Furniture Makeover: Using Two Chalk Paint Recipes For a Lasting Paint Finish


I have written about many pieces of furniture I have painted using one of three DIY chalk paint recipes – non-sanded grout, Plaster of Paris, and Calcium Carbonate Powder.  Many of you have asked me what is the most durable recipe?

Last week, I combined two of my favorite recipes – Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate Powder in one mix to use on the corner cabinet in my dining room to see if by mixing the two, the finish would be even better – more durable than when either ingredient was used alone.

I liked it – A LOT!   It dried to a very durable finish right away  – no wood tannins bled through and the mixture was super smooth.   I will use the recipe again.

I have gotten many questions about the book page lined white hutch in the above photo.

How to Make the Most Durable Chalk Paint

Corner Cabinet BEFORE

The cabinet is a hand-me-down. Back in the early 90’s I had an artist paint the trompe l’oeil on the doors. It was in my blue and white kitchen back then and looked quite charming. Fast forward 23 years – time for a makeover.

To create the DIY chalk paint:

Note:  When making chalk paint with Plaster of Paris you cannot use a paint with a primer in it. Most paint company’s have it written on the label  Paint + Primer In One.  Some brands do not have this. Valspar does not have it on the label, but it does have a primer in it.  If you mix Plaster of Plaster it will turn to a cement-like mixture.

For my cabinet, I used Glidden Premium paint.  It does not have a primer in it, nor does Easy Care paint that I buy at True Value Hardware.


I mixed 2 tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate Powder and 2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris into 2 Tablespoons of water and mixed well. I then added it to 2 cups of latex paint in a satin finish and mixed until smooth.    It created a very smooth consistency.  Not lumpy or grainy at all.


I made two batches of it because I also wanted to try layering two colors of chalk paint to try to achieve more depth and interest to the finish.


When I was at the Haven Blog Conference in Atlanta this summer I took a class on how to paint with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I loved the colors of chalk paint that one attendee used on her sample board –  I knew it was the look I wanted for my cabinet.

The colors were made by mixing two Annie Sloan colors together to create a brand new color.   Then the colors were layered on top of each other letting the first layer dry, then applying the second color on top.  Once that was dry, it was distressed to expose the under layer of paint, and then waxed.

To paint the cabinet I used Behr Southern Blue S-G-590 in a satin finish as my first coat.  I used Glidden Pacific Coast A1265  for the second or top layer.

I also loved the Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax we used in the class.  I have not purchased it yet as it is a bit too pricey for my budget, but it works beautifully.  For now, I will stick with Fiddes and Sons and Johnson’s.

Corner Cabinet AFTER


I used 160 grit sandpaper to distress the finish and expose the dark indigo blue color underneath.


I waxed it with Johnsons and buffed it with a soft and well washed t-shirt to bring up a soft shine.


I like the subtle look of the blue under the turquoise.


I added new drawer pulls, too.  The pulls on the top left in the above photo are the original.  This Chippendale style of pull is on many of the hand-me-down pieces I inherited. I have spray painted drawer pulls and knobs, added numbered beads to them, and paper napkins to give them an update.

I am tired of Chippendale style pulls and wanted something new – a different shape, so I went shopping online at D.Lawless Hardware and picked out 3 different styles of pulls to try-on to find one that would be just right.

The bin pulls were too big and sat too high on the drawer.  I did not want to have to drill new holes, fill and sand the old ones, so they didn’t make the cut. The glass pulls were invisible.


I went with the antique finish pulls – they were the right color, dainty, but large enough for the size and proportion of the cabinet and drawer.

Since I love the other two pull styles, I am sure you will be seeing them on future projects.


The Johnson Brothers gold rimmed china inside the cabinet is also a hand-me-down from my husband’s grandparents.  Who knows, it may feel right at home since many  years ago it was probably displayed just like I have it in the cabinet.


The cabinet is not huge and gets a little lost next to the big hutch,  so I placed a large white platter that I got at Costco on the top to create some balance. It is propped up on a box and a large plate stand.


It has lots of texture and detail. It comes down to serve the turkey at Thanksgiving and beef tenderloin at Christmas.


We use this room only twice a year and only in the evening for candlelight holiday dinners. The wall color – Ben Moore – Shelburne Buff looks quite cozy in the candlelight.


A few of you noticed in my posts last week that the corner cabinet seemed to have changed while I was showing you my dining room table makeover.

I made the white DIY chalk paint for the base of the table using the same recipe I used for the cabinet with Johnsons paste buffed over for protection. The top is a driftwood stained finish.

If you are new here, and would like to know more about making your own DIY versions of chalk paint, you can learn more and find out how to make it in these posts:

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  1. You are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for all your research and then sharing it. Have you used the porcelain powder? Debi’s DIY paint has it in the label. It’s sold as a clay and chalk paint. Watching the way they layer the paint and use a water mister , I’m so interested in trying to duplicate it for myself. And be able to afford. Thank you..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Cynthia –

      No, I haven’t used the porcelain powder, but am very intrigued to try it. I will have to watch the video and check it out and maybe come up with a more affordable way to get the same misted look.

  2. Hi I have found your info.rather addicting,I plan on making welcome signs as a gift using new contractors lumber.The lettering will be outside vinyl. My question is should I prep the wood before applying chalk paint or not.How is the best way to add color to white flat paint before making chalk paint?I’m sure I might need to protect the project since it will be outside.
    Again thank you for the time & effort you go to be of help to newbies like me.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carolyn –

      The only thing you need to do to bare wood is give it a quick going over with some sandpaper (100 grit). Clean off any dirt, grease or wax with a damp cloth and let dry.

      For your question about how to add color to white flat paint before making chalk paint. I am not sure I understand this question. To make chalk paint you need to find the color of paint you want and then make chalk paint with that. If you are going to be making small signs, you can use craft paint to make chalk paint or even buy chalk paint as nowadays it is easily found in many colors for a few dollars a bottle. Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint sold at Walmart is great. If they make a color I plan to use, I buy this instead of making my own. When I have a color in mind that they don’t make, depending on how much paint I will need, I either buy a small bottle of regular craft paint at the craft store or have a quart made up at a home improvement store. I then make this into chalk paint. This post may help, check it out here:

      To protect the finish, I would use Minwax Polycrylic. It is water-based and will not yellow over time. It comes in 3 different sheens. Choose the one that you like – Satin, Semi-Gloss or Gloss.

  3. Hi Diane,
    I love your blog! So much useful info!
    I just wanted to ask you is there a difference when you sanding the original chalk paint or the DIY chalk paint?
    I was wondering if the DIY chalk paint is much harder to sand than the original, specially when you make it with the POP?

    Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Val – When making chalk paint with PoP, it can be a little harder to sand, not impossible, but you may have to add more elbow grease to get the painted finish smooth. I have used all brands of chalk paint and have made every DIY recipe. The positive side of PoP is that it adheres the best, but this also makes it a little harder to sand smooth.

  4. Dikla Yogev says:

    Hello Diane, I completely agree with you. When our furniture becomes old or not in a good condition then there’s a need of furniture makeover. I had also done this with my home furniture.

    I wanted the give the inside of the drawers a pop of colour to break up the solidness of the Aubusson and make it a bit more playful. The original plan was to use duck egg blue but as much as I adore that colour it just looked blah on this piece where as Provence was perfect.

    I then took my experiment a step further… mixing 1 tsp of MM Metallic paint in smoke colour with clear wax. This was applied with a chippy brush, the excess wiped off with paper towel and then buffed a few minutes later with clean paper towel. The result made the Provence a richer lusher colour with a slight metallic glimmer and a wonderful sheen.

  5. hello diane..
    thank you for taking the time answering my question…
    have you even dyed any fabric using your versions of chalk paint?
    i know it works beautifully with annies chalk paint…
    but would like to know if diy chalk paints work just as well….
    thank you again.
    i want to dye my sofa slipcovers

    have a lovely day!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Robin –

      I have not used a DIY version to paint fabric, but I am sure it would work just as well as Annie Sloan, especially if you use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. I have painted upholstery with latex and fabric medium and have been very pleased with those results. I think DIY chalk paint will work very well. The key to getting a nice look when painting fabric is to make sure you brush the paint on in the same direction. This is especially important if the fabric has a nap on velvet.

      You can read my post on how I painted a slipcover with latex and fabric medium here:

  6. Hi..I follow your board on Pinterest and love it. However, I feel I have to comment on this DIY chalk paint recipe. Having used Annie Sloan religiously prior to reading this, I decided to give it a go as I refinish a lot of pieces. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable refinishing furniture, and have a good grasp on paints, mixing and the effects. I used this recipe (followed to a T) on a desk and chair. I roughed the surface before applying. I found the paint to be very gritty and still looked streaked after second coat. I waited several days before waxing, hoped this would take some of the grit feel away but it didn’t. The desk and chair went unused for 6 weeks. As soon as my daughter moved it into her new home and started using it, it began chipping. So, in trying to save a few bucks, I will again have to refinish these pieces spending the extra money and time to do so. I can’t imagine why I didn’t get same results as you???

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbi –

      The recipe you used is my favorite and has never failed on me. The only thing I can think that may be different is the brand of paint, CCP, and PoP you used to make the mix. Do you remember what brands you used?

  7. Hi Diane, I have a garage full of furniture I plan on trying DIY Chalk Paint, I just bought Valspar Interior/Exterior Satin Latex paint, the details specifically says No Primer in it. Does all the Valspar have primer in it? I am also going to use the Calcium Carbonate & possibly the POP. I have also read to not use the POP with dark colors, one piece I am doing is a desk & wanted durability. Would just the CC be good enough? Thank you for any advice. I love all your pieces & can’t wait to get started.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – All Valspar paint and most paint brands now have a primer in them. You can use the contractor paint, but it is not a very high quality and is very thin. You can use the Valspar paint/primer or any paint/primer when you make the mix with CCP. If you are going to add some POP for durability then you may run the risk of the paint getting thick quickly. Sometimes it happens and other times it does not. If it does get thick you can still paint with it, but you will not be able to keep it and store it for future use.

      POP and CCP are white powders so they do tend to lighten darker colors, not a lot but they do a little, especially the POP. CCP alone is very durable and is what I use 98% of the time now.

      My advise is to mix the powder well into the water first to break it up, then mix into the paint. Stir is well and you are ready to paint. :-)

  8. The Frazzled Blonde says:

    HI Diane!
    Have you ever used floetrol in your chalk paint? Do you use a roller or a brush? My sister had a “professional” paint a table for her using chalk paint and it’s covered in brush marks which is driving her crazy. I’m going to have to sand them out and repaint it. I’ve painted primitive pieces and distressed them and brush marks don’t bother me. Lol. She’s pretty OCD so I need to make sure it’s perfect. Any advice?? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      As with everything, different strokes for different folks. Some like the rustic brush stoke look, others do not. There are so many variations that can be created with chalk paint or any paint. When having a piece painted it requires the client to be very specific on how they want the desired finish to look.

      I have not tried adding Floetrol to chalk paint. I am not sure how it would effect the finish. From your description, it sounds like the brush strokes were caused by one or a few reasons. The paint was too thick, they didn’t sand between coats or they used a lower quality brush. It could have been all three.

      I only paint with Purdy paint brushes. They cost more, but they will last forever if you take care of them. They rarely leave brush strokes and if they do, you know it is time to get a new one. I use the ones that say for latex paints. They have a new one out called Uniform Flow. I am eager to try it out.

      To remedy the finish, you will have to sand smooth and repaint. Make sure the paint is not too thick. If making your own chalk paint, add more water/CCP to the paint to thin it out a bit. Doing this may require more coats, but they will go on evenly.

      You can use a roller, I have done it, but prefer to use a brush. When using a roller, only use a foam roller with rounded ends so you do not get roller lines. Do not press down too heavy when you are rolling or you will create air bubbles that can make add little bumps to the finish. If you see any brush strokes or imperfections, use 220 sandpaper to smooth them out before applying another coat of paint. Use a tack cloth to clean up the sanding grit before applying the next coat.

      I hope this helps you out and your sister loves your efforts.

  9. Diana Grant says:

    Hello Diane,
    I am thoroughly enjoying your web site and your info is very detailed…thank you!
    The problem I am having mixing up my chalkpaint is that I have used more than twice the amount of plaster of paris in your recipe and my paint is still not thick…?? I’m quite puzzled as to why. Can you help me?
    I am painting 2 small black end tables an off white and am now on my 3rd coat… they will both likely require 4 coats each. At this rate, I may as well have used regular paint to achieve the same result.
    I used your 3 to one of each ingredient at first… 1/2 p.o.p., (mixed with 1/2 cup water first) and then mixed that into 1+1/2 cups of latex paint. I have now added 2 to 1 amounts of p.o.p. and water (up to another 1/2 c of plaster of paris) and mixed that into the previous mixture and it is STILL runny… could it be a bad box of the plaster of paris powder?
    I cannot figure out what is wrong.
    thanks for anything you can offer me!
    I am a devout DIYer still decorating our winter home in Cathedral City, California!!

  10. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles. Great information. My question is when you mix the plaster of Paris and the calcium carbonate mixture to the latex paint does it lighten up the color of the original paint?

  11. I noticed that you painted onto the glass of the cabinet. Did you just use a razor blade to remove the extra paint after it dried? Also does it take much time to wax a piece and how do you know when it is done? I am thinking of doing my bathroom cabinet. Thanks

  12. I just found your post on pinterest and have to say you have the BEST how to’s EVER! Thanks for that. I cannot afford the name brand chalk paints so I am THRILLED to find your posts on chalk paint!
    In your opinion, how do you think this would hold up on kitchen cabinets? I am blessed (sarcasm) with the orangey stained oak, Lowes stock cabinets in my house. Have wanted to paint them for some time, I’m just a little scared to tackle it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jackie –

      I have used chalk paint on a bathroom cabinet and it held up great! Many readers and bloggers have used it to paint their kitchen cabinets all with success. If I had to paint the cabinets in my new to me house kitchen, I would use chalk paint.

      The only decision you need to think about though is how you would seal the paint. Chalk paint can be sealed in two ways. With soft paste style wax or water based polyurethane. I like the look of waxed pieces better, but in a kitchen you may need to rewax the surface on some cabinets that get more wear or are on top of a heat source where the wax may break down faster. I have never had to rewax any of my pieces, this is just something I know could need to be done in the future. It is easy to so as you simply apply another layer of wax over it and buff to a shine with a soft cloth.

      If you use water-based poly, (I would use a satin finish poly) you will not have the heat wearing effect, but if a cabinet becomes worn from use say around a knob, you would have to sand the area and then try to apply the poly so it does not look like it is sitting on top of the original coat. It is a little harder to fix.

      If you are afraid to tackle the project, I would paint something smaller so you can see what it would look like and get the feel for the paint and how it goes on and looks when dry and waxed or polyed. This may then give you the courage to do your cabinets.

      1. Thanks, I appreciate your advice. I’m going to tackle my bathroom vanity and see how that works out first. It is the same type as the other cabinets I mentioned but not as intimidating to me.

  13. What kind of brush did you use on this hutch

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I used a 2-inch angled Purdy paint brush. You can buy them at any home improvement store. They make many types, I use the Nylox.

  14. Thanks so much for all your how to’s and tips, your website is wonderful. I am thinking of using your chalk paint recipe to refinish my corner hutch cabinet (almost Identical to the blue one you just painted). I am looking for the same finish but in a barn red. Do you have any tips for doing this in red? This will be my first project so anything would help. Thanks!

  15. I think the cheapest source for CC might be a pottery supply house . CC is also known as whiting and is a common ingredient in glaze formulas

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for sharing this Anne. I have to find a pottery supply house source. Going to Google it now. :-)

  16. Thanks for the recipe…can’t wait to show you the before and after.
    I notice you didn’t tape the glass in the cabinet..does the paint clean up that easlly?

  17. I’ve used this recipe for my last half dozen projects and it’s FANTASTIC! I doubt I’ll ever buy chalk paint again…starting another tomorrow?


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Darlene – I love when I hear success stories. I love painting with the DIY chalk paint and don’t think I will ever paint furniture again without using it. With so many brands changing their latex formulas, I would love to know what brand of paint you use when mixing it to make chalk paint? I have always used Glidden, Easy Care, and Behr.

  18. Hi Diane! First of all, I want to say a big thanks for sharing your recipes and projects. I came upon your blog by chance and it’s been extremely useful. Tried upcycling for the first time this weekend with your CC + PoP recipe and it’s worked really well. I have a silly question though, and I thought it best to check with you just to be sure. I have some leftover paint mix which has become a little thick . It’s kept in an airtight container, no grainy bits, just thicker since mixing it. Probably due to the paint type that I’ve got in the mix. So, I was wondering if adding water to thin it out a little to use it is a good idea? Or is there another way please? It’s a fair amount of paint, so I don’t want to throw it . Thanks for your help. And please keep posting amazing stuff as you do :) xx

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Naina – I have had a few mixes that became thick after storing. When I used it for other projects, I used a stiffer brush to apply the paint and when it was dry, I sanded the finish with medium grit sandpaper not to distress, but to smooth the painted finish.

      You can add a little bit of water to the mix, but not too much. Add a teaspoon at a time and stir until the mix it smooth again. You just don’t want to add too much water and dilute the mix and the adhesion quality of the paint.

  19. I’m starting my first chalk paint project. I realized after painting two coats that my paint was one that included primer in it. I didn’t have the binding our cement like mixture issues. Do you think I’ll have any other issues with durability? Not sure what to do next. Thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melissa – If you didn’t have any problems with the mix turning to sludge then you are good to go. In fact, your paint will be super durable once it is cured. If your dried painted finish has any grit in it or looks rough, simply go over the area with med-fine sandpaper to smooth, not to distress. It will look beautiful. After the paint is dry, then all you need to do is seal it either with water-based poly or wax. I like the look of wax better, but it does take more time to apply and buff, then simply brushing on and letting dry.

  20. In comment above, I meant to say “thick and grainy”. I added more paint, it still looks grainy. When I measured out the dry ingredients, I didn’t pack them down into the Tablespoon, I just lightly spooned them in and leveled off with a knife, as you would do when measuring baking soda……I don’t see how I could have end up with too much C C and P of P. Any suggestions for me and others who want to try this recipe in the future would be appreciated. Should the recipe have said teaspoons instead of Tablespoons?

  21. I followed your recipe to a T. 4 Tablespoons Calcium Carbonate, 4 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris, 4 Tablespoons water, mixed it together, then added it to the Quart of Valspar Paint (I doubled the recipe). What I got was a mixture that resembled cement. It was very think and grainy. What did I do wrong? Because I did EXACTLY what the recipe said to do……..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane –

      I am 99% sure the problem is the Valspar paint. It has a primer in it that causes the mix to get dry and like cement when you use Plaster of Paris.

      If you used just CCP, it would not happen. It does not say anything about a primer on the label, but it does have it as do many brands of paint nowadays. I used to always use Glidden Premium to make my mixes and they have changed their formula. If using PoP, try Easy Care paint. It is one that I find at True Value Hardware or use only the CCP recipe to make the mix. CCP will mix with any paint.

      On my chalk paint page, I have written about not using Valspar paint, if you have not seen those posts, you wouldn’t know this. Sorry, I try to make sure all the chalk paint post have this info. I will make sure to add it to this post, too.

  22. Just found you via Pinterest. I love what you have done with this cabinet! I am a complete newbie in furniture painting and apologize if you have already posted the answer to my question dozens of times…do I need to sand my furniture before trying this technique? I’d like to apply it to dark brown bedroom furniture. I’m not sure what color I’d like yet. Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie – I always lightly sand over every piece of furniture I paint to give it some “tooth”. A quick 5-10 minute going over with 100 grit sandpaper is all it will need. It will help with adhesion for the long run of your painted finish.

  23. Hi, You did a great job.. Thank you for sharing your experiments.
    I decided to try all the recipes you gave and i did all of them…. I used behr +primer paint, para without primer.
    PARA paint I used first (all the recipes), I put as much powder as recipes required…. it didn’t do a trick. I put twice , third as much powders – still, it doesn’t work like chalk paint. it distresses hard, it doesn’t give good coverage especially on darker surfaces… Behr paint though is with primer and i added just a bit grout…. and it gives good coverage, doesnt distressed too easy,,, but I mean for at least it covers good, BUT it did it the same way even before i added grout……
    What is wrong with me, why i cant make home made chalk paint?? please help…. what is the secret.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lana –
      I don’t know if there is a secret. I look at the way I look at all recipes. Think of the baker who bakes the best bread and when you try, it is a failure. It takes some time and experimenting to get the recipe just right in your conditions. Your town’s water may have something in it that mine doesn’t or vice versa. You may have a different batch or brand of CCP or PoP. It can all play into how well your mix will turn out.

      I do not use the grout recipe anymore. I like the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe the best. I use the NOW brand. You can buy it on Amazon. It mixes up nice and smooth and the extra can be stored for months and be reused. I like adding a bit of PoP to it if I need a super durable finish, say on a tabletop. When you add PoP to any mix, it does make it harder to distress, the more PoP, the harder to distress.

      I have had great success with Glidden premium paint in a satin finish. It comes in a blue can. I think they only sell it in quarts now. Every mix I make with this comes out nice and smooth, cures in a few days, and distresses easily. I also have had excellent results with Easy Care paint in a satin finish. I buy it at True Value Hardware.

      It sounds like you may be adding too much powder. One more tablespoon in a mix will not matter much, but anymore than that you may end up with too thick of a mixture.

      I have read about using chalk line chalk to make chalk paint. I ordered it online, but have not made up a mix with it yet. You may want to try it. If you want a custom color and don’t want to play around too much. Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder works well and is not too expensive. I used it once and was very happy with the results. I used Glidden paint with it. They have a website. I buy the Fiddes and Sons wax I like to use from them.

  24. Jo Anne Johns says:

    Diane, your info is a real help to us novices just getting into the Chalk paint phenomenon and I am about to use all the incredible wisdom you supplyon your blog.
    I’ve searched diligently online for Calcium carbonate in the Fort Worth, Texas area in order to not have to wait on delivery and also paying high shipping charges on something so inexpensive. I’m like a dog with a bone when digging up info..and guess what I found about Calcium Carbonate? It is also used when making home made wines to lessen the acidity when fermenting. So, if you have a local store that sells wine and beer brewing supplies you will find calcium carbonate. Now over all it might be a little pricer per ounce than on line, but instant gratification ! My local wine and brewing store has 2oz. bottles for $1.99 per bottle. So you ladies might check in your areas for that type business for the calcium carbonate..Now to my coffee table project I’m about to start !!

  25. I have painted a dresser with chalk paint…looks great. But now, I want to distress a bit with sandpaper and glaze and finish with wax. In what order do I do this? Do I wax, distress, glaze then wax again?

  26. I’m always on a quest for the perfect chalk paint recipe too. Have you ever tried mixing in Floetrol (eliminates brush marks) with the calcium carbonate and POP recipe? Great resource. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Great read! I am painting a piece of laminate furniture and have a couple of questions. 1) Does the chalk paint go directly on the laminate, or should I use a binding agent first? 2) You mention “clear wax” to finish your pieces. The wax I have is “Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural for lighter woods.” Would this work on cream color paint with a “coffee ” colored glaze?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pat – You do not need to use a primer or bonding agent, but you do need to sand. I always go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block to rough the surface up a bit. This knocks down the shine or smoothness of the laminate finish and give the paint something to grab on to.

      Minwax is my least favorite wax. Is it orange? It may tint your paint, especially in corners and grooves that you can’t buff as easily as flat areas on your piece. I prefer Johnson’s Paste Wax over Minwax. You can buy it in the cleaning aisle in supermarkets and the home improvement store. Fiddes and Sons in clear is my go to wax. It is a little more expensive, but I love the sheen that comes up after buffing it.

  28. Diane,
    Thanks for the quick reply, I used less PoP than the recipe because I was afraid it might bind up the paint. We sanded the spots before adding another thin coat last night & they came back. We used Valspar base white contractor grade. . Also, my finish is not really smooth, could that be from the roller (regular not foam)? Thanks!

  29. Hey Diane,
    I have a question about chalk painting. I made your CCP and PoP recipe to use on a new table top made with unfinished birch plywood. When applying another coat of the chalk paint, there are several areas that have cracked or popped off while rolling. What have I done wrong & what can I do to repair it? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michele – If the chalk paint came off there must have been oil, dirt, or a coating from the factory on the plywood. Having it crack – that is something I have not heard about yet. Did you use thin coats? The only other thing I think could have made the paint crack was that there was too much PoP added or the brand of paint you used didn’t combine well with it. To remedy the situation, sand the areas smooth where the cracking occurred. Add more paint to your mixture and apply a very thin coat over the piece. Let it dry completely before adding another thin coat. Repeat until you get the coverage you want.

  30. Hi! I love all the research you have done and tried with the chalk paint and I can’t wait to mix my own. I do still have a question regarding color. Do you mix your own color into the Glidden paint, or do you have it tinted at the store to the color you want. If you do mix in your own color, what type and brand of colorant do you use?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carmen – I get all the paint colors mixed at the store, but if I want to tweak the color – which I do a lot, I just mix the paint colors into another container. I have mixed flat into semi-gloss, and satin with flat. As long as the paints are all latex, it seems to works fine. I have never had a problem doing this. I stir the mixed paint well until it is blended and then add the CCP or PofP and water mix into the paint.

      I have never used a colorant to make my own colors, but I think you could and still make chalk paint using it.

      The nice thing with chalk paint is that you can mix two colors of chalk paint to make a third. I sometimes add white and or black to tint or darken the hue to get the exact color I want.

  31. Hi Diane!
    You might have answered this question already in another blog post (feel free to link it in a reply rather than writing a response), but I’m having issues with storing my chalk paint for future use. I am using your Calcium Carbonate + PoP recipe and store my paint in a quart size mason jar. I have found that paint I used several months ago is beginning to have sediment on the bottom of the jar. When I mix up the paint, it still works just as good as the first time I used it, but there is a brick hard layer of “stuff” on the bottom. I usually don’t try to break it up so that I don’t get chunks in my brush strokes. Do you have any advice or tips for storing the paint in a way that will prevent this from occurring? Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Taylor – The PoP is what is on the bottom. The chalk paint still works since the CCP is mixed in still. It is just the nature of PoP and how it hardens when moistened. When making the CCP and PoP recipe, make it up only in the amount that you need. If you want to make more paint than you need for one project, use the recipe for CCP only.

  32. Thanks Diane.

    I was also wondering if you had any thoughts about adding fine glitter powder to the wax.

    I recently tried adding a small amount of silver and iridescent fine glitter powder to a bottle of Wilt-Pruf spray which I use every year on my garlands and fraser fir to extend the time until they start losing needles, and the result was a stunningly sparkly tree, yet understated and elegant. I think these kinds of “anti-transpiration” sprays are made with pinene, so its all natural and non-toxic, dries to a medium gloss, and, in this case, locks the glitter in place.

    So now I’m wondering if one could get the same effect on furniture mixing the glitter into the paste wax. Any thoughts?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Billy – I bet the garlands and fir looked divine. I have never used Wilt-Pruf but am not eager to go check it out. As far as adding it to the wax say – GO for it! You never know until you try. It may create a beautiful finish. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out.

      1. I’ll definitely let you know! I think I’ll try adding a generous amount of ultra-fine cosmetic iridescent powder to the wax and see if its possible to create a Mother of Pearl-like finish.

        I just thought I’d ask since you seem to have more experience using other ingredients that I’ve yet to work with, such as glazes, which might be a better carrier. I’m also hoping to complete my daughters bedroom set before she gets back for Christmas, to get it all matching, and I really want it to look impressive. Honestly, I wouldn’t even try if it wasn’t for coming across all your informative posts on chalk painting. Can’t thank you enough!

        Oh, and I promise I wouldn’t use Wilt-Pruf if it was chemically or not natural. Its just a proprietary blend of pine extract that coats plants to prevent them from drying out. Actually, there are many other brands of anti-transpiration sprays, most are the same thing, pine oil extract, I just use wilt-pruf because its the only one available at my hardware store. I’ve also read of DIY recipes for making your own using pine oil and water actually.

  33. You’ve mentioned several times in your chalk paint posts that you use “satin” paint, but I can’t find a mention as to why. It also got me wondering what difference might there be in using other sheens in this recipe, like high gloss compared to flat paint. Maybe I should try a little mad sciencing myself. ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Billy – The sheen of paint you use does not really matter since once you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris the paint sheen will turn flat. I have used flat, satin, and eggshell. A few readers have told me they like using semi-gloss.I have never used high gloss. I like using satin because it is what I have the most of left over from other projects and has always made up into a great mix that paints on nice and smooth. I have had no problems with flat or eggshell. If you like a very rustic look and are not going to wax, but just distress to age, then you might want to go with flat, but really any sheen works.

    2. Did 2 cups of paint cover the entire hutch? And how many coats? I have less than half of a quart of paint left and I’m using your CC and POP recipe to paint a paneled door. I have to use this exact paint because it matches something else I painted in the same room and I can’t get any more of this particular paint color. I’m worried about not having enough.

      1. Also, I happen to have a polyvinyl acetate and water emulsion and I have some pigment that’s identical to the paint color. I considered mixing these with some water and adding to the paint to make it go further. Bad or good idea?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jen – I mix colorants and craft paints into my chalk paint mixtures and have never had a problem. As long as what you are adding is water-based, it should be OK. Try mixing a small amount to see what happens.

      2. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Jen – I needed a quart of paint to paint my hutch with 2 coats of paint to get good coverage. Half a quart of navy and then half a quart of turquoise. The paint does go a long way and I am always surprised at how much paint I have left after some projects.

        In your case for painting the paneled door, having less than half a quart of paint will be cutting it close. You may get one coat and then have enough to touch up, but then you will be using every drop of paint left.

        Can you paint the first coat of the door using another similar color paint and then top coat with the color that you can’t get more of? This way, the door will appear the color you want. Does this make sense? Trying to figure out a way to make it work for you.

  34. What brands or types of latex to avoid, ones with primer? what about Olympic ICON paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sidney – When making DIY chalk paint using Calcium Carbonate Powder (CCP) you can use any latex paint. I usually use satin, but any sheen will work as it will get get flat when you add the CCP. When using Plaster of Paris or Non Sanded grout, latex paints with primers in them can bind the paint. It may become thick and unusable. I use the most basic latex – usually the least expensive contractor paint does not have primer in it. Easy Care at True Value and Glidden Premium – the one without the word “Primer + Paint” on the can have worked well for me. Most Olympic and Valspar paints have primer in them, except for the contractor formulas. Olympic ICON has a primer in it. If you want to use it, make the chalk paint with CCP.

  35. hello, I live in the UK, and I am not sure what you mean by Latex paint!!!!, Could you please explain which paint it is best for me to use, I have bought the calcium carbonate from Amazon but just don’t know which paint to buy to mix it with, I am wanting to paint a pr of 1970 teak wardrobes, they are just plain, nothing fancy, but they scream 1970, lolol, can you help me please???

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – Latex paint is water based paint that has a rubber component to it. You should look for a water based paint to make the chalk paint.

  36. Do you think you can use this over existing paint? My desk is in need of desperate renovation, but was painted high gloss black.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle – Yes you can paint over existing glossy paint or poly.I have done it for years. It is what chalk paint is best at doing, but you can paint over any surface successfully with latex and a gripping or stain blocking primer. I have a page on my blog where I show the products I use to paint over just about anything. You can find it here:

      You will find more information about painting furniture in general by reading the posts in my Furniture Makeover Gallery:

      No matter what kind of paint you decide to use. The key to success is sanding the surface first to rough it up. It does not need to be sanded to the bare wood, just a 5-10 min going over. If using regular latex, use a gripping primer. If you are going to use chalk paint, just sand to rough up the surface and then paint.

      1. Thank you Diane! This is my project for tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!

  37. I didn’t see this question, but there were so many to look through….where do you buy calcium carbonate?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      You can buy CCP at the health food store or a beer making supply store. I use the NOW brand from the health food store. It is also sold on Amazon.

      1. Hello Diane, could you please include a link to the calcium carbonate powder you use? I grabbed the link on one of your posts but noticed you mentioned you now use the NOW brand, I am looking on Amazon, but they have a few options and I am not 100% sure I am choosing the right one… thank you!!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Yuri – I like the Now Brand Calcium Carbonate Powder the best. It is a very soft and refined powder. Here is the link:

  38. Hi Diane!
    Great information and beautiful blog. Thank you so much for sharing all of this!
    I’ve found some different information on the topic, but not a straight forward answer… Can I substitute acrylic craft paint for latex paint when mixing chalk paint? If so, would you recommend it?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sam – I have found that you can use acrylic paint with the Calcium Carbonate Powder (CCP) recipe with no problems, but it may bind the paint if you use Plaster of Paris or Non-sanded grout. I use CCP exclusively now. It mixes well with all paints – even paints with primers in them.

  39. Hi Diane,

    Your website is my come to site when I have a question about chalk paint!

    My question today is: How long did you wait before you sanded your china cabinet to get the distressed look? I have my cabinet all painted and don’t want to mess it up by trying to distress it too soon.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angela –

      I wait about 2 days before distressing and waxing. There is no set formula, I would just make sure the paint is fully dry. 48 hours in dry not humid conditions is a good amount of time to wait.

  40. Hi Diane!!
    I follow you since you started with the PoP version of chalk paint, and so did I. Now I think it’s about time to try this recipe as you say it’s the most durable you’ve tried. I have some doubts as I have to paint a whole dinning room
    1. Do you know if it’s possible to use it with a paint gun? If not, what do you use? All your furniture has a perfect finish…
    2. Would you protect the table top only with wax or poly? The same for chairs
    I am ordering online today the calcium carbonate and as soon as I receive it I will start to paint
    Thanks for sharing all this information!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pili –

      You can use the Calcium Carbonate Powder with a spray gun, but the PoP may clog it. I use a an angled Purdy paint brush and rounded foam roller to paint to get a smooth finish. I also sand over the entire surface with “fine” 220 sandpaper if needed to smooth a paint ridge or drip.

      I think wax is so much easier to care for and it looks better over the paint. If you get a ring of water or a stain, you can simply rub over it with fine sandpaper and then add a layer of wax and buff. If you need to repaint a spot, you can simply brush the paint over the spot and wax it – it will all blend right it. With poly, you would need to put poly over the whole piece if you get a spot. It does not blend in like wax does.

      Waxing painted pieces does take some elbow grease to buff to a protective shine, but it makes the finish look fabulous.

  41. Thanks, Diane, for all the info on chalk painting. I have read all your blogs on this subject several times and I am going to try this latest recipe using the calcium carbonate and plaster of paris. Unfortunately, I could not find the calcium carbonate locally, but have it on order at my local health food store. Now, I just have to wait for it to come in to begin the project. I do have a question. I will be painting an old dresser which has a mirror with a very intricately carved frame. I am concerned about being able to rough it up adequately to receive the paint and then waxing and buffing it with all the crooks and crevices. What suggestions do you have for this. Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathi –

      The best thing to do to rough up the intricate areas to paint with chalk paint is to cut a small section of sandpaper and roll it so one end has a rolled point on it. Use this point to get into the carved areas. You don’t have to get every inch, just a little will help with adhesion. Clean it well. Gather a few small brushes that artists use. You can buy these at the crafts store or Walmart. These will get the paint into the carved areas. I apply wax to these areas using the smaller brushes too. When buffing, twirl one corner of your buffing cloth into a point to remove the wax in the hard to reach areas. Then rub over the entire surface. If you see any un-buffed wax still in the crevices – use the small paint brush to remove it and then go over with your cloth.

  42. Anette Greene says:

    I’m going to try your recipe on an old basset furniture chest for my granddaughter. Going after a “western” look. I have read all the your comments and tips but never saw any reference on how to prep the piece for painting with the chalk recipe. Does the piece need to be “stripped with products” and sanded before applying your recipe? Looking forward to getting started! Thanks.

  43. Wendy Letter says:

    Hi Diane! I just had to write to tell you what a godsend your blog has been to me. We are renovating our kitchen & decided to paint our island cabinets black with a distressed/waxed finish. Sherwin Williams told me I should really use their Pro Classic Acrylic Latex Enamel & it is so thick & so difficult to brush on w/o the strokes showing. I was really worried & kicking myself for taking on this project myself but then I found your recipe & it is working beautifully! Thank you so much! This is going to make our reno project appear professional & it will save me SO much time, I am sure you can imagine! Thank you agin for sharing your talents with us! I appreciate it so much! :) – Wendy from Kansas-

  44. I’m so excited at finding your site. Please be encouraged in your obvious talent of decorating etc. etc.

    Please I have a chest of drawers from the …put it together company that is world wide…and it is black, no I didn’t select it :) The material is definitely wood on the inside of the drawers so maybe it is all wood and the finish has been applied so well as to be totally slippery and ….now upon further inspection no it doesn’t feel as if something has been affixed to the outside – as in a vinyl something. Get to the question Carol, will the chalk pain home made stick to this new and very smooth finish? Thanks. I live in a rural part of Australia. Your encouragement to get going with my farm house is a gift.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – Yes chalk paint will stick to the surface. I would run 100 grit sandpaper over the entire surface and clean the grit off, then paint. Here is a link to a post I did on a piece of laminate furniture that had a very smooth surface so you can see what I did. I painted this piece at least 2 years ago. It is in my family room and looks as good as the day I painted it. We use it daily. I do have use coasters for when we place drinks on it.

  45. Victoria Mooney says:

    I was wondering if I wanted to duplicate the dark wax as well, would you then recommend adding a dark oil paint to the Johnson’s wax? Thank you!

  46. Thank you for this tutorial! After much searching I have learned that you can buy Calcium Carbonate Powder from a Beer/wine making supply store! :)

  47. Melissa L. says:

    Hi Diane. LOVE the way your cabinet turned out! I have a cupboard/sideboard that I plan to paint a rich turquoise and am going to try this recipe. The finish on my piece looks very similar to yours only possibly a bit darker and it has a few knots. I know you generally sand for a few minutes to prep a piece and I’m assuming that’s all you did with this cabinet. You said you got no bleed-through of tannins. Would you recommend I shellac (oil-based?) my piece first to hide the knots and tannins? Or do you think two coats of this recipe should do the trick? I plan to lightly distress the edges and want the wood color to show through. Also, I absolutely LOVE the soft sheen of wax, but tend to change my mind often on colors and can see wanting to try other colors in the future on my cabinet. Is sanding wax off to repaint a pain? (sorry for such a long question!)

    Thanks for all the amazing info you share with us!

  48. NormaJean says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I have several pieces that need revamping and I was dreading the thought of all that sanding!

  49. Marcie DeWolf says:


    I have a piece that I have stained (oil base) and would love to use the chalk paint on it, do I just do a light coat of shellac or poly on it then do the chalk paint? I am trying to keep the piece mainly stained wood with just a little color on edges and sides. Almost like most of the paint has peeled off and left only a touch. Any ideas, I can find any articles on this type of project. Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marcie – From the sound of the look you are describing, I think you may want to use Milk Paint. It is made to look old and chippy. Miss Mustard Seed sells it and has quite a wealth of information about it on her Milk Paint site. There are also a few other sites – The Real Milk Paint Co. and Old Fashioned Milk paint. If you do a Google search for “milk paint” – the links to the sites will come up.

      If you want to go the economical route, then I would use chalk paint, but just brush it over the areas you want color. After it has dried, sand each area until you get the worn look you are after. If you don’t want the stain to bleed through, then yes use shellac over the piece or at least in the areas you want color.

  50. and sorry one more thing…should i clear wax then buff before adding the dark wax and buffing again? what is the difference in the glaze?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chelse – Yes-you want to apply clear wax first and buff, then add the dark wax and buff again. By adding clear wax first give the piece a coating so that you can move the dark wax easily over the surface to get it where you want it. Antique glazing liquid is just another way to darken a painted surface. After you apply it and it dries, you need to add a clear wax over it to protect. With dark wax – it is done in one step.

  51. Hello I just love your website because I’ve been purchasing antique and left over pieces of furniture to redo as I come across them but being that i’ve never used chalk paint or wax they have been sitting in my spare bedroom lol Im so excited to have run across your page because Im just to frugal to spend that much money on ASCP, their wax and brushes to redo bargain pieces i spent no more than $15 on. Had a few questions tho, I know I want to do a lot in the old white for a antique, distressed barn look on most of my pieces, which paint brand would you recommend? And I love Annie Sloans Dark Wax, on how it adds character and deepens the look of the piece but what brand and type of clear and dark wax should i be looking for? I have small children and i need these pieces to stand up to time and spills. Thank you so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chelse – There are many good brands of dark wax. On the less expensive side is Fiddes and Sons. It comes in a few colors besides clear. This is the brand I use the most. You can buy it on Amazon. CeCe Caldwell sells a dark wax also. If you want a deep rich color, I would go with a wax that looks dark brown in the can. To get a durable finish – add a few layers of wax. Apply a light coat, buff and then repeat the process a few times to get 2 -3 layers. Get a very soft lint free cloth to buff the surface hard and well to bring up the shine and the durability factor.

  52. Hi!
    Thank you for this super inspiaring page!
    I have just recentrly bought to old teak cabinets. How do I move forward with using chalk paint?
    I know from experience that teak bleeds through quite a bit! How is it with chalk paint? Do I prime it with a sealing paint first so it doesnt bleed? And then do I make the combined CC and PoP mix? Or only CC?
    Allso, I am not quite shure what PoP would be in Norway. Is it the same kind of plaster you would use for kid projects in silicon forms?
    Thanks for any help!

  53. Stephanie says:

    After reading the comments I see that if using this combined recipe I will need a latex with-out primer paint. Does the finish of the paint matter (satin, flat, etc.) I see you have used HD paints. I’m partial to Sherwin Williams but wanted to make sure you have not had or heard of any bad experiences with using their paint for chalk paint. My husband is a painter & is very “skeptical” of this chalk thing, so I need to do my research & get it right.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stephanie –

      I have had not problem using Sherwin Williams paint. The finish of the paint does not matter since when you add the Calcium Carbonate or PoP the paint will turn flat no matter what you use. I use satin the most since that is what I use the most when not using chalk paint. So many men just don’t get why chalk paint works great on furniture. Tell your husband the finish will look like it came from a factory after it is waxed and buffed. It will not be tacky, thick, or feel rubbery like latex alone sometimes gets on painted pieces, plus if you want to age it, chalk paint sands smooth where latex alone will curl up and leave ridges where you sand.

      I would use the CCP recipe since it goes on super smooth. You can roll or brush it on. If you need super durability, add a small amount of PoP to the mix, but it is not necessary. For your first batch, I would only use CCP with your paint since that mixes well into any paint even if it has a primer in it. PoP and non-sanded grout can turn to mud when mixed with paint with primer in it. I like Fiddes and Sons wax or Johnson’s Paste wax. Use only a very light coat, buff well, then repeat with a second coat of wax until you get the sheen you want. You will know you have buffed enough when the buffing cloth slides over the surface with no hesitation from the wax.

      Since you want to get it right, do a few test runs on some old boards to get the process down before doing an actual piece of furniture. I always go over every piece I paint with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper on it for about 5 minutes to rough up the surface a bit. This quick going over is worth it and will help with adhesion for the long run.

  54. Rose McArdle says:

    I made my first batches of chalk paint I used the 1 plaster of Paris and 2 the calcium carbonate methods but found both to be very gritty did I do something wrong mixing or painting or how would I correct without removing completely
    Also it seemed to lighten the colour a lot I need to paint bedroom furniture black for my niece is the something I can do to keep it to a deep black colour

    1. Try using non-sanded grout in black. I mixed it with black paint to paint chalkboards but I think it would work well on furniture. It stayed completely black (until I cured it with chalk).

  55. Hi. I’m new to painting and wanted to try your chalk paint recipes! Thank you! I looked into this a couple of times but the cost was to much for me. I can’t wait to try your recipes! Anyway, my question is, can you use a stain instead of a glaze and then use the wax? Have you ever tried that? Just wondering what the difference between a glaze and a stain is? I would love to hear your feed back on that!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Heidi – You can use stain over chalk paint the same way you would use glaze. Glaze is a transparent medium that has color added to it. When you apply it to a painted surface it dries slowly giving you plenty of time to manipulate it to get the look you desire. Stain is transparent also, but has more pigment in it and it dries faster. If you use a stain over chalk paint, be ready with a rag to wipe it off in areas right away. If you don’t want a super dark look, but want a little in recessed areas, it is best to use one layer of clear wax over the dried paint first, then add the stain or dark glaze so you can move it around. Once it is dry, add another layer of wax to protect and buff to a subtle sheen.

  56. patricia nield says:

    Hi Diane, Im just painting up some bookcases on which I will be storing fabric but I wonder if you have ever done bookcases and if so how did you finish the shelves? I don’t feel comfortable waxing with fabric sitting on them and I wonder if an acrylic sealer would be better. I will be painting the shelves as well. They are separate and can be moved.
    Many thanks Patricia

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patricia – I would use a water-based sealer or an acrylic. Two I like are Minwax Polycrylic and Zinseer Ultimate Polyurethane. I would let them dry and cure at least a 4-5 days before putting fabric on them.

  57. Hi Diane, I’m going to paint my kitchen cabinets – yikes! They are the original wood cabinets from the 70s. I’m in the process of cleaning them and I’m going to degloss them too.

    I want to do white on the uppers and dark grey on the lowers. I was thinking about doing chalk paint – because it will stick better and hopefully be more durable. I don’t want to distress them at all.

    I was thinking about using your combo recipe. What do you suggest?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shanda –

      When painting cabinets I would use the combo recipe since it is super durable. Do you plan on using wax or poly over the chalk paint? It needs either wax or poly otherwise it just looks like flat paint. Wax looks great, but you do need to apply and buff which does take time, but brings out the patina. You could also use Minwax Polycrylic over it to seal and protect the paint. When mixing the CCP into the grey paint make sure you mix it well into water first so that is dissolves then mix into the grey paint. Using both colors will look fabulous!

      1. Yes, I was planning waxing it. It would be nice if that part didn’t take forever. I read another blog where she used deck sealer and liked the look of it but I’m scared to chance it.

        I’ve used Johnson’s before – do you think it would tint the white cabinets? Also, will mixing the combo recipe lighten the paint colors?

        Thanks for your help!!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Johnson’s wont’t change the color of the paint. It is a clear wax. Minwax is orange and will change the color. If you want to splurge a bit, Clear Fiddes and Sons in my fave wax. It runs about $18. You can buy it on Amazon or from Websters Chalk Paint. It goes on easier than Johnson’s. If you mix the powder well into water first and then into the paint – you should not see color change. If you do see a darker color lighten a bit – once you wax – it will get dark again.

  58. I’m new to this, I am going to paint my daughter’s dresser with black chalk paint. I got a 10 pound bag of the Calcium Carbonate Powder with Lime from Amazon for $15 with free shipping! My question is this, can I lay lace over that and spray on gold to get the lace look? I am assuming that paint will stick.

    I love the two tone cabinet! Beautiful and I can’t wait to try that.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I think you are asking can you spray gold over the chalk paint using lace as a stencil. If that is correct, then yes. I would wait a day or two to make sure the chalk paint is fully dry before spray the gold over it. When making black chalk paint remember to mix the CCP into warm water first so it dissolves then mix into the black paint and mix really well. If you don’t you could end up with some white specs when you sand. Good deal on the CCP :-)

  59. Hello Diane–I was so pleased when you responded to my query of July 5th and so encouraged. You suggested I use Glidden Premium Paint Satin without acrylic and primer and provided the recipe for the Chalk Paint. I have gathered all the ingredients, found several old pieces of furniture in good condition and was looking forward to my Chalk Painting. Since July 6th, I have traveled to several Home Depot stores including two in the next state (NH) and cannot locate the Glidden paint I need. I finally did some research and find that Glidden Prem Latex Paint (w/o primer & acrylic) has a blue label and the number of the paint is 6211. However, the HD store that said they had it in actuality did not. My level of frustration is rising as (1) I do not want to give up the idea of chalk painting; (2) I envision the pieces I found in an antique shop will look fabulous with chalk paint; and (3) I am so inspired by your work, creativity and the pieces you’ve chalk painted that now I find I will continue my quest. However, I look to you, once again, for direction because I think I’ve reached a wall. I have also called a number of speciality paint stores and have been told that everything has primer in it. How do I get around this? Thank you so much for reading this. I look forward to your response.
    Kind regards
    Toni B.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Toni – Yes the label is blue. Both the Home Depots I go to always have it, I assumed they all did. Many companies are all going to the Paint + Primer in one formulas, even Glidden. I assume they are selling down the stock and replacing with the Paint + Primer. No cause for giving up though.

      This is not the only paint you can use, it is just the one I have had excellent results with. You can use any latex paint that does not have a primer or acrylic mixed it when you use Plaster of Paris or the non- sanded grout recipes. Look for a brands basic paint line. I have used True Value Easy Care Satin Interior with the off white and gold label with great results also. The blue label Easy Care has primer in it. Just ask at the paint store for a brand that sells a paint without a primer in it. You want a basic latex paint. Contractor paint usually does not have a primer in it.

      Sometimes paints with primers do not cause a problem, I just know they may bind the paint. If you are using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe there is less chance of this happening. It mixes well with all the paints I have used. It happens more with the Plaster of Paris and the Non-Sanded grout.

      With a little more searching you will soon be transforming your pieces.

  60. I am so excited I found this site! I have been wanting to try chalk paint, but its so expensive. There are so many suggestions on how to make my own, I didn’t know where to start, so thank you! I do have some questions though…I am wanting to accomplish fairly bright red bed frames for my boys. By adding powder is there a “dulling” effect to the color of the paint? I am planning on using Fiddes and Sons Clear Wax after, so I am not worried about the sheen, I am more worried about the color. Should I buy a darker shade then I want to accomplish? Also, do I need to do a light finish sanding prior to adding the wax if I am not distressing the frames? Thanks in advise!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – When using bright or saturated colors with the Calcium Carbonate Powder, you may see a slight lightening of the color, but not a huge change. Since the finish is flat – the paint will look dull until you add the wax and that is when the deepness of the color returns. Buying a slightly more saturated shade than you want will not hurt if you are worried about the CCP changing the color. Mix the CCP into water first and stir it until smooth – break up any clumps, then add to the paint. This will lessen any color change. The only color that I saw change slightly after adding CCP or Plaster was black. It got a tinge of grey to it, but once I added the wax coat – all was good again.

  61. I have purchased a large dresser and two night tables that need a major makeover. I cannot pay the price for ASCP or the other places in the area that have created their own brands (I live at the beach and I think every Chic Shabby store as come up with their own brand but it is not that much less than ASCP).

    After reading NUMEROUS blogs this seems to be the best recipe – I am just a bit confused – I thought the whole appeal of chalk paint – other than the distressed look was there was no prep work, less coats needed, no sanding, etc. I keep reading and I see sanded after one coat, sanded after two coats, etc. I just can’t seem to figure out when I am suppose to sand or even if I am … I know this is probably the most ridiculous question, but I am not a very good DIY person and being so new I am just scared to pull the trigger so to speak.

    I have been told all my life if you don’t ask you will never know – can you actually give me a step by step 1, 2, 3 on how to actually do this or a GOOD tutorial? When buying paint how do I know the amount to get – I have never painted furniture only walls and just give them dimensions.

    Thank you – I have saved your blog and look forward to becoming a regular – who knows if this turns out ok I may even learn to blog myself – but I am pretty boring and not as witty as all of you pro bloggers:) Happy 4th.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jana – It you haven’t already, start by reading these 3 posts: and this one:

      Read the comments and my answers and I think you will learn a lot.

      Chalk paint has many looks – some like it rustic and chippy so no prep is needed at all. It looks rough hewm and country or shabby chic. Others like a French look and use 2 colors and add dark wax over the paint to look old. I like my pieces more bright and finished looking and don’t want peeling paint or too much of a distressed look. All of these looks can be done with chalk paint – each one is done a little differently. That is the beauty in the paint – lots of possibilities.

      I always sand to get a smooth finish. For me the appeal of using chalk paint is that once the piece is dry, it does not have that latex rubber feel to the finish that you get when you paint furniture with latex alone. Everyone likes a different look, so I think that is why you have read and heard so many different ways things.

      The only way you will find what you like it to just start. For the corner cabinet I painted turquoise I used two colors, but only 1/2 quart of paint of each color. One quart of paint goes a long way on furniture.

      Annie Sloan states that it takes less time to paint when you use chalk paint since you do not have to use primer, but you do have to add soft wax or poly over it when it is dry to protect the finish. If you have a big piece this takes time to wipe the wax on and then buff it hard to a shine. You can also use water based poly.I prefer the look of the wax.

      I attended an Annie Sloan workshop and we learned it can never hurt to sand first. You don’t need to take the finish to the bare wood, but use a hand block sander to rough up the surface with 100 grit sandpaper. Apply light coats. When it is dry, if you see any paint ridges or dust or hair, that is the reason you sand between coats. Sometimes I do, but most of the time it is not needed in between coats.

      I would start to practice on scrap wood to come up with the look you are after. Once you figure it out, then paint your furniture.

  62. Hi Diane,

    Where do you buy the Fiddes and Sons Supreme wax polish? I see that you can buy it on Amazon but I was hoping to purchase it at a local store. Can’t wait to try your chalk paint recipe. You are really awesome for answering all of your reader’s questions!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janet –

      I have not been able to find Fiddes and Sons wax locally. I have only bought it online. On Amazon, and the online sites of Websters Chalk Paint Powder and John Millen Hardware

  63. Kris Warden says:

    Hi Diane,

    First of all, thank you for your time and effort in making such an informative site. Also thanks for taking so much of you time to respond to those of us who are just starting out with this great paint. I am so excited to use your ideas. Two quick questions, first I would like to echo a question from just a few days ago that hasn’t been answered yet, how easily does chalk paint strip off? I can’t imagine it being to hard, however, just want to make sure. Sometimes people take beautiful pieces and finish it in a not so beautiful way. Just want to make sure if it doesn’t strip off easily, I don’t buy it. Second, in a comment very early on, someone asked about glazing the legs of a table. I haven’t seen anything else in any other posts regarding protecting by glazing then waxing. What is the glaze and will that protect better then just waxing alone and what glaze would you recommend if I use it?

    Again thanks so much for all of your time you devote to us who are learning from you!


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kris –

      Yes you can strip chalk paint the same way you would regular paint. I have used CitraStrip, but any good paint stripper will work.

      As for glazing – glaze is just a liquid that you mix paint in to create different finishes. Glaze does not protect chalk paint. It just adds a transparent layer of paint on top. For protection you would still need to use wax or water based poly. You can see how to use it in this post:

  64. I just love your creativity, your pieces are beautiful. I made your favorite DIY Chalk paint recipe with Glidden satin paint without primer and I really love it. I have also used Annie Sloan Chalk paint and CeCe Caldwell Chalk paint which is easier to distress. Your recipe is very affordable and I like that I can make my own colors. How long should the paint dry before applying a different color? I don’t want the paint to peel. Can I repaint immediately after it dries or do I need to allow a couple hours between coats?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I would wait a few hours between coats to make sure the paint is fully dry before applying the next coat.

      1. Hi Diane, Thanks for your quick response. Thank you for sharing your chalk paint recipes and your info. Thanks to all your info my foot locker is turning out beautiful. I painted it with Glidden satin paint in Tempting Teal, I wanted more of a turquoise color and added two parts white and it’s now a beautiful light turquoise.

  65. I am new to Chalk paint and by accident, I used Valspar Paint & Primer and mixed it with POP for my first attempt at this process. I painted two pieces that came out wonderful! I then purchased Behr interior flat paint for my next project and was not as happy with the results. The Valspar Paint & Primer went on much thicker and dried without brush strokes. The Behr was thin and streaky. I am now leaning towards using the Paint & Primer for my next project. Any thoughts?

    1. I noticed that of all the paint I’ve tried…I’m getting worse results with behr (the kind I’m trying is premium plus ultra). The brush strokes are horrible…not to mention that it’s weird but it didn’t thicken like the other paints I’ve used…no matter how little after I put in it….So I’m not getting that kind anymore. I thought maybe it was the color but when I think about it, I used another one and the color didn’t lighten as much, nor did it leave as bad brush strokes.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Carine – I think the reason for the paint getting thick is because that formula of paint has a primer or acrylic in it. When a paint name and formula says “Plus” it usually means it has a primer in it. The next time you buy paint ask for paint that has no primer or acrylic it in. I always use Glidden Premium in a satin finish and love the way it mixes and goes on the furniture. If you see Paint+Primer In One or the word “plus” on the can – you will not get the best results.

        1. Well actually what I meant was that the other paints thickened up good…but the plus did not thicken at all…it was almost as if I never but POP in it. Not to mention the dark red that I was going for ended up being pinkish until wax then it darkened a bit, but to get the actual color I had to rub dark mahogany station and wipe off, then wax. And the brush strokes(even though it was not thick) were horrible….the other paints that thickened up sanded good and didn’t have as bad brush strokes. Either way I didn’t realize there were dangers with POP. I’m wondering if there are dangers with the dust from calcium carbonate….but I hear the smoothest is corn starch….Is it true?.

    2. Actually I looked over my pants just now and I have some that are paint and primer….Olympic….and it worked great too. Something about that behr but really didn’t like mixing with POP

  66. Hi Diane,
    My wife Jennifer and I came across chalk paint at a small shop and loved the finish. I checked around for DIY recipes and came across your site. Great stuff and we’ll be trying out your suggestions on a couple of small projects before re-doing our kitchen cabinets. However, just being the Devil’s advocate here, and looking down the road a bit: I’m the one who usually ends up with the stripping task when a re-do project is in the works! Do you have any idea whether chalk paint is removable for when the “strip everything down to the wonderful wood underneath” fad comes back?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bob –

      I was not sure, so I did an experiment to give you an answer to your question. I tried it on a board that I had practiced chalk painting on to find out. Yes it comes off. I used Citra Strip and Kleen EZ. The Kleen EZ is stronger and quicker, but both removed the chalk paint.

      1. That’s good, and thanks for the experiment. Not looking forward to it but you know it’ll all have to come off at some time!

  67. Hi, love your website and all the details you go into for the step by step painting and waxing for us newbies!
    I have one question though. I mixed up the chalk paint with the recipe you said using eggshell finish latex paint (ben moore) and it had some little annoying lumps in it to begin with. I sealed it up and used it again about a week or so later and now that I am getting close to the bottom of the quart there are little tiny lumps EVERYWHERE! It’s practically giving the drawers a rough finish it’s so bad! What should I do??? Should I throw the can out and buy more paint? I’m afraid to mix it up again because I’m afraid of it doing the same thing again. I used the same brand of calcium carbonate as you did.

  68. Rosemary Gregory says:

    Hello Diane,
    I am one of your subscribers. Just tried your recipe for chalk paint using a Behr mixed color, Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris according to your recipe. Not quite as thick as bread dough, but close. Added more water. Terrible brush marks. (I am one of those — I don’t use brush marks for interest). What have I done wrong? Just can’t continue using Annie Sloan although I love it. Many thanks for your time.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rosemary – It could be the Behr paint. It may have an acrylic or primer in it. Is is a Behr Plus formula? I always use Glidden Premium (not the Primer + Paint formula) in a satin finish. It is plain ol’ latex. That is what you have to use to make chalk paint that will brush on smooth. If you like Behrs colors, you can always ask to have it made in another companies paint. They do it all the time.

  69. I found your blog via pinterest. I used your recipe for chalk paint. The color I used is by valspar, I only needed a quart and their quarts come with primer in it. When I first mixed the recipe and started painting with it it was so smooth. Then I had to stop and after it was sitting for about 20 mins with the top on it, it got real thick like a paste. Have you ever had this happen?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jeanine – Sorry that your mix got thick, but when you use latex paints with primers or acrylic added to them, it will bind the paint. I use Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish. It does not have a primer in it. They have one with a primer in it, also. Make sure you get a paint without a primer added. Some say it right on the can, Paint + Primer or DUO. Other brands use the word – Plus. Valspar doesn’t have it written at all. I have written about not using Valspar and other brands that contain primers in all my chalk paint posts. I have quite a few that cover everything you need to know before making and painting with your own chalk paint. You can find the posts under “Paint Anything” under my blog logo.

      1. Diane, Thank You, I will check out your other post. I have been using chalk paint for a few years but I have never made my own. When I saw your recipe I was excited to make some with a beautiful color I found. I didn’t even read or check out any other post about it. I just wrote down the recipe and went shopping :-)

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jeanine –

          It was trial and error for me when I started to make it – I posted as I went. I think I have it all figured out now – I love the finish it provides once waxed. Once you get the right paint, I am sure you will like how your piece comes out using it.

  70. Hi Amy,
    I must say your passion and knowledge of ‘chalk paint’ has been amazing to read, I have yet to find this amount of info from a retail outlet,, well done! Fist time chalk painter here scared but will be brave to now start the chalk painting on a 54″w x 42″h puzzle design my hubby & I created. Instead of just staining, I like the idea od using colour on the puzzle pieces to give this a Pop when it finally gets hung in the DRm. Can you please give me some insight that after making your fav recipe, can I just add drops of the folk art acrylic paint into the 2 cup pots? Or do I have to purchase ‘paint from HDepot or Lows. The slats of wood range from 5.5″ w down to 2″ w, some I want to paint with more intense colour than others. It’s a Pottery Barn Knock Off – Wall Art that I have had on my wish list seems like forever, (4yrs) esp since my hubby did an amazing job doing all his perfect cuts to achieve the design I made. Some feed back would be so appreciated especially from you! Hope to hear back soon! ~ M

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Margo –

      Your project sounds very unique – I think using the color will make it even more so. Making and using chalk paint is very easy. Practice on a piece of scrap wood before starting on your project. This will give you an idea on how it goes on. If using craft paint, only make it up in small batches. Cut the recipe in half. Craft paints have acrylic in them and that tends to bind the paint. You can still paint with it, but only for a short time, it may turn thick and turn to sludge. I have done this myself when I only need a small amount of a color. The best paints to use are ones that have no acrylic or primer in them. Plain latex – the most basic always mixes up well. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish to make my mixtures and have never had a problem. Valspar paints have primer in them. If you want to use it ask for the contractor grade of Valspar paint since it has no primer. Always ask at the paint desk if the paint you want to use has a primer in it. Some brands do not have it written on the label.

    2. Thank you Diane for replying so quickly…I was on th the Michaels website and they carry a brand of craft paint called Apple Barrel 2 & 8oz plastic bottles that are LATEX, so would I be able to use those, as they are not Acrylic, and they have 149 colours! Just thought I would pick yor brain, as I am going down to Michael’s & JoAnn’s to see what I can find @ $1.09 for the 2 oz bottles. I hope your able to reply, Thank you Amy!~ Margo

  71. Thank you for testing & compiling such complete info & methods for diy chalk paint! I did a ton of searching & researching- yours is definitely the best resource available!

    I’m going to help a friend chalk paint a bookshelf. She wants to paint it white, but have a darker color show in the distressed areas. Since the shelves are a honey color, should she paint a dark brown layer, then 2 coats of white? I was thinking a layer of dark brown CCP + PoP, then 1-2 layers of white with slightly less PoP so it will sand away well. What do you recommend?

    Btw, the cashier at the health store asked if I was using the CCP for a supplement or to paint. He said he hasn’t met anyone who drinks it, only people who want to paint with it! I thought that was kinda funny.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amy – That is funny about the cashier at the health food store. You must have a lot of DIYers in your town :-)

      If you paint the bookshelf dark brown making the recipe using both CCP and PoP, and then the white with less or no PoP, you will see the brown layer underneath, but you may also see the honey color. Even if you are super careful when sanding, the honey color may show up in places. It may look just fine- like the piece is old with lots of layers.

      If your friend wants an antiqued look – you can paint white, sand, and then go over all the sanded areas with brown stain/glaze/wax. It will stain the light color wood – dark. You can wipe it away on the white paint. Test it out on a piece of scrap wood first. It is the best way to see what it will look like once it is sanded.

  72. Celena houston says:

    Been looking for chalk paint In mt city. No one has it so thams for the recipe! Great info on your site
    Thanks agian

  73. Alejandra says:

    Hi Diane!! I am so very excited I found your blog since there’s a very old piano that was given to us that I’d love to paint and give it an updated look. I was wondering which mixture would work best and if I should sand it or not. Thanks so much for this informative awesome piece!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alejandra –

      I like the Calcium Carbonate Powder mixed with the Plaster of Paris mixture the best. It makes up into a smooth mix and creates a very durable finish. If you plan to distress and age the piece a lot, use the Calcium Carbonate Powder by itself. It will be easier to sand. I go over every piece with a medium grit sand paper to rough the surface up before painting. It only takes about 10 minutes and will help the paint adhere much better.

  74. I read where you would not use your chalk paint for walls, I’m wondering why? I have been reading your posts and was thinking that your paint recipe might work for my project. I live in a 1940’s house with walls and paint so old it’s has horizonal cracks and some alligatoring in spots. When I saw plaster mixed into paint I thought that might be something that would help smooth out the problems I’ve got, especially if I did some light sanding and maybe three coats of paint. What are your thoughts? I appreciate any advice you can give me.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tj – In your instance – DIY chalk paint may work well. The only reason I say I would not use in on walls is that it is a lot of work to mix up a big batch if you only want color on a wall – no aging or distressing. You should just use flat paint. If you wanted to distress a wall and add dark wax to make the walls look old – then I would use it – that would add a decorative effect like faux paint techniques done with glaze. If you just want color on a wall – flat latex would look the same as chalk paint when dried on a wall. I hope that clears up the reason why I say I would not use it on walls.

      When using Plaster of Paris just make sure the paint you use to make your mix does not have a primer or acrylic in it. If it does it may bind the paint and turn too thick, even for you to fill the cracks in the wall. I love DIY chalk paint on furniture – it is the best. No tackiness and the finish looks like it came from a factory. I will always use it from now on on every piece of furniture I paint.

  75. I found Food Grade Calcium Carbonate at a local Beer/Wine supply store.
    1 Lb for $4.50 and 5 Lb for $9.50

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Denise –

      Wow! 5 lbs for $9.50 that is a deal. I will have to look for a beer making store. Thanks for taking the time to tell me. I know many DIY chalk paint makers will be happy to know this. I think the CCP makes up the best mixes.

  76. Hi Diane,
    Did you paint the white dresser in these pics and if so how did you apply the newsprint on the internal sides? Its very effective, i love it!
    You’re one BIG source of inspiration x

  77. HI Diane,
    I wonder if you have tried using a roller to apply the DIY chalk paint and if so did you have any hiccups with it. I have two large projects I want to tackle which have flat surfaces which might come up slightly smoother with a roller application?

    Many thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patricia-

      I have rolled on chalk paint when I have used the calcium carbonate powder recipe. It is very smooth and rolls on beautifully.

      1. Great, I’ll let you know how it goes :) PAtricia

  78. ann howard says:

    Hi Diane, Can you tell me if the chalk paint can be used on new pine without any undercoat?

    THANKS Ann

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann –

      Yes bare pine can be painted without any undercoat. The only problem that I can see is if there is a knot in the surface – a big one. I would sand over it. If there is a hole in the knot, put some Spackle in it and then sand smooth. Then proceed with painting.

  79. Hi, Diane I found your site and just love it …so informative. You also do great work, just one? Would you use diy chalk paint over bare wood or do you have to prime.
    Thanks for your reply and love the corner cabinet.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie –

      You can use chalk paint on bare wood. If it is an old piece that is dark and stained and you are using a light color of paint – you may have some tannins bleed through. If I am painting an old piece white – I use one coat of Kilz Original primer on it. You can also use clear shellac. These will block wood tannins from seeping through the paint. If it is a brand new piece of light color wood with no knots – you don’t need a primer.

  80. So happy to have discovered your great site!
    I have a few questions for you, if you have time:

    1. Can the brush you use for the chalk paint be cleaned and used again?

    2. For a distressed look, you seem to prefer finishing with wax as opposed to polyurethane. Yet, the wax has to be reapplied after some months, so I’m assuming there is a noticeable difference in looks between the two?

    3. Does the wax, after buffing, come off on your clothing or skin – when sitting at the table, for example?

    4. You mentioned that you used the poly on your bathroom cabinets that are not distressed. Why did you choose poly in this case?

    5. This is for any other readers who are thinking of posting a question. Will I need to check back here for your answer, or will it come to me in an email as well :)?

    Thanks for a wonderfully helpful site!


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      1. Can the brush you use for the chalk paint be cleaned and used again? YES, just like any other paint brush you use – Soap and water is all that is needed.

      2. For a distressed look, you seem to prefer finishing with wax as opposed to polyurethane. Yet, the wax has to be reapplied after some months, so I’m assuming there is a noticeable difference in looks between the two? You may not have to reapply the wax, I have not had to do it on any of the pieces I have done. Maybe on a heavy use table top you would need to re-wax every few months. The poly finish sort of flattens the finish. An overall sealed look. The wax seems to bring more life to a piece. The finish takes on a patina. IF you have not seen both, it is hard to explain. Both are fine to use. I prefer the way wax looks.

      3. Does the wax, after buffing, come off on your clothing or skin – when sitting at the table, for example? NO

      4. You mentioned that you used the poly on your bathroom cabinets that are not distressed. Why did you choose poly in this case? To see how it would look. I had not used it over chalk paint up until I did it and I wanted to be able to tell readers about working with it.

      1. Diane, thanks for your prompt answers! (I got a notification in my email – that’s handy!)
        I am going to try the wax and the poly on a couple of trays I want to paint to see how different they look.
        Thanks again so much. I have bookmarked your site and will be following you for sure.

  81. Thank you for such wonderful information! I love the Glidden color on the cabinet….very pretty.

  82. Beautiful project and very inspiring. You were also very informative. I feel a lot more comfortable about tackling those projects now. Thanks

  83. Hi,

    I wonder if premixed drywall compound (aka “mud” or joint compound) would work as well. Does anyone know?



  84. I used your recipe to make chalk paint to refinish a cabinet. I used 3 layers of different colored paints with the top a dark plum. I plan on sanding to distress it before I wax. When I lightly sanded the first coat of the dark plum, I noticed small white specks. I thought I had mixed the POP (DAP) and CC (Now) with water pretty well before mixing into the paint. There were no clumps. The paint was Valspar–the brand you don’t recommend. I had already painted the piece before I realized the brand was a bad choice. Is there any way to save this? Maybe the spots will go away after I wax? Any suggestion is appreciated.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sam –

      Getting white specks happened to me when I mixed my first batch of chalk paint. I painted a stool pink. It had specks when I sanded. Since the specks are un-dissolved powder, it can be dissolved as you sand depending on how big each speck is. Take a wet/damp rag and as a speck appears asa you sand, dab it with the cloth – smush it around a little until it goes away. Bigger specks are easy to dissolve. The Valspar paint with the primer could be making the Plaster of Paris not mix in well. It is the Plaster not the CCP that has not dissolved. The next time you mix it. Try mixing the PoP alone with warm water and really stir it until smooth. Add more water if necessary, then add it to the CCP if you are using both to make one durable paint. If using Calcium Carbonate Power and water alone and no PoP, you will not get any specks. If you want the super durable finish that you get by adding the PoP, you can use less of it in your mixes.

  85. Thanks for all your help. I’m looking at painting a small desk. If I mix the 2 cups paint do I use 2 tablespoons each cc, p of p and water or only 1 tablespoons plaster of Paris, and 2 of cc and water?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna –

      If you want a very distressed finish use only 1 T of PoP in the mix. I would use 2T of CCP and 1T of PoP and a little bit of water in 2 cups of paint. If you want a super durable finish and are only going to distress the edges a bit, then add 2 T’s of each into 2 cups of paint and a little bit of water.

      Once you make a few batches, you will see that your measurements do not have to be the same for each mix. As long as you have at least 2 Tablespoons of a “make your own chalk paint ingredient” in the latex paint, it will work. Don’t use a paint and primer in one formula or an acrylic paint. They tend to turn into sludge soon after mixing. Mix the powder into water first, let it dissolve, then mix into the paint.

      1. Thanks Diane. I’m doing a desk about the size of the one you did for your youngest daughter. Would the 2 cups paint plus the 2 tablespoons each of PoP and Calcium Carbonate powder and water be enough mix to do 2 coats on the desk or should I mix more paint? I’m new at chalk painting but can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for your help.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Donna – I would make more – 4 cups should do 2 coats and then any touch ups.

          1. Thanks. That’s what I’ll do.

          2. If I use 4 cups paint do I still use 2 T of the PoP and CCP? Mix? Getting ready to paint. Yeah.

          3. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Donna – One way to remember the CCP/PoP recipe is: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. 2 T CCP, 2 T PoP, 2 cups paint, 2 T water. Mix the CCP an PoP in the water first. You can add more water if needed to get a smooth mix, then mix it into the paint and stir well.

  86. Hi Diane.
    Do you use the same formula for all of the pieces you are painting? I have never painted furniture before.. I have so many pieces in my three (yes three) garages for future projects. Well the time has come for the future projects. I was going to hire someone to paint and repair for me but the cost was way above what I imagined it to be. So again my question do I use the same formula for all pieces but only change the color I want to paint the item?

    Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Grace-

      I have experimented with many variations and have written about each, but my go to now for painting furniture is making chalk paint using the Calcium Carbonate Power recipe and adding 1 Tablespoon of Plaster of Paris to the mix. It creates and extremely durable finish. If you want to be able to easily age and distress a lot of the finish- leave out the Plaster of Paris. It makes the paint not as easy to distress. I like Fiddes and Sons wax in clear the best. I just did the cabinet doors in my powder room and used Polycrylic instead of wax since I was not going to distress the finish. I am very happy with how they turned out. You have to try a few different ways and methods to find the one that you like the best.

  87. Hi Diane,

    You are amazing! and I love how your dinning room looks. I’m littler bit curious if you have any experience with Americana Décor Chalk that we can buy in Home Depot. Before read all your DIY Chalk Paint test, I was tenting to use Americana. Now I think I’m going to DIY my chalk paint :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Maribel – I have not used it. Does it come in a range of colors, or can you get it mixed to any color?

  88. Hi Up till yesterday I had never heard of chalk paint. I inherited a truely awful small chunky ( orange pine ) nest of tables. I am in process of downsizing so thought they would be useful and was looking for ideas to update them. Today I made chalk paint from baby’s talcum powder. I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the way they have turned out. All 3 tables had 2 coats of paint and I waxed with clear wax. The only outlay I made was the wax. Tomorrow will wax again maybe with dark. I am from the UK but live in Spain now. Than you for your excellent blog.

  89. Can you use acrylic paint at all? I have a TON of that!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Brandia – I have had mixed results with acrylic craft type paints when using Plaster of Paris and Non Sanded Grout. I would only make it up in small batches if using one of these, so that if it does turn to sludge, you are not wasting good paint. If you mix it with just Calcium Carbonate Powder it should be fine.

  90. hi, ive tired the chalk paint recipe with the calcium carbonate and plaster of paris together in the recipe you gave., it came out fabulous! I added a small artist tube of blue acrylic paint to add colour, went on brilliantly, but now its drying ive noticed a lot of patchy, white coming through? I mixed it well and it went on with great coverage, why do you think this has happened? do you think I made a mistake using the artist paint for colour? I live in the uk

  91. Just as an FYI. I have had great experience with the chalk paint recipe but I did do a table in black and I did not sand the table and the paint is peeling off. It is a table on my screened porch. I am going to repaint it in the spring but the chairs I painted in black did great.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diana – I always sand every piece, not to the bare wood, but just to rough the surface up. I went to an Annie Sloan session at a blog conference and we learned that you don’t have to sand, but it is worth the 5 – 10 minutes it will take. I am not sure how long ago you painted the table before it got cold. If it was not cured enough, the cold air could be why it is peeling.

      I have a question for you, I have not made black chalk paint yet and many ask me if by adding the grout, plaster, or CCpowder if the color of the black lightens? Did your black paint stay the same blackness? Thanks

  92. Lynda Clarke says:

    Hello Diane, Thank you so much all the research you’ve done on chalk paint. I love the look, and am in the process of redecorating my condo. I’ve tried your newest recipe, the Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris, and it works like a dream. So now I can put the money I’ve saved on chalk paint towards buying a new granite counter top! And for any readers who are doing extensive research like I did, I can honestly say the information from Diane is invaluable and will save you a lot of time and trouble. Thanks again, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lynda XO This is so nice to hear. When I first used DIY chalk paint, I was sold. It truly changed the way I paint furniture. I have painted furniture for years for myself as well as selling it. I never could get the patina I desired with latex alone and poly. After that first piece I used it on, I wanted to know as much as I could about making it. I will continue to post about it and may even do a video or two so readers can actually see my process firsthand.

  93. Laura | Zurleys Living Room Furniture says:

    I love this – I’ve never really heard of chalk paint before – it’s weird you can actually see the chalkiness in it! I really want to try it out on a sideboard I’ve got.

  94. Have you tried using premixed Plaster used to repair plaster walls to make chalk paint? I picked some up at Walleworld in the paint dept. and thought I might give it a try. It comes in small pots, premixed. Since it is already is a wet pastey consistency, I am curious….
    I have used Annie Sloan, but as you said, it is very pricey. I need to do several more large pieces so I am looking for something easier on the budget.
    Let me know what your thoughts are!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Jan –

      You can make chalk paint using many different ingredients – all of them work, some might make up grittier or different consistency mixtures, but they all add the chalk base that gives the latex paint the great adhesion power and flat look. I have not used the pre-mixed pots of Plaster, but think it would work fine as long as you get the paint mixed in evenly. You may have to test out the proportions of it to paint, but other than that, I think it could be a good thing. Let me know how it worked.

  95. I am in love with the corner cabinet color! Amazing job! You said that you mixed up two batches of paint and I wanted to know if that meant I only needed one cup of paint per batch or do I need two cups for each batch?

    Thank you thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kaitlyn –
      How much paint you mix up depends on how big the piece is you are painting. I made up a 2 cup mixture for each color of paint. So I made 4 cups total. It does go a long way. One coat of each color. If you have a larger piece you may want to make up more.

  96. julia gump smyserds says:

    I have been painting old furniture for years…I am 86 yrs and am still excited creating the painted look………but chalk painting is a new wrinkle for me and since I have all the necessary items on hand to make my chalk paint I will start within the hour …right after I ha ve my coffee……….thanks a million for such easy directions………..wish I lived next door to you to share our creations…….God Bless….Julia

    1. 86 years young and still painting furniture! I think you are my new hero!!!

  97. One more question – (*sorry!*) i need to find a wax that is nontoxic (or as natural as possible) and will have a clear finish so it won’t turn my furniture yellow. Your recommendation is greatly appreciated!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Fiona – I have only used Fiddes and Sons, Ce Ce Caldwell, Annie Sloan, and Johnsons waxes. I haven’t used any non-toxic brands yet to recommend. If you do a Google search for “Non toxic paste wax” I am sure a few will show up in the the search results. Just make sure the wax is soft. A hard wax is not the same.

    2. Hi Fiona!

      If you are looking for a non-toxic wax, have a look at our natural wax… It contains all natural ingredients (beeswax, plant waxes and plant oils) and is absolutely safe. There’s absolutely no chemicals or mineral oils in our wax. It will also not discolor your furniture! Feel free to email me at if you have any questions at all!

      ~ Rosanne

  98. Another quick question: do you have any recommendations for best, nontoxic latex paint ? Since I am painting my sons furniture I’m looking for something with little to no VOCs. Thanks!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Fiona – There is a new chalk paint company out that claims to have no VOC’s. It is called Country Chic Paint. They have a website. As far as a latex to make your own DIY chalk paint – I have not used anything besides the big brand names of paint. I would do a Google search to find some brands that have little or no VOC’s and then test them out to see how well they adhere and cover.

  99. Thanks so much for this post! I love it! I am totally inspired to do some painting using your recipe. Can I ask you: I want to paint my toddlers bedroom furniture. It is from ikea and it is very dark brown, almost black. I am guessing it will take several coats. I would like to achieve a solid contemporary finish, not antiqued at all. Do you think its possible to achieve this finish with chalk paint? Also how long do you think I need to wait for the furniture to cure before they get used? (Annie Sloan website that says 4-6 weeks!! Eeek!). I would greatly appreciate your input!! If this is a bad idea entirely can you please let mean know? Thanks!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Again Fiona – Most paint needs to cure and depending on the temp and humidity in the room, it may take up to a few weeks. You can use the pieces, but if they are not cured completely you may damaged the smoothness of the finish. For a contemporary finish -Chalk paint looks great – it does not have to be sanded or aged. You would need to use Poly or Wax over it to give the piece protection and shine. If not the finish would be very flat. I don’t think that is the look you are going for and you will have to add more wax over time if the pieces get a lot of wear. You may be better off just using regular acrylic latex enamel in semi or high gloss. You would need to use a gripping primer on it first if it has a laminate finish. If it is wood, you would need to use a stain blocking primer first, then paint.

  100. Laura Adams says:

    I should let your readers know that the calcium carbonate (aka Chalk) I found at Home Depot is line marking chalk used to saturate plumb lines so that you can snap a straight line when building something. It comes in different colors, & the manufacturer’s website says it is 99.99.9% calcium carbonate, with a tiny bit of naturally occurring silica (sand). I had to order the white color from their website, with free shipping when I picked it up at the store. The brand is Irwin Strait-Line. There is a warning, as there should be with ANY brand of calcium carbonate, stating that prolonged exposure to chalk dust could cause lung cancer, so use caution when mixing your paints, girlfriends.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – Thanks for the info – who knew?- Plumb line chalk. I will check it out. The kind I have used is sold at the health food store. It is food grade and I don’t think it is toxic since it is digestible and used for bone health.

  101. Hello Diane! I wish to you and your readers a happy 2014!
    I have a question regarding your chalk recipe: if i use this to paint a furniture, i have to sand it before?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marilo –
      I always sand before I paint anything. I look at it this way – it never hurts to sand. You do not have to remove the finish or go down to the bare wood or use a big daddy electric sander. All that is needed is a good going over the surface. I use a hand sanding block and 60-100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit. Depending on the size of the piece – it will take 10 minutes or less.

  102. Diane Steffen says:

    Diane, have you ever used a dark color such as indigo blue under a soft white? I was wondering if the white covers the darker color adequately and if so how does it look after sanding? Also, just to let you know, Hi-Yield makes a Horticultural Lime that is used mostly for lawns and gardens to “sweeten the soil”. But the bag also gives directions for making whitewash. So don’t give up on using lime in your paint. I think you have a future in chalk paint chemistry.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – Thanks so much for the info on the Horticultural lime. I will look into it more since it can be purchased in large quantities for a few dollars. I wish my Chemistry teacher from high school, Mr. Lyman could see your comment :)

      As far as using a dark color under white, I have never done it myself, but I think it would look great – you would see the color all around the edges of the sanded areas. You would probably need two coats of white to cover the base color. If you are unsure, try it on a scrap piece of wood to see if you like it before painting your actual piece of furniture or item.
      Happy 2014!

  103. Laura Adams says:

    Ok… what am I doing wrong? You inspired me to give chalk paint a try, so I built a Farmhouse bed from Anna White’s plans, and mixed up the latest formula: 2 T. calcium carbonate (which I found at Home Depot, 5-lbs./$10), 2 T. Plaster of Paris, & 2 T. water, mixed well until very smooth, then stirred in 2 c. latex flat paint (Glidden, mixed at Home Depot in Martha Stewart Bedford Gray for about $18/gallon). It went on smooth as silk, & dried quickly, but I had to put the painting on the back burner for a few days, & when I came back to it, the plaster had settled to the bottom of the can & hardened. I had to strain the paint to get out all the hard little bits – there was no way they were ever going to mix in again. Have you experienced this? Think I’ll skip the plaster, or mix very small batches.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura –

      I have not had Plaster of Paris or CCPowder clump up, only the non-sanded grout. I have only used the NOW brand of Calcium Carbonate and the DAP brand of Plaster of Paris. They may have different percentages of ingredients in them and that could have been why it clumped up. The largest mixtures I have made are using a quart of paint and if I cover the unused portion in an airtight container – it stays smooth. I know it must be frustrating, but don’t give up. As you stated, I think I would try making smaller batches and use only one or the other of the Plaster or CCP to see which one you like best. I have had equal success with both, but the CCP that I use does whip up into a smoother consistency.

      On another note – I am impressed with your skills to build one of Ana White’s pieces of furniture – you are a DIY rock star!

      Happy New Year!

  104. Jennifer Ditter says:

    Wow, I love this!! Thanks. I’m going to try my first piece using your recipe. I can’t get the top coat Glidden Pacific so I’m not sure what other color would be comparable? Plus, I could only find the Bone Meal for $11, is that the same? :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer –

      I don’t think Calcium Carbonate and Bone Meal are the exact same. Bone Meal has Calcium Carbonate in it as well as some other things. Calcium Carbonate is 100% Calcium Carbonate. Bone Meal may work, but I have never used it so I can’t be sure if it will work or not. To match up the Glidden color I used. You can use any brand of paint as long as it is not have a primer in it or is a Primer and Paint Formula in 1. AS far as the Pacific Coast #A1265 Glidden Color – check out Sherwin Williams Slick Blue SW 6949 or Benjamin Moore Fairy Tale Blue 2055-50

  105. huh??? but the behr paint is not latex…
    i looked it up on google, as we in our country have different marks of paint…
    and yes we have latex in holland hahaha…
    we paint our walls with it…
    anyway, i mixed the carbonate mix into normal furniture colored paint…
    it gives a real chalk look untill now…
    wonder how it lookes tomorrow hahaha…
    thanks for comment…
    let you know what happend…

    greetings Bianca

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I know some readers in Europe do not have access to latex paint. Behr paint is latex. I was not sure if you did. When you apply the soft wax over the dried chalk paint, the patina will come out in the finish.

  106. hi Diane,

    love what you do, but still don’t get it…
    i understand how to make the mix, but do you add this mixx into normal colored paint???
    this is what i understood in the story about the cabinet with the 2 colored layers…
    please i hope for an answer…

    greetings from Holland
    Bianca van Rijsselt

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Bianca –

      Once you make the mix, you add it in to water-based latex paint. (You can use any finish latex – Flat, satin, semi-gloss- since the mixture will flatten it anyway) Mix it well. Then you paint with it. I made mixtures in two colors, so that when I sanded the top color, the bottom color would show up to add more interest to the piece. You can simply just use one – no need to do two unless you like the two color look. I hope this helps. Do you have latex paint in Holland?

  107. Paige Wells says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. You are so talented and amazing. I think we would be really good friends if I actually knew you :) Gonna get started on an old desk today!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Paige – Maybe someday we will get the chance to meet. Love when I find kindred spirits :) Happy Painting XO

  108. I have painted a few pieces with the Calcium Carbonate recipe, thanks so much for this. Mine has turned out very chalky, it mixed well but after it dries it feels very gritty.

    I felt the pieces my daughter has done with the Annie Sloan and it is smooth. I wonder if I did something wrong when I mixed it or if it was the paint I used. I just used a flat interior, acrylic wall paint.

    Maybe I should try a different type of paint to mix it with.

    The paint went on well enough it is just a bit too gritty to touch after. I was thinking of diluting the mix with some more paint.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle – What brand of Calcium Carbonate powder did you use? I have only used the NOW brand (health food store) and it always mixes up super smooth. It could be the brand you used is not as fine. 2 things you can try. Lightly sand over the surface with fine sandpaper to smooth out the grittiness. You could also mix the powder in a few tablespoons of warm water to dissolve the powder first, then add to the paint and mix it well. I use Glidden Premimum paint in a satin finish. It has no primer in it. It always mixes up well. I recently used True Value latex interior paint in satin. It came out great. From experience, the only paint not to use are ones that are paint-and-primer-in-one formulas.

      1. Thanks I think when I made it up I used cold water to mix it to a paste then slowly added the paint. The Calcium Bicarbonate I ordered through a pet supply place in a 5 kg bag (should last a while lol).

        I will mix up a small amount after I use this 2 ltrs up and give it a go. I just gave it a light sand it turned out lovely but would like to skip this step obviously.

        It goes on well other than a little bit gritty after a few coats so I am still happy with it anyway so thanks so much for the recipe. For the 2 ltrs I made it cost me $16 compared to $120 for 2 ltrs (2 quarts) of Annie Sloan.

        We don’t have latex paint here but as close as it gets is the acrylic paint which is the regular water based wall paint, not the tubes you do art projects with. I might try a satin next time too rather than the flat matt, either way fun with experimenting.

  109. Diane,

    I love this blog. I have painted several pieces with Annie Sloan but I started painting a chair for my screened in porch and want a black finish and the graphite is grey. I went o Home Depot and bought basic black satin paint and P of P but I can not find the calcium carbonate. I would like to purchase it locally so I can paint this weekend. Can you provide me the name of the store wher you bought the CC. One last question. I painted a chair and started waxing it, can I use this paint and just paint over the wax or do you think I should sand those areas? Thanks.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diana –

      You can buy Calcium Carbonate powder at the health food store. I buy the Now Brand. It has an orange and purple label on a white bottle. Annie Sloan says you can paint over waxed areas, but I always go over the area with a sanding block first. It only takes a few minutes and can’t hurt, plus it will only give you added adhesion for the long run.

  110. Linda Hopkins says:

    I think your blog is one of the best out there. You are so thorough and give such great directions and tips. No guessing on your site! Thank you so much for your wonderful posts and your comments. I’m looking forward to painting some furniture that needs some TLC and I just can’t afford the ASCP. Thanks again!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Linda – I truly appreciate you taking the time to tell me XO I do love writing and sharing what I know. I always try to put myself in the readers shoes and cover the details to help make sure if they do the project , they will know what to do, but also what not to do. :)

  111. Anita Barber says:

    Is it the same thing as lime ?

  112. Anita Barber says:

    Where did you get calcium carbonate?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anita – I buy Calcium Carbonate Powder at the health food store. You can also buy it on Amazon. I use the Now brand. In the store it runs around $6 a bottle. I think on amazon it is around $9. I have never found Lime that is smooth enough. The only types I have found are too gritty.

  113. Thank you for taking so much time experimenting with the chalk paint recipes and for sharing the results do freely with so many. You wrote that using paint-and-primer-in-one latex paints produced bad results with sanded grout. But do you have any experience using the combination paint with the calcium powder/plaster mix? If so, what results did those tests produce? Can I use Behr Premium Plus combination paint w the. Recipes? Thanks so much. Joani

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joani – I recently posted about a corner hutch in my dining room that I used a mix of Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris. I loved the results. You can see that post here:

      I used Behr Premimun Plus paint for a stool I painted using Plaster and it mixed up fine. I only made a small amount though – 1 cup. It will bind up with the non-sanded grout. I don’t use the grout anymore. If you already have the paint, make a small mix up to see if it turns to sludge. If it does then it won’t work. I use Glidden premium paint in a satin finish the most and always get great results with PoP and/or CCpowder.

      1. Dianne VM says:

        hi from di…..was about to buy AS Chalk Paint and found your site and info….excited to try your recipe for my kitchen cabs. but was told to use a varathane type finish, from AS supply store. Fear now it will yellow and confused with too many options for most durable finish. Do u recommend the acrylic type top coat rather than AS varathane or other brand name varathane??? I am a first timer for any or all! Luv your site and excited to find it and your chalk paint recipe 4 sure, since cost of AS Chalk Paint is not in my budget and achieving a expresso brown I like s worrisome! Thanx thanx thanx for your info!!!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Dianne – I always use wax to protect the pieces I have painted. I love how it brings out the patina, but if you want a poly finish, you can use a water-based polyurethane product like Minwax Polycrylic. It is what many use to protect the painted finish on furniture and it will not yellow. It comes in a few finishes – glossy and satin. Since painting your kitchen cabinets is a big job, get a scrap piece of lumber and try your technique out on it first, then when you like what you see – do it on the cabinets.

          1. Hi.. I have a quick question Im repainting my kitchen table and chairs with DIY chalk paint my first time. Do I need to put a protective topcoat BEFORE I glaze to give it a worn look on chairs and legs of the table?

          2. Diane Henkler says:

            Glaze first and then add a protective coat of soft wax when the glaze is completely dry. buff the wax to bring out a subtle shine. This will protect the finish. If you protect first and then glaze, the glaze will come right off.

  114. I used the recipe with the Plaster of Paris and a sample pot of Behr paint. I let it cure for a week before sanding, but had problems with it peeling up in strips as I got down to the wood. I was able to repaint and distressed it by carefully sanding. It would have peeled again if I hadn’t been careful. It turned out beautiful.

    Should I have used a “nail test”? What is that?

    I am planning to paint a large cabinet. What is the best way to apply the paint for a smooth surface? Roller, paint brush?

    And one more question. My daughter wants to paint her kitchen cabinets. Will the Plaster of Paris/CC recipe work well for that? Does the wax hold up in this application? Would the cabinets need to be re-waxed occasionally?

    Thank you for all of your help! Your posts and tests have been the most help to me of anything I’ve been able to find!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa –
      If your paint came up in strips – the surface could use more sanding or cleaning. Something was acting like a buffer. It is usually dirt and or a greasy spot.

      The nail test is what you do to test the surface after it has had time to cure for a few days. You simply try to scratch the surface with your fingernail. If the paint scratches off, let it cure longer and try again. If it scratches off after a few weeks, then the mix could not have been mixed well or it could use more of the chalk paint component – Plaster etc. Another tablespoon or two can be added as long as the mixture stays smooth.

      I have never used a roller, always a brush – if the mixture is smooth then it will go on very smooth. You can use a foam roller though, it should work just fine.

      Many use chalk paint for their kitchen cabinets. I love the mix of CCP and PoP and will use it all the time now. It passed the scratch test on the first day :) It adheres well. Yes you would need to reapply wax every so often to keep the protection up. It could be months, a year but they will need re-waxing at some point.

  115. Hi, I love your chalk paint tutorials! Thanks so much for the info!
    Based on your experiences, would you recommend this chalk paint mixture as a good option to paint kitchen cabinets/counters? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Josie – I am not sure I would paint kitchen counter tops with chalk paint, but the cabinets – yes. It would work nicely on cabinets. As for the counter tops, I am not sure the paint would stand up to repeated water, cutting, heat, cold, and the abuse counter tops receive. It may work just fine on counters, but I will have to experiment on counters before I would tell anyone to do it. I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder mixed with the Plaster of Paris recipe. It is super durable as soon as it dries. I see more experimenting in my future :)

      1. Ok thanks for the opinion. You don’t think I could use a stronger more durable sealer (I’m very ignorant about this sort of stuff)?

  116. jenny schuermann says:

    hi, diane – love your blog & am an avid ASCP user, but like the thought of a less expensive alternative. In checking out calcium carbonate, I found the following on the Home Depot website: “Calcitic lime is pure calcium carbonate and is the cheapest form of lime.” This is the “lime” fertilizer (a powder) @ Home Depot. Do you know if this is any different than the calcium carbonate one can purchase on Amazon?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenny – I have never used anything but the Now Brand that I buy in the health food store. I think it should work fine as long as it is a super fine powder. The NOW brand is so nice to use because it mixes up into a very smooth – with no lumps mixture. I looked at lime once, but it was too sandy and didn’t mix into the paint. If it feels like flour, it will be fine to use.

  117. Hi diane, I prepared the recipe eith plaster of paris and let the paint cure for 3 days and can’t pass the nail test what do you think is the problem???

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Soledad – Three things could be happening. #1. It may need to cure longer depending on how thick the coats of paint were applied. #2. There may not have been enough P o Paris added to the paint. #3. The surface may need to be roughed up more with sandpaper if the original finish was glossy.

      What I would do is wait a few more days, but while you wait – wax one small section and buff it to the shine you want. Let is sit for a few more days and then do the scratch test again – on the waxed area and un-waxed area to see if the paint still scratches off. Chalk paint can take a few weeks to cure – temps in room, brand of paint,etc. If it stills comes off. I would sand over the surface with 60 grit sandpaper to really rough it up. You can then repaint over it. If the paint layer is thin – it should sand down evenly and not leave any ridges of old paint behind. If the coat of paint is thicker, you may have to sand harder to remove any ridges of paint – so the finish is roughed up, but even and smooth so the new coat of paint will look smooth. You don’t have to remove all the paint – just get the spots that are not sticking removed.

  118. Susan Mathison says:

    Just as an FYI- I did a little research on Bone Meal vs. Calcium Carbonate. Bone Meal has a much higher lead content than Calcium Carbonate, which may not be beneficial to your health!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Good to know Susan – thanks for doing the research :)

  119. I love the idea of chalk paint, and really want to do it on one of my kitchen walls. I also want to be able to write on it with chalk. Do I just use the calcium carb. recipe without waxing? Or because I am using it on a sheet rock wall that had wallpaper on it should I do it completely do it differently? Thanks Edythe

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Edythe – If you want to use it as a chalkboard, you can buy chalk(board) paint in many different colors. Lowes makes it and so do a few other companies. If you want to create your own color, then yes, just use the Calcium Carbonate recipe and then do not wax. I would put 1 more tablespoon of the CCPowder into the mix, just to make sure it will be chalky enough to write on.

  120. Hi Diane, I am so so happy I found your website. I have been researching chalk painting and with so many recipes and opinions I was losing my mind. You are the ONLY person I have found who really and truly tested and tried every recipe and paint and posted all of the information. I recently purchased a vanity I spent ten years searching for and want to make sure I refinish it well, and finding your site will surely help me accomplish that task. I noticed in this post that you did not tape up your glass. is that because the paint washes away easily until it’s waxed? This cabinet like all your pieces is gorgeous. Thanks for posting such amazing information. Wish me luck.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lorraine – I didn’t tape up the glass for time reasons. Sometimes, especially when the glass has lots of trim around it, it is quicker to remove the paint on the glass with a razor blade scraper. The paint will not wash away. The only way to remove it once it is dried is to sand it off or use stripper. If you have the time, you should create a sample board to see how the paint and wax looks before doing your vanity. That way you can be sure the color and process works for the look you are trying to achieve.

  121. Hi Diane,
    Your chalk paint projects are so inspiring! I am just a beginner with repurposing/painting furniture. I have young kids and I have an oak dining table I want to repaint. I am thinking about using your chalk paint recipe but I just want to make sure I understand what to do :) After I have painted my piece with chalk paint and it has dried, is using wax the best way to seal it? Or do I just use wax if I want that rustic finish? What’s the best way to seal my piece but is safe since my piece is a dining table?

  122. I am looking for a high gloss finish. I was wondering if you have ever tried making chalk paint with semi gloss paint.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Darla – The finish of the paint you use to make DIY chalk paint does not matter. Once you add the Plaster of Paris or the Calcium Carbonate powder the paint will become flat. The way to achieve a high gloss shine over chalk paint is to use wax. Fiddes and Sons and Annie Sloan buff up to a high shine right away. Johnson’s needs a few coats and a bit more buffing to bring up the shine, but it can become super shiny. The other way is to use Minwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish after the paint is dry. Wax or poly will protect the painted surface.

  123. Sharon jackson says:

    Love your ideas and advice on the chalk paint recipes. I have an old bed that was given to me that I use in our guestroom. I cannot wait to try this on it! A couple of questions please. You mentioned you don’t like Valspar paint? Which kinds do you recommend also what type brushes did you use? I saw a video where the wax brush was over $40. I don’t have that in my budget for just a brush. Any advice? Love your site!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – The only reason I don’t like to use Valspar paint is that is has a primer in it that sometimes can bind up a DIY Chalkstyle Paint mix when using non sanded grout or Plaster of Paris. I have never had a problem when I use Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish. Any paint without a primer in it will work as well as any finish, but I like the way the satin finish mixes up. I do not use brushes, I used well worn and washed T-shirts. I cut them up into pieces and use them to apply and buff the wax.

  124. Hi, Diane! I am a fan of your blog, and have been perusing it for quite some time. I am getting ready to paint my first piece of furniture using chalk paint, and really appreciate all the testing you’ve done, and especially this latest recipe. I blogged about it, and put a link back to this page. Thanks so much!

  125. Thanks SOOO much for the best (in your search for the DIY) chalk paint powders, I do alot of repurposed furniture make overs and can not afford AS & CC paints and waxes, so this will be a great dollar saver! Thanks agian Diane! ;-)

  126. S.M. Isham says:

    Calcium Carbonate is also known as Bone Meal. In my area it can be found cheapest at the vitamin store

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for sharing the info on Bone Meal. It will help many readers out who are having a hard time finding it.

  127. Hi!
    Could you tell me the name of the white paint you used along with the P of P and CCPowder? Was it one or two different colors and one or two coats? Both the table and corner cabinet look beautiful.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Pam – I used Glidden Premium White base in a semigloss finish right off the store shelf. 2 coats of the same color.

      1. I love the outcome and have a Goodwill dresser in my basement awaiting a transformation! Now I know the direction that I’m going to take. Can I please ask for a quick clarification on the paint sheen. Here you noted a semigloss finish but above in the post there are references to latex paint in a satin finish. Would the sheen even matter too much since it’s waxed/buffed in the end? Thanks!!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Jeanette – you can use any sheen of latex paint. They will all become flat once you add the chalk paint component – CCP or PoPlaster.

  128. I love, love, love that cabinet! That blue is awesome and exactly my taste!Great directions and explanations for what you did, also

  129. Barbara B says:

    What a beautiful cabinet. I love the color! Thank you to Joanne B for asking the question about Chalk Paint. I’m new to this paint too. Now, for the 2nd question that I’m sure you’ve probably answered previously, but I missed it. Where do you get Calcium Carbonate?

    1. I ordered calcium carbonate powder from Amazon.

  130. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse says:

    I love that shade of blue!

  131. pinned! tweeted! will also share on fb later today. LOVE the look, and I was shocked to see how petite the corner cabinet is next to the hutch! :)

    I will have to try your recipe someday soon.


  132. Beth Coburn says:

    Wow! I love the pop of color this piece gives. As always, well done.

  133. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Oh Sue brought up a great question that I was also curious about. Did you tape or just scrape the paint off the glass? I used petroleum jelly on the door windows when I Minwax (hate that brand) stained a brand new door for one of Steve’s rental houses and it saved my sanity, cause that Minwax is just awful to get off of anything once dried….. not sure if it will ever come off either.

    Also, did you paint the Chevron rug on your newly refinished floor or is it a vinyl rug or any type of real rug?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll -I used a razor blade to remove the paint from the glass. If it is a large window, I use Vaseline, but since it was small – I just scraped. Paint comes off much easier than stain.

      The rug I bought at HomeGoods. It is a small area rug that I just move around from room to room to give a pop of color when needed. I don’t want to buy any large area rugs until I know if we are staying in the house or moving.

  134. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Well if you don’t just come up with the best do over’s ever! It is so beautiful. I love the color and I also like that you do not go overboard on the distressing. I have never and am still having a struggle with most of this distressing done all over now. But you do a perfect job.

    Once again, I am so very impressed.

  135. This is dumb and off subject, but is that Lenox china in the cabinet? I am so so so in love with anything Lenox. I have tons of beautiful Lenox Christmas ornaments and here ad there I pick up a vintage piece from garage sales. I even wear a piece of recycled chipped Lenox around my neck as a necklace. If I ever get married, this is my one demand. A full set of luxe Lenox! XOXO

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sarah – It is very old Johnson Brothers china from England.

  136. designlit says:

    Creative DIY paint project to do, thumbs up!

  137. Love the re-do of the cabinet! Beautiful!! I have a question that I didn’t see addressed in the how-to directions. It appears in the photos that you painted on the glass panes as you were painting the woodwork. I don’t see painters tape but maybe it’s there and just not visible? Or is there an easier trick than taping off the glass? I would love to try this technique!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – When it is a small area to paint, I think it takes less time to just scrape the paint off the glass with a razor blade then to tape it off. At home improvement stores they sell little razor blades scrapers for $1 that you can easily change the razor blade when it gets dull.

      1. I was wondering the same thing about the glass! I can’t wait to try this route! Cabinet is beautiful!

  138. Krista @ the happy housie says:

    It looks stunning Diane! I make my own with a recipe that is 1 part water to 1 part plaster mixed and add two parts paint- I am super curious about your recipe now – have never tried the CC before and the smaller proportions. Pinning! Thanks for sharing it:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Krista – I have made many different mixes and used different proportions on different pieces. I have found that you can add more powder than the recipes call for as long as you can keep stirring the mix and it mixes up to a smooth consistency. More powder in the mix means chalkier finish and better adhesion.

  139. I love the color. You surely breathed new life into that piece! I have saved your DIY recipes, and even got the calcium carbonate powder a couple weeks ago. I’ve never tried the grout, but I have painted a few pieces w/the plaster-of-paris recipe–it worked okay–but it felt gritty, I kept finding clumps in my paint no matter how many times I whisked it, & it required sanding between EVERY coat to get the gritty feel off. So I was all excited about trying the calcium carbonate, and now I wonder if I should try your newest creation:) So you really didn’t have any of the clumps or grit from the plaster-of-paris when mixing it w/the calcium carbonate? And just wondering why you decided to try this new mixture–did you find the finished produce from the calcium carbonate recipe to be less durable than desired? I am letting you go before me to perfect this baby, then I’m going to copy what you do:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi MK –
      I love the Calcium Carbonate Powder all by itself, it is very durable, but does take some time to cure to maximum durability. Out of curiosity I wanted to see how a finish would turn out if I mixed two DIY chalk paint recipes together. I get many reader questions asking what is the best recipe for painting high use pieces, like kitchen tables and outdoor furniture. This would be the mix I would tell them to use. It seemed to cure overnight.

      There was no grit at all in the mix. Calcium Carbonate Powder always creates a smooth mix with no graininess, that is why it is my favorite ingredient to use. Depending on the brand of Plaster of Paris – it could have grain or not. I use DAP Plaster of Paris – it is very smooth.

      No matter what recipe you use Calcium Carbonate Powder all by itself or mixed with Plaster of Paris – you are going to like the finish. both are excellent. I don’t use the non-sanded grout anymore.

  140. Love your paint job on the corner cabinet. Thanks for the chalk paint recipe. I have a dresser that I got at an auction lots of years ago that I’m itching to paint and I believe I will use this recipe. I may even try the 2 different color technique like you did on the cabinet. Love your blog Diane. You always give me inspiration! Vikki in VA

  141. Derrick Lawless says:

    Wow! What great work! Thanks for the link and everything!

  142. Joanne B. says:

    Hi Diane-
    I love the transformation! Nice simple how do also! I like the idea of the darker blue underneath to give dimension. Now- I know this is probably going to sound like I just landed on the planet, but can you please, please, please simply explain to me what all the big deal is about “chalk paint”? The home decor sector is in soooo deep now, I can’t seem to find a simple answer as to what makes chalk paint the greatest thing since sliced bread? Any insight you can give would be appreciated by me, and maybe one other person who just crawled out from under a rock too! And let’s not even get started on what milk paint is…Thanks in advance!

    1. The current trend towards chalk paint and milk paints may have come about due to the fact that they do not
      require a lot of surface prep–also they can have a crusty(sometimes), worn antique appearance.
      I really like the finishes you are doing, Diane, with less expensive materials.