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.

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

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. Jan Bergseth says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  2. says

    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.
    Marilyn

  3. Chris says

    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. :)

  4. says

    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!

  5. Marsha Milstock says

    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.
    Sincerely
    Marsha

    • says

      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.

  6. says

    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

  7. Kathy says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  8. Frani says

    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.

  9. Frani says

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

    • says

      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.

  10. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

        • says

          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.

          • says

            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.

  11. says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  12. charisse andrews says

    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!

    • Sheryll & Critters. says

      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.

    • says

      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.

      • Nicole says

        Hi Diane! Question: could I use interior satin from Behr with the built in primer? Or will this harden? Would I be better off just getting the satin on it’s own? (low VOC of course bc it’s for a nursery piece) Thank you!

        Nicole

    • says

      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!

  13. Jackie says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  14. Cathy says

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

  15. says

    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!

  16. Mary says

    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!

    • says

      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: http://mycolortopia.com/blog/color/creating-the-perfect-color-scheme and http://mycolortopia.com/blog/color/creating-the-perfect-color-scheme

  17. says

    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…

  18. says

    Diane,

    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!!

    • says

      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!

  19. says

    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.

    • says

      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

  20. irene g says

    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.

  21. Johanna says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      • Buckeye Peach says

        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…

        • says

          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: http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/04/ikea-billy-bookcase-makeover.html

  22. says

    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!

    Monique

  23. Amy G. says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  24. Betsy says

    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.
    Respectfully,
    Betsy Cadenhead

  25. Allison Jordan says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  26. Mary Parker says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-make-and-paint-with-diy-chalk-paint.html

  27. Lenora says

    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!

    • Mary Parker says

      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

      • says

        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 Amazon.com. 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.

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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.

  28. says

    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.

  29. says

    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.

  30. Mary says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  31. Sally says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  32. says

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

    • says

      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: http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/testing-1-2-3-versions-of-chalk-paint.html

      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.

      • KBB says

        Hey, Diane! If you want to sample FAT, I’ll be happy to send you a sample! :) Love your reviews!

  33. Jill Farrell says

    Hi Diane,

    I made up some chalk paint with POP bit gritty ( probably my mixing..lol , 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.
    Jilly

  34. Tenille says

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

  35. Jenni says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  36. Fanny says

    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.

    • says

      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.

      • Fanny says

        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.

  37. Lori says

    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” : )

  38. Terri says

    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 !
    Terri

  39. Mary says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      • Mary says

        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.

  40. Jean says

    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

  41. patty says

    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.

  42. Eve says

    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!

    • says

      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: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/02/diy-chalk-paint-review-update.html

      • Eve says

        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!

    • Elmarie says

      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

  43. stellans says

    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.

  44. katherine says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  45. maggie says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  46. Lisa says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  47. Linda says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  48. Rachel says

    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?

  49. Kara says

    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. =)

  50. Mary says

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

    • says

      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.

  51. Rachel says

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

    • says

      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.

      • Soose says

        [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.

        • says

          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

  52. Silvia says

    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!

  53. Ciara Mc Carthy says

    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 :)

  54. Diana says

    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)

    • says

      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.

  55. Lynne says

    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

    • says

      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.

  56. Jen says

    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?
    Thanks!
    Jen

    • says

      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.

  57. says

    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…..

    • says

      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.

      • says

        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!!!!!!

  58. Janice says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  59. Christy says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  60. says

    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:)

    • says

      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.

      • says

        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!!!!

  61. Kay says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  62. Caroline says

    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

    • says

      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.

  63. Michelle says

    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?

    • says

      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. :)

  64. Linda says

    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.

  65. says

    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!!

  66. says

    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 :(

    • says

      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.

      • says

        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!

  67. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  68. Dee says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  69. Maggie says

    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.

  70. Sharon Foley says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  71. Cindy says

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

    • says

      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 ;)

  72. Sherri says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  73. Deneka says

    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.

  74. Sue Elkins says

    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.

    Sue

    • says

      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.

  75. Diane says

    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.

    • says

      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. http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-update-brass-drawer-pulls.html

      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.

      • Barb says

        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..

      • Diane says

        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.

  76. Barb says

    Hello..so 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..

  77. Jennifer says

    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!!!

    • says

      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.

  78. Denise says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  79. Jane N. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  80. Barb says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  81. Angela Yates says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  82. Joanne says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  83. letkaenka says

    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…

  84. Angela Yates says

    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.

  85. Angela Yates says

    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.

  86. Patti Lee says

    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

    • Angela Yates says

      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 ;-)

      • says

        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.

    • says

      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.

  87. Patti Ann Lee says

    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

  88. Heather says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  89. Heather says

    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.

  90. J says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  91. kelly says

    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!!!

    • says

      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.

  92. kelly says

    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

  93. Tierney says

    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.
    Thanks!

    • says

      I have only used Ce Ce Caldwell dark wax. It worked nicely. Fiddes and Sons also sell dark waxes that you can find on Amazon.com. 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: http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/how-to-make-and-paint-with-diy-chalk-paint.html

      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.

    • Dee says

      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/

  94. Gay Curtiss says

    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!

      • Dee says

        Diane
        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

  95. Wendy says

    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.

    Wendy

  96. chrissy says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  97. Tierney says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  98. says

    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.

  99. Candace says

    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….:)

  100. Laura says

    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

    • says

      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.

  101. Brandy says

    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 :)

    • says

      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.

  102. Kathy says

    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!!

    • says

      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.

      • Kathy says

        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!

        • Gay Curtiss says

          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!

          • says

            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.

  103. David says

    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.

  104. David says

    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.

  105. says

    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!

  106. Alena McLearn says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  107. W King says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  108. Mike Dillon says

    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 :) :)

    • says

      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.

      • Mike Dillon says

        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

  109. Brownie says

    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?

  110. Kate says

    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. :(

  111. Tierney says

    Diane,
    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.

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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.

  112. Valerie says

    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.

    • says

      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.

    • David says

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

      • says

        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?

        • David says

          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

  113. Kelly says

    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

  114. Kathy Nielsen says

    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

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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.

  115. Lorraine says

    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!!!

  116. Casey Moore says

    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!!

    • says

      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.

    • Gay Curtiss says

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

      • Kathleen says

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

        • Gay Curtiss says

          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.

          • Kathleen says

            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.

          • Gay Curtiss says

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

  117. says

    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 :)

  118. Karen Calvert says

    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.

  119. Ramah says

    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!!

  120. Kathleen says

    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.

  121. Tara C. says

    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?

    • says

      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: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/06/faux-carrara-marble-painting-technique.html

  122. Donna says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  123. steph klingler says

    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.

  124. Jamie says

    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.

    • Gay Curtiss says

      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!

    • says

      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.

  125. Kate says

    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!!!

      • says

        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

      • Casey Moore says

        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.

        • says

          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.

          • Casey Moore says

            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.

  126. Kathy Nielsen says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  127. Bec says

    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!

  128. Eric says

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

  129. Casey Moore says

    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!

    • says

      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.

      • Casey Moore says

        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.

      • says

        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.

  130. Nancy says

    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.

  131. Donna says

    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

  132. Erika says

    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,
    Erika

    • says

      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.

  133. George Koch says

    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: theceramicshop.com Go to: store/product/349/Whiting,-325-Calcium-Carbonate or store/category/7/7/Chemicals/

  134. Claire says

    Hello,
    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?

    • says

      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.

  135. Kathy Nielsen says

    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?

    • says

      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. :)

  136. Claire says

    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??

    • says

      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.

  137. Michelle says

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

  138. Aya says

    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?

    • says

      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.

    • says

      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!

  139. Shia Simone says

    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.

    • says

      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. http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/03/before-after-mirror-makeover-using-glaze.html

      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.

  140. Donna says

    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

  141. claire says

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

    • says

      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.

    • Deanna says

      I also have a bag of Diatomaceous Earth and am really excited to get started chalk painting this weekend. I am looking for the recipe and will report back!

  142. Freddy says

    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
    Freddy

    • says

      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.

    • Freddy says

      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.

  143. claire says

    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

  144. Linda says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      • Linda says

        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!

  145. Amanda says

    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.

  146. Donna Moore says

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

    • says

      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.

  147. Kathy Nielsen says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  148. Bro ni says

    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!

  149. Jana says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      • Jana says

        Thanks — that’s very helpful!

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

        • says

          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.

          • says

            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.

  150. says

    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…

    • says

      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. :)

  151. Chris says

    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.

      • sue Elkins says

        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

        • Chris says

          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.

  152. tina says

    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

    • says

      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.

  153. Don says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  154. Mayte says

    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?
    Thanks

  155. says

    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?

  156. Lori says

    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. ;-)

    • says

      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 :)

  157. Courtney says

    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

    • says

      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.

  158. Freddy says

    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

    • says

      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.

      • Freddy says

        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. ?

        • says

          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.

          • Freddy says

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

  159. Alisa Liu says

    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?

    • says

      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.

  160. Whitney says

    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! :)

    • says

      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.

  161. Tina says

    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?

    • says

      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.

      • Tina says

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

  162. Cheryl says

    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)

    • says

      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.

  163. Eira says

    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.

    • says

      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 :)

  164. SHAWNA says

    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

    • says

      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.

  165. Michele says

    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!

  166. Dee says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  167. April says

    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.

    • says

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

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

  168. Susie says

    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!

    • says

      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.

  169. Tanya says

    Hi Diane I love your site. I just wanted to share my experiences with chalk paint. After using 2 pots of Annie Sloan CP in Old White (at a cost of $50 Australian Dollars) I decided to make my own using the plaster mix. Not only is it a fraction of the price but I couldn’t notice any difference in texture or the finished result. I will be trying the calcium carbonate powder mix on my next project. A little tip for beautiful White washed terracotta pots… Add water to the empty paint container and swirl your paint brush around to remove the paint. The mix should be of a milk consistency. Paint over the outside of the pot. The paint will be runny so follow with a cloth. Alternately dip a cloth into the milky paint and wipe over the outside of the pot only. The pots are outdoors and watered every week and still look great. I even white washed a few timber outdoor chairs I was sick of staining them and they had tuned grey so decided to give them a white wash. These are under a veranda so don’t know how they would withstand being in the weather.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your pot painting technique tip. I love the whitewashed weathered look pots get – love that you can get it overnight and not have to wait all summer to get the look.

  170. sandra plinski says

    This site is terrific! I read carefully and took notes. This is so valuable. Thank you for sharing. sandy

  171. Angela says

    Hi Diane,
    I love you website and all the information.
    I am new at chalk paint and I am having problems. I am using Glidden gloss paint. I can get it mixed up and it is thick and smooth, but it doesn’t take it long before it turns clumpy. (I am using plaster of paris. I haven’t been able to get the calcium carbonate, but as soon as I do I am going to give it a try.) Do you think the gloss paint could be my problem?

    • says

      Hi Angela –

      The gloss paint could be the problem, it could also be the type of Glidden paint you are using. They make different formulas. I always use Glidden Premium that is sold at Home Depot. I buy it in a satin finish.It has no primer in it. They have other formulas that do. Are you using their 2 in 1 paint and primer formula. That could be causing the mixture to get thick. Let me know what formula of paint you are using and I can better help you figure out the problem.

  172. Angela says

    I am using Glidden high endurance interior/exterior paint, high quality. It does not say it has primer in it. It is recommended for cabinets, doors and trim.
    Thank you for your help.

    • says

      Hi Angela – That paint does have a primer in it. That is why the mix is getting thick. Many paint companies add primers to their paints – it is the current trend to save people time when painting. Look for Glidden Interior Premium in a satin finish. It is a blue label. That formula mixes up beautifully and if you seal the leftover in an airtight jar or can it will last for months if you want to use it again.

  173. says

    Hy thank you for your recipes. Because I live in Argentina and none of the commercial chalk paint are selling here is very important to find your recipes. I’ll try the one with calcium carbonate and then I’ll show you my experience. Thank you again, Julia

  174. says

    Have you tried making your own wax? It’s a lot better . . .there are no nasty fumes, it’s so safe you can use it for lip balm, and it works beautifully!!! It’s super simple, too! Use 1 part beeswax (or other wax) to 4 parts oil. I use coconut oil, but you can use olive oil, walnut oil, etc . . . I will add that I would not recommend using anything like Canola or vegetable oil. To give credit where due, I found the recipe here: http://www.amberdusick.com/woodmouse_loves_crafts/2010/07/how-to-make-beeswax-wood-polish-woodmouse-recipe.html

    I really think it is amazing. I won’t ever go back. I could wax a piece while holding my 5-month-old and let my other children help with no worries. It doesn’t get better!

  175. Deanna says

    I’m a chalk painting newbie and love your site! A year ago I over purchased some diatomaceous earth so I wanted to find another use for it so it didn’t go to waste. I did find a diatomaceous earth recipe for chalk paint (1/2 cup paint, 1/4 cup DE, 2 tablespoons water) – whisk DE with water until smooth then whisk into paint. I tried it out this weekend and I have to say – I love it! Now, to just get better at this whole painting thing… :) Thanks for all the info you provide!

    • says

      Hi Deanna – Thanks so much for sharing how you made the chalk paint with DE. I have DE in my garage. For my next project, I am going to try it out to see how it compares. AS for the whole painting thing….the more you do the better you will get. :)

  176. bonita says

    Thank you for sharing. I can not wait to start using diy chalkpaint. Bonita from the netherlands

  177. Launi says

    Hey Diane, I am a newbie to chalk painting and have really enjoyed reading all of the different posts you have put up about it. I used your plaster of paris recipe to make chalk paint for the furniture in my nursery and I have loved it! I have a quick question, though, if you have a moment to answer. One of the pieces I painted is a rocking chair that has removable cushions. I have not waxed it yet and am a little worried about doing so, because I’m wondering if the wax will leave a residue or a stain or something on the fabric of my cushions. It seems like everything I’ve read about on your site and in the comments is just wood, no fabric involved at all. Does the wax “soak” into the painted furniture so you don’t have to worry about it getting on anything else? Or should I just leave my chair as-is and not worry about waxing and getting the softer finish?

  178. Holly Bentley says

    Hi Diane,
    Thanks so much for the article and comparison. This is my first time trying something like this and since I like in a small apartment with cats I am looking for something to dry and finish as quickly as possible. I am interested in trying the wax coat on top. I read that annie Sloan paint and wax can try up to 6 weeks to completely harden. Do you think this is the case with all mixtures or waxes? I need the quickest drying solution.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Holly –

      All soft waxes do take time to cure and harden, but they are dry as soon as you buff them with a soft cloth. They are in a paste like formula, not a liquid. I have a cat you gets on everything and have never had a problem with him wrecking a waxed finish. If you use non-yellowing poly like Minwax Polyshades – it will take time to dry right after you apply it. About 30 mins. It also takes a few days to a week to fully harden and cure. All paints and poly do. I would go the wax route. You only put a thin layer of it on, leave it on for a few minutes and then buff it. It is done quickly.

  179. Cyndi says

    I would like to do some headboard benches to use outdoors. Is this possible?
    Thanks, I loved the article.

    • says

      Hi Cyndi –

      I have not yet used chalk paint outdoors, but many have and love the way it looks. If you are after a worn and weathered look that will gradually fade away, then you will like the way chalk paint holds up on pieces that sit outside. You should not use wax on it as it would just melt in the sun. Instead just let the color of the paint and the flatness of the paint add the patina. You may want to seal the wood with shellac first. This will help so the wood does not get water damage that would eventually split the wood.

  180. Nancy says

    Wow! I was looking for info on chalk paint and your blog post answered just about every question I had and some I didn’t realize I had until started reading! Thank you so much!

    I picked up a pair of small cupboards that I’m planning to use as bedside tables the stain on them is currently a shade of hideous orange so I’m thinking I need to sand them so this colour doesn’t come thru when I distress them after. ?

    Also I have a chest that was stained and my husband painted over with latex with primer or sanding. So of course the paint is not holding up and it’s original colour under the paint is cherry and hunter green (remember that trend?!)
    Should I be sanding this piece as well…. Will the lifting paint effect the adhesion of the chalk paint?

  181. Lindsey says

    Diane

    Great info! I am in the middle of a fixing a dresser I painted last week that turned out horrible! I used black latex semi-gloss (I’m new to this scene) plus I painted out in the humidity. All of this created sticky ugly messy dresser. I am hoping I can keep the paint and just make chalk paint with it. We shall see! My friend said she has a huge bag of calcium carbonate for her garden and she just bought it at the farmer/garden store like an IFA or something like that. Anyways she said the bag has written all over it “caution can cause caner”. I know people use it when their plants have a calcium deficiency. Is this the same stuff? People take calcium pills etc and its found in health food stores so I was confused why this was labeled with warnings, unless this is a different product. Thanks!

  182. Judith Conrad says

    I finally found calcium carbonate powder on line so I can finally start painting. One question, can you wash the chalk paint out of the brushes or does it ruin them? I love your blog! I am not afraid to try making my home-made chalk paint now. Thank you.

  183. Jana says

    Ebay has a lot of these different make your own mixtures if you are in a location not close to places to buy them – I also just bout a 10lb bag of calcium carbonate on ebay for $9.95 free shipping. Haven’t started a project yet – but just purchased a lot of thrift items so I can’t wait to see what happens when it finally comes. I am sure I will be back posting tons of questions. Thanks for all of this information…

  184. says

    Thank you so much for your thorough posts :) it is GREATLY appreciated!!! My daughter and I have started our own business and when I looked at our ledger, we are losing a huge per cent of our profits to ASCP, which is wonderful to work with, but we need to eat, too. Going to try the cc + pop next! Thanks again.

  185. Jeanie Keel says

    I want to paint an oak table and 6 chairs, so I will need a pretty good amount of paint for all these pieces. About how much calcium, plaster and paint should I need for this project? I could not tell from any of the posts or recipes how much square footage it would cover.
    thanks
    Jeanie Keel

    • says

      Hi Jeanie –

      The paint goes a long way on furniture. If the chairs are classic kitchen chairs with rungs on the back, then I think 4 quarts of paint will be plenty. The table top will use the most. You could get a gallon, but I always mix no larger than a quart. You will need 8 Tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate for each quart. If you want to add some Plaster to the mix, I would add 2-3 T to each quart along with the CCP, but the CCP is good enough on its own.

  186. Susan says

    Hi! Thanks so much for all the wonderful instructions! Hubby and I are going to try the Chalk paint for the first time on a jewelry armoire. I already have tons of Diatomaceous Earth. Have not found a recipe for this method. Have you experimented with this method and would you rate it as a good method?

    Thanks!

    Susan

    • says

      Hi Susan – I have not yet tried making DIY chalk paint with DE. I have it in my garage and plan to try it out. I will test it out on some scrap wood and write a post about it. I really like the Calcium Carbonate Powder and don’t think anything could be better than that, but I will soon find out.

  187. Bet says

    I am in the process of painting my first piece of furniture with DIY chalk paint. Each coat was very rough and had to be sanded each time. I used Plaster of Paris. Is there more than one type of Plaster of Paris? I got mine at Walmart in the craft department. It said for general purpose. I am discouraged at the many steps of sanding. I followed the instructions of mixing the water and plaster first and then adding the paint. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Bet – I have only used the DAP brand that I bought at Lowes. I know that sometimes the PoP does not make up into a very smooth mix depending on the paint you use – I don’t use paint that has a primer in it already – this tends not to mix well. I prefer using Calcium Carbonate Powder. It always is smooth and the only sanding needed is if you want to distress. I buy it at the health food store. You can also get it on Amazon. I use the NOW brand. I do add PoP to the CCP mix sometimes, but only mixing it into a paint that doesn’t not have a primer or acrylic in it. Try not to be too discouraged – I had a few mixes not come out right, but once I waxed over them, I loved how the pieces looked.

  188. Cindi says

    Can you please clarify which.calcium carbonate you use. It sounds like you use the one sold in health stores, but it seems as though there is also a calcium carbonate used as fertilizer for gardens which probably isn’t as natural and seems to cost much less (10lbs on EBay for 9.95). I think the fertilizer one may have more toxins in it. I think it would be worth clarifying so people reading your blog purchase the right kind. They both may have the same paint effect, but one may be more hazardous to your health.
    Otherwise, this post was so informative & educational! Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Cindi – I have only used the type sold in the health food store, but many readers have used the garden type with excellent results, so it does not matter which you use. I have written about the brand in a few of the chalk paint posts I have written and even have a photo of the jar and label. I use the NOW brand of Calcium Carbonate Powder.

  189. Alice Crawford says

    Well, My Dear, you have given the most comprehensive look at chalk paint that I’ve seen and believe me, I’ve searched!
    I’m trying to figure out how to change the look of really crappy kitchen cabinets. They’re in good shape but the “wood” finish is actually printed paper on MDF and right now new ones are not in the budget.
    After seeing the results of chalk paint at a antique mall I’m convinced that chalk paint is the answer and making my own is what I want to try. Since this little house, which I bought back in March, is so dark, I’m leaning toward plain white cabinets… no distressing.
    I have read and studied every word on your site and I know I’ll be reading it again and again but before I do anything, I’m going to experiment first with the cheaper Plaster of Paris and if I don’t like those results then I’ll go with the calcium carbonate…and send you my results. Since I don’t need to worry about tannin bleed the P of P should work.
    Again, thank you for being there with your wonderful site and thank you for so graciously sharing your experiences on everything we wonder about, you’re my angel. I love your blog and subscribed awhile ago under a different e-mail address.

  190. Melissa says

    I am wanting to paint some furniture. I already have a latex satin and a latex semi-gloss EXTERIOR paint. Can I use those latex paints to make chalk paint? Or does the paint have to be an interior matte?

    Melissa

    • says

      Hi Melissa – I have always used interior, but as long as it is latex paint, it should mix up fine. The sheen does not matter since when you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or PoParis the paint will become flat no matter what you start with.

  191. Roxy says

    I bought 5 lbs of calcium Cabonate on Ebay for about $5. Kelp4less, I believe is who I bought it from

  192. May says

    Hi there, thank you so so much for sharing your knowledge … I’m new to all of this and very excited to start working on some projects. I’m sure you’ve addressed this before so forgive me for asking: What are average wait times inbetween coats and waxing? Also if distressing should I distress first and then wax?

    Thanks again and you’re awesome!!!

    May

    • says

      Hi May – I wax 24 hours after the last coat of chalk paint. When I apply the wax, I only put on a light coat and buff it hard. If I think it needs more sheen, I add another light coat and buff again until I like the sheen. No need to wait in between the waxing coats.

  193. May says

    Hi again,

    I forgot to ask some other questions: how would you suggest painting drawers which see lots of use? i got cece caldwell’s cleasr wax and was wondering if i could mix in artists’ oil paints? how long should i wait before being able to use painted furniture – for example on painted shelves could i put picture frames on after the paint dries and before it’s completely cured.

    Thank you very much for your generosity.

    may

    • says

      Hi May – The longer you wait before putting anything on the painted surface the better. Light items are OK after 24 hours. I would wait at least a few days before placing anything heavy since it may make a depression in the paint.

      As far as the paint to use on drawers, I would use the CCP and PoP DIY chalk paint mix. It creates the most durable finish.

      I have not done it myself, but have read that you can mix artists oils in the wax to create the color you want.

  194. Kris says

    Hi Diane! I am a devoted follower of your blog now. Thanks so much for all the chalk painting and waxing advice! I saw one of your readers recommend the powdered chalk from Home Depot. It works great!!! You get a huge bottle for $10.00 and it mixes up completely grit-free. I have done four projects now and they all turn out great. Just thought I would pass the recommendation along as it is so much cheaper than the calcium carbonate. You have to order it on line as it is the chalk they use for chalk lines and they only carry the colored in the store. They will ship it to the store for free. Thanks for all your great advice and ideas.

    • says

      Hi Kris – I am going to order this today – love a good deal. Thanks not only for reading my blog, but for taking the time to share about the powdered chalk powder here and the fact that you can get free shipping to the store. XO

  195. diana says

    Could I possibly use real beeswax for the polish (wax) or would it get messy? I love the aroma.

    • says

      Hi Diana – I am not sure if it will work in the same way since I have never used it by itself. Beeswax is one of the waxes in many of the soft wax brands used over chalk paint. You will harm the surface by using it, but it may not be as durable.

      • candy says

        Hello I want to do an old bed. 1920’s I want to do a light distressed turquoise. Not sure where to start. Do I light white primer then turquoise then distress then antique glaze?

        • says

          Hi Candy – If you want to use chalk paint, then you do not have to prime your piece first. The reason you don’t use primer is because it is white. When you go to distress the turquoise paint, the white primer will show up in your finish. You just want to see wood. I would go over the entire surface with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block to rough up the surface a bit. If it is dark wood, you may want to put a coat of clear shellac over it first so the wood tannins do not seep through since you are using a light color. I have never had to add the shellac on any of my pieces I have painted, but if your piece is old and if the finish is gummy and dark, it might bleed and change the color. Once your paint is dry – allow 24 hours, then you can glaze, distress, and wax in that order.

    • says

      Hi Bethany – It really does not matter what the sheen of paint is to make into DIY chalk paint since when you add the CCP or PoP is will turn it into a flat sheen. I have used both, but tend to go with a satin sheen.

  196. Heather Rae says

    Thank you so much for all of this information! I love the look of chalk painted furniture but have been too scared to attempt it until now!! I do have a question. My father handcrafted bedroom furniture for me as a child and I have now passed that on to my daughters. It was painted white and I am not sure what primer, paint, poly he used and wanted to know how I would use chalk paint over that. Would I sand it down and paint over it or could I just paint it with the chalk paint? I don’t want to do anything to ruin his handy work as he has passed away and it means even more to me now but I would love to update it a bit. Thanks again for all of your information!!!

    • says

      Hi Heather Rae – To paint the furniture with chalk paint, all you need to do is go over the surface with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block. A quick 5 minute rub down is all it needs to rough up the previous finish a bit so the new paint has something to stick to. Clean off the sanding grit, let dry, then paint.

      Chalk paint can be painted right over any previous finish, but I am from the school that if you are going to take the time to paint something to enjoy for a long time, a quick going over with sandpaper will help with adhesion for the long run. You don’t need to prime, but sanding is a good thing to do.

      • Heather Rae says

        Thanks so much! I will try this! I love love love how helpful your posts are!! Very inspiring!

  197. 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.

  198. 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!

  199. 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.

  200. 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.

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