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How to Make Chalk Paint With Acrylic Craft Paint

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Post updated: 8/6/2021

If you like the painted finish of chalk paint and want to paint something small and not have to buy a quart of chalk paint or paint to make your own chalk paint. I am going to show you the least expensive to make a small batch of homemade chalk paint.

My sister asked me if I could paint a mirror she had with chalk paint.  She brought it to me along with a generic 2-ounce bottle of acrylic paint from the craft store in the color yellow she wanted.

How-to-make-chalk-paint-cheap-and-easy

Can You Turn Acrylic Paint Into Chalk Paint?

When you have a small item that you want to chalk paint, but don’t want to have the expense of buying an entire quart or gallon of chalk paint in the color you want ,you can use acrylic paint from the craft store using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe (CCP).

Mixing calcium carbonate powder (it is a fine powder with no lumps) into acrylic paint will not turn the paint into sludge.

  • If you use Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded Grout, when you mix paint with primers and acrylic into these ingredients, they can harden making the paint unusable.

I have tested the 2 oz. bottles of all-purpose acrylic craft paint and the “Outdoor” formula of craft paint to make chalk paint. Both work beautifully.

Calcium Carbonate is my go-to ingredient when I make chalk paint. I no longer use anything else, except if I am doing a table top, I may add a tablespoon of Plaster of Paris (PoP) so the finish will be very durable.

A 2 oz. bottle of acrylic paint will make just enough for a small project like this mirror.

How to Make Chalk Paint With a Bottle of Acrylic Paint

The-most-inexpensive-way-to-make-chalk-paint

Acrylic Craft Paint Made Into Chalk Paint Recipe

To make an inexpensive small batch of chalk paint using a small bottle of craft paint, mix:

  • 1 tablespoon of cool water with 2-1/2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate powder in a bowl. Mix to a smooth consistency.
  • Add the entire contents of the 2 oz. craft paint bottle into the bowl and mix it well into the water and calcium carbonate mixture. Stir until smooth.

Note: You can add more calcium carbonate than my chalk paint recipe calls for to any mix, but not too much. If you add too much, you will make the finish, once dry, hard to distress. It will be a little too durable.

How to Paint with Craft Store Acrylic Homemade Chalk Paint

How-to-distress-a-piece-of-furniture using sand paper and sanding blocks.
  1. Apply one light coat of paint to the surface with a paint brush or foam roller. Let it dry completely, then add a second coat. Add one more light coat if needed and let dry.

2. Once the surface is dry, sand the areas you want to distress with 100 grit sandpaper placed on a hand sanding block or a folded piece of sandpaper work swell for getting into small or tight areas. Clean off the sanding grit with a tack cloth or damp paper towel.

How to Seal Your Chalk Painted Piece

What is the best wax to use over chalk painted furniture?

!. When the painted surface is dry, apply a thin coat of soft wax with a lint-free cloth.

For the mirror I used Miss Mustard Seed’s clear wax, but there are many good clear waxes you can use. Here is my list of favorite waxes to use to seal chalk painted furniture.

  • Wipe a thin coat over the entire painted surface.
  • Then immediately add a thin layer of Annie Sloan’s Dark Wax over that. Putting the dark wax over clear allows you to easily push the dark wax where you want it. The same goes for white or liming wax.  I used that and more clear wax to lessen the areas that got too dark.
  • Once the wax is applied, buff with a soft cloth to bring out the shine.

How to Buff to Seal a Chalk Painted Finish With Wax

How-to-buff-wax-on-chalk-painted-furniture-to-a-shiny-finsih

To make buffing the surface of the chalk paint with wax easier, cut up old lint-free t-shirts and terry cloth towels into 8″ squares to use to apply and buff the wax.  Blue paper towels called Shop Towels work very well for buffing also.

  • Apply a very thin coat of wax to the painted surface with the looped side of the towel.   This helps get the wax into tiny grooves and crevices. Use the smooth side of the towel to start buffing the wax and then the t-shirt to bring up the shine.
  • Buffing wax over chalk paint takes some muscle, so keep rubbing the surface with your t-shirt or towel in a sweeping circular motion.  You can add another thin coat of wax to build up protection once first coat is buffed well.
  • You will know you buffed enough when the rag/towel you are using easily glides over the surface as you rub.
  • You will be rewarded with a great patina and durable finish for your efforts.
  • To get the wax into grooves and crevices, use a stiff, thin tipped artist’s brush.

Where to Purchase Calcium Carbonate Powder to Make Chalk Paint

You can buy calcium carbonate powder at the health food store, Amazon, and at beer making supply stores.  It is inexpensive and one 12 ounce bottle will make around 2 quarts of paint or more.

Acrylic paint is sold at the craft store in 2 oz bottles. It comes in a wide variety of colors making it one of the most affordable ways to make chalk paint in any color you can imagine. 

Annie-Sloan-Paint-Mix-Mat

If you don’t find the exact color of acrylic paint you want, experiment by mixing a few colors together. Annie Sloan sells a mat called a “mix mat” that makes doing this very easy.

You can buy 2 ounce bottles of craft paint at craft stores, Target and Walmart.

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107 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to try this.

    By the way, what is PoP? Our kitchen table is in need of refinishing…

  2. Hi Diane, I usually opt for PoP over the CC as I find the CC can make it bit to grainy? In saying that, the stuff I was testing with was for poultry and not craft or consumption! Perhaps I need to give it a grind in the pestle and mortar before I give it another go.

    Also a paint that was beautiful and smooth when mixed has now got tiny little ‘rocks’ of PoP in it – fine for the finish I wanted but it would be a pain for anything that required a smooth as silk finish. Any ideas why this one colour should do this when others with the same ingredients haven’t done it!

    Thanks,

    Nikki x

    1. Hi Nikki – I bet the CCP you bought was not like the powder I get at the health food store. It is like silk – very smooth when you run it through your fingers. I guess they run it through the mill a few more times for human consumption. The chickens must not mind the texture and grittiness. :-)

      As far as the one color getting the little rocks of PoP in it. It is probably the paint. PoP can harden it some paint formulas. I have had a few mixes do this on me. It is one reason I like the CCP. The Now Brand of CCP can be bought on Amazon if the health food store near you doesn’t sell it.