Today I am going to share with you the least expensive DIY chalk paint recipe…and one that will answer many questions that I receive about making it. I want to show you how you can transform something using $2.00 chalk paint.
Over the holidays, my sister asked me if I could paint a mirror she had with chalk paint. She brought it to me along with a generic 2 oz. bottle of craft paint in the color she wanted.
When you have a small item that you want to paint, but don’t want to have the expense of buying an entire quart or gallon of paint in the color you want you can use craft paint as long as you use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe (CCP). It will turn the paint into sludge. This is not the case if you use Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded Grout, when you mix paint with primers and acrylic in into these ingredients, they can harden making the paint unusable.
I have tested plain craft paint and the “Outdoor” formula of craft paint to make chalk paint. Both work beautifully. I have not tested out the enamel or glossy formulas yet.
Calcium Carbonate is my go-to ingredient when I make chalk paint. I no longer use anything else, except if I am doing a table top, I may add a tablespoon of Plaster of Paris (PoP) so the finish will be very durable.
A 2 oz. bottle of craft paint will make just enough for a small project like this mirror.
How to Make Chalk Paint With a 2 oz. Bottle of Craft Paint
$2.00 Chalk Paint Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon of water with 2-1/2 teaspoons of Calcium Carbonate Powder in a bowl. Mix to a smooth consistency.
- Add the entire contents of the 2 oz. craft paint bottle into the bowl and mix it well into the water and CCP mixture. Stir until smooth.
Note: You can add more CCP than my recipes call for to any mix, but too much CCP will make the finish, once dry, hard to distress. It will be a little too durable.
I used 3 light coats on the mirror, letting each one dry before applying the next. Since they were light coats they dry very fast. I let the last coat dry overnight.
Once it was dry, I sanded the areas I wanted to distress with 100 grit sandpaper. I mostly use the palm sanding block, but the sponge block and folded sandpaper work well for getting into small or tight areas. You can see more how I use this on another mirror I posted about.
As soon as I finished distressing, I applied the soft wax finish.
I used Miss Mustard Seed’s clear wax over the dried paint, I wiped a thin coat over the entire painted surface. I immediately added a thin layer of Annie Sloan’s Dark Wax over that. Putting the dark wax over clear allows you to easily push the dark wax where you want it. The same goes for white or liming wax. I used that and more clear wax to lessen the areas that got too dark. Once I had the wax where I wanted, I buffed it with a soft cloth to bring out the shine.
I cut up old lint-free t-shirts and terry cloth towels into 8″ squares to use to apply and buff the wax. I apply the wax with the looped side of the towel. This helps get the wax into tiny grooves and crevices. I use the smooth side of the towel to start buffing the wax and then the t-shirt to bring up the shine.
Buffing takes some muscle, but you will be rewarded with a great patina and durable finish for your efforts.
To get the wax into grooves and crevices I use a stiff, thin tipped artist’s brush.
You can buy Calcium Carbonate Powder at the health food store, Amazon, and at beer making supply stores. It is inexpensive and one 12 oz. bottle will make around 2 quarts of paint or more.
Since craft paints come in a wide variety of colors, using it is even a more affordable way to make chalk paint in any color you can imagine.