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, I am going to share with 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.
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 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 in into these ingredients, they can harden making the paint unusable.
I have tested 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 Paint Into Chalk Paint Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of 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 CCP mixture. Stir until smooth.
Note: You can add more CCP than my recipes call for to any mix, but too much CCP will make the finish, once dry, hard to distress. It will be a little too durable.
How to Paint with Acrylic Homemade Chalk Paint
- Apply one light coat of paint to the surface. Let it dry completely, then add another light coat. Add one more light coat if needed and let dry.
2. Once the surface was 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.
3. 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 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 sold at the craft store comes in a wide variety of colors, using it is even a more affordable way to make chalk paint in any color you can imagine.
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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