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



Comments

  1. Kevin Larson says

    Diane, do you know if adding in the calcium carbonate and/or plaster to BLACK paint will lighten the color at all? Going to try black, but it needs to match my trim. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kevin – I have not made black chalk paint yet, so I cannot be sure. One reader told me Plaster of Paris lightened her black paint, another reader had no problem. The darkest paint I have used with CCP is navy blue. It did not lighten the paint. I was quite happy how it looked. I think it is very important when mixing dark paint colors is to make sure the powder is completely dissolved before adding it to the paint. If it isn’t you may see the white from the powder streaking in the brush strokes. Using warm water will help the powder dissolve better.

      • patricia mcdaniel says

        If you want to be SURE not to alter the black paint color, you can purchase black unsanded grout. I purchased “oops” paint at Lowes and used black grout in it and it’s very,very black and took only one coat and went on very smoothly. Looks great.

        • says

          Hi Patricia – Thanks so much for sharing this information about the black non sanded grout. Many readers have written about using black paint and I was not sure what would work. You just provided the best answer. XO

      • Shelley says

        Have you or anyone used home made chalk paint in a sprayer? I can’t find the answer anywhere on the internet.

        • Barbara Lewis says

          We have used chalk paint in a sprayer and it worked great. Also, it was one mixed with plaster that had been mixed for several weeks.

          • says

            Hi Barbara – This is so good to know since the PoP mixes can sometimes get thick. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. It will help many other readers who many be thinking about using a sprayer. What brand of sprayer did you use?

    • Cassandra says

      I painted my son’s dresser frame all in black with a chalk paint recipe using POP and it did not alter the color at all.

  2. Kevin Larson says

    Thanks, Diane! I wonder if I should just use the Calcium Carbonate? I do like the sound of more durability, though. It will be a conference table that already has nicks. I’m trying to get rid of them.

    Is CCP above the new mixture of both?

  3. Jill says

    Hi Diane, I have made my own chalk paint in the past but have a problem getting the lumps and bubbles out. What do you use to make the chalk paint into a smooth mixture?

      • renee says

        to get lumps out start dry first add water mix add more mix let sit for a bit till it gets thicker( think pancake mix) and add paint slowly and stir and add and stir .. this works with all but the sanded grout method which I have never used.

  4. Jill says

    Diane, I have used both POP and CCP separately, mixed with warm water. The last paint I used was Behr, paint & primer. Is it the primer that is messing it up? What is the best paint to use?

    • says

      Hi again Jill – I am pretty sure it is the primer. It binds when mixed with a chalk paint ingredient. The acrylic in paint and craft paints can turn to sludge, too. I have learned that most “contractor” paints do not have a primer in them. All paint brands sell contractor paint. It is mcuh cheaper and a bit thinner. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish sold at Home Depot. It does not have primer in it. It always makes up into a velvety smooth mix especially when I used CCP or Plaster. Of all the ingredients you can use to make chalk paint. CCP alone or mixed with some PoP are all I ever use anymore.

      • says

        Hi Diane! Thanks so much for posting these DIYs! I am happy to finally find a good paint recommendation (the Glidden Premium). I made the mistake of using Valspar and my paint turned to yogurt like consistency! I just used a Benjamin Moore paint sample to test out a recipe and that too did not mix with the POP. I will try the Glidden and see how it goes! Do you have to purchase it in gallon size or can they do quarts, samples, etc. at Home Depot? Thanks again!

        • says

          Hi Taylor – Glidden is sold in quarts, but they too have just reformulated their paint. Just make sure to get a can that does not say Paint + Primer on the label. If you have a True Value Hardware store near you. They carry Easy Care paint. I have used this for a few projects and it works well.

          • says

            Diane, I LOVE this post and reading through your answers. You are a huge help to us DIYers. I’m going to Home Depot to buy what you suggested and wondered if I’m painting with white paint mixed with calcium carbonate in my paint sprayer, if I’m painting over a dark oak, will I be ok not priming it first? Or will I just need to do more coats? Thanks!

      • says

        Hi Ronnie –

        There are a few things that could be why your paint is not sticking. 1. The surface was not cleaned before painting. There could be grease or dirt that is acting as a block so the paint won’t stick. 2. Did you go over the surface with a piece of sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit? If not this could be the reason. All paint even chalk paint needs a quick surface going over with sandpaper to give the surface some “tooth” so the paint has something to grab onto. 3. How thick did you apply the paint? If it is too thickly applied, it may not adhere well. More light thin coats are better. 4. How long ago did you paint the piece? It may just need time to cure. The time it takes depends on many factors. If it is humid where you live, then it can take up to a month to fully cure.

    • says

      Hi Suzanne – Most of the waxes I have used have a mix of wax in them, beeswax being one of them. It should be fine by itself, since it has been used over furniture for ages. Just use thin coats and buff it to a shine.

      • Suzanne Gauvin says

        Thanks Diane, One more question can i use craft paint to add color to different projects. Thanks, Suzanne have a wonderful Easter! :)

        • says

          Hi Suzanne –

          Craft paint will bind up with Plaster of Paris and Non-sanded grout recipes because it has an acrylic in it. I have made chalk paint with it, but have only made it in small batches. It will get thick fast, but you can still paint with it. If you want to use craft paint – mix it with the Calcium Carbonate Powder, it does not bind up as fast with the acrylic in the paint.

  5. allison says

    I just tried to mix together some chalk paint and used your exact recipe with the unsanded grout. I used 2 Tbsp. and about 1 Tbsp. of water and 1 c. of paint. After stirring it together it formed into a large clump and not a paint consistency at all. Where did I go wrong?

    • says

      Hi Allison – What type of paint did you use? The paint can’t be one that has a primer in it already. Valspar has a primer in it. Acrylic craft paints may also bind the paint. I have found that Calcium Carbonate Powder that you can buy for about $6 at the health food store will not bind any paint. It will stay smooth for months – even if you make a quart of it.

  6. says

    Hi Diane,

    Listening to a radio show about gardening. They are using the word lime and calcium carbonate interchangeably. The only added ingredient is possible magnesium. What do u think about chalk paint from lime?

    • says

      Hi Rebecca – Yes you can make chalk paint using Lime. Some say it could be toxic, I think that is why you don’t see more about using it, but it will work if you can find a fine powder form of it. The calcium carbonate powder I use is for bone health – you drink it – not toxic :)

    • margote olson says

      Hi Rebecca, just to add to Diane’s comment, i bought my Calcium Carbonate at my local Shoppers Drug Mart and super cheep, $5.22 for 2 Litres

    • patricia mcdaniel says

      I can;t find it where I live either so I ordered it from Amazon. Be sure and shop through all of it though, as they had varying prices.

    • says

      i buy calcium carbonate powder from my local stock feed supplier- it is $3 per KILO:) thats a lot of powder-much cheaper than health food store etc . for anyone that likes to use bi carb of soda to make paint you can also get this at stock/pet feed stores:)

      • says

        Hi Veronica – Thanks for sharing this information about where to buy the CCP. It is good to know since everyone has access to different types of stores in the area they live. :-)

    • David Page says

      Calcium carbonate can be purchased from home brewing stores as it is used in wine making.

      • says

        Thanks for sharing the info on where to buy CCP for making chalk paint David – I have to find a home brewing store in my area. I would love to see how it compares to the brand I buy at the health food store.

        • Jill Restom says

          Im finding this a very interesting blog – thankyou everyone for your input. I am a potter and use Calcium Carbonate as a glaze ingredient. I buy it in 5kilo bags, very cheaply, from a pottery supplier – I live in Australia. I have not heard of ‘latex’ paint in Australia. Are you just talking about regular water based house paint? (we refer to it as acrylic paint)

          • says

            Hi Jill – Yes latex paint is water-based paint. It has rubber in it to, hence the name latex. Here in the states it comes simply… latex and in acrylic latex formulas. I have used Calcium Carbonate Powder with both to make chalk paint with great success. I think your water based acrylic will work fine.

  7. Nancy says

    Hi-
    Can I use chalk paint over a chair that has craft paint on it? Will the chalk paint adhere properly?
    Thanks,
    Nancy
    PS. Thanks for all your feedback!

    • says

      Hi Nancy – I would go over the surface using 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface and knock down the shiny surface first. Clean off the sanding grit and then you can paint right over the craft paint.

    • Cheryl says

      HI Diane, when I just use the Calcium Carbonate in my paint, do I still need to use latex paint without primer? I am sanding the piece first a little like you suggested , but if you go over where you just painted to get the lines out it seems to not cover well. THanks

  8. Ruby says

    Hi Diane,
    Thanks for your tips. I am addicted to chalk paint and make my own as ASCP is so expensive although quicker. I want to paint on upholstered and leather chairs and stencil a pattern on.{ French inspired} Do you have any tips as to how I should do this please?

    Thanks Ruby in Australia

  9. Susie says

    Hi Diane,just finish kitchen table,looks great using both cc & pp,I used the little sample paints of valspar I got with my coupon from southern living,it works great,it’s a satin finish and comes in several colors,just thought I would let you know.I was wondering if I should put something on table top to keep it looking good since it will get a lot of use,any ideas.Thanks:)

    • says

      Hi Susie – I would put wax over it. A light coat of soft wax like Johnsons Paste Wax sold at home improvement stores usually in the paint or cleaning aisles. Rub a thin coat on, wait about 10 minutes and the buff it off with a soft lint free cloth. Repeat the process to get the desired sheen and protection you want. You can also use a water based non-yellowing polyurethane. Minwax Polycrylic is a good one. It comes in satin and gloss finishes.

      • Susie says

        Thanks,I used the wax on my coffee table a couple of weeks ago,still have plenty of the Johnson’s wax.Now my kitchen chairs look like they need changing,think I’m in trouble:)Love the outcome though with this chalk paint mix.Thanks again for sharing,also going to do your roller shade idea,bought the fabric just haven’t found the time to do them.Susie

  10. Edee says

    Hi Diane,

    I happened upon plaster of Paris in the craft section at Wal-Mart. It came in a smaller quantity than at the home improvement stores. It was like $4. I have painted 5 items with it, and I sill have a lot left. It works great. Thanks for all your tips. I have studied your site prior to my projects and value your advice.

  11. Jessy says

    Hi Diane,

    i saw your receipe of chalk paint and i have a question. I live in Austria and when you say grout, which one do you mean…there are many of them at least here :-/ and i am not quite sure wich one to use. There is tile grout and wall grout and and and….so i don’t know wich one it is. Please could you help me in this matter. Thank you in advance! Greetings from Vienna

    • says

      Hi Jessy – Here in the US it is non-sanded tile grout. I rarely use this recipe anymore since I like using the Calcium Carbonate recipe. It makes a much smoother mix. When using the grout, make sure you don’t use latex paint with a primer or acrylic in it. It may bind the mix and turn into sludge. You can still paint with it if this happens, but it will be thick and you will need to sand when the paint is dry to smooth the finish. If distressing to age the piece, the thickness will be sanded down and smoothed when you distress.

  12. Jessy says

    Hi dear Diane, thank you very much for your quick answer. Now i have another question regarding the paint. What exactly do you mean with latex paint, nobody here in Austria in the stores seams to know and i cannot find latex paint in colour. There is only latex paint in white and you can get small botles of the main colors and mix them until you get the color you need. There are paints in different colors but for special surfaces (enamel laquer, resin varmish, gloss paint, boat paint, the most common is dispersion paint and many others especially and only for wood). So i wanna know wich paint shall i use, which formula or compound is it what is meant for your receipe?? I am maybe a little anoying with my many questions but i so would like to make this paint an d redo my furniture with it so i wanna make it right. I tried it with normal white wall paint and plaster of paris it was so runny. You say in your receipe man can use craft paint what exactly do you mean with that? Acryl paint? I use them for decoupage for example, can i use them to make chalk paint? I am sorry for all those questions and for my bad english. I thank you in advance for all your tipps and suggestions. Greetings from Vienna

    • says

      Hi Jessy – I am not sure the exact make up and formulas of the paints that you have in Austria, but what you need is a water based paint. You can’t use an oil based paint. In the US – latex paint is water based and had rubber in it. It is the most common paint.

  13. Jessy says

    Thank you Diane, you helped me a lot. So that means i can use any water based paint?! If that is so than i am happy. So that means i can use acrylic paint as well, or not?!? Or is it that you maybe mean the latex paint that has resin as binder in it and its water based? I asked today i they told me there are almost no more stores who sell the naturally latex paint with natural rubber, those kind of latex paints are even rarely produced and very expencive if you buy them. Todays latex paint is a dispersion paint with a synthetic resin as binder. At least they told me so in the specialized paint store. So is that finally something what i can use??? I am so frustrated already, somehow i cannot manage to do the chalk paint and i am so sorry for all those many questions but you are the pro here and i depend on your experience and knowledge. Here in Austria are the chalk paints not that popular yet in whole austria there are just 2 stores who sell the annie sloan paint and that paint is really really expensive. :-( Around 35 euros for 250ml of paint that is crazy.

    • says

      Acrylics in water based paint may bind when mixed with the Non Sanded grout or Plaster of Paris, not with the Calcium Carbonate Powder. It all depends on the paint and the amount of acrylic in it. You may have to experiment a little.

  14. Jessy says

    Hi Diane,

    i just wanted to tell you i tried it out and i succeded. I am so happy. I tried your cc receipe with two kinds of pain.t First i tried it with a small bottle of simple paint for in and outside and it worked, i then tried it with usual wall paint (dispersion with a little bit creme color in it) and i also succeded. I wish i could atach some photos to show you. My chairs look great now and the shelfboard too. Thank you so much for your receipe and for all the suggestions. I am really happy about the outcome. Greetings from vienna

    • says

      This is so good to hear. After I had my first success using DIY chalk paint, I have painted every piece of furniture since then with it. I love how the pieces come out. I see more DIY chalk painting in your future. :-)

    • Josephine says

      Dear Jessy, I’m from Europe too and I have the same problem with the paints. So, what kind of paint did you use exactly, colored dispersion for walls and did you put water in it? Calcium carbonate in chalk powder, isn’t it? Thank you so much.

      • Jessy says

        Dear Josephine, yes i tried it with wall dispersion and chalk pouder (CC) altough i must say it works with the other paint better at least it looks better. If you like you can send me your email adress and i will send you some pics of the things i did with both kind of paint and you can see the difference, i also can send you the brand name of the paint, as you are also from europe maybe you can purchase the same paint.
        I always used Diaanes CC receipe as ground basis, with the dispersion paint and with the other paint. With white dispersion i am not quite satisfied but with a intensive colour for example i used my self mixed ”aqua turqouise, light blue something :-) ” and painted with that a small piece it looks very nice. Altough i still did not do de finish with wax…maybe if i do that it will change how it looks. But if you like send me your e-mail (my is zeljkab@live.at) and i send you pictures. Greetings from very very rainy vienna

  15. Jessy says

    Now i have one question, i dont have any wax at home now, do i have to wax it immidiately after i paint the pieces or can i do it tomorrow too? Will it effect the result and the quality if i do it tomorrow?
    Thx in advance

  16. Myra (Mickey) Goddard says

    HiDiane, I just love love your blogs about using chalk paint. I wrote you once before about 6 Parsons chairs chairs I wanted to (I thought) make slipcovers for. However I just can’t seem to get to it just now. I am thinking of using chalk paint on the fabric to cover the magic marker damage on 2 of the chairs, and also use chalk paint for the wood part. Now I have done a lot of fabric painting in the past, but never tried to do chair seats and backs. I did see on another site that makes the chalk paint that it can be used on fabric. Will your d.i.y. recipe work as well ?My budget is limited, and it would be super if I could use your recipe, and also use it on the wood frame, in a different color. Just worry about it coming off when people sit on the chairs. Have you painted fabric with the calcium carbonate recipe? By the way, you have the most interesting and doable things on your site. Love all your projects.
    TIA
    MickeyG.

    tia

    • says

      Hi Mickey – I have not tried it on fabric yet, but think the Calcium Carbonate Powder would work, since it mixes up the smoothest. You can thin your mix with some extra water so it soaks into the fabric. Once it is dry, you can wax it so the finish feels like leather.

  17. says

    I used CC from the recipe I got from Salvaged Inspirations and used 8oz Valspar, 4 oz of CC. BIG difference than your recipe. Would like to try less obiously to save $$. It was readlly thick, but one coat was really what I mainly needed. No water was used in the original recipe, but added more a few weeks later for another project as it has thickend even more. But I agree, it distressed beautifully!

  18. Carolee Wolf says

    Thanks so much for all of these recipes! I painted the cabinet in my kitchen a while ago and it has held up so well! I had a question for you. Have you ever painted metal with the chalk paint? I wanted to paint some metal cabinets in my classroom and I was thinking of trying the calcium carbonate and Plaster Paris recipe. What do you think?
    Thanks,
    Carolee

    • Teresa Champion says

      I use chalk paint on metal. When you wax over it the finish turns out spectacular. I’ve done vintage lamps and old ceiling tiles. The tiles were so rusty I thought they were a loss. The chalk paint and wax made them look fantastic. Wish I could post a pic.

      • says

        Hi Teresa – I have not painted metal with it yet, but have heard all good things – your comment makes me want to paint a metal piece right now. The ceiling tiles sound fabulous!!!

  19. BC says

    Hello, I love your site! How much calcium carbonate do I need for a gallon of acrylic paint? Also should I use a paint brush or a roller to paint my hutch? And last question, I notice you got paint on the windows of your hutch is that because it comes off easily or should I still tape my windows/glass.

    • says

      When I make chalk paint, I have never made more than a quart at a time. It goes a long way. For a quart I use about 8 T of CCP. 4 quarts to a gallon. 8 x 4 = 32. I think I would get 4 quarts instead of a gallon since you may not need a gallon for the hutch. I would test it out using acrylic paint. I use simple latex with no primer or acrylic mentioned on the label. I would use a foam roller with rounded ends to paint the flat parts of your hutch and a 2″ angled brush for the rest. Sometimes I find it is easier to just paint on the glass and not take the time to tape it off. I simply use a razor blade to remove it after I paint.

  20. Angel says

    Hi Diane, i am a little confused. Some web sites say that you can use paint with primer iin it some say no. Reading your previously answers, i understood that is ok to use latex paint with CC but not with POP. Did i get it rigth? Thanks.

  21. Angel says

    I meant to say, it is ok to use latex paint with primer in it when using calcium carbonate to make the recipe.

    • says

      Hi Angel –

      I have only used the CCP recipe with paint without primer. If you have a paint that is a Paint + Primer formula on hand, try mixing up only a cup and see what happens. If it does not turn to sludge after mixing and still stays smooth after 15 minutes you will be able to use it.

      • Cheryl says

        I use the CC with latex paint with primer all the time and it never turns to mud or sludge

        • says

          Hi Cheryl – This is good to know. I think the CCP is safe to use with any type of paint, but with so many different formulas, I always try to play it safe since I am trying to safe money and not waste it. If using the Plaster of Paris and Non Sanded grout that will turn to sludge when mixed with a paint + primer in one. :-) I use only the CCP now and if I want a super durable finish I add a tablespoon or two of PoP.

  22. Katrina says

    I would like to know how this DIY chalk paint goes on fabric please. I would like to paint a couch which has a very distinctive pattern so I am thinking I may have to use a charcoal colour to cover it. I would greatly appreciate your help.

    • says

      Hi Katrina – Yes you can use chalk paint to paint fabric. You can also use latex with fabric medium (sold in the same aisle as craft paint) mixed in to paint fabric. Either way chalk paint or paint with fabric medium mixed in – the fabric will be covered, but stiffer once dry. It may crunch when you sit on it. I have been told that if you wax over chalk painted upholstery, it will look like leather. One tip: Brush the paint on in one direction. If you go back and forth with the brush you will raise the fibers and when the fabric is dry, the paint may look uneven and the fibers will be raised in some parts and not others. This does not look good. Also the tighter the weave and lower the fiber – thy better it will look. Velvet may not look so good once dry because of the raised fibers. You don’t have to use s charcoal color – you can block out the pattern first with white or charcoal and then add a second coat in the color you want.

      • Katrina says

        Thank you Diane. I will give it a go and let you know how it goes. The couch is a tight woven fabric. I have done a test on a small cushion and it feels a little rough – should I sand inbetween coats? I may even try using a roller. I have made the CC & POP chalk recipe – would it be less gritty if I left out the POP or CC? I did have a small pot of AS paint and the test patch I did with that the fabric was smooth. A litre in Australia is $70.00 which makes it very expensive. Anyway have nothing to lose and only experience to gain.

        • says

          Yes, I would sand between coats to keep the paint smooth. For a less gritty mix, use just CCP. It is the smoothest of all the chalk paint ingredients I have tried.

        • patricia mcdaniel says

          Wow, that is very expensive. If you could buy it(chalk paint) from me in the U.S. for $20.00 per quart, plus shipping, do you think you would be interested ? I make and sell it here, but haven’t sent it to Australia. I would need your location to get you a shipping price. Contact me through e-mail at patpattymac10@yahoo.com

  23. Lyn Haast says

    Hi Dianne I hope this is the right place to ask a question. I am wanting to know if I can use metallic paint with the calcium carbonate. Many thanks Lyn

    • says

      Hi Lyn – Good question. I have never tried it so I am not sure. If it does not have a primer or acrylic in it, it should be fine. I also would make it up with Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is the one recipe that mixes well into all the paints I have tried even if the do have a primer in them already. Plaster of Paris and the non sanded grout can get thick. I would love to hear how it comes out – I bet it would look really nice. What brand of metallic paint do you want to use? I would like to try it out myself.

  24. Tricia medina says

    Hi Diane, my question is; I have left over sample paint, Sherwin-Williams acrylic latex satin, so can I use this with Plaster of Paris or should I use CCP?
    Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Tricia – It might be fine. Some acrylics mix fine with PoP, others don’t so I just always want readers to know that it could bind a mix. If you have not bought the PoP yet, I would use the CCP since it mixes up into a very smooth mix even in an acrylic.

  25. barbara says

    Can you mix pop with Martha Stewarts metallic paint? I believe the metallic is water or latex based.

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards
    Barbara

    • says

      Hi Barbara – I have not used this paint yet, so I can’t be sure. If you have both, try mixing up a small amount together. An 1/4 tsp PoP mixed into water, then stirred into a 1/4 cup of the paint to see what happens. I will but a sample pot on my next trip to Home Depot so I can test it out. I am interested in finding out.

    • says

      Hi Again Barbara – Not sure if you saw the reply from another reader of my blog, Kim. She used the Martha Stewart paint. Here is what she wrote:

      Hi – Wanted to let Barbara know that I have made my own chalk paint using Martha Stewards Metallic paints and they worked out great!

      • barbara says

        Thank you so much for the info. What a great site.

        Will be back again and again!!!

        Barbara

  26. Margaret says

    Hi Diane,
    Your post is so awesome and helpful!!! What happens if you use solvent-based Minwax wipe-on poly over the CCP plus PoP? I’m doing a dining room table, and I want the most indestructible/ long-lasting finish possible- and the easiest , and not break the bank. That’s not asking much, is it? ;) I’ve also seen great reviews for Varathane Satin Diamond Elite floor finish. What do you recommend? And what method of application? Thanks so much!
    Margaret

    • says

      Hi Margaret –

      I have only used soft wax and water-based poly and water-based glazes over the chalk painted pieces I have painted. I do not like putting solvent or oil-based products over it since it will darken and yellow the color. Most water-based polys are super durable. I have not used the Varathane Satin Diamond, but used Zinseer Ultimate Poly on my staircase that gets tons of abuse and it has held up well. If you use a foam brush don’t press too hard or you will get air bubbles. I would use a high quality brush to apply the poly. You can wet sand with 220 or higher wet sandpaper (its black) in between the coats of the poly to get a super smooth finish. Let it dry well and cure for a week or as long as you can before using.

  27. Elizabeth says

    What a great comparison! I am just now getting into chalk painting and have been debating which recipe to use. My mother in law uses the plaster of paris recipe. Since you have had such great results with the calcium carbonate, my debate is over! My husband is a potter and says that you can easily get calcium carbonate (also goes by the term whiting) at ceramic supply stores. He has gotten it super cheap at bigceramicstore.com and they will deliver it to your door. Happy chalking all!

  28. kim says

    Hi – Wanted to let Barbara know that I have made my own chalk paint using Martha Stewards Metallic paints and they worked out great!

  29. Mikel Driever says

    I want to do different layers of color, so for each layer do I need to wax before I put the next color on or just wax when piece is finished? I want to be able to see certain colors through the others.

    • says

      Hi Mikel – you do not need to wax in between coats – just after the last coat of paint. When you sand you will expose all the colors underneath. I would also apply each coat lighter in areas where you would like more color to show through. I would also use the Calcium Carbonate Powder. It mixes up the smoothest and sands beautifully which will allow you to see the layers of color.

    • says

      I like the look of soft wax over the pieces I use DIY chalk paint on. I have used Polycrylic on a cabinet. It works well, but I like the way the wax brings out the patina in the finish more.

  30. E J says

    Good afternoon Diane. I just made my first batch of chalk paint with CCP. It was too thick, like pudding. Added a bit of water, still too thick. Added a bit more and you guessed it, now to thin. Should I add more paint or CCP or just start over?
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

        • says

          Hi EJ – I would just start from scratch. You only need 2 Tablespoons of CCP to 2 cups of paint. 1/2 cup of CCP is enough to make a quart of chalk paint. If you want to use what you have already made, I would add more paint until you get a smooth consistency, but no more than a quart or you will lose the chalk paint factor to the mix.

          • E J says

            Thank you. In the future, when I use you recipe, will it be the consistency of AS Chalk Paint?

          • says

            Yes – when mixing the CCP recipe together it will be the consistency of Annie Sloan. You will be able to roll or brush it on. There will be no lumps or clumps and goes on velvety smooth.

    • says

      Hi Mikel – No I do not like Minwax paste wax. It is orange and does not go on very smoothly. I like Johnson’s Paste Wax or Fiddes and Sons in clear. You can buy Johnson’s at Lowes in the cleaning aisle. Amazon sells Fiddes and Sons.

  31. margote olson says

    Can I use any kind of latex paint to make chalk paint? I have full cans of semi-gloss latex paint and latex 100 % acrylic, and latex acrylic high-gloss enamel and also latex acrylic flat enamel. So can i use any or all of these mentioned? Thank you in advance.

    • says

      Hi Margote – You can use any finish/sheen latex since when you add the CCP or PoParis it will turn flat no matter what you use. I like using satin, but have used semi-gloss and flat with equally good results. Sometimes, but not all it all depends on each brand of paint, but acrylic latex and latex with primer in it can bind when mixed with PoP and or Non-sanded grout. Calcium Carbonate Powder mixes well in all latex paints. I don’t think I would not use high gloss enamel. The mixture may get too thick. The more basic the latex paint, the better for making DIY chalk paint.

      • margote olson says

        Thank you for your quick response Diane, WOW! But I just wanted to ask another question regarding Calcium Carbonate and the specialty waxes. I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada, pop. 113,000 and believe it or not we have a very large Michael’s here. I had asked someone online, can’t remember who, where I could buy the soft clear wax, soft dark wax and CC i was told to go to a craft store preferably Michael’s rather than a place like Home Depot. So i searched everywhere today: Michael’s, Home Depot, Home Hardware, Lowes, and other smaller craft stores and no one carries these specialty waxes nor CC. I found PoP at Michael’s but i’m told CC is a silkier smoother finish especially if you don’t want to stress your furniture. Do you know of any other waxes I can use? Do I have to use A.S. brand? Thank you very much in advance and also where to buy CC?

  32. margote olson says

    Hello Diane, I took your advice in one of your comments and bought Johnson’s Past wax clear, but what can i use for the clear dark wax after distressing furniture? I used the clear johnson’s and then buffed it, but am i not supposed to use dark wax as well?

    • says

      Hi Margote – I have only added dark wax or glaze over a few pieces. I like a brighter look on my painted pieces so I hardly ever use it. On the pieces I wanted to darken, I used Antiquing Glaze. You can buy it at Lowes. It is made by Valspar. You can put it on before or after the wax. Check out this post to see a photo of my technique and the bottle: http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/09/before-and-after-table-makeover html

      If you would like to use Dark Wax all the brands make one. Ce Ce Caldwell and Fiddes and Sons are less pricey. I think Home Depot is selling a new line of chalk paint. They have both clear and dark wax. I saw it sold right on the paint desk at the Home Depot I go to. It was with the sample pots of paint.

  33. Christina says

    I bought a tester size of paint to try the CC reipce only out. Im painting a glider in my babies nursery.

    Wondering how much to add to 214ml of paint? Also I bought polycrylic to give it a tough finish… Hoping to paint tonight!

    • says

      Hi Christina – I am not sure how many cups are in 214 ml. If you pour it into a one cup measuring cup, you can mix 2 Tablespoons of CCP into it and 1 tablespoon water.

  34. margote olson says

    Hello Diane, I was wondering if you could assist me with this. I bought a bistro outdoor set and got it for such a good deal couldn’t’ pass it up, but the color is quite drab on the tabletop. It’s made out of very heavy clay and basically the same color as clay dingy taupe color. Can I paint the tabletop with your recipe chalk paint? I use the Calcium Carbonate and water and then wax. Will this hold up with the weather being an outdoor table set or do you think i should use maybe a polyurethane sealer instead of the wax?

    • says

      Hi Margote – The DIY chalk paint will hold up fine, but not the wax. The wax will melt in the sun. I would use a water-based sealer or poly. Zinsser Ultimate Poly is one that I have used in the past that held up well, but any good brand name water based poly/sealer will be good. Use water-based so the poly will not yellow your paint color.

  35. Becky says

    Hi Diane,
    I’m so glad I found your blog…I am painting a table & chairs for my kitchen and I can’t wait to try the chalk paint. One question…doe the paint go farther once you make it into chalk paint? I was wondering if one of those sample pots from Home Depot or Lowes would be enough to paint one chair? I just ordered my calcium carbonate and I can’t wait to get started! : ) Thanks for all of your help!

  36. Coco Tippetts says

    Hi Diane, I’m just wondering if the PoP would be safe to use for dressers in a nursery or on a crib? I have an interior latex paint that has acrylic resin listed as the first ingredient, and wanted to use the CCP recipe but can’t find any CCP in town to use… so I think I might just use PoP, if it’s non toxic

  37. Coco Tippetts says

    Also, what do you think would be the most child-safe way to finish the above projects? Wax or???

    • says

      Hi Again Coco – Water-based polyurethane will be better to use than the wax. Minwax Polycrylic is a good one to use. It comes in a few different sheens.

  38. Debbie Hill says

    Hi Diane, my question is this, I have cleaned with TSP and mineral spirits and even sanded. I have used your recipe with the 2 tablespoons per cup and I’ve also even done 4 tablespoons per cup and my paint still keeps peeling. I have even used the Webster’s mix. Would you know what would be causing this because I seem to be doing all this prep for nothing. Your help is very much appreciated :-)

    • says

      Hi Debbie – For prepping for chalk paint you don’t need to use Mineral Spirits – that is for cleaning a surface after you remove old stain or poly. As far as the TSP, you don’t even need to use it before using chalk paint. I use soap and water. I am not sure if either of these could be causing the problem especially if you rinsed them off well before applying the chalk paint. When prepping for chalk paint all that is needed is a light going over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. 5 – 10 mins is all that is needed, just enough to rough up the surface a bit. Then cleaning off the grit with a rag with soap and water. Once it is rinsed off – you can paint with chalk paint.

      Is the paint peeling or scratching off? How long are you waiting to see if the paint is adhered? It can sometimes take a few weeks for it to cure.

  39. jennifer says

    HI! I have several pieces i want to try chalk paint on. I saw the list of ingredients, do you also give instructions on how to do it? I got confused looking through the tips of painting as i thought with chalk paint you didn’t need to sand first? Ill continue browsing your web site to see if i missed it. Also do i finish it with wax? stain?? Thank you!! Jennifer:)

    • says

      Hi Jennifer – One of chalk paints selling features is that you do not have to sand, but when I attended an Annie Sloan workshop, the instructor told us she always goes over the surface with sandpaper. I agree. It can’t hurt and will only help with adhesion. I use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block for a quick 5 – 10 minute going over the surface just to rough it up a bit. You can find many tutorials on my blog on how to paint with it. Check this page for a list of the projects:

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

      As far as what to finish your painted piece with is up to your style and preference.I like to use clear wax and if I want an antique look I used antiquing glaze first before waxing. You can use antiquing wax, too, but I prefer the glaze. You can use water-base Polyurethane to seal instead of wax. Minwax Polycrylic is a good one. I like the look of the wax better than poly. I think it give the finish a better looking patina.

  40. Alison says

    Quick question… Do I need to sand the surface first? Im painting a wood dresser that has been stained. I know with other chalk paints you don’t need too. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Alison – It never hurts to sand the surface a bit with sandpaper on a hand sanding block just to rough up the surface a bit. It will only help the paint adhere even better. I always do this and at an Annie Sloan workshop I attended 2 years ago, the instructor told us – she always goes over every piece with a piece of sandpaper, even though one of the selling features is that you don’t have to sand. What that really means is you don’t have to sand it hard and to the bare wood. :-)

  41. D. Gatewood says

    Hi Diane – I made a batch of chalk paint and used paint with primer by accident (the paint was Ben Moore Regal Antique White – Matte finish). When I applied it to my piece it is very streaky and looks just terrible. First, is there anyway to “save” this paint and use it? Secondly, I assume I can just make a fresh batch using the correct type of paint and paint right over my first mess? Any tips on the best way to do this?

    • says

      What DIY recipe are you using? You may be able to sand over the paint to smooth it out. Use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. You may like the way it looks after you smooth it out this way. If not – you can simply paint right over with a new batch of paint. Chalk paint is very flat and does not look its best until it is waxed.

      As far as the mixed paint – I don’t think it is worth saving if it got thick. I like to use Calcium Carbonate Powder alone now or with only add a little Plaster of Paris mixed in if I want a super durable finish. It never gets thick and can be used with any paint. Plaster of Paris alone has to be used with no primer added paint. I also just made a batch of DIY chalk paint using chalk used in the tool to make a chalk line on floors. So far – I like it. I will post more about it soon.

  42. Cathy says

    I’ve had problems with DIY chalk paint using POP. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong for the longest time. Even if I mixed a tablespoon of POP w/ a quarter cup of water and mixed thoroughly before adding my paint, the mixture would turn into a near solidified clump as soon as I added the paint. Adding water did NOTHING to thin it out; it only broke up the one big clump into a bazillion, unpaintable clumps!! What I discovered a little while later (after picking the brain of a Lowe’s employee) was that our city/state had laws in place that restricted the use of certain additives in our pain, in ordert to reduce VOC’s (guess we’re ‘killing’ the enviornment w/ paint fumes….PLEASE!!!!). This was an ‘ah ha!!’ moment for me! Our (crazy) city & state regulations prohibit the use of paints w/ certain ingredients in them and this could be the ONLY answer I have to explain a poor DIY chalk paint recipe outcome! SO many blogs rave about how easy it is to make their own chalkpaint, but I get a glumped mess. To test this theory further, I found some old latex paint in our garage (which was several years old) and guess what? The POP blended smoothly into this paint!

  43. says

    Hi Diane, I would like to know a way to make the chalk paint last longer. It gets ruined in just a few days. Have you found out a way yet?

    • says

      Hi Gabriela – When making chalk paint with Non-Sanded grout or Plaster of Paris, I only make it in small batches since it will eventually get thick. The longest I ever had a batch was 6 months. I now use Calcium Carbonate Powder to make my chalk paint. It will last forever. If I am doing a table top or a surface that is going to get heavy use, I add 1 – 2 Tablespoons of Plaster of Paris to the mix. When I do this, I only make as much as I think I am going to need, since the PoP will eventually harden the paint. When using just Calcium Carbonate Powder your paint will stay smooth in an air tight can.

  44. Alex says

    Hello,

    I am going to be using chalk paint for the first time. Your recipes and tips have made me feel quite bold!
    I have an old night table that I’m not quite sure is all wood. The top is very smooth (maybe some kind of coating or quite possibly some sort of laminate).

    1 )Would this need to be sanded first since it’s pretty shiny? I am probably not going to go for the distressed look.

    2) Also, which recipe would you guess would work best on this item?

    • says

      Hi Alex – It never can hurt a piece to sand it to rough up the finish on any piece laminate or not. I sand every piece with a 5 to 10 minute going over with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. You want to knock down the shiny finish so the paint has something to grab on to. I have never taken any piece to the bare wood. It is not necessary. Once you clean off the grit, you can paint.

      I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe without the PoP added. It is the smoothest and looks great – no distressing needed.

  45. says

    Hi Diane!
    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you have given me so much inspiration when it comes to painting with chalkpaint. Especially the homemade kind. Since I learned about youre blog, I have painted 4 pieces with chalkpaint. I am officially hooked! For a while I thought to my self how great it would be to wright a blog about my furbishing, and you have pushed med over the edge. I finally launched my new blog: http://frugalfurbishing.blogspot.no/

    Thanks again:)

  46. Susan says

    Yes, I have purchased valspar ultra paint + primer, flat interior, can I use this paint to make the cc chalk recipe?

  47. Lori says

    I bought latex paint with primer like i was told by a woman who repaints old furniture. I asked her if I needed to sand the current paint off of the furniture first and she said no. I think she was wrong. The paint is not sticking well to the painted furniture and after two coats i can easily scratch the paint off with my nail. So my question to you is can I use your favorite chalk paint recipe wih my current paint/primer or will I have to buy a new latex paint without primer? Also, will I have to sand off the paint I have already applied before using the chalk paint?

  48. Cat says

    Hi Diane,

    Your blog really inspired me!! I found a steal on a table and chairs for our breakfast room. I bought some great paint in satin finish…ordered the CCP and the PoP and followed the recipe to a “t.” Paint went on beautifully though it took two coats to cover. In some places it has hardened and adhered well…in other places it peels right off. Will adding polyurethane instead of wax seal all the work I’ve done?

    Or do I need to peel/sand off the poorly adhered areas and start over?

    Thanks for any help/feedback you can give me…I’m stumped. My husband was amazed at how beautiful the furniture turned out…but since it will be used daily ….having the paint peel is a big problem. Just wondering what I should do now without hopefully having to by mineral spirits and strip all six chairs and table.

    Thanks!
    Cat

    • says

      Hi Cat –

      How long has it been since you painted the pieces? It could be that the paint has not cured in areas or that there was dirt or oil or something on the surface that the paint resisted. The curing process can take up to a few weeks. I would let the paint cure for a few more days to a week and then do a scratch test. If it still comes off, then sand over the surface where the paint is peeling off with 220 grit sandpaper. Since the sandpaper is very fine – it will smooth over the old paint so that you a new coat of paint can be applied and still look smooth. Let it dry and then sand to smooth until it looks good. If you apply a few thin coats of wax and buff between each coat you will get a very durable finish. Poly is very durable also, but I think it makes the painted surface lose some of the patina. It is totally fine to do, I just like the way wax looks more.

  49. Pam says

    Hi Diane,
    I’ve seen a CC chalk recipe that uses 2 parts paint to 1 part calcium carbonate. If my thinking
    is correct, one could mix 1 cup of paint with 1/2 cup of CC. That to me seems like a lot of CC
    compared to your recipe/ratio. (1 cup paint, 2 tablespoons CC)
    Have you experimented with different ratios? What do you think the differences would
    be in the finish or looks of the painted item?
    Thanks so much,
    Pam

    • says

      Hi Pam – I have used CCP mixed into the paint in many different ratios, but the 2 parts paint to one part CCP ratio is way too much CCP. It would be a really thick mixture.

      Some people make chalk paint with Spackle. That is really thick. Mixing it comes down to personal preference and the type of finish you want to achieve. Some like it too look very rustic and aged, others more smooth and clean. That is one of the nice features of working with chalk paint. You can achieve many looks with it. Thick mixtures still go on, and can be easily sanded to smooth. I have used some of these mixes, but prefer to be able to easily roll or brush the paint on.

      If I am painting something that I know is going to get abuse like a table top, I add one more Tablespoon to the 1 cup of paint. 3 T instead of 2. A tablespoon or two more is totally fine to add. I have never had a problem with any of the mixes I have made this way. When you do add more to the mix, the paint will distress, but you might have to put some more elbow grease into it since the finish will be a bit harder.

  50. Darcia Cowart says

    Thank you so much for all your sound advise. We have a rental we are trying to “redo” “update” to hopefully sell it vs re renting it to be torn apart again. So the cabinets are solid oak with a very dark stain. It really darkens up the room. So we want to redo all the cabinets in the house 3 bathrooms and the kitchen. So I have read through all the posts and I have my notes to take to home depot. Latex, water based paint no primer added, satin works best. Buy a roller with rounded edges and a high quality edger brush. Use CCP which I will call the feed store and find out if they have it. The 3 drug stores I tried do not. I have the recipe on my chalkboard in the repainted walls of the kitchen. I will add warm water to the CCP then add that to the paint. I have painted all the walls a very light grey satin finish and then a high gloss white for the crown molding, chair rail molding and large baseboards. I have black rods for all the windows. I have the kitchen in a blue grey color with black and white accents / cream burlap drapes and a cream scrunchy on the chain of the light fixture. I have made cream burlap drapes with a black patterned strip down the edges. So I want to paint the cabinets 2 colors. A light medium gray on the bottom with liver hardware and in your opinion should I go with a cream top for the cabinets or a white? I don’t want them to have a high gloss finish so which wax would you suggest? The wood trim that highlights the counter-tops I want to do in black as well as the strip of wood at the bottom of the cabinets. Since I am doing a whole kitchen and 3 bathrooms I want to stick to the same colors. I have pale cream tile in one and have pale cream accents to add to it, so still need help on the top color of the cabinets. My big questions is in order to do all of this and only mixing 2 cups at a time will the color mix up the same each time so that one cabinet will not look different than another? I have red that it drys quickly, but what time period would you suggest I stick to before remounting the doors. How long do I need to wit to add the second coat? If I am changing hardware what do you suggest I fill the holes with from the old hardware? How long do I need to let the paint set before drilling new holes? 3 to 5 days? Please tell me you do not paint the inside of the cabinets too, wow that would really add time to my project to get this house back to a cash flow vs money pit! LOL

  51. Anette Greene says

    I bought a desk & bookcase system that needs to be put together. Should I chalk paint before constructing it or chalk paint each piece then put it together? Thanks.

  52. says

    Hello!
    I’m new to chalk paint and trying to achieve this look on two currently stained and polyurethane pine dressers in Minwax Bombay mahogany.

    Which DIY chalk recipe would you suggest? And any tips your could suggest for achieving this look? Thanks!

  53. Sue K says

    Just a note on Calcium Carbonate. If you only need a small amount (like I did this morning), just throw some Tums in your food processor and grind up. It’s 100% calcium carbonate. Seven Tums made enough to paint two nightstands. Also, I used a paint/primer mix and it worked great. :) Love your site!

    • says

      Hi Sue – Thanks for sharing this. I know many readers have a hard time finding CCP. Tums are readily available at every supermarket or drug store:-) I will have to try it.

    • says

      Hi Maria – Do you want to use chalk paint or regular latex paint? When using latex you can buy Fabric Medium at the crafts store to add to the paint. This makes the paint pliable when it dries. The fabric will be stiffer, but it will not crack if moved. If you paint fabric with chalk paint it will be stiff. The wax layer on top of it will soften it a bit. Depending on the type of fabric, it may feel like leather, but will not be very soft.

  54. Milly says

    I love your work and would like to give it a try. I managed to find the calcium carbonate after a lot of searching but ciukd not find latex paint, only acrylic paint in Malta. You said you that acrylic paint would not work…is there any other solution, maybe thinning the paint with something else? Thanks!

  55. Mel says

    Hi everyone. I’ve been reading and quite a few people have had trouble buying Calcium Carbonate. I found you can buy it from your local home brew shop as it is added to beer in brewing. Maybe try that.

  56. says

    Hi Diane!
    I love your site! I am new to chalk paint or even starting and finishing any painting project. :O)
    I am painting our family ‘heirloom’ Ethan Allen furniture and am having a little trouble with the coverage.
    I used your plaster of paris recipe. I used a mason jar and filled it part way with powder then some water and blended very well. Then I added 3 more parts untinted ( I liked the neutral base color as it was) flat latex paint.
    It’s not covering well at all and I’m about ready to brush on my 4th coat! Did I use the wrong type of paint?
    Should I have measured my plaster of paris? I did do a little sanding before applying the first coat as well.
    Thanks for your help and all the encouragement your web site has to offer!

    Linda

    • says

      Hi Linda – You should have achieved full coverage after 2 coats, maybe 3. You stated untinted paint? It it a special formula base? Very thin – maybe a contractor paint? How thick or thin is the paint and the mix. It may be too thin and that is why you are not getting good coverage. Let me know the brand and type of paint and how thick you mixture is?

  57. Angela Rowell says

    Hi Diane! My question is concerning finishing. I was recently told that instead of wax, hemp oil is a good alternative. What about olive oil? Thoughts?

  58. Patricia says

    Hi , I’ve been painting and diy-ing for years, have yet to use chalk paint, always more into glitz and glam so I was wondering if I can make homemade recipe using silver metallic color paint

    • says

      Hi Patricia – I have not used metallic colors myself, but a few readers have told me they use them with great success using Calcium Carbonate Powder. Make a small batch to see if you like how it mixes up. Each color and brand may mix up differently. I would make sure that the CCP is mixed well in the water before adding it to your paint. Depending on the paints and how you mix it, you may come up with a great new finish.

  59. Marcee Goff says

    HI Diane, We have been using FArmhouse paint and love it because it is sooo hard when it dries. WE are having trouble getting all the colors we need so we just tried our first batch of the latex with the CC added. It is great , so smooth and distresses nicely. But it seems like it is soft and chipping and peeling. What can we do?? Is there something else we can add to make it harden more?? We were told to clean furniture with Krud Kutter That is what we did on one piece. it seemed like it made the paint finish we were going over a little tacky but good.That is what we did with the Farmhouse Paint. Any advise you could give would be helpfull. we are very new at this chaulk apint. WE badly need it to work. Thanks, Marcee

  60. Jos says

    If I mix use the cc and pp mix will paint be able to be stored in airtight container or will po make it harden ??? Thanks in advance xx

  61. Sarah says

    Thank you for your VAST knowledge of all things chalk paint. I just painted bunk beds for my girls with your plaster formula. I am reading mixed reviews on Wax vs. Polycrylic for my top coat. The reviews said the wax has to be redone every few months and isn’t as protective. What are your thoughts? And, how long should I wait before I do whatever you tell me to do? And how long do I let the top coat dry/cure before I put my girls on them? Thank you in advance!

    • says

      Hi Sarah – If you add a few layers of wax, buffing after each coats it will be quite durable and last for a long time. Wax will break down faster if it’s in a hot room or under direct sun. Polycrylic in satin or semi-gloss will do the job, but I don’t like the look as much. I think wax gives the finish a nicer patina. It all comes down to personal preference – you can’t go wrong with either method. I have not had to go over any of the pieces I have done yet. 3+ years for some of them. Waxing is hard work. You need to apply and buff hard. It is labor intensive on big pieces to get the sheen even. It can take time, using poly is just like painting – no muscle needed to bring up a sheen.

      You can wax or poly 24 hours after the paint is dry. I would let the bunk beds cure for at least a few days before using them. Just have them be gentle on them for a while. The longer it can cure before use the better. It can take up to 30 days to fully cure.

  62. Sheryl Creeley says

    I just painted a chest with your calcium carbonate & plaster of paris formula & even with 2 coats I have paintbrush marks. What can I do about them? If I sand & repaint with a roller will that work? Any help will be appreciated.

  63. Kathy Spence says

    If I use either method of chalk paint will the wood grain and knot holes still be visible. I will be using white paint.

    • says

      Hi Kathy – Both recipes are opaque when dry and will cover the knots. You may need 2 – 3 light coats to cover. If you want to see the knots and wood grain you should use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk paint. It can be made to be transparent.

  64. heather says

    I have a can of glidden flat matte paint and primer in one laying around. Can I mix that with the calcium carbonate to make the chalk paint or does it gave to be strictly latex paint? Thanks :)

    • says

      Hi Heather – Yes you can use the Glidden paint and primer with the calcium carbonate powder (CCP) to make chalk paint. CCP will mix into all latex formulas. It is the Plater and grout that can sometimes thicken the paint that has primer in it.

  65. Jeanenne says

    I just took a workshop with AS chalk paint and loved it. Would like to do the finish work and cabinets in our new home. But don’t want to sand. We put a base coat on, then another coat of a different color and wiped off with a wet cloth. No sanding. Then waxed. Please tell me if your recipe will wipe off for the distressed second coat rather than sand it.

    • says

      Hi Jeanenne – I am not sure what you are asking. Do you want to wipe a coat of chalk paint off to make it look distressed so you don’t have to use sandpaper to distress? Or do you want to use chalk paint and not have to sand before applying the chalk paint?

  66. teej says

    How can I store the paint so it won’t blob up? I made the water, pop, cc, and paint mix and it thickened up to the point of unusable after about an hour. I would like to make a large batch to use over several days but I can’t if it clumps after an hour. If I thin it with more water it becomes granular. Help!

    • says

      Hi Teej – What type of paint/brand are you using? If you use PoP with a paint that has a primer in it, it can sometimes clump up the paint. When I use PoP, I always use the most basic latex. It is getting harder to find as most paint companies are adding primer to their paints. If you use just CCP, it won’t happen. I know Easy Care paints sold at True Value still have a plain latex with no primer.

      When I store my chalk paint mixes, I put them in plastic coffee cans. They have tight fitting lids. I burp the lid to let out all the air. This helps keep them longer. PoP will only last for about 4 months. Mixes made with CCP will last for years.

  67. AJ says

    Diane, thank you for the info this is great. I just started working with the calcium carbonate mixture and even though I mixed I am finding sand type particles in the paint. Is that normal? If not what should I do? Second question, I am painting outdoor rocking chairs can I use something besides wax to protect them?

    • says

      Hi AJ – What brand of CCP are you using? I have only used the NOW Brand and it is never grainy. I would make sure the CCP and water are mixed well and the CCP turns into liquid. Once the mix is smooth, stir it into the paint. This should alleviate the particle issue.

      To protect your outdoor chairs you can use water based poly. Zinsser Ultimate is a good one to use. It’s very durable.

  68. Louise says

    Hi,
    Sorry if this has been asked already but have you been able to store the paint once mixed. I wonder if storing unused paint in a jar will allow me to use later.
    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Louise – When making DIY chalk paint with CCP it will last for a year or longer if the container is air tight. I store it in coffee cans with air tight lids. Plaster of Paris recipes last about 4 months. Non -sanded grout doesn’t last very long. It is one of the reasons I don’t use the recipe any longer.

      • Louise says

        Thank you Diane.
        You are very kind to take the time to help us all. I love your site!
        It has inspired me to start creating my craft room.
        I wish I had as much space as you but houses are generally smaller in the UK. Your storage solutions helping so much!
        Love your use of colour and fabrics. Creates a happy mood :-)
        Your an inspirational woman.
        Thanks again,
        Louise

  69. Sandra says

    I have always used ASCP but made my own this time and painted a small dresser and then used a glaze over the top of the paint. The paint is peeling off in big chunks. HELP I used the plaster of paris recipe.

      • Sandra says

        I waited about 24 hours before glazing. When I went to put on the hardware on the drawer I noticed it chipped easily so I pulled at it and it peeled off in huge pieces. Any help is appreciated.

        • says

          Hi Sandra – 24 hours is a good time to wait to glaze so I don’t think that had anything to do with the paint failure. It sounds like the paint did not adhere at all at least in places since it peeled off. I have never had this happen and can only offer a few educated guesses on to why it happened.

          Itcould be that there was grease or oil in the area or the paint mix itself didn’t have enough CCP or PoP in it. I don’t think the latter is the case though. Did you go over the surface with a piece of sandpaper? I know chalk paint is supposed to go over any surface, but I learned early on at an Annie Sloan workshop that a quick going with 100 grit sandpaper in your hand over the piece only takes a few minutes and will help with adhesion.

          The only way to fix it, is to sand the surface to smooth it and make sure there is no loose paint. I would go over the area again with sandpaper on a hand sanding block to make sure the surface is smooth. Clean off the grit, let dry and then repaint. What recipe did you use? Where did you get the CCP or PoP? It could be in one of these that caused the problem too as not all are the same.

  70. Sandra says

    I used 2 c of latex paint, 1/4 c water and 1/4 c plaster of paris that I bought at the Hardware store here in Denver. I did not sand it before painting it either. I had used an Annie Sloan paint a few months back on the piece and didn’t like it so a friend talked to me about mixing my own chalk paint and going for it. I can peel huge pieces of paint off the piece so once it is cleaned off again, I will sand and try again.

    • says

      Hi Sandra – Plaster of Paris usually sticks right away. No waiting for curing. It could be that there was some grease or oil on the finish or it was too glossy and needed to be sanded first. Hand sanding with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper will give the surface some “tooth” so the paint has something to adhere to. A 5 minute going over is all that is needed. I learned this at an Annie Sloan workshop. You may want to use less water, too. Mix only a few tablespoons into the PoP at first, add a little bit more until all the clumps are out, then add it to the paint.

      Once you have it repainted. Wait at least 24 hours before waxing. Paint takes time to cure to a durable finish. The amount of time depends on the thickness of the coat and the temperature.

  71. Sally says

    Hi Diane, I love your site. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am getting ready to attempt my first try at chalk paint…making it and painting. I am a DYI girl and ready to explore. I am doing a hardwood floor and several furniture pieces. The paint I bought has primer. Can I use it with the CCP? Thank you for any assistance.
    Sally

    • says

      Hi Sally – Yes you can use the CCP with paint and primer formulas. Doing a floor… WOW! I would do a few pieces of furniture first to get the hang of making and using chalk paint and then do the floor. I would make sure to rough up the floor well with sandpaper first, clean off all the grit and then use light coats of paint. It will take time to cure – a few days to weeks. It is amazing stuff. Enjoy your DIYing.

  72. Carol Evans says

    Hi Diane, I wanted to tell your readers that Kelley Moore paints do not have primer in them. Most folks think that because a paint has primer in it that they won’t have to second coat anything. This is not always accurate and misleading. The so-called “primer” in paint is not primer like Kilz. It doesn’t necessarily cover all stains and my experience is that the paint doesn’t cover well at all. I have used Valspar and Behr and found them inferior in almost every category: roller marks that are hard to get rid of,, 5 coats of dark green (Valspar) to cover white primer; doesn’t spread easily; smells, and touch-ups show. Kelley Moore paints don’t use primer, but usually cover in one coat, most professionals always use two coats of paint. All KM paint grades are good. KM has six finishes including eggshell (which leaves a beautiful soft sheen). They have great enamels for heavy use areas, etc. The paint glides on and can be used with chalk paint recipes using calcium carbonate and plaster of Paris. I have not tried the grout recipe. Kelley Moore paints dry in 20-30 minutes and can be touched up even years later without roller or brush marks. KM cleans up well too. Use the internet to find your local KM dealer. Simply put…KM IS the very best paint. I am a pro and have been painting for 30 years. I have tried them all and will travel anywhere to get KM paint!

  73. Diann says

    Hi Diane
    I am finally working on a deacon’s bench chest that I have been procrastinating about for a year.
    It was heavily polyurethaned, so I am using 60 grit sandpaper to get the finish off. I have noticed that it needs quite a few areas filled in. Do I use wood fill or spackle? I do not know what kind of wood it is. I think it may be pine.

    I am also unsure on how to proceed with the new finish. I originally wanted to restain it in a dark wine red color, but the wood looks very uneven, blotchy, and I am thinking stain may not cover of some kind of filler.

    I want to use Chalk paint although I never painted anything with chalk paint. I would use your recipe with POP for the chalk paint. Do I sand in between coats? I want this piece really dark wine color but not black or brown.

    Should I use the POP as a primer or should I use some Zinser or Kilz etc?

    Or should I just paint it with latex paint.

    You know I love your blog and you do such great work, I thought I could just pick your brain before attempting to re-do this bench/chest.

    Oh how much paint will I need. The bench/chest is about 5 foot high and 2 foot wide.
    Thanks for your help.

    • says

      Hi Diann – If you are going to distress, you would want to use wood filler since the area where you distress you will see the wood. Spackle is white and you would see this as a layer color under the paint and between the distressed wood. If you are painting and not distressing the areas where you need to fill, Spackle works just fine. Make sure to apply it in thin layers, sand smooth, add another thin layer. This helps it bond with the wood. If you apply one thick coat it could pop out once it dries.

      • Diann says

        Diane I just want to thank you for all your assistance. I went looking for paint today, but all had primer in it. I did see some Glidden at WM but no one was around to mix the color. I want to paint this bench a dark wine color and will use wax to finish it. Have you worked with reds on a big piece?
        I cannot thank you enough for all your help.

        Is there a way to attach photos of finished projects?

        • says

          Hi Diann – If you use Calcium Carbonate to make your chalk paint, it is OK to use paint + primer formulas of paint. It is when you use Plaster of Paris or the non-sanded grout recipe with paint + primer formulas that the paint can become sludge. You can send me a photo via my email: inmyownstyle at gmail . com

  74. Carol @ 100 East Inn says

    Hi Diane, thank you so much for your timely responses to my novice questions about chalk paint. I have searched several blogs about chalk paint including this one looking for information how how soon chalk paint can be sanded for a distressed finish and how soon polycrylic can be applied after the last coat of chalk paint is dry. I either missed your response, or perhaps I am just more novice than the rest of your readers, but i could not find this issue addressed here.

    How long do you wait before sanding the chalk paint to distress it, and how long do you wait before applying polycrylic?

    Thanks Diane. I am in the middle of chalk painting bath cabinets. Obivously, I have not thought the entire process through to the finish. Can you help me with these questions?

    • says

      Hi Carol – You can sand chalk paint as soon as it is throughly dry. I usually wait overnight. If you live in a humid area, you may want to wait a little longer. I apply wax or poly after the paint has dried for 24 hours.

  75. Carol @ 100 East Inn says

    Oops, I was scrolling back through the comments and lo and behold someone had asked the same question about how long to wait between the last coat of chalk paint and polycrylic. Your answer of 24 hours after it dries makes sense to me. Thank you, and sorry for my oversight.

    I love your blog and read it often.

  76. Lauren says

    Does ALL Valspar paint have primer in it? Thinking of grabbing some PoP to try and mix with a Valspar semi-gloss exterior latex paint, it doesn’t say +primer anywhere, should I just not use that? was the only thing lying around but if I can avoid a mess I should.

    • says

      Hi Lauren – I believe all Valspar paint, except for their contractor paint has primer in it. I have used it to make chalk paint, but when I was done painting, I had to throw out the leftover. It turned to sludge after 24 hours. When there is no primer in the paint, DIY chalk paint mixes can last a long time if stored in an airtight container. If you have the paint already, make up a 1/2 cup and see what happens.

  77. Marion says

    Hi
    I was surfing trying to find out the durability of chalk paint in kitchens. Has anyone you know have a chalk paint kitchen for more than 5 years? I want to do DIY painted kitchen. I have used ASCP on furniture and not happy with durability, but when I mixed paint, plaster of paris and elmers glue it turns out so much better and feels durable.. I will try CC. Do I put a primer on my existing Tasmanian oak kitchen and then chalk paint?. Do I then polyurethane with …what?
    So I question is it is so hard to find info on how high traffic furniture especially kitchen last. Have you come across any? I am looking for confirmation from many people not just one person s kitchen which may not be a true indicator. thanx

    • says

      Hi Marion –

      I do not know of anyone with chalk painted kitchen cabinets that are 5 years old. My own kitchen cabinets have been painted for over 10 years, but I did not use chalk paint. The only place the paint wore in my kitchen was around the knob on the cabinet door to the trash can under the sink. I had to touch this up every few years. If I were to paint cabinets again, I would use chalk paint.

      If you want highly durable, use the recipe that uses both CCP and PoParis. http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/09/furniture-makeover-mixing-diy-chalk-paint-recipes-colors.html

      You do not have to prime, but you should go over every cabinet with 100 grit sandpaper to give the surface some “tooth”. Then paint. For protection, you can either use wax or water-based poly. It is personal choice. Poly is easier, since wax requires some extra time to do the needed buffing. I prefer the look of wax much better. Here is a link to my post I wrote about painting my kitchen cabinets and another on how I used chalk paint to paint a powder room cabinet.

      kitchen: http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/01/diy-kitchen-makeover.html
      powder room: http://inmyownstyle.com/2014/03/sink-cabinet-makeover.html

  78. says

    Hello. I am thinking on painting my kitchen cabinets , everywhere I looked online and read that people painted their with DIY chalk paint seems that they loved it. So I want to do it. But I have a question, I do not know a lot about paint, I see in a few blogs that they mentioned to use latex paint, my question is does it have to be flat, or glossy or semigloss?
    Thanks.

  79. Patty says

    Help! Quick!
    I am chalk painting a bureau for a new baby and used your calcium carbonate recipe. 2 coats did the trick! Then I used Johnsons wax, 2 coats, buffing each coat. But the bureau and drawers are marking up badly with the slightest touch! they look “scuffed up.” What did I do wrong and how can I fix this fast? This was going to be a gift for next week!
    Thank you!

      • Patty says

        Thank you for the quick reply. It was the wax! Is it possible that it went bad? it was stored in a cold garage for the winter. I bought a new can and it worked like a charm!
        Thank you!

  80. Wendy says

    Hi Diane,
    Getting chalk paint or a good quantity of calcium carbonate in my city is difficult so I decided to buy some white powderless chalk from a dollar store. I crushed the chalk up and made a 2 parts acrylic paint to 1 part powdered chalk. It definitely came out quite gritty. I have a suspicion that is not the way it is suppose to be. Do you think it would be better if I strain it? I did one coat of paint on a small piece of furniture and it of course, is gritty. What do you recommend? Thanks so much for your help. This is so new to me.

  81. Michelle says

    Hi Diane, just wanted to say thanks for the post, and to all who commented – I’ve copied and pasted a number of comments under the recipe ‘Pin’. You’ve encouraged me to work on 3 pieces I’ve been looking at for a while :D Ooh, now I get to pick my colours! Blessings for the work you do, inspiring and teaching us, and the time it must take to maintain your blog/comments!

    • says

      Thanks Michelle for the nice comment. Yes it does take a lot of time to answer all the comments I get. XO I try to do my best to get them all answered in a timely manner. Enjoy working on your projects…sounds like a few colorful pieces.

  82. RM says

    Help!!
    I am painting a bureau black, and used the CC/PoP recipe, as I didn’t want the weathered look, just clean finish. I mixed the first batch, and as I’m a little scatterbrained, didn’t think ahead and when I mixed the PoP and water, it dried before i could add the paint. So I tried again, this time using hot hot water and mixed it immediately and super quickly into the paint, mixing till I had the chunks out. It was smooth so I thought everything was hunky-dory, and did a coat or two. Once it dried, I noticed it was super bumpy and gritty. So I tried sanding it with a paper bag, but whenever I’d go over the little bumps, they’d burst and I’d get white powdery streaks everywhere. Not sure what’s going on?? I’m sort of getting desperate here!! (-:

    • says

      Hi RM – When making dark or black chalk paint it is necessary to make sure that the powder has dissolved throughly. If you see bumps in the painted finish, it was not dissolved. You can try mixing with a hand mixer or blender. After mixing, run the mix through your fingers to make sure that it is smooth, then add to the paint. Mixing it in hot water helps, but you may need to let it sit for a while to make sure it is smooth before adding to the paint.

      It may help to just use CCP and not add the PoP. CCP always mixes up very smooth.

      I found it interesting that you used a paper bag to sand the surface. I have never heard of using that before. Does it work well?

      • RM says

        Thank you for the reply!!
        If I let the PoP/CCP and water mixture sit for any amount of time, it hardens till it’s solid and wont mix. If I use just the CCP, will my paint chip off too much??
        Yes, I use a rough paper bag to sand things when I don’t want a strong grain. It has seemed to work well!! (-;

  83. Cathy says

    Can liquid sand be used in prep instead of manual sanding ? Will chalk paint have an unfavorable chemical reaction?

    • says

      Hi Cathy – I have never used Liquid Sand with chalk paint so I am not sure if there would be a reaction or not. When sanding a piece to ready it for chalk paint, it only takes a quick 5 minute going over with a piece of 60-100 grit sandpaper simply held in your hand. This provides “tooth” to the surface. It would take more time to apply the Liquid Sandpaper than is needed to actually use a piece of sandpaper :-)

  84. Jan says

    This maybe out there, but I was wondering if pickling lime would work? I’m not very sciency and really don’t know calcium hydroxide from anything…This is something readily avalibe in the little town I live in and very inexpensive.

    • says

      Hi Jan – I am not sure if Pickling Lime would work or not. I have never used it. It may since there are many different recipes to make chalk paint from baking soda to grout. If you have some handy, try making up a little bit and test it. If it comes out flat and does not scratch off, it worked. :-)

  85. Melanie says

    I’m thinking of making DIY calk paint and I’m wondering if magnesium carbonate (gym chalk) would have the same effect as calcium carbonate? I realize that both agent are different, one absorbs water while the other doesn’t… What are your thoughts?

    Thanks, Mel

  86. Susie Collins says

    Hi Diane, can use pottery plaster instead of plaster of pairs for making chalk paint?

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