DIY Chalk Paint Review Update

by Diane Henkler on 02/20/2013

How to make chalk paint was a question I answered in a post I wrote a few months ago I entitled, Testing 1…2…3… Versions of Chalk Paint. It was about my test and review of the different recipes to use to make DIY chalk paint to see how they stood up to the Annie Sloan brand of chalk paint. It has been and still is one of my most popular posts.  Since then, I have had the opportunity to try 2 more chalk paint brands and another DIY homemade chalk paint recipe.  Here are my findings for the best homemade chalk paint recipes.


Websters Chalk Paint Powder, CeCe Caldwell’s Chalk and Clay Paint, along with a DIY version using Calcium Carbonate Powder.


I would like to share the new findings in this post along with answering some of the most frequently asked questions I receive about making your own chalk paint.


Let me first say that every recipe and brand of chalk paint that I have used works well. I am totally smitten with the finish and have achieved it with every recipe.     Since I have all the ingredients needed to make any version, I now get to play eenie meenie miney mo when I begin a new project  – Non-sanded Grout, Plaster of Paris, Calcium Carbonate Powder -which shall it be?

I have to thank Robert at Vintage Finds for sending a sample of Ce Ce Caldwell’s Chalk and Clay paint my way as well as some of their dark wax.   I tested it out with Websters Chalk Paint Powder and the DIY recipe that uses Calcium Carbonate.  You can see on the board above how I tested each to see how they stacked up.

I looked for these factors:

1. How easily the paint went on.

2. How the paint looked without distressing/sanding.

3. How well it distressed when sanded.

4. Adhesion and coverage

5. How the wax absorbed and the patina produced when buffed?

6. I wrote the word Hi to see just how chalky each surface was. Note: After the wax coat is added you cannot write with chalk on the finish.

Ce-Ce-Caldwell-Chalk-Paint test and review

I will start with the Ce Ce Caldwell Chalk and Clay paint (cost $32.95). This comes in quart size cans. Open the lid, stir well, and you are ready to paint.  It is nice and creamy and went on beautifully. It is a bit thicker than the Annie Sloan sample I had used in my previous test.  When dried, this paint has the chalkiest or clay-like feel of all the brands and DIY recipes I have tried.   It distressed beautifully.  Since it produced the most matte  finish, the wax absorbed right into the paint,and  it needed three coats of wax to produce the shine factor I liked.  I don’t think I would use this paint if I didn’t want a distressed or aged look.  My personal preference is for a glossier, shinier surface.

Websters-Chalk-Paint test and review

Next up is Websters Chalk Paint Powder.  This comes in a brown bag with instructions on the bag on how to mix with water and latex paint to make chalk paint.  It runs around $14 a bag.  One bag will make a quart of chalk paint.  It’s a brand name with a little DIY involved– since you have to mix it up yourself.  I am not sure what the powder actually is – would need the guys at CSI to tell me that, but it does state that it is all-natural.   It was easy to mix and unlike the non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris recipes that can sometimes harden after an hour, this did not.  I liked the way it took the wax and distressed. It looks nice with wax with no aging or distressing on the edges.

Calcium-Carbonate-Chalk-Paint-recipe review and test

Now for the DIY recipe version for this test. I went to my health food store and bought a 1lb jar of Calcium Carbonate Powder, not the pills, but the powder. It was $5.00. Normally $6.00, but it was on sale the day I bought it.  This is an all-natural product, which  you mix with water and drink to make your bones strong.  The entire contents of the jar would make 3 quarts of Chalk paint.  It is a fine powder and mixes nicely into the paint. Plus an added benefit the mixture does not harden after a few hours. I like the finish it provided with wax. It distressed nicely. It has become my favorite way to make my own chalk paint.


Here are the differences that I have found among the DIY recipes. You can find the recipes using Non-Sanded Grout and Plaster of Paris in this post.

Non-Sanded Grout:   

I don’t use this recipe anymore because I think the Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate recipes produce a nicer consistency without any graininess.

Plus:  $16 for a bag.   Gives nice coverage – no bleed-through of wood tannins.

Negative:  Can harden after mixing.  Needs the most mixing as it is not a super fine powder. Make it in small batches only.  Do not use Valspar paint with it or any Paint and Primer in One paint.  It will harden right away.  Use another mixture if you plan to use a dark color paint. Any unmixed clumps of white grout may show up in your distressed surface and may the color look spotted with white.

Plaster of Paris: 

Plus:  Costwise this is the cheapest way to go. A half gallon container is $12.  It will make a dozen or so quarts of paint. It is a finer powder than the non-sanded grout, so mixing it is easier.  No bleed-through of wood tannins.

Negative:  My best mixture to date was made with Plaster of Paris. I made a mixture back in August using latex Glidden (blue label) paint in a satin finish. I had leftover and stored the mixture in my basement. Six months later, I opened it up and it was still creamy and easy to stir.  I used it to transform this desk organizer for my sister.  So it may or may not harden, but I like the coverage it gives for the price, so I would use it again.  Maybe the satin finish or brand of paint I used has something to do with it.

Johnson Paste Wax used with Chalk Paint

 Calcium Carbonate Powder:

Plus:  Very fine powder that mixes well with water and then into paint. Less lumps than when using non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris.   Does not harden after mixing.   All natural.  This produces the smoothest mix. It has become my favorite recipe to use.

Negative: The only negative I found using the Calcium Carbonate is that there was the tiniest bit of bleed-through of the wood tannins.  I applied this to the back of the file cabinet in my studioffice and the color changed. Not so on the front where I used the non-sanded grout recipe.


Robert from Vintage Finds is a wealth of knowledge on all things chalk paint and told me to try using Lime (the kind you use on a lawn and garden) to make my own chalk paint where the mixture won’t harden.  I looked high and low for a powered form, but could only find granular types. So if you know where to find fine powered Lime, let me know as I would like to try it.

Update on using Lime: 

Garden Lime is really just calcium carbonate and is not caustic – “quicklime” (calcium oxide) and “hydrated lime” (calcium hydroxide) are caustic. “Lime” is a just term for any calcium containing inorganic materials.

Other ingredients I have heard of using:  Baking soda and Diatomaceous Earth. I have not tired either of these, but plan to experiment with them soon.

My Conclusion:

If you don’t like to mix and measure than you can’t go wrong with Annie Sloan or Ce Ce Caldwell Chalk Paints. They each run about $32 – $35 a quart.  The only downside of either of these is that they are a bit pricy and only have limited colors. The colors they do carry are beautiful.

If cost is a factor, but you are not on a super tight budget and want to make your own color– try Websters – a $13.95 bag will make one quart of chalk paint.  Costwise you do need to buy a quart of paint so that will add to your total cost.  The big benefit of mixing it yourself – you can mix only the amount needed.   No leftovers to waste or dry out in a can.

If you want budget DIY – try the Calcium Carbonate, Non Sanded Grout, or Plaster of Paris. As I stated above  – I have had success with all of them. I first started out using the non-sanded grout. If I had not known about the other recipes,  I would be happy just to use that as the pieces I have painted with it came out beautifully.

Which is the best?  They each have their merits. I like the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best, then the Plaster of Paris.   I think I would use non-sanded grout on old beat up pieces that you don’t want to sand or do any priming to beforehand.    The other versions – even the brand names, can all have wood tannins seep through the paint. Very old furniture usually has a lot of wood tannins in it.

The Plaster of Paris is smoother than the grout and provides better coverage on older wood or shiny finishes than the Calcium Carbonate Powder. Maybe I will try a mix the Plaster of Paris with the Calcium Carbonate Powder  the next time I make a batch to see  if it covers well and produces a super hard finish.  I see more experimenting with DIY chalk paint recipes in my future.

DIY Chalk Paint FAQ’s

I want to try making my own chalk paint, but I am afraid it won’t come out right.

Painting is easy. It is the mixing and waxing that seems to scare most people away from trying DIY chalk paint.    Mix the water and powder together first, then add to the paint and mix it very well.  You can use an electric beater to mix it well. I make mine in plastic coffee cans with lids so I can store the leftover mixture for future use.     The consistency should be smooth – not too watery or you will lose the effectiveness.

I want to paint a large piece of furniture. Can I double or triple the recipe?

Yes – you can double, triple or even quadruple the recipes.  Mix a bit of the powder/water mixture into the paint a little bit at a time so you don’t get a big clump to break apart.  Add a little bit of water until it is smooth enough to paint with. Mix it well.  Some of my mixtures have been thicker than others, but when you use a good bristle brush (anything Purdy) it will help you spread it evenly.

I have small children –I need a durable finish. Will it hold up to lots of wear and tear?

After the paint and wax have cured (a few weeks), I have found the finish more durable than latex.    If you see a spot that looks like it could use more protection – just add another layer of wax over it and buff when dry.

No priming  or sanding needed ?  I know you have read that Chalk Paint can be painted over anything with no priming or sanding needed.  This is not always the case.  Very shiny surfaces or old wood that has a stain on it will sometimes need to be primed with a clear shellac.  To get the best results, it is  best to clean the piece well first to remove the dirt and grime. Let it dry before painting it.

I think every piece, no matter what the previous finish is, will benefit from a little going over with sandpaper.  It will only help with adhesion and doesn’t take long. A simple sanding block with fine to medium grit sandpaper will do the job.  Make sure to clean all the sanding dust off with a tack cloth before you start painting.  To get a nice smooth finish – run the sanding block or fine steel wool over a dried coat before applying the next. Go over with a tack cloth again and then apply the next coat.

Why do you wax? Can I use polyurethane?

Yes, you can use polyurethane, but I think it takes away the patina of the piece when you do. I highly suggest using the wax – clear or dark whatever your preference.    The only place I would use poly maybe, is on a kitchen table that gets lots of wear.   Even here – wax has its benefits as you won’t get water rings from glasses on the wax like you can on a polyurethane finish. With the soft paste wax, the rings evaporate or can be easily removed with a simple buffing.  If you want to use poly –make sure it is a non-yellowing one. Polycrylic is a good brand.  Ce Ce Caldwell’s and Annie Sloan both sell one.

What is so great about using chalk paint over regular paint? If you are mixing it into latex anyway– why bother?  Isn’t it still just latex paint? 

It is latex paint, but one with a porous bonding agent added.     I would never use chalk paint to paint walls, trim, and the doors in my home.  But I will always consider using it on furniture from now on. It gives painted pieces a more professional factory look. Smooth and glossy – not rubbery feeling like a latex finish provides.  The wax and the way it absorbs into the paint – looks beautiful and adds a rich patina even to modern pieces that are not distressed.   The Plaster of Paris,  Calcium Carbonate, or non-sanded grout, act as a bonding agent, but also give the latex paint a more porous feel when dry that accepts the wax.  You can wax over regular latex paint, but it will not look or have the same smoothness that chalk paint will when waxed.

Do you use a cloth or brush to wax?

I use old well worn t-shirts or flannel shirts to apply and buff the wax. Don’t use new unwashed t-shirts or you may end up with lots of lint on your piece.  Recently I painted a piece with lots of nooks and crannies. I used a small paint brush to get into and remove wax in those areas. I would like to try a waxing brush, but to be honest – the t-shirts work fine for me.

What is the difference between clear and dark wax?

Clear or light wax adds protection and shine.  Dark wax adds protection and shine, but also darkens and changes the color of the paint.  If you are new to painting with chalk paint, experiment first on a few pieces of scrap wood or small items from the thrift shop.  Once the paint is dry on your sample boards or piece – try using different waxes – clear, dark, colored, or even glaze  on different parts of the piece.

When applying wax – thin coats are better.  Let the wax dry, then buff with a soft cloth.  When using dark or colored wax – you need to apply it over a just applied coat of clear wax. This allows you to have more control over where the dark wax goes.   I have tried this technique with a sample of Ce Ce Caldwell’s dark wax that I was given to try out from Vintage Finds.   You need to experiment to find what look you like best for your painted pieces.  Keep experimenting until you like what you see.  Experimenting will allow you to get the process down so that when you want to do a larger or a prominent piece in your home, you know exactly what to do to achieve the look you desire.

Note:  You can add artist’s oil paints that they sell in crafts stores to the wax to make your own colored wax. The wax has to be warmed up to mix well.  Place it in a warm room so it softens a bit and then add the color.  DO NOT mix it over an open flame or stove as it can catch fire!


What wax should I use?

I have only used 3 brands of wax so far.   Minwax, SC Johnson, and Fiddes & Sons.  I would not recommend Minwax ($10.00). only because it had an orange cast to it. It did change the color of white paint on the piece I painted.  If I could find it in clear – I would use it again.  I have used Johnson (clear) the most and am quite content using it. I love the finish and patina it provides.  On the plus side – it is the least expensive – $7.00. On the negative side– it smells. I use an old t-shirt to apply it.  After I do, I place it outside so it doesn’t stink up the house.  I go out to get it if I need to apply more wax and then back outside it goes.  I buy it at Lowes in the cleaning product aisle, not in the paint department.

Fiddes & Sons (Light) runs about $18.95.  It still smells, but not nearly as much.  There are other brands to consider, Briwax is one I would like to try.  Annie Sloan and Ce Ce Caldwell’s each sell their own brand of wax. They run about $25.00 -$27. 00 a can. They have both clear and dark wax.

I only use clear wax and don’t use the dark wax. This just my preference, as I like my pieces lighter in color. When I do want to tone down the finished color, I use Valspar Antiquing Glaze, that I buy at Lowes, over the paint before adding any wax to the piece.  I feel I have more control over where the color is going to go. If I don’t like it, I can simply wipe the glaze away with a damp rag and start again.  Once I like the darkened color, I apply my clear wax finish.

Valspar Antiquing Glaze

Click to see the first post I did where I tested Annie Sloan Chalk paint with homemade chalk paint recipes using  non sanded grout and Plaster of Paris —-> Annie Sloan Chalk Paint with the DIY versions using Non-Sanded Grout and Plaster of Paris.

***Update:  I have experimented even more with ingredients. Check out this post on mixing Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate Powder together in one mix.



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{ 389 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vickis February 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for such an in depth helpful article Diane!
You really covered all the bases, thank you!


2 Jan Bergseth February 20, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Thanks Diane for sharing your knowledge and testing results-that’s awesome. My question is about the hardened paint you sometimes get with the non sanded grout recipe. Are you able to salvage the paint by adding more water? Or is it ruined?
I am trying an experiment with ASCP and the Benjamin Moore tinted chalkboard paint. I’ve painted 1/2 of each onto a cupboard door sample. They both went on well. I will try waxing them and see what happens. This is my first attempt with chalk paint of any kind. Any suggestions of what to watch for to determine if the BM paint works?


3 Diane Henkler February 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

Hi Jan -
Love to hear that you are experimenting – that is the best way to see what works for you. You can add some more water to to help the paint that has hardened, but it may not help. I wish I could tell you why it hardens sometimes and other times it does not. I am assuming it could be the brand of paint that mixes with the grout, but is most likely the fact that grout and plaster are supposed to harden when mixed with water. I would use the Calcium Carbonate – that does not harden. As far as the BM chalkboard paint. Since it is a name brand – it will probably adhere well. That is what I would look for – good adhesion that does not chip off or can be scraped off with a finger nail. Let it cure before deciding as it can take up to 3 weeks to cure. Once cured rub your fingers over it and your finger nail. You also want to make sure that there is no previous color/wood tannin seeping through the paint. If that happens – you will need to seal it first with clear shellac. If the paint does not come off – you have good adhesion. When waxing – depending on how porous the paint is – you may need to add more than one coat to get the protection and shine you want.


4 Jan February 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Diane. You’re the DIY chalk paint guru! Love reading other posts and seeing what other’s are trying and experimenting with. I will let you know how my BM paint holds up.


5 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi Jan – I look forward to hearing about it.


6 Marilyn Parigian February 21, 2013 at 12:19 am

What a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much for taking the time to document your experiments. Recently bought a sample jar of “Duck Egg” Annie Sloan paint and plan to use it on a frame. Thanks to your great instructions, I will definitely try the grout formula. Also follow and enjoy your Pinterest files.


7 Mandy February 21, 2013 at 12:21 am

Thank you Diane for doing this! Awesome information.


8 Chris February 21, 2013 at 6:09 am

I have wanted to try chalk paint for a while. There are so many options and I had no odds where to begin. Thanks for all of this great info Diane. :)


9 Laurie@Laurie's Little Bits of Creativity, etc. February 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

Thank you for the information. I have found it be very helpful. I have made my own using plaster of paris and have been pleased with the results. I would like to try Annie Sloan, but the price does make me tremble a little. :) I also use Johnson wax and you are right……….it certainly does smell!


10 Marsha Milstock February 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

Hi Diane
I have some questions concerning 1) if I can use chalk paint on a fiber board bathroom cabinet?
2) the inside of the cabinet, the paint has cracked, and come off of the fiber boards in some places, so the fibers have expanded. I am not sure as to what I can or can not do. Or if I can do anything at all at this point for the inside.
Would it be a different treatment, perhaps using spray paint.
What would you suggest I do for the expanded fiber?
I really love the look of this cabinet.
I unfortunately did not realize that it was made of such cheap material. But now I am a bit wiser.
I really dislike throwing things out, I prefer to fix them if I can.
Thank you for your emails, I love your wealth of knowledge.
I so wish we were neighbors, and thus friends, I think we would have so much fun together. If you are ever visiting Montreal I would like you to come stay with us.


11 Diane Henkler February 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

Hi Marsha – you can use chalk paint over fiber board. For the inside, I would use sandpaper to sand the areas that have peeled and chipped a bit to smooth them out as best you can. It may be impossible to get them flat, but it will help with the next step. I would apply Spackle or joint compound over the areas that have expanded with a putty or Spackle knife. Let it dry and then sand again. Repeat the process if necessary to cover the exposed wood. It may not be perfect, but since it is on the inside of the cabinet – it doesn’t matter as much. You can also seal exposed fiber board by painting over it with watered down wood glue. You would still need to sand it a bit to try to smooth it out first, then apply the wood glue over it. Since the cabinet is made of Mdf – I would lightly sand over the entire surface to rough up the smooth surface a bit. One or two light coats of chalk paint and then the wax – I think your cabinet will look amazing.


12 Denise Cerro February 21, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Diane…
After reading your first tutorial on DYI chalk paints I make my own with plaster of paris almost exclusively…I love it! I mix 1 part water, 2 parts plaster of paris, 3 parts latex paint…love it! I do love and adore Annie Sloan’s (over CeCe Caldwell) and would use that more if it weren’t so pricy. But I do have to say…Annie Sloan soft waxes are the best, I don’t scrimp there! Low smell factor and you can mix in chalk paint colors to tint your wax (not oil paints). At $25. a can it does last a long time and worth the cost…and there is no problem painting over it…unlike Briwax which is impossible to paint over.
Thank you for your detailed and informative post…Denise


13 Kathy February 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

Diane, Thank you for this wonderful review of chalk paint options. To date, I have only used Annie Sloan, but I love it. I’ve done the apron and legs of my farm table, the apron and legs of my kid’s size farm table and the base of a china hutch that we are converting into a wine bar. I tend to like a more rustic look, so have opted to use both the clear and dark wax and, in some instances, some pretty heavy distressing. But I have a question that I hope you can answer: I tried a sample of the white ASCP on the drawer of a cabinet, to compare the look to the latex paint I have traditionally used. The paint crackled, much like it would have had I used a crackle medium. Any clue as to why this may have happened?


14 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Hi Kathy – Sounds like you have been a busy painter. The most likely cause for a paint finish to crack the way you explain is probably because the surface was too glossy, or had some dirt or grease on it and the paint had nothing to grab on to. What you should do is sand it as smooth as you can and wash the surface with TSP. It will clean and prep the surface for painting. Re-apply the paint and let it dry. If it happens after you do this, then maybe it was the paint and it was not stirred enough and the bonding ingredients in the paint had settled to the bottom. Give it a good stir before using it.


15 Kathy March 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

Thank you for your suggestions. I will try them and see what happens.


16 kelly thompson February 21, 2013 at 9:48 am

thanks – this was good to see


17 Frani February 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

Hi Diane,
Enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for all the wonderful information you share with us.
My Farm Supply Store carries fine powdered lime in 2, 5 and 10 pound bags. You probably can find it where you live at any farming supply store. I find lots of fun things to play with there.


18 Frani February 21, 2013 at 10:01 am

Will you please share how much lime to use? Do you just substutite lime for calcium carbonate? TYA


19 Diane Henkler February 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hi Frani -

I am not sure, but will find out. If you have lime already – I think I would follow the Plaster recipe. Mix of 1 part water, 1 to 2 parts lime, 3 parts latex paint.


20 Vanessa February 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi, Diane

I so love this post. Thank you for doing the leg work and sharing. By the way, do you use a tee-shirt or a cheese cloth to apply the glaze over your piece? I see on your last pic it looks like a cheese cloth and I just wanted to know if it would be easier to use when applying a glaze. Thank you.


21 Diane Henkler February 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

Hi Vanessa – I use both. Sometimes it comes down to what I have on hand or easier to reach. I do like the t-shirts better. Old flannel shirts are the best, but I don’t have as many of them that I can make into rags.


22 Vanessa February 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thank you Diane! By the way, I have never seen the Johnson wax, where did you buy it at?

Thanks again.


23 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

HI Vanessa – I get it at Lowes or Home Depot. I think it is sold in the cleaning aisle. If not there – in the paint aisle with the wood stains. I also have seen it in the supermarket.


24 Linda March 25, 2013 at 12:47 am

I could not find Johnson’s wax locally so I ordered it from Amazon. By the way, I like the smell. It is strong but the memories of my mom and home are stronger! She waxed our wood floors every week along as she was able. :) Enjoying my first visit to your blog.

25 Runt February 21, 2013 at 10:49 am

Wow thanks for this article! I have yet to try any DIY chalk paint recipes but I’ve been thinking about it and this post really helped me out. I do have a question though – when you say that sometimes the paint will dry out or harden, do you mean the left over paint will do that so that you can’t use it again or are you talking about the paint that you put on the furniture?


26 Diane Henkler February 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hi Runt – Sometimes it hardens when you just start to mix it. It has only happened to me a few times. I find it happens with Valspar paint almost every time. It may not happen, but it might when using non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris. If I am doing a small piece and it happens – you can still use it. It is a little harder to brush on, but once dry you will have great coverage. Go over with some fine sandpaper, then your wax – instant patina :) If you don’t want to risk losing any paint – use the Calcium Carbonate.


27 charisse andrews February 21, 2013 at 11:35 am

Hi Diane,
Thank you for such a terrific article! My only question, and I hope I didn’t miss the answer, but which latex do you suggest….flat, satin, semi, etc., or does it matter since you will be putting wax over it buffing to a sheen? thanks again!


28 Sheryll & Critters. February 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

I have this question also Diane, what is your favorite of the latex paint finishes?

And thank you so much for giving us so much of your valuable information and expertise.


29 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hi Sheryll – I like to use satin. It is rich, but not too flat or too shiny. Just right.


30 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hi Charisse – You can use any finish of paint, it doesn’t matter. Once the grout, plaster, or calcium carbonate is added it will flatten the finish. The best mixture I ever made was with satin. Many use whatever Ooops paint they can find and are happy with the results. So whatever you have will work.


31 Kristina B February 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Excellent article! Thanks so much for writing this!!!


32 Carla February 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I want to try chalk paint one day.
Thanks for sharing


33 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

HI Carla – If you have painted furniture and like the look – you are going to love the finish chalk paint and wax provide. I have painted furniture for myself and others with latex and glazes for years and have always liked the results, but chalk paint and the wax take a piece to another better level. I just love it!


34 Jackie February 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hi Diane,
I enjoyed this post on chalk paint. I’ve only used plaster of paris and really like it. I wanted to comment on using powdered lime for chalk paint. You must use a lot of caution with it. You must use a dust mask or other protection for your lungs. This lime powder was used years ago to mix with water and paint on tree trunks, I think to protect them as well as make them attractive (at least to some people :) ) When my husband was a teen, he mixed and painted lime powder paint on his grandparents oak trees one day. That night he became very sick with a temp. of 107 degrees and was delirious. He had to be hospitalized and packed with ice packs. The doctors think he ingested the lime powder into his lungs and caused the respiratory problem and high temp. Just wanted you to know and to be careful with it if you decide to try it. Humm….I wonder if this is why you can’t find it in powder form any more?


35 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Hi Jackie – Thank you so much for bringing this up. I truly appreciate it. I will update my post to include the caution when using it information. Another reader told me you can buy lime at Walmart where they sell canning supplies. Pickling lime – probably not as caustic. I plan to check it out. I know the Calcium Carbonate is probably the best ingredient to use since it is all natural. Thanks again for sharing what you know.


36 Cathy February 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Great post! Simple, concise and right to the point!
Can’t wait for update number 2.


37 Yvonne @ StoneGable February 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Diane, this is an absolutely fabulous post! Like an instruction book! What a resource. I have never used anything else but ASCP… I think I’ll try to make my own now.
Thanks so much for this GREAT GREAT post!


38 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

Thanks Yvonne – did you get the email I sent you earlier this week?


39 Mary February 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I am so impressed with all of your hard work researching this and making it so user friendly! I have yet to try chalk paint but am trying to psyche myself up to paint my 80′s china cabinet. Maybe you could do a follow up one on choosing colors for some of us timid folks!


40 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

Hi Mary – If you are a bit hesitant about starting here is what you should do to gain confidence to tackle the big piece. Look around your house for something old that could be transformed with paint. If you don’t have anything – buy an old cutting board or frame at your local thrift shop, or even a piece of lumber. Buy or make up a batch of chalk paint in a favorite color and paint and wax the piece. Once it is done, place it on the china cabinet to better visualize how the color may look on the piece and in the room. If you like it, paint a bigger piece of lumber in the color and place it near the cabinet. You could even simply make a sample board of the color, but by actually painting on wood – you get a better feel how the chalk paint will look. Tiny baby steps will get you to your goal. Don’t be afraid. I wrote a few posts for Mycolortopia on how to choose colors. They may help you out. You can find them here: and


41 Ava Miller February 22, 2013 at 4:10 am

AWESOME! Everything what I was expecting to hear. Now I have all the right reason to spend this coming weekend with a blast! Thanks for sharing and I really meant it wholeheartedly…


42 Peggy February 22, 2013 at 11:13 am


I wanted to say thank you for this review as well as your previous one. I have to admit I am one of those folks who loves CeCe’s paint due to the matte finish. Do I have ASCP in my collection? Most definitely! CeCe’s waxes are by far the least caustic and are great for someone who deals with asthma. As for lime…. it can be purchased at Walmart with the canning supplies. Look for pickling lime. If you have any Amish or Mennonite bulk stores nearby you can pick it up fairly inexpensive. I had planned on making French Macarons today (my birthday present to myself) but the weather is not cooperating so it looks like a wonderful day to try out some new paint recipes!! Once again thank you!!


43 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

Peggy – Thank you for the information on where to get Lime. I would have never known to look there. I plan on going to Walmart later this afternoon and will look for it. Mararons sound yummy, darn the weather ;) Paint recipes are just as yummy to look at at least and when they transform our furniture in such beautiful ways!


44 Kim @ Sand & Sisal February 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Wonderful post Diane! You really covered all the questions I had! Thank you for taking the time to not only compare & contrast but to put into such a useful post. I pinned it too.


45 Diane Henkler February 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thanks Kim – I enjoyed doing it. I wish science class back in high school was as much fun :) I really like the finish chalk paint provides and the way the wax brings out the depth in every piece. Thanks for pinning XO


46 irene g February 23, 2013 at 2:56 am

Thank you Diane for the fantastic article and all the information on using these paints. You answered many of my questions. I have been wanting to paint some pieces of furniture I have- but was overwhelmed with the choices. Now I fell I can make an educated choice on which paint to use.


47 Johanna February 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Wow–thank you for this (and the other one). You are always a huge wealth of knowledge AND inspiration!! Have you used the chalk paint on fake wood/veneer (think cheap-o Walmart bookcases). Would LOVE to paint over some of these—think that surface needs primer?


48 Diane Henkler February 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Hi Johanna -
You can paint over those surfaces. Chalk paint works well on the cheap-O stuff and once it is waxed and buffed it will not look so cheap-o anymore. I would run some medium grit sandpaper lightly over the surface a few times before painting just to be sure the paint has something to adhere to. If it is very shiny surface you can put Zinseer Clear Shellac over the piece first – then the chalk paint. You don’t want to use white or grey primer if you are planning to distress the piece with sandpaper. Only if the paint is white or grey. Once you sand, the primer color coat will be exposed and change the look of our piece. If you are using paint the same color as the primer – then that is OK.


49 Buckeye Peach April 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Diane,
I have two of these dark cherry cheapo bookcases, plus a matching 72″x72″ entertainment center. I definitely want to paint the bookcases, and primed one with white oil based Zinsser because I had planned to paint them white. Now I want to do them in chalk paint, but wonder if it’s too late because I already primed the one. Not sure I want them white now either. Would I be able to do chalk paint over the primer, possibly in a color, like light turquoise, and then maybe glaze it, too? I’m also assuming you can’t paint those cardboard backs! I’m pretty new to this, as you can tell! Thanks…


50 Diane Henkler April 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Paula – you can paint ANYTHING! The only problem that you could run into with the primer on the bookcase is if you paint it another color and want to distress the edges. When you distress to see the wood underneath – you will see the white primer layer under the color. IF you paint it white – no problem. If you are not planning to distress it – use chalk paint right over it. Primer is a good thing even with chalk paint. You can glaze with no problem over regular latex paint or chalk paint.

The cardboard backdrops can be painted. Use a primer first, then a coat or two of paint. Make sure if they are stapled or nailed into the back of the bookcases that they are flat and secure in place before painting. If they are not held in – the wet paint could warp them. If you don’t want to paint them – you could cover them with new backdrops. See my post on how I made decorative ones in bookcases I have. You can find the post here:


51 Mona B. February 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Oh, Thank-You for answering my questions and writing such an excellent in-depth blog.


52 Monique February 26, 2013 at 1:55 am

I read your other chalk paint review first (I found it on a google search for chalk painting – it was how I found your blog!), so when I saw this post in which you updated your chalk paint review, I was thrilled. You make chalk paint “make sense” to me and why so many people like it other than you don’t have to prime (or sand). I am new to painting furniture, and being an ex-academic, I do lots of research before I do anything. I felt comfortable with brush-on latex, spray-painting, and now chalk-painting. I did not realize that painters who liked to antique their furniture by sanding after painting would get frustrated by latex paint because it would curl. It makes sens now – because I was not sure I wanted to antique my painted furniture. But now I have the option.

I am so glad I found your website. It’s fabulous and I have put several of your posts into my Evernote to refer to later when I paint! And I will definitely refer your blog to others!



53 Amy G. February 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I have a question about the wax. I searched for sc johnson at my local home improvment stores and had no luck. I only found minwax. I tried the minwax but it dosen’t seem to do much. Do I need to keep layering it? With the first application I couldn’t see a change. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the minwax brand or if it was because I’m doing something wrong. Thanks for your help!


54 Diane Henkler February 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Amy – Minwax will work, I have used it on two different pieces, but it is not my favorite. You may need to add more layers. Add a thin layer of wax all around in a circular motion. Let dry a bit and then buff. Buffing will bring out the shine. If it isn’t happening – add another layer of wax and repeat. Once you have two or three layers and you have buffed it well you should see a shine, it may be subtle, but you will start to see the difference. Every mixture of the paint will absorb the wax differently. Some pieces will take more, some less wax. I hope this helps – just keep adding more wax and buff – you will be rewarded. I hope this helps. You are not doing anything wrong.


55 Betsy March 1, 2013 at 8:45 am

Thank you for taking the time to do all the research and post the helpful information. I would like to send you a photo of a table I saw in a retail furniture store. I have an antique table that someone ruined the finish and I need to redo it and sell it. I liked the look of the new store table made to look old. I am wondering I’d the furniture company used a chalk paint and then a poly finish. I could write the furniture co but not sure that they would tell there secrets.
May I send the 2 photos to you and where do I send?
Thank you so much for your research.
Betsy Cadenhead


56 Jeni March 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Thank you so much! I had all these questions and you cleared them up perfectly!


57 Allison Jordan March 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Hey there!
I had a whole lot to say and then my PC locked up (a message from above to keep it brief, perhaps?), so here’s the short version – thank you for this amazing post on chalk paint and for being so very smart and organized. I have learned so very much!


58 Diane Henkler March 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Hi Allison – thanks for taking the time to say hi. I know first hand how frustrating a locked or frozen computer can be. Mine was acting crazy about two weeks ago. It took me a few days to figure out the problem with the help from the help desk at Dell :) I hope yours gets happy again soon.


59 Mary Parker March 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I bought a beautiful old coffee table with lots of carvings on the legs, it is dark wood. Which chalk paint recipe would u recommend I use for my first piece. Also can I roll it on the top, I don’t like brush marks. Will it roll on smoothly and since it is dark wood and I am doing it in a lighter color do I just sand lightly to get the dark antique look on the carvings on the legs after painting it? Can I paint it with 2 coats?


60 Diane Henkler March 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

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


61 Lenora March 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I can’t wait to try this paint recipe! I love chalk and milk paint finishes, and am hoping to use one of these on an antique armoire. If you get a chance, TRY THE BRIWAX! I’ve used it for years on antiques, raw wood, and milk-based paints, and it is gorgeous. It is very soft and easier to apply than the Johnson’s paste wax (though I like Johnson’s just fine), and buffs up just beautifully. BRIWAX is by far my favorite wax on the market, though a bit pricey at somewhere between $14 and $18. Worth every penny!


62 Mary Parker March 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Where do u get briwax? Will chalk paint stain well. I was thinking of using chalk paint and buying wood stain like minwax to put over it but I don’t know if it will soak in the paint and will I be able to move it around and leave most of it in the crevises for the antique look


63 Diane Henkler March 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Hi Mary-
I have not used Briwax yet, but it is going to be my next wax purchase. If you can’t find it in your area – you can order it through I have read that you can add colorant to clear wax to create your own colored waxes – stain might work fine when mixed into clear wax (Briwax, Johnsons) to make your own dark wax. I would test it out first right on top of the chalk paint to see how it absorbs.

I use Antique stain made by Valpar that I buy at Lowes to add color to the cracks and crevices of the pieces I have done. It is a bit thicker than the Minwax stains sold in the can. I wipe it on top of the dry chalk paint coat and move it around and wipe most of it off. It darkens the paint a bit and stays in all the crevices. It has a runny gel consistency to it, it is not watery like wood stain. Minwax sells gel stains now, so you might want to try one of them. They come in white tubes.

You can also use Dark Wax. Annie Sloan, Ce Ce Caldwells, and Fiddes & Sons all sell dark wax, as well as clear wax. You would apply dark wax over a coat of clear wax to create the look you are after.


64 Diane Henkler March 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Hi Lenora – I am going to buy a can of Briwax soon. I have never used it and am looking forward to it as I have heard many good things. Thanks for sharing how well it works. Even at $14 – $18 dollars it is still less expensive than the chalk paint brands.


65 Sharon @ Parents of a Dozen March 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Great post! I was wondering if you wanted to change the color of something painted and waxed this way sometime, would you be able to paint over the wax or what would have to be done first?


66 Diane Henkler March 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Hi Sharon – I have never done it, but on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint site, it mentions that you can paint right over the wax as the paint will stick to anything. I would still go over the surface with a light sanding and clean it well, before painting over with another color of chalk paint.


67 Jen March 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I too would like to thank you! We’ve been chalk painting with homemade recipes for a while, and are always bummed out at the paint hardening up on us. Excited to give the cc a try.


68 Kat Wynveen March 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Very helpful post. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and will be back for more! I’ve used DIY chalk paint for months and love it. Both the Webster’s and calcium carbonate versions work well for me. I’ve also used paste shoe polish to “age” some of my pieces before waxing and have mixed acrylic metallic artist’s paints into my paints to achieve a more shimmery look.


69 Mary March 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Another question, my daughter had a lady paint a large piece of furniture for her, it is beautiful but looks rather dull and the finish is not real smooth like I would like. I am thinking about doing a bed but would like more shine and a smoother finish. Could I use gloss paint with plaster of paris for more shine and then go over with a non yellowing polyurethane?


70 Diane Henkler March 24, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Hi Mary -
I have never used high gloss paint to make chalk paint – only flat, stain, and semi-gloss. When you mix in the Chalk component – Calcium Carbonate Powder, Plaster of Paris, etc the paint will become chalk like and flat. The high gloss finish will be lost. The best way to get a shine on chalk paint is using the clear wax or a Gloss non-yellowing poly. Don’t use a Satin finish poly. If you use wax, when it is buffed, it comes up to a high gloss shine. The more you buff and more shine.


71 Sally March 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

I recently painted and waxed a beautiful old bookcase with Annie Sloane paint and wax. I really don’t like the color. Can I paint over this waxed piece or do I have to sand it. I can’t find this mentioned anywhere. Surely somebody has changed their mind and wants to repaint. Thanks for any information.


72 Diane Henkler March 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hi Sally -

I have not painted over any of my pieces, but according to the Annie Sloan web site – you can paint right over the wax as chalk paint will stick to anything. To help with adhesion, it is always good to at least run a sanding block over the surface to rough it up a bit – a few minutes will do. Clean it off and then repaint. The only negative by not sanding it down is that you will have more paint layers. This might effect how a cabinet door closes. One other thing to consider is that if you are going to distress the piece with sandpaper after you apply the new color, the first color will show up in the areas that are distressed. It may not be the look you are after seeing both colors.


73 Donna March 28, 2013 at 12:06 am

Have you tried Plaster Paint? I heard its awesome less expensive chalk paint with lots of colors. What about FAT paint brand?


74 Diane Henkler March 28, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Donna –
Yes, I have used Plaster of Paris. I wrote about it in the first chalk paint review I did. You can find it here:

I have tried quite a few of the DIY recipes. They all work well, The non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris can harden if you make a big batch. I use them when making a small batch for small items. I like using the Plaster of Paris or the Calcium Carbonate Powder when painting large pieces.

I haven’t tried FAT paint. Will have to look that one up.


75 Jill Farrell April 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Hi Diane,

I made up some chalk paint with POP bit gritty ( probably my , hubby is going to get a paddle for his drill !!) anyway I did have to put three coats on a table Im doing. The reason for the third coat was because I used a varnish and it actually took some off the paint off. I have a Fiddes hard wax oil that I used on a jewelery box that I had chalk painted and that worked pretty well ( Like a varnish )
I also used the Varnish on a plaque and that was not too bad. I went to find some wax today and almost picked up some that was £14 but i put it back and decided to see if my local shop had some Briwax and they did and it was cheaper!! £9.99. So my plans when the weather gets a bit better is to wax the table with the briwax so will let you know how it goes. I had been googling about using Briwax on chalk painted items
and had not found much except one saying dont use it on painted things.
Im so pleased to have found your blog as its been so helpful to me and given me the confidence to do this new hobby… I LOVE it.
Cant wait to get my table finished as I plan to do a possible transfer on it but see how things go with the wax.


76 Tenille April 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for this information! You answered soooo many of my questions and I am now excited to try homemade chalk paint.


77 Jenni April 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

If a wax finish is applied, how does one repaint later? Does the wax have to be stripped? If so, this could be an argument for the waterborne urethane. Please advise, and thanks in advance.


78 Diane Henkler April 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi Jenni -

If you are using chalk paint again – you can just paint right over the wax. If you are going to use a latex, I would sand the finish to rough it up a bit or use a clear shellac over it before painting again. Water based urethane or poly works well and can be used in place of the wax. Repainting even over poly you would still need to rough up the poly with sandpaper before painting – so it is work either way :) Maybe someday some wonderful company will come up with a magic formula that will allow us paint over anything without any prep of any kind.


79 Fanny April 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Hi, thanks so much for this tutorial. I wen to the health food store to get the calcium carbonate and was given Dolomite instead for free because it was expired! It says that it is Calcium as calcium carbonate from Dolomite powder. I hope it is ok. Anyway I tried it and it leaves a pretty sandy finish on the first coat. Does it get smoother on the second coat with the calcium carbonate? Also, I like your idea of using the Valspar Antiquing glaze, but I am curious of it will be hard to wipe off of the flat finish if you use too much. I already have an amber wax from Maison Blanche, but it is almost clear so I thought I would use that over the dark glaze at the end. I have been researching endlessly online and just want to make sure I am doing it right! Thanks for your help.


80 Diane Henkler April 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Fanny –
I am not sure if Dolamite has the same properties as Calcium Carbonate Powder or not. I did a Google search to see if I could find out any info. All I could find was that 95% of companies call it Dolamite Powder so it may be the same. It should not be sandy at all. The calcium carbonate powder I used is super fine and mixed up very smooth so there could be a difference between the two. I would lightly sand the surface in between coats and use a tack cloth to clean the surface before adding the next coat. This will ensure you get a smooth finish.

If you add too much of the dark Valspar glaze, you can quickly wipe it off with a wet rag and reapply it. On a few items, I like how it looked after I wiped it with the wet rag. Every piece will take the glaze differently. Can you test it out first on a small area on the back first to see how it goes on? You could also mix a little bit of it into clear wax and then apply them as one. If you really want to control the color. You should first use a light layer of clear wax, then add the dark wax after it.


81 Fanny April 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Thanks Diane! I am going to go get the actual calcium carbonate instead and see if it makes a difference. I like your idea of mixing the glaze with the wax. I will probably try that. I am grateful for your response and all of your information on this site.


82 Lori April 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Thanks for such great details. I’ve been wanting to try this and filling my head with ideas – thank you for putting the execution path in order for me! I think you should work for Consumer Reports “Craft Edition” : )


83 Meg April 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

When you use wax on it, can you paint over that later if you want to change the color?


84 Meg April 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

oops! I see you already answered that question. Thank you!


85 Terri April 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

Can you add colors to any of this paint to change the color? I like the Annie Sloan paint, but it doesnt have enough primary colors that I need. Thanks for your reply !


86 Diane Henkler April 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

Hi Terri – Yes! that is what makes it so great. You can make the paint any color you want. I have made it using many colors. If you follow this link you will see all the projects I have done using DIY Chalk paint using many colors.


87 Mary April 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I have a house full of hardwood floors in various states of finish. Most have very old stain or simply bare wood that has been walked on for 100 years. We want to paint them and a friend suggested Chalk paint. I have two questions. 1) Is it possible to use dark wood tone colors? All the Chalk painted items I have sen were pale or other colors. 2) Will the DIY chalk paints work on a floor as well as Annie Sloan’s?


88 Diane Henkler April 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Mary –

I would not use Chalk paint on a floor unless you are going to seal it with many coats of polyurethane. Chalk paint is thin when applied. It has a very chalky easy to sand finish. It would wear way too fast on a floor. If you wanted an aged looking floor where there is some wood peeking through – you could use it, but you would need at least 2 – 3 coats of polyurethane to protect it. If I was painting a floor, I would only use paint made for floors. Most paint companies make a Porch and Floor enamel. It provides a tough and durable finish. That is what I would suggest you use. It only comes in a handful of colors, but they are pretty common flooring colors, so I think you would find a color you like.

Chalk paint can be made any color you desire – that is one reason to make your own. Brand names only come in certain colors. I have found the DIY versions work exactly the same way as the brand name chalk paints.


89 Mary April 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

My friend is a professional faux painter and uses a clear coat that she says would work over the chalk paint. I don’t know the name of it. I will ask. My floors are not in great shape and the regular paint would require more prep than we can do. Also, we don’t have the ability to take the week or two required off the floors with regular paint. That’s why she suggested chalk paint.


90 Jean April 30, 2013 at 7:05 am

I have learned a huge amount about using chalk paint, as a newcomer to this method of upcycling old stuff I am thrilled. I live in UK but have a house in France where the chalk paint finish is ideal for the style I want to achieve. I brought a can of ASCP from UK but will now have a go at DYI paint. Thank you for your wisdom. Jean


91 patty May 3, 2013 at 12:46 am

I love your comparisons. Ive been making my own chalk paint from Glidden latex paint and plaster of paris. I buy most of my paint at my local hardware store in gallons of mis matched paint. ususally 3 bucks a gallon, I get white blends and grey blends as much as I can. I get quart sized bottles of paint colorant for 3 bucks. I try to get primary colors so I can mix my own colors. I recently bought red iron oxide and brown iron oxide, what wonderful colors they make! One thing I do to make my paint last is use large mason jars . I blend my palster of paris 1/2 cup with 1/2 cup hot water, then take 1 1/2 cups of paint and use a drill end paint mixer, pour the plaster mix in very slowly and mix in a plastic container for about 3 minutes. I use fine mesh and a canning funnel to pour the paint into canning jars and store them. The mesh keeps out any small lumps that were missed through my 3 minute mix process. wash all the equipment afterwards. When I’m ready t0 paint I just pour a bit of the colorant into the amount of paint I need , mix it up and paint away! That way I have no waste. Oh, I use grey paint for the darker colors and white paint for the lighter colors. I do write down the amounts on recipe cards so I can remake the exact color if I need to.


92 Eve May 3, 2013 at 4:47 am

Hi Diane,

Im an avid painter from South Africa where Annie Sloane is NOT available in any shape or form! So I have been so delighted to find your blog and have now for a couple of weeks been using the plaster of paris mix on all my projects. Only one BIG problem. Coloured paints work beautifully. The minute I mix WHITE latex paint with the POP mix… it curdles. I have mixed it with an electric mixer and land up with mousse paint! HELP!!! have you experienced any similar? The consistency is thick and very chalky, completely different to the result I had with grey, blue etc. I have asked the supplier if they could help, but since chalkpaint is not commonly known about here, I have had no joy.
Love your blog btw! so very helpful to us gals the other side of the world!


93 Diane Henkler May 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Eve – Strange that only white does that for you. I have had some mixes bind up, especially when using Valspar paint, but not just white. Is the white latex a latex/primer combo paint? That will always bind. The best thing to do is to try Calcium Carbonate Powder. I have made quite a few mixes with it and none of them became thick. It is sold at health food stores for about $6 for a 12 oz jar. Make sure you get the powder not the tablets. They do sell it on Amazon, too. Not sure if you read it, but I wrote a post about using it here:


94 Eve May 8, 2013 at 4:31 am

Thanks Diane for the advise!
I tried another paint brand, it came out beautifully!
I also bought calcium carbonate powder and love the finish it gave.
Apparently Annie Sloan paints are being released here in the next few months, so I am thrilled to be ahead of the game!! :)

thanks again, will send a pic of the finished piece!


95 Diane Henkler May 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

Great to hear Eve. Love to see photos.


96 Elmarie August 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Hi Eve and Diane

I am also from South Africa and Annie Sloan has been released about a month or two ago. I am so very intrigued with chalk paint and was even happier when I read that there are ways to make your own chalk paint.
I have bought plaster of paris as well as the calcium carbonate. I bought my paint as well, but now I have read that that on some blogs they advised latex paint and then on other blogs they advise paint without acrylic. I bought a polyacrylic paint now which is quite thick. Should I water it down a bit or just mix the calciun carbonate with that as it is? I want to paint a baby cot. The paint is lead free. Also I decided to buy an antique wax to polish and seal it with as well as a liquid wax. Any take on the liquid wax? As I don’t know any of the products you speak about, I have to figure out other substitutes to use. Unfortunitely for us, we cannot order from amason anymore so had to make alternative plans. Annie Sloan also very expensive here and will only buy that in exstreme cases.
I would really appreciate it if you can give some help and advise at what products you use at present, Eve so we can get some ideas of which products to use here in Sa.
Thank you for your blogs, Diane. Much appreciated. Just very enquisative to find out whether you have used the plaster of paris and calsium carbonate together in a mixture as you said you were going to do.
Thank you


97 Deborah W May 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm

OMGSH!!! So informative and SOOOO Helpful Thank-YOU!!!


98 stellans May 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

My husband and I painted our very first chalk paint pieces yesterday: 50-year old end tables passed along to us by my parents when we first married in 1972. They needed the help, lol. Today we rubbed in the wax (2 coats so far) and tomorrow I am going to buff them again. We used ASCP Graphite, but I can’t afford that again – I was so happy to read this post about making my own! Thank you so much for sharing your research.


99 katherine May 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

Would this work on stairs? i have removed old carpet from the stairs in my home and now i’m not sure how i want to cover them. Chalk paint sounds like something i would try but not sure it will be durable enough.


100 Diane Henkler May 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

You could paint anything with chalk paint, it is how you protect it that would matter when using on stairs. Chalk paint alone has a flat finish that would mark up from footprints, etc very fast. You would have to use non-yellowing polyurethane over the paint to protect it. 2- 3 light coats at least to make it durable. Buffed wax on steps would be a safety issue – way too slippery. Chalk paint takes time to cure – up to 30 days until it is durable.

If you want to paint the steps in a basic paint color – I would suggest painting them with Porch & Floor enamel paint that is made for exteriors. This would hold up well and no need to put a protective finish on it – as it already has one built in. The only negative – it only comes in certain colors.


101 maggie May 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

Thank you so much for this comparison post. I have been so tempted to use chalk paint in my d.I.Y projects but have been so confused by all the different receipts for it online. Have you ever tried using baking powder? I’ve seen it in a few places but I don’t sew that you have mentioned it. Just in case you have never herd of it…1 cup latex paint and 1/4 cup baking soda. If you get a chance to test it out please let me know what you think.


102 Diane Henkler May 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

Hi Maggie – I will test it out on my next piece and get back to you. I like Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate the best. They mix up the easiest with no clumping.


103 Lisa May 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hello-I just have a question! I am wanting to paint my kitchen table but I am unsure if chalk paint would be my best option. My table is used for all things.. eating, homework, school and craft projects, etc. My question is, would the chalk paint stand up to all this abuse? I was also considering a stain for the top and the chalk paint for the legs? What about the chairs, do you think it would be a durable option for them? Thanks so much for your advice!


104 Diane Henkler May 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Chalk paint needs to be sealed -either with paste wax or polyurethane. It will hold up the same as latex would, maybe even better. For a highly used table, I would use Polyurethane, not wax. Polycrylic is a good non-yellowing water based one to use. If you want a very durable paint – use a latex enamel paint. You would still need to add a coat or two of polyurethane over it to protect it. Staining the top and painting the legs and chairs would be a great option. My kitchen chairs have been painted many different colors. The paint holds up great if you prepare the surface correctly and use more light coats instead of one heavy one.


105 Linda May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I have an old dresser i bought two years ago and bought annie sloan paint as well. I have done nothing withit so far. It is veneered walnut and has a bit of that lizardy or whatever that dried out texture old furniture gets. Do you think i wold need to sand it all down first? I dont want it to look pebbled because of the finish. Also i read somewhere that the stain might bleed through. When i wiped and cleaned it the stain did come off on the rag.


106 Diane Henkler May 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Hi Linda – I know the type of surface you are talking about. A fireplace mantel I have used to look just the way you describe your dresser. You are going to have to strip it or sand it smooth. It is the only way to get a nice finish when you paint. Once you bring out the bare wood, the tannins may be released, even on old wood. You can try a bit of chalk paint on it once it is sanded. Let it dry and see if it turns a browny orange. If it does, apply one coat of Zinseer Clear Shellac. Let it dry, then use chalk paint. If you are not going to distress the piece, you can use stain blocking primer that is white in color. You would not want to use this if distressing though – as the white color would show when you distress to the bare wood.


107 Rachel May 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hi! I’m thinking of using this on a metal surface where I work so that customers can sign their name or leave comments of some sort, would the metal surface affect the paint at all?


108 Diane Henkler May 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

HI Rachel – Chalk paint works beautifully on metal. It would not affect the paint at all. Sounds like a great idea. :)


109 Kara May 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thank you for this wealth of information on Chalk Paint.
I am going to use a DIY chalk paint in flat black to refinish a desk. I want to stencil a few areas in high glass black. Can you tell me the best way to protect my furniture without adding any shine to the flat chalk paint? I want the black stencil to stand out. =)


110 Diane Henkler May 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Hi Kara – Look for a flatfinish water based polyurethane. I think Zar makes one called Antique flat.


111 Mary May 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I heard you can use chalk paint on a refrigerator and a dishwasher (exterior, of course). Anyone tried that? Do you prime first?


112 Diane Henkler May 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Hi Mary – you can use chalk paint on anything. If your refrigerator is sealed well and does not have any condensation issues appear on the door – the chalk paint will hold up fine. For the dishwasher be sure no steam makes the door hot. If the door gets hot, you may not want to use wax – use Polycrylic. If you are not going to distress the finish – priming is always a good thing. One light coat rolled on would help adhesion. After painting – it may take up to 30 days for the finish to cure, so if you see a section that doesn’t look like it is adhered, it may just take a week or two.


113 Rachel May 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

How well would it stand if it was used outside on the metal surface?
Is there an outside paint base to use?


114 Diane Henkler May 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Hi Rachel – I have not done any exterior painting with chalk paint, but I have read where it works when used outside on doors and outdoor furniture. It never hurts to prepare the surface by going over it with a sanding block so the paint has something to hold on to. Other then sanding, there is nothing to do differently. You would not want to use wax – as it would melt outside from the heat of the sun.


115 Soose June 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm

[I am just beginning to explore chalk paint, but I tried to visit a local store that sells CeCeCaldwell's chalk paint but they seem always closed. So, DIY'er as I am, I almost immediately wondered if I could mix my own. Love your blog, can't wait to explore more, am passing the link to friends, and I truly appreciate you sharing your research with the rest of us DIY's! THANKS!]

First question here — I’m surprised about the advice to not use wax on exterior chalk paints in the sun. After all, we wax our cars and buff them, and those waxed surfaces don’t bleed wax or lose their durability — in fact, the wax is what protects the auto’s paint. Is this wax different? Maybe we should be looking at auto waxes?

Sign me “Clueless — or Curious — About Wax Melting,” lol.


116 Diane Henkler June 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

Hi Soose – The wax they use on cars is different – it is a harder wax with more Carnauba wax in it. The wax used with chalk paint is soft wax. It has more Beeswax in it. Thanks for exploring my site and telling your friends. XO


117 Silvia May 31, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Hi Diane, Thank you so much for sharing your knowledege with us! I was wondering if you have heard of or used Blue Minerals Chalk Powder? I recently discovered it and was on their website and was scared when I read that Plaster of Paris can be toxic and cause cancer. Do you or anyone out there know anything about this? I really appreciate it!


118 Diane Henkler June 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Silvia – I just checked out Blue Minerals. It sounds like the same thing as Websters Chalk Paint Powder – which I think is just Calcium Carbonate Powder. You can find the DIY Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe here: It is the most natural of all the DIY recipes as it is sold at the health food store for bone health. You mix it into water and drink it – so it is not toxic. I have never heard negative things about Plaster of Paris – only Lime. Lime is used in some DIY chalk paint recipes.I tried it and didn’t like it at all. I painted this piece with the Calcium Carbonate Powder:


119 Ciara Mc Carthy June 2, 2013 at 7:49 am

Hi Diane..very interesting blog…thanks for the advice! I am thinking of painting my front door (outside) with chalk paint. I already painted it last year with glossy exterior paint. I find it too shiny so would like something flatter. I will sand it lightly first but Im wondering about what to finish it with so the chalk paint won’t wash/fade away?
Thanks :)


120 Diana June 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Hi Diane

Love your work and tests. They’re very useful, and I’m starting my own chalk paint adventure this weekend :-)

I was wondering though. At the danish retailers website is says, that the “new” Annie Sloan “Old White” is made from a mixture of chalk and gesso, which you can make yourself also.

The gesso are supposively made from a mixture of white glue, Plaster of Paris, or something similar, and ordinary latex or acrylic paint.

Al mixed together, chalk, gesso and paint, should make the “Old White” by Annie Sloan.

Do you have any experience with that kind of mixture as well?

:-) Thank you for your inspirational work.
Diana (Denmark)


121 Diane Henkler June 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi Diana – I have heard of using Gesso in DIY mixes, but I have not tried it myself. One of the main ingredients in Gesso is Calcium Carbonate, so it should work. I think the reason it is not used more here in the states is that Gesso is expensive.


122 Lynne June 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hi, Love your blogs! Such great information on the “How Toos”! I’m hoping to get your input on my project. I recently purchased a 42″ pedestal dining table w/8 chairs that at present are painted black with paint missing, showing a glossy pine finish. Chairs are of pine some painted and some not. I did purchase milk paint powder and the bonding agent at Old Fashioned Milk Paint thinking to use it on the set but then read you blog and thought maybe Chalk would be better. Its such a large project that I want to do it the cheapest way possible. would appreciate you advice as to which is best. I am hoping to paint with a sprayer if possible. Help! Lynne


123 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Hi Lynne – Milk paint and chalk paint are two different types of paint. Milk paint is a bit more transparent and will look chippy after time if you don’t use the bonding agent. Chalk paint is more opaque and has more sticking power even after you distress the finish. I have only used a premix milk paint once, but not the powder type. I would consider what type of finish you want the table and chairs to have – then choose which way to go. Since you already bought the milk paint, I do not see any reason not to use it. It will provide beautiful color. I know you can use both in a sprayer. If you are going to use DIY chalk paint in a sprayer – I would use the Calcium Carbonate recipe as it is the smoothest.


124 Jen June 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Hi Diane
So glad I came across your blog. I tried the plaster of paris mix using cloud white latex on a shelf and a dresser. It looked great until I waxed it. I bough the only wax from the Home Depot – Minwax – and not my piece looks less like cloud white and more like a dull white with a yellow tinge.

Do you think it would be worth lightly sanding and doing one more coat with the chalk paint? And then waxing with the Johnson’s? Or is this common with painting with white chalk paint?


125 Diane Henkler June 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Hi Jen – On the very first piece I ever chalk painted – I used Minwax and had the same problem. It was over white paint. I wrote about what happened in that post and do not use Minwax anymore.

For the cost and ease to find locally- is Johnson’s Clear Paste Wax. It is in a yellow can. You can buy it in the cleaning supply product aisle at Lowes for $5.00. I have never been disappointed with it. It does have a stronger smell, but it works well. I have tried other more expensive clear waxes – Fiddes & Sons and Briwax. They are both very nice waxes. If cost were not a factor – Fiddes and Sons is my favorite, but Johnson’s is my go-to wax.

Your piece will turn out fine. I found the harder I buffed, the orange/yellow tone went away a little bit more, but if it does not you can sand over it and repaint in areas that look yellow. You first might want to try applying a light coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax over it. Try it on a small area. When I did this, it acted like a cleaner in a way – grabbing some of the orange/yellow coat of wax – making it easier to remove the orange/yellow tone. I also rubbed sandpaper (fine to med grit) over the surface to remove the orange tone in the corners and crevices and then painted right over the waxed areas with more chalk paint. When you don’t see anymore yellow tinge – then apply the Johnson’s over it. With a little more work, you will get the look you are after.


126 MK June 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I don’t know why I didn’t see this when you first posted it. SO GLAD for you to do the testing/comparing so I don’t have to! I have loved the ASPC sample pots I have splurged on, but there is no way I can justify that expense on a regular basis. I have used the plaster-of-paris DIY chalk paint with good results on the end product, but I felt that the time I spent sanding between each coat to get rid of the gritty feel might have outweighed the time savings of not needing to sand or prime. For these reasons I was delighted to read recently of the Webster’s product as it was described as smooth/easy to mix AND a big cost savings over other chalk paints. However, the cost per cup that they use seems to be asssuming that you are using $3 sample pots or using up leftover paint you already have on hand (thus “free” paint plus the cost of the Webster’s). When I factor in the price of a moderate-quality quart of paint (at least $15) plus the Webster’s plus the shipping charge, it is really only $5 to $8 less per quart than ASPC. I was really disappointed w/that b/c I had gotten the impression that it was significantly cheaper. So my takeaway is that when I don’t mind spending extra $$ & really need/want convenience & silky smooth texture, I will spring for ASPC. And when trying to save some money, I will just make my own from plaster-of-paris. Saving only $8 per quart is just not enough to motivate me to go to the trouble/expense of ordering the Webster’s online. It is a great idea, and if they can get their production costs down enough to either lower the price or provide a bigger bag for the same price then I would reconsider…..


127 Diane Henkler June 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi MK – I agree with you about the price of Websters, plus the cost of the paint. If you want to make a qt of smooth chalk paint for less, go to your local health food store and buy Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is super smooth. The normal price for the bottle is around $10, but if you can get it on sale – buy a few at time. This is what I did. I bought it on sale for half price. If I had to guess, I think Webster’s and Blue Minerals is simply Calcium Carbonate Powder or something very similar.


128 MK June 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for your reply. I will definitely try the calcium carbonate powder the next time I want to use chalk paint. I just bought a quart of satin paint at Lowes & it was slightly over $15 plus tax, so around $16 total. If I were to add the price of Webster’s plus S/H, I would be awfully close to the price of ASPC. Yes I can get any color I want by mixing my own, and yes I can even do 4 DIFFERENT colors if I use different sample pots of paint, but I would honestly be looking for a bigger cost savings before buying the Webster’s since it is at least similar to the plaster of paris I have used & perhaps even more similar to the calcium carbonate. Some people stretch their ASPC and create new colors at the same time by mixing the ASPC with a flat or satin latex. I have heard that as long as you don’t use any more than 50% latex that it adheres well. Maybe that can be your next experiment:) I am in love with your blog & especially with your comparisons of the different paints!!!!!!


129 Janice June 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Hi Diane,
Thank you for this great info on chalk paint.
I could use your opinion on an upcoming project-
We have just purchased a fixer-upper cabin on a lake. The narrow, steep stairs are just 2 x 10 boards for the treads and risers, painted a flat brown. I want to paint each riser a different color, and finish them to look like a stack of old books. (I know it sounds strange, but I saw it done on Pinterest and it’s really charming.)
Here’s my question- Would chalk paint be a good choice for the paint or do you think something else might wear better on stairs?


130 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Hi Janice –

Chalk paint would wear OK and would age nicely. The only problem I can see is that since chalk paint is flat – you will see every scuff mark and footprint and not be able to clean them off without scrubbing. If you wax over the chalk paint as is done with furniture – the stairs would be very slippery. I would use water based non yellowing polyurethane over it. Minwax and Zinseer both make one. It would protect the paint and not be slippery. You could also use Porch and Floor Enamel, it is made for floors – no poly finish needed, but you have to buy it in gallon cans – may be too much of each color since you want a few colors to create the books.


131 Christy June 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

Thank you for the wonderful information! My next project is a porch swing. I have read NOT to wax out door projects. I would like to make my own chalk paint. Will it stand up to the elements with out the wax protection? Thanks so much!


132 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi Christy – I have not painted anything outdoors with chalk paint, so I cannot tell you from my experience, but other readers have told me that it holds up beautifully. They are quite pleased with the results.


133 MK June 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hey Diane, I just thought of another idea for you on the calcium carbonate chalk paint. You said you may try mixing the calcium carbonate with the plaster-of-paris to help the tanins from bleeding thru. I wonder if you would still have a little of the grit that seems to come with the plaster-of-paris? Have you ever tried mixing the calcium carbonate with the latex paint with primer—-you know the paint that comes with primer already mixed into it? When buying quarts, I always buy the Valspar paint-with-primer at Lowes. The sample pots at Lowes do not have the primer already built in, but I believe that you can get $3 or $4 sample pots at Home Depot in the paint-plus-primer. That may help a little with both adhesion AND with stopping the bleed-thru when mixed with the calcium carbonate. That might help you with the bleed-thru withOUT the gritty plaster-of-paris:)


134 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for sharing your idea MK – I have not had luck with the paint and primer in one formulas. When I have tried – the paint hardens right away. I think the primer ingredients don’t mix with the the grout or plaster. I have not tried it with Calcium Carbonate yet, but will experiment with it and see what happens.


135 MK June 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

Yes, would love to know your experience if you get a chance to try it with the CC. I bought a gallon of OLYMPIC Satin Paint-Plus-Primer b/c it was on the Oops Rack for $5! Lovely gray color so I had to have it. I used your plaster-of-paris recipe & painted 2 night stands, then used black antiquing glaze for crevices. It worked so well that I had the same Olympic Paint-Plus-Primer mixed up in a warm Cream & used the same plaster chalkpaint recipe to paint another night stand. On both projects, I didn’t notice the paint hardening up right away. I did get the gritty finish once the paint dried. I stored the paint in a plastic container with lid, and I did notice that when I used it the NEXT day for touchups, it had some hard chunks in it, but with stirring I was able to still use the paint and avoid or pull out the chunks. From comments by others, i wonder if these are typical with the plaster of paris recipe? I am definitely going to try the calcuim carbonate with paint-plus-primer but will mix up only a tiny bit for starters in case it does not work. Let us know how yours turns out if you try it too!!!!


136 Kay June 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hi Diane,
Great site! Wondering if you can help me with a table top? After 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of black latex paint and 72 hours, I have the rubbery finish you mentioned earlier. The tutorial I have says to finish it off with 2 coats of paste wax. I’m a bit concerned, because not only do I have the rubbery finish, but I am also hearing that little sticking sound when you pick something up from the table. No paint is coming off, but I’m afraid the wax might turn my table top into a hot mess! Any advice?


137 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Hi Kay – Sometimes depending on the paint – the sticking sound will eventually go away after the paint is fully cured, but it may not. That is the trouble with latex. Wax may not penetrate the latex surface if it is a semi-gloss finish, you may want to use Polycrylic. It is a non-yellowing water based polyurethane by Minwax. Applying 2 coats will work well over latex and protect your table top and remove the sticking sound. I would let the paint cure for a few more days and then proceed. It you live in a humid area, it may take longer to cure. If you want to try the wax, try it on a small section or underneath to see if it penetrates the finish. If it doesn’t you should use the Polycrylic.


138 Caroline June 11, 2013 at 6:37 am

Could I use benjamin moore chalk paint? Will I get the same result? I bought Renaissance wax to finish my armoire.
And if I have to mix it myself will the plaster of Paris lighten my paint color(blood red)?
Thank you very much


139 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi Caroline -
I have used Valspar chalk board paint, but not Ben Moore. One of my other readers used it and liked the results. I found it is not much different. Craft store chalk paint will not work. It is not the same. My colors have never changed when adding Plaster of Paris, but red has some different pigments and could. I would test it out. Pour a half cup of paint in a mixing can and mix a 1 Tablespoon of POP with water first and stir it well, then add to the paint and see if the color changes.


140 Michelle June 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I was really happy to find this homemade recipe for chalk paint. I brought home a table today, and was too impatient to wait until tomorrow to drive to the other side of town to buy ASCP. But, I kinda had a different experience with the Calcium Carbonate formula. I had a fantastic, warm tomato red paint to begin with. Once I added the Calcium slurry, guess what? My red turned to salmon. Pink. Much too pink for me. I might try a tinted Briwax on top to see if it tones it back down. Maybe this is just a problem with reds?


141 Diane Henkler June 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Hi Michelle – I have not had any color changes in the paints I have mixed, but I have not used red paint. I think you are right, it is the red pigments in the paint. They are different from other color pigments. Thanks for taking the time to share your DIY Chalk paint experience. The more we all know the better the outcome for all of us. :)


142 Linda June 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

You gave me the information I needed to begin chalk painting. I have tried POP and ordered calcium carbonate.
With some OOPS paint I painted an old weathered 3 shelf stand I will now keep and a couple of small wooden shelves I had put out to go to GoodWill. They will still go but are much more appealing in their current state. After multiple wooden knick knacks to practice I have just finished a spindle bench my husband made from an old headboard/footboard. I am working up to a cabinet and dining set. Thanks for doing the leg work needed to give me confidence to do this without the investment of ASCP.


143 Inspire Me Heather June 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thank you so much for all your information on chalk paint! I’m going to try the calcium carbonate recipe on come chairs – I’m sure they will turn out great! I have this linked to my post on chalk paint as well today, thanks again for the permission to use your photo too!!


144 Lisa Goulet June 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

This is a great post Diane. I just spent the weekend making my own chalk paint (I used plaster of paris) and started painting a hutch at my cottage. I haven’t finished yet and I’m thinking I need to add more plaster to the paint as it wasn’t covering very well. However, it is going over a very dark and old stained finish and now I’m wishing I had sanded it slightly before painting. However, the real issue is likely the paint which is left over builder’s paint, so I’m thinking the paint is not good quality :(


145 Diane Henkler June 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

Hi Lisa – It can never hurt to go over any piece with a block of medium grit sandpaper to rough it up – even when using chalk paint. It will only help with adhesion and only takes a few minutes. Builder grade paint is the worst – very thin. No money is saved as you need to apply more coats of it to get good coverage. I would let what you have painted dry and then sand over it lightly. If it comes up, then sand it off until the paint is smooth. I would get new paint – Satin finish always works well for me, but don’t use Valspar as it has a primer in it and gets too thick when making DIY chalk paint mixes.

I have found when I work with dark pieces – adding a little extra P of Paris to the mix helps block out the wood tannins and dark finishes from coming through the paint color.


146 Lisa Goulet June 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Yes I should have sanded it slightly as I have done that with other chalk painted pieces, live and learn. And I will be purchasing new paint to finish it off next time I’m at the cottage. Thanks for all the advice Diane!


147 jessie June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

I have tried all of the above methods as well and agree with what you wrote. I saw a new recipe that intrigued me using 1:1 ratio of gesso and latex paint and wondered if you heard of it. It is my understanding that gesso is calcium carbonate and also a binding agent and was intrigued. I have also heard of people using baking soda, but that doesn’t appeal to me at all. Too gritty.


148 Diane Henkler June 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Hi Jessie – I have some Gesso in my basement – I will give it a try. I have never used baking soda and agree that it would be a very gritty mixture.


149 Dee June 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Great info and very timely for me….starting a project. Can you tell me what is the largest amount of chalk paint you have made using the calcium carbonate? I would like about a total gallon of finished paint, now trying to think of the best way to mix it. Pour into what to do the mixing? Use a mixing tool on end of drill? I’m sure the answer is obvious but I can’t see it.


150 Diane Henkler June 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

The largest amount of DIY chalk paint I have made is a quart. It goes a long way. I mix it in large plastic Folgers Coffee containers – they have airtight lids. ( 8 Tablespoons are needed to make a quart) {If you want to make a gallon you will need (4 qts to a gallon) 4 x 8 = 32.} You will need 32 Tablespoons or 2 cups of Calcium Carbonate Powder. Maybe mix a cup at a time with water and add to the paint. Stir well and then add the second cup. I would use a bucket to mix in. Once it is mixed, then you can transfer it two smaller airtight containers.


151 Maggie June 20, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Hi there, I found crushed oyster shell (50 lb bag) for 14.99. It is the only kind of calcium carbonate we can find here in OK. I bought it a feedstore. You might try somewhere like that. The calcuim carbonate “NOW” brand that you can purchase at a health food store is in supplement form for people to ingest; the powder form we have is to add to your soil or mix in animal feed. Hope this helps.


152 Diane Henkler June 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm

HI Maggie – Thanks, it does – good to know for people who don’t live in the US or have access to a health food store.


153 Sharon Foley June 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hi, Thanks so much for all your info! I know Annie Sloan requires her brushes. Did I miss what kind of brush to use. I will be redoing a coffee table. Thanks!


154 Diane Henkler June 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

hi Sharon-

No you did not miss anything I wrote about brushes. I have heard all good things about Annie Sloan’s brushes, but I use soft rags – old t-shirts, cut up work well to apply and buff the wax and angled Purdy brushes to apply the paint. You can get Purdy brushes at any hardware, paint, or home improvement store.


155 Cindy June 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Have you tried using alkyd or oil paint? I have some tremclad silver I wonder if it would work.


156 Diane Henkler June 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Cindy – The ingredients in the powders needed to make DIY chalk paint need to be mixed with water first – water and oil don’t mix. I think it would turn into a huge sludgy mess. If you like to experiment and have the paint on hand – you could try mixing a little bit and see what happens. You never know – you may create a new type of paint finish or just some sludge ;)


157 Sherri June 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

PLEASE help. I have followed directions precisely have have a distinct problem. I am using black paint and attempting to distress the natural dark wood underneath. Several problems keep arising. First, despite serious stirring and blending, I keep getting white in the black paint. I think the plaster is so small that it breaks open minute pieces as I sand. I also can’t achieve the beautiful polished look with black. Other colors don’t seem to be a problem. Have you done anything in black? Please give me any and all suggestions. Thanks for a helpful article.


158 Diane Henkler June 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi Sherri -

I have only done a small frame in black. It came out fine. You stated that you mixed well – Have you mixed the plaster and the water together first, then added it to the paint – then mix it all together? This helps dissolve the powder so it will blend completely into the paint. If you have an immersion mixer used to mix things right in a pot on the stove in your kitchen -this helps to mix the water and plaster well, before adding to the paint. You could also try adding boiling water to the plaster first as this may help break up the minute pieces before adding it to the paint.

As far as the waxing. It may just be that the mixture is very chalky and you will need more layers of buffed wax to get the shine to show. I had one white piece that needed a few layers of wax until after what seemed like endless buffing I saw the shine finally come through. You may just have to add a few more layers of wax and buff very hard with a soft cloth.

You may want to try running a damp rag over the dry paint before sanding. This may help lessen the minute white particles from surfacing when sanding. Once you remove the grit – the color should be free of the white spots showing up.


159 Deneka June 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thank you for this very insightful article. I need more color than most of the national brands provide – not everyone wants French Provincial right?? Have also purchased from a decor store – their house brand – but, the quality is very inconsistent and is entirely too thick. Mixing today for my own use. So very appreciative.


160 Sue Elkins June 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I’ve been mixing my own chalk paint for a while now, and finally figured out the problem with Valspar Paint. Took a lot of R&D but here is what I found out. The Valspar paint uses 2 different base formula’s, A & B. The A is used on light colors and B on Darker… the B base is a little more creamy colored and the A is a bright white. I use a lot of the sample size paints for my chalk paint business as one usually covers most pieces of furniture I cover.

The A base clots up immediately when you mix it with Plaster of Paris. The B base turns out beautiful and you can use it again in a month and it’s the same! So now, when I need a lighter color, I ask them to change the base to “B” and I have no problems. It really doesn’t alter the color much either…
I love Valspar paints and am so glad I finally figured out the problem…it was a mystery for a while!

My business pages are on Facebook:
Madelyne Anne Flea Market & Gracy Rose Boutique (there are 2 Gracy Rose pages, mine has the little girl in the tutu in the photo.

Love your article, I use CeCe Caldwell Chalk paint sometimes, but I love how my mix goes on best, and it’s cheap.

Also, I only use the blue carton of P of P that I get at JoAnn’s Fabrics, it is the hobby and craft version…it doesn’t have all the little chunks like the red version, and goes on much smoother.



161 Diane Henkler June 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hi Sue – This is great to know! You have really been doing some experimenting – love that. The next time I go to JoAnn’s I will look for the blue carton of P of P. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here. I know I and other readers appreciate it – helps everyone have success.


162 Diane June 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Hi Sue,

I would like to know if I could use the chalk paint on my bathroom and kitchen cabinets? It seems to be easier and possibly more durable than sanding and painting/staining. In addition, have you ever used a resin over any of your pieces? It would give the paint a high gloss shine, and I was wondering if it would offer better protection.


163 Diane Henkler July 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi Diane -

You can use chalk paint for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I would still lightly sand before painting to rough up the surface since they will get a lot of use. It will help with adhesion. Even though chalk paint needs little or no surface prep work which saves you time before painting. If you are using wax – it takes time to wax and buff after painting – so you are not going to save much on the time it takes to transform a piece of furniture. I have used resin on a few items – I covered drawer pulls with paper. You can see that post here.

Resin would work and produce a high quality durable shiny finish. I would just make sure to use a product that will not yellow over time that would change the look of your paint color.


164 Barb July 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Thats helpful..I so love the look of chalk paint and Im dying to try painting my kitchen cupboards..and to buy Annie sloan is so pricey..To make your own chalk paint would be awesome..


165 Diane July 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Sue,

I have a specific resin I use for my hand painted tables which looks great and does not yellow. So I assume the resin would look great over the chalk paint.


166 Diane July 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I just saw your drawer pulls. They look amazing!! Yes, I do use the same product.


167 Barb July 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm appreciate this..Can u tell me how you think making my own chalk paint to paint my kitchen cabinets? or would you buy Annie sloan? I think buying her paint could set me back 500 + dollars..


168 Jennifer July 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I just finished painting my son’s new bed with DIY chalk paint. It turned out really well and i am really excited about it! I just put 1 application of wax on it and it really soaked in to the paint, I am wondering if I should do a few layers to get my desired sheen? Also how long does the wax have to “cure” before I can assemble the bed? ( It was a store bought piece of furniture that was white, probably mdf covered in a wood venere(sp?)) any suggestions would be great!
i cant wait to paint more!!!


169 Diane Henkler July 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hi Jennifer -

Happy to hear that you had success and now you want to paint more :) I have added up to 3 layers of wax on some pieces to get a nice sheen. You can put the bed back together anytime. The wax doesn’t need to cure as much as the paint does. It can take up to 30 days for chalk pant to cure, but you can use the piece – just be careful not to knock it around too much. After a few weeks the finish will be highly durable.


170 Denise July 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

Thank you for this article and samples! I’ve just started looking into making my own chalk paint, and this is very helpful!

Thoughts… have you tried mixing 1/2 Calcium Carbonate and 1/2 Plaster of Paris…? Maybe better coverage and less likely to harden.


171 Diane Henkler July 9, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hi Denise – that is a great idea. I love to experiment. I have never mixed the two, but it may work perfectly and cover pieces where the wood tannins might bleed through better. I will try it and see.


172 Jane N. July 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

Why would you not use chalk paint on trim in your home?
It seems like it would be a good product for this purpose. I have only used the Annie Sloan paint and really like it. It covers very well.


173 Diane Henkler July 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hi Jane – The only reason I would not use chalk paint for trim is that you would have to add a layer or two of wax and then every so often add another coat. Too much work for trim. If you want your trim to look aged and distressed, then it is fine to do. I just like my trim a solid glossy or semi gloss finish.


174 Jane N. July 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

OK thanks. I was just curious.


175 Barb July 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Can you paint shoe polish over your piece of furnature after you have put on the clear wax. If not, how would i get my piece to look more distressed as it is white and I do not like it that fresh looking. Would like the more aged look to it.


176 Diane Henkler July 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Hi Barb – I use Valspar Antiquing Glaze that I buy at Lowes. It is in a small jar. I rub it on before waxing and then quickly remove it. Then I add clear wax and buff. I have heard of others using shoe polish, but I have never used it myself. I think it will work. Try mixing it into clear wax and then put it on a small spot or scrap piece of wood to see. Use the clear wax first and then add dark mix over top. The bottom layer of clear wax allows you to move the dark wax where you want it. Annie Sloan and Fiddes & Sons both sell dark waxes, if the shoe polish dies not give you the look you are after.


177 Angela Yates July 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm

You probably won’t like Briwax – it SMELLS – it has toluene. When I tried to use it to “age” some picture frames – it removed the spray paint I was trying to age -oops! That might not happen w/ latex paint, but be careful if you try it.


178 Diane Henkler July 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Angela – I bought a can of Briwax and I agree with you. I do not like it all – smell and it does eat the finish. I am happy using Johnson’s and Fiddes & Sons. :) They produce great results every time.


179 Rita Gore July 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

Thanks. Most helpful site on chalk paint.


180 Laura July 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Hello- great info!!
Have you tried talc?


181 Diane Henkler July 31, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi Laura – No I have not tried talc. I bet it would create a very smooth mixture. I will try it on a scrap piece of wood and see what happens.


182 Joanne August 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thank you so much for posting this blog! It came up in a google search and it’s exactly what I was looking for – breaking it all down. Thank you thank you thank you!


183 Diane Henkler August 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Hi Joanne – Thanks This weekend I was at a blog conference and got to play with Annie Sloan’s paint and wax. I did like the wax a lot. I also picked up a few new tips and will be sharing them soon in a post.


184 letkaenka August 4, 2013 at 12:38 am

I looked high and low for a powered form, but could only find granular types….

What about coffee grounder?….IT WILL MAKE ANYTHING TO POWDER! I like to make sugar powder of granulated sugar using coffee grounder…


185 Diane Henkler August 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

The coffee grinder may just do the trick – you never know until you give it a try :)


186 Angela Yates August 4, 2013 at 1:06 am

I just ordered a pound of food grade Calcium Carbonate on Ebay for $7.95 including shipping. Paid on the 31st and received it on the 3rd. It is ultra fine and does include a warning about inhalation. So I will wear a mask while mixing this. Larger quantities are more cost effective, but I wanted to see how well I liked it first.


187 Diane Henkler August 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hi Angela – Thanks for the tip on buying the CCPowder on Ebay – That is a great price!


188 Angela Yates August 4, 2013 at 2:28 am

Just found powdered lime… 2.5 LB Dolomite Garden Lime Grade A Powder on Ebay $9.99 free shipping. The info says that this product is to bring down pH levels in soil and Dolomite lime is not as harsh as other lime products.

If the product affects pH – I have to wonder what the effect on paint might be.

But there is a source – AlliedAqua. com – they specialize in Aquaculture – Aquaponics – Hydroponics – Aquariums – Ponds according to the websight. So maybe a similar business in your area would have the same products.


189 Patti Lee August 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Diane, in some of the utube tutorials by Annie Sloane, she mentions painting fabric. Have you ever tried this? I have a old wing back chair covered in a cotton fabric and has wooden hands on the arms and wooden legs.. I really wanted to try painting it w the chalk paint (my homemade brew!) but wanted to see if I could get help from someone like you…one of us.. DIY’ers..:) any ideas..Patti


190 Angela Yates August 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I saw a painted fabric chair at an Annie Sloan store. It looked very nice. It was kind of “crackled” but did feel pretty soft. I didn’t sit in it so I can’t give you a first hand sit test review ;-)


191 Diane Henkler August 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Hi Angela -

I have not painted fabric, but have heard that it can be done. I was at a Annie Sloan session this past weekend and the topic was brought up. The instructor said you mix it with water and paint the first coat when the fabric is misted wet. The softness of the finished fabric all depends on the type of fabric. Something with a high nap velvet may feel rough as a smooth fabric with a tight weave may not crack or feel stiff. I would test it on some scrap pieces of fabric to see how it feels.


192 Diane Henkler August 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hi Patti –

I have not painted fabric, but have heard that it can be done. I was at a Annie Sloan session this past weekend and the topic was brought up. The instructor said you mix it with water and paint the first coat when the fabric is misted wet. The softness of the finished fabric all depends on the type of fabric. Something with a high nap velvet may feel rough as a smooth fabric with a tight weave may not crack or feel stiff. I would test it on some scrap pieces of fabric to see how it feels.


193 Patti Ann Lee August 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Diane,,,, you r my first ever answer to a question by just a helpful friend,,, that was so nice of u to take the time to answer me and so when I try my chair ( I am technically challenged, ) but if I can figure out how to take a picture and send it I will and tell you how it works out.. I read something about adding a fabric medium so I may throw in some of that. Thanks again and it was nice to hear from a new friend.. :) Patti Ann


194 Joann August 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Has anyone tried diatomaceous earth to make chalk paint?


195 Diane Henkler August 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

H Joann – I have not tried it yet. I have some in my garage that I can experiment with. I can report back to you with my findings.


196 Heather August 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

I used the DIY recipe with the unsanded grout with a dark brown sherwin Williams paint on a coffee table. After the second coat dried, it had white streaks in it. I tried sanding it lightly, I tried wiping it down with a damp cloth. The streaks still come back. We mixed our paint well. I don’t know what the problem is. Do you have any suggestions? Please help.


197 Diane Henkler August 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi Heather – The grout recipe is the hardest to mix. It is best to add the water to the grout first and mix it around so any clumps break up, then mix well into your paint. To fix what you have. Try mixing enough grout and hot water – stir it and add paint. Brush on to your table and see if you see any clumps of grout. If you do, then mix more. If not – you should be good to go -so when you distress you don’t see any white. Another trick is to add hot water right over the painted finish after sanding. Rub it on with a very wet rag to see if it breaks up any clumps of grout.

When working with white or lighter colors of paint – you may not see any unmixed grout. With darker colors – you do. Don’t let this keep you from using DIY chalk paint. It may take some trial and error until you find the right method for you. I am just love the finish and patina it produces. I like using Plaster of Paris or the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best. Calcium Carbonate Powder produces the smoothest mixture. Try using one of them next time. I just got a reader asking if I have ever used Diatamacous Earth. ( used to filter pools) I have not, but will try it to see.


198 Heather August 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Thanks Diane. But I don’t have any clumps in the paint or the dried paint. It is white streaks like what is left on a chalk board after you wipe it. Only this does not come off. I can’t figure out how to post a pic so I can show you.


199 J August 22, 2013 at 9:50 am

I’ve painted a piece with homemade chalk paint (P of P mixture) & like how it painted. I’ve waxed it & have now discovered some places that probably should have more paint. SO, the question is….can I sand the wax off, repaint, & re-wax?


200 Diane Henkler August 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

HI J –

You can sand it very lightly, paint. let it dry and then wax over it. You don’t even have to sand, but I always do, just to make sure the paint will adhere to the wax coat that you are painting over.


201 kelly August 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm

ok I made my own chalkpaint using the Plaster of paris. We are painting our preschool tables and chairs. I put on three coats of paint and then put on polycrylic on the table tops. just got done with this about 5 days ago. was using tape today at the table and when i pulled it off the table the polycrylic came off with the tape!!!! uhhhhhh!!!! what shall i do? Spent so many days doing this and now i am afraid!!! The children start school next week! should i sand it down and just apply wax or sand down and start over again?? Lots of water, food, coloring and paint goes on these tables!! Please HELP!!!


202 Diane Henkler August 30, 2013 at 12:10 am

Hi Kelly -

The paint and poly may just need time to cure. It can take up to 30 days. The only way to protect them after you have the poly or wax on is to be gentle with them for a few weeks. I have never used poly over chalk paint, so I am not sure how long it may take. If it came off and not the paint, then it is the poly that is not cured or it did not adhere right. If you want to use poly, I would lightly sand the surface and then reapply the poly. Tape used on any painted surface even after it has cured can be a problem, so I would wait as long as you can, before using tape on the surface.

I like the way wax looks and protects. If you sand the tables and chairs a bit more, you could use paste wax over them and then buff to a shine. It still has to cure, but it will be protected. If you see a spot wearing, you can simply add more wax over the area and buff. When the poly wears away – you have to redo the whole surface since it sits on top of the paint. The wax goes into the surface. When stains and water rings get on the surface you can simply sand the stain away and wax the water rings right out.

Try not to stress too much – I think it is just a matter of curing time that is needed.


203 kelly August 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm

was i suppose to sand in between each time i painted the pieces or has it just not cured long enough? and if that is the case how should i protect it in the mean time !! sorry just completely stressed over this! thanks for any help,, Kelly


204 Tierney August 30, 2013 at 11:22 am

Hello! Thanks so much for all the info you have on caulk paint and wax. I have a quick question…what brand would you suggest for a dark wax? My local Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t carry anything but clear, so I’m asking your advice. I think I would like to try it and have read about Annie Sloan, but after reading your blog…I’m going to try the DIY chalk paint and dark wax. I would so appreciate you advice.


205 Diane Henkler August 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

I have only used Ce Ce Caldwell dark wax. It worked nicely. Fiddes and Sons also sell dark waxes that you can find on I love their clear wax so I am sure the dark waxes are just as nice.

When I want to darken a piece I use Antiquing glaze by Valspar. I apply it with a cloth right on top of the dried paint, wipe away the excess and then add clear wax over it. I have a post showing my process in this post:

You may find it best to experiment with different brands to find the look you like. Some waxes are more brown, others have more black in them. It is more about personal preference, then the quality of the brand.


206 Dee August 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Tierney or anyone looking for products outside of the big box retailers.
Check the smaller paint stores; in my area they carry brands that the big box guys don’t. More specialized products and selections. And I mean beyond, Sherwin Williams, Frazee, Dunn Edwards….look for the specialized stores that supply professional painters. You will be surprised and once you start exploring it can take some time. Lowe’s and HD target are basic, often lower line products…..I’m not saying that is always wrong….just that selection and often quality is compromised. We need all of these retailers. In San Diego look at Bay Paints…..what a treasure trove/


207 Gay Curtiss August 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Great information!! I have just gotten into the chalk paint craze and love it. I make my own using the calcium carbonate. I was given a different recipe to make it, 2 parts paint to 1 part calcium carbonate and no water. I found that sifting the calcium carbonate first lessens the number of lumps. Also I have only used the Miss Mustard Seed waxes, both dark and clear. I really like them but they are pricey. I’ll be trying some others when I run out. A good tip I was given to get the shine on a piece is to wait until the wax dries then polish it up with a very fine grade steel wool. It’s really great! Thanks for all the tips!


208 Diane Henkler August 31, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Hi Gay – Thanks for the tip on using the fine grade of steel wool to polish and buff the wax. I will try it!


209 Dee August 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I will be interested in your trial of using the fine grade steel wool on the wax. Always good for multiple people to ring in on the same product or techinque


210 Wendy September 1, 2013 at 12:27 am

This is the best, most in-depth article I have found! I do have one question, to repaint over chalk paint that has been waxed, what would the preparation be? I bought an armoire that has a beautiful coat of AS old white and a coat of wax but it is much to yellow to stay the way it is. I really need to paint over it and was considering a DIY version.
Thanks again for the wealth of information on this subject.



211 chrissy September 1, 2013 at 11:40 am

I have recently had trouble with my homemade chalk paint using POP (plaster of Paris) setting up like concrete I believe it may be the summer heat its been extremely humid. Have you had this problem?


212 Diane Henkler September 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Hi Chrissy – It could be the heat, but I don’t think that would set the mix to concrete. What type of latex paint are you using? I find paint and primer in one formulas as well as an acrylic latex may bind the mix. I don’t use any of these paints – only straight latex paint. I have only had problems with non-sanded grout binding up. I only use that when I am making small quantities. If you have not tried it yet – the Calcium Carbonate powder create a very smooth mix. I know that all Valspar and Olympic paint have primers in them. Craft paints have acrylic in them. I have had great success with Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish.


213 Tierney September 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Diane, thanks so much for the response. I do have another question…have you ever waxed over a spray painted piece? I would like to experiment with the wax I bought, and have a great little shelf that is spray painted.


214 Diane Henkler September 2, 2013 at 12:26 am

Hi Tierney – I have tried wax on many surfaces and I like it on all of them. Depending on the paint, it may not settle into it if it is not a flat finish. It will just sit on the surface. I recently waxed a latex sideboard top and I love love love how it looks. It can’t hurt your piece to test it out on a small area of your shelf to see if you like it.


215 desiree September 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I have another recipe idea. diatomaceous earth- fine powder, natural and non toxic. Acts as a drying agent like calamine lotion. We use it for pest control as a safe alternative to poisons and a light went off when the idea of chalk paints came up.


216 Candace September 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for your in depth directions on DIY chalk paints! I have been searching for something like your blog to explain all the in’s and out’s of chalk painting. I am planning on painting my kitchen table and was nervous to do so…until I found your information. You have been very helpful! I appreciate all your experimenting and advise. On to my kitchen table with confidence….:)


217 Laura September 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi there, can i seal the legs of my kitchen table with fiddes hard wax oil after i have painted them? It’s just that i already have some! Thanks in advance for your reply


218 Diane Henkler September 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hi Laura – I have never used the hard wax oil, only the soft paste wax. Since I am not sure if it is the same, try it on a small area to make sure the painted finish does not come off or change in any way. Let it dry and buff. If it looks good then I think you can use it. Normally wax and oils are for wood, not painted surfaces. The oils and waxes don’t sink into the surface as much as they do with wood. I have found the paste wax looks beautiful when used over painted surfaces and not just flat finish chalk painted surfaces. I use it on many pieces.


219 Brandy September 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Hi! Thank you for posting such a great and informative blog post. I found it very helpful! I tried the calcium carbonate recipe with a light coral color and after the 3rd coat it finally started to cover the wood. I was thinking of adding a little plaster of paris to the calcium carbonate mixture to have a better coverage. Have you ever tried combining the 2 together? I would really appreciate your thoughts :)


220 Diane Henkler September 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Brandy – I have not yet mixed any of the powders together, but want to. I think it would work just fine and create a super durable finish. I am going to start a new piece this week using 2 colors. I will try it and post about what happens.


221 Kathy September 8, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I’m writing to say that the calcium carbonate is definitely the way to go when making chalk paint. The plaster of paris globbed up into an unusable mess. The cc dissolved completely and went on smooth, did not dry and thicken as I was painting. I did add a little more water to the recipe and did thin coats. One tip: If using a brush, rinse it every 15 minutes or so because the paint/cc dries in the bristles and can get grit in the paint stroke. Rinsing really helped and added a bit of water to keep it all flowing smooth. The job isn’t finished yet, but I am optimistic! Thanks for recommending the calcium carbonate!!


222 Diane Henkler September 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hi Kathy – Happy to hear you had success with Calcium Carbonate. Did you use paint with primer when mixing the Plaster of Paris? That will gum up the mix. I know Valspar has primer in it. Over the weekend I made a mix of Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris – I liked it very much. Will post about it soon.


223 Kathy September 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Diane, I used Behr paint for both the plaster of paris and the calcium carbonate. I don’t think the behr has extra primer in it (interior latex, eggshell). It came out pretty nice. I was sorry to hear about Valspar though, because I had planned to use it for the top coat…won’t be doing that now!


224 Gay Curtiss September 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I have used the Valspar with the calcium carbonate with no problem. Perfectly smooth. However using the plaster of paris with the Valspar was a disaster!


225 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Hi Gay – This is good to know. Thanks for sharing. I just made a mix using both POP and CCP. It is coming out very well. Will post about it soon.

226 David September 10, 2013 at 12:56 am

I have been using CORN STARCH as a chalk agent, saw it on another DIY site, I’ve been very pleased with smoothness and finish. I always suggest a light sanding even with the best of chalk paints, it only takes a few minutes and really improves the adhesion of the paint. I’ve tried several samples of assorted chalk paints over the same furniture sample, with and without sanding, and no matter what, the sanded section holds better, no surprise there.


227 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

HI David – I agree 100% A few minutes of sanding will only help with adhesion and make the finish last for a very long time.


228 David September 10, 2013 at 12:58 am

One more thing, I wholeheartedly agree that Valspar should be avoided unless it’s the only option, It just doesn’t compare in coverage to Behr or other better paints, I think it has a lower pigment to vehicle ratio, at least that is how it behaves.


229 Gisele Knox September 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Thank you so much for this info. I want to try chalk paint but didnt want to spend all that money. This recipe sounds easy and cheaper.Cant wait to start my project.

Thanks again!


230 Alena McLearn September 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I have a room with paneled walls with high ceiling that I want to white wash. I was thinking of going with chalk paint because of not want to sand the walls and the grooves. Do you recommend this?


231 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Hi Alena – I would not use chalk paint on the walls. It will require more work for you since you have to wax or poly over it. If you don’t they will mark up way too easily since the finish will be very flat. I have painted many rooms with cheap paneled walls and did not sand it. Just clean the walls of all dust and grime and use a gripping primer a(Glidden Gripper is the one I use) if it is laminate paneling. Use stain blocking primer if the panels are real unfinished or stained wood (Kilz is a good primer for this). Once the primer is dry then use 1 – 2 light coats of latex paint. Use an angled brush to paint in the grooves and a roller for the rest.


232 W King September 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

This is so helpful! Thank you for going to the trouble of all the research. I only just found your article and can see the comments have been here a few months now, but would like to know if you found waxing over a latex based chalk paint any easier than AS chalk paint. I’ve had issues with waxing even if I only apply a small amount. Making your own makes a lot of sense on many levels … but I did wonder if you had an opinion on whether the waxing part was easier with the home made version? I plan on attending a waxing course soon, but still love the idea of making my own version. Great, thank you!


233 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I have not had any trouble with the waxing, but can offer you this. Plaster of Paris needs more than one coat to get a high shine. Every brand of wax is different. Annie Sloan goes on like butter and you can buff right away. It shines up easily. Fiddes and Sons is the one I use the most. Costs less than Annie Sloan and produces a nice shine and can be buffed right after application. It does not smell as much as the least expensive brand – Johnsons. Johnsons works best when you let it sit for about 10 minutes before buffing.

I just read on another blog where the blogger wrote that wax only produces a certain level of shine. This is incorrect. If you wax and buff and repeat -you can get a very high gloss shine. If you want a subtle shine, buff less. You control the shine achieved by the type rag you use and the pressure applied.I really rub hard and apply a lot of pressure. It does take some elbow grease. I like to use old well worn t-shirts as my buffing cloths. I do not use the brushes to apply the wax- I use a sponge. It does take some experimenting, but with some trial and error I am sure you will get the hang of it.


234 Mike Dillon September 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I recently redid an antique and very unique coffee/side table using the standard chalkboard paint as it will get a lot of use. We recently purchased an old Dining Set with 6 chairs, solid beautiful wood, it is circa 1960′s and I wanted to go chalk paint with it and wax. I purchased the paint, plaster and wax tonight and I am almost done doing a light sanding on the whole set and will start painting tomorrow using your tips….here goes nothing, I can’t screw this one up as we have been making due with no dining table for a week now as we sold our modern POS recently to help pay for the costs of this beautiful old school table, which we got the table with two leaves and 6 chairs for only $130 hehehe..wish me luck :) :)


235 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Hi Mike – I was on vacation – sorry I could not get right back to you and cheer you on. There is no way to mess it up. If you don’t like how it came out – you just sand and start again. It is only paint :) I hope it turned out great.


236 Mike Dillon September 22, 2013 at 1:17 am

No worries ;)

The project is still ongoing as it is a rather large dining table with 6 chairs but I am slowly getting there with my spare time. I have completed paining the table, the 2 leaves, the base and almost finished the first coat on the 6 chairs. I have decided to seal it with a Polycrylic water based sealer as it will be a piece that will see lots of use and I have 2 young boys….yikes LOL


237 Brownie September 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi! Thanks for your tips! I’m currently using your recipe and painting my kitchen cabinets. They look great! I did the bottom ones last week and currently working on the top cabinets. One of my children has gotten something on one of the lower cabinets and, when I scrubbed it off today, it must’ve rubbed the wax and antiquing glaze off. Now it’s a much lighter section where I cleaned. Do you know why it would do that and how do I correct/prevent it from happening again?


238 Kate September 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Where did you buy the calcium carbonate? I’ve been to Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, 2 compound pharmacies, 2 ag stores, and Lowes. No one sells it and only 1 pharmacists even acted like they knew what I was talking about. :(


239 Diane Henkler September 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm

HI Kate – I buy it at a health food store called Holly Hill. You can also buy it on I buy the Now Brand. Their website is Here is the listing link:


240 Kathy September 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

You can buy calcium carbonate powder online at Lucky Vitamin . com
Under $5 a bottle but there is shipping costs. Buy enough vitamins and get free shipping with your cc….


241 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Thanks Kathy for the resource to buy Calcium Carbonate Powder


242 Tierney September 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hello again! I have another question. For the calcium carbonate chalk paint, I’m curious if semi-gloss paint can be used? I’m wanting to use some white trim paint I have to paint some decorative wall shelves. I’ve read that matte or flat paint is best, but do you have any experience with semi-gloss? I’d appreciate your input.


243 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Hi Tierney – You can use any latex finish. I have used all with excellent results. I should add – just as long as it does not have a primer in it.


244 Johna September 19, 2013 at 10:04 am

Have you ever used one of the chalk paint recipes in a paint sprayer?


245 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Johna – I have not used chalk paint in a sprayer, but you can. I would use the Calcium Carbonate since it creates a very smooth mixture that won’t clog the spray mechanism anymore than plain latex.


246 Valerie September 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

I used non-sanded grout to make my chalk paint. It seemed to work well but it seemed to make the paint smell funny. Almost an ammonia smell. I thought maybe it was the paint I was using. It was just flat latex paint though. I used the grout with another can of paint and it did the same thing. Is it reacting with the paint or does grout just smell? I was hoping to get some insight on it. It bothers me enough that I might just try plaster of paris.


247 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

Hi Valerie – I have not noticed a funny smell when using the non-sanded grout. It could be the grout – maybe it is old or the brand, not sure. Does it smell after the paint is dry? If it does then there is something wrong with the grout. I would use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder.


248 David September 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m still loving how smoothly the Corn Starch Chalk paint goes on, might be worth a look too, and it’s very cheap.


249 Gay Curtiss September 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

What is the ratio/recipe for the corn starch chalk paint?


250 Diane Henkler September 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Hi David – I have never used corn starch and enjoy trying out new recipes. I heard of using baking powder, but I think that would be grainy. Corn Starch is much smoother. What is the recipe you use?


251 David September 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Corn Starch Chalk
Quan. 1 Pint (2 Cups)

First Mix Corn Starch and Water, stir until well mixed
Corn Starch: 3 TBS
Water: 1/4 Cup

Then add paint until quantity is reached.
Paint: fill to 2 Cups


252 Kelly September 23, 2013 at 2:09 am

Hi, I am not sure if you are still responding to questions regarding the chalk paint but if you are I NEED HELP!!! I have a very beautiful mess/vanity that I purchased off Craigslist with big dreams and of sailing off into DIY Pintrist Queen stardom in the chalk painting world! I thought I didy tease arch well and visited LOWES 2-3 times daily asking questions and purchasing the products to complete each step. Problem is after I finished painting i blew it with the wax and it looks horrible and even worse after moving a couple drawers around my paint easily chips and there arelarge mounds of shiny soft yet tacky min wax everywhere!!!!!! I googled further after realizing that scraping the wax outbid the container and dumping the excess on my cloth was NOT the thing to do and the wax IS NOT HARDENING. MY major concerns are these

A. I have ruined it and need to start over from scratch.
B. I have spent a small fortune by trying to save with DIY Methods
C. Put heart and time into what turned out to be a beautiful MESS!!!

After all that if you happen to still check this post would you pretty please email me some suggestions!!

Of all the DIY bloggers you have seemed to be the best and most knowledgeable.

Thank you

Kelly jones


253 Bleu Parrot September 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Has anyone tried using “beeswax” with any success? I have some in a paste form that I use one my butcher block and soapstone counters.


254 Kathy Nielsen September 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Hi, I found this information EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks so much. I am desperately looking for an answer to why my homemade chalkpaint using plaster of paris is gritting upon drying. I have used hot water and cold water, separately, to the PofP before adding to the Latex paint (Loews) and still get the gritty finish. It even goes on gritty. Please help


255 Diane Henkler September 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi Kathy -

Sorry to hear you are having a problem getting the mixture smooth. Every mixture does come out a bit differently – just like a recipe does when baking. If you are using paint from Lowes – Valspar and Olympic both have primer in them, which when mixed with P of P or grout can bind up and not get mixed properly. It could also be the water in your area has a metal or mineral in it that is not dissolving the PoP.

If it is not binding, but just feels gritty – sanding the surface with fine grit sandpaper will remove any grittiness. I had one piece I painted white and it felt gritty like you describe. I sanded it, even though I did not distress the piece and the grittiness went away. After waxing is was smooth and looked great. If it is just way too gritty – I would use a different paint or use Calcium Carbonate Powder to make your mix. It will not be gritty at all. Of all the DIY recipes – this is the best for smoothness. Plaster of Paris is the best for adhesion. I am working on a piece now where I combined the two. I like how it is coming out so far. I hope this helps you out.


256 Diane September 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

Does it have to be latex paint or can it be acrylic or oil based paint?


257 Diane Henkler September 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hi Diane – It needs to be latex paint. Some latex acrylics may work with Calcium Carbonate powder, but may turn into sludge with non-sanded grout and PoParis. It does not work with oil-based paint.

Also do not use any paint that is a Paint and Primer in One formula. These tend to bind if using the non- sanded grout or Plaster of Paris recipes. You can use any sheen of paint if you have some laying around. If you are purchasing new paint – I like the way a satin finish mixes up.


258 Lorraine September 26, 2013 at 1:14 am

Hi Diane,
Love your blog. I can’t wait to try chalk paint on an old dresser. You have taken the mystery out of it! Thank you!!!


259 Casey Moore September 29, 2013 at 1:12 am

Hi Diane!
Thank you so much for your information! I researched and read many blogs before finally finding you! I decided to try the Calcium Carbonate DIY paint mixture. My question is… How think is this paint supposed to be? I bought Sherwin Williams Color To Go sample quart which states it’s a latex acrylic in a satin finish. Mixed my ratio of 2 TBS Cal. Carb. 1 TBS Water and poured it into my 1 cup paint. My paint didn’t thicken up all that much. I’ve read many others stating that they had to add water to whichever brand of paint they were using just to be able to paint with it. Should I add more powder? I purchased my Cal. Carb at the local health food store that is sold by the 1 lb. bag.

My mixture painted well, but I’m going on 3 coats to cover my piece. It does have some tannins bleed through, but it is an OLD piece of furniture. It is kind of my “test” piece, so I’m not too worried about that.

Thanks so much for your help and your reviews of the products!! I’m excited to try waxing and lots of other techniques!!


260 Diane Henkler September 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Hi Casey -

The Calcium Carbonate Powder does not get thick, grainy, or lumpy like the other DIY chalk paint mixtures do. It is smooth always – that is why it is my favorite to use now. To get more durability to your finish and coverage to block out the tannins, you can add another tablespoon to the mix. I have added a few tablespoons more just to see what would happen. The mixture stays smooth and the perfect brushing-on consistency. So don’t be afraid to add more. Right now I am getting a post written on how I used both Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris in one mix. It worked beautifully and is the toughest finish I have painted yet.


261 Gay Curtiss September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

I have found out that the Sherwin Williams samples are not paint!! They are practically colored water. Do not use them as paint.


262 Kathleen October 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

Gay, I have found Sherwin-Williams Color to Go samples to be good quality paint. Could the problem be your paint store?


263 Gay Curtiss October 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I have talked with the Sherwin Williams paint associate. They use what is basically a tinted primer for their samples. That is why it is only around $5 for the sample and yet $15 for a quart. The samples are to give you the idea of the color. If used for paint they will fade, chip, peel and rub off. That is what I was told by the Sherwin Williams associate.


264 Kathleen October 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Gay, I am so glad to know this. I was keeping my samples around to use for touch up. Guess I’ll throw them away. Thanks.

265 Gay Curtiss October 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm

You’re welcome Kathleen. Glad the associate told me about it too!

266 Gabby O September 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thank you for providing an indepth break down of chalk paint and wax! I know someone local that will start selling Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I had a feeling it was going to be pretty pricey on the ol’ wallet. She purchases sad furniture and breathes new life into them. I love her pieces (just haven’t found the ONE that needs to come home with me!) and it has inspired me to try my hand at it. But I had no clue where to begin!! Your guidance in much appreciated :)


267 Karen Calvert September 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Hi. What color is the pink on the wall behind your photo of the plaster of Paris etc? It’s just beautiful. The perfect amount of blue/lavender and red. I have to use it.
Best posts. No doubt best chalk paint posts in history of blogs!! Thanks.


268 Diane Henkler September 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi Karen – I think what you are referring to is fabric. I have it tacked into a frame that I use as my mini-photo studio. I found the fabric a year or so ago at JoAnn Fabrics. You will be able to see another photo of it in this post:


269 Ramah October 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I tried the Plaster of Paris recipe (1C PP mixed mixed smooth with water:3C paint). I am having MAJOR bleed through. After my second coat of paint and its still bleeding through. This piece definitely needed primer. I was so excited about discovering chalk paint and this is my first try. What did I do wrong? Please HELP!!


270 Kathleen October 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

Question: Have you tried mixing plaster of paris and/or calcium carbonate with water-based acrylic alkyd, like the Sherwin-Williams ProClassic line? I was wondering how that might work.

Awesome work, Diane! Thank you for sharing it.


271 Tara C. October 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Hi, I have a desk I just finished using the DIY plaster of Paris paint recipe. Would you recommend using wax or polyurethane to seal it? I did stenciling on the top and side panels. If I wax, will the buffing ruin the stenciling?


272 Diane Henkler October 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Hi Tara -

I like the way wax looks so much more than poly. I wax all my pieces. It brings up the patina. I use Johnson’s Paste wax or Fiddes and Sons. I have not had it remove any paint when buffing. I used it over the faux marble finish I did on a sideboard in my kitchen. If you want to make sure, test it out on a small area first. If you would like to see the piece I waxed over when I used craft paint to make the sruface look like marble, here is the link:


273 Donna October 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Yes, you have gone pro on paint!
A question please. Can I buy a gallon of white latex and color it
with acrylic craft paint? There are tons of colors for about $1. a bottle at the craft store.
Can I do this?


274 Diane Henkler October 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hi Donna – I mix paint all the time and have never had a problem. I would test it out using a small amount of the paints – latex + craft to see what happens when it is mixed into a DIY chalk type paint mixture. Sometimes, but not all, acrylic paint can bind when mixed with non-sanded grout. You should have no problem if using Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder.


275 steph klingler October 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I learned quite a bit from your article.

However, I have experienced significant bleed through of tannins when using ANY kind of chalk paint. After 30 years of refinishing furniture, I can confirm that polyurethane does protect against water rings on wood furniture. That’s why people use it. So does polycrylic, but it is water based.


276 Jamie October 16, 2013 at 2:13 am

so I am a total first timer . . .never refinished anything. You said to mix with latex paint, but WHAT kind, glossy, satin, matte, etc. I should probably just buy the more expensive stuff, but like to do things as cheap as possible.


277 Gay Curtiss October 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

You can use all of the above. I’ve used satin and I’ve used flat. Both worked. You can use whatever finish you desire! Good luck, it’s addicting! Have fun!


278 Diane Henkler October 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hi Jamie – The finish of the paint does not matter. Once you add the Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate to the paint it will become flat no matter what the paint finish is. You do not want to use any paint with a primer already in it. Paint and Primer in one formulas as it may bind. All Valspar paints have primer in them. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish for most of my projects. It does not have to use the most expensive paint.


279 Kate October 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Thank you so much for this DIY tutorial! I went to 10 health food, vitamin, pharmacy, home improvement stores and never found Calcium Carbonate so I finally ordered it from Amazon. I recommend just ordering it before wasting all your time driving around a big city looking for it (or calling ahead, I wasn’t that smart). :) Also I learned not to rely on the Lowe’s employees for any assistance trying to make this paint. Just follow Diane’s suggestions above, she nailed it! I bought Olympic paint with no primer in the color I wanted (Schooner) and my dresser turned out exactly how I envisioned it! Which is a feat for me because I CANNOT paint things! But chalk paint is miracle paint! Definitely make your own! Easiest DIY project I’ve ever done! Thank you Diane!!!


280 Kate October 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm
281 Gay Curtiss October 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Beautiful! Love the choice of color, love the style! Beautiful piece!


282 Diane Henkler October 17, 2013 at 9:18 am

Hi Kate – Your dresser came out beautiful! I just love seeing the old and forlorn take on a new and exciting life :) I like the stained top and the carved detailing. What a great transformation. Amazing what we can do with some paint and a little vision and effort. Thanks for sharing your style and dresser with me and other readers. XO


283 Casey Moore October 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

Love your dresser! Looks fabulous! Turquoise is my favorite color and it’s hard for me to not paint everything a shade of turquoise! :) I am waiting to start on my daughters chest of drawers and I’m planning on doing turquoise on the outside and hot pink on the inside of the drawers! (She’s 9. :) How did you post a link to photobucket? I have been trying, but it won’t work for me.


284 Diane Henkler November 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

HI Casey – What and where are you trying to link? I haven’t used photobucket in a while, but I think you need to go to your acct and grab and copy the url link for the photo you want a link to. The code shows up under every photo you have stored there.


285 Casey Moore November 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I was trying to post a link to the piece of furniture (not sure what you classify it as) to show my progress and get your opinion on what I should do/use to seal it. I’ve tried copying and pasting the url (a couple of them actually) for the photo and my comment will not post if it has the link in it. These posts seem to show up, but not when I try to put a link in.

286 Kathy Nielsen October 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hi Diane..It’s me again, It seems that I have to apply two coats of my chalk paint (paint and carbonate powder) to everything I paint. It doesn’t matter if the surface is light or dark. Can you tell me why? Also, I just painted a table with flat paint, Can I apply a clear glaze to this, after the paint is dry, of course. If I do, can you give me an idea of the results I will achieve?


287 Diane Henkler October 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

Hi Kathy – Two coats is normal. I use two coats on everything to make sure I get an even coverage of paint and color. For your table with flat paint on it, yes – you can apply a clear glaze mix to it anytime after it is dry. The results will depend on the color of the paint you add to the glaze. If you want to darken the effect to look aged – use a dark color of paint mixed in the glaze. If you want a white washed effect – add a light color – white, off white, pastel. to create a two tone effect – Use the same color of paint, but a few shades lighter or darken. After you apply it, drag a dry brush through it to expose the base color. It will create a depth to the finish. You can manipulate the glaze in many different ways using different tools – paint brushes, rags, sponges. The best way to find out what it will look like is to experiment with some craft paints or sample pots of paint in the color you want on scrap wood to see the different effects you can achieve by using glazing liquid.


288 Bec October 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Regarding lime, as mentioned, it’s calcium carbonate. Dolomite lime is a little different.
For paint you would need the fine white garden lime. For years and years lime wash has been used for painting the interiors of animal shelters, it disinfects and cleans. It’s not really known to make people sick! I used it for many years in stables, hen houses, cow sheds and exteriors of buildings. Many would tint it for exterior use. All those quaint little fishing villages used lime wash to paint their cottages,
It is an irritant, I’ve splashed it in my eye a few times over the years, temporary burning. No, I’ve never heard of it making people sick from merely using it as paint.
Of course, these days, it’s known that inhaling fine powder can cause damage, we always mixed it outside and down wind!
Lime wash, or whitewash as we called it is amazing, a thin watery solution dries to such dazzling white, after a few initial coats.
No, I don’t think lime is any more dangerous than POP or grout, after all, the refined human grade is used as medicine!


289 Eric October 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

Have you tried mixing the Calcium Carbonate Powder with the Plaster of Paris yet? I’m curious to see how that turns out.


290 Diane Henkler October 22, 2013 at 8:22 am

Yes I did do this and posted about it. I loved it – it passed the scratch test as soon as it dried. I will use it again. You can see the post here:


291 Casey Moore October 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hi Diane!
I just wanted to share that I am about halfway through with a big piece of furniture that I am using your chalk paint recipe on and I must say…. it’s turning out beautiful!! I painted the exterior with a Sherwin Williams Color to go sample quart (forgot the color), but it was matched to ASCP Old White (so far, I have had no problem with the paint). I painted the interior with Ben. Moore Wythe Blue (an absolute favorite of mine!!) both using your DIY Cal. Carbonate recipe. I am taking the top back off (painted first coat of white already) and re-staining a little darker and adding new, more significant molding/trim. I wanted to say that on my 2nd coat of blue for the interior shelves, I had a can of water along with my cup of paint and I dipped my brush in water and then in paint and was able to stretch the cup to complete the interior and 4 doors with a little to spare. I sanded lightly before adding the 2nd coat and then added the thin layer. It started drying funny at first and I thought…. oh no!! I’ve ruined it! After waiting a little longer, it dried out to a beautiful, smooth coat!! I love it so far!!! I can’t wait to get it sealed and complete it!! I will definitely post a pic when all is done. Thank so much for your inspiration and help!! I am tackling a chest of drawers with a beautiful turquoise next and I’m going to try your newest Cal. Carbonate and PoP mixture. So excited!! :) Thanks a bunch!


292 Diane Henkler October 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hi Casey – I would love to see your photo. I am over the moon smitten with how DIY chalk painted pieces come out. Distressed and not distressed. Either way the finish is rich and durable. Not tacky, rubbery, or sticky like latex alone can be. It is what I have always wanted painted pieces to look like. The wax just makes it all look terrific. It is a little more work having to wax over it, but that is what makes the finish look so good. The mix of CCP and PoP is durable and passes the scratch test as soon as it is dry. I will always use it from now on.


293 Casey Moore October 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

How can I link to a photo? I have tried 2 times to post a new comment with a link to photobucket using the share HTML link, but it doesn’t appear in the comments after I hit submit.


294 Erika November 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

What is a PoP mixture?


295 Casey Moore November 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

Plaster of Paris mixture


296 Diane Henkler November 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi Erika – PoP is short for Plaster of Paris. You can buy it at the home improvement or craft store. It is one of the powders you can add to latex paint to make it into chalk paint. You can also use CCP :) That stands for Calcium Carbonate Powder. You can buy it in the health food store.


297 Nancy October 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I have an old trunk with some metal on the corners and some strips on the sides. Can I use the chalk paint on the metal?

Thanks for all this great information! Can’t wait to start mt first project.


298 Diane Henkler October 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi Nancy – Chalk paint works beautifully on metal. When you put the wax coat over it and buff it will look great and be protected at the same time.


299 Donna November 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Hi Dianne,
OMG so glad I wound your website! Wealth of information for a first timer. I took the Annie Sloan workshop it was well worth the money. But I am definitely into saving time and money and will try the Calcium Carbonate recipe. I would like to do my kitchen cupboards and wondered if you think it would be best to clean them with TSP then use a coat of Shellac and then lightly sand before proceeding with chalk painting. The cupboards are home made out of pine and have been stained and a coat of shellac as the top coat (I think). Also. need your expertise/recommendation on do I use soft wax or polyurethane to shine and protect? Thank you so much Donna


300 Erika November 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi Dianne,
I love to paint Furniture and used PLASTER OF PARIS to produce my own Chalkpaint. All the painting went very fine, but i discovered 2 Problems:
The first own is, that after painting, drying and putting 2 layers of wax on, every small hit or scratch takes of the Paint and looks ugly. is their something i can do about it, as like this the Furniture is too sensitive?
And the second Question i have is, what to do with “left over of Color with Plaster of Paris” which got hard overnight?
Thank you very much for your Help,


301 Diane Henkler January 7, 2014 at 12:01 am

Hi Erika -

How long did the paint scratch off? It could be the paint has not cured yet. It can take up to 4 weeks to cure. The other reason it may scratch off is the surface was too glossy. It always helps with adhesion to run a piece of sandpaper over the surface to rough it up a bit before painting.

As for disposing, if there is only a little bit, I wash it down the sink as I clean my brushes. If it has gotten hard – I throw it in the trash. My township requires the paint to be dry and hard to be thrown out. Usually I have to add hardener – cat litter works well to dry it up. Check with your town or trash service.


302 George Koch November 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Some older paint stores used to sell calcium carbonate in large quantities such as 25 or 50 pound bags but called it whiting. Pottery suppliers carry it REALLY CHEAP Check out: Go to: store/product/349/Whiting,-325-Calcium-Carbonate or store/category/7/7/Chemicals/


303 Gay Curtiss November 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Wow…. 50# for only $1.25?!


304 RosieW December 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Gay, The Ceramic Shop’s calcium carbonate is priced by the pound. Still a fab deal.


305 Gay Curtiss December 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Ah, that makes more sense. Thank you. Yes, still a fab deal.


306 Claire November 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! I would like to paint the chrome legs and metal apron of an old enamel top table. (I do not want to paint the enamel top!). I am thinking that chalk paint might be the way to go since I want a charcoal grey matte finish. Do you have any experience painting a chrome surface with a matte finish chalk paint?


307 Diane Henkler November 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hi Claire – I just finished painting metal file cabinets with chalk paint. They came out great and as chalk paint always does – adhered well. I will be posting about it tomorrow – Monday the 18th. I would sand the metal first – (always helps with adhesion), clean, dry and then paint with DIY chalk paint. You could also spray paint the legs with flat spray paint or even a grey metal primer – it may give you the look you want to achieve.


308 Kathy Nielsen November 16, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Hi Diane, Do you know if you can mix Martha Stewart’s Metallic Paint into Carbonate Powder making it a chalk paint. I’d probably loose the metallic wouldn’t I?


309 Diane Henkler November 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Hi Kathy – I have not tried it, but it would become a flat finish. Since I don’t know what is added to that paint, it may bind up and not mix up smooth. The only way to find out is to experiment and see what happens. :)


310 Claire November 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Thanks, Diane! The only place I can paint this time of year is in the basement (we do not have a heated garage) so spray paint is out of the question. Is it true that it is safe to apply chalk paint inside the house??


311 Diane Henkler January 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I use it inside. When using Now Brand Calcium Carbonate Powder – it is food grade and not toxic. The smell depends on the brand of paint – some have more odor than others. I do miss spray painting in the Winter – that has to be done outside and in warmer temps. Most chalk paints you buy are low to no VOC’s.


312 Michelle November 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Absolutely the best article and website yet! Thank you so much for your advise and expertise.


313 Aya November 21, 2013 at 6:31 am

Hi Diane,

I love your blog, I have to 2 girls and I am planning to paint 7 feet by 3 feet wall ; and I wanted to ask you a question, and maybe you had tried this before. I bought in a home supply store a green Old school color of a chalkboard paint, it is too dark and the tint says not returnable, I wanted to make it light green and it was not until I found your blog that I learned that I can make my own paint, anyway I don’t want to lose this tint of paint and I was wondering if I can mix it with flat white paint, will the kids still have the ability to write on it?


314 Diane Henkler November 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hi Aya –

Yes you can mix in white paint, but if you have to lighten it a lot you should add a chalk component. Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder. I would test it first. Take about 1/4 cup of your green paint and then add a tsp of water to it and a tsp of PoP or the CCP and mix well. Add to the 1/4 cup of paint and mix. If it creates a smooth mix, then you know the paint will take the additive and can mix it in with the rest of your green paint.

To add to a quart of paint – Mix 2 tablespoons of PoP or CCP in a cup with the white paint and a tablespoon of water and mix it until smooth – then add slowly to your paint and mix it well. If the color needs to be lighter after this addition, then repeat the process until you get the color you want.


315 P.B. December 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

Painted one wall and a door in my bathroom with chalk paint and it came out beautiful!


316 Diane Henkler December 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hi P.B. – Love when I hear S-U-C-C-E-S-S stories. Thanks for sharing it here. In 2014 I have a few DIY chalk paint posts planned. Looking forward to starting them. Happy New Year!


317 Shia Simone January 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm

This is a wonderful post and has given me the confidence to tackle some large projects without latex paint! I am repurposing a vintage dining room sideboard made of solid oak and do not want to paint over the wood grain. I want to create a design over the entire front of the piece and was wondering if you had any suggestions for how I could create a contrast without covering the wood grain? The top has drink rings/water spots on it.


318 Diane Henkler January 30, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Hi Shia -

You could make a transparent glaze in any color you want and use that to paint your design on. Look at this post I have on how to make and use glaze.

To get rid of the water rings, If they are white rings and not dark – you could try using toothpaste to remove them or even Vaseline. Just rub either one over the rings, let sit for a few minutes and then buff them out. It think I read somewhere that cigarette ashes work well to remove them, too.


319 Donna January 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

I recently painted my PIANO!!! Yes.. My piano!! Lol it’s now turquoise and beautiful! I use extra virgin coconut oil on my pieces and I love it!! Smoother than Johnson wax and pleasant smell!! Lol thank you for all your experimenting!! Takes the guess work out of it for all of us! Blessings!!-Donna Moore


320 Donna January 13, 2014 at 10:21 am

And ps I’ll send you the photo of my piano and china hutch if you tell me how! Lol


321 claire January 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm

hi have you tryed the Diatomaceous Earth. i have a large tub of this and looking for ideas how to use it . thanks


322 Diane Henkler January 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Hi Claire – I have heard about using DE, but have not tried it yet. I do have some in my garage which will make it easy to try out. I will do it soon and post about it.


323 Freddy January 16, 2014 at 3:56 am

Hi there Diane

Greetings from sunny South Africa, I read with interest your article and how you mix your own chalk paint. Finding chalk paint here in SA is not as easy and the colour variations are limited. Using your method I will have no restrictions to colour. I have found a supplier that has an unlimited supply of CCP. R2.50 per kilo thats 25c in USA currency. They have variations on the microns available from very fine ….. 0 microns to 45 microns. My questions 1) should i use the more coarse or finer. I have tried the 5 and 15. 2) Is using 2 Table spoons to a cup (250 Ml) of paint enough. I see other recipes that I have researched call for equal quantities of paint and CCP. I look forward to hearing from you and i will share my results with you.

Warm Regards


324 Diane Henkler January 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

Hi Freddy – Finer is better 0 it will mix up into a smoother consistency and not be gritty when you apply it. You can add more CCP to you mix. Mix it well with water first, then add it to the paint slowly. I have never added equal parts, I think that is not needed. I have added an extra tablespoon or two in some mixes to give the paint a rock hard finish with no problem at all. What you don’t want to happen is to add too much and have the mixture clump up on you.


325 Freddy January 20, 2014 at 12:47 am

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated. I did find that adding more CCP makes the finish really hard and not that easy to get the distressed look.


326 claire January 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

hi diane. just a wee update i tried the DE and its worked well, im pleased with the results. not sure of exact measures but thats the fun bit. good luck xx


327 Diane Henkler January 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for the info Claire. I am going to try it. Will keep you posted.


328 Linda January 18, 2014 at 11:05 am

I am working on an end table with plaster of Paris recipe, valspar paint sample. It seems to have a gel consistency. Is it ok?


329 Diane Henkler January 19, 2014 at 12:39 am

Hi Linda – Valspar paint has primer in it and that is what makes the mix bind. If the brush gets paint on it and you can paint the surface with it, it is fine to use – you may have to sand a bit more to age if there are any dried clumps on the painted surface. I used Valspar in one of my experiments and I did paint with it, but I never used it again. Look for paint that does not have primer in it. All Valspar and Olympic paints do.


330 Linda January 20, 2014 at 8:18 am

Thanks for the reply! I went ahead n used the paint. I’m not real pleased with the results but it will do. After all it was a free paint sample! BUT like you I won’t be using valspar again in my chalk paint. ;) PS I love ur blog!


331 Amanda January 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Hi – Thanks for this – am about to start using chalk paint but was put off by the price of the branded ones – very glad I found this, calcium carbonate for me! You mention that someone said in the comments that lime is caustic. Just wanted to let you know that Garden Lime is really just calcium carbonate and is not caustic – “quicklime” (calcium oxide) and “hydrated lime” (calcium hydroxide) are caustic. “Lime” is a just term for any calcium containing inorganic materials.


332 Diane Henkler January 30, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Hi Amanda – Thanks for sharing what Garden lime is. I will add it to the post. I know many readers will like to know this.


333 Donna Moore January 31, 2014 at 10:04 am

Where do you purchase calcium carbonate? I ordered a small amount from amazon.. Can’t seem to find any around my area!


334 Diane Henkler January 31, 2014 at 10:12 am

Hi Donna -

I buy it at the health food store. They always have it in stock, It runs about $5.50 for 16 oz. Some readers buy it in bulk online. Do a Google search for Calcium Carbonate Powder and a bunch of industrial type sites will show up. On some site, you may need to fulfill a minimum to order, but it is very inexpensive.


335 Kathy Nielsen January 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hi Diane, I am wondering if I can paint my bathroom counter top with DIY chalk paint (using calcium carbonate). I have read your instructions on preparing a laminate surface but I am not sure for a bathroom counter. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?


336 Diane Henkler February 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Kathy -

If you keep water from standing on the counter surface, a well sealed paint will work fine. If the counter gets lots of abuse, it may not hold up for the long run. I would use the CCpowder and mix in a T of Plaster of Paris to add extra hardness to the finish. I would sand the laminate counter first to rough it up, clean it, and then paint. I would use a water based polyurethane over it. They make satin and gloss formulas. If you use light coats for both paint and poly, you should create a durable finish.

Rustoleum and a few other companies make a product especially for painting over countertops. Some are solid colors other have a stone look. They might be worth checking out at the home improvement store.


337 Bro ni January 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Thank you so much! Very helpful! I paid a fortune talk a chalk painting class and it would be another fortune to buy it! This was great!


338 Jana February 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I’m considering painting my c. 1992 oak woodwork with chalk paint. You said you “would never use chalk paint” to paint trim — why not? Is it about expense, durability, or what? Have you tried it?


339 Diane Henkler February 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Hi Jana -

The reason I would not want to use chalk paint on my woodwork is because I like mine glossy white. If you use chalk paint – the finish will be flat. You would have to wax and buff the paint after it is dried to get it to be shiny. Over time, it may need to be re-buffed and waxed. Too much work. For me it is easier to use 2 light coats of stain blocking primer (if the wood is stained) and then a coat of paint. Then you are done. Chalk paint is fine to use if you are after the look of a flat finish and/or don’t mind waxing and buffing it.


340 Jana February 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Thanks — that’s very helpful!

I always wax chalk paint, and I love the patina it gives!


341 Chris February 3, 2014 at 12:20 am

Have you considered using a water based poly over the chalk paint? Yes you will lose the “flat” sheen but add the durability needed for woodwork and cabinets. You would need to let the chalk paint cure out but it should work.


342 Diane Henkler February 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

Hi Chris – Water based poly like Minwax Polycrylic works well over chalk paint. It does take a tiny bit of the patina away from the finish, but works great if you need something more than wax to protect the finish. Tabletops, etc.

343 Chris February 3, 2014 at 12:17 am

I currently work for Valspar as a sales manager. I am not a chemist but I can tell you our “contractor” or “pro” paints work excellent for making your own chalk paint! Our premium paint lines have very high quality resins which make it hard to distress. This is a benefit to the paint when using it as directed but not when making chalk paint. Stick with good quality flat paint and not the premium stuff that has primer attributes. My two cents…


344 Diane Henkler February 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

Hi again Chris -

Thanks for sharing what you know about the paint. It will help readers pick out the right paint when they want to us Valspar to make chalk paint. When I tried to make chalk paint with Valspar, I have only used the Valspar paint in the sample pots. These must be the “premium paint” since every time I try, the mixture turns to sludge. When I asked the paint guy at Lowes he told me that all Valspar paint had primer in it.

I will check out the contractor and pro lines. I usually don’t ever look at these lines because in general, you need to apply more coats to get full coverage.

I use Valspar with great results when not making chalk paint with it. :)


345 Chris February 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

Diane, sorry the Lowe’s person told you that. Our contractor paints are not considersd paint an primer in one. They hide very well so I think you will be surprised if you try them. I suggest using Valspar 2000 from Lowe’s. The only problem is that it’s only sold in gallons and not quarts. Also, all of the samples we sell at Lowe’s are now Valspar Signature and will not work for chalk paint. In the past the sample paint was not Signature and would work. So please be careful buying our sample paint from Lowe’s if you’re using it for chalk paint.


346 Diane Henkler February 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Thanks Chris – this is very good to know. I appreciate you taking the time explain the differences between the paints.


347 sue Elkins February 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I use the valspar sample paints daily for my projects, and as long as I make sure to ask them not to use formula A it works great. Since I paint with a lot of light colors, most of them would normally use formula A which when mixed with plaster of Paris turns into a gobby mess.
Formula B works great and my projects come out beautiful.

You can see some of my projects and the formula I use on my Facebook Page. Gracy Rose Boutique


348 Chris February 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

That’s good news! I can see why that might work. “Base A” has more solids and is designed for light colors. It has more pigment and binders that may cause a problem in making chalk paint. Base B and Base C are designed for medium and dark colors so there is more room for “colorant” which would help it stay silky and not sludgy. Anyway…thanks for the input and I hope your projects look great.


349 Diane Henkler February 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Hi Sue – This is great to know. Thanks for sharing. I will add it to the post. I will check out your page. :)


350 tina February 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Hi. I was very interested to read your experiments with DIY chalk paints. Maybe I have missed this information but I am still unclear as to what paint I should use…vinyl silk gloss or emulsion?? At a guess I would say gloss as this is usually used on wood and emulsion on walls. Either way I would still appreciate your opinion and advice….thanks tina


351 Diane Henkler February 4, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Here in the US we have and use latex paint to make DIY chalk paint. It is water based. I usually use a satin finish, but you can use any finish as once you add the chalk component, the paint will become flat.


352 Don February 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

Forgive my ignorance but is the use for these chalk paint ideas strictly for decorating or can you use these recipes to make an every day chalkboard? My concern is how well erasing the chalk works. Thanks.


353 Diane Henkler February 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Hi Don – It can be used both ways. You can use it to make a chalkboard in any color you desire. After you add the grout, plaster, or Calcium Carbonate powder to the paint and paint the surface, it will become chalky and flat when it dries. I would use a high quality brush so you don’t get any brush strokes on your surface. You skip the wax finish if using the paint for chalkboard purposes. It will erase just like any chalkboard.


354 Mayte February 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

Hi Diane,
Thank you for the great article. I think I know the answer to this but can chalk paint be made from oil base paint?


355 Diane Henkler February 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

Hi Mayte – No. Chalk paint can only be made with water based and latex paints.


356 Lind February 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hi Diane, great job with the comparisons. I have yet to try the expensive chalk paint but have mixed up my own using cornstarch. I have been very pleased with the results. I have also ordered an additive that claims to be very good. FYI, there are a couple other chalk/clay/mineral paints out there that aren’t as expensive as the well known brands. They are American Paints and Shabby Paints. Have you tried either of these?


357 Lori March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Did you ever find any powdered lime? You can purchase it some feed stores or farm supply stores that carry fertilizer and such. Thanks for all your testing and advice. Haven’t tried any of yet… but I will using lime as I already have some that we use in our barns to help decay manure and cover smell. People used to use it in outhouses. Now you have a fun fact that may come in handy someday. ;-)


358 Diane Henkler March 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

Thanks Lori – I did not find the Lime yet. I will have to look for a farm/feed store in my area since I would like to test it out. Funny about the Outhouse usage :)


359 Courtney March 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Will you be at Lucketts this year? I met you last year and have enjoyed your blog since then! I just made the Plaster of Paris recipe. Love the price, ease of mixing, and application is great- I am having Bleed Thru of the Tanins of my piece- So, hoping to not have to use Shellac (b/c of the fumes). I made a color similar to ASCP’s Old White. Thanks for your blog and your amazing posts! Hope to see you in VA! -courtney


360 Diane Henkler March 3, 2014 at 8:55 am

Thanks Courtney -

I can’t get to Lucketts this year. :( Wish I could since it was such a great day last year and I did come home with a few treasures.

To remedy the bleed through on your chalk painted piece – Make up a small batch of the chalk paint, but double the PoP in the mix. Stir is smooth and then brush it over any areas where the tanins are bleeding through. This is what I did for the vintage file cabinet I painted and it worked. If it doesn’t, you may have to use the shellac.


361 Freddy March 3, 2014 at 4:46 am

Hi there Diane

When you do the waxing over the chalk paint, is it normal soft wax.? I have wax that i use for furniture, antiques and wood. Its a local product in South Africa.
Thank you


362 Diane Henkler March 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi Freddy – As long as it is a soft wax and not hard like candle wax. If it is clear wax it should look like clear/golden butter that you can dip a rag into to pick a glob of it up.


363 Freddy March 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

Hi Diane. This wax is white. I will look around as I need to find a dark wax as well as a clear wax. Question…… the wax that you use is it a normal furniture wax or specially formulated for putting over paint. ?


364 Diane Henkler March 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

I can only assume since I don’t know the brand that you have, If your wax is white, white and not really soft, it could be Liming Wax. If it is a light beige white and soft that you can pull out a glob with a few fingers, it is probably clear when it goes on and is not Liming Wax. If it is Liming Wax it is used to add a subtle white look in the nooks and crannies of a piece as well as to whiten the look of raw wood. You could use this over chalk painted pieces to give a layered look to the surface, but it is not what I use.

I use clear wax. It is normal furniture wax. The least expensive brand is Johnson’s and they call it a Paste Wax. It has a more grey yellow look. Fiddes and Sons calls theirs Wax Polish and the wax looks more golden in color. Annie Sloan calls hers Soft Wax and has a more opaque white beige look to it. If you can dip your hand in it and pull out a glob, then it should be OK to use.


365 Freddy March 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

As always thank you for your quick response. I will shop around. Kind regards.

366 Alisa Liu March 11, 2014 at 12:37 am

Thank you for such an insightful post about this chalk paint! Do you know if other kinds of paint besides latex work for these recipes as well?


367 Diane Henkler March 11, 2014 at 7:46 am

Hi Alisa – I have only used latex based paint and acrylic craft paints, but I think you could use any water-based paint that does not have a primer or an acrylic added to it if using the Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout recipe. If using Calcium Carbonate Powder you should be OK using any water based paint. Oil-based paints will not work.


368 Whitney March 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Quick question. I am new to chalk painting and have been using the plaster of paris mixture. I love the look but am having a hard time with the wax. I am truly not sure how to apply it. I have never put wax on my furniture before, only SPRAYED several coats of poly…. like I said, I am new. :) How exactly do I apply the wax? How long do I let it dry? What exactly does buffing mean? I am not sure how hard to “buff”, etc. Also, do I sand the piece all over, after applying the chalk paint and distressing in my preferred areas for the wax to adhere best? This is the main point I am confused about. When I add my final coat of paint, I usually do 2, I am not sure how to finish my projects! Any advice you have is greatly appreciated!! Thank you! :)


369 Diane Henkler March 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Hi Whitney -

Waxing is not hard to to, but it does take some elbow grease when buffing. I have read other blogs that say when you wax you can only get a subelt sheen, this is incorrect. If you add a few thin layers of wax over you piece and buff well in between each you can bring out quite a refelctive shine. I like Fiddes and Sons Wax the best, but am happy using Johnson’s. Annie Sloan’s wax is very nice, but I have only used it once. Here is how to do it: I always wax the day after I paint, so I know it is fully dry. Dip a soft lint free rag or cloth into the wax. ( I cut up old T-shirts) Rub the wax in a very thin layer all over the surface. Wait a few minutes and then with another clean rag start buffing. Buffing is nothing more than rubbing the clean cloth over the surface in a circular motion vert hard. Keep doing it until the surface feels slippery. I always do two coats. Apply another thin layer and buff again. Buffing can take 10 -15 minutes depending on how flat and chalky your chalk paint finish is. Once that coat is slippery, you are done, or you can add another coat. As you buff, keep moving the rag all around. If it gets saturated with wax, get another clean one and buff more. If you want to distress the piece there are two different looks. If you like the distressing to look very raw and rustic, sand the edges and surfaces you want distressed after you wax. If you want a more polished look, distress the edges with sandpaper and clean off the grit before waxing. I prefer the more polished look for my pieces.

I like the look of wax, but you could always use water based Minwax Polycrylic over the piece and distress instead of waxing. I think the satin finish looks the best. It is easier. A little bit of the patina you get with wax is lost, but your piece will still look nice.


370 Tina March 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Have you ever used Bone Meal powder to make chulk paint? Went looking in local stores for calcium carbonate and could not fined. The health food store showed me Bone Meal it’s calcium carbonate but has phosphorus and magnesium in it, all natural. Do you think this will work?


371 Diane Henkler March 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Hi Tina -

Many readers ask me this question. I have not used bone meal, only Calcium Carbonate Powder, but will experiment with it and about it since it seems easier to find than CCP. It may work just fine since it is for bone health just like Calcium Carbonate is.


372 Tina March 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Going to try it out and see how it works…I’ll let you know what I think about it. Fingers crossed!


373 Cheryl March 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Hi, does it matter what type/brand of wax you use or would you stick to the branded ones made specifically for waxing chalk paint? Thanks :o)


374 Diane Henkler March 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm

You do not have to use the branded waxes. I have used Minwax, Johnsons, Briwax, Fiddes and Sons, and Annie Sloan waxes. I use Fiddes and Sons the most, followed by Johnson’s. I do not recommend Minwax. It leaves an orange cast on light colors. I have only used a sample of Annie Sloan – it was nice, but I am happy with how my pieces turn out with Fiddes and Sons and Johnson’s which are less expensive.


375 Cheryl March 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

Many thanks for your help Diane :) x


376 Eira March 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Hi! I am currently doing a project using my own recipe that is incredibly simple. I’m doing a small side table so I mix it in small batches; I like to use fresh paint. I use 2 tbsp baking soda and enough water to make a paste. I then mix in 1/4 cup paint. Stir and use. It is a little gritty, but I always sand everything. You can distress or leave as-is. I use the Johnson’s wax as well. Easy as pie and no shopping around for extra ingredients. It has served me well. Just my experience. Thanks so much for sharing yours.


377 Diane Henkler March 27, 2014 at 8:31 am

Hi Eira -

Thanks for sharing your recipe. I have not tried using baking soda yet. I will have to try it out soon. It is nice that it is a very easy to find – at any grocery store and inexpensive. We all like that :)


378 SHAWNA March 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Benjamin Moore makes chalk paint in any color you desire. I have even taken Dunn Edwards swatches to them and they have mixed those colors for me in the chalk paint. Don’t know if you have OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) in your area but they carry Benjamin Moore. Thanks for all the info, I’m interested in transforming existing paint to chalk paint


379 Diane Henkler March 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Hi Shawna – I have used other brands of chalkboard paint, but not the Ben Moore brand. I am going to be doing a another review soon. I will add it to the list. Thanks for sharing the info about it here.


380 Michele April 3, 2014 at 2:38 am

This is fantastic!! Thank you for doing all that testing and doing such a great, detailed write-up on your results! I now know that I need to use plaster of paris because it is the smoothest that also covers wood tannins. I’m definitely going to pick up some of that antiquing glaze, and may just do the Polycrylic since all that wiping and buffing is not my thing. :-) Thanks again for the great information!


381 Kathy April 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Can you only use latex paint?


382 Diane Henkler April 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Hi Kathy – I have only used latex based paints with success. I think oil based would turn to sludge. :)


383 Dee April 9, 2014 at 1:58 am

Hi Diane: I just stumbled on your website and love it. You gave such details on the chalk paint.
I recently read that you can use chalk paint as a primer. I primed my bathroom door trim with zinser 123 but ran out. I decided to use chalk paint as a second coat. My house is 40 years old, and the molding had some dings even after the Zinser. The chalk paint filled in the dings and dents. Woo HOO!!!!
I used this recipe for the chalk paint… Latex paint with dry wall compound, aka premixed joint compound. Joint compound is basically calcium carbonate. The trim came out so soft looking it is beautiful. What I am going to do to seal it I s use latex or SW acrylic as a final coat. This way no waxing involved.
What do you think of this option?
Thanks once again for a great tutorial. I cannot wait to try chalk paint on an old bookcase. I will definitely be following your ideas.


384 Diane Henkler April 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

Hi Dee – I have not tried the joint compound recipe yet, but I have heard a lot about it. I plan to do a new post soon and will include that in my comparison. The fact that it filled your dings and dents while painting saved you a step. That is always a good thing.


385 April April 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

Hello, I have read so many posts about putting chalk paint onto wood surfaces. I was really wanting to use in on a factory painted white vanity. You know the super boring ones that you can buy off the shelf at lowes. We are remodeling our home upstairs to include two new bedrooms and a bathroom. I would love to make this cabinet look new and ever better than new! Please advise.


386 Diane Henkler April 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Hi April -

Chalk paint would be great to use for painting your vanity. It would adhere well and be super durable. I would sand the surface with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block just to rough up the surface a bit. I would use the Calcium Carbonate mix with a tiny bit of Plaster of Paris mixed in. Paint on two light coats, letting the first coat dry, then apply the second. If you want to distress the finish – do that with some sandpaper then add a wax coat or a water based poly to seal and protect the finish. For the recipe for the CCP and PoP mix click over to my DIY chalk paint recipes here:

I hope I am painting when I am 86 years young – you go girl!!!!!


387 Susie April 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Just wanted to say thank you,thank you and thank you for sharing your knowledge about chalk paint,I just finish my fourth project and I love the cc and pl p combo too.I see what you mean about it sometime turning out differently,I mix first batch with a two different samples of white paint,one was valpar,forgot the other brand and thought it was best paint I had ever used,then I mix my dark valpar with cc and pl p and now it’s the best I ever seen,dried rock hard and smooth as a baby’s butt:)Love it!


388 Diane Henkler April 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

hi susie -

So glad to hear of your success with DIY chalk paint. Once you see the way it looks and feels compared to just latex paint on a piece – you get it. I am in love with the CCP mix with PoP. I will never paint a piece of furniture again without using this combo. Thanks for sharing your experience using the mix.


389 Susie April 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I meant valspar paint,fumes might not be that good for me,lol.


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