How to Make Chalk Paint With Acrylic Craft Paint
This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.
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 small batch homemade chalk paint recipe.
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. Time to make my favorite chalk paint recipe
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). It is inexpensive powder and comes in small or large amounts.
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
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
- 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.
- You can see more how I use this on another chalk painted mirror I posted about.
How to Seal Your Chalk Painted Piece
!. 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
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
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. The wide variety of colors make it one of the most affordable chalk paint recipe ingredients. Your project color is only limited by your imagination.
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.
Frequently asked questions:
Can you make any paint into chalk paint?
You can use virtually any water-based latex paint color in a chalk paint recipe. It is an easy DIY project that can be completed in 30 minutes or less. The result is a unique and customized project with textures you choose or even a distressed look.
What makes chalk paint different from regular paint?
Chalk paint differs from traditional paint in several ways and requires no prepping. Its matte finish can paint right over most clean, dry surfaces (except for metal or shiny laminate). And it works even if the surface is already painted.
What household items can you use to make chalk paint?
Baking soda is the key ingredient in the simplest recipe for DIY chalk paint. And that makes it perfect for a quick project. You may already have it in your pantry. If not, it’s found in any grocery store.
You can also pour equal parts cornstarch and water into a mixing bowl. Just stir the mixture until it has a thick, smooth consistency. Then separate the mixture into smaller bowls. One for each color of chalk you want to make. Add food coloring. That’s right, you can quickly make a number of different colors for that unique to you project.
More Chalk Painting Projects You May Like
Will using the mix of calcium carbonate and acrylic stick to plastic?
Hi Mari – If you sand the plastic with 100 grit sandpaper first and then clean it well, the calcium carbonate recipe with acrylic paint will work fine. Here is one negative though about painting plastic items. If the item is made of thin plastic and can be twisted, any paint will crack.
If you are painting a solid item made of plastic, paint will adhere. There is also spray paint primer made especially for plastic. If you want a certain color of chalk paint, then you could try priming the item first, let it dry, then paint the chalk paint color you want. You can see the primer here: https://amzn.to/3ECCzbc
Hi Diane, I’ve seen a lot of you tube videos on painting leather couches with chalk paint but most of them are using bought chalk paint. I was wondering if diy chalk on leather couches may not be a good idea???
I have two 3-seater couches I want to paint and I would love to make my own chalk paint to save money.
I will gladly follow your advice!!!
Hi Silvina – I have seen a leather sofa painted with black Annie Sloan chalk paint and waxed. It was amazing. It is in the hair salon I go to. You would never know it was not black leather. So it does work well. I have never tried it myself using DIY chalk paint though, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work the same.
If you want to make your own chalk paint to get a certain color, then use the Calcium Carbonate powder recipe. Make sure you mix the powder into the water well. I would even mix it in a high speed blender if you have one. Then when you are sure all the powder is dissolved, then mix it well into the paint.
To save money – you may want to see the cost of the paint and the calcium carbonate powder. With regular latex paint prices going up, ready made chalk paint may be cheaper in the long run.
Can you use this on fabrics?
Hi Martha – You can use chalk paint on fabric. Many use it to paint upholstery. It works very well once you seal and buff with wax. If you don’t buff, it is a very flat finish that will get dirt and oil smudges that will be hard to remove. What are you thinking you would like to paint with it?
Can you store the rest of the paint when mixed for next time?
Hi Alison – Yes you can store any leftover paint if you place it in an air-tight sealed container.
Can this be made in larger amounts and used at a later date?
Hi Margaret – Yes you can make it in larger quantities, but you have to make sure the container has a tight seal. If it doesn’t, the paint can dry out and be unusable.
I really like the “before” mirror much better. The yellow reminds me of a caution sign. It’s nice to have something shiny around a mirror, but chalk paint is nice for things like dressers or nightstands.
I have done 2 coats of your CCP Paint Recipe & wondering should it have a grain to it after it has dried?
Hi Cheri – When you say grain, are you talking about still seeing the wood grain of the wood even after 2 coats? If so, no, unless you want a transparent look. You may need another coat to get full coverage.
The amount of coats depends on a few factors – the color of the paint, how thick or thin the mixture is and the brand of paint. All these factors can alter the amount of coats needed. To get a super smooth finish, rub 220 sandpaper over the dried coat before apply the next coat. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Hi Again Cheri – I have a question about what color and brand of paint you are using. It may help me better determine, how to get the coverage you are looking for.
I am looking forward to following your instructions and chalk painting a sideboard in my otherwise old formal living room. Thanks for the tips!
Do the waxes you use have to be re-applied or is it once and done?
Hi Kim –
I have pieces that are 7 years old where I waxed to seal the paint and they still have sheen and protect the surface.
When you may have to re-apply wax is on a surface that gets used and abused, like a kitchen table or a kitchen cabinet that is near a stove or heat source. Over time, the wax may break down from the heat. On my kitchen table, I add a new layer of clear wax and buff it maybe once or twice a year. It is so easy to do – Clean the table, let it dry and apply a thin coat of wax over the surface and buff to bring up the sheen. Takes 10 minutes. It is like applying Pledge Furniture Polish, you just have to buff a little harder. One reason I love using wax over poly is that if you get a water ring or damage in the painted finish, you can lightly sand it with 220 sandpaper to remove it and apply paint and wax over it and buff. It will look like new. Damage is easy to fix.
When you apply poly over the paint and it gets a ring or a damage, you can’t simply repaint and poly, you will see the fix since the paint and poly will not blend in.
Thank you so much for your quick reply. Your answer helped a lot. I had a hard time finding this as I couldn’t remember exactly where I posted the question. Should I have gotten an email alert? Just wondering. Thank you again!
Sorry…one more question on waxes. Can you use the wax over a coat of glaze? There is chalk paint under one coat of glaze.
Hi Kim –
Yes, you can wax over the glaze, it has a matte finish and the wax goes over it fine. I used wax over the turquoise sideboard I painted. You can see it here – https://inmyownstyle.com/furniture-before-after-makeover-in-turquoise.html
Wait for at least 24 hours before using the wax over the glaze. The only wax I would not use is Briwax. It has something in it that will take the glaze and paint off. I like Fiddes and Sons, Johnsons and Annie Sloan.
Hi Kim –
When I respond to a comment you should get a notice in your inbox that I have responded, it should also show my reply. My reply will also show up under your comment on the blog. Did you get an email reply from me with the answer? If not, I will have to tweak my comment coding. It may have gotten messed up with the design changes on my blog. Thanks for your help to figure this out.
Thanks so much for info.
I am thinking on painting a dresser, is fake wood similar than IKEA. I don’t have experience painting or working on furniture. So I got few questions:
Can I use a roller with this paint?
Does the water have to be warm, cold or room temperature?
Do you recommend me to use prime and what brand?
Hi Carlos –
Yes you can paint laminate using craft paint made into chalk paint. Depending on the color you want you may want to check out Walmart where they sell Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint for a few dollars a bottle. It is great paint and came out after I wrote the post you read. If they don’t have the color you want then you can make your own.
I use warm water when mixing the CCP with the paint.
You do not have to prime when using chalk paint, just make sure to go over the surface of dresser with 100 grit sandpaper to rough it up a little to provide some tooth for the paint to adhere to. This is a very important step when painting laminate. Clean off the grit and surface with hot water and dish detergent, rinse, let dry and then you can paint.
Use light coats and make sure when rolling that you don’t leave roller marks. Buy a small Microfiber roller with rounded ends. this will lessen roller marks. If you do get roller edge marks, sand lightly after the first coat is dry with 220 sandpaper, clean off the grit and then roll on a second coat.
I hope this helps. Happy Painting
Hello Diane, I have just painted a cedar chest with white chalk paint. I don’t like it or the Dark Wax that was sold to me to use over the chalk paint. I would like the chest to have a hint of chinese red but do not know how to get that. Or if it is even possible. I was wondering if you might have a suggestion.
Hi Ann –
The best way to get the hint of red would be to paint over the chest in sections. If you want to see more white, paint the chest red, let dry and then paint it white. Let dry, then use sandpaper to remove the top coat of paint to expose the red color underneath. Then protect with a few coats of wax that you buff to a shine.
Another way to get the hint of red, would be to use Vaseline. If you want the chest to look more red, apply Vaseline to the areas on the chest that you want to see white. Then paint the chest red. Let dry. Then go over the chest with a cloth to remove the Vaseline to expose the under color(white) of the chest. If you want the chest to look more white, with just hints of red, then paint the chest red. let dry. Add Vaseline in the areas where you want to see red, then topcoat with white. Once dry, remove the Vaseline to expose the red underneath. Does this make sense?
Another thing you may want to do, depending on the finish you want is to rub Mineral Spirits over the chest to remove the wax. If you paint over the wax with more chalk paint, it should adhere, but in some areas it may not. This may not be bad depending on the finish you are trying to achieve. Some of the paint may come off it areas. If you don’t want a chipped look, then you may want to remove the wax before proceeding to repaint the chest. Then clean with a damp rag and water and detergent. Go over the surface again with a rag and just water. Let dry, then start the process of repainting the chest.
Suppose I want to chalk paint an entire oak table… I expect it to take about a quart of paint. How much calcium carbonate should I add to that volume of paint?
Disregard. I see where you said one 12-ounce bottle will make 2 quarts of paint, so I’ll just use half of the 12-ounce bottle – unless you tell me otherwise. :)
Hi Jenn –
To make it easier to figure out. For one quart of paint you need 8 Tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate Powder and 4 Tablespoons of water. I have recipes for making 1 quart of DIY chalk paint here: https://inmyownstyle.com/diy-chalk-paint-recipes.
I want to use chalk paint on an antique table that has some worn and cracked leather on the top. Do I need to do something special to the leather before painting it? Have you ever painted over leather?
Hi Joanne – You don’t need to do anything extra special to use chalk paint over the leather. I would clean it off first with a damp rag with a teeny bit of dish detergent on it. This will remove any dirt of grease on the leather. Then go over with just a rag with clear water. When the leather is clean you can paint. The process for painting is simply to spray water first over one area of the leather at a time, then paint it, continue to spray then paint until the surface is covered. You only need to dampen the leather, not saturate it with the spray of water. Once dry you can seal it with clear wax and buff to a subtle sheen.
Hello! Thank you so much for this tutorial. Acrylic craft paint is so much easier for me to buy and work with than latex paints are, so I am quite pleased to know I can use craft paint to make chalk paint. I do have a couple of questions though.
1) I make a variety of things with chalk paint and I would like to be able to mix up 8-16oz batches so I don’t have to mix a new batch each time I want to paint. If I keep the mixture in a sealed container when not in use, will it stay good for later use?
2) Most of my projects are glass, and so I am curious how well basic matte acrylic with the CCP will adhere to glassware. I use matte clear-coat spray paint to seal my glass projects – will that keep the paint on the glass? I know it works for just craft paint and store bought chalk paint, but I’ve never made DIY chalk/acrylic before.
Hi Becca –
I love acrylic craft paints, they come in so many colors and the colors can even be mixed to make custom colors, plus they are super affordable. Latex paint in gallons and quarts are getting pricer and pricer.
To answer your questions:
1. I have only made small batches when using craft paint, but I think larger batches of it will store just as well as latex. You may want to make up one batch and see. All the DIY chalk paint mixtures I have made have lasted a long time if stored in an airtight container. I use plastic Folger coffee cans to store mine. After I put the lid on I make sure to “burp” the lid to make sure all the air is out of the can. I have a few colors that are still good after 2 years of storage this way.
2. Chalk paint made with CCP will stick to anything as long as the surface is clean and free of wax or grease. Apply thin coats and let the paint dry for about 24 hours before sealing with a matte clear coat sealer.
This is a really helpful article! I was wondering if you’ve tried wet distress (using a damp rag) homemade chalk paint. I’ve heard this only works with store bought chalk paints for some reason. For my projects, I want to see the paint underneath only and not sand through to the wood. This is really only possible to do when you can rub off the chalk paint with a rag, vs sanding. Do you have any experience with this? Thanks!
Hi Robin –
I have used the wet distress method, it works with DIY chalk paint if you do it right after it feels dry to the touch. A damp rag will remove the top most layer. You can also use super fine sandpaper or steel wool to do this too. Wet the sandpaper or steel wool and gently go over the painted surface. It will only remove a thin layer to show the color underneath and not all the way down to the bare wood.
Thanks for your reply Diane! I’m going to refinish a couple of gold painted picture frames, so I definitely want to keep the gold tone underneath. I think some people use vaseline or some type of wax on the areas they want to rub off easily. Do you recommend that too?
And one more question. Using the wet distressing method, if you want to layer a couple of paint colors so you can see multiple layers of color in distressed areas, would it be best to distress after each coat? Thank you!
Hi Robin –
I have never use Vaseline, but have seen pieces where it has been used. When you wipe it away you will see all the layers. If you want to see all the color layers, this may be the best way to go.
Yes and No on distressing after each coat of paint. It all depends on the look you are trying to achieve. If you want a smoother look, distress all at once. If you want a rawer, chippy look, then you should distress after each coat of paint as this will create more texture on the finish.
This is a really helpful response. Thank you so much Diane!
Why Miss Mustard clear wax and then Annie Sloan dark wax? I’d love to hear the reason, because in my past experience I’ve noticed certain chalk paints don’t work so well with waxes. For example, the chalk paint sold at Home Depot caused Annie Sloan walk to clump up badly causing hours of work with thinner in my brush to even out the wax. I’m open to any tips, and thank you for sharing this tip for craft acrylics!!!
Hi Mandy – The reason to use clear wax before dark wax is so you have more control over where the dark wax goes. If you put dark wax right over the chalk paint, it is hard to move the color around where you want it. Laying down a thin coat of clear wax first allows you to get the dark wax exactly where you want it on the piece you are working on. You can use any wax, I just had Miss Mustard Seed and Annie Sloan on hand for the mirror.
I do not like the liquid waxes sold at Home Depot, Lowes and the craft store. The chalk paint is OK, but the wax – YUCK! I prefer a paste or solid wax to rub over the surface and buff. It creates an amazing finish if you take the time to buff with a soft cloth.
I do like Waverly chalk paint since it is so affordable, and have been using this when I need black, white, or a navy color of paint. I make other colors I need myself. I recently made pink using ACE hardware paint and calcium carbonate powder. I will be posting about this soon.
Annie Sloan wax is the best, it goes on so easily and buffs to a perfect sheen and will go over chalk paint made with acrylics. The only downside is that it is a little pricey. But a little goes a long way. My go-to wax is Fiddes and Sons in clear. I buy it on Amazon.I love this as it is easy to buff and less expensive than Annie Sloan and Miss Mustard Seed. Johnsons Paste Wax in clear is good also, but it smells pretty intense. On many pieces, I mix waxes – Fiddes and Johnsons. One layer, then buff, then I add another layer and buff.
Making chalk paint from craft paint, it is best to use CCP to get a smooth mix. Other than this, working with it is the same as any other chalk paint.
Love this using acrylic paint-thank you! So many more possibilities! I just happened to have a couple of bottles of Calcium Carbonate powder I had been using as a supplement, so going to try this.
Question. I love to make beeswax candles in glass canning jars (also found cute coca cola glasses shaped like a pop can at the Dollar Tree!). My questions is, what do you suggest to seal the glass with after it is painted to protect the paint and not use something caustic?
Thanks again for your great idea!
I am anxious to try using my Home Depot sample size latex paint mixed with the now brand cc on a raw wood project. Two questions: do I need to do anything to raw wood before I paint and how much cc to add to sample size paint container? Thanks in advance for all your great information!
I’m not sure what the blogger would say, but when I use chalk paints, I prime the surface first with Zinnser primer. If you use the spray can you have to shake it to death or it sprays with little pieces here and there, whereas brushing it on from the paint can spreads smoothly.
Hi Mandy and Ellen – Is the Zinsser primer you use clear Mandy? Some pieces need to be sealed with a clear primer first if the piece is old. This blocks any wood tannins from leaching through the paint that could cause discoloration of the paint. If you want to distress the finish, it has to be clear primer. If you use a white pigmented primer, when you distress you will see the white primer layer.
What type of paint brushes did u use
Hi Candace – I use Purdy angled paint brushes to paint furniture. I like the 1″ and 2″- wide angled brushes the best. They sell a few different bristle types…any of them are fine to use. Just make sure it says for latex paints, not oil. You can buy the brushes at most paint and home improvement stores. They cost more than generic brushes, but if you wash it out well and take care of them, they can last for a long time.
Hi there again. I have two questions, if you don’t mind. 1) Just recently you suggested I use wax to soften a bit on a stool I had painted with latex paint. Based on something I read on your site, I bought Johnson’s Pasre Wax and applied a small amount with a cloth. It looks like it is taking off some of the paint and leaving whitish areas. What am I doing wrong? It has been over 2 weeks since I painted it so it’s definitely dry.
2) Many months ago I stripped, sanded, primed a little chest. I then used Valspar paint with POP and painted the drawers a horrible, hideous, blinding shade of yellow. Now I’m thinking I can use the calcium carb recipe in a softer color and perhaps distress down to the hideous yellow? Or msybe not distress at all? It’s really bad. Thanks for any help!
Hi SueBee- You said you put on wax and it is leaving whitish areas. Have you buffed the wax with a soft cloth to bring out the sheen of the wax?
You certainly give speedy answers. But yes, I did buff and buff but i still have white looking fibers showing. I only waxed a small 4×4 area on the side and it definitely softened it. Maybe I put too much paint on it?
Hi again SueBee – I had just sat back down to my computer when your comment popped up in my email. I normally am not that fast in responding. :-) OK, white fibers mean to me that either, particles from the cloth got stuck in the paint or particles from the material you made the chalk paint with. Did you make chalk paint or just paint the stool with latex and then wax it?
To answer your second question. You can paint right over chalk paint on your chest as long as you did not apply wax or poly over it. I would go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper just to provide some tooth and then repaint in a nicer color. If you added wax or poly you will need to remove the wax first and then paint. If you used poly, sand and add a gripping primer, then repaint.
I applied wax with a piece of an old army green t-shirt. I used latex paint, some fabric medium and water to paint. It’s a very dark blue-green color painted over a pinkish fabric.
As for the yellow cabinet, he says thank you. He knew he was on his way to the dumpster before I found your site. -:)
Hi Susan –
I didn’t realize the stool was upholstered. I was thinking it was simply a wood stool that was painted. The type of fabric the stool is covered in is probably causing the fibers to be lifted. There may also have been a finish on the fabric – like a sizing that could be reacting with the paint and wax and is causing the white cast.
I painted a desk with just plain wall paint from lowes and it felt tacky after drying. I scrubbed it off very easily and repainted it with the calcium barbonate and it feels exactly like the expensive Annie Sloan chalk paint
Hi Peggy – Isn’t is wonderful not to have that tacky latex feel on the painted surface of your painted furniture? I love what chalk paint does for the finish even if you are not going to create an ages looking piece. Sounds like you do too. :-)
Thanks for this post. I just bought a 24 pack of the little bottles at Home Depot for $9.95. I got my calcium carbonate at a local supplement store here in Charlotte N C for $5.97
Hi again Peggy – Thanks for sharing what you found. I didn’t even know they sold 24 packs. I will have to check that out the next time I am at home Depot. I used to buy my CCP at my local health food store, but since I have moved I will buy it online until I can find a heath food store near me now.
Hi, I just want to double check..So you’re saying that craft acrylic paint can be used on wood furniture as long as you use Calcium Carbonate? If so, that definitely saves me a lot of money on buying quarts and quarts of paint! Can it also be diluted to save more?
Hi Jennifer – Yes you can use craft paint with CCP. You can dilute it a little, but if you add too much water, it will lose its stick to anything chalk quality.
I just purchased a small table with a porcelain finish. Some of the edges are chipped down to rusty metal. I know I will need to sand and prime the rusty areas. Is there any material I can use to repair the chipped areas to make it even with the good finish? Do you think something like bondo would work? Will chalk paint adhere to porcelain or would I need to sand and prime it ?
Hi Judy – Your table sounds quite unique with a porcelain finish. I think Bondo would be the best product to try. If it were wood, I would suggest trying wood filler or even spackle, but Bondo would be better for metal.
Chalk paint will adhere to anything as long as it is free of grease. I would use fine/medium grit sandpaper or very fine steel wool (SOS or Brillo Pads work well) over it to remove the rust, clean the surface well, then use chalk paint over it. With a little effort, I think your table can be transformed successfully.
I have a sofa that I love but cannot find an upholster company in my area, so I am entertaining the idea of painting it, since I don’t think I could do a very professional job on recovering it myself. I have looked a t a few sites showing how to do this, but none of them looked professional either. Do you have any suggestions for what to do or use for a successful paint job on my old but fantastic sofa?
Hi Pauline – I painted an upholstered chair about a year ago. It came out great. I use it everyday. I wrote a post about how to do it. You can find the post here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2015/03/how-to-paint-upholstered-furniture.html
Hi. I live overseas and can’t buy the brands of wax you recommend. Do you have a homemade wax recipe that I could use? I’m planning on repainting a mirror, a picture frame and maybe a bookshelf.
Hi Alison –
I wish I could help you, but I don’t have a DIY wax recipe to seal and protect chalk paint. I did find one online for you though. Check this post out: http://tinyw.in/JHWV
Would you still use calcium carbonate if you plan on having your final piece distressed?
Hi Anna – Yes. I use CCP when I distress pieces and also when I don’t. It distresses very nicely.
I dont know why but mine turned out to be snow??
Hi Nazo – Did you use Calcium Carbonate Powder and acrylic craft paint or different ingredients? Sometimes if there is a primer in the paint or an acrylic it will get thick if you use other ingredients like Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout to make the paint.
Everyone is buying calcium carbonate in powder. Just substitute spackel compount (or lime)from the hardware store. It is cheap!
Hi Diane ,I’m doing an old antique bed room suite it’s been in the family over 50 years and then some I want to make it right as is have around five pieces to do what do you think I should use and steps I should take should I sand then primer and use pop with a satin or flat paint the bedroom suit will be used so I also want it to hold up years to come ,,I’m really having a hard time as it a high dollar bedroom set as we have seen a few just like sell it at estate sells ,,,thanks for any info ..love!!!
Can you use chalk paint straight over vanish or does it need to be sanded
You have to use a primer over varnish. I would definitely sand first, and, of course clean it.
Hi Kim – When using chalk paint you do not need to prime, you do need to sand the surface a little though to rough up the surface to provide some “tooth” for the paint to grab onto. If there is bleed through of the tannins or stain in the wood after one coat of chalk paint, you should use clear shellac over the surface first, let dry, then apply another layer of chalk paint.
If you prime first and then want to distress the edges to create an aged look, you will see the white layer of primer show up on your painted surface. You do not want that. If you are not going to distress, you can use primer, but it should not be necessary when painting with chalk paint.
I just found your blog and have spent a very enjoyable couple of hours browsing through your posts. I refurbished, painted and distressed furniture back in the day when shabby chic first became popular and am getting back into it for my personal pieces. I have been looking for information and inspiration and have found a lot of it here. Thank you, and I look forward to reading more.
HI DIANE This is my first time ever writing to someone. I have been reading your post for weeks now. I must say you have got me really excited about chalk painting. I have purchased the NOW CC And am ready to give it a try. However i am having trouble finding a paint without primer. glidden paint says self priming. I Am not sure what that means. Could you tell me which brand of paint does not have primer Thank you so much
Hi Sheri – If you are using Calcium Carbonate Powder then you can use any type of paint. It is when you make Chalk paint with Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded grout that I have found the paint mix can turn into a big hard clump when you use a paint with a primer in it. If using Glidden, use the can that says Premium. It may say Paint + Primer on the can. Don’t use the DUO Paint + Primer Formula. I also like Easy Care that I buy at True Value Hardware. Both of these are inexpensive and make up into a nice mixes. These are the ones I use all the time, but have also used Behr and craft paint with equal success when using CCP to make the chalk paint. The key when mixing is to mix the powder in the water first, let it dissolve, then add to the paint and mix well. Happy painting.
I need to get something straight about acrylic paint used for chalk paint. You say atvthe beginning up there that acrilic should not be used with calcium carbonate. It would be better to use plastervof paris.
Yet, in painting your sister’s mirror, you used Calcium Carbonate with that little bottle of acrylic craft paint. I’m confused.
I have read somewhere that acrylic is superior to latex for painting furniture. It lays evenly and smoothly virtually without brushmarks.
Hi Frank – Calcium Carbonate can be used with acrylic paint and even paint with primer. Plaster of Paris and Non-Sanded grout are the ingredients that don’t mix well with acrylic or paints with primers in them. I will check over my posts to make sure I didn’t write the reverse by accident. I know there is a lot of information about making chalk paint in my series of posts about it.
How much Calcium Carbonate would you add to a gallon of paint? I want to paint my Kitchen Cabinets and I am looking for least expensive route.
Hi Milissa – I use 8 tablespoons per quart. So I would add 32 tablespoons which is 2 cups of CCP. Mix it well first with water until you get a nice smooth consistency with no lumps. Then mix well into the paint.
I want to use red chalk paint on my kitchen cabinets and since I want the finish to be durable, I am considering your recipe using the equal parts (2 Tbsp.) CCP and POP and water added to 2 cups of latex paint. Do I need to look for paint that does not contain primer? Lowes told me that all their paints now contain primer! Have you painted kitchen cabinets and what advice can you give me?
Hi Linda – If using chalk paint on cabinets, the finish will be durable. I have not painted kitchen cabinets yet, but have painted the cabinet in my powder room. I did not distress it and used water-base poly over the cabinet. I wanted to see how the poly would look and wear. I like it, but prefer the look of wax much more. It just has a nicer patina. If using just CCP you can use a paint with primer in it. You don’t need the PoP since there is a primer in the paint.
When using Red paint, when you add the CCP make sure to mix the powder in water first very well to break down the powder, then add to the paint. It may lighten the paint a bit. You may want to get the paint mixed a little darker than the color desired.
Here is the link to the post about painting the cabinet in my powder room: https://inmyownstyle.com/2014/03/sink-cabinet-makeover.html
Great tip about the CCP, I have also heard that from my friend Christy who paints a ton of furniture but I haven’t tried it yet. I did try the craft paint recipe with Plaster of Paris once, for my boys nightstand, and it worked out okay. At least, it has held up for a couple of years now. But the color wasn’t quite as strong as I think it could have been – maybe that was due to binding. Or because I was trying to make red… Red is always tricky. Thanks for the great tip – I’m going to search out some CCP!
Hi Krista – I have used the PoP with craft paint, it is usable for about 10 mins and then turns to sludge. I made is work and just had to do a lot of sanding to smooth it out. When making DIY chalk paint, Red, Black, and deep colors are hard to achieve with the PoP.
Have you ever used wax over latex paint? I painted the top of a wood table white and it turned out rather dull. I was hoping for more sheen. Would the wax work over this paint? Thank you!!
Hi Denise – What sheen of paint did you use? If it is flat paint, then you can wax over it and buff to create a sheen. If it is satin or semi-gloss, the wax may not penetrate the paint and just sit on top. It may not buff to a shine. If you want a sheen, add a coat or two of satin or semi-gloss Minwax Polycrylic or Varathane Polyurethane. Both are water-based and will not yellow the paint. It will add shine and protect your painted finish.
Thank you so much for the recipe! Love the distressed look of the mirror and $2? That’s amazing.
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Knowing how to use acrylic paint with calcium carbonate greatly expands the color possibilities available to me. I really appreciate your post!
Thanks Ruth Anne – It is amazing how many colors of craft paint there are. The sky is now the limit for us DIY chalk painters.
I’m a new subscriber and GLAD I found you! I tried ASCP on my coffee table and later ended up painting over it with my usual cottage white latex from Behr, as it was always getting little spots on it I couldn’t remove despite having waxed it. I like the finish, but found it high maintenance for our coffee table, bringing me to my next project, my dining room table. It is now mahogany stain with poly over it. I’d like to have some of the wood grain (it’s hard rock maple) show thru. What I have in mind is a soft white matte, see thru finish, (like you’d get with a stain) and then a semi gloss in same color over a paisley stencil. I don’t know how to achieve this. I read about the watercolor poet’s paint and liked that it was so durable, but didn’t look like I could get any of the grain to show with this product. I have glazed in the past and tried to have grain show thru on bath vanity and had fair success. The bottom of table I will paint with a darker paint, and probably will use chalk paint on that and chairs. Any help you could give I would really appreciate.
Hi Deb –
For you chalk painted table top, you may not have had enough wax on it. I use 3 to 4 layers to build up the finish and get a slippery shine.
For your table: I think from the way you describe your table and the look you want to achieve, I would strip the top. Sand it, stain it to the color you like. Then add white glaze over that to give you the whitewashed look. Once that is dry. Stencil your design on using acrylic craft paint. Let dry and then protect the top with non-yellowing polyurethane. Minwax Polycrylic is good and comes in satin and semi-gloss. Varathane Polyurethane is another good poly to use. It may be a bit or work, but would be beautiful when done.
I make mine with PoP (Plastor of Paris) and have had good luck but I would like to try the Calcium Carbonate to compare. Thanks for all your helpful info :)
Like Laura, I am confused with your comment about CC not binding with the acrylic in craft paint…
Hi Linda – I have found when I use some acrylic paints with non-sanded grout and or Plaster of Paris that they become sludge. I use the word bind in the context that it makes the substance into a single mass. You want the paint, CCP, and water mixed so it is smooth and paintable, not a big clump. When you use the plaster or grout recipes and mix it into acrylic paint, it will become thick and unusable. I hope this clarifies it for you. Non sanded grout and Plaster with regular latex paint with no acrylic or primer in it is fine to use and mixes smoothly.
I was using the grout and even with the latex paint it became a clump and I wasted alot of paint before switching to the CC, I buy it in 5 lb bag from a factory in Decatur AL, http://www.dudadiesel.com
Can you clarify the sentence “It will not bind with the acrylic in the craft paint.”? please. Don’t you want it to “bind” and if it doesn’t bind, why would you use CCP? Sorry, I’m a bit confused. But, am so glad to have the small recipe.
Hi Laura –
I use the word bind in the context that it makes the substance into a single mass. You want the paint, CCP, and water mixed so it is smooth and paintable, not a big clump. When you use the plaster or grout recipes and mix it into acrylic paint, it will become thick and unusable. I hope this clarifies it for you.
I’ve only used a DIY chalk paint recipe w/ Plaster of Paris paint and acrylic paint as well as other latex paints and haven’t had any trouble with it becoming thick and unusable. Usually I mix it rather ‘thin’ but recently mixed it thick because I did want a paint mixture that made it possible to actually build up layers of paint for an old European look on a chandelier. Maybe it has to do with the final look one wants. (?) Then again, I’ve never waxed a piece either …..but that’s because the pieces I’ve painted don’t get a lot of use (mirrors & other accessories, etc.) and if they do ‘chip or wear’ it’ll add to the authentic aged look. :-)
I love how you made over the mirror! It’s such an unique piece now! Would love to see how she’s going to use it in her home :-D
Ooops…I didn’t mean to write Plaster of Paris paint. I just meant to write Plaster of Paris…..I didn’t do a good enough job of proof reading. Sorry about the confusion ;-)
Hi Connie – My sister doesn’t live very close to me or I would have taken a photo of it in her house. Her husband was in my area and picked it up after I painted it. She has the mirror in a hallway that leads from her family room to home office.
I’m sure I’m asking a stupid question however, why would your sister want an ornate frame painted with chalkboard paint? It doesn’t seem as though it’s going to be written on.
Hi Pamela –
Chalk Paint and chalkboard paint are two different things and used in entirely different ways. Both are very flat paint. Chalk board paint is used to make chalkboards. Chalk Paint is used to create an amazing finish on furniture when you use it. It does not need a primer and can go over even the shiniest of surfaces, plus it is highly durable. This makes it the perfect paint to makeover furniture and cabinets with.
When you add clear and colored waxes over it, it creates a beautiful patina on the finish that looks like it came right from a factory. It distresses well to make pieces look aged. It does not produce a rubbery finish at all like painting furniture with latex.
I could go on and on as to why it is the best for painting furniture, even if you want a modern look – the paint does not have to be distressed
I wrote a post about it here:
You can see all the furniture makeovers I have done using it here:
My best- Diane
i need to ask a silly question…but what is the difference between chalk (board) paint and this paint?
Hi Jules –
It is not a silly question. There really is not a big difference. It is more about the marketing. Both are very flat paint. I wrote a post all about it here:
Thanks! Love this info! Have a great night!
Thanks for sharing this recipe Diane! I never thought about using calcium carbonate powder, other than as a supplement.
Thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to try this.
By the way, what is PoP? Our kitchen table is in need of refinishing…
Plaster of Paris…..buy at hardware stores everywhere :-)
You have done a great service to your readers today. Thanks so very much.
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!
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.
Thanks Diane, I think I maybe need to buy a better grade of CC and give it another bash!
Thanks so much! right info at the right time for me! You are so VERY KIND to share.