

  35. Becky says

    Did you know that you can buy an empty paint can at HD to mix your paint in then take that can back to HD and have them mix it on there paint mixer, I had them run it twice. It works perfect!

  36. says

    What an excellent blog! Thank you so much. I’ve been making my own chalk paint for about a year now using Plaster of Paris. We don’t have ASCP avail. in Australia. I enjoyed reading the comparison outcomes but especially picked up on a few tips to gain a smoother consistency with my DIY method. Well done. Thanks a million.

  37. says

    Thank you so much for the comparisons! I was wondering if there was a vast enough difference to be concerned about. Thank you for the recipes too. I’m so excited to try it all out for myself and see what all the hub-bub us about! :)

  38. says

    First, I LOVE your blog. Thanks so much for sharing so much great and thorough information. My question is on durability. I’ve done a handful of painting projects (dressers, kitchen cabinets, chairs, etc) and they always seems to chip where there is the most wear (i.e. where the drawers hit the dresser or where the cabinets hit the frame, etc). Is chalk paint more durable or is it the wax that makes the difference? I read (twice!) your post on repainting a dresser and that was helpful. I’m planning to use that method on my most recent buy- a beautiful dresser that I don’t want to mess up! But I also read this one and have heard so much about chalk paint that I thought I’d ask if it would make the piece more durable. I’m not planning on distressing it. I want it to look modern and professional. Any thoughts are welcomed! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Tiffany – If you are going to give it a thin coat of wax, then I think you will love how durable it is. Why not try it on a small piece before doing the dresser to make sure you like the finish. Another option would be to use a latex enamel paint. An enamel provides a more durable finish then just a latex. Another thing to remember when painting furniture – let is cure for a few days after you paint it. Using a piece right away before the paint is truly dry is bound to chip when moved or bumped into something.

  39. Ann says

    Diane, I notice you use a different wax. I am fixing to do my sons cabinets…will this hold up just as well? I also wondered if anyone has ever mixed reg. paint mixed with the Annie Sloan paint to get a true black color? Thank you

    • says

      Hi Ann – There are a few different brands of paste wax. I have only used Minwax and Johnsons. I like Johnsons much better. There is also Briwax which I have been told is good also. They all work the same, so it is about preference of brand. I would like to try Annie Sloan Soft Wax to see if there is a difference, but have not had a chance. Marion over at Miss Mustard Seed did a wax comparison you may want to check out. AS far as mixing paints – I do it all the time. Try a little bit and see what happens.

  40. Melissa says

    Hi! Thank you so much for this! I have some questions… When you say ‘paint’ does it matter if it’s wall paint or craft paint? If using wall paint will the sheen end up the same (flat, gloss, semigloss, or satin) or does the powder change it? And have you ever used an old blender to mix water/grout/powder before mixing in the paint? Again, thank you for your experiment on this! Blessings!

    • says

      Hi Melissa – I have used all types of paint and have had success with each one. I did notice that when I used craft paint, I did need more water. The sheen of the paint doesn’t matter – it will become flat when mixed with the Plaster of Paris or Non Sanded Grout. I have never used a blender to mix, but it would probably work. Another reader mentioned she buys empty paint cans with lids to mix her paints. She then takes them to the paint store, where they place the can on the shaker for her – for free. The fun thing with the chalk paint – it is so forgiving – too thick -add more water – too thin layer on another coat.

  41. Melissa c says

    Just painted an end table with DIY chalk paint this afternoon. I planned to distress it a bit and then use a dark glaze to wipe on and off. Do you think I should wax it before or after the glaze? I’ve read that glaze will absorb quickly with chalk paint, so use it sparingly. Maybe that is why I should wax with Johnson’s first. Any thoughts? Your post was super helpful….planning on pinning it! Thanks

    • says

      Hi Melissa – You should glaze before wax. If you wax first the glaze will have nothing to stick to. Have a clean soft cloth to quickly wipe off the glaze as you apply it to get the depth you want. Once you like how the glaze and distressing looks – apply a light coat of wax.

      • Melissa c says

        Thanks so much for the quick reply! I’ve looked all over the web to make sure I do this right!! Will be working on it after the final school bus comes this morning. Have a blessed day :)

  42. Cheryl Smith says

    Thanks so much for all the great information. I mixed up some paint using your plaster recipe. It worked better than the chalkboard paint I bought at the store. Thanks again!

  43. Dorothy says

    Thank you for taking the time to do all this for the post. Now that you have done all the hard work, I am looking forward to getting some things done that have been WAITING. Again Thanks.

  44. says

    Great post Diane, and thank you for doing the research! I have used both Annie Sloane & CeCe Caldwell chalk paints…I love them both, and of course the no sanding /priming thing lets you jump right into creativity! I’ve been wanting to try out my own recipe, but afraid it wouldn’t hold up as well…now that you did the experiment I’m off to Home Depot to get the color I want and mix my own!
    Thank you, thank you…I can’t wait to try it!

    • Pilar says

      Great tutorial!!! It is was I was looking for. I have some furniture to paint but I felt a bit scared about DIY chalk paint. I’ll try with plaster of Paris (which is what I have at home) and I’ll tell you the results.

      A big hug from Mallorca!

  45. says

    Hi Diane I found your site very interesting I have a pine bed I want to paint white can you use solvent based pant with grout or is it only water based paint you can use .regards Eileen

  46. says

    Hi Diane I found you site very interesting I have a varnished bed I want to paint white can I paint it with chalk paint . also can you use solvent based paint to mix with grout thanks regards eileen

    • says

      Hi Eileen – I have only used latex paints, but I do not think it would be the same with oil paint. It would be too thick and since you have to add water to the mix – water and oil don’t mix -I think it would turn into a mess. One of the selling features of chalk paint is that it provides a durable finish that requires no priming or sanding and can be cleaned up with soap and water.

  47. grannyjack says

    Hi, Only came across your site earlier today, just have to say how fabulous. I, like yourself regularly drag items of discarded furniture left by the wayside or destined for the local council tip into the back of my car (much to the dismay of my family, who think I am barmy). I like the idea of the chalk paint and would like to give it a try on a recent acquisition. What is the ratio of Grout to water? Keep up the good work.

    • says

      The amount of water varies. Start with a few tablespoons mixed into the grout. Keep adding more until you have a nice smooth consistency. It can be thick – you just want to make sure to break up the lumps. Then add the mixture to the paint and mix together until it is smooth.

  48. penny says

    Thank you for these posts on chalk paint! I am a beginner in upcycling/refurbishing and have been reading countless blogs on ‘how to’ without finding out details such as you’ve given me today…I am so grateful. I live in Perth, Western Australia and haven’t yet seen available to me any of the popular ‘chalk paints’ mentioned in any of the blogs I’ve read. There is apparently one made in Australia, but I’ve yet to try it (or even find it near me). My first 3 projects have been with water based latex paint only, none of which turned out as I’d hoped so I’m in the process of figuring out how to ‘fix’ them! So glad I’ve found your blog… thank you, thank you, thank you!

  49. Sillyquestion says

    This may be a silly question. I’ve heard you can make chalk paint using calcium carbonate (which is available in health stores and is also what white chalk is made of). I wonder if it’d be possible to dissolve chalk in water overnight and use it to make chalk paint??

  50. Jo Anne says

    You read my mind and answered those questions and more! Thank you so much for your time and efforts. There is absolutely no way I could afford to pay $35 for a quart of ASCP, even if it does “go a long way.” So these alternatives are great. By the way, a couple weeks ago I bought a quart of Rustoleum’s new tintable paint for about $12/qt. prior to knowing about the DYI. 12 colors, I chose a brown/mocha, but haven’t used it yet as my paint area is too brrr cold at the moment. I will use it, of course, but never again after knowing I can use any color of paint I fancy without limitation with the DYI recipe.

  51. Jo Anne says

    Oops, forgot to say that the Rustoleum tintable product I mentioned called “Chalkboard” and they tint it for you at Home Depot. But again, in the future I will use the DYI recipe.

  52. Kara W. says

    Okay, I tried painting with a slightly different recipe and it was a disaster! The recipe was 2 cups paint, 4 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris and 2 Tablespoons Water. I mixed the water and plaster or paris in a separate container until smooth. As soon as I added it to the paint it turned into a consistency similar to wood filler but slightly more hard…I couldn’t even stir it. So, I added water until I got it back to a more smooth consistency. When I started painting, it was very gritty and it was drying on the brush as I was painting. It was all over the place. I was able to take 220 sandpaper and smooth it out, but even after 2 layers, the paint job is not even. Sooo…when your recipe calls for 3 parts paint and 1 part plaster of paris and water, that seems like it would make the paint even tougher to stir. Also, is the “pancake consistency” just the plaster of paris and water or when it is added to the paint? I’m so sorry my post is so long….Any suggestions would be appreciated…it seems like you are very knowledgeable and I want to save my piece I’m painting :( Thank you in advance!

    • says

      Hi Kara – I think what happened, but not sure was that too much Plaster of Paris was added. Different brands/finishes of paint can make it come out thicker or thinner. I made two batches over the summer with Glidden satin latex and I still have them. I just used one to make a Christmas gift. It was still usable – a little thicker than when I made it, but I painted a piece with it and loved the results.

      My suggestion would be to only mix 1T of the POP and water. Add only a little bit of this to the paint at a time. Mix it well and then add a tiny bit more until the POP/water mix is all in. If you see it getting thick, just add a little bit of water and mix. One of my readers told me she makes up her mixtures in empty paint cans with lids that they sell at the paint store. Once in these cans, she can take her mixture to the store to get it shaken on a machine. Very smart.

      • Kara W. says

        Thank you for your suggestions. I will sand down my project and try again. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

  53. says

    Hi Diane – It’s Michael (formerly Blue Velvet Chair). Okay, I’ve read your post line-by-line, and you have inspired me to give DIY Chalk paint a try!!! It will be my first time! I’m going into the chalk paint jungle just after the holidays. If I don’t return by New Years Eve, send someone after me :-)

  54. Kitty Lacy says

    I’m so excited to know someone did this “homework”. Very, very helpful! Thank goodness I can now afford to paint so much more using this economical recipe!

  55. Beth says

    Thanks for your great post. I wish I had that info available to me when I began experimenting with DIY chalk paint earlier this year. Although I LOVE the ASCP, it is more than I can comfortably afford, particularly since I do not have any local retailers. However, I have used many of the colors and overall, in the end, I am just as happy with the results I have gotten with my POP mixtures. I have found the trick to smooth paint is to use very hot water and mix your POP first. I happen to prefer mine rather thick, but that is a matter of taste and coverage. I then add the latex paint (usually from sample sizes) until I have the color I want. I very often will use acrylic craft paints to tweak the colors. I usually mix my batches in small disposable tupperware-type containers, that can be closed tight, and it usually will last a few weeks, sometimes even longer if I add some water and stir. Half the fun is the experimenting, because if you don’t like the result, you can just paint over it!!! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Beth – I could not agree with you more – the fun is in the mixing and experimenting. Each of my batches have come out a bit differently, but I am smitten with the way the paint goes on and covers every time I paint with it. I am a convert and love using the DIY versions. I mix mine in coffee tubs that have a seal tight lid. This keeps the mixture useable for a long time. I used craft paint on my very first project. It worked perfectly. I have a few smaller projects that I want to do soon and will be using craft paint to make up my chalk paint. Thanks for sharing your tip on using hot water to mix. XO

  56. Valerie says

    I used the 4 tbsp. of plaster of paris, 2 tbsp.of water to 2 cups of paint as Kara mentioned above. Mine mixed up beautifully and the 2 coats went on my cabinets with ease and look wonderful! I made certain to get satin paint with no primer. Tomorrow I will be waxing, and trying shoe polish to make them look more antique.

  57. Charlie says

    Thanks for the great article…answered all my questions! Now I have a better feel for chalk paint and have the confidence to try my hand at it…oh, one question…wax with color, where would I find this? I love that idea! Thanks!
    Charlie

    • says

      Hi Charlie –
      Annie Sloan sells a dark wax. I have never used it. I use colored glaze first, then clear wax. If you want to make your own colored wax -You can add some oil paint sold in the artist supply area of any craft store to add color to your wax. You have to mix it in to the wax very well. The more you stir it into the wax, the warmer the wax becomes and will melt a bit – which is good to get the color into the wax. You can even melt the wax in the sun for a while, but DO NOT melt it over an open flame. It will produce a fire. Once mixed well you can apply it to the furniture, let dry and then buff. You will be able to create many different looks with it.

      • Charlie says

        Wow, Thanks…I cannot wait to try this…I paint with oils…want to try chalk paint with a landscape scene…then wax! Whoa…will keep you informed on outcome! Thanks!!

  58. says

    I use ASCP all the time. However, living in the UK, I don’t pay nearly as much as those that live in the USA. The consistency of the paint can vary depending on how long it has been stored or if it has been opened. As it is water-based, it is easy to add water to thin the paint or to let it evaporate a bit, depending on what look you want. Thicker paint works best for really beat up pieces and produces a good base coat to come through when distressing.
    It can be used on walls and is recommended for old houses as it has low VOC and lets the plaster breathe. It leaves a nice chalky finish without flaking. You don’t have to seal it. I have tried it out in a cupboard. Best to use where you don’t need to clean the walls often. It is great for repainting kitchen cabinets and all you need is a few coats of soft wax. Not beeswax. The wax hardens the paint even more than when left alone to cure.
    I will most likely make my own if I can’t blend or find a colour I like from what I have already. The reason you can use unsanded grout is because it has a cementous base, in the UK it comes from Portland Stone, which is very strong and helps it stick to anything. There is also chalk added to give it some tooth and which helps to give the soft finish. It is pretty much what paint used to be made of before they used Latex in the USA and Acrylic in the UK.
    I am a huge fan of ASCP and can find no fault with it whatsoever. I also use the clear and dark wax. I now use Hannant soft wax who I think supplies the wax for AS but is cheaper. As said before, if you can make your own cheaper, go for it. However, I would use a matt paint instead of a soft sheen paint when making your own chalk paint. Just my preference.

    • says

      Hi Arlene – thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experiences with chalk paint. It is so interesting to hear. I agree with you that the thicker paint works well on beat up pieces. I am a fan of painting with it now as it provides such a great finish that does not feel rubbery at all like latex when it dries. I don’t think I will ever paint furniture any other way again. :) It is also fun to experiment with and come up with lots of different looks.

      • says

        Hi Diane – It was really good of you to do a post on the different ways of making your own chalk paint. I wouldn’t have the patience! I won’t use anything else either! The other problem with using Latex on its own is that wax will not penetrate the paint and therefore is a complete waste of time to use it – better to use polyurethane instead. Whatever makes your life easier when making something beautiful is a bonus! Have fun with your chalk paint. I look forward to seeing what else you do with it! :)

  59. Annie says

    My question is this…I want to chalk paint two matching vanities in the Master Bathroom. If I wax them after and let them “dry out” for a couple weeks, will they hold up to moisture or water that may occassionaly drip on them.

    Thanks for any info
    Annie

    • says

      Hi Annie – Yes- no problem with an occasional drip of water, the wax acts as a protective finish and will keep the water drop from penetrating. As on any piece of furniture – if you put a drink down on it – use a coaster. The nice thing is with the wax – you can always add another layer and buff it to a shine anytime, especially if you see an area that the wax has worn down.

  60. Jennifer says

    Hi,
    Thank you for this information. I’m new the the furnature redo stuff and have been so confused about what this chalk paint stuff is. I’m wondering if you could use a regular varnish instead of wax. Is it just that the wax looks better or are you not supposed to put varnish on chalk paint?
    Thanks
    Jen

    • says

      If you use varnish, I would use a polyurethane, water-based varnish for furniture,otherwise it will yellow. You can choose matt or gloss depending on the look you want. It also depends on what you will be using the furniture for. I have only ever used wax so far. The reason for the wax is that it gives the chalk paint its hardness and durability while giving it a soft sheen when you buff it. The wax penetrates the paint. Chalk paint and wax is supposed to give character to a piece of furniture such as Scandinavian or French style or like any other old piece of painted furniture. It is not meant to be shiny like new furniture from the factory. I would also suggest that you look at Annie Sloan’s website for more information and other blogs from people that have used the paint.

    • says

      Hi Jennifer –

      You can use water based polyurethane, but in my opinion the wax adds much more depth and character to the piece. How I like to think about chalk paint is that it is what non-oil based paints used to be like, before latex. Chalk paint is not rubbery feeling like latex at all and it sticks to almost anything. The addition of the non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris give it amazing sticking qualities, so there is no need for primer. With latex paints – you need to put a primer on first. I would only use chalk paint on furniture or smaller wood items, not on walls. It is the perfect paint for furniture. I have used oil, latex, and chalk paint on furniture and I am finding that I like the way the chalk painted pieces come out better. One misconception about chalk paint is that you have to distress and age it – you do not. I have two pieces in my home that I did not distress with sandpaper – the smooth finish is much smoother than a latex finish.

  61. Ashley says

    Hello. I wondering if this method of painting would work good for my daughters bed? Also how long does it take the wax to dry before she could use her bed again? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Ashley – it would work beautifully on a bed. Once you apply the thin layer of wax, you let it dry for about 30 mins and then buff. You can add as many thin layers of wax as needed, just buff well after each layer to bring out the shine and patina. Once it is buffed, you can use the piece right away. Note: when you apply the wax is does smell at first, but as it dries the smell goes away. The smell comes more from the open can of wax and the wax on the rag you use.

  62. Pilar says

    Great tutorial!!! It is was I was looking for. I have some furniture to paint but I felt a bit scared about DIY chalk paint. I’ll try with plaster of Paris (which is what I have at home) and I’ll tell you the results.

    A big hug from Mallorca!

  63. Ann says

    Thank you for the tutorial. Do you know if it is possible to make black chalk paint? I have an old entertainment aremoire that I want to paint black and would like to use chalk paint. If i I use non sanded grout, do you think it will make the black paint turn grey when mixed?

    • says

      Hi Ann – good question. I am not sure. I would have to experiment with it to see. Do you have any non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris to try a small batch?

  64. Anna says

    I’m reposting because I don’t think my question went through. Can I polyurethane a children’s desk and chair set after waxing so that it can be a durable workspace for small children?

    • says

      Hi Anna – If you want to use poly then there is no reason to wax it first. The wax adds a patina to chalk paint, but it also adds a layer of protection. Poly would be more durable for a kids table.

  65. Annie says

    I just painted two matching vanities…mixing ASCP arles and cream. The vanity came out YELLOW. I know everyone says if you don’t like it you can just paint over it but it was a lot of work sanding and waxing. My question is this….I’m not a fan of how the dark wax looks (scared to try it) but now I’m wondering if that would help to change the “yellow” color by darking it vs. repainting. Does anyone have any advice to try and help save me the work of totally redoing the vanities. Please help!

    • says

      Arles IS a yellow ochre. I painted two bedside tables with it straight out of the can. I actually wanted it more yellow than the yellow orange that it is, but I can live with it for now. The beauty of this paint is that there is no need for sanding, even after it has been waxed. So, you can paint right over it in a different colour. There is no need to be scared of the dark wax. You need to use clear wax first and while it is still damp, apply the dark wax and then wipe off a bit after a minute. Annie Sloan has posted a youtube tutorial on how to do this.

    • Adam says

      If you put clear wax on first and let it dry, you can then use the dark over it. If you dont like the dark after this, re apply the clear and use the clear to wipe it away. try it on a sample piece of wood first..

      • says

        Adam….Odorless Mineral Spirits will also remove the waxes without harming the Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. It is a solvent for wax, but not for paint. Simply wipe off all the wax with OMS and a clean rag and rewax. Also you should NOT let the clear wax dry before applying the dark wax…the clear should be wet and fresh for best results. You can also mix Annie’s paints with her wax for beautiful tinted waxes. Annie’s paints are the most forgiving paints I have ever worked with. I also beg to differ with you Diane….Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is FABULOUS on walls!!! Soft and velvety, I have the used it in my home and my shop and everyone always comments on how beautiful they are. The DIY concoction would not look so great, but real stuff is a keeper! My biggest problem with the DIY mixes is that you are still dealing with LATEX PAINT and that is a poor environmental choice for sure.

        • says

          Hi Janet – I am sure AS Chalk Paint looks great on walls, but so does any good quality paint at less than half the price. I just could not see spending $35 a qt for paint for my walls. Thanks for the tip about removing the wax with odorless mineral spirits.

    • says

      I would use the dark wax or an antiquing glaze – Valspar makes a few colors that will darken the color. Test it on an area on the back or non prominent spot. The trick is to wipe the wax or glaze on and then quickly wipe it off. You can keep a wet rag nearby to remove even more, if it gets too dark. You keep applying and wiping off until you have the entire piece covered. If there are any spots that you see lines of overlapping, just dab with the damp rag to lessen or remove.

      Doing this should tone down the brightness of the color. You could also use a liming wax or glaze – one with white in it to lessen the color. It would be like whitewashing with paint. I have done this myself. Use a dry brush and dip the tips into a mixture of 50% paint and 50% water. Brush it on and it acts as a glaze. I think Valspar makes a white or liming glaze.

      Either one of these would lessen the brightness of the yellow – the dark would make the color deeper, the white – a softer yellow.

      I hope this helps.

  66. Anna says

    Can you wet sand ASCP? I’ve been reading up on CeCe Caldwell paints and it says you can sand/distress with a damp cloth or sponge to avoid the mess of sanding with paper. Sure sounds like it may be easier and not so messy.

  67. Anna says

    Hello again….I am learning so much here. Question….my unsanded grout is white is that the type you are talking about when making your own chalk paint? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Anna – yes that is the the one to use – white. I found out recently that you can also use lime. The white powder you use in your garden. I have not tested it myself yet, but was told it will not make your mixture hard after a few days like some mixtures get if you have leftovers.

  68. Roberta says

    My question is about a desk I have. It is painted white (probably with latex) with yellow drawers. I don’t mind the white but the yellow does not match with things in our house. Could I paint the drawers with DIY black chalk paint and wax it or would it look to different weird with the other type of paint everywhere else?

    • says

      Hi Roberta – I think it would look fabulous. The contrast of colors would be so chic. If you are worried that the finish on the white latex and newly chalk painted drawers doesn’t match – don’t. If the white latex is semi-gloss then the shine from the buffed wax will match it. If the white latex has a flatter sheen – use less wax at first and buff. Keep repeating until you like the way the two different sheen’s go together.

  69. Adam says

    Hi, Thank you very much for your help. I too would like to know about if the grout is ok if its white and also you speak about Valspar paint which I looked up and see that its in the USA. I am in the UK and the UK dont sell Valspar paint. Is it the same as emusion paint?

    Thanks

    Adam x

    • says

      Hi Adam,
      I live in the UK and Valspar is equivalent to emulsion paint. You would need to buy bathroom tile grout to make your own chalk paint as it isn’t called un-sanded over here. The sanded grout in the UK is flooring grout. Hope that helps.

      • Adam says

        Thanks Arlene that is a great help. I have just be looking at Crowns ultimate paint which says you can use it on wood so im thinking that would be good too

        • says

          Adam, you can use any emulsion on wood, but remember, they are acrylic based and will need a suitable undercoat if used straight from the can. You will not get the same effect as the ASCP unless you use the emulsion with grout or plaster and make your own chalk paint. If using emulsion on its own, there is no point in waxing as the wax will not penetrate and seal the emulsion as it does to the chalk paint. Hope this helps.

  70. Annie says

    DIY Chalk Paint….oh boy I just mixed my first batch using the recipe here. 1 cup paint with 2 T unsanded grout. It got so thick and hard. Kept adding water but it kept thicking. Did I read the recipe right? Should it be 2 teaspoons vs. 2 Tablespoons. Anxious to try but afraid to waste more paint. Please help-soon! Thank you

    • says

      Hi Annie – what kind of paint are you using? Did you mix the grout with the water first? Some mixtures will get hard after a day, but I have never had it get hard while mixing. I use 2 T grout to 1 cup of paint to start and a few tablespoons of water. You may need to add some water to your paint first. Each brand and finish of paint and the water you use creates a different consistency. Depending on where you live -some water supplies have more iron or chlorine, salt etc in them that can change the outcome. The best mix I ever made was with Glidden {navy blue label} satin paint. It never hardened – I had the mixture for 6 months in a covered plastic coffee can and used the same mixture on 3 projects. I have had other mixes that hardened in 24 hours. It may take some trial and error. As long as you have no lumps in the mix – even if it is comes out a little thicker than normal paint – you can still paint with it.

  71. Jennifer says

    Thanks so much for the helpful post Diane. I just did my first later of wax and after buffing it felt the same as before. Should I continue with more layers? What does “buffing” mean exactly? I’m picturing circles…is that right? I am using the Johnson wax.

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – Buffing is just polishing with a soft rag. Use the softest rag you have and apply pressure and rub in circles over the waxed surface or up and down and around, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are moving the rag around with some pressure – it will bring the wax to a polished state. You can always apply another layer of wax, let it dry for about 30 mins and then buff again. I usually do 1 – 3 layers depending on the piece and how much wax I applied on each layer. Thin layers are better than one thick one. I use Johnson Wax. I am working on a project with it right now. While I am waiting for it to dry – I am answering questions from readers. :)

  72. Heather says

    Your tutorial is brilliant, and want to thank you for all the effort and work. But I have a question I hoped you could answer. If a person wanted to seal their piece after waxing, because I like the waxed look but would like extra protection, would that work or is the wax/poly combination not compatible?

    • says

      Hi Heather – The poly finish would not stick to a waxed surface very well. Both wax and poly are protective sealers each offering pros and cons. You can put wax over poly though to give a table top even more protection.

      Do you want a dark wax look, but want the poly finish? If so – use an antiquing glaze instead of dark wax to get the aged effect. Valspar makes one. I show how to use it in this post – http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-make-and-paint-with-diy-chalk-paint.html Then you can use water based Polycrylic over it to get the protection you want. In that post I use wax, but you can use poly over the glaze without any problems. That is how I used to do it, before I discovered chalk paint and wax.

  73. Kristie says

    Thanks so much!!! I tried a recipe online and was happy about, but I had to prime it. Excited to try yours!!!

  74. Kristie says

    I have been following and reading about your experiments with chalk paints, DIY vs. the name brand paints. I do not know if you are aware of a powdered form of chalk paint that is sold called Webster’s. If not, then it is a great alternative for those of us who love to paint with chalk, but are on a limited budget. Webster’s comes in a white powder form only and has exact measurements of water and any color of paint you want to turn into chalk paint by adding the powdered formula. The best part is that with the wax, it only cost me around $17 total for enough of the dry mixture and wax to paint 4 items. Two were dressers and the rest were smaller tables but I still have some left. I think since it is measured carefully in a lab, and is just as safe as ASC paint, if you add your own paint, you can virtually create any color under the sun! If you want to be completely VOC free, then rather than using old latex paints you have stored up after so many projects, you can always buy the brands that are free of harmful chemicals. My point………………You can guess about how much of each part goes into a DIY recipe version and hope for the best, or spend a small amount of money ( as much as you would on grout or the other components the DIY recipes call for) and have any color you wish and enjoy the same results as someone who has bought the more expensive brands. It really is quite simple and genius if you ask me. I love it and would not use anything else. Please be sure to try it and tell us what you think.

    • says

      Hi Kristie – thanks for sharing this info. I did order the powder as I want to experiment with it and see if it is any better or worse than the grout, plaster, or calcium carbonate. If it mixes up as well as you say – then it would be a great alternative for anyone who like no fuss no muss. :)

  75. suzanne says

    Hi Kristie, what exactly do I ask for? Is it Websters paint or Websters power …? I am from Australia so hope it is over here. Also while I’m at it could I ask whether your capital T’s over there are for teaspoon or tablespoon measurements ie 2T of whatever? So many thanks. Suzanne

    • says

      Hi Suzanne – not sure if Kristie replied to you or not. It is a powder. They sell it in bags. I think around $17 a bag. I could not find it in my area and did order it on their Website. I want to try it. Capital T = Tablespoon. Small t = teaspoon. The website is: websterschalkpaintpowder.blogspot.com/

  76. says

    Hi there!
    I’m also new to this and have some (wonderful) CeCe Caldwell paint. I’ve also been collecting paint samples in colors I love. Planning ahead.
    My question I’ve never seen addressed here online: what makes this paint adhere so well that one doesn’t need to sand or prime? I have a hard time believing it won’t chip or scratch! I know everyone swears, but what makes it stick? Any idea? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Christine – I totally understand how you feel. I used to feel the same way until I used it for the first time. The powder that you add to the paint – be it the non-sanded grout, plaster, lime, or calcium carbonate is what makes it stick and hide the color of the surface you are going to paint. It is also what gives it a flat finish. If you are not going to antique or age the finish, then I would sand the piece only if it had bumps or an uneven surface – other wise you do not need to sand or prime. Chalk paint goes on like a primer would. It is a primer with color really. For me the magic is the wax. That is what brings out the beauty. Some say since you don’t have to sand and prime initially – you save time and less work, but you do have to add the wax coat – that is work and takes time on the other- finishing end of the project. On everything I paint – using latex or chalk paint – I always take a sanding block with fine grit sandpaper over each dried coat and then clean the surface of dust with a tack cloth before I apply the next coat. So no sanding needed before, but a little bit in between coats will give you a smoother finish. As far as chipping or scratching – only time will tell. So far all the pieces I have done are chip free.

  77. Mireia says

    Is the paint you mix in with the Plaster of Paris wood paint or acrylic paint? Or what type?
    Fantastic information! You got me inspired to do it.
    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Mireia – any water based latex type paint will work. I like to use a flat or a satin finish as I find they mix up better than a semi-gloss. I have used acrylic craft paint and that works quite well also.

  78. says

    I admit I’m a believer in sanding. :)
    I just finished antiquing new French doors with a dark Briwax. I think I’m a believer in wax. And paint. Love me this painting stuff!
    I’m looking at furniture with a new eye and have a lot planned. Thanks for getting back to me!

  79. Carlene says

    Hi! I’m so excited on your great website! I have an old accent table with a dark finish on it. I want to distress it with white then black on top. Do I use chalk paint for both colors or just the black coat?

    • says

      Hi Carlene – Do you want the table to look more like a black table with white accents or a white table that will expose the dark finish when you sand the edges and then have the white aged with black? If it is the first – black table – chalk paint for both colors. If you want it more white – I would do white chalk paint and then dark wax or antiquing glaze over it. When you sand it, – you will expose the dark original finish.

  80. Lissette says

    Hi,

    Absolutely love your website. I was wondering if I wanted to use Antiquing Glaze, should I wax it thereafter? I went to homedepot today hoping to find dark wax and only found clear wax. I am on a budget and can’t afford Annie Sloan Soft Dark Wax so I was hoping to find alternatives. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lisette –

      Yes you can use antiquing glaze. It is what I use all the time. I do not use dark wax. Once you like how the depth and color of your glaze looks you can use clear wax right over it. I would wait about 30 minutes to make sure the glaze is dry before adding the wax and buffing.

      • Jan says

        Diane and Lisette, what is antiquing glaze and how do you use it? I have bought a tin of ASCP dark wax($50 in Canada) but haven’t used it yet (because it’s so darn expensive!). What is the brand name of the glazes you use? And what brand of clear wax are you using? Thanks again in advance for the information :)

  81. BonitaLolita says

    We recently got a small shop in our town who specializes in Annie Sloan paints. Her business has boomed in the last 6 months!! But, I just had a hard time spending that kind of money for a couple of “inexpensive” projects. But, now hearing and seeing your test results I will definately try the DIY version. Thanks for your experimentation. :) Can’t wait to try it!

  82. Rose says

    Hi there!
    thanks for the great tips..
    I have found a paste wax in clear at my home improvement store, but not in a dark color. Do I need to use another paste wax over my clear paste wax or can I use a liquid wax over it so I can achieve the darker look I want.
    Any suggestions of wax brands??

  83. says

    Hi Diane, I used the DIY recipe for chalk paint with sanded grout. I thought I had a really good outcome but after a week of the wax…I decided wanted another coat of protective wax and for my piece to be a bit shinier. However, I used ASCP wax and now when I gently rub for the shine the paint is chipping off. Thankfully, it’s a piece for myself and not a client but I’m scared now about the longevity of pieces I’ve done. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I used Valspar paint. I’m thinking I need to stick to ASCP. HELP!

    • says

      Hi Anna – In your note you said you used sanded grout – did you mean non-sanded? There are two types and non-sanded is the one to use. I have never had the paint come off when re-waxing so I can only guess what may have caused the problem. Since I have re-waxed all of the pieces I have done, I don’t think you should worry about your other pieces. As with any recipe – every batch will come out a bit differently. Time, temp, old versus new paint, etc. can effect the outcome. Here are a few things that may have caused the problem: If the paint is chipping off, not just rubbing off – was the piece originally very shiny? You should still rub sandpaper/sanding block over the finish just a bit to take the gloss shine away before painting. It will help the paint adhere better. If there is too much shine – no paint, even chalk paint is not going to stick for very long. Was the latex paint old or not mixed well before you added the grout and water? All paint needs to be stirred very well before using as some of the ingredients sink to the bottom. Was there enough non-sanded grout added to the mixture – without enough – you would not get good adhesive properties. I have never used Annie Sloan wax – – only Minwax, Johnsons, and Fiddes & Sons. It may be something in the wax, but I doubt that would have caused the problem. The only other thing I can think of is the Valspar paint itself. I used have used Valspar with no problems – except it is the one paint that seems to get thick instantly when mixing.

      Reviewing what I wrote – I think it goes back to adhesion when you first applied the paint. – was the piece not dry enough before painting or it was too shiny. Are you going to sand it down now to start from scratch?

  84. Shirley says

    Hi,
    I just bought some old furniture that I want to paint for my Grandaughters room. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this experiment and sharing it with all.
    My problem is I haven’t made up my mind between chalk paint and gloss paint or what color. Right now we are changing her room to disney princess (she’s 4) so I would love to do white with bright pink but later I have a dark blue gingham canopy and stuff for her bed.
    Can you paint over chalk paint that has been waxed? ? Have you had problems with gloss or semi gloss paint chipping?
    Thank You for any suggestions you have.
    Respectfully,
    Shirley

  85. says

    Hello again….have you or anyone used the Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paints? I have a mirror I’d like to paint and have found the PEFECT colors. However, reading on-line reviews the paint sounds horrible to work with. Most folks that are having difficulty are painting walls. I’m wondering…..could I mix this paint the same way with non-sanded grout or just paint with it. Do you recommend priming first? I’m not sure if I should return it and try another product. Any insight or help?

    • says

      Hi Anna – I have never used the paint – only her crafts paints, but since the color is perfect, I would just try it on a piece of scrap wood to see if you like it. I am sure it will work fine. I think what naysayers of the product did not like was how the paint looked on large flat surfaces. It would look way too uneven. On your mirror frame – it is smaller and probably has details that will only add to the depth and un-eveness of the metallic look. It can’t hurt to experiment with the non-sanded grout, plaster, or Calcium Carbonate powder to see how it looks. You may come up with something wonderful.

    • Kathleen says

      Hi Anna – I just painted an armoire with a watered down coat of ASCP (so I did not have to sand!) as a primer. Then, I painted it with MSL metallic paint. I also used it on a mirror frame. It went on beautifully and looks awesome! I hope it works for you. I purchased it at Home Depot – a gallon, since I have more projects to do.

      • says

        Thank you Kathleen. So after painting a water down version for ASCP, did you think mix the Martha Stewart into chalk paint or just paint it unmixed right over the primer?

        Thanks-Anna

  86. Jan Bergseth says

    Hi Diane,
    I just noticed on your most recent comment, Calcium Carbonate powder. Is this something you can also use to make chalk paint from regular paint? If so, have you tried it and where is it sold? Also wondering if you’ve tried the Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint as chalk paint?
    Thanks and have a wonderful day :)

    • says

      Hi Jan – I will be writing a new post this week about some new findings on chalk paint. Calcium Carbonate powder can be used instead of non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris. It is sold in the health food store. You can eat it :) I bought a 12 oz jar of it for $5. I like it because it does not harden the paint like the grout and plaster can at times.

      I have not used the BM chalkboard paint. I have used craft store chalkboard paint. That does not hold up at all. I will have to give it a try and add my findings to my post.

  87. Kat says

    Hi Diane, I read your article last evening about creating your own chalk paint, and you convinced me I could do it! I bought all the things I needed within an hour at Home Depot, came home and chalk painted and waxed a gold leaf 4′ x 6′ mirror through completion within 2 hours or less. I played around with a couple of different sand papers and found that 600 sand paper worked the best before the waxing. Thank you so much for the great help!

  88. suzanne says

    I am wondering whether I could paint my laminex kitchen cupboards with chalk paint and obviously how well it would hold up. I think I would lightly sand them beforehand. I have granite on bench tops so only need to do cupboards. Do you think this would be successful. PS LOVE your blog

    • says

      Hi Suzanne – You can paint kitchen cabinets with chalk paint – many people have. I have not, only because when I painted my own kitchen cabinets, chalk paint was not around :) The only problem that could occur is if the cabinets were right above the stove. Over time the heat may wear the wax coat down. It would not ruin anything – you would just need to re-wax from time to time. I would definitely sand them before hand to make sure the paint adheres well. I know there are a few websites that discuss painting kitchen cabinets with chalk paint at length.Try a Google search. I think Annie Sloan is or just came out with a book on using chalk paint on kitchen cabinets. That may help you answer any lingering questions you have before starting.

  89. chelle says

    You cleared up a mystery to me! Thanks so much–now, I’m ready to paint of time! Know this took a lot of time and I really appreciate it!

  90. faye says

    I have a couple of questions. what was the white paint you used under the blue chalk paint. Was it a latex flat, semigloss, eggshell? What about using chalk paint over a semigloss (latex)??? Can that be done?? Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Faye –

      The white base I painted the blue over is primed MDF molding that I had left over from my studioffice remodel. I didn’t do anythign to it. It was a semi-gloss/satin finish. You can use chalk pant over any surface. It is best ot always check for adhesion. I always sand the surface lightly before I paint. It will only help in the long run.

      I have not tried changing the color of the wax with chalk paint, so I am not sure. I think it would probably work though.

      You add clear wax first and rub it all around. Then add your colored wax on top. This allows you more freedom to get the color where you want it. If you put the dark wax on first, it soaks into the paint and then you can’t move it around to get a smooth even coverage. I have only seen Minwax and Johnson wax in clear, they may come in darker colors, but I have never seen them in the stores in my area.

  91. faye says

    I saw a sight where you can add the chalk paint to a little of the wax to give the wax a different color and the undercoat. Have you tried that?? Looked really nice.

  92. faye says

    One more question. I see you used Minwax for the clear wax. Does Minwax make a dark wax too? Do you put the dark wax on first over the chalk paint then the clear wax if you want a distressed look? Or vice versa, or what is the correct way?? Thank you

  93. Alisa says

    Do you have any idea if you can you use Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint in the same way??? no sanding???Benjamin Moore® Chalkboard Paint (308)—Available in Any Color

    • says

      Hi Alisa –

      I have not had a chance to use the paint yet, so I am not sure if it is the same. Since it is Ben Moore – it is a good quality paint, but without testing it out first – I can’t be sure it will work in the same way. I see more testing in my future. :)

      • Jan Bergseth says

        Hi Alisa and Diane,
        I have bought 2 cans of the Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint and am currently trying an experiment for adhesion as Diane suggested. I painted half the board with Annie Sloan chalk paint and the other half with Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint. I painted it 1 week ago and let it sit. Yesterday I checked as Diane suggested, rubbing with my fingers and scratching with my fingernail. The ASCP is much chalkier and softer (best word I can think to describe) and will scratch. The BM paint has a somewhat chalky feel but does not scratch at all. In fact I tried a bit of sandpaper and the ASCP sanded quite easily but the BM paint took more pressure to sand. I think the BM chalkboard paint will adhere very well. In Canada, a can of BM was $22.oo for a litre. ASCP was $52.oo I still want to try Diane’s recipes though. I think it would be much more economical and you can by the smaller sample size pots of paint. I was able to source the calcium carbonate powder at our local drug store. They had to order it in and everyone kept asking why I wanted it-told them it was an experiment! Love the feedback and questions here :)

        • says

          Hi Jan – thank you so much for sharing what you learned about the BM chalkboard paint. If it adheres well and feels flat and chalky then it will work fine. Did you try waxing it to see how it took the wax? It is nice to know that we have options when it comes to using chalk paint now. I need to stop into a BM dealer so I can check it out. Thanks again for sharing your intel. XO

          • Jan Bergseth says

            I have not waxed the sample yet, I will soon and let you know Diane. Am I able/ allowed to post a picture here?

    • says

      Hi LeighAnn – I would not use chalk paint outside unless the furniture is covered by a porch roof. If you do, use water based polyurethane, not wax to protect it. Wax would melt in the sun. If the furniture is sitting out in the elements you would be better off using exterior paint or spray paint. It is made to take the elements.

      • says

        Sorry to disagree Diane, but Chalk Paint® works beautifully outside…no wax as you have mentioned. I have patio furniture and picnic tables painted sitting on an open deck…no problems at all! No need to seal Annie’s paint when used outside as it will develop a beautiful worn patina over time. The exterior of Annie Sloan’s little retail shop in Oxford England is painted with her paint. Amy @ Maison Decor blog has painted the exterior of both her Boston shops in Chalk Paint® and just recently a woman in Northern California mixed Annie’s Coco and water and using a plain garden sprayer, painted her cement patio inground pool surround! Her husband has since powerwashed it to test the durability and it stuck like glue!!! No top coat needed.

  94. Kelli says

    Hi Diane,

    I live in Australia in a home that gets very hot in summer (often weeks over 104 F ) – is it only direct sunlight that will adversely affect the wax ? I’m thinking high ambient temperatures are likely to do the same thing? Is it possible to use a different sealer over chalk paint rather than a wax if wax is not suitable due to climate?

    Thanks – very informative post!

    • says

      Hi Kellie –
      You can use water based polyurethane over chalk paint. Here in the states – Polycrylic is good brand to use. As long as it is water based. If it is not – it will yellow your paint color as soon as you put it on. Both Annie Sloan and Ce Ce Caldwell’s sell a water based polyurethane sealer in their product lines.

  95. says

    I painted one project with Annie Sloan duck-egg-blue. I used a fairly dry brush, painting over a dark-stained piece. I wanted to see brush strokes and wanted some of the dark to peek thru. One scant coat did the trick & I topcoated with a wipe-on water-based poly. Fabulous result. After reading your blog, I decided to try your recipe for the DIY chalk paint w/Plaster of Paris. I bought cream-colored paint (the kind with primer already mixed in) in cream color–just an extra precaution b/c I was painting cream over top of stained oak. It took 2 to 3 coats, but still much easier than sanding & priming. I have been chicken about the DIY chalk paints, but now I am a BELIEVER!!

    • says

      Hi MK – That is great to hear since you have worked with both. I have been working on a piece today that I will post about later this week. As I was painting, I was loving it more and more with each paint stroke. It is the best stuff – chalk paint. I am glad Annie Sloan came on the home decorating scene or we might not have ever known that such a beautiful paint finish could be achieved so easily. I have only worked with sample jars of Annie Sloan – I loved it, but not the price. :) Thanks for sharing your experience.

  96. says

    Thank you so much for this post! My husband has been so skeptical about chalk paint and this has given me a lot of help to convince him into letting me use it in our new house!! Thanks!!

  97. M says

    Wonderful info. What are your thoughts on using this Plaster of Paris recipe over interior concrete floor? Would it need to be finished? What gloss of paint would you recommend for less skid result?

  98. says

    Help….Diane…anyone out there have bleed through with Chalk Paint? I had my first “event” today with ASCP. I heard that I need to prime but someone else mentioned challac (sp.) I need a quick fix if anyone else has had this happen..

    • says

      Hi Anna – Bleed through can occur with ASCP. I have had it happen when I didn’t add enough Calcium Carbonate to one of my DIY mixtures. You need to cover the surface with a coat of Shellac – Zinseer makes a popular one. It is clear.

      You don’t want to use primer if you are going to distress the edges with sandpaper as the white color of the primer will show through and ruin the effect. Bleed-through varies by wood – some have more tannins in them then others.

  99. Daphne says

    I’ve just started looking into all of this chalk pain business and wanted to say not only a big thanks for sharing your efforts with us all but also I am SO impressed with the number of questions you have answered! Seriously impressed! What a generous soul you are!

    • says

      Hi Daphne – Thanks so much. After my first experience using chalk paint on furniture, I have been smitten with the ease of use and finish it provides. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I am happy to share all I know with readers. I have learned a lot from everyone leaving comments with their experience using it, too. XO

  100. kristin says

    I finally tried this recipe with POP and I eyeballed it until it came out to the consistency you describe. The first small batch though started to get too thick as I was painting so I just added more paint and water and it remained ‘pancake’ like for the rest of the day until the job was finished. BTW I didnt use an old mixer or any other special stirring methods other than my own hands and believe it or not an extra pair of chop sticks! Cant decide if I’ll be using wax or poly. I used SW satin paint in an dark green color (almost charcoal) so I dont think any glaze will show even. Besides I dont want too much of a “shabby chic or country like” look anyway. The finished product so far looks great…Thanks for the recipe!!

  101. Belinda says

    I have found your comparison tests of the chalk white paint methods just what I was looking for. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and other ideas too. One thing that does puzzle me though is; I live in the UK and have not heard on “latex” paint. We can get water soluble acrylic paint here for walls and woodwork and I wondered if this would be the equivalent of latex? Any comments would be really appreciated.

    Can’t wait to start mixing and painting!

    • says

      HI Belinda – I have used water-based acrylic craft paint to make my own chalk paint with excellent results, so I think it will work fine. I will be posting tomorrow about a sideboard I used DIY chalk paint to makeover. I used Calcium Carbonate powder. It mixed well into the paint and did not harden at all like some mixtures sometimes do when using the grout or plaster. If you have not read the update to the Testing Chalk Paint 123 post, I tried a few more paints. You can see the update here: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/02/diy-chalk-paint-review-update.html

  102. Elaine says

    I want to try out your diy unsanded chalk paint recipe on a small dresser. Do I have to use flat latex paint or can I use some eggshell latex paint I have on hand in the right colour? Thanks for the very helpful and informative postings on the subject!
    Elaine, in New Brunswick, Canada.

    • says

      Hi Gail – I have only used white so I can’t say for sure. Since the grout has colorant in it – it may change the color of the paint if using a light color. If you have it on hand – try stirring a little bit of into the paint and see if it changes colors.

  103. Karen says

    Why can’t it be used on trim? I have all these stained/ polyurethaned door frames I was going to use chalk paint on.

    • says

      Hi Karen – Chalk Paint can be used on trim, it can be used anywhere. I mentioned that I don’t think I would do it on trim or walls, The reason – only because of having to wax and buff over all the surfaces just seems like more work than needed for baseboards and walls. Around your door frames would be fine, as you would not have to be on your hands and knees going around to wax and buff after painting :) That is the only reason I would not paint trim with it.

  104. Mary S. says

    I just checked on Amazon and Annie Sloan chalk paint is selling for $49.99 a quart plus $11 shipping!!

    • says

      Hi Mary – That is a crazy price to pay for a quart of paint. As much as I love Annie Sloan and her paints. I cannot imagine paying that when the DIY versions work so well – especially the Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris recipes.

  105. Jilly says

    Thank you so much for sharing this and for all the replies you have given to peoples questions you are very kind.
    I had a go at my own DIY chalk paint tonight using Bicarbonate of soda/Baking powder. The first batch I made being a bit dim I added water to the Bicarb and of course it started expanding in the paint..lol.. never even attempted to use it. My second lot I did 1 cup of paint to 200grms bicarb ( the whole tube) not thick very much like a pancake consistency. I have painted two layers onto a painted white pine mirror but it seems to be really gritty? I will sand it down but not sure what I did wrong. I have been waiting for some POP to arrive after buying it off eBay and just had to have a go at this chalk paint. One question, I’m in the UK and you mention Poly to which I have no idea what that would be here in the UK.
    Thanks
    Jilly

    • says

      Hi Jilly – I have never heard of using baking soda, I can imagine how it must have expanded the paint. I hope you get the PoP soon. Do you have a vitamin or health food store nearby? Try using Calcium Carbonate Powder. It runs about $6 here for a jar that will make a quart. It is used for bone health. You can drink it. :)

      Poly is short for Polyurethane. Use water based polyurethane over painted pieces so the color won’t yellow. Polyurethane is a protective finish like a urethane or varnish.

      • Suzanne Brodie says

        Hi Dianne, I just want to say a huge thank you for your commitment to this subject. You are always so helpful and a reply seems to be instant. I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone who follows when I say that I/we so appreciate your advice and help. Best wishes, Suzanne.

  106. Jilly says

    Hi Diane,
    Thank you for the reply.
    I think Calcium Carbonate is in baking powder ( also known as bicarbonate of soda ) I might be wrong though…lol.

    I sanded down the mirror after doing two coats did a bit of distressing and I am so HAPPY with how it turned out !! really cant wait to get on with doing other things also been promised some furniture items for free woop woop..lol.. Like everything its all about practice.

    Thanks again love your site xx

  107. rs says

    I never comment on sites but had to here. I’ve wondered about all of the various DIY recipes and appreciate you sharing what you learned. Thank you!

  108. MALIN says

    Aloha,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and answer questions. I’m a fresh “newe'” to the painting scean. I have a stained cherry armoire that I want to be chalk white. It is a little bit glossy not to much. I would like to distress it.
    Question:
    1. What does “T” stand for in the recipes?
    2. Do I have to sand it?
    3 Do I have to prime it?
    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Malin – “T” stands for tablespoon. You do not have to sand it with an electric sander, but I always go over all the pieces I paint with Medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block to rough up the surface. It only takes a minute, but helps with adhesion. I remove all the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag. You do not have to prime it. There are cases where there could be bleed through of the old finish. If that happens you can use Clear Zinseer Shellac over the piece. When that is dry – paint again with chalk paint.

      • MALIN says

        Aloha,
        I tested it on the inside oft he door. Made my own chalk paint with non sanded grout mixed in with white semigloss latex paint. Was a little thick. I sanded the area first and I sanded after the first layer of paint. Before I waxed it, i did a little bit of distressing. Was not total happy, but it was ok. Last night, I sanded little more on the painted area and the paint came off? Just like a big piece of plastic wrap. It is suppose to do that? If I fail this project, I will never hear the end of it from my husband.

        • says

          Hi Malin – No, the paint should not come off. It sounds like one of two things happened. The surface was too glossy – you may need to sand more. Every surface is different, especially if it is one large flat surface like your door or a table top. The other reason it may have not adhered is the paint and grout were not mixed well enough or you need to add more grout. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more water. You may want to try the Plaster of Paris instead of the grout, although even though the grout can get thick fast – I have found it adheres the best right away. you may want to wait for the paint to cure a few days before waxing and distressing. There is no fail when it come to painting – it is only paint and you can repaint over it. Just try a new mix with more grout in the mixture and sand the surface more. Let me know how it turns out.

  109. Pam says

    hi, I really appreciate all the information in your post about different chalk paints and wax. I have a question. I have heard that you are supposed to paint the piece, then wax it with clear, THEN sand it to distress it, then wax it again. Is that correct? And if so, do you have to let the paint dry over night or several hours before you put on the first coat of wax? Or can you put the first coat of wax on after the paint is dry to the touch? How long does the first coat of wax need to dry before you can distress it? Thanks for your help! Pam

    • says

      Hi Pam – Yes, that is the way to do it. The second coat of wax is usually for adding a color wax on top of the clear. You would not want to add colored or dark wax right over the paint first as you would not be able to move it around to spread the color our evenly. I always wait a day before distressing and waxing just to make sure the paint is dry. Most waxes can be buffed to a shine as soon as you apply them. Fiddes and Sons is a wax I use that can be buffed right away. When I use Johnson’s Paste Wax, I let it dry to a haze for about 15 minutes – then buff with a soft lint free cloth (old t-shirt) to bring up the shine. Once the wax is on you can distress it right away. I have distressed before waxing and have had excellent results, so distressing before or after the wax will work. I like the smoother quality of the waxing after distressing – it is all up to the look you are trying to achieve – if you prefer a rougher hewn look – distress – after wax. The more pieces you do, you will start to find what look you like best.

  110. Beth says

    Where do you purchase the wax you recommend? Lowes & Home Depot don’t carry it, only the Minwax brand (which I read you didn’t like as it was orangey). Making my own paint with PoP since I have it on hand, for a small project & ordering some Annie Sloan for a large dresser that I don’t want to take any chances on. Thanks for all your tips. :-)

  111. Anna says

    Help…any ideas why a mirror I’m currently panting (consigned) for a friend is chipping with ASCP? I’m a bit worried…realizing now that it probably should have been primed. I don’t know what to do. It’s a baroque style mirror with lots of nooks and crannies.

    • says

      HI Anna – One of ASloans biggest selling features is no primer or sanding. This is not the case for all pieces. If your surface is at all shiny, slick, glossy, or very smooth – always rough it up first with medium grit sandpaper. You don’t need to get the big electric sander out – sandpaper on a sanding block will do the job nicely. Then clean it all off with a tack cloth. I have found priming is good on pieces where the wood tannins may bleed through and change the color – usually lighter colors. ASloan suggests using clear shellac over these pieces first.

      For your mirror, I would go over the areas where the paint is chipping with sandpaper to rough them up a bit, then reapply the paint in thin coats. If it is coming off in the nooks and crannies – it may have been dusty in them and the paint won’t adhere. I would take a wet rag and get into all of the crevices you can to clean them out and remove any loose paint. Let it dry and go over with a tack cloth and then paint again.

      Another aspect to consider is it does take chalk paint up to 3 weeks to cure properly. All is not lost, you just have to go back and rework some areas.

  112. Susan Austin says

    Word of caution: Do NOT use Lowe’s Valspar Ultra Paint and Primer (all in one) to make chalk paint. I have tried it twice now, and each time it seizes up into an unusable BRICK that will NOT thin down and it’s completely impossible to paint with. I used Sherwin Williams’ paint previously with no problem, but for a new project I needed paint and happened to be at Lowe’s. I didn’t ask for the Ultra (and actually didn’t notice that’s what he’d mixed until I got home), but figured I’d go with it. Mistake. I first mixed the POP with some water and got it nice and smooth, then stirred it into the paint (as I’d done with the SW paint). Immediate seizure. Tried thinning it down with water, that does NOTHING. It takes a ton of water, only to end up with a horrible, extremely lumpy, grainy mixture that is impossible to paint with. Next, I tried adding the dry POP powder to the paint and stirred until nice and smooth. Thought it was looking good, but then after just a minute it began to thicken up to the consistency of pudding. Tried adding a little water to thin it down … immediate seizure and another brick of paint mess! I don’t know if it’s the combination of paint and primer in one that doesn’t work with POP or if it’s just that Lowe’s paint is poor quality. Regardless, no more Lowe’s paint for this chalk painter.

    • says

      Hi Susan – Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us this. It is so good to know. I, too have had trouble with Valspar paint. It was when I first started experimenting with making chalk paint. At the time, I thought I was doing something wrong, and questioned if it was the Valspar paint. but now I know – it was the paint. I think I even replied to a comment early in the testing, that I would not recommend Valspar. It makes so much sense to me now, to have someone back up what I was kind of thinking, but was not sure without more testing. You have provided us with that.

      Have your tried the Calcium Carbonate Powder yet? I do like using it. That and the Plaster of Paris seem to always come out the smoothest. I have used Glidden paints in most of my mixtures without any problems.

      I will add a note to the posts – both of them – stating not to use Valspar paint and primer in one. Thanks again.

      • Susan Austin says

        Diane, I haven’t tried using the calcium carbonate yet, as I haven’t found it locally but I would like to try it at some point. Might be a while, though, since a little POP goes a long way. :-)

      • Russell says

        It’s not just Valspar’s paint and primer in one! This too has happened to me using Valspar paint. The first time was when I used one of the pre-mixed Valspar color samples using non-sanded grout and it immediately became very viscous but didn’t completely seize up. It was hard to work with, but it was a small project, so I used it thinking this was the norm since this was my first attempt at using DIY chalk paint. Since, I have used your recipe beautifully on furniture using Behr and Glidden paints, mixed when purchased. I thought that due to my inexperience making chalk paint I had done something wrong in my first attempt. I only made the connection to Valspar paint when I recently tried using a pre-mixed flat black (from the section with pre-mixed basic colors; white, black blue and red in the various sheens) and it completely seized up. It must be some additive they use in the pre-mixed and all-in-one paints to keep the pigments in suspension that reacts with the grout and water mixture to cause the paints to seize up. Your site has been an invaluable resource for me so I thought your readers might be interested.

        • says

          Russell – Thank you for your note and taking the time to tell us your findings. I do believe Valspar paint has an additive in in that causes it to seize up. Your experience with it, plus mine, and a few other readers tells me that it is the paint – not how we made the mixture. I have used both Behr and Glidden with great success, too. Thanks again for adding to the DIY chalk painting conversation on my blog XO Every tip will help other readers have success. I just love the look of chalk paint and wax. I will be making my own for many years to come.

          • Just My Cup of Tea says

            Invaluable help and insights on your blog! Thank you so very much! I too had a big mess of trouble with the Valspar paint samples – I thought it was something I’d done wrong, so I’m happy to find out it was probably the paint. I’m going to give it another go, thanks to you!

          • says

            I actually have had great success with SOME Valspar paint. It seems to be the colors mixed in the “Base A” that solidifies on me. Mostly Whites/Creams. I switched to the Behr Samples at Home Depot and have not at a problem with the Whites/Creams since. :)

          • says

            Thanks Gretchen – This is good to know. A rep from Valspar wrote to me about the Base A and to use the contractors paint instead. It has no primer in it. Behr Plus I think has a primer it in, but I have used the Behr brand and the mix came out fine. Lots of can label reading needed to make sure their is no primer or acrylic.

  113. Vena says

    Do you suppose using charcoal or black coloured grout would work
    better when using a really dark colour of paint? It seems that using
    a white grout or POP would grey or muddy the dark colours. Don’t
    know…just asking. Thanks for all your information on techniques.
    Just awesome!

    • says

      Hi Vena If it is non-sanded grout and the same color as the paint it would work fine. If it is not the same color, the pigment in the grout may change the color of he paint. I would make a small batch first to make sure.

  114. Melissa c says

    Just a quick note on the valspar paint…I had a custom color made in a 2oz sample jar and used baking soda instead of grout or pop. It worked out beautifully, no problem at all. Just one more thought on the mysterious valspar paint!

    • says

      HI Frances – Yes – most paste waxes contain Beeswax as one of their ingredients. I have never used just Beeswax, but I think it will do the job. Is it a brand name wax that you have or just a tub of 100% Beeswax?

  115. Melissa c says

    Hi Diane~LOVE this post and all the help you provide! I researched and researched blogs before tackling my first project and yours was the one that convinced me to give it a whirl! Because I didn’t have any grout or pop on hand, I used this link for the recipe: http://pickedandpainted.blogspot.com/2012/09/custom-red-buffet-birthday-gift.html and had a custom color sample made up using Valspar satin with a red base. I worked out whatever proportion 1c paint to 1/4 baking soda would be for the sample and painted away. Since this is the only project I have done, I would be interested to see what your results are and if the paint texture is similar to your recipes. I am happy with it; let me know if you experiment!

    • says

      HI Melissa – I have not used Baking Soda yet, but I will give it a try and get back to you or post about it. I did read on another blog where they tried all the DIY recipes – baking soda was their last choice – only because it went on gritty. It has to be sanded to smooth. I am excited to give it a try and find out.

  116. Jenny Luttrell says

    Thank you for this GREAT post– I have theorized there was no difference, but have not had the patience to actually go through the scientific method to find out!! I have had great results with plain old Glidden and non-sanded grout with water.
    To make it a CHALKBOARD ( rather than CHALK painted furniture), you lightly sand the piece with extra-fine sandpaper after you have painted it with the chalk paint, then “slate” your surface– rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire piece and erasing it. NO WAX! That makes it a chalkboard.
    I have found that the Annie Sloan wax is like butta- so easy to use. It’s like spreading Crisco over your furniture and is easy to get out of the little grooves and crevices that furniture may have. A bit pricey, but if you are making your own chalk paint, you still come out ahead. And a little goes a long way!

  117. Mary says

    Hi! My question is about the wax. What sort of wax is this and where would I get it?? Thanks!!

    • says

      HI Mary – What you want is called Paste Wax. Is is very soft and spreadable. The most common one that you can buy in most home improvement stores in either the wood stain aisle or the cleaning aisle is Johnson’s Paste Wax. You want to get clear if you just want the shine. If you want to age the piece by making it look darker or even a layered color – you would use colored wax. Every company has different names for these – dark, Jacobean, etc. I like using the clear the best. The wax I like the best that is not as pricey as the Annie Sloan brand is Fiddes & Sons. You can buy it on Amazon. I think it is cheaper on the Websters Chalk Paint site.

      Once applied, you need to buff it with a clean lint-free soft cloth to bring up the shine.

  118. Noel Cole says

    Hi Diane! I am still in the midst of reading this page, but couldn’t wait to finish reading to ask your advice. (NOTE: I will go finish reading the page.) I am very eager to re-do my circa early 90’s computer hutch. It is not real wood, but rather that very heavy pressed wood stuff that so much office furniture is made of. It is light in color, like simulated maple or something like that. I would love to be able to send you a picture of it. I want to paint it and distress it, but am not sure which blend to use!

    I am very crafty and creative and not afraid of projects like this. I am just having a hard time determining what paint mixture to use and/or buy. Do you think you could help me figure this out with a little more information??

    Any advice you can offer to get me started?? Now, back to reading….

    Thanks so much,
    Noel =)

    • says

      Hi Noel –

      I would use the Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate recipe. They are the best. The non-sanded grout mixtures can sometimes bind up as you mix – wasting your paint. Plaster of Paris is my go-to. I think it covers wood tannins better than Calcium Carbonate. Calcium Carbonate of all the mixtures is the easiest to mix up. The powder dissolves in the water and paint better creating a much smoother mixture. Plaster of Paris takes longer to dissolve and you may have to break up some clumps. I have been very happy with both. Your choice may come down to what is easier to get in your area.

  119. says

    Hi I just found this post on the DIY chalkpaint.
    Ever since I first read about this technique at No Minimalist Here…I wanted to try it.
    I knew I had a box of Plaster of Paris SOMEwhere…but I couldn’t find it. I finally went to Lowes on the other side of the lake and they were all out…shows you how popular the method is–even the stocker asked why everyone was buying it up…They had 25 lbs and YES! I bought it.
    I have enough P.O.P to last a life-time!!!
    I love using it. Thanks for the comparisons and details about the wax.

  120. Rob says

    I enjoyed your article and I appreciate you mentioning that you used latex paint. So many people post blogs with how to make it, but never mention which type of paint is best to use. Thanks for the great info!

  121. Rachel McAdams says

    Hi Dianne,

    I love the look of the chalk paint on your projects. I have an old piano in need of something. Would you recommend using chalk paint?

    • says

      Hi Rachel – Chalk paint would work and look great. In fact, if I paint my piano, I will use chalk paint and wax. It will look better than just latex which sometimes can take on a rubbery feel. With distressing or glazing adds the patina that makes it look like it was bought painted and not just a piece of painted furniture.

  122. Maggie Domby says

    Help! My husband made a queen sized headboard out of pallets and after pressure washing it, the bare wood looked worn and amazing. Problem is, this piece is going into a cabin of our which has wooden walls. So, I suggested chalk painting it a white/cream color to make it stand out against the wooden walls. He reluctantly said yes, and to “not mess it up!” Well, I mixed 1 cup POP with water and then 3 cups latex paint, and got busy. I was hoping for a light, white wash look, but I must have made the mixture too thick because what I got was a thick painted headboard. I was hoping to see the natural wood through the paint? Now, I am wondering what to do… From other posts, I am considering sanding it with a 400/600 grit sandpaper? I was planning to not wax it because I want the look very rustic. HELP!!!

    • says

      Hi Maggie – All is not lost. What you could have done is what is called a “dry brush” method to get a bit of color on the wood, yet still see the wood. I would use the sandpaper to remove most of the paint. You may end up loving the headboard and getting exactly the look you desired by doing this. It has happened more than once to me – thinking I failed, yet with a bit of tweaking got the best looking piece ever.

  123. says

    Hi,
    Thanks for all the info. I’m a professional furniture builder and plan on using the chalk paint for some of my stuff. On raw wood would you use shellac as a sealer or go straight to the paint? To get the paint smooth before adding the plaster or grout
    you might try straining the paint to get it clean. Pros that spray layex through airless sprayers often clean their paint, that’s what I plan on doing.
    If anyone needs an extra leg or part I can suppy. Check out my website.
    Dan Katz-Chattanooga Millworks

    • says

      HI Dan – If you are going to distress the piece after painting to give it an aged look, you should use clear shellac if the wood is old or if you think there is a possibility of the wood tannins bleeding through. I have never had to do this, but if you add a coat of paint and see the color change – you should use the shellac.

  124. Shari says

    I found ur diy chalk paint most informative – thank U for all of the work that U did to put A.S. , grout & plaster of paris recipes head to head in comparisons – I will use the P. of P. recipe (cost is factor enuff!) But, what paste wax r u familiar with (besides A.S. ‘s ) & that u have used that (1) is clear and (2) one that has a darker color – that u mentioned adds dimension to the chalk paint. I noticed that U had a picture of Johnson’s paste wax – is this the one that U use? and are there different shade variations of wax? I love the distressed and antiqued look over a creamy buttermilk paint and I have a few pieces of furniture to do. Thanks again for you info. Shari

    • says

      Hi Shari – I have used Johnson’s in the past and it is fine. The cost is under $10. I have come to like Fiddes & Sons and Briwax even more. They don’t smell as much. They are a bit more expensive, but I like the quality of the shine they produce. Fiddes & Sons comes in clear and dark wax finishes. I am sure you would find one that you will like over the buttermilk paint. You can buy it on amazon.com. I have never used dark wax, I like to use dark glaze over the chalk paint and then clear wax. I explain how I did that in this post – http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-make-and-paint-with-diy-chalk-paint.html A bottle of Valspar Antiquing glaze is $7 and will last for a while since you only need a little bit.

  125. Amanda says

    Could I use a DIY chalk paint over a veneer? I can’t afford to replace my old dresser with real wood, but would love to give it a face lift. I would not be distressing it. Should I sand first? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Amanda – You can use chalk paint over anything. It works beautifully on veneer. One of chalk paints selling features is that you don’t have to sand.I have found it can’t hurt to sand first. I always rub medium grit sandpaper over every piece before I paint. Since it only takes a few minutes, I think it is worth the time. It will only help with adhesion and give you a long lasting finish.

  126. says

    Hi Diane,

    I’m really struggling with the grout water mixture when I mix with paint. I did it yesterday and it worked perfectly. Today, I’ve gone through 2 cups of Valspar sample paints that turn to brick while I’m stirring. I am so confused. Obviously it is setting up as grout should, but why? Can you help? is it possible that 2 T is to much?

    • says

      Hi Melanie – I have found that Valspar paint always seems to harden. I think it is because it is a paint and primer in one formula. Grout is the best DIY mixture for hiding wood tannins, but the mixture will get thick after a few hours no matter what paint you use. I only make it in small batches because of this happening. If you need a lot of paint to cover a large piece of furniture and want to have leftovers – use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate. If you seal the mixture in an air tight container they will stay smooth for up to 6 months.

  127. says

    I believe it was the paint. This morning I went and got the same color from Home Depot, using Behr base. It worked perfectly! Yeah! thanks

  128. Donnarae says

    I love the look and ease of chalk paint. However I notice that it is always distressed. If I do not want the distressed look is chalk paint still appropriate?

    • says

      Hi Donnarae – You do not have to distress it. I have done two pieces that I didn’t distress. The advantage of using it for me is that there is no sticky or rubbery latex feel to the paint that sometimes happens to pieces painted with straight latex. Plus when the wax is buffed it brings out the color in the paint. I think it looks much better than latex alone or even latex with polyurethane.

  129. Pat Sens says

    Can you use chalk paint on laminate furniture. I have an old cheap entertainment piece and it needs lots of help. Thanks!

    • says

      HI Pat – yes! I would take a sanding block with medium grit sandpaper over the surface to rough it up first. Clean the surface well and let dry. Then paint.

  130. Ellen Garrett says

    Awesome tutorial! You covered it beautifully but 1 question. What color grout or does it matter?

  131. missy says

    Wanted to let you know. Use min wax wipe on poly to seal instead of regular poly. Like for rcabinets. It comes in 2 different finishes. It absorbs into the paint and into the wood. Regular poly just sits on the surface of the paint!

  132. michelle says

    What is the problem with the Valspar paint and primer in one? That is what I have and was going to use :/ Glad I read this first though.

    • says

      Hi Michelle – Valspar paint has a primer in it. Primer alone is almost like chalk paint – it sticks to everything. When you add the Plaster or Calcium Carbonate powder – it seems to bind paint and primer in one paint formulas. I believe all Valspar paint has primer in it. That is what the paint guy at Lowes told me. If you already have the paint. Try mixing up a small batch and see what happens. If it binds up and becomes too thick, you should use regular latex.

  133. Ann Rivers says

    Diane, I love your test on chalk paint and all the great info you provide. What brand of paint do you like for mixing your own chalk paint? It seems every paint I purchase has a primer in it.
    Many thanks!

    • says

      Hi Ann – I use Glidden’s Premium line. It makes up velvety smooth chalk paint. I use satin finish most of the time, but have used semi-gloss, too. You can buy it at the Home Depot and Walmart.

  134. Kristi says

    I just wanted to comment on the ASCP which I have fallen in love with. It is super easy to use and was produced for people to be able to mold into a product of their choosing. You can open the can to add thickness, add water to make a wash, or even combine paint with ASwax to color the wax itself. Annie Sloan has created this product for many surfaces including cabinets, floors, concrete, etc. If someone is to use this on a floor there is a special sort of sealer for this purpose.
    It is called chalk paint due to the fact it “feels” like chalk when applied. Chalk”board” paint was created to use like a chalkboard. Thus they do differ. ASCP are blendable thus giving you more color choices (they just came out with a bright yellow-Canary yellow I think), not to mention there are numerous painting techniques that help you to achieve various looks including a dark wax.
    I have not experimented with any of my own mixes but I have experimented with ASCP all I can say is that it is VERY easy to use. Thanks for your comparison, I might try others in the future.

  135. Tracy says

    Thanks! Having a new baby on the way anything cheaper and works as well as the expensive stuff helps:)

  136. Nicki says

    Great post!!! And just in the knick of time for me. I was just about to invest in more ASCP for a major project. I am so excited and thankful for this post!!

    My question, what wax do you use that is comparable to the ASCP dark wax to get that aged/antiqued look?

    • says

      Hi Nicki – If you want dark wax, use Fiddes and Sons Dark Wax. They have a few colors. You can get it on Amazon. I like to use Valspar antiquing glaze and Johnson’s Clear Paste Wax or Fiddes and Sons Clear paste wax over it.

  137. Beverley says

    I am so grateful, Just started with Annie Sloan chalk paints and they are so expensive here in Australia $59.95 for a can $35.00 each for waxes and $35 – $55 for brushes I used a small amount of duck egg and am not in love with the result, so probably wasted my money there, but I will use the old white, was just about to forget about carrying on with it as I still have to purchase the waxes to get the finish I wanted. Now after seeing your recipe’s I can get more shades that suit my style better, unfortunately we don’t have the same brands as you have there but I am sure I will find the alternative here. Thanks again for your great recipe’s
    Bev

  138. Beverley says

    Just one question, could you please define latex paints, my guess is a water based acrylic latex style paint, Australian paints are also defined differently to your paints, I have a full kit of Jo Sonja acrylic mediums but I am guessing that the latex would give more flexibility..
    Many Thanks
    Bev

    • says

      Hi Beverley – You are correct. Latex is water based and has a rubbery feel to it when dry. When an acrylic is added to latex – the paint becomes more durable and loses some of the rubbery feel. When making DIY chalk paint – acrylic latex may bind when mixed with the Plaster, Non-sanded grout, or Calcium Carbonate Powder. You will have to test it out to see. It may work just fine.

  139. Jennifer says

    Hi…I’m getting ready to start my first piece (vanity) with DIY chalk paint. I’ve looked at Home Depot for the wax and they only carry one can of dark wax glaze. I was wondering if you know where I can order it online? Thought it might be cheaper that way. Also, I would need a wax clear coat too to put over the darker wax coat right? If you could please give me any tips for a beginner it would be much appreciated also. Thank you so much and I look forward to your reply.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Till

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – you can buy clear Johnson’s Paste Wax at Lowes. It is in the cleaning aisle. They also sell it on Amazon. I buy Fiddes & Sons wax on Amazon, too. It is a bit more expensive, but works very well.

      When using dark wax, you should use clear wax first, buff it and then apply your dark wax. This allows you to easily move the dark wax where you want it.

    • says

      Hi Sherry –

      Yes – water it down slightly according to the paint gun directions. I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder – it is the smoothest mixture of all the DIY chalk paints I have used.

  140. says

    I just painted my 1st of 8 chairs for my dining room. I used the unsanded grout version. I needed to apply 3 coats to get my dark chair completely covered, to my satisfaction. It is gorgeous on my chair but when I was putting the fabric back on the chair, the paint wanted to chip off where I bumped it. Could you help me in determining why my chair did that? I let the chair set for a few days after painting before putting the back on it, hoping to let the paint “cure” before moving it around alot. I also tried a thin layer of wax as well. Tell me what I did wrong so that the other 7 can be finished without problem! Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Marcia – One of two things could have happened. The paint needs to cure – it can take up to 30 days. I had a very shiny laminate table that I thought was a fail, but after a few weeks, I can run my nail over the surface and it does not scratch :) It may just take some time.

      The other thing that may have happened, was that you did not sand enough. I always go over the piece with a sanding block with medium grit sandpaper- if you did this maybe you missed the edges. I was at an Annie Sloan class this past weekend at a DIY blog conference. The teacher who works for Annie Sloan told us she sands everything, and that it should be done – she just uses a piece of sandpaper in her hand. On your next chair – sand more and make sure you get all the edges and then clean it well before painting.

  141. says

    Diane,
    Thank you so much for the information. I have 8 dining room chairs to do altogether. I will sand on the rest of the chairs. I plan on sending you a pic of my chairs. Thanks so much for your time in answering my question. Marcia

  142. Laura Morrison says

    Hi,

    First of all, thank you for your wonderful blog and info! I just wanted to follow up on a couple of things I wondered about if you have time please?

    First of all – have you tried using powder paints to mix the colours and do you think it would make a difference? Maybe just to the liquid content?
    Also, I think you mentioned about using a latex paint with the plaster of paris, is that right? I was wondering first of all what the purpose the latex adds to the mix and latex paints are not something I can get hold of readily here in UK (maybe they’re called something else..) would adding a small quantity of latex to the mix be possible do you think? Does the latex just give the paint more adhesive?

    I really appreciate your expertise and opinion if you can! Laura

  143. Shanee says

    I just refinished my vanity this weekend! It looks amazing. I used the Plaster of Paris recipe and used the Valspar’s PANTONE Deep Green from Lowe’s. It matches Annie Sloan’s FLORENCE color spot on!
    Also planning on refinishing my end table with Olympic’s ALPINE VALLEY color to match the PROVENCE color by Annie Sloan. I did purchase her waxes and brush and they are worth the money spent. Although I just can’t bring myself to spend $40 on a quart of paint so the Plaster of Paris recipe work out just fine. Not as smooth of a finish as the more expensive alternative but it works out just the same. Just use some 220 sandpaper and you’re good! My vanity was my first chalk paint project and I am addicted! Buffing the wax in takes a little elbow grease but is totally worth it.

    • says

      Hi Shanee – I agree with you – I am addicted too! Isn’t it just amazing what the wax does? I just love using DIY chalk paint and wax now. It provides the finish I have always wanted to create when I painted furniture. Leaving it undistressed or distressed, I love the finish!

  144. Nikita says

    Hi again. I have tried your recipe and I simply love the results. Thank you so much for saving me money. My husband thanks you to lol.

    My question is storing unused paint. Can you store it and reuse it later? I sealed my extra paint in a glass jar and when I went to do some touch ups it was very very thick. Can I add water and use it and get the same results as the first time or should I discard the unused paint?

    Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Nikita – I have found that mixtures made with non-sanded grout will not keep. Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate recipes will last up to 6 months if covered tightly. I use plastic coffee cans with lids. I press all the air out by popping the lid before storing. You can add more water to these to thin if necessary, but only add a little and mix it well. If the paint mixture gets very thick (like non-sanded grout does) adding water will not help revive it. I would just toss it. I only make up the non-sanded grout recipe in small batches as it does thicken.

  145. Hollie Eaton says

    Hi, Just a quick question, i am wanting to try the plaster of paris recipe for chalk paint, but my hardware store didnt have Plaster of Paris only white plaster. It was only 2 euros for a big box so thought would get it anyway. Would i be able to mix this with the paint and get the same texture as using P of Paris? Dont want to ruin my unit, so thought would ask first.

    Thanks in advance

    • says

      Hi Hollie – I have only used Plaster of Paris – it is plaster that is made with Gypsum. If the white plaster you bought is smooth and does not have sand or cement in it, then it should be fine. If you are not sure, try mixing a small batch and see what happens. Some plaster is made with lime – that would work also.

  146. Holly says

    was excited to try on a dresser that was given to us free. We picked a great turquoise color from SW and mixed with non-sanded grout as above. However, as it dried…..it raised and cracked and when I tried to brush the crack away the entire original white color was there. ……not sure what to do now. Got really thick quickly as we were painting but would smooth out without lumps. It was hot outside in our garage and evening sun on the pieces….maybe it kind of “baked” it…..not sure and not sure where to go from here with this piece?? Thinking I will need to sand off

    • Holly says

      The original paint underneath was very shiny off white color. If it was originally an oil based paint, does this effect the adherence of the chalk paint mixture?

    • says

      Hi Holly –

      The reason it cracked was the paint dried too fast before it had time to adhere because it was in the sun. Always wait for the shade to paint or paint inside. If you don’t want a crackled look – sand it down to the smoothness you would like and then repaint.
      The oil based surface should be roughed up a bit with 60-100 grit sandpaper before you put paint on, but I do not think that caused the problem. It was the sun :)

      As far as the non-sanded grout – it is the one DIY mixture that tends to clump up. I only use it for small projects now. I like to use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder. They do not clump up the paint. In fact, if stored in airtight containers the leftover mix can last about 4-6 months.

  147. Holly says

    One of the post I read mentioned the “Plaster of Paris” is extremely toxic? I’m a little afraid to use that one, but might try the calcium one.

    • says

      Hi Holly – I think the Plaster of Paris is only toxic if it is heated. You will like the Calcium Carbonate Powder – it creates a very smooth mixture.

  148. Jann says

    I noticed your comments about mixing POP with Valspar paint with primer. I was doing a little research because I just had the same thing happen with a POP mixture with Behr with primer. Now I’ve used Behr without primer for MONTHS with no problem, so when I had a little left over from the walls and wanted to coordinate a mirror frame I thought nothing of it. OMG! I couldn’t add water fast enough! It’s too coincidental, it HAS to be the primer! So now I know…primer is a big no-no! Thanks for the help!

  149. Sue says

    Thanks for all of the great info! I have worked with ASCP and the DIY techniques with plaster of paris and unsanded grout. Recently I purchased a bag of Websters Chalk Paint Powder online. I had some difficulty with it, and am womdering if you or any of your readers have tried it as well and were successful?

    • says

      Hi Sue – I have only used Websters once, but it worked very well for me. What type of paint are you using? If it is a paint and primer in one formula – it may bind up and get thick quickly. All Valspar paints have primer in them. Olympic paints unless they are marked – all have primer in them now, too.

  150. norma hemauer says

    Hi Diane,
    First, I want to thank you for the great tuts on your site and the time and effort that you take to explain and answer our “newbie” questions. :-)
    Now for my question. I have read many posts and watched many youtube videos, and now I think I have information overload. I recently painted, DIY w/PoP, a small round table with 3 shelves that will be a nightstand. I used a little bottle of craft paint(a dark green) on areas that I intend to sand ,i.e. edges and little details. After it dried I used some very light tan(leftover wall paint) and covered using two coats. I have done a little sanding and like the look, with some green and the original wood showing, but am unsure how to seal it.
    I would like it to have an old feel so am thinking about a glaze,watering down some craft paint and then wiping off, or using a stain and quickly wiping it off. Have you had any experience with the above two methods?
    For sealing, would it matter if I used glaze or stain, if I were to use the wax or poly as the sealer?
    Thanks again for all the help and inspiration you give. I KNOW I can do this!

    • says

      Hi Norma – I have used all the methods you have described. Each one will produce a slightly different finish. If you like how it looks now and just need to seal it, I would use clear wax. If you want to darken it a bit to make it look aged – use clear wax first, then dark wax. Using the clear wax first allows you to move the dark wax where you want it. Simply apply a thin coat of wax and buff with a lint free soft cloth. Apply pressure when buffing to bring up the shine in the wax. You may need to add more wax after buffing it, if you desire more shine.

      Another option: When I want to darken the color, I like to use antiquing glaze instead of dark wax. I use the one made by Valspar. Add it over your painted finish and then quickly wipe it off. If you get too much on – just go over it with a wet cloth to remove it right away, then wipe on more and remove it. It will leave a subtle darkness over your paint. After the glaze has dried, I apply clear wax and buff it to a shine.

      Poly works well as a sealer for chalk paint also. It is easier than waxing as you apply it with a brush and just let it dry. I think the wax looks so much better than the poly, but everyone has their preferences.

      If you are still hesitant – practice the different methods on a scrap piece of wood. You can do it!

  151. Tara C. says

    Thank you for all of this information!! I happened to stumble into a store near my house the other day and discovered the Annie Sloan line being sold there. All of this is very new to me, never heard of it before. I have been feverishly researching DIY, ASCP, etc. for the last few days and this is the best blog I have found. You may have mentioned it in your reviews but I was curious as to the kind of latex paint you found best to use with Plaster of Paris? I’m going to refinish an old dining room set that is very dark and I would like to get good coverage so I think the POP is the way to go. I know you mentioned Benjamin Moore and to use flat finish correct? I have also read that many use satin finish. Which do you prefer? Thank you Diane!

    • says

      Hi Tara – I have used all types of paint finishes with great success. Once you add the Plaster to the mixture – it will become flat no matter what finish you use. I do however like using a satin finish the best though. Flat works well also, but the satin seems to create a nice mix that takes the wax beautifully.

  152. Katie says

    So excited to do this to a chair I recently purchase – going for a goldenrod yellow but I was also wondering about doing it to jus the tops of a pair of end tables. How does chalk paint with the wax hold up to drinks (hot and cold) set on top?
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Katie – I do have coasters on all my chalk painted tables, but Chalk paint holds up great even without them. The best thing about it – it is so forgiving. If it does get damaged, it is so easy to fix. Lightly go over with a piece of sandpaper, and then add a few brush strokes of paint over the damage, let dry and then wax. Damage gone. You can’t do this with other finishes.

  153. says

    Hi Diane
    I wanted to verify that I can still draw on the “item to be painted” even if I add wax to it? Thanks so much for the information, it has answered a lot of questions I’ve had in regards to chalk paint vs chalk board paint and all the different recipies!

      • says

        Hey Diane,
        I’m doing Crayola chalk with my kids, I’m painting our front door which is pretty well protected from the elements. So, maybe I’m reading to much into things, but I’m guessing from your question that if we are wanting to use it as a chalkboard then it’s better not to use the wax, is that correct?
        Thanks for your help
        Brady

        • says

          Hi Brady – If you want to use the door as a chalkboard, then do not use wax. Just paint it and let it be. If it wears in places – simply re-coat.

  154. says

    Thanks for sharing this experiment! I used your recipe yesterday for the Plaster of Paris chalk paint on two end tables in my living room. I even used Valspar paint from Lowe’s and it worked beautifully. For the first coat, I mixed the plaster of Paris and water mixture into Kilz primer. It worked! I’m hooked on chalk paint for refinishing now. A fireplace mantle and a bathroom vanity are waiting to be altered. :)

  155. says

    Diane!! Thank you! I have been using DIY chalk paint for a few months and have never bought Annie Sloan….mostly because I’m cheap. I was wondering if there’s something I was missing out on. Thanks for making me feel confident I’m not missing out on much – except saving a few bucks!

  156. Beverly Morris says

    I have read every inquiries and I haven’t had my question answered yet. Wondering if chalk paint could be applied to plastic. Our kitchen cabinets are not what I would desire. And at this time it is out of our budget to replace them. I hate to think I will have to stay with them forever. I don’t want to sound stupid with this question. I have heard that chalk paint can cover more than wood. Just wanted your thoughts. If so would you still apply wax and buff? DIY laytex paint?

  157. Kelli says

    I did my first chalk paint project and used latex paint w/plaster of paris. The tables turned out great. The waxing however was a pain in the you know what. It took me forever to get the wax to look finished with no streaks. I used the Johnsons paste wax. The final pieces look great but I have been on the search of a better and easier way to wax. I found a Johnsons One Step floor wax that says you do not have to buff. I was wondering if anyone has tried this yet and what are your results?
    Thank you…..

    • says

      Hi Kelli – Happy to hear your tables came out great. I know one misconception about using chalk paint is that many hear you don’t have to prime, so they think it is easier because you can save a step and not prime. It is true, but you do have to wax on the finishing end of the painting process and it does take time, so using chalk paint will not be any quicker than using primer,paint, and poly.

      Johnson’s is the least expensive paste wax and does take the longest to buff to a high shine. You may have applied too much if you got streaks. You only need a very thin coat. Let it dry, then buff. Reapply wax and buff again until you get the level of shine you want. Lots of muscle is needed. Liquid wax is not the same – it is made of different ingredients and you will not be happy. It will be a sticky mess. If you want a wax that is easier to buff – try Fiddes and Sons. It goes on very smooth and buffs up a lot quicker than Johnson’s. It does cost more – about $18 – $24 depending on where you get it. I buy it on Amazon or at Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder website. Annie Sloan wax is wonderful to work with, but does cost even more than Fiddes and Sons. Miss Mustard Seed sells a wax with her Milk Paint line. I have not tried it yet, but I am sure that it is wonderful and buffs to a shine easier than Johnson’s.

      • Kelli says

        Thank you! I appreciate you letting me know. I will try Fiddes and Sons on my next project.

  158. Joan Durham says

    Hi I love the look of chalk painted items and have done a try out on a large mirror. My problem is finding the wax. I wonder if any of your U K subscribers have found a suitable product.
    Love the website. You are so inspiring!
    I am 75 years young and have been making things from an early age . Not so much nowadays. Having said that I have just re papered my hall and done all the paintwork. I am just going to do a pumpkin for my neighbours children. I am also making a pouffe from an old milk crate and a piece of foam, Plus material for the cover. Keep up the good work Diane. x

    • Jann says

      Annie Sloan and Fiddes & Sons are both UK companies. If you visit their web sites you can look for local stockists.

  159. Wanda says

    Hi Diane,
    I just made my first batch of DIY chalk paint with POP. I washed everything with plain water and let it go down my sink drain. Then, I wondered if that was a mistake. Can you tell me if it is wise to wash the DIY chalk paint down the drain? Is it safe?
    Thanks,
    Wanda

    • says

      Hi Wanda – It is better if you let the paint dry in the can or bowl you mixed it in and then throw it away. This way no paint gets into the water system rivers etc. The Plaster of Paris will harden the paint if left open – making the drying out period go faster. It is Ok to wash your brushes and rinse out containers, but in the long run better to dry out the paint and then toss in the trash.

  160. Linda Beattie says

    Hi… Wanda, and all. Here’s my 2-cents worth on the washing-down-the-drain issue. I, too, washed down my kitchen drain a small amount of leftover paint. Too little to use for my next project, so I just rinsed it down. Then had the same thought as Wanda…water system and then, of course, I could just see my husband replacing drain pipes and finding my HMCP clogged up in there somewhere. So, here’s what I now do, as I like saving my containers (quart-size, round plastic snap-lid…$1.00 @ Dollar Tree.) I just find an empty container or piece of paper in my kitchen garbage can and pour (push) as much of it as I can into that. It hardens, as Diane says, pretty quickly, so that before it gets to the landfill, there is not much to worry about.

    • says

      I personally have never used it outside, but I have heard from many others that have used it outside with great success. I think it depends on what you think success it. It will not peel like regular paint, but will wear to a nice aged looking patina when used outside. It you like that look, then yes it is weatherproof.

  161. kari says

    When you say “buff” what do you mean by that. After I wipe on the wax am I supposed to do something after that? Do you mean sanding or something? Do you do any sanding between coats at all?

    • says

      Hi Kari – Buffing is polishing. Use a soft lint-free cloth. I cut up old t-shirts for the task. Once the wax is on, you wipe the cloth over it and rub hard.MAkig circular motions all over the surface. Put some elbow grease into it. You will see a shine start to develop in the wax. More buffing, more shine. If using Johnson’s paste wax, let it sit for about 10 minutes before waxing. With Fiddes and Sons, Briwax, or Annie Sloan wax you can buff right after you apply it. You only need a thin coat of wax. You do not sand in between wax coats, but you can always sand in between paint coats to help ensure you have a nice smooth paint finish.

  162. Teresa says

    Someone asked earlier & it was not answered & I can find no info on this in any DIY recipe on the internet… what sheen of paint do you use? flat? eggshell? satin? surly not gloss? Does it matter? Does one sheen perform better than another?

    • Jann says

      Often chalk paint recipes recommend using paint samples such as Behr and Sherwin Williams. Behr’s samples only are available in a flat sheen and Sherwin Williams is only in satin. I’ve successfully used both in POP recipes and found it makes no difference, the POP takes over and you’ve instantly arrived at that yummy, soft chalk paint effect. I really don’t think it matters what the sheen originally was…in the end, it’s chalk paint. Just make sure it’s latex/acrylic (water based) paint and isn’t a “With Primer” formula.

      • Teresa says

        I had already started my project & I chose satin. The finish turned out beautifully. I did use Behr with primer in it tho ::eek::. I hope that doesn’t effect me in the long run negatively but I had read somewhere that I should use the Behr with primer (the Lowe’s paint with primer I read was bad).

        I did however use Minwax wipe-on poly & I ruined my chest to streaks. I knew better than to use any minwax product from past experience so that was 100% my fault & it will NEVER happen again as & will never touch another of their products. I have sanded my chest a bit & put one more coat of chalk paint on so it is back to looking lovely. I am now waiting for my Shabby Paint VAX shipment to arrive & I have my fingers crossed that it works as good as I have read that it does :o)

    • says

      Hi Teresa – You can use any finish. Once you add the chalk compound to the mix – it will turn flat. I have used all finishes. The only type of paint that may cause a problem when you mix it up is a paint-and-primer-in one-formulas.

  163. Barb says

    Thank you so much for the informative post! I have been wanting to try chalk painting on some small projects in hopes of building up the courage to do a larger piece of furniture. A friend of mine said to use sanded grout, what it the difference in sanded and non sanded grout?

    • says

      Hi Barb – Sanded grout has a fine sand in it and is more girtty, than non-sanded. You can use non-sanded grout – that is what I first used when I started making my own DIY chalk paint. If you are only going to make 1 cup, it is OK to use for small batches as the mix will dry out very fast. For bigger projects I would use Plaster of Paris, (I use DAP brand – buy it a Lowes or True Value Hardware) or Calcium Carbonate Powder (NOW brand bought at the health food store). They create smooth mixes and won’t bind the paint. I recently even mixed both P of Paris and C C Powder in one mix. I loved it. Here is a post I wrote about it: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/09/furniture-makeover-mixing-diy-chalk-paint-recipes-colors.html

      It is not hard to mix or paint with – if you are unsure of your skills, make a small batch and paint a piece of scrap wood to get the process down. Once you do, then you will be painting everything :)

  164. Jenee' Boudreaux says

    I have a question about the diy chalk paint using p.o.p. recipe. I made a batch yesterday & painted a drawer front to test out the durability. The drawer is stained & lightly top coated with a poly. I put one coat to start. I did the “scratch test” on it today to see if it would come off, & it did. My questions- how do I know if I made the paint correctly?,does the paint normally scratch off?, once I wax it, is that going to prevent the paint from scratching off? I’m afraid to paint the whole piece in fear of it still chipping one it’s waxed. Help PLEASE:)
    Jenee’

    • says

      Hi Jenee – You may have to add another tablespoon of P of Paris to the mix to make it even more durable. Every surface is different when it comes to how the paint adheres or bleeds through. It also takes up to 30 days for the paint to cure, so it may scratch off the day after.

      A few weeks ago I posted about a corner cabinet I did where I mixed P of Paris with Calcium Carbonate in one mix. It was durable and passed the scratch test as soon as it was dry. I am going to use it again. My advise would be to add more P of Paris to your mix. As long as you mix it in a bit of water first to make it smooth then add to the paint, you can up to about 3 more tablespoons than the recipe calls for. Here is the link to the post on the cabinet I mixed the two ingredients togehter. http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/09/furniture-makeover-mixing-diy-chalk-paint-recipes-colors.html

  165. says

    Hi Diane, I am in the process of painting a pine bookcase/cabinet and I would like to know how many coats of paint should I use? The wood has gone a horrible orangey colour over time and I have been threatening to paint it for a while. I have sanded it and have started with the chalk paint. I think it will need at least 2 coats. Does that sound about right to you? I won`t be doing the distressed finish. Love the multi coloured chairs in your kitchen. My you have been busy! Joan xx

    • says

      Hi Joan – Every piece is different, but 2 coats should do it. You want to make sure you can’t see any wood tint through the paint and the color should look even all over. You may need 3 coats if your paint is light in color. Make sure the wood tannins do not leach through the paint, if you start to see a brown tinge in your paint, you should sand back over those areas and add some clear shellac or a primer like Kilz to stop the bleed through. This has only happened to me when using chalk paint. It was a very old piece.

  166. Jacki says

    Hello, this is the best website so far in regards to Chalk paint. Thank you! I am looking at painting several laminate Ikea and would like to make different colors for each piece. Does chalk paint work on laminate and I have read that you can mix acrylic paint such as those founds at Michael’s to make different colors? You use a white base paint and mix in the acrylics.

    Would you recommend this or would you recommend using colors from the paint line?

    • says

      Hi Jacki –

      Chalk paint works on laminate, but you should still rough up the surface first with 100 grit sandpaper, clean it off, then paint. I have used acrylic craft paint and non-sanded grout. It works, but it does bind up. Only make it in small batches so you won’t waste any paint. I am not sure why you would need to mix the paint into a white base first. Just use the craft paint. Mixing it into white – you are only going to get pastel colors or are going to need quite a lot of craft paint if you want deep colors. If you are going to use Calcium Carbonate to make your mix, then using acrylic paint is fine. I have made my mixes with all types and brands of paint, but I like Glidden premium line in satin latex the best to make my chalk paint. I buy the colors in quarts. If you only need a small bit of paint – buy sample jars. I know at Home Depot you can get any color made up in a sample size jar for a few dollars.

  167. Sleepy says

    * * * H E L P ! ! ! ! !

    I desperately need help finding a latex-paint color match for Annie Sloan “FLORENCE.” I prefer BEHR or Sherwin Wms because they work so well with your POP recipe. What a fabulous DIY tip! THANK YOU for sharing it!

    • says

      I don’t have a Behr paint deck to see what color matches Annie Sloan Florence, but I am sure there must be one that is close. I do have one for Glidden and Sherwin Williams. Check out Glidden – Real Teal #A1144 it is almost an exact match. Sherwin Williams Turquish SW 6939 is close.

  168. Joni says

    Thanks so much for this great info, Diane! I love everything on your blog!

    I have a couple painting questions for you. How would you use DIY chalk paint to create a faux limed finish similar to the blue moulding on this page? http://thevintagedames.com/paint-made-easy-workshops/. (I would take their class, but I live in another part of the country.) Would you use a white glaze or a wax or ???

    Second, I have a black painted dining table I want to DIY chalk paint pale yellow and age it a bit. Would you use a product like Valspar Antiquing Glaze, or an antiquing wax or ? I’d like to have the most durable possible finish, so it would be great if I could put a non-yellowing polyurethane over it.

  169. cam says

    So many helpful insights on your blog! Looking to redo dark, old mahogany Duncan Phyfe dining set to distressed, very pale taupe. Super tight budget and can’t tolerate any smells. Will be working in small apt so even more important not to have fumes. Your suggestions for paint with no VOCs? Best paint/wax combo for odor free process (will likely use Calc Carb)? Thanks!!

    • says

      Hi Cam – I have not used no or low VOC paint when making DIY chalk paint. It may work fine, but I have only used regular latex. I am not sure if there is something in or not in the paint that may not mix up correctly. If you can get a sample jar – you may want to test it out. I know Behr and Benjamin Moore both make no VOC paint. Olympic does too. For wax – Fiddes and Sons- $18 has little smell as does Annie Sloan Soft Wax- $25. Johnsons- $7 is the least expensive wax, but smells quite a bit. Not sure of your budget, but there is a new chalk paint company that has no VOC’s. The site is still very new, but check out: Country Chic Paint.com

      • cam says

        Thanks for your prompt reply, Diane. Will look into Behr, BM, O paints. This is project I’ve wanted to do for many years and seems like more (yeah DIY!), healthier!, and cheaper options are becoming available. :)

  170. says

    I have fallen in love with Amy Howard chalk paint. There is no prep , other than cleaning, and you don’t have to wax it! My question for your DIY paint- do you have to prime or sand first?

    • says

      Hi Amy- With DIY chalk paint you do not need to sand or prime. I always sand though just to rough up the surface a bit. I learned to do this at an Annie Sloan chalk paint workshop I went to. It only takes 5 minutes and won’t hurt – only helps with adhesion.

      My Best- Diane

  171. Susan Fletcher says

    I couldn’t find calcium carbonate in my area. Found another product called CALM with magnesium and calcium. Worked great! Smooth as silk!

    • says

      Hi Susan – This is good info. Thanks for sharing. There are so many ingredients that you can use. I know others who can’t find Calcium Carbonate Powder will be glad to know this. Love hearing success stories.

  172. Suzanne says

    Hi, just wondered what sort of store you bought the CALM from Susan ie chemist, hardware?
    Many thanks, Suzanne

  173. Lee says

    Hi, I would like to paint my laminate cabinets with the chalk paint to make it look like concrete.. Which of the DIY chalk would you recommend? Instead of the lacquer or polyurethane, thought I would use Enviro-tex lite that is used on bar tops and tables(1 coat = 50 coats varnish).. Do you think using the Enviro-tex, it would take away the chalk look ?

    • says

      Hi Lee –
      Envrio-Tex Lite will take away from the chalk look. Using it would give the finish a high gloss glass look and protect your counters, but not make them looked aged. It is great stuff, but costs quite a bit if you have a lot of counter top, it could get costly. If you have a large area to do and you don’t want to wax over the finish, I would use a water based polyurethane – Minwax makes one called Polycrylic.

  174. Lee says

    Sorry previous comment should have read ” laminate countertop ” not “laminate cabinets”

  175. says

    Hi Diane, I was reading a lot of DIY on painting kitchen cabinets and was confused about when to apply the wax to the chalk paint, before you sand or after you sand, or does it make any difference either way? For those who can not find Calcium Carbonate you get it on Amazon for around $10, make sure you get the powder form and not capsule`s, also some drugstores sell it, it is used as a bone strengthen, and now for a paint strengthen. Lol

    • says

      Hi Annel –

      Waxing before or after sanding is more about preference than right or wrong. If you wax before sanding, the sanded areas will be rough – bare paint and wood. If you sand then wax, the sanded areas will appear polished. I like the more polished look on modern pieces, the rough look on rustic pieces. Thanks for for the tip on where to get the CCP :)

  176. Chris says

    Thank you for a very detailed review on the options of chalk paint. I’ve never used it and didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t want to spend the big $ on Annie Sloan chalk paint so it’s nice to know that there are several alternatives.

  177. Karen Kellett says

    Hi Diane i’m just starting out at having ago with diy chalk paint can I use any type of paint you have mentioned latex and satin wood
    We can get small sample pot in different types of finishes can I use any

    Look forward to hearing from you soon

    • says

      Hi Karen –

      Most paints will work fine. I have found paints that have a primer in them already will bind up. Same goes for acrylic craft paints. If you are doing a small project – they will work, but the consistency will get thick fast. Only make it up in small batches if using one of these paints.

      Valspar paint has primer in it. Their contractor formula does not. You can use any sheen of paint. It will all get flat once you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris.

      I like the way my mixes come out when I use Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish. I have used Behr, True Value paint, and Sherwin Williams with success also – but when using their formulas without primer.

  178. Sleepy says

    Hi again, Diane! I wanted to thank you for your tip, the color match to ASCP Florence turned out beautifully, I used your POP recipe with great success once again. Please know that I am so grateful for your inspiring blog and generous nature.

    I’m wondering if you have any advice on decorative painting, the whimsical M-C style that uses lots of vibrant colors, checks, stripes, and stencil designs… can this be done with POP chalk paint, and no priming? Clear wax gives chalk paint a lovely satin sheen but to achieve a durable, high gloss finish, what product would be a good choice? Can spray-paint gloss be used over POP chalk paint, and would it affect the paint differently if it’s water based or oil based? I have looked at some bloggers who do this kind of decorative painting but I’ve yet to find any offering tips or tutorials. I’m sure I can determine this by trial and error (and will happily share if I do), but any tips in advance might spare some frustration and would be enormously appreciated!

    Thank you! Have a lovely week!

    • Jayne K. says

      Sleepy I have wondered about that myself. Personally I don’t love waxing, I never get the “lovely satin sheen” you speak of, even buffing doesn’t give me a polished result. Ok I guess for a vintage finish, but for a mid-century or modern piece it’s just dull and lifeless.

      I tried Krylon gloss spray once and it bubbled up on the chalk paint, NOT GOOD! But I can’t be sure if that’s a typical result or just because I tried spraying in extreme weather temperature. Has anyone else tried spray gloss instead of waxing? And how did it work for you? Thanks~~

      P.S. This may be something everyone else knows but I sure don’t! What is “whimsical M-C style” ??

    • says

      Hi Sleepy –

      I usually use wax, but for the powder room I have been posting about, I used Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish. It creates a subtly protective sheen over the chalk paint. It is brush-on water-based poly that you can buy at home improvement and craft stores. I would not use oil based products over the paint, it would change the color.

  179. Katie says

    Hi Diane! Thank you for your informative posts! I used your recipe to mix up a small batch of chalk paint using plaster of paris, mixing the plaster of paris with water first until smooth; however, I did the first coat and it is SUPER gritty and didn’t cover very well at all. Do you have any ideas for me what went wrong? I’ll have to sand the bench down again because of how rough it is! My other question is what is the benefit of using chalk paint and wax versus primer and regular paint? It seems like you have to sand with both, apply just as many coats, and then the priming and waxing would take about the same amount of time. And with the paint being gritty like this, it’s going to take me even longer with more sanding! Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Hi Katie –

      Sorry to hear that you got a gritty mix. It could be the Plaster you are using. I use the DAP brand that I buy at Lowes. If is wasn’t the smoothness of the Plaster, it could be the paint. What brand of paint did you use and type? It could have factored in, so can the water you used.

      Don’t let this discourage you from trying it again if you like the look of chalk painted pieces. My first mix came out lumpy and then got rock hard. I played around with it until I got it figured out. I love using chalk paint because I love the way the finish looks after it is waxed. That is the #1 reason I like it over using latex alone. It is not for saving time and effort. There is a patina that you just can’t get with regular latex. For my mixes I have had complete success with Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish when I mix it with Plaster alone or Calcium Carbonate Powder. I prefer using Calcium Carbonate now over Plaster. I do like to use both in one mix now if I want a rock hard finish that I only want to distress a little.

      As far as time and effort go when using chalk paint versus primer and latex – they both are equal in the time it takes from start to finish. I have written about this a few times as I think many think chalk paint is a magical paint and will take all the hard work away. That is not the case. Chalk paint may not need a primer so you save time in prep work, but it requires time after painting because you have to wax and buff. To use primer and latex you need more time in prep work and if not sealing the paint with a poly, the after painting process is quicker. So the time frame for using either is the same.

      Annie Sloan says you don’t have to sand, but you should and even in an Annie Sloan class I took, the instructor told us we should sand enough to rough up the surface. I totally agree that this. A 5 – 10 minute going over will only help with adhesion no matter what you are painting with – plain latex or chalk paint.

      For your piece, try using warm water with the Plaster of Paris and really mix it up well. Rub your fingers in the mix to make sure it is dissolved. Then add it. If it is still gritty, I would try using Calcium Carbonate Powder. I use the Now brand that I buy at my health food store. It is a very smooth powder with no gritty feel. When making chalk paint there is a little trial and error time since it is a recipe and no two mixes will ever be exactly the same.

  180. Cindy says

    Hi Diane,
    I have read through all the comments and replies to this post. There is one question that I have not seen addressed at all so I am asking. Is milk paint similar to chalk paint? Are they basically the same, especially the powdered mixes? If anyone can clarify that for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much for your dedication and sharing in all this.
    Cindy

    • says

      Hi Cindy –

      Milk paint and chalk paint are two different things. Milk paint is a powder that you mix with water. It is all natural. It is like a stain and can be transparent when applied. It needs a bonding agent so it sticks to previous finished surfaces. It will stick well on raw wood. It is easy to distress and chips off. Chalk paint is opaque, it is sold in a paint form. It does not need a bonding agent. It sands smooth to distress, but does not chip off.

  181. Cindy says

    Thank you Diane for taking the time to reply to my comment. I am still not sure as to which paint to go with. We have a wood chest (very basic board and batten construction) that was used as a toy chest. The surface is pretty distressed already (used by boys) and we want it to stay that way. My son is moving into his own place and wants it to look RUSTIC beach cottage as he will also be displaying his surf boards around the room. We want the worn wood look but with an overall wash of white. Should I go with the milk paint or can the chalk paint be thinned and brushed on then wiped off? The chest had a clear finish on it but I don’t know what kind and it is now pretty worn off over much of the top and pretty scratched on th sides. Once again I thank you for sharing your expertise on painting.
    Cindy

    • Nina says

      Oh goodness.., it deleted the rest of my note
      I went on to say….
      What did I do wrong?
      I tried to add more water but it went lumpy
      How much water do I add to for example 1 cup of plaster of Paris?
      Thanks!

      • says

        Hi again Nina –

        2 – 3 tablespoons. I just replied to your last comment and I think you used a paint that has a primer in it. Let me know what type of paint you used.

    • says

      Hi Nina –
      What type and brand of paint did you use? Plaster of Paris and Non-sanded grout will bind when mixed with a paint that already has a primer in it or an acrylic. Most of the little sample pots may bind, too.

      • Nina says

        I’m from New Zealand so not sure that you’d know the brand. It’s called wattyl. I don’t know much about paint so just asked the shop girl for a latex paint. Soooo guttered though!
        I found a baking soda recipe so I might try that out as it is quite expensive to buy grout here

        • says

          HI Nina –
          I have never used baking soda, but I heard that it can be used. My favorite additive is to use Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is sold at the health food store. Here in the states it is $6 a bottle. You can make a lot of chalk paint with it.

          • Nina says

            Oh wow! I just looked up the price of a small bottle of calcium carbonate and they start at $26 :( (About $23USD)
            I might go the baking soda route haha

  182. Becky says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Very helpful comparisons, been looking for something like this for a while!

  183. Tracy says

    Hi Diane!
    you have inspired me to try this!
    I am unsure about the wax… exactly what type of wax do you use? Can I get it in the home improvement store?
    Thank you!

    • Tracy says

      Hi again, just read your step by step chalk paint post, where you painted the corner cabinet lime green, it answered all my questions and you showed the exactly what wax you use!
      Should have read that post first!
      Thank you!!!

  184. The Home Boutique says

    A very informative blog post. We’re a stockist of ASCP in the UK but prior to discovering ASCP we used to mix our own paint, must admit it is so much easier and more versatile to use ASCP :)

  185. Melissa D says

    I made my 1st attempt with chalk paint this morning on a chair…..before I read all of this of course. I used the Plaster of Paris recipe. It was super thick. So, first question, to thin do you just keep adding water? It got windy as I was trying to paint with something more like cake icing instead of pancake batter. It looks nice since its dried, but it was just clumping as I painted. It was probably the combination of being too thick to start and the wind, but I was getting discouraged and the wind got worse so I stopped. Could you offer any advice before I try to continue. The paint I used was Sherwin Williams Duration Home Latex.

    • says

      Hi Melissa –

      I think the reason the paint got thick was the paint you used – SW Duration is an acrylic formula. Sometimes, but not always “acrylic” can bind the PoP. It is best to use the plain ole latex with nothing added. I would just make it up in small batches.

      As far as adding water to the mix, you can add more – a few tablespoons, but you don’t want to add too much so you dilute the mixture.

      Don’t let this first attempt stop you from trying again. I prefer using Calcium Carbonate Powder over Plaster of Paris because it does not ever get thick. You can buy it at the health food store. It stays smooth and creamy. I have always had excellent results with Glidden Premium paint in a satin or flat finish. It is sold at Home Depot. I have also mixed the two – CCP and PoP in one mix and loved the results. You can read about that in this post: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/09/furniture-makeover-mixing-diy-chalk-paint-recipes-colors.html

    • says

      I have never tried it, but I do not think it would work.I think if you mixed any of the DIY chalk paint making ingredients to oil-based paint it would turn to sludge.

  186. Ingrid says

    I have an antique wooden dresser that I want to redo. It is solid wood and has been stained then sealed, I believe with a polyurethane. I wanted to try chalk paint, distress and wax. Do I have to sand the pc down or can I just apply the chalk paint on the pc as it is now?

    • says

      Hi Ingrid –

      I always sand a little bit. You don’t need to go down to the bare wood – I use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. I run it over the surface for about 10 minutes. It will help with adhesion.

  187. Saundra says

    I like to use the oops paint, it keeps the cost low, and plaster of Paris which is also cost effective. My projects have come out great every time. I once used the corn starch recipe it worked OK too.

  188. Angelica says

    Hello, Diane,
    I think I’ve found an expert in Chalk paint! I am so thankful for your website! I have three dressers waiting to be chalk painted… I do not know which paint color to buy! I am overwhelmed… Can you suggest a few to paint over a dark stain dresser and a maple stained dresser. I want a light color… the house is very small so i guess light color furntiture helps. I am two blocks from home depot… so any Glidden or Berh or Martha Steward colors will work. Thank you .

    • says

      Hi Angelica –

      It is hard for me to suggest colors without seeing your rooms, but since you said you want light colors, it does make it easier – you have already narrowed it down. I would go to Home Depot and pick up paint chips in colors that you gravitate to. Bring them home and look at them in your homes light to help you choose the one you like best. Or the 3 you like best if you want to paint each piece a different color. When buying paint make sure it does not have primer or acrylic in it. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish. Make sure it not the one that says Paint + Primer on the can.

  189. Mandy says

    Hi Diane, I am wanting to paint my counter tops in my kitchen with chalk paint, is this possible? and if so once I have painted it what should I use over the chalk paint to make it durable and hardy incase of water spills etc.? They are pine counter tops but am wanting to sand them a bit first as they have been stained to a dark wood. Thank you so much this has been awesome reading never knew you could make your own chalk paint, I have used ASCP but too expensive. Thanks again Mandy

    • says

      Hi Mandy – If you want to paint your counter tops, I would sand them a bit first to rough them up. I use a hand sanding block with 60-100 grit sandpaper. Clean the grit off and then use the Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris recipe. It cures to the hardest finish. Once it is dry, I would seal it with Zinseer Ultimate Polyurethane. It is water based, but super durable. I used it on my staircase.

  190. Angie says

    Absolutely loved this post, and everything you’ve shared about chalk paint. I’m going to do it this week! I can’t thank you enough. Quick question…I know there should be no prepping needed but how far does that apply? I have a seriously ugly chipped up chest of drawers where the paint on it, from the previous owner, was partially removed so there are huge patches of painted parts and some that are bare wood. It feels pretty awful to rub your hand over it. Will chalk paint really fill that in and level it out, with perhaps 2 or more coats to help it along? Thank you again!!!

  191. Amanda S. says

    Wonderful post! So informative. I have been on the fence about DIY chalk paint but I think this has sold me!! I do have a question though like so many others. I want to paint my baby’s crib, changing table and dresser. On the ASCP website it says it’s safe to use for cribs. How would I go about doing this with the DIY version? I am definitely thinking the Calcium Carbonate Powder is the way for me as it seems the safest. What should I finish it with? The wax? Any recommendations on a brand for that?

    • says

      Hi Amanda –

      I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder. I like the look of the wax better over chalk paint, but for the crib I would use Minwax Polycrylic or any water based poly. Wax does wear down and may not be the best thing on a crib where a baby touches. I would paint it so it has lots of time to cure – up to a month before using it. For the dresser and the changing table – wax would be OK if you wanted to use it. I like Fiddes and Sons in Clear. I buy it on amazon.

      • Amanda S. says

        Thank you so much! I will check out the wax on Amazon for the other furniture. We have used Polycrylic many times for other projects (counter tops, tables,etc) so I am very familiar with finishing with that. Perfect! I think I could do a satin Polycrylic finish on the crib so that it’s not overly shiny compared to the other furniture? I have plenty of time for it to cure as I am due Christmas Eve. Thank you for your help! I am excited to be able to do a custom color other than just white, black,etc.

  192. Joanne Norquay says

    I would like to paint my unfinished wooden deck chairs with chalk paint. What finish should I use? Can I wax or will the wax melt off? I am so excited to get started.

    • says

      Hi Joanne – You can use any finish/sheen of paint since when you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris it will turn to a flat finish. I have used flat and satin with great results. Wax will melt off in the sun. If you like a rustic aged look, you can just let the paint wear, if not I would use a water-based poly over the paint. Minwax Polycrylic or Zinseer Ultimate poly are two good brands to use.

  193. Charlene says

    Hi, I am very interested in learning about chalk paint. Thank you for all your information. If I were to paint a piece of furniture that was pressed board with laminate overlay, would you sand, and prime first? Is priming necessary do you think? Thank you again

    • says

      Hi Charlene – I always sand first. It only takes 10 minutes or less to go over the surface with a hand sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper. All you need to do is rough up the surface a little bit. You do not have to prime.

  194. Charlene says

    I was wondering if I was to use chalk paint on laminate wood, like book shelves, would you tell me I should sand those first? Also, should I prime or do you feel that step could be skipped? Thank you, Charlene

    • says

      Hi Charlene – you do not need to sand, but I would sand first. You don’t have to go crazy, just a 5 – 10 minute going over with 100 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block will be enough to rough up the surface and help with adhesion.

  195. kiralee says

    hi there, if i apply wax over top of the chalk paint can i still write on it with chalk, also i dont wax it will it effect the paint if it is used as a memoboard.

    • says

      Hi Kiralee – Once you wax over chalk paint you will not be able to write with chalk on it. If you don’t wax, it will be exactly like a chalkboard and you can use it as one.

  196. says

    I am painting my cabinets . I couldn’t find any paint that didn’t have primer in it! So I got Glidden premium paint + printer. I lightly sanded one door and did nothing to the second door . I have applied 3 coats and when my nail hits the paint it scratches off!
    What did I do wrong ?
    Is it the paint ?
    Do I have to let it sit?
    Thanks !!!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – The paint will scratch off right after it is dry. It needs to fully dry (a few days) and cure (up to 4 weeks depending on weather conditions) to get to a super durable finish. A few questions and I will better be able to help you. How long ago did you apply the last coat? Did you let each coat dry before applying the next? What DIY chalk recipe did you use?

  197. Jennifer says

    I waited about a hour between each coat . It’s only been about a hour since I stopped painting ;) and I used the P& P receipt !
    So I will wAit a few days and hopefully everything will be ok!!!
    My next question is how long to I wait to
    Apply the wax?

  198. Jennifer says

    Another question ? When I was pouring the extra in a bowl so I could put a lid on it and save the extra. I noticed a few hard chunks which I’m assuming is the Plaster of Paris. What causes that!??

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – Did you mix the PoP in warm water first before mixing it into the paint? This dissolves the PoP and lets you see that it is all dissolved and mixed well before adding it to the paint. In the future, when mixing PoP in the water, if you see a chunk and it won’t dissolve, remove it and add a bit more PoP, let it dissolve and then add to the paint.

  199. Kathy says

    What do you use to apply the chalk paint and does it leave brush marks? Thanks. I am trying my first DIY on a dresser and don’t want to mess up:)

    • says

      Hi Kathy – I use an angled Purdy brand paint brush. They cost around $10, but if you wash it out well with soap and water and hang it to dry it will last for years. Good brushes rarely leave brush marks so I think it is worth buying the best you can afford. If you are going to distress your painted finish with sandpaper, this will remove any brush marks that do show up. If you are making chalk paint with Calcium Carbonate Powder you can roll it on. It will be super smooth. I use a small foam roller with rounded edges. The rounded edges don’t leave roller lines. Experiment a little on a piece of scrap wood before doing the dresser. It will help you perfect your application.

  200. Rachel says

    My 7 year old daughter requested a desk for her bday…we found a great little roll top desk for $10 bucks and it’s in great shape. I’m going to try and do the chalk board paint on it. I’m thinking I’m going to use a poly coat on it when I’m done, I
    would think it would be more durable for a kid’s piece of furniture. Any tips or suggestions would be great!

    • says

      Hi Rachel – When a few light coats of wax are layered and each one buffed, you can create a very durable finish. It does take time to do this though. If you want to be once and done, then I would use Minwax Polycrylic over it in a satin finish. Use 2 light coats, letting the first one dry before applying the second coat. You can use 220 sandpaper over the first coat to smooth it out if your have any drips. Make sure to clean any sanding grit off before applying the second coat of poly. The desk sounds adorable. I an sure your daughter is going love it!

  201. Jennifer says

    Yes i did mix the PoP first but I think I used cold water . I got all the chunks out so can I continue to use this paint or do I need to start all over :(

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – You can still use the paint, but stir it well and try to break up any clumps as you mix. If one shows up in your painted surface, you can simply sand over it and then reapply paint over it.

  202. Sandy says

    LOVE your blog! I’ve spent hours on here learning and have not seen this question yet, so forgive me if you’ve answered it previously. Normally when painting furniture or any surface, you can’t paint latex paint over an oil based paint or enamel, without first priming the surface. Do you know if they same rule applies to the chalk paint? I’m assuming it does. I’ve got a previously painted bed I’d like to paint over and not sure what type of paint is on it. I sure don’t want to have to prime it-that’s why I LOVE the chalk paint!! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Sandy – you can paint chalk paint over anything without having to prime – that is one of best things about it. I always go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface before painting. Once you do that you can paint right over anything.

      • Sandy says

        Thanks so much! I’m in a new relationship…………….with Chalk Paint!!!
        Blessings to you!

  203. says

    Thank you for doing all this research for us! I just started using chalk paint. I don’t live anywhere near a place that sells Annie Sloan (2.5 hours), so I used an 8 oz size can I got at Home Depot. I also tried the Plaster of Paris method today, but found that it got too gritty.
    1/3 c. water
    1/3 c. P of P
    8 oz. paint
    I would like to order some of the Webster’s and try that, but I think I will try your method and use the calcium carbonate. I don’t mind gritty for an underlayer, but the top layer I would like smooth.

    • says

      If your PoP mix was rough, you can rub some 220 sandpaper over it to smooth it. That is the nice thing about all chalk paints, they sand so easily. I like using the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best out of all the DIY mixtures. It always makes up into a very smooth mixture. Webster’s is very nice, but I kind of think it is just a bag of Calcium Carbonate Powder in a branded bag :-) Happy chalk painting!

  204. Rebecca says

    Great post, thank you so much! As a UK resident I have been a bit confused by some of the terms in many of the DIY recipes online, but I have experimented a little. I bourght some very cheap second-hand paint in Satinwood (Dulux) but found that much of it was the old solvent based, as I believe are the trade versions. Some was water based but the only way to tell was reading the small print on the back of the can. What to do??? Would the solvent based just have been a waste of money? I tried one batch mixing Bicarbonate of Soda in a little white spirit and another batch mixing POP with a little white spirit first then mixing with the solvent based paint. As you can’t mix with water or it will not work. (Neither can you mix a solvent based Satinwood with a water based as it turns to cottage cheese and then goes solid!) My experiment has worked well, though the Bicarb version is very gritty but this sands lovley and smooth very easily and the POP version is great. ***I have to say that I don’t know the ingredients of POP and whether there area any reactions / fumes that are released when mixing with white spirit – none obvious but I will look into it further before doing any more!***

  205. LeeAnna says

    So I tried the DIY P of P method today and failed! I mixed 1 cup of P of P with water until pancake batter consistency, then add 3 cups of latex satin paint and mixed again. My mixture was thick so I kept adding water until I got the pancake batter consistency once more. I started painting but kept getting a lot of clay like buildup form the plaster of paris. What do you think I did wrong? or could try differently. I resorted to buying Annie Solan paint to finish the project but I would love to find a diy version that is just as good. Thanks again

    • says

      Hi LeeAnna –

      The recipe does call for 3 parts paint to 1 part PoP, but the outcome can vary depending on the brand of paint. I have made and used so many mixes and have found that you can still get great adhesion with less PoP. Try using only a 1/2 cup of PoP to the 3 parts paint or mix 4 Tablespoons of PoP into 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix it well until the powder dissolves, then mix it well into 2 cups of paint. This will create a smoother mix. If it makes the paint thick again, then it could be that the paint has a primer in it. Since I started on this DIY chalk paint journey and made a lot of it, I prefer the calcium carbonate powder recipe and if I want super durable and am only going to sand a little, I add a tablespoon of PoP to the mix. I hope this helps. Since everyone uses different paint and city and town water supplies have different minerals etc in them – outcomes can vary.

  206. says

    I’m gathering my supplies to make the chalk paint. I want a aged look over white for a bookcase. when looking for the wax, I found Minwax in a neutral color at HD. I see many sites are mentioning “dark wax” which sounds like what I would like. Does Minwax come in light or dark? If so I am wondering where one would find the dark? Thnx

    • says

      Hi Linda – I believe Minwax has two colors of wax – Natural and one called Special Dark. I have only used the natural and it is my least favorite wax. I have never seen the dark one anywhere but online. The natural is not a clear wax, it has an orange tint to it and will make your white chalk paint have an orange cast. I prefer using Johnson’s Paste Wax. It is $7 a can and can be found in most stores cleaning supplies aisle. I also like Fiddes and Sons wax. They carry many colors. You can buy it on Amazon. When I want to age a finish to look dark, I use antiquing glaze. I bought it at Lowes. I put a coat of it on over the chalk paint and then rub it in and remove it until I get the look I want. I then sand to distress. You can sand before or after adding the layer of clear wax. You can see the steps in this post: http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-make-and-paint-with-diy-chalk-paint.html

      If you are going to use dark wax – you need to use clear wax on the finish first. Buff and then apply the dark wax. You need to do this so that you can move the dark wax around where you want it on your finish otherwise the dark color will get splotchy looking.

  207. Gem says

    Great post! I’m just wondering if you can still write on the paint with chalk once it has been waxed? Thanks :)

  208. Wendy Letter says

    Hi Diane – I just had to write what a godsend your website has been to me. We decided to refinish our kitchen island & I decided to take on the cabinet painting myself. Sherwin Williams pushed me to use their Pro Classic Acrylic Latex Enamel & it is sooooo thick & difficult to work with! Using your chalk paint recipe is giving me great results!! Thank you so much!! I used the same CC powder & PofP powder as you – & I am excited to see the finished project. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful ideas with us! :) Wendy from Wichita, KS

    • says

      Hi Wendy – I love using chalk paint on furniture and wood. I am surprised by the SW Pro Classic being thick. That is the paint I used to repaint my kitchen cabinets and I loved it. It does self-level and created a brushstroke free finish. I used chalk paint on my powder room cabinets and loved how they came out too. Maybe the SW paint you got was old. Happy to hear though that your cabinets are coming out great now.

      • Wendy Letter says

        Hi Diane! Thanks for your reply! I took the paint back to SW & they even tried to paint my drawer front – and added Floetrol to it – without any success. Getting all that off was a real chore. So that’s why I was so glad to find your CP recipe! Maybe because I am doing them in black, every brush mark shows? I absolutely love the CP finish & have experimented on the back of a couple drawer fronts with the Minwax “Natural”. I think maybe I must have applied too much wax because no amount of buffing erases the original “line” where I applied the wax. :-/ Hubby not sure he wants a wax coating & would prefer poly. I like the idea of wax. HOWEVER, since this is our kitchen island, & I am sure we’ll need to clean up/wipe down/repaint a cabinet over the years, I wondered how difficult it is removing the wax finish. Can I simply sand & touch up areas with the CP or do I have to remove the wax with the Odorless Mineral Spirits as mentioned in a post WAY up above? (I tried to read through to see if my question was already answered!) I think I will order some Fiddes & Sons wax as reading through your replies, it looks like that is your preferred wax with Johnson’s Paste coming in 2nd.

        A couple things I’ve learned through this journey is, if I haven’t used up all my paint, I will “seal” the top level of paint by adding saran wrap to cover the paint (like you used to do when stovetop-made pudding was cooling, so it didn’t get that awful film on top), & when I distress an edge, I go over it with a staining pen in the color of the rest of our cabinets so that we have some continuity between the island (distressed black) & the rest of the cabinets. It looks pretty good so far.

        Thanks for any tips you can add re: the wax … I have buffed the heck out of it & still am not sure of the finish. Is it supposed to be super shiny & “wet-looking”? I was going for more of the “muted” or soft effect, a subtle sheen. Don’t know what I did wrong. :-/

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to all of us – you’re so sweet to do so & share your brilliance with us! :) Take care xxx Wendy

        • Wendy Letter says

          Update: We just tried Briwax on another drawer back & can see scratches in my beautiful finish! I would be so heartbroken if the fronts of the cabinets had buff mark scratches in them. He used one of his really old super soft undershirts. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome! Thank you!!

          • says

            Hi Wendy –

            I am not a fan of Minwax or Briwax. I have found Minwax does not melt into the finish. Briwax has removed the finish on one piece I did. My fave wax is Fiddes and Sons in clear. It goes on easy and you can buff right away. As far as the sheen – the more you buff the more shine you will achieve.

            Wax needs to be applied in very light coats. Apply one and buff, then repeat for more shine and protection. If it is applied to heavy, it is hard to get it buffed evenly. Are the scratches – scratches or are they build up of wax? Have you tried another type of cloth to buff out the scratches?

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