DIY Chalk Paint Review Update

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.

How-to-make-your-own-chalk-paint

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

Ce-Ce-Caldwell-Clay-and-Chalk-Paint-in-Blue-Montana-Sky

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.

Comparison-of-Chalk-Paint-Brands

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.

How-to-Make-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.

When I make chalk paint, I usually use a satin finish paint, but you can use any finish since once you add the powder the paint will become flat. I have used flat, eggshell, satin, and even semi-gloss with great results.

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.

Chalk-Paint-Recipe--Calcium-Carbonate

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

What paint finish should I use?

When I make chalk paint, I usually use a satin finish paint, but you can use any finish since once you add the powder the paint will become flat. I have used flat, eggshell, satin, and even semi-gloss with great results.

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 want super durable – hard even to sand finish, use the Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris mixed recipe.  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!

Chalk-Paint-Wax-Review

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.

 

 



Comments

  1. Judy says

    I have tried the baking soda and plaster and I think I prefer the baking soda. The baking soda worked well with the Valspar sample size paint, but the plaster had issues with it, it thickened up and had to add water several times and had to paint the chair with 3 coats. I have done 3 pieces with plaster and 3 with soda.
    Question, after waxing and buffing, buffing and buffing I still see a film and finger prints on the plaster painted pieces, any solution comes to mind?

    Thank you.

    • Patti Peltz says

      I found that if I use a paint that has primer in it, it hardens fast. Valspar samples don’t have the primer, but if you use one of their top of the line… it hardens fast. Behr has a paint that has no primer and it works wonderfully.

  2. Kim says

    Hi Diane,
    Like everyone else THANKS for this informative article. Everyone in my area is “in to” ASCP and I have been too busy but now want to repurpose some pieces. My ?, though, is unrelated to furniture. Do you think you can use this paint on a wall for a chalk wall? TIA!

  3. Gem says

    Hi Diane, your posts are so helpful! I’m not sure if this has been asked already but I have seen a lot of people painting upholstered furniture on the interwebs. Do you think the DIY Chalk Paint (especially the Plaster of Paris one) would work on upholstery? Maybe leather/vinyl too? I think it looks fantastic and would love to give it a go. Thanks a lot, Gem.

    • says

      Hi Gem -I have not yet tried DIY chalk paint on upholstery, but have heard good things. It does not look good on fabric that has a long nap – like a velvet since the brush strokes would dry the nap in different directions. For leather and vinyl – I would go over the surface lightly with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper to rough it up a little, so the paint has something to grab onto. I would use light coats and use fine sandpaper in between each coat to smooth out the paint. Let it cure for a few days and then wax. Apply a thin coat of wax, buff well and then repeat and buff.

  4. Madelein says

    Hi Diane,

    You really spent a lot of time with your detailed and very informative blog. Using chalk paint seems to be very popular all over the internet and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I love transforming furniture but have always used solvent based paints with a glaze coat over it. Very toxic, smelly and time consuming, sanding, priming and waiting for layers to dry etc. The chalk paint process seems to be much faster and easier and definitely cheaper! I live in South Africa and are not familiar with the brand names of your paint and wax etc. However, a few selected stores in big cities do stock Annie Sloan but it’s very expensive and hard to source and the colors are limited. But because of all the wonderful experiments you have done with all the DIY recipes, I will be attempting to use chalk paint first thing next week! Thanks so much for the inspiration and I am looking forward to read about all your future projects.

    • says

      Thanks for the nice note Madelein. If you can find latex or water based paint and one of the DIY ingredients like Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris and make your own chalk paint you will never want to go back to the old way of painting furniture. It may take you some trial and error to get it right with what you have available to you in South Africa, but once you have success, you will love not only working with the paint, but the finish it produces. The wax acts like magic and adds the perfect patina.

  5. Freddy says

    Hi there Diane

    How long should leave the chalk paint to dry before I do a tranfer onto the surface using the following method (obtained from the Graphics fairy site.)
    Good old Mod Podge, is there anything this stuff can’t do?!! This excellent Tutorial by Katie at Matsuke explains how to use this technique to Transfer onto Wood. I’ve also seen this used on Fabric, Canvas, Terra Cotta and even shiny Ceramic pieces. This is a really popular method and super versatile since you can use it on so many materials!

  6. Mary Pat says

    Always love seeing what you’ve done lately but today I wanted to read up on chalk painting again since I’m in the mood to try it!

    Two questions:
    1. Tried to follow your link for Vintage Finds and there was an error – is the address correct?

    2. You said you wouldn’t use chalk paint for wall trim but I’m about to do the last coat on my fireplace mantle and want it to be super hard as I put lots of stuff there! I’m using enamel finish paint so that should help but I wonder why you counsel against chalk paint? Wouldn’t it make a super durable finish and shine up nicely with the wax? Hope you’ll share your thoughts :)

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Mary Pat – I think that Vintage Finds no longer has a website or they changed it. I will have to remove the link.
      As far as telling readers that I would not paint trim with chalk paint. It would look very nice, but it is a lot of work to wax and then buff all the baseboards, door trim, etc. I think regular semi-gloss looks the same for this and is less work. If you want to make the trim look aged then I would use it. Your fireplace mantel is more like furniture which I would use chalk paint on. :-) I hope this helps.

  7. Sharon says

    Hi, Diane,
    I scored some great “Opps!” paint at HD the other day that I want to make into chalk paint. But today I noticed that they are paint and primer together. Can I still use them for chalk paint? And if so, which recipe should I use?

    Thanks so much!

    Sharon

  8. VERONICA says

    Hi. I cant seem to find the Calcium Carbonate in powder form. Can you tell me where you found it please?

    thanks in advance!

  9. Martha says

    I didn’t read through all of the comments on this post, so forgive me if it is redundant. If you haven’t tried your idea of using DE, I would suggest you get the food-grade version. I use DE in my pool filter, and there is an ingredient in it that may cause lung cancer. It is a very fine powder with lots of dust. I wear a mask when putting it in the filter, and I’m outside. I would not recommend using that product when there are safer items that work. The edible DE is probably fine. I’m not familiar with it to know the price or what it’s like. Thank you for all of your tested-out advice; I’ve been wanting to dig into chalk paint, and now it’s an affordable option!

  10. Aubrey says

    I’ve painted an oak dining chair and table legs ( which were factory finish white), with a DIY plaster of Paris recipe.
    I’ve got a few problems:
    On the chair, i did 2 coats of paint. Sanded and used liquid deglosser first but didn’t prime. I loved the look and was going to wax but read poly was more durable so I did this. ( I have 4 young children). My chairs have only been used a few days and the paint chips right off easily!! I’m so disappointed. Now what do I do?
    My table legs I sanded lightly, didn’t use deglosser or prime. Did 2 coats of paint, then one coat of polycrylic. I have blotchy areas where you can see the original white paint showing through? It was originally a stark white and the chalk paint an antique white. Plus the polycrylic looks awful, lots of drips, bubbles, the paint looks sort of crackled in some spots?
    Help!! I’m new to chalk paint and painting furniture.
    I had hoped to paint my kitchen cabinets ( a cheap mdf particle board under i guess a wood look paper?) This week, but now I need to find a more durable method or something? I hate to go with priming and latex paint cuz I love the look of chalk paint and distressing.
    Any advice is appreciated!!

  11. Laura says

    Hi, Thanks so much for your amazing post and great information!
    I mixed up some chalk paint last year, using your combo calcium carbonate and plaster of paris recipe. It was really really lumpy, so I must not have mixed it up well enough, don’t know what I did wrong but it was not good.
    Anyway, I decided to try calcium carbonate recipe by itself and it was perfectly smooth. However, my desk I painted already has several chips in it and I did 2 coats! Is this recipe very durable or nothing to do with the recipe? I added polycrylic on top and it has chipped through that as well. (It’s been under a week since I painted!)
    Would I be better off just using latex paint? It is more durable than chalk paint?
    Thanks so much!!!

    • says

      Hi Laura – I think the adhesion problem on your desk has nothing too do with the paint, but more about letting the newly painted finish cure. Paint, any paint takes at least a few days to a few weeks depending on the temps and humidity to cure. I think you just need to wait a bit longer – try not to use the piece for a few weeks, or only light duty.

      Another reason the paint may have not adhered is that you may not have sanded the surface enough before painting. I use 100-grit sandpaper over the surface to rough it up first with a hand-sanding block before painting. This provides some “tooth” so the paint has something to grab onto. If you did this, then it could also be that the paint coats were applied too thick. If you applied the 2 coats thinly,then I think your finish just has to cure.

      Chalk paint is more durable than regular latex. When latex alone is used, you have to sand and prime before applying the paint. It also dries to a rubbery touch. I have painted many pieces successfully this way, but now that I know and have used chalk paint – I have found it too be more durable and no rubbery feel. It makes my pieces look more professional and not just like a painted piece.

  12. donna maxey says

    Great helpful tips and comparison on your DIY chalk paints..

    I would love to be able to share findings on Pinterest. Do you have a link I missed?

    Also, I had to search a long time to find out if the finish of the paint (semi gloss, matt etc.) used makes a difference since you add the other components to make calk paint. Just wanted to share that in case you wanted to incorporate that in your basic instructions.

    Thanks for your information and getting ready my concoction now.

    May the Lord rich you bless you.
    d

    • says

      Hi Donna – Thanks for the tip about putting what type of paint finish to use in the basic instructions. I have written so many posts on DIY chalk paint and have tried to link to them in each post so readers can find what they are looking for. Did you go to these pages to see all the posts I have written about making and using chalk paint?

      http://inmyownstyle.com/diy-chalk-paint-recipes

      http://inmyownstyle.com/category/chalk-paint

      I need to create a page with all the basics. Hope to do that soon. :-)

    • says

      Hi Donna – Thanks for your suggestion. I will add that to the basic instructions. I am in the process of updating all my chalk paint posts. When I started writing them I had no idea how popular they would become. I am almost finished a book that will be available soon that is the complete DIY chalk painting guide.

  13. donna maxey says

    HI
    Me again, I went back to the first page and I do see a pintrist link but can’t get it to open and attach to my page. Maybe it is just my computer acting up.

    • says

      Hi Donna – Were you able to open up the Pinterest link on my blog that you wanted? If not could you tell me what page and image you were trying to pin and I can troubleshoot it for you.

  14. shalane says

    does it matter what finish you use in paint? Gloss? Semi gloss? Egg shell? Want to paint my kitchen cabinets but want to be sure it’s the right kind of paint. What paint brand worked best for you?

    • says

      Hi Shalane – You can use any latex paint finish, but I like using satin the best. Any well known brand of paint will be fine if using Calcium Carbonate Powder. If adding Plaster of Paris to the mix, try using one where there is no primer added to the formula. Glidden used to make their Premium brand in a blue can with no primer in it. I think it is still sold by the quart at Home Depot. I also like Easy Care that I bought at True Value Hardware. It was in a pale yellow can with gold and blue writing. I just used Behr in in the white can on my dresser and it came out great.

  15. Kristen says

    I absolutely LOVE the look of your sample boards with the white showing through instead of the normal dark wood color. Did you paint the boards white first, then paint with the chalk paint and then distress? LOVE!!! Thanks for any tips you can share! I really want to do this on a secretary I have!

    • says

      Hi Kristen – The boards I used to show the chalk paint colors was white MDF. So when you sand that is the color that was exposed. To do it on a piece of furniture. I would use a white primer like Glidden Gripper primer first on the piece. Let it cure for a few days so it is really adhered. Then use chalk paint. After it is dry, use a medium to fine grit sandpaper to sand the top color of paint off. Be careful not to sand too hard so you don’t expose the raw wood under the white primer.

  16. Megan says

    Hi, love your blogs…….question……I am planning to paint my kitchen cabinets using the plaster of paris recipe. Do you suggest using a brush or roller paint?? I usually prefer a roller, but that is with regular paint. Thanks

  17. Rita Marnell says

    Hi Diane. I just finished painting an old night stand and am very pleased with the outcome so far. This is my first experiment with chalk paint. I made my own with CC powder using your recipe. I loved the way it spread and covered. I did prime the piece first. My question is about applying the clear wax (I have the Johnson’s Paste Wax). I didn’t see this addressed …. Do I need to apply more than one coat of wax? If yes, do I have to do anything to the finish before applying a second coat? If more than one coat is recommended, how long should I wait between coats? Also, after painting, how long should I wait to apply the wax? Sorry, that was actually several questions.

    • says

      Hi Rita –

      I apply two to three coats of wax depending on how much sheen I want the piece to have. When using Johnson’s Paste wax. I wait at least 24 hours after the paint has dried to wax. I apply a thin layer, wait 10 mins and then buff with a clean soft cloth. When the cloth slides over the surface easily it is buffed enough. If you like the sheen, your done, if you would like more sheen or a thicker layer of protection, repeat the waxing and buffing process. You can keep adding more layers right away. Old worn t-shirts work well for buffing. It does take some elbow grease to bring up the shine on some pieces. Other shine up right away. I find a mix with Plaster in in takes more layers of wax, less with CCP.

  18. Nicole says

    Greetings. I have an old solid wood dresser. It is very shiny with a clear Polyurethane like thick coat. I’ve read a few of your post but I’m not sure which DIY mix to use. Which would you recommend? – Thank you

    • says

      Hi Nicole – I would use primer and latex on it. First sand to scratch the surface to knock down the shine and provide some tooth so the primer and paint have something to stick to. Clean it off and dry. I would use 2 light coats of Original Kilz. It is oil-based, but it dries in 30 minutes and will stick to anything and block the tannins from the wood and poly from changing the color of your paint. You can also use Glidden Gripper. It is water-based bonding primer. Both are excellent products. I tend to use Gripper more often, but if the piece is very old, I think Kilz may be a better option since it blocks wood from bleeding through paint.

      Let the first coat dry before applying the second. Sand lighty if needed between coats to level ridges or drips in dried paint. Clean off grit with a cloth.

      Then 2 light coats of water-based latex paint in any brand you like over the primer. If using a light color you may need a third coat.

      If you are not using a high gloss paint, you can use water-based polyurethane over the dried paint as a sealer. I like Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish. It also comes in semi-gloss. I only do this on table tops, but it can be done on any piece to help protect the painted finish.

  19. jennifer says

    I am curious if you can use acrylic craft paint (like apple barrel etc) to have bright unique colors for small projects. Also, how easily do you think this is to remove down the road when this style is no longer popular and after creating a durable surface…sanding or stripping?

  20. wendy says

    Hello,
    Thank you for your wonderful, detailed information. I have a question… I bought an armoire that had been painted and waxed with ASCP. However, I would like to change the color and want to use the diy plaster of paris recipe. Should I just sand lightly or do you think I would need to take it down to the bare wood?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Wendy –

      Soft wax can be removed from your armoire by wiping the surface with a clean rag moistened with a small amount of low-odor mineral spirits. You can buy this at any home improvement or paint store. It is inexpensive. Have several rags on hand and switch to a clean one when the one you are working with becomes covered with wax. Repeat until your rag remains clean. Take care with your used rags as they should not just be thrown in the garbage can. Place them first in a bucket of water and then spread them outside to dry. They can then be disposed.

      After this, I would sand the armoire to provide some tooth for the new paint, but you do not have to take it to the bare wood.

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