The Best DIY Chalk Paint Recipes For Painting Furniture

How to make the best 2 DIY chalk paint recipes made using Calcium Carbonate or Plaster of Paris that will create a beautiful finish to turn ordinary furniture hand-me-downs and thrift store finds into furniture you will be proud to use to decorate your home. A chalk painted finish can be distressed to look aged or left alone to create a more modern finish.

chalk painting a stool pink - text overlay says how to make chalk paint.

Chalk paint was created by Annie Sloan in England back in 1990. With it’s popularity, many types of chalk-style paints have been created since then by major paint brands such as Rustoleum, Behr, inexpensive craft store brands as well as boutique brands.

You can also make your own chalk paint with just a few ingredients and this is what you will learn to do in this article.

One of the first things many ask when considering painting a piece of furniture with DIY chalk paint is why would you make your own chalk paint recipe when you can buy it ready-made?

Supplies needed when making the best diy chalk paint recipes

Why Should You Make Your Own Chalk Paint?

There are two reasons why you would want to make your own DIY chalk paint:

  • Making your own chalk paint will lower the overall cost of your project since you can use leftover paint you already have, including 2-ounce bottles of acrylic paint from the craft store. Most ready-made chalk paint comes in a quart size. When you only need a small amount to paint a small item the unused paint can go to waste.
  • You no longer have to choose by a limited color selection that a brand name of chalk paint offers. When making your own chalk paint, you can choose any paint color you want with no color limitations.

How To Make Your Own DIY Chalk Paint

DIY chalk paint or homemade chalk paint is made using latex paint and adding a binding powder that when added to the paint will harden the paint as it dries. This is what gives chalk paint its smooth and lasting durability.

Binding powders that work well are calcium carbonate powder, Plaster of Paris, chalk powder that is sold to fill a chalk-line making tool and drywall compound.

You can buy these ingredients online or at the home improvement store, except carbonate powder. I buy it very inexpensively on Amazon, but it is also sold in heath food stores, as well as where beer and wine making supplies are sold. You will be able to make a few chalk paint mixes with one 12 bag or container.

There are many others binding powers you can also use, including baking soda and non-sanded grout. These work, but I have found they don’t work as well as calcium carbonate powder that produces a smooth velvety finish.

All these binding powders are white in color, you will need to mix it into the paint well. An old hand mixer or blender works well to do this, but you can also simply stir it until the mixture is smooth.

painting a mirror with light blue chalk paint

What Paint Should I Use to Make My Own Chalk Paint?

When making your own chalk paint, you want to use latex paint, preferably in a flat or eggshell finish. I found contractor paint or the least expensive formulas that a paint brands sells work very well.

If you plan to use wax to seal the painted finish, you want a flat finish so that the wax will absorb into it to create a sealing barrier. If the paint sheen is too glossy, the wax will glide right off.

The binding powder you use will also lighten the color or the paint, so go a little darker than the color you want so keep that in mind when choosing a paint color.

What DIY Chalk Paint Recipe is the Best to Use on Furniture?

When making chalk paint, the best DIY chalk paint recipe are usually for those who have made it are totally smitten with the DIY chalk paint recipe they use. These recipes have different binding agents is them that range from unsanded grout, cornstarch, and gypsum powder.

I have tried them all and and have gotten the best results when I use calcium carbonate powder. It is a fine powder that is sold in health food stores, farm supply and beer making supply stores.

A turquoise side board that was painted with the DIY chalk paint recipe using calcium carbonate powder.

1. Calcium Carbonate Powder Chalk Paint Recipe

Of all the homemade chalk paint recipes I have made, using calcium carbonate powder is my go-to recipe. Calcium carbonate is a fine, odorless and non-toxic white powder. The health food grade is the best since the powder is ultra-fine and easy to mix.

supplies needed:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • 2 Tablespoons calcium carbonate powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of warm water
  • 1 cup latex paint
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together calcium carbonate powder and warm water. Stir well to create a smooth pancake like batter consistency. If too thick, add a little more water and stir well.
  2. Make sure all the powder is dissolved in the water.
  3. Pour the mix into a cup of latex paint and stir very well or use an old mixer or blender container.

How To Make a Quart of Chalk Paint Using Calcium Carbonate Powder

Mix 8 tablespoons of calcium carbonate powder and 4 tablespoons of water.  Stir well to make sure powder is dissolved. Pour into a quart of paint and mix well.

The calcium carbonate powder recipe is how I make all my chalk paint now. I have used it with small bottles of acrylic craft paint to expensive Sherwin Williams paint with satisfactory results.

  • I like using calcium carbonate to make chalk paint because it mixes up into a smooth consistency.
  • Any leftovers, if the container is sealed well, will last for a long time.
  • Making chalk paint using calcium carbonate powder creates a velvety smooth mix that would work well in paint sprayers and distresses beautifully when sanded.

2. Plaster of Paris Chalk Paint Recipe

Plaster of Paris is a quick setting powder and dries out very quickly. If you need more than one coat for coverage on your piece of furniture, you may have to make another batch.

For this reason, I found it works better when you mix it with calcium carbonate powder.

If I want a super durable finish, I add equal parts Plaster of Paris to my calcium carbonate mixture.

supplies needed:

  • 2 Tablespoons Calcium Carbonate Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris
  • Tablespoons warm water
  1. Mix powders together and then add cool water and mix well so the mix is like pourable pancake batter. Add more cool to room temperature water a little at a time if needed.
  2. Once the powders are dissolved, add 2 cups latex paint in the color you want. Stir well to mix to remove any lumps.
  • If you plan to add Plaster of Paris to your chalk paint mixture, then use a basic latex paint. One without a primer in it will be the best. Generic brands or contractor paint works better when using Plaster of Paris to make chalk paint.
  • 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, don’t use this recipe, use the calcium carbonate powder alone.
The best way to paint furniture like this blue dresser with glass drawer knobs.
DIY Chalk Painted Dresser

Chalk Paint Recipe I No Longer Use

Non-Sanded grout was the first DIY chalk paint recipe mix I made and used when I discovered the world of chalk paint.

It was OK, but was gritty and when you mixed with latex paint that has a primer in it or an acrylic. The mix may thicken and will you won’t be able to use it after a few hours as it dries out fast.

Blogger of DIY Decorating blog Diane Henkler of In My Own Style

Making Chalk Paint: Helpful Tips

  • Never add the powder directly to the paint. It will be a lumpy mess.
  • When finished using the chalk paint. Store in an airtight container. I save coffee containers where I can pop the air out of from under the lid.

FAQ’s About How to Make DIY Chalk Paint

I have received many questions about making the best chalk paint recipes. If you can’t find the answer to a chalk painting question you may have, please leave it in a comment on this post.

Is Homemade Chalk Paint as Good as Store-Bought?

I have used almost every brand of chalk paint made and all are good. Fromr the most expensive, Annie Sloan to the cheapest – Waverly. In fact I like Waverly Chalk paint that is sold at Walmart over any other chalk paint – so don’t let price fool you.

The reason I like homemade chalk paint better than buying it is that you can make any color you want. This is not the case when you buy chalk paint.

I Want to Try Making My Own Chalk Paint, But I am Afraid it Won’t Come out Right.

Painting is easy. It is the mixing and waxing that seems to scare most people away from trying DIY chalk paint.

Mix the water and powder together first, then add to the paint and mix it very well.  You can use an electric beater to mix it well. I make mine in plastic coffee cans with lids so I can store the leftover mixture for future use.

The consistency should be smooth – not too watery or you will lose the effectiveness.

I Want to Paint a Large Piece of Furniture. Can I Double or Triple the Recipe?

Yes – you can double, triple or even quadruple the recipes.  Mix a bit of the binding powder/water mixture into the paint a little bit at a time so you don’t get a big clump to break apart. 

Add a little bit of water until it is smooth enough to paint with. Mix it well.  Some of my mixtures have been thicker than others, but when you use a high quality paint chalk paint brush, it will help you spread it evenly.

I Have Small Children – I Need a Durable Finish. Will DIY Chalk Paint Hold Up to Lots of Wear and Tear?

After the paint and wax have cured (a few weeks), I have found the finish on my chalk painted pieces more durable than the ones I painted with latex paint and a poly sealer. Use the Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris mix recipe on furniture that will get constant use.

To learn more about how to use any type or brand of chalk paint, see these posts:

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  1. Great tutorial, is 1 cup= 200, 230 or 250 ml ?

  2. Can I use cornstarch in stead of the calcium carbonate

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharleen – I have done a lot of DIY chalk paint experimenting and found cornstarch doesn’t create a very durable finish. If you can’t find Calcium Carbonate Powder, you can also use chalk line making powder and food grade diatomaceous earth. I buy these on Amazon.

  3. Sharleen Engel says:

    Can I use cornstarch in stead of the calcium carbonate

  4. B. Ross-Ford says:

    Thanks for the generous sharing of information. Would ceiling paint be good for DIY chalk paint? It is flat and doesn’t usually contain primer.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – Ceiling paint is fine to use to make chalk paint.

  5. This is great. I am wondering… I have a lot of satin and even semi gloss latex paint that I’d like to add chalk to but my question is because I’m using latex paint that by itself doesnt need a top coat will I need to add a top coat once ive used chalk in it?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Candice – When making chalk paint using any latex paint, the chalk element will make the sheen flat – no matter what the sheen is. Flat sheens on furniture will show marks almost instantly, so you would need to seal it so it would look nice for a long time.

      If you want a rustic, distressed flat finish on the piece you want to paint, then you don’t need to seal. It will wear slowly over time and look more aged and distressed.

      My question to you would be, if painting furniture with your latex paint, why not just use it as is – no chalk paint needed? Even if you want an semi-aged finish, you can use regular latex paint. I wrote a post about it. You can read it here:

  6. Hi, thank you for such an informative site! I was wondering, idk if its just me but I can’t find Behr paints without primer? I’ve combed through the comments and I see I can use any paint brand but I like that they Behr has sample sized ones, along with Home Depot 2 minutes away.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jess – Over the last few ears it is very hard to find a paint that does not have a primer in it. When I first started making chalk paint, this was not the case. I have had total success using Behr paint with a primer in it when I use Calcium Carbonate powder to make the mix. Plaster of Paris seems to make the paint too thick.

      Also most paint brands have what they call “contractor paint”. It is cheaper and most of the time does not have a primer in it. Ask at the paint counter for this first. If they don’t sell any, then use calcium carbonate to make your chalk paint with a Behr paint with a primer.

      1. Donna Gough says:

        Hi Diane
        I am considering painting the cement slab outside our house!
        Which d.i.y formula would you recommend please?
        I was wanting to do a Moroccan tile stencil over a base colour . Your advice would be really appreciated! Thanks
        Donna in Australia

  7. I have lots of Kilz white latex paint. Can I use it to make the chalk paint recipe?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – Is it a KILZ primer or a paint? Most KILZ products are primers. Walmart does sell a paint line by KILZ that is a paint and primer in one. When making chalk paint with a product that has a primer in it, may turn to sludge. If you want to try, I would suggest using Calcium Carbonate Powder. Plaster of Paris I think won’t mix in as well.

      So many paints and primers have changed their formulas, so if you have lots of white paint, try it out with a little bit and see what happens. It may be just fine. :-)

  8. Futura Interiors says:

    Simply wow blog and thank you for sharing.
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  9. K Boylston says:

    Can your recipe be used to paint fabric?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – Yes you can use the DIY chalk paint recipe on fabric. I would use the Calcium Carbonate recipe as it mixes up to the smoothest mix. When painting fabric, if the paint has any ridges or texture when dry, you can sand it smooth, just as you would on a piece of furniture. Use 100 – 160 grit sandpaper to do this if needed.

  10. Diane. Hope you are doing well. I’m back on your page after not doing any chalk painting for awhile. I have had good success making my own, using your recipe. However, I have three pieces to do, they match, and so I’m inclined to buy my paint so I can make sure the color is consistent and so I can save time. I went to the Walmart page to see the kind you mention elsewhere on your blog. My concern is that it only comes in 8 oz. containers. Am I getting that wrong? Do they sell their chalk paint brand in larger containers? Can you point me in the right direction? Many thanks. Kirk

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kirk –

      Walmart sells the Waverly chalk paint in two sizes. 8oz and 16oz. Here is the link:

      I am not sure all the colors come in the larger size in the store. You may have to buy them online. I hope they have the color you want to paint your 3 pieces. I really like the paint and the price. :-)

  11. Hello, with just using the calcium carbonate recipe do I still need to stand the furniture first? Or is it truly like a chalk paint where you can apply it directly on polyurethane? Thank you

  12. I make custom signs and made a batch of the CC Powder and paint for a custom color that I needed for the first time today. However when I used my regular chalk paint to stencil a third layer it peeled up the second layer and became a hot mess. Should I have sealed the bottom coat before using my regular chalk paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Crystal –

      Sorry to hear that your project became a hot mess. No need to seal the first layer of paint when you are applying another paint over it. I am not sure what happened. The only thing I can think of is that the first layer of paint was not fully dried or applied too thick. When a coat of paint is applied too thick, it may feel dry to the touch on the surface, but under, where the paint is adhering to the surface of the sign, it was not fully dry. When you added pressure to apply the stenciling, it could have moved the not fully dry paint and caused it too peel.

      To fix it, go over the area with 100 grit sandpaper, clean off the grit and reapply as many coats as you need for coverage, but make sure they are very thin coats. Let each one dry. I would wait 24 hours if you live in a humid area. Then add the stencil. I hope you have success.

  13. I have been using yours recipes for making chalk paint for a few years now, thanks! I recently reread your page and tried using the satin finish with a paint and it seems to be causing the polyacyrilic to take forever to dry. Have you noticed that before? It hasn’t seemed to affect the ones that I have finished with flat paint. Thanks!

    1. Sandra Hernandez says:

      I’m a first timer in painting. I want to paint all the wood in my 5th wheel. I’d like to know how to mix up a gallon at a time using eggshell paint I bought a bag of calcium carbonate on Amazon.
      Do I need to seal kitchen cabinets? I read somewhere I could use Thomson water sealer, is this a good idea?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Sandra – Do you know what kind of wood it is? Does it have a stain/polyurethaned finish on it now? One more question – what color are you going to paint the wood? Know these answers, I will be better able to help you figure out the right way to proceed.

  14. Do you use a topcoat with the plaster of paris/calcium carb recipe? Thanks!

    1. Lynn McIntosh says:

      Hi Diane, I have 2 large oak pantry doors that I primed and painted. The yellow from the oak is showing through. I want the white to be the same as my trim white trims. Would you know how I can achieve this with your calk paint recipe. I like the idea of a hard finish on these doors. I am considering using the ccp and the pop. Any suggestions?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Lynn –

        What type/brand of primer did you use on the cabinets? Was it a stain-blocking primer? That is what you need to stop stains from occuring.

        I would sand over the doors with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth and then paint with chalk paint. If you use the CCP with POP it will create a very hard and durable finish and should stop any of the oak wood tannins from bleeding through.

        You can do a check first, by making up a small batch of chalk paint and applying it to one cabinet door. Let it dry and sit for a few days to see if any bleed though occurs. If it does, then I would roll on 1 – 2 light coats of stain blocking primer first. It is white and since you are using white chalk paint it won’t matter. (Using white primer does matter if you are using any color besides white and want to distress areas to the bare wood. When distressed you see the bare wood, white and the paint color – not a look you want. Use clear shellac as a primer instead.)

        When priming, let the first very light coat dry, before applying the second. I would use one of the water-based KILZ primers. The primer will block the wood tannins from coming through and changing the color of your white paint.

        Once this is dry then roll or brush-on the chalk point, one to two light should cover the cabinets. If needed, you can gently sand in between coats to even out any brush strokes. Clean off the grit before adding the next light coat of paint.

        I hope this helps.

      2. ProPntr95 says:

        That yellow is Tannin, priming with an alkyd enamel primer or zinzer shellac primer should prevent “bleeding”, shellac is alcohol base grab a small can of denatured alcohol to clean brush/roller or use rubbing, the alkyd enamel primer is my go to primer This is what’s used on raw wood it’s proven to be superior sherwin williams pro-block to be specific it comes in water base and solvent the later choice can be nasty to work with but won’t let down.. hope I could help

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi ProPntr95 – Thanks for your tip. Clear shellac products should be used when the chalk painted finish will be distressed. This way a white enamel or shellac based primer coat won’t show in the paint color layers when you sand to the bare wood to give the distressed finish. I use the white shellac based primers like KILZ Origina when I am not going to sand/distress a piece. Priming is a good thing :-)

  15. Colleen Salter says:

    Hi Dianne have you ever tried dolomite powder to make chalk paint?


  16. Connie Davis says:

    I love this idea and hopefully will try when I get my own home. I thought chalk paint was too expensive but this is a great idea. Thankyou for posting it!!!

  17. Shantel Jones says:

    Hi! I am wondering how you feel this compares to Annie Sloan’s chalk paint? I have a few upholstery and furniture projects in mind but I wasn’t sure if this homemade recipe is as good as hers.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shantel – When painting wood or metal, the paint is right on par with Annie Sloan. I have never used it on fabric, so I can’t give you an answer. I think it will work just the same though, just like it does like Annie Sloan on wood. If you are interested in painting fabric, I have done it with craft paint and fabric medium. You can read that post here:

      1. Shantel Jones says:

        Thank you for your response! I think I’ll try the diy chalk version and I’ll check out your upholstery post! Thank you!

  18. Denise Chocolate says:

    Hi Can you add more CC to paint to make more of a paste consistency

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Denise – Yes you can add more CCP, but you need to make sure it is mixed very well. If not mixed well you will see clumps of powder when you brush on the paint and when you sand it, little white patches could show up, so just mix mix mix it well.

  19. Hi, I’ve the CC recipe but it tends to come out grainy, so have to sand down a lot after each coat. What do you think I’m doing wrong?
    Also when I mix dark colours there are white marks when I sand down. Is this normal?
    Your advice would be really appreciated. THANKS

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle –
      What type of paint are you using and what brand of CCP? The CCP I use is super fine and not grainy. When I mix it I do have to make sure it is mixed very well into the paint. Some paints whip up great, other brands not so much. I use latex paint or acrylic craft paint to make up chalk paint.I like Behr and basic contractor paint the best. Dark colors sometimes may show the little bits of powder if it is not mixed very well. The best thing to do is dissolve the CCP in warm water. Once dissolved then mix it into the paint. Another thing you may want to try is using liquid CCP. It is sold at pharmacies. I bought some on Amazon, you can find it here: , but you can probably find it cheaper at a local pharmacy. Add 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of paint. Since it is already a liquid, you will not see any specks of CCP when you sand the surface.

      One way to get rid of the white flecks after sanding is to wet a rag with hot water and rub over the surface. This will remove some of the flecks if not all.

      1. Hi
        Many thanks for replying and the tips.
        I bought Cc that you sprinkle on food for pets. Is this the right one?
        The paint I use is the Valspar semi gloss or matt premium range in the UK. Is this a good brand?
        I’ll try using warm water instead and see if i can find the liquid CC in the UK

      2. My experience is that a rag dipped in hot water didn’t do anything to get rid of the grainy white flecks in my dark paint. I ended up very (VERY) lightly sanding, just to knock down the tiny lumps and then diluting a little of my paint with hot water and applying that as a final coat. Smooth finish and no more white flecks. :-)

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Diane – This is good to know about how you got rid of the white specks in your dark paint mix.There are so many affordable options nowadays for chalk paint, but when you want a specific color, making your own in the best way to go. Happy to know you had success when making your own chalk paint. Thanks for sharing your tip.

  20. Jo Stephenson says:

    Hi there,

    I’m very new to this but already totally addicted. I was wondering how well the ‘latex paint mixture’ would work for dining chairs. I’m assuming, as it is weather proof, it’s probably ‘bum proof’ as well or should I stick to the conventional way of paint and varnish?


    1. Hi, I , also, totally addicted with the ‘Chalk Paint’. I have painted my entire dining room set with my home made Chalk Paint. It is durable, easy to clean, I love it. It’s been already 5 years since I paint my dining room furnitures with Chalk Paint and it is still like new.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Sheila – I am addicted too!! I love it and use it for all furniture now. It makes the finish look so professionally done or right from the factory even if you leave it un-distressed.

        1. Hi Diane, I wonder if you can help me with what colour to add to the white to obtain the old white ?

          1. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Angie – To get Annie Sloan Old White, I would mix Antique White into the white paint. It has a slightly warm hint to it. When mixed with white white, it will soften the brightness of the white. Add a little bit at a time until you get the soft white color that is Old White.

        2. Hi, I am about to finish my dining room table & chairs with this mixture also. Should I apply any type of sealer / polyurethane as a top coat finish?

          1. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Melissa – You need to either use wax or polyurethane. I like the way wax looks much better, plus if you get a water ring or stain on the table all you have to do is buff it out with 220 sandpaper and rub a new layer of wax over it and buff to a sheen. It will be a flawless fix. When fixing a water ring on poly, you will see the fix or have to do the whole table top again. I like Annie Sloan clear wax, but also like Fiddes and Sons and Miss Mustard Seed. If you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong with Johnson’s Paste Wax that is sold in the cleaning aisle of the grocery or home improvement store. It smells while applying, but once dry it doesn’t smell. Make sure to get any of the waxes in clear. Important: Only apply a very thin layer and then buff with a lint free cloth to bring up the sheen. You can always add more layers to increase the protection.

      2. Can you tell me ho2 dis you seal it ?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Sara –

          I seal all my chalk painted pieces with soft wax. My fave is Fiddes and Sons Wax in Clear. You can see it here:

          If I don’t have that I use Johnsons Paste Wax in clear. It is sold in the cleaning section of home improvement stores. You can also find it here:

  21. I have a question about creating your own colors. Have you done that? If I were to buy a quart or gallon of contractors paint, I assume it would be white and I would need to add color. Have you any suggestions?

    1. Since your question has been on here a few days I will answer based on what I have experience with. I have only used the Plaster of Paris recipe. The first project I ever used it with was a colored latex paint. That was about 4 years ago and it has held up very well. I don’t remember the brand of paint I used but it was just an interior latex paint that our local store carried. I hope this info helps you out a little.

      1. To make any color you want, make your mix using the white contractor paint, then add any color acrylic tube paint(s) to get your color. Works like a charm!

      2. A few years ago I bought a bunch of paint tints from a paint place that was going out of business. I mix just a few drops of the tint into regular untinted paint. It has been FUN to play around with and create different colors! The stuff is very strong so I suggest wearing gloves, maybe a mask, and have plenty of covers under the paints because it will definitely stain. After coming up with my own colors, I added POP/water mixture and it made excellent chalk paint!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Ashley – What a great buy – the tints are like having your very own paint shop right in your own home. Sounds like you are not afraid to experiment with creating colors which many would shy away from. I bet you have created some very nice pieces. Thanks for sharing how you made it up into chalk paint.

    2. Robin I buy the sample pots of paint from Home Depot. They come in one cup size and are perfect for making up a small batch. They will color match to any color you want. If you want a larger quantity I buy the 1 qt flat Behr paint and have them color match for me. It’s their cheapest paint and comes in a red can. Works great.

      1. Behr paint has a primer in it…so, is it ok to use to make chalk paint?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Mel – Behr paint or any paint with a primer in it can be made when using Calcium Carbonate Powder to make the chalk paint. This is not the case when using Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded Grout. Using these two ingredients with paint/primer is when you can run the risk of the paint turning to sludge when mixed.

          1. Hi Diane,
            I didn’t read the comments before buying my paint and I made the mistake of buying a whole gallon of Behr paint that has primer in it. I mixed the paint with CC in the first batch and it came out to runny and the paint just dripped down the furniture while drying. I sanded it down a little and mixed another batch with CC and POP and this time the mixture seemed to thick so I just added a little water to make it thinner. But I’m still not happy with the consistency of the paint mixture. Can you help me with finding the right mixture?
            Thank you!

          2. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Cecilia – It is OK now to use paint with primer. Formulas have changed so much since I wrote the post. I need to update it.

            To get your paint mix smooth – Are you adding the water to the CCP and POP first and letting it dissolve, then adding to the paint? This will help me figure out what you can do to make the mix smoother.

          3. Diane- Thank you for your quick response! I am just mixing it in with the paint =(. I didn’t think it would be a problem because I was mixing it real good but now I’m wondering.

          4. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Cecilia –

            To get the paint mix smooth, it is best to mix the CCP/POP powders in water first and let them dissolve. Once this mix is dissolved well you can add more water to this CCP/POPpowders if needed to get smooth consistency. Only add a tablespoon of water at a time, just to get the mix to a paint like thickeness, then pour into the paint and mix it in very well.

            I think if you do this, you will like how the paint goes on and dries. With chalk paint, once dried – if there are any bumps, or brush strokes in the surface, just use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block to smooth it. It will be easy to smooth – one nice thing about chalk paint. Then seal the paint with wax or water-based poly.

          5. I will be mixing another batch today- I will give this a try!
            Thank you!

    3. Betty williams says:

      Add acrylic paint bit by bit to achieve the colour you want, works for me.

    4. Judith Nigh says:

      Paint contractors usually use Universal Tinting Colorant to tweek something on the job. Itcan be purchased online. Or, you can mix a stronger tint of the color you intend and blend. The color may be to clear, or bright. I always add umbers or gray of the color opposite on the color wheel to create a more complex shade.

      1. Judith Nigh says:

        Sorry, I mean to type, “gray or the opposite…”

      2. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Judith – Thanks for the tip. :-) I am sure readers will benefit from knowing this.

    5. Lucy Laidlaw says:

      Hi, I have made lots of chalk paint in my own colours simply by adding a few drops of children’s water-based paints. For example, I wanted to make an aqua blue colour, so I added a few drops of blue and yellow to a white chalk paint mix to achieve the colour I wanted. But beware! Stir in the drops of coloured paint one at a time because only the tiniest amount will make a big difference to the colour!
      Best wishes.
      Scotland, UK

  22. Hi Diane,

    I am planning to chalk paint our interior doors and kitchen cabinets. The water pased paint I have has the description of “Matt, Acrylic emulsion based, scrub resistant, matt interior wall paint.”. The application areas are listed as “On interiors, suitably prepared new mineral surfaces such as concrete, mortar, cement panel, gypsum panel etc, on old painted surfaces, putty, glass textile or wallpaper. ” As you see, wood is not listed in the application areas. I consulted the manufacturer and they advised me not to use this pait on wood since the binder in it is suitable form mineral surfaces such as concrete. They also say that in time, the paint may crack. Using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe, do you think chalk paint will be OK even if the water paint itself is not recommended on wood? I would appreciate your help. Regards.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Burak – I would tend not to use the paint if it says it is not suitable for wood. What is the brand?

      1. Hi Diane,

        Thank you. I live in Turkey, the brand is Kale Joker Plus Plastik

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Burak – I am not familiar with the brand or the type of paint. I am not sure it will work. If you already have the paint, maybe you can test a little bit of it with some calcium carbonate powder and see what happens. If it gets really thick then you know it will be a no go.

  23. hice la pintura con 3 partes de latex acrilico rojo 1 de yeso paris y 1/2 de agua pero al lijar me aparecen puntos blancos, habre mezclado mal el yeso?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hola Marcela – Esto a veces sucede con Yeso de París. La forma de evitar que suceda, es disolver el PoP en un poco de agua caliente primero. Agitar está alrededor para convertir el polvo en un líquido tanto como sea posible, a continuación, agregue a la pintura y revuelva. Para solucionar el problema en su superficie pintada, ejecute un paño húmedo sobre la superficie. Utilice agua caliente sobre el paño. Esto debería eliminar algunas de las partículas. Si todavía hay unos pocos, suavemente arena sobre ellos con papel de lija 220 si se levantan y el recubrimiento con una nueva mezcla de pintura de tiza donde el PoP se ha disuelto.

      Hi Marcela – This sometimes happens with Plaster of Paris. The way to avoid it happening, is to dissolve the PoP in a little bit of hot water first. Stir is around to turn the powder into a liquid as much as you can, then add it to the paint and stir. To remedy the problem on your painted surface, run a wet cloth over the surface. Use hot water on the cloth. This should remove some of the particles. If there are still a few, gently sand over them with 220 sandpaper if they are raised and the recoat with a new mix of chalk paint where the PoP has been dissolved.

  24. Louise Roberts says:

    When using eggshell to make chalk paint would u advice using the plaster of Paris it the other recipe?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Louise – The sheen of the paint does not matter since when you add the CCP or Plaster of Paris the sheen will turn to a flat finish. I have used flat, eggshell and even satin paint to make chalk paint. The thing that you need to be careful of when using Plaster of Paris is that you use a water-based paint that has no primer already in it. Basic contractor latex based paints are the best to use when using Plaster of Paris.

      1. Kristen Faith says:

        What’s the reason to avoid paint with primer?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Kristen – Chalk paint is really just a primer with a fancy name. When you mix Plaster of Paris in some Paint + Primer in One Formulas, too much of the chalk agent can make the paint too thick. This has only happened for me with Plaster of Paris, but not with any of the chalk paint making additives like Calcium Carbonate Powder or Chalk Line Marking powder.

      2. Catpainter says:

        Hi, Diane,
        It’s so difficult to find small quantities of low-sheen acrylic paints without primers these days. However, my Ace hardware is selling small jars of sample paint, no primer ($2.99) but they tell me it’s satin paint. It’s just the amount I need. Can I wax over a satin chalk paint? I’ve been using Johnson’s paste wax for years even when applying satin polyacrylic finishes because I love the soft, waxy finish it gives furniture. Will it work the same way and knock a little of the satin sheen off of the chalk paint finish?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi – I have used satin to make chalk paint, it will work fine since you will be adding a chalk element, it will become flat. Once the paint is dry, you can also go over it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any sheen, but I don’t think you will need to do this before applying the wax.

  25. also that won’t turn yellow over time i forgot to mention that Thanks

    1. Maggie Farrell says:


      I want to paint an old pine bookcase white and thought chalky paint might be good.
      But I dont know what you mean by LATEX paint?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Maggie – Latex paint is water-based paint that is sold in the United States. It has rubber in in which is why it is called latex. You can make chalk paint with any water-based paint.

  26. Hi in need a little help which product is great for a sealer over withe chalk paint i no they have to be water base oh this project is for a bed set which one polycrylic clear satin or polyurthan crystal clear

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Te – I like to use Minwax Polycrylic in satin, but if you want a shinier finish, you can use semi-gloss. They both dry crystal clear, it is just that the semi-gloss will be shinier. Minwax Polycrylic will not yellow, that is why it is the best poly to use over painted furniture.

      1. Have you ever tried the Modern Masters poly?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Mandy – No, I haven’t tried any of the Modern Masters products, but hope to soon. I have heard all good things about their paints and products.

  27. Hi what can i do about my kids bunkbeds satin or eggshell paint mixed with chalk i can do touch ups on the bed when i see something wrong or use flat paint and go over with a clear poly finsh which of them works the best i just want something that i dont have to repeat once a month or ever other year

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Te – If you don’t want to have to wax over the chalk paint you should use poly. It is once and done. 2 – 3 light coats of Polycrylic in a satin or semi-gloss finish will make them easy to wipe down and clean when necessary. You can make the chalk paint with either flat, eggshell, or satin paint. I prefer making my chalk paint mixed using satin, but since you will use poly over the finish it really does not matter what sheen of paint you use to make the chalk paint.

      1. Thanks you so i only use chalk paint twice on lamps (Anne Sloan) a (ceader chest walamrt wavely) so can i do this make my own chalk paint using satin paint so when ever i see a scratch or roughness i could touch up but the poly makes a great shine i when i do something i love for it to look factory made and also if i was to use poly over satin how would i touch up which one is more durable poly over flat or stain

  28. I have Pinterested, Googled, YouTubed and everything and anything else and your
    Blog chalk recipes have helped the absolute most! Thank you so much

  29. Jen Widner says:

    Ok. I’ve always used Annie Sloan. But as we all know it’s expensive! I decided to try your DIY chalk paint recipe with the calcium carbonate, water and latex paint. I’m making signs. My DIY chalk paint on the bottom and black chalk paint for lettering and visa versa. When I go to distress with my palm sander, it’s gumming up. Then it drags my black paint all over and marks due to the gumming bumps that build up in the sand paper. What am I doing wrong? I’m super frustrated. I used Dutch boy acrylic latex one coat. Was that a mistake? Should it only be plain latex? Have you encountered this before? Please help! :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen – I saw your question just pop up. When chalk paint gums up when sanding it could mean one of two things. 1. The paint is not dry enough. The top may feel dry to the touch, but if it was applied in heavier coats, it can take longer to dry. I wait 24 hours before sanding. The other issue, could be the paint. I have used acrylic latex before with no problems, but it could be extra latexy and could use a bit more CCP added to it. To fix the piece that has gummed up, let it dry for a few days and then use 60 – 100 grit sandpaper over the gummed up areas, then 220 to smooth the gummed area out.

      1. Jen Widner says:

        Thanks for the quick help! Do you have a go to paint brand for your calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jen – I have used many different brands. I use to love Glidden Premium before they changed it to a Paint and Primer in 1. It made up to a perfect consistency. Using a paint and primer in one formula with CCP is OK, but the smoothness of the paint once mixed is always smoother with a paint without primer. I have used Behr man times. Behr and Glidden, Sherwin Williams followed by Easy Care are the paints I use the most.

          The best paints to use for making any chalk paint are the off brands now, since most major brands have primer in them. True Value hardware sells the Easy Care brand. I think they still sell a basic latex paint. If you are at Lowes or Home Depot, the contractor paint for any major brand is usually just paint. It is cheaper too. Ask the person at the paint desk to point you to the basic contractor paint with no primer in it.

          1. Jen Widner says:

            Such a huge help!! Thank you so so much!! ?

          2. I have even bought off brand, plain latex at Walmart for cheap and it turns out fabulous! I do use Annie Sloan wax for a velvet finish on special pieces, but on pieces that will take a hard beating, I use General Finishes water based High Performance Top Coat with excellent results. I have used the flat out flat waterbased top coat for a softer, almost velvet like finish on my painted trimwork around the house. It has really helped protect the baseboards and window frames from paint chipping and the finish makes it easy to wipe down. Dust and dirt don’t get stuck on.

  30. I’m (reeeeallly) new to the chalk paint world. I’m mixing my own with latex paint and PoP for my kitchen cabinets. Do you have to wax at the end?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Hilary – Yes, you need to protect chalk painted cabinets using either wax or water-based sealer like Minwax Polycrylic. Since chalk paint is flat, without the coat of protection, you will see every finger print, smudge, etc and they will be hard to remove. The only scenario where I would not wax over the chalk paint is if I wanted very rustic, rough-hewn looking cabinets. I like wax over chalk paint since it gives it a subtle sheen.

      1. Hi Diane, I am totally new to diy.. I am trying to make over a really old wooden desk I found on craigs list…I am confused with the steps….I am hoping to make it shiny and smooth, like you done with the periwinkle dresser…it looks make it easier as its my 1st project I was going to do all of it including the drawers one color…a behr color….(P510-6 brilliant blue) ..the desk is for my office so it will be used daily….. my 1st step is to sand and fill the holes….after that I’m lost…ive purchased some of whats on ur list…will get the rest soon….what confuses me is the types of paint…and making chalk paint…and where do I use the plaster paris……I was going to follow your chalk paint recipe with calcium carbonate…so do I mix that with my behr P510 blue paint….its a stain blocking paint & primer in one…Another question is, should I use Kilz original stain blocking primer 1st…seeing as its a ugly dark brown desk….Thankyou soooo much for your time.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Bronagh – It sounds like you just need some help with how to mix up the chalk paint. If you are using a paint with a primer in it, then you should use the calcium carbonate powder recipe. I have found Plaster of Paris can turn to mud when mixed with a paint with a primer it in. Once you have the calcium carbonate powder, depending on the size of your desk, you will probably only need a few cups of chalk paint. It is better to have more than not enough though – for touch ups if needed.

          Using a primer first: I do not use a primer first when using chalk paint since the calcium carbonate powder is basically a primer. I also did not distress my periwinkle dresser. If you are not going to distress the edges of the desk using sandpaper to make the painted finish look old, then yes you can prime first. It can’t hurt and will only help block wood tannins and stains. If you plan to distress the painted finish with sandpaper to make it look old once the paint is dry, then do not use primer. You will see the white color of the primer through the distressing.

          To mix the CCP and paint: The recipe I use to make 1 cup of chalk paint is: 2 Tablespoons of CCP and 1 Tablespoon of water to 1 cup of paint. Double this to make 2 cups. Make it in an air-tight can. I use coffee cans. Once you know how much paint you want to make have a coffee can filled with the amount of paint and a small bowl ready.

          If you want to make 2 cups of chalk paint: Using the small bowl, mix the 4 tablespoons of CCP into the @ tablespoons of water and mix well to dissolve the powder,(you can add a tiny bit more water if needed to help dissolve the powder). Once dissolved, then add the mixture to the 2 cups of paint that you poured into a can with a lid and mix well. You can now paint with it. In between coats, make sure to cover the chalk paint so it is air-tight. I usually use 2 to 3 coats of chalk paint, but this could vary depending on the color of paint you use and the color of the wood.

          Once the paint is dry, I usually wait 24 hours, then I add a very thin coat of Fiddes and Sons or Johnsons Paste wax and buff it with an old t-shirt to bring up a shine. I usually add 2 to 3 light coats of wax for protection and to give the piece a high shine. When buffing, you really need to put some muscle into it. The first coat of wax may not be shiny. When the cloth glides over the first coat of wax easily, then you know it is buffed enough and can add another thin layer of wax over it. Buff until the cloth glides over the surface and add another coat of wax if needed.

          I hope this helps and you can enjoy your desk for many years to come. :-)

          1. I am going to make a sliding bed shelf for my teenage granddaughter, she wants it white and needs to be easy to keep looking nice. Which paint combo do you recommend and will a wax finish be ok.. also how long in between coats for drying.

  31. I have a table and chairs on an oceanfront porch. They need repainting. I was thinking of using DIY chalk paint for its durability, ease of application, and lovely finish.
    This furniture has rusty screws visible now. Is there anything I can do to hide the rusty screws and/or help extend the life of the screws?

  32. Barb Calhoun says:

    Hi Diane, I’m chalky painting some darker wood furniture for my daughter. She wants it while so I did a small bench first. After three thin coats, each dried over night, I still need another coat to cover some of the darkness. Would a water base kilnz used first work? Thanks for your expertise!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barb – Yes, since you are painting the piece white, using Kilz will be a good thing to hide the dark wood and keep any wood tannins from seeping through the paint. If you are planning to sand to distress the piece you will still be Ok since Kilz is white. If you were using a paint color other then white and were going to sand to distress, though…you should not use Kilz or any white primer since you would see the white layer in between the wood and the paint color when you sand. :-)

  33. Hi,
    Can you mix Calcium Carbonate with a enamel paint to make chalk paint? Sherman Williams Pro Classic, to be exact, they say it’s the best paint for furniture.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ruby – I love SW Pro Classic. It is great for all woodwork. Love it! It comes in three different formulas. I have never used the oil-based enamel though, only the other two water based formulas. If you have the Oil-Based Alkyd Enamel then it will not work to make chalk paint. Only latex or water based paints work. If you have the ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex then you can make chalk paint with this.

      1. Yeah! I have the SW Pro Classic Interior Acrylic Latex . Can I use your plaster of paris/Calcium Carbonate recipe with this paint? I know you said you can’t if it has primer in it and I’m not sure if this paint doestrogen or not.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          hi Ruby – You can use Calcium Carbonate Powder in any latex paint with no problems. If you use Plaster of Paris, that could make the paint clump.

          1. I found this out the hard way! I didn’t realize I had the paint and primer.

  34. Hello, How do I Prep a laminated dresser or cabinet to be painted with chaulk paint?
    Also I want to create a design where I am actually able to write with chaulk on the front of the drawers, you know in the middle. For a little girl’s room. How can I do this?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chris – To paint over laminate with chalk paint, I would first go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface. A quick 5- 10 min going over with a hand sanding block will do, just enough to provide some “tooth” for the paint to grab. Clean off grit and then apply two light coats of chalk paint, letting the first coat dry before applying the second. For the areas you do not want to use as a chalkboard, seal with wax or polyurethane. On the front of the drawer where you want to use as a chalkboard, just leave it unsealed.

      1. I’ve usually seen pictures ofvital painted furniture and it looks like it doesn’t need sanding before applying paint. Is that correct? The paint will withstand normal wear?

  35. Another thing Diane, I don’t think I will find ccp and all paints in my area (sipes…) do not write the ingredients of the latex paint. One I already have is called vinyl latex paint and the other is acrylic latex paint. Any solutions? Can I go with baking soda recipe although not very smooth? Or maybe cornflour?

  36. Hello Diane,
    I’m wondering if the answer to my questions is somewhere above? Anyway, can I substitute calcium carbonate with baking soda as I read it somewhere? And can you give me a detailed description for a distressed look as I’m distressed now because my first project was disappointing despite the fact that I watched and read so many tutorials. Many claim that chalk paint can go well on wood whether preped or not. But on the other hand, normal wood painters warned of skipping the sanding and the priming steps. I’ve been having a problem with technique because I’m not pretty sure of the procedure (for example: for a distressed grey colour I applied a coat of grey ‘chalk paint’ and then a white one but when wiping with a cloth even after 10 minutes the colours are wiped off! Maybe the drying time isn’t right! or maybe the technique!) and I have another problem with obtaining the desired colours. On the other hand, when I wanted to make a smooth white look over brown wood it needed many layers nevertheless the brush left long marks on the wood and it was ugly. I’m wondering if I should go back to traditional wood painting? I know I have a lot of questions but it will be great to receive your valuable advice and recommendations. (P.S. I used white acrylic latex paint (1 cup) plus 2.5 tbs plaster of Paris plus 1.5 tbs water on a brown wooden table that hadn’t been primed or sanded beforehand.

    Thank you so much

    1. Linda Maurin says:

      Before you paint using chalk paint you must ensure the piece is cleaned very well. Although sanding isn’t required I like the use the liquid de glosser to get some of the finish off to ensure it sticks.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Linda – That is correct, you need to clean the piece well to make sure no dirt, grease, or sanding grit are on the surfaces about to be painted. The deglosser works well, but I like using sandpaper to add some “tooth” since it is less expensive way to ensure the paint sticks. A good 5 minute going over is all it needs.

  37. I’m a decorative painter but I’ve seen nothing anywhere about painting a design OVER a chalkpaint
    base. Would this be a problem?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – You can paint a design on a chalk painted base finish just as you would on any painted surface. Since it is a flat finish, your paints will adhere easily. Just paint the design on it before you add the wax or poly. If you want to make the painted design look distressed, rub it with sandpaper after the paint is dry, then add the wax or poly finish. It will look fabulous.

  38. Hey i am living in Finland and while I can fi d band name chalk paint, it is very expensive. I have not been able to find plaster of paris as of yet but I have found gypsum powder. Do you think this would work? And what ratio of paint to powder would you recommend?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linnea –

      Yes the gypsum powder will work. I would make it using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. Just replace the CCP with the Gypsum powder. Mix it well with the water first, you may need to add another tablespoon of water to get a nice smooth consistency, then add it to the paint.

  39. This is the most informative post I have seen on chalk paint recipes! I ordered calcium carbonate from Amazon and I’m am excited to try it out, I’ve got an old fence post I’m wanting to make a growth chart with. Thanks again especially for the most economic chalk paint recipe!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lindsay – I know I have a lot of posts about making and painting with chalk paint. I am working on a book so I can get all the information highly organized and in one place. I hope to have it done soon.

  40. pamela creadick says:

    I LOVE your site and I am on Pinterest a lot. Your site is the most informative out there. Thank your for sharing. I made my own paint with POP on an old ladder for my first piece to see if I could do it. Super easy but wish I had reassured myself with reading your site first. You give all the hints needed, like using an old hand mixer, how long it lasts, and last but not least you did the leg work and the experimentation and gave us the results!!! Thank you for sharing to go to a health store for the Calcium powder. Including the costs is huge as I am on a tight budget. I will follow you anywhere! You are also so kind to answer all questions, in detail. My boyfriend asked why I was still reading the sites when my ladder turned out well. Knowledge is power and sometimes it’s the simple small hints that really make or break a project. I didn’t know about waxing and the difference between clear and dark. I am singing your praises to all and just wanted to thank you so much for your information packed, easily readable, and usable site. This is THE BEST site I have ever found and you should be so proud of your efforts helping all of us novices.

  41. Hi Diane
    I’ve been meaning to make this for a long time, went ahead order CC online, finally arrived today and went ahead to paint shop to get latex paint, but NONE of paint shops here in NZ sells it!!!! I went around to craft shop then as painter recommended, they didn’t have it either. What they said was either water based, or oil based paint is all they have. I’ve googled where to get latex paint here and no luck. I’m guessing water based is the one that I could probably go for, since Anne Slone paint is water based…am I right? I’m so very disappointed over here in the other side of the world. Please help.. Water based paint or oil based paint? Thanks

    1. Hi l also live in New Zealand and have made my own chalk paint for approximately 35years ? I used plaster of Paris….. . Now the paint I use for mixing … any water based paint for mixing with calcium carbonate ….to mix with plaster of paris it needs to not have any primer or undercoat in the standard mix ….Ive been buying ceiling paint …… having it tinted to a nice cream …then tinting it with Jo Sonjas artists acrylics….. or other artists acrylics ……..I hope this helps . Sharon ?

      1. ANY water based paint w CC! That’s exactly what I need to know!! Thank you so much!
        I was gonna try the ratio from the Internet, but do you have your favourite ratio mixing CC, water and the paint Sharon?
        Thanks again, so excited to try this out! :):)

      2. Why can’t the paint have primer in it? I have leftover gallons that are paint and primer in one. So can’t make that into chalk paint?
        Question #2: can I use a satin finish paint to make chalk paint?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Eadie –

          If you use Calcium Carbonate Powder to make your chalk paint then you can use any paint even with a primer in it. If you use Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded Grout and mix it into paint with primer in it then you run the chance of the mixture turning into sludge. You can use any sheen of latex paint to make chalk paint. I like using satin the best, just my preference.

          1. What good information to know!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mira – Did you see Mira’s answer to your question about latex paint? She is a fellow NZ’er who is in the know. :-) Just in case you didn’t see her reply to your commment…Any water based paint will work when making DIY chalk paint with CCP. Latex is one type of water-based paint and the most common in the US. I have used basic acrylic craft paint to make chalk paint also.

    3. Another Kiwi here. Glad I stumbled upon these comments or else I’d have a little melt down at mitre 10!

    4. Rita Marshall says:

      I would like to use chalk paint for a covered outside deck. It would have some snow on it during the winter. I know I would have to use an exterior poly sealer. Do you think this would work? Thanks,

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Rita – Some deck wood is pressure treated and can have moisture in it which can create paint failure. If you want to paint the deck with chalk paint you have to make sure the wood is not at all wet and the weather is not damp or humid when you are painting since this will add moisture to the wood. If you paint when it is humid, the paint may look like it has cured, but once the weather turns cold, you may see it come off in sheets. If you can be sure the wood is dry, then I think you can use the chalk paint.

        I would use the Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris recipe since it is the most durable of the DIY chalk paint mixes I have made. Since chalk paint is flat, it will get scuffed up. These scuff marks can be cleaned off, but that is a lot of work. If you don’t want it to get scuffed up you can use exterior poly over it. Apply both the paint and poly using very light coats, letting each one dry before applying the next.

  42. Holly King says:

    I have never used chalk paint, but I have several items that I am dying to try it on. I’ve read that you don’t have to sand your pieces prior to painting with chalk paint, is this true, and if so, does this apply to the DIY versions of chalk paint as well? Also, how true to the original color of the paint be once added to the CC or PoP mix? I have left over paint that I would like to use, but only if it will look very close to the unmixed paint color!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly –

      Yes it is true that you do not have to sand a piece prior to chalk painting, but that means not taking it down to the bare wood. When using store bought or DIY chalk paint, it is always a good idea to run 100 grit sandpaper over any piece you are going to paint to provide some “tooth” so the paint adheres even better. All that is needed is a quick going over – 5 mins to scratch up the surface with a piece of sandpaper folded in your hand will do the job.

      As far a colors not changing. I have found that only red and black got lighter for me when I made chalk paint using them. I have been experimenting with some other recipes to see if I can stop that from happening. If I find one, I will be posting about it.

      If you have the left over paint, all you need is to get one of the ingredients. I like making my mixes with Calcium Carbonate Powder the best. For success, mix the CCP into water so it dissolves, then into the paint. Only a few tablespoons are needed. If you are still not sure, mix up a small amount and paint a scrap piece of wood to get the feel for painting with chalk paint.

  43. Hi Diane,

    I found liquid calcium carbonate at my drugstore. Do you know if this will work instead of the powder?

    Thanks so much,

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Andrea – Good question. I am not sure if the liquid form of Calcium Carbonate will work on not. I have never used it. I would be interested in finding out though. What brand is it and did you buy it at a chain drug store? I will do an experiment with it to see if it will add the right chalkiness to paint.

      1. Hi Diane, it’s Roxane Laboratories. It came in a 500ml bottle for $11.63. The pharmacy I got it from is not a chain, but has medical equipment and specialty pharmacy items which is why I figured they might have it. I have never made or used chalk paint, but it mixed up beautifully! I didn’t add water because I figured it would make the paint too runny. I need new steel wool because I had used mine on a dark stained piece and it now turns everything mohagany. But, I did go over one cabinet with it and it looked fantastic! I don’t know how long the regular chalk paint takes before you can mess with it, but I as able to steel wool it in just over an hour. Thanks for getting back to me so quick!

  44. lois black says:

    DO you use flat wall paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lois – You can use any paint sheen except gloss when making chalk paint since when you add the chalk component, it will make the finish flat. I like the way a piece comes when I use satin paint. It is what I make 90% of my mixes with.

  45. Hi Diane,
    I think I stayed up much of the night reading through your website and I am soooo inspired to start tackling the hoards of furniture I have in my garage begging for new life! I would like your advice on what to do about an old desk that I am painting for my 5 year old son. It has some indented scrollwork on the drawers and on the front facing in the middle that is not exactly fitting for a boy’s desk… He says he doesn’t like that part haha! How would you suggest dealing with it? I thought of filling it with wood filler and sanding… ? I just don’t know what my best options are? Thank you so much!!! Looking forward to your reply:)

    1. Hello Dianne. Happy New Year. I always use Annie Sloan Chalk paint. Today I finish a Cupboard and run out of paint. Decided to make my own. I followed the recipe with the plaster of paris. Came out good but it was very thick and I had to add water. I found another recipe on a website that a girl posted. She said she tried a lot of different recipes and then decided to replace the plaster of paris with cornflour. She said it was the best one ever. I saw it to late otherwise I would have done that. It is much cheaper than AS . Have anybody else tried the cornflour?

  46. Kim Patton says:

    Hi Diane,
    When I look for paint stores only sell the “paint +primer” and they say that you cannot buy just the paint anymore. They said the one they sell as just paint doesn’t really have a real primer in it so it is basically just paint even though it clearly says paint + primer. I am scared to use it. any suggestions?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – If you use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe to make chalk paint you can use any paint, even ones with a primer in them. If you want to use Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout, I know Easy Care brand of paint still just makes paint with no primer in it. You can buy this at True Value Hardware. You could also use Valspar contractor paint. It is the least expensive and has a very simple label. Ask at the paint counter for it.

      1. Thank you so much for the reply Diane! I actually did go and buy some calcium carbonate powder today after reading later in the comments that it plays nicely with any paint:). I’m excited to start on some projects I have waiting in the garage! Question… If I mix up a quart of paint with CC and don’t use all of it, how long will the CC chalk paint last in the sealed paint can? Will it “go bad”?
        I am so incredibly happy I came across your site … I’m reading up on kitchen cabinet redo now! Thank you thank you!!!

        1. Hi Diane! I apologize… I just read further in your comments and am getting answers to many questions including the shelf life of the CC chalk paint.
          No need to answer:) thanks again!!!

      2. Home Depot sells to types pf paint without primer. The first brand is made by Glidden and goes under the name Ultra Hide or Speedwall. The second brand is made by Behr and goes under the name Behr Pro 100. These brands are not sold in quarts, but gallons of flat paint are less than $20.00.

        You can separate the paint into usable amounts and store the unused portions in the original container. As long as you seal it tightly and keep it from freezing the pain will last up to seven years.

      3. Home Depot sells two types pf paint without primer. The first brand is made by Glidden and goes under the name Ultra Hide or Speedwall. The second brand is made by Behr and goes under the name Behr Pro 100. These brands are not sold in quarts, but gallons of flat paint are less than $20.00.

        You can separate the paint into usable amounts and store the unused portions in the original container. As long as you seal it tightly and keep it from freezing the pain will last up to seven years.

      4. I have just finished my first chalk paint project. Plaster of paris was my base. I used what paint I had which is Behr Premium with primer. I am now reading that I shouldn’t use paint with primer…too late, I already did! And it looks great! I have 2 little accent tables that were bland white and I wanted to give them some charm, so I used left over paint that I used for my living room which is called “Evaporation”. Pale gray with blue undertones. I’m so pleased with the way they turned out. My next step is to try a high gloss black paint that I want to try on another small table that’s been in my garage for ages. If it doesn’t work then there’s no loss. But it’s worth a try!

        1. thanks for your post! I feel better now since I used paint + primer, I wondered why my paint clumped up so fast. I think I will mix a smaller amount and see how quickly I can apply it.

  47. Virginia Gory says:

    Hi Dianne,
    I am enjoying your website, and your little Bio sounds SO Familiar. My friends think I am crazy sometimes.
    Anyway, I’ve been reading some of the posts on this article on chalk paint, and you have said several times to use “Poly” over the chalk paint to get a glossy’er finish. What brand of polyurethane are you using? The reason I ask is because I have used poly over two of my furniture re-do’s and it always dries with a yellow finish. I would love to find a brand of polyurethane that didn’t yellow over a painted surface. I have tried Minwax and Rustoleum brands. Both yellow over paint…..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Virginia – When using poly over chalk paint or any surface and not have it yellow you need to use “water-based” poly. I use Minwax Polycrylic. It is in a teal can. It comes in satin, semi, and gloss finishes. All are fine to use. I like the satin or semi-gloss over chalk paint. You can buy it at any home improvement store. Thanks for reading my blog.

  48. I tried with the plaster of paris and my furniture came.out bumpy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lori – When you say bumpy, was the mixture itself thick and lumpy or after you painted the surface, did the surface feel gritty? If the mixture was lumpy, it could be you used paint with primer in it which causes PoP mixes to get thick. If the dried surface feels gritty, the PoP was not mixed enough There is a simple fix for this, simply sand over it with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth. Touch up as needed and then add your wax or poly to protect.

  49. Ha pave you tried the new chalk paint line at Lowe’s?



    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – No I have not tried it yet. I have heard good things about it. I will check it out. If I like the colors I will get some and do a review.

  50. Have you ever added calcium carbonate to a semi gloss paint? I want to paint my lower kitchen cabinets in a semi gloss and just wondered if adding the cc would help it adhere.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kristin –

      I have used semi-gloss when making chalk paint on a few projects. You can use any sheen of paint to make chalk paint, but no matter what sheen you use, once you add the CCP it will flatten the finish so it will not be the normal semi-gloss. It will be flatter, more like an eggshell. If you want your kitchen cabinets to be a semi-gloss finish and use chalk paint, you will need to wax them or add a semi-gloss poly over the paint to get a semi-gloss sheen.

      If you want a semi-gloss finish and don’t want to wax or poly, then I would use a gripping primer on the cabinets first, then regular semi-gloss paint. It will adhere well. I used Glidden Gripper. It is the best and very affordable. I have an older post about how I painted my cabinets this way here:

  51. Hello!

    Wow, how great is this bunch of informations! I just don’t find my answer still, is making a chalboard paint using latex + CC will make a simple, great black board to use as a blackboard by kids? Is cleaning simple?
    Have you heard about differences depending on type or finish of the different paints used? I mean, using flat must sound more difficult to wash than using satin… a good -kitchen- paint, designed to eash easily, sounds to me better to use for making the blackboard paint myself…
    My projet is two whole walls, in black. What do you think?
    T hank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julie – Chalk paint will provide a chalk board finish as long as you don’t wax or poly over it. It really doesn’t matter what finish of paint you use – flat, satin, or semi since once you add the CCP it will turn the paint flat. I use leftover paint from previous projects when I make my chalk paint. It is usually satin.

      For two large walls, I think you would be better off buying black chalkboard paint that comes in the quart can. It is inexpensive (about $13 a can) and can be bought at most home improvement stores in the paint aisle. I bought a generic brand at Lowes. Rustoleum also makes it. Here is a link:–30-Ounce/dp/B0006BAEI6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445090082&sr=8-1&keywords=black+chalkboard+paint

      I think it would be easier and less expensive in the long run since you would have to buy black latex paint anyway. If you already have the black paint, then you would still need a lot of CCP to make enough paint to cover two walls and it may end up costing you more. I like making chalk paint for furniture, it is the best, but you only need a little bit of paint and CCP which keeps the cost down.

      Your wall will look fabulous and your kids are going to love it.

      1. Hi again!

        I stepped foward and did it!! Three large walls (one in a bedroom, the entrance and a third wall), all using black water-latex paint (1 gallon) bought at Potvin Bouchard for 21,99$, and a small box of tile grout, unsanded, in the darkest color I coulf find, so deep brown, for 6,99$.

        Here’s my experience. First, I looked to find some CCP, impossible. I should have ordered in the net, but was too rushed to do it on my weedend!

        I bought a little garbage bin for mixing the mixture, as well as a mandrin (the thing you put in your drill designed for mixing up paint).

        Using the formula: 1 cup paint + 2 T grout. Mixing up 2 to 4 cups a time. We did a little test first using just half a cup paint and 1 T of grout. No sludging, nothing, but a creamy, super covering paint.

        The only thing: it smells bad… After 10 minutes I felt a bit nauseaous and I had a headache… it really has some vapors in that mix and people should always use a specific mask to protect them. Once dry it seem to be all gone, and with the mask it was perfect for painting it. Children and pets (and everybody else!) should not be in the house while doing it.

        I applyed a first coat on the walls… WOW! Fabulous! Extra wonderful coverage, perfect, it looked like I have put already 3 coats… The day after I sanded slightly with latex 150 sand paper. Some little spots when off, and I could see some bits of the brown grout color peaking out. I put a second coat and it really looks FANTASTIC! TOTALLY! 1 gallon ( 4 quarts) cost me only around 30$ to do 3 walls. Here, in Quebec, a quart of Rusto-Leum Chalboard paint costs 25$… whch mean I would have spent 100$ doing it that way instead of the cheap 25$ it actually costed me! :-)

        I also learned about the paint. The cheapest is the paint, the more possible it is that it DOES NOT contain some ACRYLIC or PRIMERS. Or the highest the price, the more it contains so… because acrylics and primers are used to make the paint cover more. So I bought the cheapest, the «Potvin Bouchard» one… really unsure for painting in black especially. I was afraid that I would need to apply 3-4 coats before having the wall perfect. Surprising… one coat did the job perfectly. I dont’t know if the added grout has something to do in that, but, still, it worked fantastic! I already tried the chalks on it, just a bit… it is great!

        So thank you again so much!!!!!!! And let’s spread the good news! WE CAN DO IT! :-)

        1. Me again. Just forgot to add that I did not mixed the grout with water before adding it to the paint. i just put the grout powder right into the paint and mixed well with the mandrin.

          Also, I wanted to say that the paint was still creamy the day after, sealed in a tight plastic container.

          That’s it! :-)

  52. 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!

  53. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  54. 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!

  55. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  56. 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?!?!?!

    1. Diane Henkler 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:

      1. I will def have to try your solution, thank you so much!! :)

  57. Question,
    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?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – If you use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe you can use any type of paint. It is the non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris that can sometimes cause a mixture with primer or acrylic to clump up.

  58. 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.

  59. hi
    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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

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

  61. 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!

  62. 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 :)

  63. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  64. 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!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Larissa – What type/brand of Calcium Carbonate Powder did you use and what brand/formula of paint? I have never had a CCP mixture not turn out, but can help you to troubleshoot if I know exactly what you used.

      1. Cynthia Chiles says:

        II used Tums tablets and crushed with a mortar and pestle

    2. Do I use flat latex or satin latex?
      Thanks, Rhonda

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Rhoda – Either will be fine, but I prefer the smoothness of satin when making chalk paint.

  65. Susie Collins says:

    Sorry had to change my email address

  66. Susie Collins says:

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

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susie – I have not used it, but I think you can make chalk paint using pottery plaster. I would use the Plaster of Paris recipe.

  67. 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

    1. I’m wondering the same thing as I found cc powder with mc in it. Help please?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        I know that chalk paint can be made using so many different ingredients, so I think you will have success with the CC powder with MC in it. I have only used CCP, line marking chalk powder, non-sanded grout, and PoP to make my DIY chalk paint, but know that you can use gym chalk and a lot of other powders that have gypsum or chalk as the main ingredient in them to make chalk paint.

  68. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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. :-)

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

    1. Diane Henkler 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 :-)

  70. 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!! (-:

    1. Diane Henkler 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?

      1. 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!! (-;

  71. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patty – Is it the wax or paint that is making the finish looked scuffed?

      1. 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!

  74. Mariela Silva 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?

  75. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      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.

      powder room:

  76. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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. 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.

  78. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  79. PS. What kind of filler should I use?
    Wood filler or spackle?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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?

        1. Diane Henkler 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

  80. 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.

  81. 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!

  82. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  83. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. Thank you so much for your help and advice…….

  84. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandra – There could be a few reasons the paint is coming off. How long did you wait before applying the glaze over the paint?

      1. 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.

        1. Diane Henkler 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.

  85. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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,

  86. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  87. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  88. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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?

  89. 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 :)

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  90. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  93. 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

  94. 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

  95. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  96. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angela – I was just at a painting workshop this weekend where I saw hemp oil used. It looked great and soaks into the paint. It is not oily to the touch at all. I just posted a photo of a table that another workshop attendee did on my blog today. You can find it here:

      I am not sure olive oil would be the same since it can go rancid after time. You would be best sticking with hemp or walnut oil for furniture.

  97. Linda T Jodoin 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!


    1. Diane Henkler 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?

  98. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mel – thanks for sharing this tip, it is good to know. I will have to search a brew shop out in my area.

  99. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Milly – Acrylic paint will work with Calcium Carbonate Powder, but will bind up if you use the non-sanded grout recipe. So you are good to go :-)

      1. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to start painting :)))

  100. Dianne Cost says:

    I believe I will love this web-site

  101. I want to paint fabric… How do I keep the fabric soft?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  102. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. Mummaducka says:

        I bet it smells very nice too!! Minty or fruity!

  103. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alyssa – If you have not already you should read my posts about making and using DIY chalk paint – here are the links to the posts: and

      They are long posts and you should read the comments as I answer many questions there, too.

      I like using the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best. It makes a very smooth finish and can be mixed with any type of latex paint without getting thick.

      1. Hi there,
        I’ve read through the different chalk paint recipes. Which do you prefer? The calcium carbonate alone or the plaster of Paris with the calcium carbonate mixture? And is there a particular brand of paint that will adhere the best?…. Sherwin William or Benjamin Moore or Behr, etc?


        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Christina –

          If I am going after a distressed look for a piece using sandpaper, I like using CCP alone. It is easier to distress. When I want a super durable finish for say a table top, then I would use the recipe that calls for both. When you add the PoP it does create a harder finish that is not as easy to distress. Both recipes are fine to use alone. CCP mixes in with any kind of paint. I have used all brands with it. I usually get a satin or flat finish.

          PoP can turn to sludge when mixed with a primer + paint formula. Many companies whole line of paints seem to all have primers in them now. If you want to use PoP I would look for any brand’s contractor paint or one that is just paint without the primer in it.

          All major brands of paint adhere well. I have used Sherwin Williams, Glidden, Behr, and Easy Care to make chalk paint and have been happy with all of them.

  104. 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.

  105. 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

  106. 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,

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  107. 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.


    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  108. 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?

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

  110. 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:

    Thanks again:)

  111. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  112. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  113. 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!

  114. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  115. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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. :-)

  116. 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:)

    1. Diane Henkler 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:

      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.

  117. 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 :-)

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  118. Coco Tippetts says:

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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  119. 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

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Coco – PoP may bind with some acrylics. I would try to find some CCP. Amazon sells it.

  120. 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!

  121. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  122. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  123. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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: 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.

  124. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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?

        1. patricia mcdaniel says:

          I found Johnson’s dark wax and CC on Amazon.

  125. Mikel Driever says:

    Do you use the minwax finishing wax paste?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  126. Now I know what it should look like. Thank you, this was very helpful.

  127. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      What amount of paint to CCP did you use? This will help me figure out if you need to add more paint or CCP?

      1. I made it before seeing your recipes. I used 1 1/2 C paint, 1/2 C each of water and CCP.

        1. I have since added about an additional 1/4 c water.

        2. Diane Henkler 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.

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

          2. Diane Henkler 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.

  128. Mikel Driever says:

    The Minwax finishing paste wax?

  129. Mikel Driever says:

    What do you use for a finish? Do you use Minwax Polycrylic protective Finish?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  130. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

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

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kim for sharing your results using the Martha Stewart Metallic paint. It is good to know – I sent your comment to Barbara.

  132. 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 and they will deliver it to your door. Happy chalking all!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elizabeth – Thanks for the tip on being able to get the CCP at a ceramic supply store. Will check it out.

  133. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

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

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

    2. Diane Henkler 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!

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

        Will be back again and again!!!


  135. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  136. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  137. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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.

        1. Diane Henkler 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.

        2. 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

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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

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

        1. Diane Henkler 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.

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  141. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. Diane Henkler 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!!!

  142. 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!

  143. 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.


    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  144. 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

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      You can wait as long as you like. It will not effect the finish.

  145. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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. :-)

    2. 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.

      1. 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 and i send you pictures. Greetings from very very rainy vienna

        1. Josephine says:

          Thank you Jessy. I wil sending you an e-mail.

  146. 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.

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  147. Can i use synthetic resin?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I have never used it so I am not sure.

  148. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  149. Can you please tell me where you buy your calcium carbonate? Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      You can buy Calcium Carbonate Powder at the health food store. I use the Now Brand. It is also sold on Amazon.

  150. 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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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:)

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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

  153. 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

  154. Where do I get the plaster of Paris .

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      At any Home Improvement or craft store. I used the Dap brand. It comes in a red and black container, but any brand will be fine.

    2. 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

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

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  156. Thanks for the answer. Do you get your Calcium Carbonate on line and if so, where? I can’t find it where I live.


    1. Judith Conrad says:

      Rebecca…I bought my calcium carbonate online from Amazon.

    2. 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

    3. 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.

    4. 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:)

      1. Diane Henkler 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. :-)

    5. David Page says:

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

      1. Diane Henkler 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.

        1. 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)

          1. Diane Henkler 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.

  157. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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 :)

  158. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  159. Suzanne Gauvin says:

    Diane, Can you use “Beeswax” over chalk paint. Thanks, Suzanne :)

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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! :)

        1. Diane Henkler 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.

  160. Diane, thanks for solving my problem! Jill

  161. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. Taylor Callaghan 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!

        1. Diane Henkler 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.

          1. 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!

    2. I used calcium to make my chalk paint a 2-1 mix my paint will rub off what is wrong

      1. Diane Henkler 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.

  162. 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?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Jill – What are you using – Non sanded grout, Plaster of Paris, or Calcium Carbonate Powder? And what type and brand of paint?

      1. 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.

  163. 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?

  164. 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

      1. 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.

        1. Diane Henkler 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

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

        1. 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.

          1. Diane Henkler 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?

    2. 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.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Cassandra – That is great to hear. What brand and finish of paint did you use?