DIY Chalk Paint Recipes

Many of you have asked me what DIY Chalk Paint recipes I like best.  I have posted them below in my order of preference.

To read and learn more about how to make and use DIY Chalk Paint, see these posts.

Testing 1…2…3…Versions of DIY Chalk Paint

DIY Chalk Paint Review

Mixing DIY Chalk Paint Ingredients in One Batch

1.  I like the hard finish that is achieved in this recipe when you mix Calcium Carbonate Powder with Plaster of Paris.   If you want to age your piece by sanding a lot of the paint off, use the Calcium Carbonate Powder alone. Do not add Plaster of Paris.

If you want a highly durable finish with only a little or no distressing created by sanding the finish, then use this recipe.

You can buy Calcium Carbonate Powder at your local health food store, or on Amazon.  Some readers have bought it in bulk online and at beer and wine making supply stores.  I use the NOW Brand.  It is made for bone health – you drink it as a nutritional supplement. To read more about it, see my post: DIY Chalk Paint Review Update

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe using Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris

2. Making a mix using just Calcium Carbonate creates a velvety smooth mix that would work well in paint sprayers and distresses beautifully when sanded.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe using Calcium Carbonate Powder

3.  Plaster of Paris and Non- Sanded grout are the first two mixes I made when I discovered the world of DIY chalk paint and painted with.  They both work fine, but you can’t use latex paint that has a primer in it or an acrylic. It will bind the mix into mud.

Valspar Premium paint and most craft paints will bind.  If using Valspar use the “contractor” grade of paint. When I use either of these two ingredients, I only make it up in small batches.  If you want to make a quart or more, use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe for Non Sanded Grout and Plaster of Paris


  1. Larissa says

    My paint turned too thick! I can see the granules of the calcium carbonate on the furniture and it looks horrible! :( I mixed the powder super well with warm water and it had a dressing sauce consistency, very smooth… Yet when it I mixed the paint the granules became visible and the paint thick.. Why did I do wrong? :( Heeelp!!!

  2. Rita Marnell says

    Hi Diane. I recently made some chalk painting using your CC recipe and liked the way my first little project came out. My question today is not about chalk paint. A young woman in my area refinishes furniture with “mud” paint. She just opened a shop nearby. I haven’t had a chance to stop in to see her work firsthand. I was wondering if you have ever used mud paint, and, if you have, do you have a DIY recipe to make mud paint?

    • says

      Hi Rita – I have heard good things about Mud paint, but have never used it or tried to make it.

      I am not positive about this, but I think you can make it with drywall compound. In a plastic container (if it has a lid it will last a week or so after mixing), mix together 1 part drywall compound to 4 parts paint. It’s easiest to use a small putty knife (there’s one that comes on the top of the compound) and mix it together well. There may be other recipes, but this would be the closest I know on how to make it.

  3. Jennifer Webb says

    Hi Diane!

    So, this is my first attempt at chalk paint and I’m using your 2Tbs Plaster, 2Tbs Calcium Carb, 2Tbs Water, 2 Cups Paint recipe. I was wondering if it’s normal that it goes on thin? Kinda weird, right?

    Any advice?
    By the way, Thank you for these chalk paint recipes! I was searching forever and then I found your site :)

  4. Kimmie Palmer says

    So happy to find this site, I allready made my chalk paint. Calcium and paint. But wandering if I should have sanded between each coat, did 3 Coates for good coverage!

  5. Susan says

    Have you ever used powered lime? is it too course? Seems like the WOW is still pretty high for use with paint.

  6. gail says

    i don’t live in the USA but have a question…
    by acrylic paint-do u mean color that use for wall or for diy coloring?
    or maybe color used to paint wood based on water?
    i am a little confused..
    thank u

    • says

      Hi Gail – Acrylic paint is water-based paint that has an acrylic ingredient added to it to help with durability. It sometimes can clump up DIY chalk paint mixes using Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout. Most craft paints have acrylic in them as well as many latex paints. It will usually say on the can’s label: Acrylic Latex. It is just a more durable formula of water-based latex paint.

  7. Lynda Allan says

    I have used all of the mixes suggested and they work great. I especially like the plaster mixes. I have found however that if you want a smoother finish then adding a bit more water works well. I also sand with a very fine grade sandpaper to get a silky smooth effect.

  8. Cindy says

    I have an acrylic color that I would like to use in a small amount on a project.
    Can I use acrylic color with chalk paint recipe?

  9. Amber says

    Help! I mix exactly as directed with the POP but my “chalk paint” keeps seizing up into a big glop! For the paint I’m using some leftover Behr premium high gloss 100% acrylic latex paint in white. Hubby and I have whipped up batches 3 times already to no avail! What are we going wrong?!?!?!

    • says

      Hi Amber – Paint that has a primer in it and sometimes acrylic in it can not be mixed with PoP or non-sanded grout. It will clump up. I have written about this happening in my chalk paint posts and explain to only use paints without primers (getting hard to find these days since most brands are putting them in without labeling) or acrylic paints. When using these paints they should only be made into chalk paint with Calcium Carbonate Powder. If you want to use the Plaster, you will need a paint like Glidden Premium (Home Depot – check label- they still sell the old formula without primer or Easy Care Brand paint sold at your local hardware store or Sears. There may be other brands still out there, just ask at the paint desk. Most all Valspar and Olympic have primer. I buy Calcium Carbonate Powder at my health food store. If you can’t find it, you can buy it on Amazon. Here is a link to the brand I use:

  10. neal says

    hi.. i have been making this with calcium carbinate.. would 1 cup of CB to 1 qurt of paint be the right mixture,,it seems thicker but seems to spread and cover well

    • says

      Hi Neal – When I make a quart, I use 8 Tablespoons of CCP. Adding a cup of it may be too much. Try adding less, but no less than 8 tablespoons. I think you will be happier with the spreadability of the mix. I have added more in some mixes. As long as the paint is spreadable and dries to the texture you want, it is fine to use more. Even if it goes on a bit thick, you can easily use 160 grit sandpaper to smooth it after it dries and before adding wax or poly.

  11. Katie says

    Thank you for this great article! I am currently painting some chairs a dark color (a deep putty brown) over previous red. I used the Plaster of Paris recipe with no Calcium Carbonate mixed in. I did prime the chairs with 2 coats, as I usually do all my furniture just to be safe. I did MANY coats of the chalk paint bc I couldn’t get the coverage I wanted. When I went to sand, I got the soft finish I would get with AS chalk paint, but there were little white flecks that showed up all over my chairs :( After reading your post, I realized my paint does have primer in it as well. Could this be the reason? What would you recommend doing at this point? I am thinking I will buy some Calcium carbonate and make a new batch just using that, then do an over coat or two and sand again. What are your thoughts on this? I want that smooth finish but no white flecks. I would appreciate any advice, thank you!

  12. angie says

    Before I did a lot of research I went to a craft store that was selling containers of chalk with which to mix for chalk-paint, however once I started doing research I have found some posts that say calcium carbonate is different then plain old chalk and will not work. Wondering if you have ever done with chalk and if so what were the results?

    • says

      Hi Angie – I have not used regular chalk, but have used chalk line powder. It worked OK, but the mix was a bit grittier than when using the Calcium Carbonate Powder I buy at the health food store. If you wanted to try to make a small batch of DIY chalk paint using chalk, you would have to grind it up very finely so it mixes in the paint well. If you have a scrap of wood, a 1/2 cup of paint and pulverized chalk, try it out and see.

  13. Kris Johnson says

    Can the chalk paint be used with an airless sprayer? I would like to use the POP recipe as we will be doing a dining table base and chairs and I want the durable finish. Is a top coat or wax needed to seal the paint?

    Thanks so much, your post is so informative. I also started following you on Pinterest! YAY!


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