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What Is The Best Chalk Paint You Can Buy?

Post updated: 8/9/2021

Are you thinking about using chalk paint to transform a hand-me down piece of furniture, a thrift store find or do you just want to give a item of furniture you already own a new look, but don’t know which chalk paint brand is the best to use?

If so, I can help you make the right choice in choosing what chalk paint to use.

After painting many pieces of furniture and decorative accessories with chalk paint, I have found out the pros and cons of each chalk paint brand firsthand. I have also tested the best top coats and sealers to use to protect the painted finish.

In this post, I will share the pros and cons of the many brands of chalk paint I have used to help you make the best decision on what brand of paint to use for your project. One brand is even very budget-friendly.

Chalk paint that is affordable

When reviewing chalk paint brands to find the best ones, I looked at these factors:

  • How easily the paint went on.
  • How the paint looked without distressing/sanding.
  • How well it distressed when sanded.
  • Adhesion and coverage.
  • How the wax absorbed and the patina it produced when buffed?
  • How easy it is to buy.
  • The range of colors offered.

What Is The Best Chalk Paint You Can Buy

DC Blue Chalk painted sideboard with clock on top

Best Overall Chalk Paint

3 colors of Country Chic Paint on top of table

County Chic Paint – I used this paint for the first time on thrift store furniture for my granddaughter’s nursery. Ever since using it, it has become my favorite chalk paint for so many reasons.

Pros:

  • They carry the best selection of paint colors from rich saturated colors to pastels. They even have an online color chart showing what colors to mix to get another color. Which removes any color “guess-work” out of choosing a paint color.
  • You can buy the paint right from their website online. No need to hunt down an approved seller.
  • They sell 3 sizes of paint – sample, pint and quart. Having the option to sample the color before buying is wonderful since choosing the right paint color can be hard. The pint size is cost saving if you want to paint something small, you don’t have to buy a quart of paint.

Cons: None

Best Budget-Friendly Chalk Paint

Affordable chalk paint

Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint – Don’t think because of it’s inexpensive price tag that this paint isn’t any good. It is my go-to when I need a basic color like black, white, or cream. I have also used most of the other paint colors on decorating projects around my house.

Pros:

  • The paint is sold at Walmart, which makes it very easy to get if you have a Walmart near you. As someone who paints a lot, this is a great paint resource – since I can go get some and be home in an hour. It is also sold on Walmart.com.
  • It comes in 3 sizes – 2 ounce, 8 ounce and 16 ounce jars.
  • It goes on just as nicely as the more expensive brands and dries to a very durable finish and is very easy to buff wax into to get a subtle sheen in the finish.

Cons: A small selection of colors.

Best Chalk Paint to Use on Upholstery

how to paint upholstery with chalk paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has the best consistency for using to paint over firmly upholstered furniture. I saw her demonstrate the paint process at a workshop I attended.

Pros:

  • The paint comes in a wide variety of colors.
  • When using the paint to paint upholstery – you need to spray the surface with water first, then apply the paint. You also may need to add a little water to thin the paint, so it brushes onto the fabric easier. When you thin this paint, it doesn’t lose its chalky-ness. It dries to a nice even finish that on some fabrics doesn’t even feel stiff.

Cons:

  • It is hard to buy this paint. You have to find an approved Annie Sloan “stockist” which is hard if you live in a small town.

Best Spray Chalk Paint

Two brands of chalk paint spray paint. KILZ and Krylon

When it comes to spray formulas of chalk paint, there are a few that I can recommend.

Pros: Fast and easy to apply a nice even layer of paint. It goes on well and the color is true to what is shown on the cap.

Cons: Small range of colors that mostly run in the pastel range. If you want to paint your piece a bold color, you may have to use a chalk paint sold in a can using a brush.

Best Outdoor Chalk Paint

best outdoor chalk paint to use

ColorPlace Exterior Latex Paint – When you want to paint something outside that is on a porch, patio or deck, chalk paint can be used. It works best on vertical and textured items like brick or cinder block walls. It will wear off after a season or two on most other items that stay outside.

I found that when you add this DIY chalk paint recipe to exterior paint like I did to paint resin herb planters 5 years ago, the finish will last for a long time. My chalk painted planter’s color is still vivid and they look as nice now as they did when I first painted them.

Best Chalk Paint for Laminate Furniture

corner cabinet painted with DIY chalk paint using two colors

I know the title of this post stated chalk paint to buy, but when painting very shiny and slick surfaces, the best chalk paint for laminate furniture is the DIY chalk paint recipe I mentioned above. It uses both calcium carbonate powder and Plaster of Paris. You do have to buy these ingredients. :-)

Pros: This DIY mixture of chalk paint sticks to anything and wears like iron.

Cons: Mixing up your own chalk paint is an extra step and can be messy.

Honorable Mention

Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint and Clear Wax

I do want to note that I have used other brands of chalk paint and they all work well – you really can’t go wrong with any of them. So if you have your eye on a color a chalk paint brand sells, go with it.

One that I like and is worth mentioning is Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint.

Pros:

  • Goes on smooth and is easy to sand. Wax goes into the painted surface well and is easy to buff to a subtle sheen.
  • Is easy to find since it is sold at Target, Ace Hardware and online.
  • Made by KILZ. A paint brand I use a lot in my home and trust.

Cons: Only comes in muted and neutral farmhouse colors.

chalk painted bench sealed with Johnson Paste Wax

I hope this information helps you figure out what the best chalk paint is to use to paint your furniture.

If you have any questions about chalk paint and painting with it, just let me know by leaving me a comment.

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582 Comments

  1. I found calcium carbonate at our local home brew supply, too. $2.99 for a one pound bag.

  2. If making my own paint, can I use any latex paint? And does the base paint affect the end result? For instance, could I use Valspar Cabinet Paint, which is an oil enriched enamel Latex paint, to get the look of chalk paint with the durability and no topcoat needed properties of the Valspar?

    1. Hi Grace – When making your own chalk paint you can only use water-based paint. Any latex or acrylic craft paint. It would be better if it did not have a primer in it as many paints do nowadays. You should use get the paint in a flat or eggshell finish, but once you add the calcium carbonate or other chalk additive, any finish will go flat.

      If you have the oil-enriched paint already you can experiment using it to see what happens, but normally chalk paint has no oil in it.

  3. I have made up chalk paint as per your recipe,and tried painting plastic pots with it,but as soon as rain or any water gets on them they crack and peel.What could be the reason.?Thank you

  4. Thank you for this info! I would love to do this for my walls at home – much like they do in Europe – curious why you say that you would ‘never do that’?

    1. Hi Carolina – The reason I wouldn’t use chalk paint on a wall is that is if you wanted to seal it to protect it.. the waxing and buffing process would take a long time and you would need a lot of wqx if the room or wall was large. If you simply want to use chalk paint for a matte chalk painted aged look, then using the paint unsealed would be easy. I would do this. Does this explanation help? :-)

      1. Oh ok, thank you so much! I like the look matte so that is no problem – but is it dusty to the touch if you leave it unsealed?

        1. Hi Carolina – It may feel a little dusty. It will be very porous and flat, but is a sought after look for certain English styles of decor. Without being sealed eventually, it can show every scuff mark, grease and oil from fingerprints etc.

  5. I have made lots of chalk paint using plaster of Paris. Today, I was making a batch using satin paint and I couldn’t get a smooth texture. It was like heavy sand wanting to clump together. This has never happened so I mixed up a second batch with same results. My recipe was 1 1/2 Tbsp POP and 1 Tbsp water blended thoroughly then mixed in to 1 cup satin Vaspar paint from Lowe’s. Any idea what might have happened or if there is any way to rescue the 2 cups I have already made?

    1. Although it does not state it in the can label, Valspar brand paint has primer in it. Unfortunately, you can not use POP with any paint that has primer in the mix or it will be lumpy. Hope this helps!

      1. I wasn’t aware that the primer made it lumpy until I had already mixed the paint.
        I added a lot of water on my brush, a little bit at the time and smoothed out the paint as I was applying it. I had to put on several coats.
        I think it’s going to look good after all.

  6. Thank you for sharing such useful information. I am finding it all very helpful for my first attempt @ Chalk Painting my first piece. A large chest of drawers. I am in the process of using your Calcium Carbonate Recipe & finding that I am needing a possible third coat of paint. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Cheri – Having to add more than 2 coats can be normal. The amount of coats needed can change depending on a few factors. If you are going over a dark color with a light color or just the opposite, you may find you need a third coat to get full coverage. Another factor is the quality of the paint used. If it was a less expensive brand, then the paint could be thinner. I have had a few pieces, mostly white over dark wood, where I needed more than 2 coats.

    1. Thanks Kelly – I am in the process of updating the post so it will be easier to find the answers to questions about chalk painting and making chalk paint. When I first wrote the post it kind of took off and I began answering questions in the comment section. I need to make these part of the post now.

  7. Im about to embark on my first project using chalk paint. your blog has a lot of great info & I dig your writing style. Thanks, ‘tips’ ;)

  8. I’m wondering how long ago you wrote this article, and if Debi Beard from Debi’s Design Diary, DIY paint was on the market yet? I’ve been even watching her videos of her painting all kinds of furniture and crafts with her own paint…and her paint now seems to be the best on the market. Have you done any comparison with her paint yet?

    1. Hi Lisa –

      I wrote the post a few years ago when chalk paint was new and very popular. I started to make my own since there were not a lot of color options back then. Now there are many.

      I have tried many brands, even the ones sold at the craft store and at Target and Walmart. I have not tried Debi Beard’s brand. All that I have tried are very good. The real choice of what brand to use, comes down to what color you want and finding the brand with the color or one where you can mix thier colors to get the exact color you want.

      I will have to look up Debi’s paint to learn more about it.

    1. Hi Mandy – All the DIY chalk paint I made I have used up or kept in an air-tight container. I have not tried to reactive it. You may be able to if the paint mix is not too dried out. I would try it out and test on a scrap piece of wood to see if it is possible. If you can get the paint mix to a smooth consistency again that is not too watery, I think the color should be fine.

  9. Really excited to start my first ‘tester’ piece with diy chalk paint!! You are truly an inspiration. Couple questions: after painting the piece, then finishing with a few coats of wax, is the piece done, as in OK to display in your home? Is there anything else you need to do to seal the furniture to keep it protected and also to protect your flooring or carpet from any color transfer? Second, if I’m painting in a garage, and it can get a little chilly in November, will cold temps negatively affect the way the chalk paint dries? How long do you wait for the chalk paint to dry before you apply the wax? Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Hi Arica –

      It makes me so happy to hear that I inspired you to paint with chalk paint. It is my go-to medium when painting furniture. To answer your questions. Once the paint is sealed with wax and you buff it until the cloth glides over the wax you are set. You don’t have to do anything else. The finish will last a long time. If it gets a spot or water ring, simply sand over the spot lightly with 220 sandpaper and add wax over it and buff. It will blend right in. If the piece is going to be out in the sun, the wax will melt away eventually, but the finish will last forever when inside. Over time you can always add more wax or buff the surface to bring up more sheen.

      Once the wax is buffed, there will be no transfer of color. You can make sure you buffed each leg well and that there is no excess wax on the surface.

      Painting with any paint in the cold is not ideal, but you can do it successfully. Half the painted items in my house, I painted in my garage in the winter. Keep the paint inside and take it out to paint then bring back inside. Stir the paint well. Apply only light coats and let each dry for as long as possible. Overnight would be ideal. This ensures that the paint is really dry, before adding the next coat.

      Enjoy transforming your tester piece. You will see how easy it is to do and will want to start painting everything. :-)

      1. How long after painting with the only Calcium Carbonate recipe do you recommend waiting to apply a water based poly? I did two coats of paint with an hour of drying time in the sun between each coat. The project is a dining room table and chairs. Thanks!

        1. Hi Wendy –

          I would wait at least 24 hours. You want to make sure the paint is truly dry before applying the poly. If painting outside, make sure to apply the paint and poly in the shade. Let it dry in the shade also. When in the direct sun, the paint may dry too quickly and not adhere as well or even crack, especially if it is hot outside.

          1. It was not hot outside, and it seemed to adhere okay. Fingers crossed it works out. One more question, do you prefer to roll, brush or wipe on the poly? Thanks for all your help!

          2. I always use a brush, but a roller will work. Use one of the new microfiber rollers that have rounded ends. These won’t leave roller marks. When rolling on poly, only roll over each area once, do not roll back and forth. Use one long roll, then move to the next section, slightly overlapping the last rolled on section and roll on another long roll. Repeat until you have the table top covered. For the table legs and chairs. I would use a high quality poly brush. It is much easier to get a nice finish.

  10. This is awesome. I am painting some furniture for my new office (we’re expanding) and using calcium carbonate is just too ironic. I go through 1kg of the stuff a day at work. One thing to note is to be careful not to inhale the powder. It has made me sick before which is why I’m insisting my supplier finds me a pelletted version for my use. Now to see if I can find a matte that will protect the piece since I’d like to keep a flat look to contrast.

    Other names calcium carbonate can be found under are soda ash and ph up.

  11. Diane, I decided to make my own chalk paint for my first paint project – a 1930’s bedroom suite. The recipe I found on line said to do parts paint to one part calcium carbonate. Due to bleed thru I sanded the pieces and primed with shellac based primer, applied 2 coats chalk paint, and then added the Minwax polycrylic coating (x3) with sanding in between each. I had read that this would give a more durable finish and I was not doing any distressing. My paint was a paint and primer in one flat finish Sico paint. Although it was just under the 30 days cure time, I did find that if I nicked it, it would chip down to the orig furniture base. Am trying to determine if I did something wrong (can’t think of what) as thought the primer at least should not come off. Your calcium is less than I used and could that perhaps be a factor? The suite looks great but am concerned whether it will chip more despite all my efforts. Am now wanting to do a much newer wood coffee table set with same paint, but need it to be durable. Would you have any thoughts as understand this should not be happening…..have you had this happen……someone suggested the polycrylic would cause this? Would appreciate your feedback. Thx.

    1. Hi Donna –

      Give your self a High Five for redoing your first pieces of furniture, don’t let the chipping stop you from painting more items in your home to turn them into exactly the color and style you want.

      It sounds like from your description of the steps you followed to paint the suite of furniture that you did everything right. The only thing I can assume could be done differently is you may have applied the coats of shellac and paint too thick and they were not fully dry when you added a second coat and then the poly. But since you sanded between coats this is unlikely, but it still could be the reason. When heavy coats of paint go on, the surface may feel dry to the touch, but the underside is still wet and had not adhered properly yet. More thin coats are better than fewer heavier ones to get the coverage needed. Since the paint is coming off to the wood, it is probably the adhesion between the wood and shellac or that first coat of paint and the shellac.

      For the suite, over time as the paint cures more, you should see less chipping. I think it is just soft right now and needs to cure and harden. For the other pieces you want to paint, here is a link to the recipe I use when I want a very durable finish: http://bit.ly/2HmSkEO

      If you want to use the leftover paint you used, you can simply add another tablespoon of CCP to your paint. Add water to the CCP first, mix well then add to the paint. Test it out on a hidden area of the piece and see how it goes on and dries. I also have only added shellac to one piece ever, so you may want to try painting a piece and skipping this step. You may need the shellac if the previous finish is darkly stained and when you sand looks red/brown still.

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. Hello Neighbor! I say that because I saw your eclipse post a few months ago where you showed your home on the map. I’m in Augusta, Georgia….not so far away! Besides, with the internet…we’re all “next door neighbors!!!
    Have I somehow missed the article on making Black Chalk Paint… without the white specks? You mentioned you were still testing it and would share the recipe soon.
    I so very much appreciate Everything you post! You are my “#1 go to gal” for so many of my projects that I have done (so few thus far)…but with many, many more planned.
    PS: pray for me….I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am jealous of your energy and courage to take on so many projects!!!! PLUS then you share it all with your faithful followers…..God Bless You!!

    1. Hi Jess – I have never used a spray gun with chalk paint, but I have readers who have used the Calcium Carbonate recipe successfully in a spray gun. Just make sure the mixture is smooth and well blended.

  13. Ok, I’m confused..I too have a large project I want to tackle and I bought a paint and primer for it. I usually use the Plaster of Paris to make my chalk paint. Can I or can I not use them together? What is your mixing recipe for chalk paint?

    1. Hi Sandra – In my experience I have found that some paint + primer formulas when mixed with Plaster of Paris can turn the paint into sludge. I always use Calcium Carbonate Powder to make my chalk paint now since most paints nowadays have a primer in them. You may be able to use PoParis as every brand of paint is different and formulas are always changing. If you have PoParis on hand, try mixing up a small batch to see what happens. If it doesn’t become thick, then it should be OK to use.

      Here is the CCP recipe I use: 2 Tablespoons Calcium Carbonate Powder, 1 tablespoon water and 1 cup paint. Mix powder in water first to dissolve and then add into paint. Stir well. You can add up to one more tablespoon of water if needed.

      You can find all the chalk paint recipes I have tried, here: http://bit.ly/2HmSkEO

  14. Hello Diane, l love your work. I am prepping my china hutch and I purchased Valspar paint with primer in it. Afterwards I read an older post of yours about not adding plaster of Paris to a paint with primer for makeover chalk paint. However, if I understood you correctly one can use calcium carbonate with the valsper primer paint? Is that so?

    1. Hi Kim – Yes that is correct. You can use the Calcium Carbonate Powder with a paint + primer formula paint. The problem with using Plaster of Paris with a paint + Primer is that it could turn the paint mix into sludge. CCP can be mixed into any paint without it making the paint too thick.

      1. Thanks and you were correct. My Valspar Reserve with primer looks great! The color match to BM steel gray is color I chose. I will use the Valspar antiquing glaze which is black to glaze the entire china hutch. Will take a look at your pins again for the glazing tips!

  15. Hi Diane, you do beautiful work. I have a question: Do you sell any of your DIY chalk painted pieces and if so, do your customers give any feedback as to how well have they have held up? Right now, I truly can’t afford the much more expensive furniture paints and finishes (Fusion Mineral Paint, General Finishes and ’boutique’ chalk paints), but I want to start selling my DIY chalk painted furniture….I’m just not sure how well it will hold up color and wear-wise, in the long run. I use BEHR samples in flat paint with the Calcium Carbonate recipe. I prep and prime my pieces very well. The pieces look good, but I’m wondering about their longevity. Thank you for any help you can give.

    1. I know you use Glidden paint and not necessarily BEHR, but I think they’re similar enough in formula and quality to compare.

    2. Hi Jill – I do not sell any of the pieces I have painted, but have given away many. DIY chalk paint is just as good as the brand names. It will stand the test of time if you make it to the recipe. If you prep well and seal, your pieces will last a long time. I have one table that gets constant use that I painted 6 years ago. It looks as good as the day I painted it. So I say, don’t hesitate to sell your DIY chalk painted pieces. Go for it!!! Best part – you can use any color you desire and are not limited to the only the range of colors the brands sell.

      1. Awesome! Thank you so much for your help. I feel comfortable now and I can move forward with selling my pieces.

  16. Question: Can you use powdered lime that is used on lawns? It is mostly calcium carbonate.Lowes carries it. It is a 40 pound bag anf under $5.00. I was not sure what you meant above.

    1. Hi Lynn – Yes, you can use powdered lime, but it has to be the very fine powdered kind. Some lime is a bit too grainy and doesn’t dissolve when mixed with water and paint.

  17. I have been attempting my first homemade chalk paint project on a kitchen table and chairs using calcium carbonate. The chairs had a dark color stain on them so I sanded the “shiny stuff” then primed each one. The first coat of my chalk paint went on fine (looked like pics others have posted after their first coat). I let it dry for 24 hours then moved on to the second coat. This is where I have run into an issue. As I paint the spindles and legs I run into spots where the paint has begun to dry before I. An finish that part so as soon as I touch it with the brush it clumps all up (I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s like if you try to go over paint before it has dried but is almost there and it gets all ‘lumpy’ looking). Any advice on how I can avoid this? I have tried just working in small sections but that has not worked (I’ll paint the front of one spindle and by the time I go to the back the front has started to dry so as I go to blend the sides it pulls and clumps up leaving a ‘blob’. Any advice on how to correct these ‘blob’ areas and/or avoid them all together would be appreciated

    1. Hi Lora – Sorry to hear that you are running into trouble with the chalk paint. Can you tell me what brand and sheen of paint you are using and the CCP brand? This will help me figure out what could be happening.

      1. I am using Behr paint and primer in one interior flat and the calcium carbonate powder is the “NOW” brand from GNC. Could using too much calcium carbonate cause this kind of issue? The recipe I used was 1 cup paint, 5 tablespoons calcium carbonate and 2 tablespoons water. I make sure to fully dissolve the CC in the water before adding to the paint. Thanks again for any advice you can give.

        1. Hi Lora – Yes. Using too much CCP can cause the paint to get too thick and clump up. For 1 cup of paint all you need is 2 Tablespoons of CCP and a Tablespoon of water. Adding 5 would be way too much and I think the paint would not even brush on evenly. More CCP is not better for adhesion, If you lightly sand your piece, and clean it well, 2 Tablespoons CCP in 1 cup of paint will do the job.

          1. I will give that a try and cross my fingers. Wish I would have found your recipe first, oh well live and learn.

  18. Really great info here!! I want to avoid sanding my kitchen cabinets and am considering using one of these recipes as a primer and following it with a coat of cabinet paint instead of waxing since they’re heavily used. Valspar has one and it does a better job than Behr paint with additives to smooth brush strokes. What advice do you have about using this method?

  19. Hi,
    Is it possible to use calcium hydrate rather than calcium carbonate. I cant find calcium carbonate anywhere in my city. The paint would need to be waterproof, permanent and not come off.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Paula – I have only used Calcium Carbonate, but I think the Calcium Hydrate will work since it is lime mixed with water. You can also use food grade Diatomaceous Earth and chalk line powder to make chalk paint. I have also used Plaster of Paris, but it tends to make sludge out of the new latex paint formulas with primers in them. If you have access to Amazon.com, you can order the CCP there.

      The paint adheres well and will not come off, but it is a flat finish and will get dirty if you don’t seal it. I like using paste wax to seal it, but you can use water-based polyurethane over it also.

      1. Thank you.
        I have also found garden lime, 80% calcium carbonate & 20% magnesium carbonate. Would that work also?

          1. So I gave it a go. I used garden/lawn lime. They are very big granules almost like little pellets. It was very hard to mix in. I used the mixture 21/2 lime to 1 water and 4 paint.
            I am painting a faux leather bench/sofa. I did 2 coats but it is peeling off when I press down on it. I wiped over it also as it has bits in it. By wiping it is also starting to come off. Do you think it is too chalky or not chalky enough?
            Any tips?
            Thanks for your time and help
            Paula

          2. Hi Paula – The lime pellets are hard to work with, you would need to really pulverize it to get it mixed into the paint. It needs to be a very soft fine powder. The grounded powdered form is so much easier to mix in.

            Reasons it may not be sticking: Are the pellets totally ground? I think you have used enough lime, but it should not be coming off. You may have to let it cure. Also did you go over the leather with sandpaper before painting it? If not, this should help. Use 100 grit. Just a piece of sandpaper in your hand and a quick going over to provide some tooth for the paint to grab into will be good.

          1. Thank you Diane, do you happen to know what its called in German? I live in Austria and tried to translate it but in the shop they didnt know what it was. Which kind of shop would I get it? I tried in a hardware store.
            Thank you for all your help. I have so many questions being a newbie to chalk painting.

  20. Thank you so much for all the information! I just painted a chair with Valspar flat paint + primer. I waxed it and I like the look, but I am about to paint 6 dining room chairs so I want it to look spectacular. I want to try the calcium carbonate recipe. Do you suggest adding calcium carbonate to paint if it has primer in it? Or should I just use latex without primer? I thought the primer might help with the bleed problem.

      1. Thank you! I love your website! I learn so much from you! I have been a loyal follower since you taught me to make a monogram in Word. Off to paint dining room chairs…..

  21. Thanks for the recipes, but I need some clarification. If i use the calcium carbonate recipe do I add the plaster of paris in this as well.

    1. Hi Pattie – There are a few different recipes. It can get confusing. All the recipe ingredients work just fine by themselves. I have found though that when you mix CCP and PoP in a mix, it creates a super durable finish. I would use it on a table top or cabinet door. You can use either alone, too.

    1. Hi Mary Anne – I have only made DIY chalk paint and used pre-made waxes. Sorry that I don’t know how to make wax. Have you done a search on Google yet?

  22. thanks for your recipes!! i wish to make black chalk paint using calcium carbonate..my question is will the colour change to grey cos of the white powder?? will it be noticeable or cos its not alot maybe it wont change at all?? any thoughts?? many thanks x

    1. Hi Steph – When making chalk paint in dark colors, the white CCP can make the color lighter, but not a huge color difference. The key is to really get the powder mixed well in the water so it is totally dissolved. Mix it very well, then add to the paint. Another reader told me she used liquid calcium carbonate to alleviate the need to mix the powder in water. I bought it on Amazon, but have not had a chance to try it out yet.It is more expensive then the powder and harder to find, but it may be worth using. I plan to use it on my next project. I will be posting about it soon.

  23. I love this post and all the information you have provided is greatly appreciated! Have You done any experimenting with the Folkart and Waverly brands of chalk paint and wax? I have several projects planned and have been gathering info, supplies, paints and waxes from both of these lower priced brands and I’m wondering if you have any tips for the use of these brands?? Thanks!
    Kelly H.

    1. Hi Kelly – I have only sampled these brands, but want to try them out on a piece of furniture. The paint seems fine, it is the wax that I am not sure I like. It is thinner, more watery than what I am used to using. You may have to build up the layers more to get protection, especially on table tops. One good thing about the waxes, they have little to no smell…which is a good thing. Fiddes and Sons and Johnson’s Paste Wax do smell until they dry.

      I would lightly sand over the pieces you want to paint. A quick going over and then apply the paint, let dry, then add another coat until you get the coverage you want, then apply the wax in thin layers, buffing after each layer.

      I think you will be happy with the results.

  24. QUESTION: Approximately how much does one quart cover? Or better yet, how much does it take for a typical 4′ dresser? Also, can you use little bottles of craft latex paint instead of having to buy a whole quart of canned paint? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!! :)

  25. Hi! Thanks for your time testing these different recipes and such! I just attempted my first DIY chalk paint and it was a Pinterest fail! Haha! I bought the kids plaster of Paris from Walmart and it had a horrible grit to it that never dissolved. I wasn’t sure if that was what it was supposed to be like so away I painted! Duh! Anyway, I am eager to sand off the stuck on pieces of grit and try the calcium carbonate recipe! I would like to know more about the wax and how toxic it is for little ones? I do plan to paint my baby’s crib and will probably end up putting a crib rail protector on it but wondered if there was a good alternative to wax to protect the finish from chipping paint but safe enough if it got into the mouth? What about beeswax? I read you have to mix it with a carrier oil but it could be a good finish for wood toys. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  26. This is such valuable chalk paint information. You did an awesome job in your explanations. Pictures were informative also. I have never used chalk paint, but now I will. I will mix my own using your recipes and suggestions. Have you ever used these paints on fabric and what were the results?

  27. P.S. Re: Where to find powdered lime: Look for it in the insecticide section of hardware, building supply or feed stores. The granulated form is made for lawns so when it rains, the lime releases gradually over time, making the pH of the soil less acid. (The granules that make it last longer in your yard would also make it very difficult to blend in paint.) The powdered form (hydrated or slaked lime) can be used as a dust for plants and vegetables to kill insects. It is also used to make the old fashioned whitewash paint. Slaked lime is calcium hydroxide; quick lime, made by heating the limestone/calcium carbonate, is calcium oxide and is very caustic. As both products are referred to as simply “lime” be sure to check the label. Sometimes even dolomite, another mineral used to reduce the pH of pastures and lawns, is also referred to as lime, to make things even more confusing.

    1. I’m doing a kitchen table and chairs. The set is 100 plus year old. I’m using calcium carbonate I got from a feed store. The sells lady told me that is what is in lime. The package is Hi-Yield Horticultural Hydrated Lime. It does list calcium carbonate in the ingredients. I painted the legs of the table and the paint went on very smoothly, has some grit in it but not too much. I just sand it lightly but after i let it dry for several days i have bleed through in some areas. Im just going to go over these areas again. My question is, should I not be using this to make my chalk paint? After reading your post I’m little scared. HELP

      1. Hi Karen –

        Bleed through is common especially with older pieces of furniture. Going over with a second or even third coat should seal the tannins. As far as the safety of the lime, I think it will be OK since you have already painted with it and it is dry. I am not sure what else is in the lime you bought, but you should be careful not to breath the powder before mixing and make sure you wear gloves as it can burn your skin.

        I like using calcium carbonate powder. I find it at the health food store. Chalk line powder can be used as well. You can buy it online or at the home improvement store. Both of these are safe to use.

  28. Thanks for all the tips. You wanted to know where to get powdered lime…try a feed store. Powdered or slaked lime is used to “sweeten” (ie neutralize odors) in horse stalls and chicken coops. Also kills bugs. It is sometimes called hydrated lime as to make it, water is added to calcium carbonate powder. After the chemical reacts and dries it is then processed. It is the same thing as pickling lime. Lowe’s also carries it.

  29. Thank you your insight. A few points I would make as we have being making our own paint and selling it at vintage markets and also with our projects we complete.

    – For DIY Calcium carbonate is the only way to go. When I used the others they were too thick and dried out way to fast.

    – Always use flat based paint and make sure its the cheap brand. The $15 gallon Valspar 4000 is to me the sweet spot.

    – We use a poly all the time. I hate wax, we found that with wax it loses its protectiveness after about 3 months. We have also seen it leave behind a sticky feeling. We use Matte based poly and love it.

    – The calcium DIY is on par if not better than most brands. We have tested ASCP, vintage market, lowes (Really Bad) walmart hobby lobby and van gouh. All the same just cost.

    I do have some questions for you though?

    Do you find that red is very hard to paint with? takes a good 4 coats to be fully covered for me do you see that?

    Have you tried making metallic chalk paint?

  30. Hi there.. I just used your chalk paint recipe using the calcium carbonate and it wasn’t chalky. Don’t get me wrong, but when I sanded, it looked scratchy and did not produce the dust that I am used to seeing with the name brand chalk paints. To get more chalky do we simply add more of the CC?

    1. Hi Michelle –

      I am not sure why the mix didn’t turn chalky when dry and then easy to sand. What type of paint (flat, satin, semi) and CCP did you use? It could be a different brand of CCP then I use. I would add more CCP to your paint and mix well. You can add more CCP to any mix as long as you don’t make it too watery. It should be the consistency of brand name chalk paint.

  31. Thank you for all of your great information! One quick question…why would you not paint trim and/or doors with the chalk paint? I have terribly dark shiny stained doors and trim and before I had heard of chalk paint I repainted one room with trim and door paint. It was an awful project. I had to sand everything to remove the shine and that alone took days, then 3 coats of paint and it doesn’t even look that great. I figured I would make some chalk paint, skip the sanding then put regular paint over it. Thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kerri – If you used primer initially you would not have had to sand so much or sanded less. Chalk paint is kind of a primer, so if you wanted to use it as that, then paint it would work the same way a primer does.

      The reason why I wrote that I would not use chalk paint on trim is that it would require lots of wax and buffing after you painted to keep it shiny. I like my trim glossy and if you have ever waxed and buffed a piece of furniture to bring out the shine, it can be a lot of work. To have to do this around the baseboard of a room, door frames, etc. would be too much extra work. It also may need re-waxing over time to keep the sheen. If you leave chalk paint unsealed, it will be marked up in days since it is a very flat paint. It needs protection in the way of wax or poly.

  32. My chalk paint has hardened over time. Is there any way to get it mixed back together to use again. There is a gob of chalky stuff in it, and I can’t get it to mix back into the paint. Do you know how I can mix it back together?

  33. Your post was so helpful! It gave me the push I needed to start mixing my own!

    I do love the brand name chalk paints that I’ve tried, but my goodness are they expensive! So, long story short, wanted to share that I had amazing success w/ your plaster of paris recipe mixed w/ Valspar satin paint sample (which I believe does contain primer, but it did not pose any problem at all). It went on smooth and beautifully, sanded to a glass smooth finish, and applied soft organic soy wax to seal – I know that may be a no-no, but it worked great for me and it’s all I had :). It polished up perfectly, smells amazing and has held up on a table that gets light daily use.

    Quick question, I also mixed a batch of the calcium carbonate recipe using Sherwin Williams HGTV flat paint, and it didn’t work out well at all? Any ideas on what could have happened? The dried paint seems to wipe right off if rubbed w/ a damp cloth prior to waxing…maybe this is normal, not sure.

    Thanks for all of your amazing inspiration!!!

    1. I use Sherman Williams HGTV paint mixed with calcium carbonate frequently with great results. On new wood I use a damp clothe and rub the Piece down to open the grain, sand lightly and paint. On wood with a finish I sand it lightly, clean it with a tsp and water and then clear water. Seems like a lot of work but it’s really not. Works great!

      1. I have not tried HGTV paint yet. It is good to hear that you like it. I agree that prepping and painting with DIY chalk paint seems like a lot of work, but really isn’t. I love how it makes a painted finish look.

  34. Hello,
    Thank you for your wonderful, detailed information. I have a question… I bought an armoire that had been painted and waxed with ASCP. However, I would like to change the color and want to use the diy plaster of paris recipe. Should I just sand lightly or do you think I would need to take it down to the bare wood?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Wendy –

      Soft wax can be removed from your armoire by wiping the surface with a clean rag moistened with a small amount of low-odor mineral spirits. You can buy this at any home improvement or paint store. It is inexpensive. Have several rags on hand and switch to a clean one when the one you are working with becomes covered with wax. Repeat until your rag remains clean. Take care with your used rags as they should not just be thrown in the garbage can. Place them first in a bucket of water and then spread them outside to dry. They can then be disposed.

      After this, I would sand the armoire to provide some tooth for the new paint, but you do not have to take it to the bare wood.

  35. I am curious if you can use acrylic craft paint (like apple barrel etc) to have bright unique colors for small projects. Also, how easily do you think this is to remove down the road when this style is no longer popular and after creating a durable surface…sanding or stripping?

  36. Greetings. I have an old solid wood dresser. It is very shiny with a clear Polyurethane like thick coat. I’ve read a few of your post but I’m not sure which DIY mix to use. Which would you recommend? – Thank you

    1. Hi Nicole – I would use primer and latex on it. First sand to scratch the surface to knock down the shine and provide some tooth so the primer and paint have something to stick to. Clean it off and dry. I would use 2 light coats of Original Kilz. It is oil-based, but it dries in 30 minutes and will stick to anything and block the tannins from the wood and poly from changing the color of your paint. You can also use Glidden Gripper. It is water-based bonding primer. Both are excellent products. I tend to use Gripper more often, but if the piece is very old, I think Kilz may be a better option since it blocks wood from bleeding through paint.

      Let the first coat dry before applying the second. Sand lighty if needed between coats to level ridges or drips in dried paint. Clean off grit with a cloth.

      Then 2 light coats of water-based latex paint in any brand you like over the primer. If using a light color you may need a third coat.

      If you are not using a high gloss paint, you can use water-based polyurethane over the dried paint as a sealer. I like Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish. It also comes in semi-gloss. I only do this on table tops, but it can be done on any piece to help protect the painted finish.

  37. Hi Diane. I just finished painting an old night stand and am very pleased with the outcome so far. This is my first experiment with chalk paint. I made my own with CC powder using your recipe. I loved the way it spread and covered. I did prime the piece first. My question is about applying the clear wax (I have the Johnson’s Paste Wax). I didn’t see this addressed …. Do I need to apply more than one coat of wax? If yes, do I have to do anything to the finish before applying a second coat? If more than one coat is recommended, how long should I wait between coats? Also, after painting, how long should I wait to apply the wax? Sorry, that was actually several questions.

    1. Hi Rita –

      I apply two to three coats of wax depending on how much sheen I want the piece to have. When using Johnson’s Paste wax. I wait at least 24 hours after the paint has dried to wax. I apply a thin layer, wait 10 mins and then buff with a clean soft cloth. When the cloth slides over the surface easily it is buffed enough. If you like the sheen, your done, if you would like more sheen or a thicker layer of protection, repeat the waxing and buffing process. You can keep adding more layers right away. Old worn t-shirts work well for buffing. It does take some elbow grease to bring up the shine on some pieces. Other shine up right away. I find a mix with Plaster in in takes more layers of wax, less with CCP.

  38. Hi, love your blogs…….question……I am planning to paint my kitchen cabinets using the plaster of paris recipe. Do you suggest using a brush or roller paint?? I usually prefer a roller, but that is with regular paint. Thanks

  39. I absolutely LOVE the look of your sample boards with the white showing through instead of the normal dark wood color. Did you paint the boards white first, then paint with the chalk paint and then distress? LOVE!!! Thanks for any tips you can share! I really want to do this on a secretary I have!

    1. Hi Kristen – The boards I used to show the chalk paint colors was white MDF. So when you sand that is the color that was exposed. To do it on a piece of furniture. I would use a white primer like Glidden Gripper primer first on the piece. Let it cure for a few days so it is really adhered. Then use chalk paint. After it is dry, use a medium to fine grit sandpaper to sand the top color of paint off. Be careful not to sand too hard so you don’t expose the raw wood under the white primer.

  40. does it matter what finish you use in paint? Gloss? Semi gloss? Egg shell? Want to paint my kitchen cabinets but want to be sure it’s the right kind of paint. What paint brand worked best for you?

    1. Hi Shalane – You can use any latex paint finish, but I like using satin the best. Any well known brand of paint will be fine if using Calcium Carbonate Powder. If adding Plaster of Paris to the mix, try using one where there is no primer added to the formula. Glidden used to make their Premium brand in a blue can with no primer in it. I think it is still sold by the quart at Home Depot. I also like Easy Care that I bought at True Value Hardware. It was in a pale yellow can with gold and blue writing. I just used Behr in in the white can on my dresser and it came out great.

  41. HI
    Me again, I went back to the first page and I do see a pintrist link but can’t get it to open and attach to my page. Maybe it is just my computer acting up.

    1. Hi Donna – Were you able to open up the Pinterest link on my blog that you wanted? If not could you tell me what page and image you were trying to pin and I can troubleshoot it for you.

  42. Great helpful tips and comparison on your DIY chalk paints..

    I would love to be able to share findings on Pinterest. Do you have a link I missed?

    Also, I had to search a long time to find out if the finish of the paint (semi gloss, matt etc.) used makes a difference since you add the other components to make calk paint. Just wanted to share that in case you wanted to incorporate that in your basic instructions.

    Thanks for your information and getting ready my concoction now.

    May the Lord rich you bless you.
    d

    1. Hi Donna – Thanks for the tip about putting what type of paint finish to use in the basic instructions. I have written so many posts on DIY chalk paint and have tried to link to them in each post so readers can find what they are looking for. Did you go to these pages to see all the posts I have written about making and using chalk paint?

    2. Hi Donna – Thanks for your suggestion. I will add that to the basic instructions. I am in the process of updating all my chalk paint posts. When I started writing them I had no idea how popular they would become. I am almost finished a book that will be available soon that is the complete DIY chalk painting guide.

  43. Hi, Thanks so much for your amazing post and great information!
    I mixed up some chalk paint last year, using your combo calcium carbonate and plaster of paris recipe. It was really really lumpy, so I must not have mixed it up well enough, don’t know what I did wrong but it was not good.
    Anyway, I decided to try calcium carbonate recipe by itself and it was perfectly smooth. However, my desk I painted already has several chips in it and I did 2 coats! Is this recipe very durable or nothing to do with the recipe? I added polycrylic on top and it has chipped through that as well. (It’s been under a week since I painted!)
    Would I be better off just using latex paint? It is more durable than chalk paint?
    Thanks so much!!!

    1. Hi Laura – I think the adhesion problem on your desk has nothing too do with the paint, but more about letting the newly painted finish cure. Paint, any paint takes at least a few days to a few weeks depending on the temps and humidity to cure. I think you just need to wait a bit longer – try not to use the piece for a few weeks, or only light duty.

      Another reason the paint may have not adhered is that you may not have sanded the surface enough before painting. I use 100-grit sandpaper over the surface to rough it up first with a hand-sanding block before painting. This provides some “tooth” so the paint has something to grab onto. If you did this, then it could also be that the paint coats were applied too thick. If you applied the 2 coats thinly,then I think your finish just has to cure.

      Chalk paint is more durable than regular latex. When latex alone is used, you have to sand and prime before applying the paint. It also dries to a rubbery touch. I have painted many pieces successfully this way, but now that I know and have used chalk paint – I have found it too be more durable and no rubbery feel. It makes my pieces look more professional and not just like a painted piece.

  44. I’ve painted an oak dining chair and table legs ( which were factory finish white), with a DIY plaster of Paris recipe.
    I’ve got a few problems:
    On the chair, i did 2 coats of paint. Sanded and used liquid deglosser first but didn’t prime. I loved the look and was going to wax but read poly was more durable so I did this. ( I have 4 young children). My chairs have only been used a few days and the paint chips right off easily!! I’m so disappointed. Now what do I do?
    My table legs I sanded lightly, didn’t use deglosser or prime. Did 2 coats of paint, then one coat of polycrylic. I have blotchy areas where you can see the original white paint showing through? It was originally a stark white and the chalk paint an antique white. Plus the polycrylic looks awful, lots of drips, bubbles, the paint looks sort of crackled in some spots?
    Help!! I’m new to chalk paint and painting furniture.
    I had hoped to paint my kitchen cabinets ( a cheap mdf particle board under i guess a wood look paper?) This week, but now I need to find a more durable method or something? I hate to go with priming and latex paint cuz I love the look of chalk paint and distressing.
    Any advice is appreciated!!

  45. I didn’t read through all of the comments on this post, so forgive me if it is redundant. If you haven’t tried your idea of using DE, I would suggest you get the food-grade version. I use DE in my pool filter, and there is an ingredient in it that may cause lung cancer. It is a very fine powder with lots of dust. I wear a mask when putting it in the filter, and I’m outside. I would not recommend using that product when there are safer items that work. The edible DE is probably fine. I’m not familiar with it to know the price or what it’s like. Thank you for all of your tested-out advice; I’ve been wanting to dig into chalk paint, and now it’s an affordable option!

  46. Hi. I cant seem to find the Calcium Carbonate in powder form. Can you tell me where you found it please?

    thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Veronica – I buy it at my local health food store. Amazon also sells is. Now Brand Calcium Carbonate Powder. You can order it through my SHOP page.

  47. Hi, Diane,
    I scored some great “Opps!” paint at HD the other day that I want to make into chalk paint. But today I noticed that they are paint and primer together. Can I still use them for chalk paint? And if so, which recipe should I use?

    Thanks so much!

    Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon – Use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. It will mix into any type of latex with or without a primer. It is the Plaster of Paris and Non-Sanded Grout recipes that will bind when mixed with a paint with primer.

  48. Always love seeing what you’ve done lately but today I wanted to read up on chalk painting again since I’m in the mood to try it!

    Two questions:
    1. Tried to follow your link for Vintage Finds and there was an error – is the address correct?

    2. You said you wouldn’t use chalk paint for wall trim but I’m about to do the last coat on my fireplace mantle and want it to be super hard as I put lots of stuff there! I’m using enamel finish paint so that should help but I wonder why you counsel against chalk paint? Wouldn’t it make a super durable finish and shine up nicely with the wax? Hope you’ll share your thoughts :)

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary Pat – I think that Vintage Finds no longer has a website or they changed it. I will have to remove the link.
      As far as telling readers that I would not paint trim with chalk paint. It would look very nice, but it is a lot of work to wax and then buff all the baseboards, door trim, etc. I think regular semi-gloss looks the same for this and is less work. If you want to make the trim look aged then I would use it. Your fireplace mantel is more like furniture which I would use chalk paint on. :-) I hope this helps.

  49. Hi there Diane

    How long should leave the chalk paint to dry before I do a tranfer onto the surface using the following method (obtained from the Graphics fairy site.)
    Good old Mod Podge, is there anything this stuff can’t do?!! This excellent Tutorial by Katie at Matsuke explains how to use this technique to Transfer onto Wood. I’ve also seen this used on Fabric, Canvas, Terra Cotta and even shiny Ceramic pieces. This is a really popular method and super versatile since you can use it on so many materials!

  50. Hi Diane,

    You really spent a lot of time with your detailed and very informative blog. Using chalk paint seems to be very popular all over the internet and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I love transforming furniture but have always used solvent based paints with a glaze coat over it. Very toxic, smelly and time consuming, sanding, priming and waiting for layers to dry etc. The chalk paint process seems to be much faster and easier and definitely cheaper! I live in South Africa and are not familiar with the brand names of your paint and wax etc. However, a few selected stores in big cities do stock Annie Sloan but it’s very expensive and hard to source and the colors are limited. But because of all the wonderful experiments you have done with all the DIY recipes, I will be attempting to use chalk paint first thing next week! Thanks so much for the inspiration and I am looking forward to read about all your future projects.

    1. Thanks for the nice note Madelein. If you can find latex or water based paint and one of the DIY ingredients like Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris and make your own chalk paint you will never want to go back to the old way of painting furniture. It may take you some trial and error to get it right with what you have available to you in South Africa, but once you have success, you will love not only working with the paint, but the finish it produces. The wax acts like magic and adds the perfect patina.

  51. Hi Diane, your posts are so helpful! I’m not sure if this has been asked already but I have seen a lot of people painting upholstered furniture on the interwebs. Do you think the DIY Chalk Paint (especially the Plaster of Paris one) would work on upholstery? Maybe leather/vinyl too? I think it looks fantastic and would love to give it a go. Thanks a lot, Gem.

    1. Hi Gem -I have not yet tried DIY chalk paint on upholstery, but have heard good things. It does not look good on fabric that has a long nap – like a velvet since the brush strokes would dry the nap in different directions. For leather and vinyl – I would go over the surface lightly with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper to rough it up a little, so the paint has something to grab onto. I would use light coats and use fine sandpaper in between each coat to smooth out the paint. Let it cure for a few days and then wax. Apply a thin coat of wax, buff well and then repeat and buff.

  52. Hi Diane,
    Like everyone else THANKS for this informative article. Everyone in my area is “in to” ASCP and I have been too busy but now want to repurpose some pieces. My ?, though, is unrelated to furniture. Do you think you can use this paint on a wall for a chalk wall? TIA!

  53. I have tried the baking soda and plaster and I think I prefer the baking soda. The baking soda worked well with the Valspar sample size paint, but the plaster had issues with it, it thickened up and had to add water several times and had to paint the chair with 3 coats. I have done 3 pieces with plaster and 3 with soda.
    Question, after waxing and buffing, buffing and buffing I still see a film and finger prints on the plaster painted pieces, any solution comes to mind?

    Thank you.

    1. I found that if I use a paint that has primer in it, it hardens fast. Valspar samples don’t have the primer, but if you use one of their top of the line… it hardens fast. Behr has a paint that has no primer and it works wonderfully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  57. Hi again,

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

    Thank you very much for your generosity.

    may

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

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

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

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

    Thanks again and you’re awesome!!!

    May

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

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

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

    Melissa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    Susan

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

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

    1. Hi Jeanie –

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

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

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

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

  69. Diane

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Hi Cyndi –

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

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

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Holly –

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

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

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

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

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

  76. Have you tried making your own wax? It’s a lot better . . .there are no nasty fumes, it’s so safe you can use it for lip balm, and it works beautifully!!! It’s super simple, too! Use 1 part beeswax (or other wax) to 4 parts oil. I use coconut oil, but you can use olive oil, walnut oil, etc . . . I will add that I would not recommend using anything like Canola or vegetable oil.
    I really think it is amazing. I won’t ever go back. I could wax a piece while holding my 5-month-old and let my other children help with no worries. It doesn’t get better!

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

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

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

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

    1. Hi Angela –

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

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

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

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

  82. Just wanted to say thank you,thank you and thank you for sharing your knowledge about chalk paint,I just finish my fourth project and I love the cc and pl p combo too.I see what you mean about it sometime turning out differently,I mix first batch with a two different samples of white paint,one was valpar,forgot the other brand and thought it was best paint I had ever used,then I mix my dark valpar with cc and pl p and now it’s the best I ever seen,dried rock hard and smooth as a baby’s butt:)Love it!

    1. hi susie –

      So glad to hear of your success with DIY chalk paint. Once you see the way it looks and feels compared to just latex paint on a piece – you get it. I am in love with the CCP mix with PoP. I will never paint a piece of furniture again without using this combo. Thanks for sharing your experience using the mix.

  83. Hello, I have read so many posts about putting chalk paint onto wood surfaces. I was really wanting to use in on a factory painted white vanity. You know the super boring ones that you can buy off the shelf at lowes. We are remodeling our home upstairs to include two new bedrooms and a bathroom. I would love to make this cabinet look new and ever better than new! Please advise.

    1. Hi April –

      Chalk paint would be great to use for painting your vanity. It would adhere well and be super durable. I would sand the surface with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block just to rough up the surface a bit. I would use the Calcium Carbonate mix with a tiny bit of Plaster of Paris mixed in. Paint on two light coats, letting the first coat dry, then apply the second. If you want to distress the finish – do that with some sandpaper then add a wax coat or a water based poly to seal and protect the finish. For the recipe for the CCP and PoP mix click over to my DIY chalk paint recipe page.

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

  84. Hi Diane: I just stumbled on your website and love it. You gave such details on the chalk paint.
    I recently read that you can use chalk paint as a primer. I primed my bathroom door trim with zinser 123 but ran out. I decided to use chalk paint as a second coat. My house is 40 years old, and the molding had some dings even after the Zinser. The chalk paint filled in the dings and dents. Woo HOO!!!!
    I used this recipe for the chalk paint… Latex paint with dry wall compound, aka premixed joint compound. Joint compound is basically calcium carbonate. The trim came out so soft looking it is beautiful. What I am going to do to seal it I s use latex or SW acrylic as a final coat. This way no waxing involved.
    What do you think of this option?
    Thanks once again for a great tutorial. I cannot wait to try chalk paint on an old bookcase. I will definitely be following your ideas.

    1. Hi Dee – I have not tried the joint compound recipe yet, but I have heard a lot about it. I plan to do a new post soon and will include that in my comparison. The fact that it filled your dings and dents while painting saved you a step. That is always a good thing.

  85. This is fantastic!! Thank you for doing all that testing and doing such a great, detailed write-up on your results! I now know that I need to use plaster of paris because it is the smoothest that also covers wood tannins. I’m definitely going to pick up some of that antiquing glaze, and may just do the Polycrylic since all that wiping and buffing is not my thing. :-) Thanks again for the great information!

  86. Benjamin Moore makes chalk paint in any color you desire. I have even taken Dunn Edwards swatches to them and they have mixed those colors for me in the chalk paint. Don’t know if you have OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) in your area but they carry Benjamin Moore. Thanks for all the info, I’m interested in transforming existing paint to chalk paint

    1. Hi Shawna – I have used other brands of chalkboard paint, but not the Ben Moore brand. I am going to be doing a another review soon. I will add it to the list. Thanks for sharing the info about it here.

  87. Hi! I am currently doing a project using my own recipe that is incredibly simple. I’m doing a small side table so I mix it in small batches; I like to use fresh paint. I use 2 tbsp baking soda and enough water to make a paste. I then mix in 1/4 cup paint. Stir and use. It is a little gritty, but I always sand everything. You can distress or leave as-is. I use the Johnson’s wax as well. Easy as pie and no shopping around for extra ingredients. It has served me well. Just my experience. Thanks so much for sharing yours.

    1. Hi Eira –

      Thanks for sharing your recipe. I have not tried using baking soda yet. I will have to try it out soon. It is nice that it is a very easy to find – at any grocery store and inexpensive. We all like that :)

  88. Hi, does it matter what type/brand of wax you use or would you stick to the branded ones made specifically for waxing chalk paint? Thanks :o)

    1. You do not have to use the branded waxes. I have used Minwax, Johnsons, Briwax, Fiddes and Sons, and Annie Sloan waxes. I use Fiddes and Sons the most, followed by Johnson’s. I do not recommend Minwax. It leaves an orange cast on light colors. I have only used a sample of Annie Sloan – it was nice, but I am happy with how my pieces turn out with Fiddes and Sons and Johnson’s which are less expensive.

  89. Have you ever used Bone Meal powder to make chulk paint? Went looking in local stores for calcium carbonate and could not fined. The health food store showed me Bone Meal it’s calcium carbonate but has phosphorus and magnesium in it, all natural. Do you think this will work?

    1. Hi Tina –

      Many readers ask me this question. I have not used bone meal, only Calcium Carbonate Powder, but will experiment with it and about it since it seems easier to find than CCP. It may work just fine since it is for bone health just like Calcium Carbonate is.

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

  90. Quick question. I am new to chalk painting and have been using the plaster of paris mixture. I love the look but am having a hard time with the wax. I am truly not sure how to apply it. I have never put wax on my furniture before, only SPRAYED several coats of poly…. like I said, I am new. :) How exactly do I apply the wax? How long do I let it dry? What exactly does buffing mean? I am not sure how hard to “buff”, etc. Also, do I sand the piece all over, after applying the chalk paint and distressing in my preferred areas for the wax to adhere best? This is the main point I am confused about. When I add my final coat of paint, I usually do 2, I am not sure how to finish my projects! Any advice you have is greatly appreciated!! Thank you! :)

    1. Hi Whitney –

      Waxing is not hard to to, but it does take some elbow grease when buffing. I have read other blogs that say when you wax you can only get a subelt sheen, this is incorrect. If you add a few thin layers of wax over you piece and buff well in between each you can bring out quite a refelctive shine. I like Fiddes and Sons Wax the best, but am happy using Johnson’s. Annie Sloan’s wax is very nice, but I have only used it once. Here is how to do it: I always wax the day after I paint, so I know it is fully dry. Dip a soft lint free rag or cloth into the wax. ( I cut up old T-shirts) Rub the wax in a very thin layer all over the surface. Wait a few minutes and then with another clean rag start buffing. Buffing is nothing more than rubbing the clean cloth over the surface in a circular motion vert hard. Keep doing it until the surface feels slippery. I always do two coats. Apply another thin layer and buff again. Buffing can take 10 -15 minutes depending on how flat and chalky your chalk paint finish is. Once that coat is slippery, you are done, or you can add another coat. As you buff, keep moving the rag all around. If it gets saturated with wax, get another clean one and buff more. If you want to distress the piece there are two different looks. If you like the distressing to look very raw and rustic, sand the edges and surfaces you want distressed after you wax. If you want a more polished look, distress the edges with sandpaper and clean off the grit before waxing. I prefer the more polished look for my pieces.

      I like the look of wax, but you could always use water based Minwax Polycrylic over the piece and distress instead of waxing. I think the satin finish looks the best. It is easier. A little bit of the patina you get with wax is lost, but your piece will still look nice.

  91. Thank you for such an insightful post about this chalk paint! Do you know if other kinds of paint besides latex work for these recipes as well?

    1. Hi Alisa – I have only used latex based paint and acrylic craft paints, but I think you could use any water-based paint that does not have a primer or an acrylic added to it if using the Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout recipe. If using Calcium Carbonate Powder you should be OK using any water based paint. Oil-based paints will not work.

  92. Hi there Diane

    When you do the waxing over the chalk paint, is it normal soft wax.? I have wax that i use for furniture, antiques and wood. Its a local product in South Africa.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Freddy – As long as it is a soft wax and not hard like candle wax. If it is clear wax it should look like clear/golden butter that you can dip a rag into to pick a glob of it up.

      1. Hi Diane. This wax is white. I will look around as I need to find a dark wax as well as a clear wax. Question…… the wax that you use is it a normal furniture wax or specially formulated for putting over paint. ?

        1. I can only assume since I don’t know the brand that you have, If your wax is white, white and not really soft, it could be Liming Wax. If it is a light beige white and soft that you can pull out a glob with a few fingers, it is probably clear when it goes on and is not Liming Wax. If it is Liming Wax it is used to add a subtle white look in the nooks and crannies of a piece as well as to whiten the look of raw wood. You could use this over chalk painted pieces to give a layered look to the surface, but it is not what I use.

          I use clear wax. It is normal furniture wax. The least expensive brand is Johnson’s and they call it a Paste Wax. It has a more grey yellow look. Fiddes and Sons calls theirs Wax Polish and the wax looks more golden in color. Annie Sloan calls hers Soft Wax and has a more opaque white beige look to it. If you can dip your hand in it and pull out a glob, then it should be OK to use.

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

  93. Will you be at Lucketts this year? I met you last year and have enjoyed your blog since then! I just made the Plaster of Paris recipe. Love the price, ease of mixing, and application is great- I am having Bleed Thru of the Tanins of my piece- So, hoping to not have to use Shellac (b/c of the fumes). I made a color similar to ASCP’s Old White. Thanks for your blog and your amazing posts! Hope to see you in VA! -courtney

    1. Thanks Courtney –

      I can’t get to Lucketts this year. :( Wish I could since it was such a great day last year and I did come home with a few treasures.

      To remedy the bleed through on your chalk painted piece – Make up a small batch of the chalk paint, but double the PoP in the mix. Stir is smooth and then brush it over any areas where the tanins are bleeding through. This is what I did for the vintage file cabinet I painted and it worked. If it doesn’t, you may have to use the shellac.

  94. Did you ever find any powdered lime? You can purchase it some feed stores or farm supply stores that carry fertilizer and such. Thanks for all your testing and advice. Haven’t tried any of yet… but I will using lime as I already have some that we use in our barns to help decay manure and cover smell. People used to use it in outhouses. Now you have a fun fact that may come in handy someday. ;-)

    1. Thanks Lori – I did not find the Lime yet. I will have to look for a farm/feed store in my area since I would like to test it out. Funny about the Outhouse usage :)

      1. After finding your blog today I ran to my tractor supply an bought a 50lb bag of garden lime powder. My husband bought me a plastic bin to store it in. I used the recipe you posted. It didn’t seem grainy enough…if that makes sense…so I adds a extra couple tsp of lime powder. I had to paint two coats an used a old brush so there are streaks but a little sanding should buff them out. I used the recipe with krylon color master blue ocean breeze. It went on smooth and fried quickly. I did a scratch test and it passed. Great adhesion! I am letting it dry overnight and will seal it in a couple of days.

  95. Hi Diane, great job with the comparisons. I have yet to try the expensive chalk paint but have mixed up my own using cornstarch. I have been very pleased with the results. I have also ordered an additive that claims to be very good. FYI, there are a couple other chalk/clay/mineral paints out there that aren’t as expensive as the well known brands. They are American Paints and Shabby Paints. Have you tried either of these?

  96. Hi Diane,
    Thank you for the great article. I think I know the answer to this but can chalk paint be made from oil base paint?
    Thanks

  97. Forgive my ignorance but is the use for these chalk paint ideas strictly for decorating or can you use these recipes to make an every day chalkboard? My concern is how well erasing the chalk works. Thanks.

    1. Hi Don – It can be used both ways. You can use it to make a chalkboard in any color you desire. After you add the grout, plaster, or Calcium Carbonate powder to the paint and paint the surface, it will become chalky and flat when it dries. I would use a high quality brush so you don’t get any brush strokes on your surface. You skip the wax finish if using the paint for chalkboard purposes. It will erase just like any chalkboard.

  98. Hi. I was very interested to read your experiments with DIY chalk paints. Maybe I have missed this information but I am still unclear as to what paint I should use…vinyl silk gloss or emulsion?? At a guess I would say gloss as this is usually used on wood and emulsion on walls. Either way I would still appreciate your opinion and advice….thanks tina

    1. Here in the US we have and use latex paint to make DIY chalk paint. It is water based. I usually use a satin finish, but you can use any finish as once you add the chalk component, the paint will become flat.

  99. Diane, sorry the Lowe’s person told you that. Our contractor paints are not considersd paint an primer in one. They hide very well so I think you will be surprised if you try them. I suggest using Valspar 2000 from Lowe’s. The only problem is that it’s only sold in gallons and not quarts. Also, all of the samples we sell at Lowe’s are now Valspar Signature and will not work for chalk paint. In the past the sample paint was not Signature and would work. So please be careful buying our sample paint from Lowe’s if you’re using it for chalk paint.

      1. I use the valspar sample paints daily for my projects, and as long as I make sure to ask them not to use formula A it works great. Since I paint with a lot of light colors, most of them would normally use formula A which when mixed with plaster of Paris turns into a gobby mess.
        Formula B works great and my projects come out beautiful.

        You can see some of my projects and the formula I use on my Facebook Page. Gracy Rose Boutique

        1. That’s good news! I can see why that might work. “Base A” has more solids and is designed for light colors. It has more pigment and binders that may cause a problem in making chalk paint. Base B and Base C are designed for medium and dark colors so there is more room for “colorant” which would help it stay silky and not sludgy. Anyway…thanks for the input and I hope your projects look great.

  100. I currently work for Valspar as a sales manager. I am not a chemist but I can tell you our “contractor” or “pro” paints work excellent for making your own chalk paint! Our premium paint lines have very high quality resins which make it hard to distress. This is a benefit to the paint when using it as directed but not when making chalk paint. Stick with good quality flat paint and not the premium stuff that has primer attributes. My two cents…

    1. Hi again Chris –

      Thanks for sharing what you know about the paint. It will help readers pick out the right paint when they want to us Valspar to make chalk paint. When I tried to make chalk paint with Valspar, I have only used the Valspar paint in the sample pots. These must be the “premium paint” since every time I try, the mixture turns to sludge. When I asked the paint guy at Lowes he told me that all Valspar paint had primer in it.

      I will check out the contractor and pro lines. I usually don’t ever look at these lines because in general, you need to apply more coats to get full coverage.

      I use Valspar with great results when not making chalk paint with it. :)

  101. I’m considering painting my c. 1992 oak woodwork with chalk paint. You said you “would never use chalk paint” to paint trim — why not? Is it about expense, durability, or what? Have you tried it?

    1. Hi Jana –

      The reason I would not want to use chalk paint on my woodwork is because I like mine glossy white. If you use chalk paint – the finish will be flat. You would have to wax and buff the paint after it is dried to get it to be shiny. Over time, it may need to be re-buffed and waxed. Too much work. For me it is easier to use 2 light coats of stain blocking primer (if the wood is stained) and then a coat of paint. Then you are done. Chalk paint is fine to use if you are after the look of a flat finish and/or don’t mind waxing and buffing it.

      1. Thanks — that’s very helpful!

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

        1. Have you considered using a water based poly over the chalk paint? Yes you will lose the “flat” sheen but add the durability needed for woodwork and cabinets. You would need to let the chalk paint cure out but it should work.

          1. Hi Chris – Water based poly like Minwax Polycrylic works well over chalk paint. It does take a tiny bit of the patina away from the finish, but works great if you need something more than wax to protect the finish. Tabletops, etc.

  102. Thank you so much! Very helpful! I paid a fortune talk a chalk painting class and it would be another fortune to buy it! This was great!

  103. Hi Diane, I am wondering if I can paint my bathroom counter top with DIY chalk paint (using calcium carbonate). I have read your instructions on preparing a laminate surface but I am not sure for a bathroom counter. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Hi Kathy –

      If you keep water from standing on the counter surface, a well sealed paint will work fine. If the counter gets lots of abuse, it may not hold up for the long run. I would use the CCpowder and mix in a T of Plaster of Paris to add extra hardness to the finish. I would sand the laminate counter first to rough it up, clean it, and then paint. I would use a water based polyurethane over it. They make satin and gloss formulas. If you use light coats for both paint and poly, you should create a durable finish.

      Rustoleum and a few other companies make a product especially for painting over countertops. Some are solid colors other have a stone look. They might be worth checking out at the home improvement store.

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

    1. Hi Donna –

      I buy it at the health food store. They always have it in stock, It runs about $5.50 for 16 oz. Some readers buy it in bulk online. Do a Google search for Calcium Carbonate Powder and a bunch of industrial type sites will show up. On some site, you may need to fulfill a minimum to order, but it is very inexpensive.

  105. Hi – Thanks for this – am about to start using chalk paint but was put off by the price of the branded ones – very glad I found this, calcium carbonate for me! You mention that someone said in the comments that lime is caustic. Just wanted to let you know that Garden Lime is really just calcium carbonate and is not caustic – “quicklime” (calcium oxide) and “hydrated lime” (calcium hydroxide) are caustic. “Lime” is a just term for any calcium containing inorganic materials.

  106. I am working on an end table with plaster of Paris recipe, valspar paint sample. It seems to have a gel consistency. Is it ok?

    1. Hi Linda – Valspar paint has primer in it and that is what makes the mix bind. If the brush gets paint on it and you can paint the surface with it, it is fine to use – you may have to sand a bit more to age if there are any dried clumps on the painted surface. I used Valspar in one of my experiments and I did paint with it, but I never used it again. Look for paint that does not have primer in it. All Valspar and Olympic paints do.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I went ahead n used the paint. I’m not real pleased with the results but it will do. After all it was a free paint sample! BUT like you I won’t be using valspar again in my chalk paint. ;) PS I love ur blog!

  107. hi diane. just a wee update i tried the DE and its worked well, im pleased with the results. not sure of exact measures but thats the fun bit. good luck xx

  108. Hi there Diane

    Greetings from sunny South Africa, I read with interest your article and how you mix your own chalk paint. Finding chalk paint here in SA is not as easy and the colour variations are limited. Using your method I will have no restrictions to colour. I have found a supplier that has an unlimited supply of CCP. R2.50 per kilo thats 25c in USA currency. They have variations on the microns available from very fine ….. 0 microns to 45 microns. My questions 1) should i use the more coarse or finer. I have tried the 5 and 15. 2) Is using 2 Table spoons to a cup (250 Ml) of paint enough. I see other recipes that I have researched call for equal quantities of paint and CCP. I look forward to hearing from you and i will share my results with you.

    Warm Regards
    Freddy

    1. Hi Freddy – Finer is better 0 it will mix up into a smoother consistency and not be gritty when you apply it. You can add more CCP to you mix. Mix it well with water first, then add it to the paint slowly. I have never added equal parts, I think that is not needed. I have added an extra tablespoon or two in some mixes to give the paint a rock hard finish with no problem at all. What you don’t want to happen is to add too much and have the mixture clump up on you.

    2. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated. I did find that adding more CCP makes the finish really hard and not that easy to get the distressed look.

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

    1. Hi Claire – I have heard about using DE, but have not tried it yet. I do have some in my garage which will make it easy to try out. I will do it soon and post about it.

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

  110. I recently painted my PIANO!!! Yes.. My piano!! Lol it’s now turquoise and beautiful! I use extra virgin coconut oil on my pieces and I love it!! Smoother than Johnson wax and pleasant smell!! Lol thank you for all your experimenting!! Takes the guess work out of it for all of us! Blessings!!-Donna Moore

  111. This is a wonderful post and has given me the confidence to tackle some large projects without latex paint! I am repurposing a vintage dining room sideboard made of solid oak and do not want to paint over the wood grain. I want to create a design over the entire front of the piece and was wondering if you had any suggestions for how I could create a contrast without covering the wood grain? The top has drink rings/water spots on it.

    1. Hi Shia –

      You could make a transparent glaze in any color you want and use that to paint your design on. Look at this post I have on how to make and use glaze. http://bit.ly/2HnoNLk

      To get rid of the water rings, If they are white rings and not dark – you could try using toothpaste to remove them or even Vaseline. Just rub either one over the rings, let sit for a few minutes and then buff them out. It think I read somewhere that cigarette ashes work well to remove them, too.

    1. Hi P.B. – Love when I hear S-U-C-C-E-S-S stories. Thanks for sharing it here. In 2014 I have a few DIY chalk paint posts planned. Looking forward to starting them. Happy New Year!

  112. Hi Diane,

    I love your blog, I have to 2 girls and I am planning to paint 7 feet by 3 feet wall ; and I wanted to ask you a question, and maybe you had tried this before. I bought in a home supply store a green Old school color of a chalkboard paint, it is too dark and the tint says not returnable, I wanted to make it light green and it was not until I found your blog that I learned that I can make my own paint, anyway I don’t want to lose this tint of paint and I was wondering if I can mix it with flat white paint, will the kids still have the ability to write on it?

    1. Hi Aya –

      Yes you can mix in white paint, but if you have to lighten it a lot you should add a chalk component. Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder. I would test it first. Take about 1/4 cup of your green paint and then add a tsp of water to it and a tsp of PoP or the CCP and mix well. Add to the 1/4 cup of paint and mix. If it creates a smooth mix, then you know the paint will take the additive and can mix it in with the rest of your green paint.

      To add to a quart of paint – Mix 2 tablespoons of PoP or CCP in a cup with the white paint and a tablespoon of water and mix it until smooth – then add slowly to your paint and mix it well. If the color needs to be lighter after this addition, then repeat the process until you get the color you want.

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

  114. Thanks, Diane! The only place I can paint this time of year is in the basement (we do not have a heated garage) so spray paint is out of the question. Is it true that it is safe to apply chalk paint inside the house??

    1. I use it inside. When using Now Brand Calcium Carbonate Powder – it is food grade and not toxic. The smell depends on the brand of paint – some have more odor than others. I do miss spray painting in the Winter – that has to be done outside and in warmer temps. Most chalk paints you buy are low to no VOC’s.

  115. Hi Diane, Do you know if you can mix Martha Stewart’s Metallic Paint into Carbonate Powder making it a chalk paint. I’d probably loose the metallic wouldn’t I?

    1. Hi Kathy – I have not tried it, but it would become a flat finish. Since I don’t know what is added to that paint, it may bind up and not mix up smooth. The only way to find out is to experiment and see what happens. :)

  116. Hello,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! I would like to paint the chrome legs and metal apron of an old enamel top table. (I do not want to paint the enamel top!). I am thinking that chalk paint might be the way to go since I want a charcoal grey matte finish. Do you have any experience painting a chrome surface with a matte finish chalk paint?

    1. Hi Claire – I just finished painting metal file cabinets with chalk paint. They came out great and as chalk paint always does – adhered well. I will be posting about it tomorrow – Monday the 18th. I would sand the metal first – (always helps with adhesion), clean, dry and then paint with DIY chalk paint. You could also spray paint the legs with flat spray paint or even a grey metal primer – it may give you the look you want to achieve.

  117. Some older paint stores used to sell calcium carbonate in large quantities such as 25 or 50 pound bags but called it whiting. Pottery suppliers carry it REALLY CHEAP Check out: theceramicshop.com Go to: store/product/349/Whiting,-325-Calcium-Carbonate or store/category/7/7/Chemicals/

  118. Hi Dianne,
    I love to paint Furniture and used PLASTER OF PARIS to produce my own Chalkpaint. All the painting went very fine, but i discovered 2 Problems:
    The first own is, that after painting, drying and putting 2 layers of wax on, every small hit or scratch takes of the Paint and looks ugly. is their something i can do about it, as like this the Furniture is too sensitive?
    And the second Question i have is, what to do with “left over of Color with Plaster of Paris” which got hard overnight?
    Thank you very much for your Help,
    Erika

    1. Hi Erika –

      How long did the paint scratch off? It could be the paint has not cured yet. It can take up to 4 weeks to cure. The other reason it may scratch off is the surface was too glossy. It always helps with adhesion to run a piece of sandpaper over the surface to rough it up a bit before painting.

      As for disposing, if there is only a little bit, I wash it down the sink as I clean my brushes. If it has gotten hard – I throw it in the trash. My township requires the paint to be dry and hard to be thrown out. Usually I have to add hardener – cat litter works well to dry it up. Check with your town or trash service.

  119. Hi Dianne,
    OMG so glad I wound your website! Wealth of information for a first timer. I took the Annie Sloan workshop it was well worth the money. But I am definitely into saving time and money and will try the Calcium Carbonate recipe. I would like to do my kitchen cupboards and wondered if you think it would be best to clean them with TSP then use a coat of Shellac and then lightly sand before proceeding with chalk painting. The cupboards are home made out of pine and have been stained and a coat of shellac as the top coat (I think). Also. need your expertise/recommendation on do I use soft wax or polyurethane to shine and protect? Thank you so much Donna

  120. I have an old trunk with some metal on the corners and some strips on the sides. Can I use the chalk paint on the metal?

    Thanks for all this great information! Can’t wait to start mt first project.

    1. Hi Nancy – Chalk paint works beautifully on metal. When you put the wax coat over it and buff it will look great and be protected at the same time.

  121. Hi Diane!
    I just wanted to share that I am about halfway through with a big piece of furniture that I am using your chalk paint recipe on and I must say…. it’s turning out beautiful!! I painted the exterior with a Sherwin Williams Color to go sample quart (forgot the color), but it was matched to ASCP Old White (so far, I have had no problem with the paint). I painted the interior with Ben. Moore Wythe Blue (an absolute favorite of mine!!) both using your DIY Cal. Carbonate recipe. I am taking the top back off (painted first coat of white already) and re-staining a little darker and adding new, more significant molding/trim. I wanted to say that on my 2nd coat of blue for the interior shelves, I had a can of water along with my cup of paint and I dipped my brush in water and then in paint and was able to stretch the cup to complete the interior and 4 doors with a little to spare. I sanded lightly before adding the 2nd coat and then added the thin layer. It started drying funny at first and I thought…. oh no!! I’ve ruined it! After waiting a little longer, it dried out to a beautiful, smooth coat!! I love it so far!!! I can’t wait to get it sealed and complete it!! I will definitely post a pic when all is done. Thank so much for your inspiration and help!! I am tackling a chest of drawers with a beautiful turquoise next and I’m going to try your newest Cal. Carbonate and PoP mixture. So excited!! :) Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Casey – I would love to see your photo. I am over the moon smitten with how DIY chalk painted pieces come out. Distressed and not distressed. Either way the finish is rich and durable. Not tacky, rubbery, or sticky like latex alone can be. It is what I have always wanted painted pieces to look like. The wax just makes it all look terrific. It is a little more work having to wax over it, but that is what makes the finish look so good. The mix of CCP and PoP is durable and passes the scratch test as soon as it is dry. I will always use it from now on.

      1. How can I link to a photo? I have tried 2 times to post a new comment with a link to photobucket using the share HTML link, but it doesn’t appear in the comments after I hit submit.

      1. Hi Erika – PoP is short for Plaster of Paris. You can buy it at the home improvement or craft store. It is one of the powders you can add to latex paint to make it into chalk paint. You can also use CCP :) That stands for Calcium Carbonate Powder. You can buy it in the health food store.

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

  123. Regarding lime, as mentioned, it’s calcium carbonate. Dolomite lime is a little different.
    For paint you would need the fine white garden lime. For years and years lime wash has been used for painting the interiors of animal shelters, it disinfects and cleans. It’s not really known to make people sick! I used it for many years in stables, hen houses, cow sheds and exteriors of buildings. Many would tint it for exterior use. All those quaint little fishing villages used lime wash to paint their cottages,
    It is an irritant, I’ve splashed it in my eye a few times over the years, temporary burning. No, I’ve never heard of it making people sick from merely using it as paint.
    Of course, these days, it’s known that inhaling fine powder can cause damage, we always mixed it outside and down wind!
    Lime wash, or whitewash as we called it is amazing, a thin watery solution dries to such dazzling white, after a few initial coats.
    No, I don’t think lime is any more dangerous than POP or grout, after all, the refined human grade is used as medicine!

  124. Hi Diane..It’s me again, It seems that I have to apply two coats of my chalk paint (paint and carbonate powder) to everything I paint. It doesn’t matter if the surface is light or dark. Can you tell me why? Also, I just painted a table with flat paint, Can I apply a clear glaze to this, after the paint is dry, of course. If I do, can you give me an idea of the results I will achieve?

    1. Hi Kathy – Two coats is normal. I use two coats on everything to make sure I get an even coverage of paint and color. For your table with flat paint on it, yes – you can apply a clear glaze mix to it anytime after it is dry. The results will depend on the color of the paint you add to the glaze. If you want to darken the effect to look aged – use a dark color of paint mixed in the glaze. If you want a white washed effect – add a light color – white, off white, pastel. to create a two tone effect – Use the same color of paint, but a few shades lighter or darken. After you apply it, drag a dry brush through it to expose the base color. It will create a depth to the finish. You can manipulate the glaze in many different ways using different tools – paint brushes, rags, sponges. The best way to find out what it will look like is to experiment with some craft paints or sample pots of paint in the color you want on scrap wood to see the different effects you can achieve by using glazing liquid.

  125. Thank you so much for this DIY tutorial! I went to 10 health food, vitamin, pharmacy, home improvement stores and never found Calcium Carbonate so I finally ordered it from Amazon. I recommend just ordering it before wasting all your time driving around a big city looking for it (or calling ahead, I wasn’t that smart). :) Also I learned not to rely on the Lowe’s employees for any assistance trying to make this paint. Just follow Diane’s suggestions above, she nailed it! I bought Olympic paint with no primer in the color I wanted (Schooner) and my dresser turned out exactly how I envisioned it! Which is a feat for me because I CANNOT paint things! But chalk paint is miracle paint! Definitely make your own! Easiest DIY project I’ve ever done! Thank you Diane!!!

  126. so I am a total first timer . . .never refinished anything. You said to mix with latex paint, but WHAT kind, glossy, satin, matte, etc. I should probably just buy the more expensive stuff, but like to do things as cheap as possible.

    1. You can use all of the above. I’ve used satin and I’ve used flat. Both worked. You can use whatever finish you desire! Good luck, it’s addicting! Have fun!

    2. Hi Jamie – The finish of the paint does not matter. Once you add the Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate to the paint it will become flat no matter what the paint finish is. You do not want to use any paint with a primer already in it. Paint and Primer in one formulas as it may bind. All Valspar paints have primer in them. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish for most of my projects. It does not have to use the most expensive paint.

  127. I learned quite a bit from your article.

    However, I have experienced significant bleed through of tannins when using ANY kind of chalk paint. After 30 years of refinishing furniture, I can confirm that polyurethane does protect against water rings on wood furniture. That’s why people use it. So does polycrylic, but it is water based.

  128. Yes, you have gone pro on paint!
    A question please. Can I buy a gallon of white latex and color it
    with acrylic craft paint? There are tons of colors for about $1. a bottle at the craft store.
    Can I do this?

    1. Hi Donna – I mix paint all the time and have never had a problem. I would test it out using a small amount of the paints – latex + craft to see what happens when it is mixed into a DIY chalk type paint mixture. Sometimes, but not all, acrylic paint can bind when mixed with non-sanded grout. You should have no problem if using Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder.

  129. Hi, I have a desk I just finished using the DIY plaster of Paris paint recipe. Would you recommend using wax or polyurethane to seal it? I did stenciling on the top and side panels. If I wax, will the buffing ruin the stenciling?

    1. Hi Tara –

      I like the way wax looks so much more than poly. I wax all my pieces. It brings up the patina. I use Johnson’s Paste wax or Fiddes and Sons. I have not had it remove any paint when buffing. I used it over the faux marble finish I did on a sideboard in my kitchen. If you want to make sure, test it out on a small area first. If you would like to see the piece I waxed over when I used craft paint to make the surface look like marble.

  130. Question: Have you tried mixing plaster of paris and/or calcium carbonate with water-based acrylic alkyd, like the Sherwin-Williams ProClassic line? I was wondering how that might work.

    Awesome work, Diane! Thank you for sharing it.

  131. I tried the Plaster of Paris recipe (1C PP mixed mixed smooth with water:3C paint). I am having MAJOR bleed through. After my second coat of paint and its still bleeding through. This piece definitely needed primer. I was so excited about discovering chalk paint and this is my first try. What did I do wrong? Please HELP!!

  132. Hi. What color is the pink on the wall behind your photo of the plaster of Paris etc? It’s just beautiful. The perfect amount of blue/lavender and red. I have to use it.
    Best posts. No doubt best chalk paint posts in history of blogs!! Thanks.

    1. Hi Karen – I think what you are referring to is fabric. I have it tacked into a frame that I use as my mini-photo studio. I found the fabric a year or so ago at JoAnn Fabrics. You will be able to see another photo of it in this post: http://bit.ly/2HpoAHK

  133. Thank you for providing an indepth break down of chalk paint and wax! I know someone local that will start selling Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I had a feeling it was going to be pretty pricey on the ol’ wallet. She purchases sad furniture and breathes new life into them. I love her pieces (just haven’t found the ONE that needs to come home with me!) and it has inspired me to try my hand at it. But I had no clue where to begin!! Your guidance in much appreciated :)

  134. Hi Diane!
    Thank you so much for your information! I researched and read many blogs before finally finding you! I decided to try the Calcium Carbonate DIY paint mixture. My question is… How think is this paint supposed to be? I bought Sherwin Williams Color To Go sample quart which states it’s a latex acrylic in a satin finish. Mixed my ratio of 2 TBS Cal. Carb. 1 TBS Water and poured it into my 1 cup paint. My paint didn’t thicken up all that much. I’ve read many others stating that they had to add water to whichever brand of paint they were using just to be able to paint with it. Should I add more powder? I purchased my Cal. Carb at the local health food store that is sold by the 1 lb. bag.

    My mixture painted well, but I’m going on 3 coats to cover my piece. It does have some tannins bleed through, but it is an OLD piece of furniture. It is kind of my “test” piece, so I’m not too worried about that.

    Thanks so much for your help and your reviews of the products!! I’m excited to try waxing and lots of other techniques!!

    1. Hi Casey –

      The Calcium Carbonate Powder does not get thick, grainy, or lumpy like the other DIY chalk paint mixtures do. It is smooth always – that is why it is my favorite to use now. To get more durability to your finish and coverage to block out the tannins, you can add another tablespoon to the mix. I have added a few tablespoons more just to see what would happen. The mixture stays smooth and the perfect brushing-on consistency. So don’t be afraid to add more. Right now I am getting a post written on how I used both Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris in one mix. It worked beautifully and is the toughest finish I have painted yet.

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

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

        1. I have talked with the Sherwin Williams paint associate. They use what is basically a tinted primer for their samples. That is why it is only around $5 for the sample and yet $15 for a quart. The samples are to give you the idea of the color. If used for paint they will fade, chip, peel and rub off. That is what I was told by the Sherwin Williams associate.

          1. Gay, I am so glad to know this. I was keeping my samples around to use for touch up. Guess I’ll throw them away. Thanks.

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

  135. Hi Diane,
    Love your blog. I can’t wait to try chalk paint on an old dresser. You have taken the mystery out of it! Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Diane – It needs to be latex paint. Some latex acrylics may work with Calcium Carbonate powder, but may turn into sludge with non-sanded grout and PoParis. It does not work with oil-based paint.

      Also do not use any paint that is a Paint and Primer in One formula. These tend to bind if using the non- sanded grout or Plaster of Paris recipes. You can use any sheen of paint if you have some laying around. If you are purchasing new paint – I like the way a satin finish mixes up.

  136. Hi, I found this information EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks so much. I am desperately looking for an answer to why my homemade chalkpaint using plaster of paris is gritting upon drying. I have used hot water and cold water, separately, to the PofP before adding to the Latex paint (Loews) and still get the gritty finish. It even goes on gritty. Please help

    1. Hi Kathy –

      Sorry to hear you are having a problem getting the mixture smooth. Every mixture does come out a bit differently – just like a recipe does when baking. If you are using paint from Lowes – Valspar and Olympic both have primer in them, which when mixed with P of P or grout can bind up and not get mixed properly. It could also be the water in your area has a metal or mineral in it that is not dissolving the PoP.

      If it is not binding, but just feels gritty – sanding the surface with fine grit sandpaper will remove any grittiness. I had one piece I painted white and it felt gritty like you describe. I sanded it, even though I did not distress the piece and the grittiness went away. After waxing is was smooth and looked great. If it is just way too gritty – I would use a different paint or use Calcium Carbonate Powder to make your mix. It will not be gritty at all. Of all the DIY recipes – this is the best for smoothness. Plaster of Paris is the best for adhesion. I am working on a piece now where I combined the two. I like how it is coming out so far. I hope this helps you out.

  137. Hi, I am not sure if you are still responding to questions regarding the chalk paint but if you are I NEED HELP!!! I have a very beautiful mess/vanity that I purchased off Craigslist with big dreams and of sailing off into DIY Pintrist Queen stardom in the chalk painting world! I thought I didy tease arch well and visited LOWES 2-3 times daily asking questions and purchasing the products to complete each step. Problem is after I finished painting i blew it with the wax and it looks horrible and even worse after moving a couple drawers around my paint easily chips and there arelarge mounds of shiny soft yet tacky min wax everywhere!!!!!! I googled further after realizing that scraping the wax outbid the container and dumping the excess on my cloth was NOT the thing to do and the wax IS NOT HARDENING. MY major concerns are these

    A. I have ruined it and need to start over from scratch.
    B. I have spent a small fortune by trying to save with DIY Methods
    C. Put heart and time into what turned out to be a beautiful MESS!!!

    After all that if you happen to still check this post would you pretty please email me some suggestions!!

    Of all the DIY bloggers you have seemed to be the best and most knowledgeable.

    Thank you

    Kelly jones

  138. I used non-sanded grout to make my chalk paint. It seemed to work well but it seemed to make the paint smell funny. Almost an ammonia smell. I thought maybe it was the paint I was using. It was just flat latex paint though. I used the grout with another can of paint and it did the same thing. Is it reacting with the paint or does grout just smell? I was hoping to get some insight on it. It bothers me enough that I might just try plaster of paris.

    1. Hi Valerie – I have not noticed a funny smell when using the non-sanded grout. It could be the grout – maybe it is old or the brand, not sure. Does it smell after the paint is dry? If it does then there is something wrong with the grout. I would use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder.

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

      1. Hi David – I have never used corn starch and enjoy trying out new recipes. I heard of using baking powder, but I think that would be grainy. Corn Starch is much smoother. What is the recipe you use?

        1. Corn Starch Chalk
          Quan. 1 Pint (2 Cups)

          First Mix Corn Starch and Water, stir until well mixed
          Corn Starch: 3 TBS
          Water: 1/4 Cup

          Then add paint until quantity is reached.
          Paint: fill to 2 Cups

    1. Hi Johna – I have not used chalk paint in a sprayer, but you can. I would use the Calcium Carbonate since it creates a very smooth mixture that won’t clog the spray mechanism anymore than plain latex.

  139. Diane,
    Hello again! I have another question. For the calcium carbonate chalk paint, I’m curious if semi-gloss paint can be used? I’m wanting to use some white trim paint I have to paint some decorative wall shelves. I’ve read that matte or flat paint is best, but do you have any experience with semi-gloss? I’d appreciate your input.

    1. Hi Tierney – You can use any latex finish. I have used all with excellent results. I should add – just as long as it does not have a primer in it.

  140. Where did you buy the calcium carbonate? I’ve been to Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, 2 compound pharmacies, 2 ag stores, and Lowes. No one sells it and only 1 pharmacists even acted like they knew what I was talking about. :(

      1. You can buy calcium carbonate powder online at Lucky Vitamin . com
        Under $5 a bottle but there is shipping costs. Buy enough vitamins and get free shipping with your cc….

  141. Hi! Thanks for your tips! I’m currently using your recipe and painting my kitchen cabinets. They look great! I did the bottom ones last week and currently working on the top cabinets. One of my children has gotten something on one of the lower cabinets and, when I scrubbed it off today, it must’ve rubbed the wax and antiquing glaze off. Now it’s a much lighter section where I cleaned. Do you know why it would do that and how do I correct/prevent it from happening again?

  142. I recently redid an antique and very unique coffee/side table using the standard chalkboard paint as it will get a lot of use. We recently purchased an old Dining Set with 6 chairs, solid beautiful wood, it is circa 1960’s and I wanted to go chalk paint with it and wax. I purchased the paint, plaster and wax tonight and I am almost done doing a light sanding on the whole set and will start painting tomorrow using your tips….here goes nothing, I can’t screw this one up as we have been making due with no dining table for a week now as we sold our modern POS recently to help pay for the costs of this beautiful old school table, which we got the table with two leaves and 6 chairs for only $130 hehehe..wish me luck :) :)

    1. Hi Mike – I was on vacation – sorry I could not get right back to you and cheer you on. There is no way to mess it up. If you don’t like how it came out – you just sand and start again. It is only paint :) I hope it turned out great.

      1. No worries ;)

        The project is still ongoing as it is a rather large dining table with 6 chairs but I am slowly getting there with my spare time. I have completed paining the table, the 2 leaves, the base and almost finished the first coat on the 6 chairs. I have decided to seal it with a Polycrylic water based sealer as it will be a piece that will see lots of use and I have 2 young boys….yikes LOL

  143. This is so helpful! Thank you for going to the trouble of all the research. I only just found your article and can see the comments have been here a few months now, but would like to know if you found waxing over a latex based chalk paint any easier than AS chalk paint. I’ve had issues with waxing even if I only apply a small amount. Making your own makes a lot of sense on many levels … but I did wonder if you had an opinion on whether the waxing part was easier with the home made version? I plan on attending a waxing course soon, but still love the idea of making my own version. Great, thank you!

    1. I have not had any trouble with the waxing, but can offer you this. Plaster of Paris needs more than one coat to get a high shine. Every brand of wax is different. Annie Sloan goes on like butter and you can buff right away. It shines up easily. Fiddes and Sons is the one I use the most. Costs less than Annie Sloan and produces a nice shine and can be buffed right after application. It does not smell as much as the least expensive brand – Johnsons. Johnsons works best when you let it sit for about 10 minutes before buffing.

      I just read on another blog where the blogger wrote that wax only produces a certain level of shine. This is incorrect. If you wax and buff and repeat -you can get a very high gloss shine. If you want a subtle shine, buff less. You control the shine achieved by the type rag you use and the pressure applied.I really rub hard and apply a lot of pressure. It does take some elbow grease. I like to use old well worn t-shirts as my buffing cloths. I do not use the brushes to apply the wax- I use a sponge. It does take some experimenting, but with some trial and error I am sure you will get the hang of it.

  144. I have a room with paneled walls with high ceiling that I want to white wash. I was thinking of going with chalk paint because of not want to sand the walls and the grooves. Do you recommend this?

    1. Hi Alena – I would not use chalk paint on the walls. It will require more work for you since you have to wax or poly over it. If you don’t they will mark up way too easily since the finish will be very flat. I have painted many rooms with cheap paneled walls and did not sand it. Just clean the walls of all dust and grime and use a gripping primer a(Glidden Gripper is the one I use) if it is laminate paneling. Use stain blocking primer if the panels are real unfinished or stained wood (Kilz is a good primer for this). Once the primer is dry then use 1 – 2 light coats of latex paint. Use an angled brush to paint in the grooves and a roller for the rest.

  145. Thank you so much for this info. I want to try chalk paint but didnt want to spend all that money. This recipe sounds easy and cheaper.Cant wait to start my project.

    Thanks again!

  146. One more thing, I wholeheartedly agree that Valspar should be avoided unless it’s the only option, It just doesn’t compare in coverage to Behr or other better paints, I think it has a lower pigment to vehicle ratio, at least that is how it behaves.

  147. I have been using CORN STARCH as a chalk agent, saw it on another DIY site, I’ve been very pleased with smoothness and finish. I always suggest a light sanding even with the best of chalk paints, it only takes a few minutes and really improves the adhesion of the paint. I’ve tried several samples of assorted chalk paints over the same furniture sample, with and without sanding, and no matter what, the sanded section holds better, no surprise there.

  148. I’m writing to say that the calcium carbonate is definitely the way to go when making chalk paint. The plaster of paris globbed up into an unusable mess. The cc dissolved completely and went on smooth, did not dry and thicken as I was painting. I did add a little more water to the recipe and did thin coats. One tip: If using a brush, rinse it every 15 minutes or so because the paint/cc dries in the bristles and can get grit in the paint stroke. Rinsing really helped and added a bit of water to keep it all flowing smooth. The job isn’t finished yet, but I am optimistic! Thanks for recommending the calcium carbonate!!

    1. Hi Kathy – Happy to hear you had success with Calcium Carbonate. Did you use paint with primer when mixing the Plaster of Paris? That will gum up the mix. I know Valspar has primer in it. Over the weekend I made a mix of Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris – I liked it very much. Will post about it soon.

      1. Diane, I used Behr paint for both the plaster of paris and the calcium carbonate. I don’t think the behr has extra primer in it (interior latex, eggshell). It came out pretty nice. I was sorry to hear about Valspar though, because I had planned to use it for the top coat…won’t be doing that now!

        1. I have used the Valspar with the calcium carbonate with no problem. Perfectly smooth. However using the plaster of paris with the Valspar was a disaster!

          1. Hi Gay – This is good to know. Thanks for sharing. I just made a mix using both POP and CCP. It is coming out very well. Will post about it soon.

  149. Hi! Thank you for posting such a great and informative blog post. I found it very helpful! I tried the calcium carbonate recipe with a light coral color and after the 3rd coat it finally started to cover the wood. I was thinking of adding a little plaster of paris to the calcium carbonate mixture to have a better coverage. Have you ever tried combining the 2 together? I would really appreciate your thoughts :)

    1. Hi Brandy – I have not yet mixed any of the powders together, but want to. I think it would work just fine and create a super durable finish. I am going to start a new piece this week using 2 colors. I will try it and post about what happens.

  150. Hi there, can i seal the legs of my kitchen table with fiddes hard wax oil after i have painted them? It’s just that i already have some! Thanks in advance for your reply

    1. Hi Laura – I have never used the hard wax oil, only the soft paste wax. Since I am not sure if it is the same, try it on a small area to make sure the painted finish does not come off or change in any way. Let it dry and buff. If it looks good then I think you can use it. Normally wax and oils are for wood, not painted surfaces. The oils and waxes don’t sink into the surface as much as they do with wood. I have found the paste wax looks beautiful when used over painted surfaces and not just flat finish chalk painted surfaces. I use it on many pieces.

  151. Thank you for your in depth directions on DIY chalk paints! I have been searching for something like your blog to explain all the in’s and out’s of chalk painting. I am planning on painting my kitchen table and was nervous to do so…until I found your information. You have been very helpful! I appreciate all your experimenting and advise. On to my kitchen table with confidence….:)

  152. I have another recipe idea. diatomaceous earth- fine powder, natural and non toxic. Acts as a drying agent like calamine lotion. We use it for pest control as a safe alternative to poisons and a light went off when the idea of chalk paints came up.

  153. Diane, thanks so much for the response. I do have another question…have you ever waxed over a spray painted piece? I would like to experiment with the wax I bought, and have a great little shelf that is spray painted.

    1. Hi Tierney – I have tried wax on many surfaces and I like it on all of them. Depending on the paint, it may not settle into it if it is not a flat finish. It will just sit on the surface. I recently waxed a latex sideboard top and I love love love how it looks. It can’t hurt your piece to test it out on a small area of your shelf to see if you like it.

  154. I have recently had trouble with my homemade chalk paint using POP (plaster of Paris) setting up like concrete I believe it may be the summer heat its been extremely humid. Have you had this problem?

    1. Hi Chrissy – It could be the heat, but I don’t think that would set the mix to concrete. What type of latex paint are you using? I find paint and primer in one formulas as well as an acrylic latex may bind the mix. I don’t use any of these paints – only straight latex paint. I have only had problems with non-sanded grout binding up. I only use that when I am making small quantities. If you have not tried it yet – the Calcium Carbonate powder create a very smooth mix. I know that all Valspar and Olympic paint have primers in them. Craft paints have acrylic in them. I have had great success with Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish.

  155. This is the best, most in-depth article I have found! I do have one question, to repaint over chalk paint that has been waxed, what would the preparation be? I bought an armoire that has a beautiful coat of AS old white and a coat of wax but it is much to yellow to stay the way it is. I really need to paint over it and was considering a DIY version.
    Thanks again for the wealth of information on this subject.

    Wendy

  156. Great information!! I have just gotten into the chalk paint craze and love it. I make my own using the calcium carbonate. I was given a different recipe to make it, 2 parts paint to 1 part calcium carbonate and no water. I found that sifting the calcium carbonate first lessens the number of lumps. Also I have only used the Miss Mustard Seed waxes, both dark and clear. I really like them but they are pricey. I’ll be trying some others when I run out. A good tip I was given to get the shine on a piece is to wait until the wax dries then polish it up with a very fine grade steel wool. It’s really great! Thanks for all the tips!

      1. Diane
        I will be interested in your trial of using the fine grade steel wool on the wax. Always good for multiple people to ring in on the same product or techinque

  157. Hello! Thanks so much for all the info you have on caulk paint and wax. I have a quick question…what brand would you suggest for a dark wax? My local Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t carry anything but clear, so I’m asking your advice. I think I would like to try it and have read about Annie Sloan, but after reading your blog…I’m going to try the DIY chalk paint and dark wax. I would so appreciate you advice.
    Thanks!

    1. I have only used Ce Ce Caldwell dark wax. It worked nicely. Fiddes and Sons also sell dark waxes that you can find on Amazon.com. I love their clear wax so I am sure the dark waxes are just as nice.

      When I want to darken a piece I use Antiquing glaze by Valspar. I apply it with a cloth right on top of the dried paint, wipe away the excess and then add clear wax over it. I have a post showing my process in this post: http://bit.ly/2Hndzq8

      You may find it best to experiment with different brands to find the look you like. Some waxes are more brown, others have more black in them. It is more about personal preference, then the quality of the brand.

    2. Tierney or anyone looking for products outside of the big box retailers.
      Check the smaller paint stores; in my area they carry brands that the big box guys don’t. More specialized products and selections. And I mean beyond, Sherwin Williams, Frazee, Dunn Edwards….look for the specialized stores that supply professional painters. You will be surprised and once you start exploring it can take some time. Lowe’s and HD target are basic, often lower line products…..I’m not saying that is always wrong….just that selection and often quality is compromised. We need all of these retailers. In San Diego look at Bay Paints…..what a treasure trove/

  158. was i suppose to sand in between each time i painted the pieces or has it just not cured long enough? and if that is the case how should i protect it in the mean time !! sorry just completely stressed over this! thanks for any help,, Kelly

  159. ok I made my own chalkpaint using the Plaster of paris. We are painting our preschool tables and chairs. I put on three coats of paint and then put on polycrylic on the table tops. just got done with this about 5 days ago. was using tape today at the table and when i pulled it off the table the polycrylic came off with the tape!!!! uhhhhhh!!!! what shall i do? Spent so many days doing this and now i am afraid!!! The children start school next week! should i sand it down and just apply wax or sand down and start over again?? Lots of water, food, coloring and paint goes on these tables!! Please HELP!!!

    1. Hi Kelly –

      The paint and poly may just need time to cure. It can take up to 30 days. The only way to protect them after you have the poly or wax on is to be gentle with them for a few weeks. I have never used poly over chalk paint, so I am not sure how long it may take. If it came off and not the paint, then it is the poly that is not cured or it did not adhere right. If you want to use poly, I would lightly sand the surface and then reapply the poly. Tape used on any painted surface even after it has cured can be a problem, so I would wait as long as you can, before using tape on the surface.

      I like the way wax looks and protects. If you sand the tables and chairs a bit more, you could use paste wax over them and then buff to a shine. It still has to cure, but it will be protected. If you see a spot wearing, you can simply add more wax over the area and buff. When the poly wears away – you have to redo the whole surface since it sits on top of the paint. The wax goes into the surface. When stains and water rings get on the surface you can simply sand the stain away and wax the water rings right out.

      Try not to stress too much – I think it is just a matter of curing time that is needed.

  160. I’ve painted a piece with homemade chalk paint (P of P mixture) & like how it painted. I’ve waxed it & have now discovered some places that probably should have more paint. SO, the question is….can I sand the wax off, repaint, & re-wax?

    1. HI J –

      You can sand it very lightly, paint. let it dry and then wax over it. You don’t even have to sand, but I always do, just to make sure the paint will adhere to the wax coat that you are painting over.

  161. Thanks Diane. But I don’t have any clumps in the paint or the dried paint. It is white streaks like what is left on a chalk board after you wipe it. Only this does not come off. I can’t figure out how to post a pic so I can show you.

  162. I used the DIY recipe with the unsanded grout with a dark brown sherwin Williams paint on a coffee table. After the second coat dried, it had white streaks in it. I tried sanding it lightly, I tried wiping it down with a damp cloth. The streaks still come back. We mixed our paint well. I don’t know what the problem is. Do you have any suggestions? Please help.

    1. Hi Heather – The grout recipe is the hardest to mix. It is best to add the water to the grout first and mix it around so any clumps break up, then mix well into your paint. To fix what you have. Try mixing enough grout and hot water – stir it and add paint. Brush on to your table and see if you see any clumps of grout. If you do, then mix more. If not – you should be good to go -so when you distress you don’t see any white. Another trick is to add hot water right over the painted finish after sanding. Rub it on with a very wet rag to see if it breaks up any clumps of grout.

      When working with white or lighter colors of paint – you may not see any unmixed grout. With darker colors – you do. Don’t let this keep you from using DIY chalk paint. It may take some trial and error until you find the right method for you. I am just love the finish and patina it produces. I like using Plaster of Paris or the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best. Calcium Carbonate Powder produces the smoothest mixture. Try using one of them next time. I just got a reader asking if I have ever used Diatamacous Earth. ( used to filter pools) I have not, but will try it to see.

  163. Thanks Diane,,,, you r my first ever answer to a question by just a helpful friend,,, that was so nice of u to take the time to answer me and so when I try my chair ( I am technically challenged, ) but if I can figure out how to take a picture and send it I will and tell you how it works out.. I read something about adding a fabric medium so I may throw in some of that. Thanks again and it was nice to hear from a new friend.. :) Patti Ann

  164. Diane, in some of the utube tutorials by Annie Sloane, she mentions painting fabric. Have you ever tried this? I have a old wing back chair covered in a cotton fabric and has wooden hands on the arms and wooden legs.. I really wanted to try painting it w the chalk paint (my homemade brew!) but wanted to see if I could get help from someone like you…one of us.. DIY’ers..:) any ideas..Patti

    1. I saw a painted fabric chair at an Annie Sloan store. It looked very nice. It was kind of “crackled” but did feel pretty soft. I didn’t sit in it so I can’t give you a first hand sit test review ;-)

      1. Hi Angela –

        I have not painted fabric, but have heard that it can be done. I was at a Annie Sloan session this past weekend and the topic was brought up. The instructor said you mix it with water and paint the first coat when the fabric is misted wet. The softness of the finished fabric all depends on the type of fabric. Something with a high nap velvet may feel rough as a smooth fabric with a tight weave may not crack or feel stiff. I would test it on some scrap pieces of fabric to see how it feels.

    2. Hi Patti –

      I have not painted fabric, but have heard that it can be done. I was at a Annie Sloan session this past weekend and the topic was brought up. The instructor said you mix it with water and paint the first coat when the fabric is misted wet. The softness of the finished fabric all depends on the type of fabric. Something with a high nap velvet may feel rough as a smooth fabric with a tight weave may not crack or feel stiff. I would test it on some scrap pieces of fabric to see how it feels.

  165. Just found powdered lime… 2.5 LB Dolomite Garden Lime Grade A Powder on Ebay $9.99 free shipping. The info says that this product is to bring down pH levels in soil and Dolomite lime is not as harsh as other lime products.

    If the product affects pH – I have to wonder what the effect on paint might be.

    But there is a source – AlliedAqua. com – they specialize in Aquaculture – Aquaponics – Hydroponics – Aquariums – Ponds according to the websight. So maybe a similar business in your area would have the same products.

  166. I just ordered a pound of food grade Calcium Carbonate on Ebay for $7.95 including shipping. Paid on the 31st and received it on the 3rd. It is ultra fine and does include a warning about inhalation. So I will wear a mask while mixing this. Larger quantities are more cost effective, but I wanted to see how well I liked it first.

  167. I looked high and low for a powered form, but could only find granular types….

    What about coffee grounder?….IT WILL MAKE ANYTHING TO POWDER! I like to make sugar powder of granulated sugar using coffee grounder…

  168. Thank you so much for posting this blog! It came up in a google search and it’s exactly what I was looking for – breaking it all down. Thank you thank you thank you!

    1. Hi Joanne – Thanks This weekend I was at a blog conference and got to play with Annie Sloan’s paint and wax. I did like the wax a lot. I also picked up a few new tips and will be sharing them soon in a post.

  169. You probably won’t like Briwax – it SMELLS – it has toluene. When I tried to use it to “age” some picture frames – it removed the spray paint I was trying to age -oops! That might not happen w/ latex paint, but be careful if you try it.

    1. Hi Angela – I bought a can of Briwax and I agree with you. I do not like it all – smell and it does eat the finish. I am happy using Johnson’s and Fiddes & Sons. :) They produce great results every time.

  170. Can you paint shoe polish over your piece of furnature after you have put on the clear wax. If not, how would i get my piece to look more distressed as it is white and I do not like it that fresh looking. Would like the more aged look to it.

    1. Hi Barb – I use Valspar Antiquing Glaze that I buy at Lowes. It is in a small jar. I rub it on before waxing and then quickly remove it. Then I add clear wax and buff. I have heard of others using shoe polish, but I have never used it myself. I think it will work. Try mixing it into clear wax and then put it on a small spot or scrap piece of wood to see. Use the clear wax first and then add dark mix over top. The bottom layer of clear wax allows you to move the dark wax where you want it. Annie Sloan and Fiddes & Sons both sell dark waxes, if the shoe polish dies not give you the look you are after.

  171. Why would you not use chalk paint on trim in your home?
    It seems like it would be a good product for this purpose. I have only used the Annie Sloan paint and really like it. It covers very well.

    1. Hi Jane – The only reason I would not use chalk paint for trim is that you would have to add a layer or two of wax and then every so often add another coat. Too much work for trim. If you want your trim to look aged and distressed, then it is fine to do. I just like my trim a solid glossy or semi gloss finish.

  172. Thank you for this article and samples! I’ve just started looking into making my own chalk paint, and this is very helpful!

    Thoughts… have you tried mixing 1/2 Calcium Carbonate and 1/2 Plaster of Paris…? Maybe better coverage and less likely to harden.

    1. Hi Denise – that is a great idea. I love to experiment. I have never mixed the two, but it may work perfectly and cover pieces where the wood tannins might bleed through better. I will try it and see.

  173. I just finished painting my son’s new bed with DIY chalk paint. It turned out really well and i am really excited about it! I just put 1 application of wax on it and it really soaked in to the paint, I am wondering if I should do a few layers to get my desired sheen? Also how long does the wax have to “cure” before I can assemble the bed? ( It was a store bought piece of furniture that was white, probably mdf covered in a wood venere(sp?)) any suggestions would be great!
    i cant wait to paint more!!!

    1. Hi Jennifer –

      Happy to hear that you had success and now you want to paint more :) I have added up to 3 layers of wax on some pieces to get a nice sheen. You can put the bed back together anytime. The wax doesn’t need to cure as much as the paint does. It can take up to 30 days for chalk pant to cure, but you can use the piece – just be careful not to knock it around too much. After a few weeks the finish will be highly durable.

  174. Hello..so appreciate this..Can u tell me how you think making my own chalk paint to paint my kitchen cabinets? or would you buy Annie sloan? I think buying her paint could set me back 500 + dollars..

  175. Hi Sue,

    I would like to know if I could use the chalk paint on my bathroom and kitchen cabinets? It seems to be easier and possibly more durable than sanding and painting/staining. In addition, have you ever used a resin over any of your pieces? It would give the paint a high gloss shine, and I was wondering if it would offer better protection.

    1. Hi Diane –

      You can use chalk paint for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I would still lightly sand before painting to rough up the surface since they will get a lot of use. It will help with adhesion. Even though chalk paint needs little or no surface prep work which saves you time before painting. If you are using wax – it takes time to wax and buff after painting – so you are not going to save much on the time it takes to transform a piece of furniture. I have used resin on a few items – I covered drawer pulls with paper. You can see that post here. http://bit.ly/2HmU158

      Resin would work and produce a high quality durable shiny finish. I would just make sure to use a product that will not yellow over time that would change the look of your paint color.

      1. Thats helpful..I so love the look of chalk paint and Im dying to try painting my kitchen cupboards..and to buy Annie sloan is so pricey..To make your own chalk paint would be awesome..

      2. Thanks Sue,

        I have a specific resin I use for my hand painted tables which looks great and does not yellow. So I assume the resin would look great over the chalk paint.

  176. I’ve been mixing my own chalk paint for a while now, and finally figured out the problem with Valspar Paint. Took a lot of R&D but here is what I found out. The Valspar paint uses 2 different base formula’s, A & B. The A is used on light colors and B on Darker… the B base is a little more creamy colored and the A is a bright white. I use a lot of the sample size paints for my chalk paint business as one usually covers most pieces of furniture I cover.

    The A base clots up immediately when you mix it with Plaster of Paris. The B base turns out beautiful and you can use it again in a month and it’s the same! So now, when I need a lighter color, I ask them to change the base to “B” and I have no problems. It really doesn’t alter the color much either…
    I love Valspar paints and am so glad I finally figured out the problem…it was a mystery for a while!

    My business pages are on Facebook:
    Madelyne Anne Flea Market & Gracy Rose Boutique (there are 2 Gracy Rose pages, mine has the little girl in the tutu in the photo.

    Love your article, I use CeCe Caldwell Chalk paint sometimes, but I love how my mix goes on best, and it’s cheap.

    Also, I only use the blue carton of P of P that I get at JoAnn’s Fabrics, it is the hobby and craft version…it doesn’t have all the little chunks like the red version, and goes on much smoother.

    Sue

    1. Hi Sue – This is great to know! You have really been doing some experimenting – love that. The next time I go to JoAnn’s I will look for the blue carton of P of P. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here. I know I and other readers appreciate it – helps everyone have success.

    2. Hi Sue – Thanks for explaining the difference between the Valspar paints. I will add it to my post. I have used Ce Ce Caldwell also, but like you I like making my own mix to save money :-) I will check out the blue label PoP. Thanks for sharing what you know, it will help everyone be able to paint and create beautiful chalk painted pieces.

  177. Thank you for this very insightful article. I need more color than most of the national brands provide – not everyone wants French Provincial right?? Have also purchased from a decor store – their house brand – but, the quality is very inconsistent and is entirely too thick. Mixing today for my own use. So very appreciative.

  178. PLEASE help. I have followed directions precisely have have a distinct problem. I am using black paint and attempting to distress the natural dark wood underneath. Several problems keep arising. First, despite serious stirring and blending, I keep getting white in the black paint. I think the plaster is so small that it breaks open minute pieces as I sand. I also can’t achieve the beautiful polished look with black. Other colors don’t seem to be a problem. Have you done anything in black? Please give me any and all suggestions. Thanks for a helpful article.

    1. Hi Sherri –

      I have only done a small frame in black. It came out fine. You stated that you mixed well – Have you mixed the plaster and the water together first, then added it to the paint – then mix it all together? This helps dissolve the powder so it will blend completely into the paint. If you have an immersion mixer used to mix things right in a pot on the stove in your kitchen -this helps to mix the water and plaster well, before adding to the paint. You could also try adding boiling water to the plaster first as this may help break up the minute pieces before adding it to the paint.

      As far as the waxing. It may just be that the mixture is very chalky and you will need more layers of buffed wax to get the shine to show. I had one white piece that needed a few layers of wax until after what seemed like endless buffing I saw the shine finally come through. You may just have to add a few more layers of wax and buff very hard with a soft cloth.

      You may want to try running a damp rag over the dry paint before sanding. This may help lessen the minute white particles from surfacing when sanding. Once you remove the grit – the color should be free of the white spots showing up.

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

    1. Hi Cindy – The ingredients in the powders needed to make DIY chalk paint need to be mixed with water first – water and oil don’t mix. I think it would turn into a huge sludgy mess. If you like to experiment and have the paint on hand – you could try mixing a little bit and see what happens. You never know – you may create a new type of paint finish or just some sludge ;)

  180. Hi, Thanks so much for all your info! I know Annie Sloan requires her brushes. Did I miss what kind of brush to use. I will be redoing a coffee table. Thanks!

    1. hi Sharon-

      No you did not miss anything I wrote about brushes. I have heard all good things about Annie Sloan’s brushes, but I use soft rags – old t-shirts, cut up work well to apply and buff the wax and angled Purdy brushes to apply the paint. You can get Purdy brushes at any hardware, paint, or home improvement store.

  181. Hi there, I found crushed oyster shell (50 lb bag) for 14.99. It is the only kind of calcium carbonate we can find here in OK. I bought it a feedstore. You might try somewhere like that. The calcuim carbonate “NOW” brand that you can purchase at a health food store is in supplement form for people to ingest; the powder form we have is to add to your soil or mix in animal feed. Hope this helps.

  182. Great info and very timely for me….starting a project. Can you tell me what is the largest amount of chalk paint you have made using the calcium carbonate? I would like about a total gallon of finished paint, now trying to think of the best way to mix it. Pour into what to do the mixing? Use a mixing tool on end of drill? I’m sure the answer is obvious but I can’t see it.

    1. The largest amount of DIY chalk paint I have made is a quart. It goes a long way. I mix it in large plastic Folgers Coffee containers – they have airtight lids. ( 8 Tablespoons are needed to make a quart) {If you want to make a gallon you will need (4 qts to a gallon) 4 x 8 = 32.} You will need 32 Tablespoons or 2 cups of Calcium Carbonate Powder. Maybe mix a cup at a time with water and add to the paint. Stir well and then add the second cup. I would use a bucket to mix in. Once it is mixed, then you can transfer it two smaller airtight containers.

  183. I have tried all of the above methods as well and agree with what you wrote. I saw a new recipe that intrigued me using 1:1 ratio of gesso and latex paint and wondered if you heard of it. It is my understanding that gesso is calcium carbonate and also a binding agent and was intrigued. I have also heard of people using baking soda, but that doesn’t appeal to me at all. Too gritty.

    1. Hi Jessie – I have some Gesso in my basement – I will give it a try. I have never used baking soda and agree that it would be a very gritty mixture.

  184. This is a great post Diane. I just spent the weekend making my own chalk paint (I used plaster of paris) and started painting a hutch at my cottage. I haven’t finished yet and I’m thinking I need to add more plaster to the paint as it wasn’t covering very well. However, it is going over a very dark and old stained finish and now I’m wishing I had sanded it slightly before painting. However, the real issue is likely the paint which is left over builder’s paint, so I’m thinking the paint is not good quality :(

    1. Hi Lisa – It can never hurt to go over any piece with a block of medium grit sandpaper to rough it up – even when using chalk paint. It will only help with adhesion and only takes a few minutes. Builder grade paint is the worst – very thin. No money is saved as you need to apply more coats of it to get good coverage. I would let what you have painted dry and then sand over it lightly. If it comes up, then sand it off until the paint is smooth. I would get new paint – Satin finish always works well for me, but don’t use Valspar as it has a primer in it and gets too thick when making DIY chalk paint mixes.

      I have found when I work with dark pieces – adding a little extra P of Paris to the mix helps block out the wood tannins and dark finishes from coming through the paint color.

      1. Yes I should have sanded it slightly as I have done that with other chalk painted pieces, live and learn. And I will be purchasing new paint to finish it off next time I’m at the cottage. Thanks for all the advice Diane!

  185. Thank you so much for all your information on chalk paint! I’m going to try the calcium carbonate recipe on come chairs – I’m sure they will turn out great! I have this linked to my post on chalk paint as well today, thanks again for the permission to use your photo too!!

  186. You gave me the information I needed to begin chalk painting. I have tried POP and ordered calcium carbonate.
    With some OOPS paint I painted an old weathered 3 shelf stand I will now keep and a couple of small wooden shelves I had put out to go to GoodWill. They will still go but are much more appealing in their current state. After multiple wooden knick knacks to practice I have just finished a spindle bench my husband made from an old headboard/footboard. I am working up to a cabinet and dining set. Thanks for doing the leg work needed to give me confidence to do this without the investment of ASCP.

  187. I was really happy to find this homemade recipe for chalk paint. I brought home a table today, and was too impatient to wait until tomorrow to drive to the other side of town to buy ASCP. But, I kinda had a different experience with the Calcium Carbonate formula. I had a fantastic, warm tomato red paint to begin with. Once I added the Calcium slurry, guess what? My red turned to salmon. Pink. Much too pink for me. I might try a tinted Briwax on top to see if it tones it back down. Maybe this is just a problem with reds?

    1. Hi Michelle – I have not had any color changes in the paints I have mixed, but I have not used red paint. I think you are right, it is the red pigments in the paint. They are different from other color pigments. Thanks for taking the time to share your DIY Chalk paint experience. The more we all know the better the outcome for all of us. :)

  188. Could I use benjamin moore chalk paint? Will I get the same result? I bought Renaissance wax to finish my armoire.
    And if I have to mix it myself will the plaster of Paris lighten my paint color(blood red)?
    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Caroline –
      I have used Valspar chalk board paint, but not Ben Moore. One of my other readers used it and liked the results. I found it is not much different. Craft store chalk paint will not work. It is not the same. My colors have never changed when adding Plaster of Paris, but red has some different pigments and could. I would test it out. Pour a half cup of paint in a mixing can and mix a 1 Tablespoon of POP with water first and stir it well, then add to the paint and see if the color changes.

  189. Hi Diane,
    Great site! Wondering if you can help me with a table top? After 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of black latex paint and 72 hours, I have the rubbery finish you mentioned earlier. The tutorial I have says to finish it off with 2 coats of paste wax. I’m a bit concerned, because not only do I have the rubbery finish, but I am also hearing that little sticking sound when you pick something up from the table. No paint is coming off, but I’m afraid the wax might turn my table top into a hot mess! Any advice?

    1. Hi Kay – Sometimes depending on the paint – the sticking sound will eventually go away after the paint is fully cured, but it may not. That is the trouble with latex. Wax may not penetrate the latex surface if it is a semi-gloss finish, you may want to use Polycrylic. It is a non-yellowing water based polyurethane by Minwax. Applying 2 coats will work well over latex and protect your table top and remove the sticking sound. I would let the paint cure for a few more days and then proceed. It you live in a humid area, it may take longer to cure. If you want to try the wax, try it on a small section or underneath to see if it penetrates the finish. If it doesn’t you should use the Polycrylic.

  190. Hey Diane, I just thought of another idea for you on the calcium carbonate chalk paint. You said you may try mixing the calcium carbonate with the plaster-of-paris to help the tanins from bleeding thru. I wonder if you would still have a little of the grit that seems to come with the plaster-of-paris? Have you ever tried mixing the calcium carbonate with the latex paint with primer—-you know the paint that comes with primer already mixed into it? When buying quarts, I always buy the Valspar paint-with-primer at Lowes. The sample pots at Lowes do not have the primer already built in, but I believe that you can get $3 or $4 sample pots at Home Depot in the paint-plus-primer. That may help a little with both adhesion AND with stopping the bleed-thru when mixed with the calcium carbonate. That might help you with the bleed-thru withOUT the gritty plaster-of-paris:)

    1. Thanks for sharing your idea MK – I have not had luck with the paint and primer in one formulas. When I have tried – the paint hardens right away. I think the primer ingredients don’t mix with the the grout or plaster. I have not tried it with Calcium Carbonate yet, but will experiment with it and see what happens.

      1. Yes, would love to know your experience if you get a chance to try it with the CC. I bought a gallon of OLYMPIC Satin Paint-Plus-Primer b/c it was on the Oops Rack for $5! Lovely gray color so I had to have it. I used your plaster-of-paris recipe & painted 2 night stands, then used black antiquing glaze for crevices. It worked so well that I had the same Olympic Paint-Plus-Primer mixed up in a warm Cream & used the same plaster chalkpaint recipe to paint another night stand. On both projects, I didn’t notice the paint hardening up right away. I did get the gritty finish once the paint dried. I stored the paint in a plastic container with lid, and I did notice that when I used it the NEXT day for touchups, it had some hard chunks in it, but with stirring I was able to still use the paint and avoid or pull out the chunks. From comments by others, i wonder if these are typical with the plaster of paris recipe? I am definitely going to try the calcuim carbonate with paint-plus-primer but will mix up only a tiny bit for starters in case it does not work. Let us know how yours turns out if you try it too!!!!

  191. Thank you for the wonderful information! My next project is a porch swing. I have read NOT to wax out door projects. I would like to make my own chalk paint. Will it stand up to the elements with out the wax protection? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Christy – I have not painted anything outdoors with chalk paint, so I cannot tell you from my experience, but other readers have told me that it holds up beautifully. They are quite pleased with the results.

  192. Hi Diane,
    Thank you for this great info on chalk paint.
    I could use your opinion on an upcoming project-
    We have just purchased a fixer-upper cabin on a lake. The narrow, steep stairs are just 2 x 10 boards for the treads and risers, painted a flat brown. I want to paint each riser a different color, and finish them to look like a stack of old books. (I know it sounds strange, but I saw it done on Pinterest and it’s really charming.)
    Here’s my question- Would chalk paint be a good choice for the paint or do you think something else might wear better on stairs?

    1. Hi Janice –

      Chalk paint would wear OK and would age nicely. The only problem I can see is that since chalk paint is flat – you will see every scuff mark and footprint and not be able to clean them off without scrubbing. If you wax over the chalk paint as is done with furniture – the stairs would be very slippery. I would use water based non yellowing polyurethane over it. Minwax and Zinseer both make one. It would protect the paint and not be slippery. You could also use Porch and Floor Enamel, it is made for floors – no poly finish needed, but you have to buy it in gallon cans – may be too much of each color since you want a few colors to create the books.

  193. I don’t know why I didn’t see this when you first posted it. SO GLAD for you to do the testing/comparing so I don’t have to! I have loved the ASPC sample pots I have splurged on, but there is no way I can justify that expense on a regular basis. I have used the plaster-of-paris DIY chalk paint with good results on the end product, but I felt that the time I spent sanding between each coat to get rid of the gritty feel might have outweighed the time savings of not needing to sand or prime. For these reasons I was delighted to read recently of the Webster’s product as it was described as smooth/easy to mix AND a big cost savings over other chalk paints. However, the cost per cup that they use seems to be asssuming that you are using $3 sample pots or using up leftover paint you already have on hand (thus “free” paint plus the cost of the Webster’s). When I factor in the price of a moderate-quality quart of paint (at least $15) plus the Webster’s plus the shipping charge, it is really only $5 to $8 less per quart than ASPC. I was really disappointed w/that b/c I had gotten the impression that it was significantly cheaper. So my takeaway is that when I don’t mind spending extra $$ & really need/want convenience & silky smooth texture, I will spring for ASPC. And when trying to save some money, I will just make my own from plaster-of-paris. Saving only $8 per quart is just not enough to motivate me to go to the trouble/expense of ordering the Webster’s online. It is a great idea, and if they can get their production costs down enough to either lower the price or provide a bigger bag for the same price then I would reconsider…..

    1. Hi MK – I agree with you about the price of Websters, plus the cost of the paint. If you want to make a qt of smooth chalk paint for less, go to your local health food store and buy Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is super smooth. The normal price for the bottle is around $10, but if you can get it on sale – buy a few at time. This is what I did. I bought it on sale for half price. If I had to guess, I think Webster’s and Blue Minerals is simply Calcium Carbonate Powder or something very similar.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I will definitely try the calcium carbonate powder the next time I want to use chalk paint. I just bought a quart of satin paint at Lowes & it was slightly over $15 plus tax, so around $16 total. If I were to add the price of Webster’s plus S/H, I would be awfully close to the price of ASPC. Yes I can get any color I want by mixing my own, and yes I can even do 4 DIFFERENT colors if I use different sample pots of paint, but I would honestly be looking for a bigger cost savings before buying the Webster’s since it is at least similar to the plaster of paris I have used & perhaps even more similar to the calcium carbonate. Some people stretch their ASPC and create new colors at the same time by mixing the ASPC with a flat or satin latex. I have heard that as long as you don’t use any more than 50% latex that it adheres well. Maybe that can be your next experiment:) I am in love with your blog & especially with your comparisons of the different paints!!!!!!

  194. Hi Diane
    So glad I came across your blog. I tried the plaster of paris mix using cloud white latex on a shelf and a dresser. It looked great until I waxed it. I bough the only wax from the Home Depot – Minwax – and not my piece looks less like cloud white and more like a dull white with a yellow tinge.

    Do you think it would be worth lightly sanding and doing one more coat with the chalk paint? And then waxing with the Johnson’s? Or is this common with painting with white chalk paint?
    Thanks!
    Jen

    1. Hi Jen – On the very first piece I ever chalk painted – I used Minwax and had the same problem. It was over white paint. I wrote about what happened in that post and do not use Minwax anymore.

      For the cost and ease to find locally- is Johnson’s Clear Paste Wax. It is in a yellow can. You can buy it in the cleaning supply product aisle at Lowes for $5.00. I have never been disappointed with it. It does have a stronger smell, but it works well. I have tried other more expensive clear waxes – Fiddes & Sons and Briwax. They are both very nice waxes. If cost were not a factor – Fiddes and Sons is my favorite, but Johnson’s is my go-to wax.

      Your piece will turn out fine. I found the harder I buffed, the orange/yellow tone went away a little bit more, but if it does not you can sand over it and repaint in areas that look yellow. You first might want to try applying a light coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax over it. Try it on a small area. When I did this, it acted like a cleaner in a way – grabbing some of the orange/yellow coat of wax – making it easier to remove the orange/yellow tone. I also rubbed sandpaper (fine to med grit) over the surface to remove the orange tone in the corners and crevices and then painted right over the waxed areas with more chalk paint. When you don’t see anymore yellow tinge – then apply the Johnson’s over it. With a little more work, you will get the look you are after.

  195. Hi, Love your blogs! Such great information on the “How Toos”! I’m hoping to get your input on my project. I recently purchased a 42″ pedestal dining table w/8 chairs that at present are painted black with paint missing, showing a glossy pine finish. Chairs are of pine some painted and some not. I did purchase milk paint powder and the bonding agent at Old Fashioned Milk Paint thinking to use it on the set but then read you blog and thought maybe Chalk would be better. Its such a large project that I want to do it the cheapest way possible. would appreciate you advice as to which is best. I am hoping to paint with a sprayer if possible. Help! Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne – Milk paint and chalk paint are two different types of paint. Milk paint is a bit more transparent and will look chippy after time if you don’t use the bonding agent. Chalk paint is more opaque and has more sticking power even after you distress the finish. I have only used a premix milk paint once, but not the powder type. I would consider what type of finish you want the table and chairs to have – then choose which way to go. Since you already bought the milk paint, I do not see any reason not to use it. It will provide beautiful color. I know you can use both in a sprayer. If you are going to use DIY chalk paint in a sprayer – I would use the Calcium Carbonate recipe as it is the smoothest.

  196. Hi Diane

    Love your work and tests. They’re very useful, and I’m starting my own chalk paint adventure this weekend :-)

    I was wondering though. At the danish retailers website is says, that the “new” Annie Sloan “Old White” is made from a mixture of chalk and gesso, which you can make yourself also.

    The gesso are supposively made from a mixture of white glue, Plaster of Paris, or something similar, and ordinary latex or acrylic paint.

    Al mixed together, chalk, gesso and paint, should make the “Old White” by Annie Sloan.

    Do you have any experience with that kind of mixture as well?

    :-) Thank you for your inspirational work.
    Diana (Denmark)

    1. Hi Diana – I have heard of using Gesso in DIY mixes, but I have not tried it myself. One of the main ingredients in Gesso is Calcium Carbonate, so it should work. I think the reason it is not used more here in the states is that Gesso is expensive.

  197. Hi Diane..very interesting blog…thanks for the advice! I am thinking of painting my front door (outside) with chalk paint. I already painted it last year with glossy exterior paint. I find it too shiny so would like something flatter. I will sand it lightly first but Im wondering about what to finish it with so the chalk paint won’t wash/fade away?
    Thanks :)

  198. Hi Diane, Thank you so much for sharing your knowledege with us! I was wondering if you have heard of or used Blue Minerals Chalk Powder? I recently discovered it and was on their website and was scared when I read that Plaster of Paris can be toxic and cause cancer. Do you or anyone out there know anything about this? I really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Silvia – I just checked out Blue Minerals. It sounds like the same thing as Websters Chalk Paint Powder – which I think is just Calcium Carbonate Powder. You can find the DIY Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe here: http://bit.ly/2HkVKrI It is the most natural of all the DIY recipes as it is sold at the health food store for bone health. You mix it into water and drink it – so it is not toxic. I have never heard negative things about Plaster of Paris – only Lime. Lime is used in some DIY chalk paint recipes.I tried it and didn’t like it at all. I painted this piece with the Calcium Carbonate Powder: http://bit.ly/2HlGj2C

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

    1. Hi Rachel – I have not done any exterior painting with chalk paint, but I have read where it works when used outside on doors and outdoor furniture. It never hurts to prepare the surface by going over it with a sanding block so the paint has something to hold on to. Other then sanding, there is nothing to do differently. You would not want to use wax – as it would melt outside from the heat of the sun.

      1. [I am just beginning to explore chalk paint, but I tried to visit a local store that sells CeCeCaldwell’s chalk paint but they seem always closed. So, DIY’er as I am, I almost immediately wondered if I could mix my own. Love your blog, can’t wait to explore more, am passing the link to friends, and I truly appreciate you sharing your research with the rest of us DIY’s! THANKS!]

        First question here — I’m surprised about the advice to not use wax on exterior chalk paints in the sun. After all, we wax our cars and buff them, and those waxed surfaces don’t bleed wax or lose their durability — in fact, the wax is what protects the auto’s paint. Is this wax different? Maybe we should be looking at auto waxes?

        Sign me “Clueless — or Curious — About Wax Melting,” lol.

        1. Hi Soose – The wax they use on cars is different – it is a harder wax with more Carnauba wax in it. The wax used with chalk paint is soft wax. It has more Beeswax in it. Thanks for exploring my site and telling your friends. XO

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

    1. Hi Mary – you can use chalk paint on anything. If your refrigerator is sealed well and does not have any condensation issues appear on the door – the chalk paint will hold up fine. For the dishwasher be sure no steam makes the door hot. If the door gets hot, you may not want to use wax – use Polycrylic. If you are not going to distress the finish – priming is always a good thing. One light coat rolled on would help adhesion. After painting – it may take up to 30 days for the finish to cure, so if you see a section that doesn’t look like it is adhered, it may just take a week or two.

  201. Thank you for this wealth of information on Chalk Paint.
    I am going to use a DIY chalk paint in flat black to refinish a desk. I want to stencil a few areas in high glass black. Can you tell me the best way to protect my furniture without adding any shine to the flat chalk paint? I want the black stencil to stand out. =)

  202. Hi! I’m thinking of using this on a metal surface where I work so that customers can sign their name or leave comments of some sort, would the metal surface affect the paint at all?

  203. I have an old dresser i bought two years ago and bought annie sloan paint as well. I have done nothing withit so far. It is veneered walnut and has a bit of that lizardy or whatever that dried out texture old furniture gets. Do you think i wold need to sand it all down first? I dont want it to look pebbled because of the finish. Also i read somewhere that the stain might bleed through. When i wiped and cleaned it the stain did come off on the rag.

    1. Hi Linda – I know the type of surface you are talking about. A fireplace mantel I have used to look just the way you describe your dresser. You are going to have to strip it or sand it smooth. It is the only way to get a nice finish when you paint. Once you bring out the bare wood, the tannins may be released, even on old wood. You can try a bit of chalk paint on it once it is sanded. Let it dry and see if it turns a browny orange. If it does, apply one coat of Zinseer Clear Shellac. Let it dry, then use chalk paint. If you are not going to distress the piece, you can use stain blocking primer that is white in color. You would not want to use this if distressing though – as the white color would show when you distress to the bare wood.

  204. Hello-I just have a question! I am wanting to paint my kitchen table but I am unsure if chalk paint would be my best option. My table is used for all things.. eating, homework, school and craft projects, etc. My question is, would the chalk paint stand up to all this abuse? I was also considering a stain for the top and the chalk paint for the legs? What about the chairs, do you think it would be a durable option for them? Thanks so much for your advice!

    1. Chalk paint needs to be sealed -either with paste wax or polyurethane. It will hold up the same as latex would, maybe even better. For a highly used table, I would use Polyurethane, not wax. Polycrylic is a good non-yellowing water based one to use. If you want a very durable paint – use a latex enamel paint. You would still need to add a coat or two of polyurethane over it to protect it. Staining the top and painting the legs and chairs would be a great option. My kitchen chairs have been painted many different colors. The paint holds up great if you prepare the surface correctly and use more light coats instead of one heavy one.

  205. Thank you so much for this comparison post. I have been so tempted to use chalk paint in my d.I.Y projects but have been so confused by all the different receipts for it online. Have you ever tried using baking powder? I’ve seen it in a few places but I don’t sew that you have mentioned it. Just in case you have never herd of it…1 cup latex paint and 1/4 cup baking soda. If you get a chance to test it out please let me know what you think.

    1. Hi Maggie – I will test it out on my next piece and get back to you. I like Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate the best. They mix up the easiest with no clumping.

  206. Would this work on stairs? i have removed old carpet from the stairs in my home and now i’m not sure how i want to cover them. Chalk paint sounds like something i would try but not sure it will be durable enough.

    1. You could paint anything with chalk paint, it is how you protect it that would matter when using on stairs. Chalk paint alone has a flat finish that would mark up from footprints, etc very fast. You would have to use non-yellowing polyurethane over the paint to protect it. 2- 3 light coats at least to make it durable. Buffed wax on steps would be a safety issue – way too slippery. Chalk paint takes time to cure – up to 30 days until it is durable.

      If you want to paint the steps in a basic paint color – I would suggest painting them with Porch & Floor enamel paint that is made for exteriors. This would hold up well and no need to put a protective finish on it – as it already has one built in. The only negative – it only comes in certain colors.

  207. My husband and I painted our very first chalk paint pieces yesterday: 50-year old end tables passed along to us by my parents when we first married in 1972. They needed the help, lol. Today we rubbed in the wax (2 coats so far) and tomorrow I am going to buff them again. We used ASCP Graphite, but I can’t afford that again – I was so happy to read this post about making my own! Thank you so much for sharing your research.

  208. Hi Diane,

    Im an avid painter from South Africa where Annie Sloane is NOT available in any shape or form! So I have been so delighted to find your blog and have now for a couple of weeks been using the plaster of paris mix on all my projects. Only one BIG problem. Coloured paints work beautifully. The minute I mix WHITE latex paint with the POP mix… it curdles. I have mixed it with an electric mixer and land up with mousse paint! HELP!!! have you experienced any similar? The consistency is thick and very chalky, completely different to the result I had with grey, blue etc. I have asked the supplier if they could help, but since chalkpaint is not commonly known about here, I have had no joy.
    Love your blog btw! so very helpful to us gals the other side of the world!

    1. Hi Eve – Strange that only white does that for you. I have had some mixes bind up, especially when using Valspar paint, but not just white. Is the white latex a latex/primer combo paint? That will always bind. The best thing to do is to try Calcium Carbonate Powder. I have made quite a few mixes with it and none of them became thick. It is sold at health food stores for about $6 for a 12 oz jar. Make sure you get the powder not the tablets. They do sell it on Amazon, too. Not sure if you read it, but I wrote a post about using it here: http://bit.ly/2HkVKrI

      1. Thanks Diane for the advise!
        I tried another paint brand, it came out beautifully!
        I also bought calcium carbonate powder and love the finish it gave.
        Apparently Annie Sloan paints are being released here in the next few months, so I am thrilled to be ahead of the game!! :)

        thanks again, will send a pic of the finished piece!

    2. Hi Eve and Diane

      I am also from South Africa and Annie Sloan has been released about a month or two ago. I am so very intrigued with chalk paint and was even happier when I read that there are ways to make your own chalk paint.
      I have bought plaster of paris as well as the calcium carbonate. I bought my paint as well, but now I have read that that on some blogs they advised latex paint and then on other blogs they advise paint without acrylic. I bought a polyacrylic paint now which is quite thick. Should I water it down a bit or just mix the calciun carbonate with that as it is? I want to paint a baby cot. The paint is lead free. Also I decided to buy an antique wax to polish and seal it with as well as a liquid wax. Any take on the liquid wax? As I don’t know any of the products you speak about, I have to figure out other substitutes to use. Unfortunitely for us, we cannot order from amason anymore so had to make alternative plans. Annie Sloan also very expensive here and will only buy that in exstreme cases.
      I would really appreciate it if you can give some help and advise at what products you use at present, Eve so we can get some ideas of which products to use here in Sa.
      Thank you for your blogs, Diane. Much appreciated. Just very enquisative to find out whether you have used the plaster of paris and calsium carbonate together in a mixture as you said you were going to do.
      Thank you

  209. I love your comparisons. Ive been making my own chalk paint from Glidden latex paint and plaster of paris. I buy most of my paint at my local hardware store in gallons of mis matched paint. ususally 3 bucks a gallon, I get white blends and grey blends as much as I can. I get quart sized bottles of paint colorant for 3 bucks. I try to get primary colors so I can mix my own colors. I recently bought red iron oxide and brown iron oxide, what wonderful colors they make! One thing I do to make my paint last is use large mason jars . I blend my palster of paris 1/2 cup with 1/2 cup hot water, then take 1 1/2 cups of paint and use a drill end paint mixer, pour the plaster mix in very slowly and mix in a plastic container for about 3 minutes. I use fine mesh and a canning funnel to pour the paint into canning jars and store them. The mesh keeps out any small lumps that were missed through my 3 minute mix process. wash all the equipment afterwards. When I’m ready t0 paint I just pour a bit of the colorant into the amount of paint I need , mix it up and paint away! That way I have no waste. Oh, I use grey paint for the darker colors and white paint for the lighter colors. I do write down the amounts on recipe cards so I can remake the exact color if I need to.

  210. I have learned a huge amount about using chalk paint, as a newcomer to this method of upcycling old stuff I am thrilled. I live in UK but have a house in France where the chalk paint finish is ideal for the style I want to achieve. I brought a can of ASCP from UK but will now have a go at DYI paint. Thank you for your wisdom. Jean

  211. I have a house full of hardwood floors in various states of finish. Most have very old stain or simply bare wood that has been walked on for 100 years. We want to paint them and a friend suggested Chalk paint. I have two questions. 1) Is it possible to use dark wood tone colors? All the Chalk painted items I have sen were pale or other colors. 2) Will the DIY chalk paints work on a floor as well as Annie Sloan’s?

    1. Hi Mary –

      I would not use Chalk paint on a floor unless you are going to seal it with many coats of polyurethane. Chalk paint is thin when applied. It has a very chalky easy to sand finish. It would wear way too fast on a floor. If you wanted an aged looking floor where there is some wood peeking through – you could use it, but you would need at least 2 – 3 coats of polyurethane to protect it. If I was painting a floor, I would only use paint made for floors. Most paint companies make a Porch and Floor enamel. It provides a tough and durable finish. That is what I would suggest you use. It only comes in a handful of colors, but they are pretty common flooring colors, so I think you would find a color you like.

      Chalk paint can be made any color you desire – that is one reason to make your own. Brand names only come in certain colors. I have found the DIY versions work exactly the same way as the brand name chalk paints.

      1. My friend is a professional faux painter and uses a clear coat that she says would work over the chalk paint. I don’t know the name of it. I will ask. My floors are not in great shape and the regular paint would require more prep than we can do. Also, we don’t have the ability to take the week or two required off the floors with regular paint. That’s why she suggested chalk paint.

  212. Can you add colors to any of this paint to change the color? I like the Annie Sloan paint, but it doesnt have enough primary colors that I need. Thanks for your reply !
    Terri

    1. Hi Terri – Yes! that is what makes it so great. You can make the paint any color you want. I have made it using many colors. If you follow this link you will see all the projects I have done using DIY Chalk paint using many colors. http://bit.ly/2HndSRO

  213. Thanks for such great details. I’ve been wanting to try this and filling my head with ideas – thank you for putting the execution path in order for me! I think you should work for Consumer Reports “Craft Edition” : )

  214. Hi, thanks so much for this tutorial. I wen to the health food store to get the calcium carbonate and was given Dolomite instead for free because it was expired! It says that it is Calcium as calcium carbonate from Dolomite powder. I hope it is ok. Anyway I tried it and it leaves a pretty sandy finish on the first coat. Does it get smoother on the second coat with the calcium carbonate? Also, I like your idea of using the Valspar Antiquing glaze, but I am curious of it will be hard to wipe off of the flat finish if you use too much. I already have an amber wax from Maison Blanche, but it is almost clear so I thought I would use that over the dark glaze at the end. I have been researching endlessly online and just want to make sure I am doing it right! Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Fanny –
      I am not sure if Dolamite has the same properties as Calcium Carbonate Powder or not. I did a Google search to see if I could find out any info. All I could find was that 95% of companies call it Dolamite Powder so it may be the same. It should not be sandy at all. The calcium carbonate powder I used is super fine and mixed up very smooth so there could be a difference between the two. I would lightly sand the surface in between coats and use a tack cloth to clean the surface before adding the next coat. This will ensure you get a smooth finish.

      If you add too much of the dark Valspar glaze, you can quickly wipe it off with a wet rag and reapply it. On a few items, I like how it looked after I wiped it with the wet rag. Every piece will take the glaze differently. Can you test it out first on a small area on the back first to see how it goes on? You could also mix a little bit of it into clear wax and then apply them as one. If you really want to control the color. You should first use a light layer of clear wax, then add the dark wax after it.

      1. Thanks Diane! I am going to go get the actual calcium carbonate instead and see if it makes a difference. I like your idea of mixing the glaze with the wax. I will probably try that. I am grateful for your response and all of your information on this site.

  215. If a wax finish is applied, how does one repaint later? Does the wax have to be stripped? If so, this could be an argument for the waterborne urethane. Please advise, and thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jenni –

      If you are using chalk paint again – you can just paint right over the wax. If you are going to use a latex, I would sand the finish to rough it up a bit or use a clear shellac over it before painting again. Water based urethane or poly works well and can be used in place of the wax. Repainting even over poly you would still need to rough up the poly with sandpaper before painting – so it is work either way :) Maybe someday some wonderful company will come up with a magic formula that will allow us paint over anything without any prep of any kind.

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

  217. Hi Diane,

    I made up some chalk paint with POP bit gritty ( probably my mixing..lol , hubby is going to get a paddle for his drill !!) anyway I did have to put three coats on a table Im doing. The reason for the third coat was because I used a varnish and it actually took some off the paint off. I have a Fiddes hard wax oil that I used on a jewelery box that I had chalk painted and that worked pretty well ( Like a varnish )
    I also used the Varnish on a plaque and that was not too bad. I went to find some wax today and almost picked up some that was £14 but i put it back and decided to see if my local shop had some Briwax and they did and it was cheaper!! £9.99. So my plans when the weather gets a bit better is to wax the table with the briwax so will let you know how it goes. I had been googling about using Briwax on chalk painted items
    and had not found much except one saying dont use it on painted things.
    Im so pleased to have found your blog as its been so helpful to me and given me the confidence to do this new hobby… I LOVE it.
    Cant wait to get my table finished as I plan to do a possible transfer on it but see how things go with the wax.
    Jilly

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

    1. Hi Donna –
      Yes, I have used Plaster of Paris. I wrote about it in the first chalk paint review I did. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/2HnlIL9

      I have tried quite a few of the DIY recipes. They all work well, The non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris can harden if you make a big batch. I use them when making a small batch for small items. I like using the Plaster of Paris or the Calcium Carbonate Powder when painting large pieces.

      I haven’t tried FAT paint. Will have to look that one up.

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

  219. I recently painted and waxed a beautiful old bookcase with Annie Sloane paint and wax. I really don’t like the color. Can I paint over this waxed piece or do I have to sand it. I can’t find this mentioned anywhere. Surely somebody has changed their mind and wants to repaint. Thanks for any information.

    1. Hi Sally –

      I have not painted over any of my pieces, but according to the Annie Sloan web site – you can paint right over the wax as chalk paint will stick to anything. To help with adhesion, it is always good to at least run a sanding block over the surface to rough it up a bit – a few minutes will do. Clean it off and then repaint. The only negative by not sanding it down is that you will have more paint layers. This might effect how a cabinet door closes. One other thing to consider is that if you are going to distress the piece with sandpaper after you apply the new color, the first color will show up in the areas that are distressed. It may not be the look you are after seeing both colors.

  220. Another question, my daughter had a lady paint a large piece of furniture for her, it is beautiful but looks rather dull and the finish is not real smooth like I would like. I am thinking about doing a bed but would like more shine and a smoother finish. Could I use gloss paint with plaster of paris for more shine and then go over with a non yellowing polyurethane?

    1. Hi Mary –
      I have never used high gloss paint to make chalk paint – only flat, stain, and semi-gloss. When you mix in the Chalk component – Calcium Carbonate Powder, Plaster of Paris, etc the paint will become chalk like and flat. The high gloss finish will be lost. The best way to get a shine on chalk paint is using the clear wax or a Gloss non-yellowing poly. Don’t use a Satin finish poly. If you use wax, when it is buffed, it comes up to a high gloss shine. The more you buff and more shine.

  221. Very helpful post. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and will be back for more! I’ve used DIY chalk paint for months and love it. Both the Webster’s and calcium carbonate versions work well for me. I’ve also used paste shoe polish to “age” some of my pieces before waxing and have mixed acrylic metallic artist’s paints into my paints to achieve a more shimmery look.

  222. I too would like to thank you! We’ve been chalk painting with homemade recipes for a while, and are always bummed out at the paint hardening up on us. Excited to give the cc a try.

    1. Hi Sharon – I have never done it, but on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint site, it mentions that you can paint right over the wax as the paint will stick to anything. I would still go over the surface with a light sanding and clean it well, before painting over with another color of chalk paint.

  223. I can’t wait to try this paint recipe! I love chalk and milk paint finishes, and am hoping to use one of these on an antique armoire. If you get a chance, TRY THE BRIWAX! I’ve used it for years on antiques, raw wood, and milk-based paints, and it is gorgeous. It is very soft and easier to apply than the Johnson’s paste wax (though I like Johnson’s just fine), and buffs up just beautifully. BRIWAX is by far my favorite wax on the market, though a bit pricey at somewhere between $14 and $18. Worth every penny!

    1. Where do u get briwax? Will chalk paint stain well. I was thinking of using chalk paint and buying wood stain like minwax to put over it but I don’t know if it will soak in the paint and will I be able to move it around and leave most of it in the crevises for the antique look

      1. Hi Mary-
        I have not used Briwax yet, but it is going to be my next wax purchase. If you can’t find it in your area – you can order it through Amazon.com. I have read that you can add colorant to clear wax to create your own colored waxes – stain might work fine when mixed into clear wax (Briwax, Johnsons) to make your own dark wax. I would test it out first right on top of the chalk paint to see how it absorbs.

        I use Antique stain made by Valpar that I buy at Lowes to add color to the cracks and crevices of the pieces I have done. It is a bit thicker than the Minwax stains sold in the can. I wipe it on top of the dry chalk paint coat and move it around and wipe most of it off. It darkens the paint a bit and stays in all the crevices. It has a runny gel consistency to it, it is not watery like wood stain. Minwax sells gel stains now, so you might want to try one of them. They come in white tubes.

        You can also use Dark Wax. Annie Sloan, Ce Ce Caldwells, and Fiddes & Sons all sell dark wax, as well as clear wax. You would apply dark wax over a coat of clear wax to create the look you are after.

    2. Hi Lenora – I am going to buy a can of Briwax soon. I have never used it and am looking forward to it as I have heard many good things. Thanks for sharing how well it works. Even at $14 – $18 dollars it is still less expensive than the chalk paint brands.

  224. I bought a beautiful old coffee table with lots of carvings on the legs, it is dark wood. Which chalk paint recipe would u recommend I use for my first piece. Also can I roll it on the top, I don’t like brush marks. Will it roll on smoothly and since it is dark wood and I am doing it in a lighter color do I just sand lightly to get the dark antique look on the carvings on the legs after painting it? Can I paint it with 2 coats?

    1. Hi Mary – If you want to roll the paint on – use the Calcium Carbonate recipe. I rolled this on to a piece I am currently working on. Worked great. Two coats should be plenty – I would run medium grit sandpaper over the surface quickly and then make sure the piece is clean and dry before painting. To get the dark antique look in the carvings – you could use dark wax over clear wax. Annie Sloan and Ce Ce Caldwell both sell one. I have never used it as I like to use Valspar Antiquing Glaze with a clear wax coat over it as protection. Once your paint is dry. Apply the Antiquing glaze all over the piece. Wait for a minute or two and then start to wipe it off with a cloth. The dark color will stay in the recessed areas. You can use small paint brushes and the tips of rags to remove the glaze in these areas if you get too much on.. Just keep repeating the process until you have the piece covered. Let it dry and then apply clear wax – Johnson Paste Wax over it. Buff to a shine with a soft cloth. You can see how I did this on a piece of furniture I did for my daughter.

  225. Hey there!
    I had a whole lot to say and then my PC locked up (a message from above to keep it brief, perhaps?), so here’s the short version – thank you for this amazing post on chalk paint and for being so very smart and organized. I have learned so very much!

    1. Hi Allison – thanks for taking the time to say hi. I know first hand how frustrating a locked or frozen computer can be. Mine was acting crazy about two weeks ago. It took me a few days to figure out the problem with the help from the help desk at Dell :) I hope yours gets happy again soon.

  226. Thank you for taking the time to do all the research and post the helpful information. I would like to send you a photo of a table I saw in a retail furniture store. I have an antique table that someone ruined the finish and I need to redo it and sell it. I liked the look of the new store table made to look old. I am wondering I’d the furniture company used a chalk paint and then a poly finish. I could write the furniture co but not sure that they would tell there secrets.
    May I send the 2 photos to you and where do I send?
    Thank you so much for your research.
    Respectfully,
    Betsy Cadenhead

  227. I have a question about the wax. I searched for sc johnson at my local home improvment stores and had no luck. I only found minwax. I tried the minwax but it dosen’t seem to do much. Do I need to keep layering it? With the first application I couldn’t see a change. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the minwax brand or if it was because I’m doing something wrong. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Amy – Minwax will work, I have used it on two different pieces, but it is not my favorite. You may need to add more layers. Add a thin layer of wax all around in a circular motion. Let dry a bit and then buff. Buffing will bring out the shine. If it isn’t happening – add another layer of wax and repeat. Once you have two or three layers and you have buffed it well you should see a shine, it may be subtle, but you will start to see the difference. Every mixture of the paint will absorb the wax differently. Some pieces will take more, some less wax. I hope this helps – just keep adding more wax and buff – you will be rewarded. I hope this helps. You are not doing anything wrong.

  228. I read your other chalk paint review first (I found it on a google search for chalk painting – it was how I found your blog!), so when I saw this post in which you updated your chalk paint review, I was thrilled. You make chalk paint “make sense” to me and why so many people like it other than you don’t have to prime (or sand). I am new to painting furniture, and being an ex-academic, I do lots of research before I do anything. I felt comfortable with brush-on latex, spray-painting, and now chalk-painting. I did not realize that painters who liked to antique their furniture by sanding after painting would get frustrated by latex paint because it would curl. It makes sens now – because I was not sure I wanted to antique my painted furniture. But now I have the option.

    I am so glad I found your website. It’s fabulous and I have put several of your posts into my Evernote to refer to later when I paint! And I will definitely refer your blog to others!

    Monique

  229. Wow–thank you for this (and the other one). You are always a huge wealth of knowledge AND inspiration!! Have you used the chalk paint on fake wood/veneer (think cheap-o Walmart bookcases). Would LOVE to paint over some of these—think that surface needs primer?

    1. Hi Johanna –
      You can paint over those surfaces. Chalk paint works well on the cheap-O stuff and once it is waxed and buffed it will not look so cheap-o anymore. I would run some medium grit sandpaper lightly over the surface a few times before painting just to be sure the paint has something to adhere to. If it is very shiny surface you can put Zinseer Clear Shellac over the piece first – then the chalk paint. You don’t want to use white or grey primer if you are planning to distress the piece with sandpaper. Only if the paint is white or grey. Once you sand, the primer color coat will be exposed and change the look of our piece. If you are using paint the same color as the primer – then that is OK.

      1. Hi Diane,
        I have two of these dark cherry cheapo bookcases, plus a matching 72″x72″ entertainment center. I definitely want to paint the bookcases, and primed one with white oil based Zinsser because I had planned to paint them white. Now I want to do them in chalk paint, but wonder if it’s too late because I already primed the one. Not sure I want them white now either. Would I be able to do chalk paint over the primer, possibly in a color, like light turquoise, and then maybe glaze it, too? I’m also assuming you can’t paint those cardboard backs! I’m pretty new to this, as you can tell! Thanks…

        1. Hi Paula – you can paint ANYTHING! The only problem that you could run into with the primer on the bookcase is if you paint it another color and want to distress the edges. When you distress to see the wood underneath – you will see the white primer layer under the color. IF you paint it white – no problem. If you are not planning to distress it – use chalk paint right over it. Primer is a good thing even with chalk paint. You can glaze with no problem over regular latex paint or chalk paint.

          The cardboard backdrops can be painted. Use a primer first, then a coat or two of paint. Make sure if they are stapled or nailed into the back of the bookcases that they are flat and secure in place before painting. If they are not held in – the wet paint could warp them. If you don’t want to paint them – you could cover them with new backdrops. See my post on how I made decorative ones in bookcases I have. You can find the post here: http://bit.ly/2Hn7biQ

  230. Thank you Diane for the fantastic article and all the information on using these paints. You answered many of my questions. I have been wanting to paint some pieces of furniture I have- but was overwhelmed with the choices. Now I fell I can make an educated choice on which paint to use.

  231. Wonderful post Diane! You really covered all the questions I had! Thank you for taking the time to not only compare & contrast but to put into such a useful post. I pinned it too.

    1. Thanks Kim – I enjoyed doing it. I wish science class back in high school was as much fun :) I really like the finish chalk paint provides and the way the wax brings out the depth in every piece. Thanks for pinning XO

  232. Diane,

    I wanted to say thank you for this review as well as your previous one. I have to admit I am one of those folks who loves CeCe’s paint due to the matte finish. Do I have ASCP in my collection? Most definitely! CeCe’s waxes are by far the least caustic and are great for someone who deals with asthma. As for lime…. it can be purchased at Walmart with the canning supplies. Look for pickling lime. If you have any Amish or Mennonite bulk stores nearby you can pick it up fairly inexpensive. I had planned on making French Macarons today (my birthday present to myself) but the weather is not cooperating so it looks like a wonderful day to try out some new paint recipes!! Once again thank you!!

    1. Peggy – Thank you for the information on where to get Lime. I would have never known to look there. I plan on going to Walmart later this afternoon and will look for it. Mararons sound yummy, darn the weather ;) Paint recipes are just as yummy to look at at least and when they transform our furniture in such beautiful ways!

  233. AWESOME! Everything what I was expecting to hear. Now I have all the right reason to spend this coming weekend with a blast! Thanks for sharing and I really meant it wholeheartedly…

  234. I am so impressed with all of your hard work researching this and making it so user friendly! I have yet to try chalk paint but am trying to psyche myself up to paint my 80’s china cabinet. Maybe you could do a follow up one on choosing colors for some of us timid folks!

    1. Hi Mary – If you are a bit hesitant about starting here is what you should do to gain confidence to tackle the big piece. Look around your house for something old that could be transformed with paint. If you don’t have anything – buy an old cutting board or frame at your local thrift shop, or even a piece of lumber. Buy or make up a batch of chalk paint in a favorite color and paint and wax the piece. Once it is done, place it on the china cabinet to better visualize how the color may look on the piece and in the room. If you like it, paint a bigger piece of lumber in the color and place it near the cabinet. You could even simply make a sample board of the color, but by actually painting on wood – you get a better feel how the chalk paint will look. Tiny baby steps will get you to your goal. Don’t be afraid.

  235. Diane, this is an absolutely fabulous post! Like an instruction book! What a resource. I have never used anything else but ASCP… I think I’ll try to make my own now.
    Thanks so much for this GREAT GREAT post!

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

  237. Hi Diane,
    I enjoyed this post on chalk paint. I’ve only used plaster of paris and really like it. I wanted to comment on using powdered lime for chalk paint. You must use a lot of caution with it. You must use a dust mask or other protection for your lungs. This lime powder was used years ago to mix with water and paint on tree trunks, I think to protect them as well as make them attractive (at least to some people :) ) When my husband was a teen, he mixed and painted lime powder paint on his grandparents oak trees one day. That night he became very sick with a temp. of 107 degrees and was delirious. He had to be hospitalized and packed with ice packs. The doctors think he ingested the lime powder into his lungs and caused the respiratory problem and high temp. Just wanted you to know and to be careful with it if you decide to try it. Humm….I wonder if this is why you can’t find it in powder form any more?

    1. Hi Jackie – Thank you so much for bringing this up. I truly appreciate it. I will update my post to include the caution when using it information. Another reader told me you can buy lime at Walmart where they sell canning supplies. Pickling lime – probably not as caustic. I plan to check it out. I know the Calcium Carbonate is probably the best ingredient to use since it is all natural. Thanks again for sharing what you know.

    1. HI Carla – If you have painted furniture and like the look – you are going to love the finish chalk paint and wax provide. I have painted furniture for myself and others with latex and glazes for years and have always liked the results, but chalk paint and the wax take a piece to another better level. I just love it!

  238. Hi Diane,
    Thank you for such a terrific article! My only question, and I hope I didn’t miss the answer, but which latex do you suggest….flat, satin, semi, etc., or does it matter since you will be putting wax over it buffing to a sheen? thanks again!

    1. I have this question also Diane, what is your favorite of the latex paint finishes?

      And thank you so much for giving us so much of your valuable information and expertise.

        1. Hi. I am new to chalk painting and took on a big project for my first time…my kitchen cabinets! The entire process has been a challenge. And, the more I read the more confused I get because nothing is consistent. Anyway, I used Annie Sloan paint in pure white. The color is fabulous. The paint is expensive! I needed more to do a small dresser but I made my own using Plaster of Paris and I actually love using it. My biggest intimidation is the wax and it is so much work. I wish Annie Sloan wax was on $27… in my area it is $36 which I think is outrageous. I am finally getting to my question. Have you tried using gloss or high gloss paint with a DIY recipe? My theory is that if using gloss paint, then the need for waxing may be eliminated. Thoughts? I am going to try it eventually but was wondering if you have already. I wish I would have read your blog prior to starting but the cabinets looks great. I am hoping they hold up. I have read other blogs saying that the wax on kitchen cabs is not a good idea.

          1. Hi Sibyll –

            When making your own chalk paint, it will not matter what finish of paint you use. Once you add the Plaster or Calcium Carbonate Powder the paint will turn to a flat finish. It will knock down the shine. For waxing – are you using dark or clear wax over the chalk paint? I like using Fiddes and Sons clear wax. It goes on great and buffs to a nice sheen. It runs around $20 depending on where you buy it. Amazon sells it. They also sell dark wax.

    2. Hi Charisse – You can use any finish of paint, it doesn’t matter. Once the grout, plaster, or calcium carbonate is added it will flatten the finish. The best mixture I ever made was with satin. Many use whatever Ooops paint they can find and are happy with the results. So whatever you have will work.

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

        Nicole

  239. Wow thanks for this article! I have yet to try any DIY chalk paint recipes but I’ve been thinking about it and this post really helped me out. I do have a question though – when you say that sometimes the paint will dry out or harden, do you mean the left over paint will do that so that you can’t use it again or are you talking about the paint that you put on the furniture?

    1. Hi Runt – Sometimes it hardens when you just start to mix it. It has only happened to me a few times. I find it happens with Valspar paint almost every time. It may not happen, but it might when using non-sanded grout and Plaster of Paris. If I am doing a small piece and it happens – you can still use it. It is a little harder to brush on, but once dry you will have great coverage. Go over with some fine sandpaper, then your wax – instant patina :) If you don’t want to risk losing any paint – use the Calcium Carbonate.

  240. Hi, Diane

    I so love this post. Thank you for doing the leg work and sharing. By the way, do you use a tee-shirt or a cheese cloth to apply the glaze over your piece? I see on your last pic it looks like a cheese cloth and I just wanted to know if it would be easier to use when applying a glaze. Thank you.

    1. Hi Vanessa – I use both. Sometimes it comes down to what I have on hand or easier to reach. I do like the t-shirts better. Old flannel shirts are the best, but I don’t have as many of them that I can make into rags.

        1. HI Vanessa – I get it at Lowes or Home Depot. I think it is sold in the cleaning aisle. If not there – in the paint aisle with the wood stains. I also have seen it in the supermarket.

          1. I could not find Johnson’s wax locally so I ordered it from Amazon. By the way, I like the smell. It is strong but the memories of my mom and home are stronger! She waxed our wood floors every week along as she was able. :) Enjoying my first visit to your blog.

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

    1. Hi Frani –

      I am not sure, but will find out. If you have lime already – I think I would follow the Plaster recipe. Mix of 1 part water, 1 to 2 parts lime, 3 parts latex paint.

  242. Hi Diane,
    Enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for all the wonderful information you share with us.
    My Farm Supply Store carries fine powdered lime in 2, 5 and 10 pound bags. You probably can find it where you live at any farming supply store. I find lots of fun things to play with there.

  243. Diane, Thank you for this wonderful review of chalk paint options. To date, I have only used Annie Sloan, but I love it. I’ve done the apron and legs of my farm table, the apron and legs of my kid’s size farm table and the base of a china hutch that we are converting into a wine bar. I tend to like a more rustic look, so have opted to use both the clear and dark wax and, in some instances, some pretty heavy distressing. But I have a question that I hope you can answer: I tried a sample of the white ASCP on the drawer of a cabinet, to compare the look to the latex paint I have traditionally used. The paint crackled, much like it would have had I used a crackle medium. Any clue as to why this may have happened?

    1. Hi Kathy – Sounds like you have been a busy painter. The most likely cause for a paint finish to crack the way you explain is probably because the surface was too glossy, or had some dirt or grease on it and the paint had nothing to grab on to. What you should do is sand it as smooth as you can and wash the surface with TSP. It will clean and prep the surface for painting. Re-apply the paint and let it dry. If it happens after you do this, then maybe it was the paint and it was not stirred enough and the bonding ingredients in the paint had settled to the bottom. Give it a good stir before using it.

  244. Hi Diane…
    After reading your first tutorial on DYI chalk paints I make my own with plaster of paris almost exclusively…I love it! I mix 1 part water, 2 parts plaster of paris, 3 parts latex paint…love it! I do love and adore Annie Sloan’s (over CeCe Caldwell) and would use that more if it weren’t so pricy. But I do have to say…Annie Sloan soft waxes are the best, I don’t scrimp there! Low smell factor and you can mix in chalk paint colors to tint your wax (not oil paints). At $25. a can it does last a long time and worth the cost…and there is no problem painting over it…unlike Briwax which is impossible to paint over.
    Thank you for your detailed and informative post…Denise

  245. Hi Diane
    I have some questions concerning 1) if I can use chalk paint on a fiber board bathroom cabinet?
    2) the inside of the cabinet, the paint has cracked, and come off of the fiber boards in some places, so the fibers have expanded. I am not sure as to what I can or can not do. Or if I can do anything at all at this point for the inside.
    Would it be a different treatment, perhaps using spray paint.
    What would you suggest I do for the expanded fiber?
    I really love the look of this cabinet.
    I unfortunately did not realize that it was made of such cheap material. But now I am a bit wiser.
    I really dislike throwing things out, I prefer to fix them if I can.
    Thank you for your emails, I love your wealth of knowledge.
    I so wish we were neighbors, and thus friends, I think we would have so much fun together. If you are ever visiting Montreal I would like you to come stay with us.
    Sincerely
    Marsha

    1. Hi Marsha – you can use chalk paint over fiber board. For the inside, I would use sandpaper to sand the areas that have peeled and chipped a bit to smooth them out as best you can. It may be impossible to get them flat, but it will help with the next step. I would apply Spackle or joint compound over the areas that have expanded with a putty or Spackle knife. Let it dry and then sand again. Repeat the process if necessary to cover the exposed wood. It may not be perfect, but since it is on the inside of the cabinet – it doesn’t matter as much. You can also seal exposed fiber board by painting over it with watered down wood glue. You would still need to sand it a bit to try to smooth it out first, then apply the wood glue over it. Since the cabinet is made of Mdf – I would lightly sand over the entire surface to rough up the smooth surface a bit. One or two light coats of chalk paint and then the wax – I think your cabinet will look amazing.

  246. Thank you for the information. I have found it be very helpful. I have made my own using plaster of paris and have been pleased with the results. I would like to try Annie Sloan, but the price does make me tremble a little. :) I also use Johnson wax and you are right……….it certainly does smell!

  247. I have wanted to try chalk paint for a while. There are so many options and I had no odds where to begin. Thanks for all of this great info Diane. :)

  248. What a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much for taking the time to document your experiments. Recently bought a sample jar of “Duck Egg” Annie Sloan paint and plan to use it on a frame. Thanks to your great instructions, I will definitely try the grout formula. Also follow and enjoy your Pinterest files.
    Marilyn

  249. Thanks Diane for sharing your knowledge and testing results-that’s awesome. My question is about the hardened paint you sometimes get with the non sanded grout recipe. Are you able to salvage the paint by adding more water? Or is it ruined?
    I am trying an experiment with ASCP and the Benjamin Moore tinted chalkboard paint. I’ve painted 1/2 of each onto a cupboard door sample. They both went on well. I will try waxing them and see what happens. This is my first attempt with chalk paint of any kind. Any suggestions of what to watch for to determine if the BM paint works?

    1. Hi Jan –
      Love to hear that you are experimenting – that is the best way to see what works for you. You can add some more water to to help the paint that has hardened, but it may not help. I wish I could tell you why it hardens sometimes and other times it does not. I am assuming it could be the brand of paint that mixes with the grout, but is most likely the fact that grout and plaster are supposed to harden when mixed with water. I would use the Calcium Carbonate – that does not harden. As far as the BM chalkboard paint. Since it is a name brand – it will probably adhere well. That is what I would look for – good adhesion that does not chip off or can be scraped off with a finger nail. Let it cure before deciding as it can take up to 3 weeks to cure. Once cured rub your fingers over it and your finger nail. You also want to make sure that there is no previous color/wood tannin seeping through the paint. If that happens – you will need to seal it first with clear shellac. If the paint does not come off – you have good adhesion. When waxing – depending on how porous the paint is – you may need to add more than one coat to get the protection and shine you want.

      1. Thanks Diane. You’re the DIY chalk paint guru! Love reading other posts and seeing what other’s are trying and experimenting with. I will let you know how my BM paint holds up.