All Your Chalk Paint Questions Answered

If you are looking for answers to questions about all things related to how to use chalk paint to paint furniture, seal it and more, I have the answers.

I have been using chalk paint on furniture since Annie Sloan first started selling it in the USA. I have shared all my furniture makeovers using it and other brands of chalk paint here on my blog, as well as tips about using the paint, sealers and waxes and even make my own chalk paint when I can’t buy the color I want.

I have gathered the most frequently-asked-questions I receive about chalk paint here in an easy to find your question format.

So that you can get your question about chalk paint answered quickly and start transforming your furniture into furniture you will love and enjoy for a long time.


If you have a chalk painting on furniture question that is not answered here or have a problem with a furniture makeover you are doing, please leave the question for me in the comment section of this post. I answer most question within 24 hours.

3 colorful chalk paint makeovers

General Chalk Paint FAQ’s

What is the Difference Between Chalk Paint and Regular Paint?

The difference and main reason why you would use chalk paint vs regular paint when painting furniture is that chalk paint was made for transforming furniture.

Its chalky formula adheres to any surface without needing to sand or use a primer coat. You would need to do both of these steps when using regular latex paint.

Another difference is how well chalk paint sands to a smooth finish.
When sanding a painted surface to remove brush strokes, regular latex paint rolls up and shreds a bit.

When sanding a coat of dried chalk paint, it turns into powder that wipes away, leaving a smooth finish with no brush strokes.

When chalk paint is sealed with either wax or polyurethane, the finish is smooth and velvety. When furniture is painted with latex, the painted surface can have a sticky tacky feel, even when it is dry. Items placed on it can sometime stick a little to it. This does not happen on a chalk painted finish.

Is Chalk Paint Waterbased?

Chalk paint is waterbased with low VOC’s.

Can You Use Chalk Paint on Metal?

Yes, you can use chalk paint on metal of all types, even cabinet pulls and knobs. Once sealed with wax, they will take on a subtle sheen and look amazing.

Can You Use Chalk Paint Over Varnished Wood?

Painting over varnished wood is one of the best reasons to use chalk paint.

On most furniture you do not have to sand before painting, but I have found a quick 5 minute going over the a previously varnished surface with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface a little will help with paint adhesion.

When painting furniture with any type of paint, always use light coats and let each one dry completely before applying the next coat. More light coats will adhere to the surface better than fewer thicker coats of paint.

Can You Paint Fabric With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?

Painting upholstery or fabric is another way that chalk paint can be used.

It works best on small and firmly upholstered items like a dining chair seat made of cotton or linen, but I have seen it done on wing chairs and a leather sofa with beautiful and lasting results.

When using chalk paint on upholstery, you can add a little bit of water to the paint to thin it. Doing this will make it easier for the paint to saturate the fabric to produce a nice even color throughout.

Once dry you can leave the paint unsealed or add a thin layer of wax and buff to a subtle sheen.

Can Chalk Paint Be Used Outside?

Chalk paint is water-based, but not waterproof. It can be used outside, but know it will gradually wear away over time when on furniture. Some like this aged look. If you want to paint an item with chalk paint and have it last, you can make your own chalk paint using outdoor latex paint.

I did this myself on a row of garden planters. The DIY chalk painted finish on them looks perfect even after being out in the elements for 5 years.

Is Chalk Paint Safe for Baby Furniture?

Since chalk paint is water-based and has low VOC’s it is a good choice to use on baby furniture.

The best sealer to use to protect the finish for chalk painted baby furniture would be a water-based polyurethane like Minwax Polycrylic. It will not break down over time and need to be reapplied. It comes in 3 different sheens and dries to clear non-yellowing finish.

4 chalk painted furniture makeovers

Prepping Furniture for Chalk Paint FAQ’s

Do You Need to Sand Before Chalk Paint?

The sanding chalk paint question is the most frequently asked question I receive. The answer is no you do not have to sand. But I will mention that at an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint class I went to, we were told that it can’t hurt to give the piece a quick going over with 100 grit sandpaper.

Does Chalk Paint Need a Primer?

Chalk paint does not need a primer. The chalky ingredients in chalk paint act as a primer.

What Brush to Use for Chalk Paint?

You can use any bristle or foam brush to paint with chalk paint. You can even use a foam roller. The higher the quality the better. For years I used Purdy brushes.

Now though, I have found that using a large rounded tip bristle brush made just for painting furniture with chalk paint will lay the paint down better and give the piece a smoother finish.

I have used many different brands of chalk paint brushes and like the one from Country Chic Paint the most. It lays the paint down better than any with no brush strokes.

If you take care of your brushes and wash them well after painting and hang them upside down to dry, they will last a long time.

4 photos of chalk painted items of furniture

Sealing Chalk Paint FAQ’s

Why Do You Need to Add Wax to Chalk Paint? 

When dry, chalk paint has a very flat finish. Oil from skin and other dust and dirt will be seen in the surface and hard to remove. When sealed with wax, chalk paint produces a beautiful finish that adds depth and character to a piece of furniture unlike regular paint and polyurethane.

Wax also provides protection to the painted surface. It deepens the color and adds patina. If you add colored wax or glaze over it, you even further enhance the color of the finish.

Wax should be applied very sparingly – just a very thin coat is all that is needed.  When you buff  – the magic happens  – it transforms furniture into so much more than just a painted piece of furniture.

What is the Difference Between Clear and Dark wax?

Clear or dark wax adds protection and shine to piece of furniture painted with chalk paint.

Dark wax adds protection and shine, but also darkens and changes the color of the paint.

Either can be used alone, but to achieve a beautifully aged finish, use clear wax first and buff it. Then add a thin layer of dark wax over this. Laying it over the clear wax allows you to push it into decorative details or crevices in the wood that will bring out the details.

If you use dark wax alone over chalk paint, it will look blotchy and you won’t be able to get an even color across the painted surface.

If you apply too much dark wax on a piece, it can easily be removed by applying some clear wax over it. Simply rub it off with the clear wax.

How Long to Let Chalk Paint Dry Before Waxing?

Drying time for chalk paint before waxing can vary depending on how many coats of paint you applied and the weather conditions. I usually wait at least 8 hours before waxing.

Can You Put Polyurethane Over Chalk Paint?

Using a waterbased polyurethane like Polycrylic is a good choice if you don’t want to seal your painted furniture with wax. Two light coats will be enough to seal and protect the finish.

Do not use oil-based polyurethanes over chalk paint as they will darken and yellow the finish.

What Happens if You Don’t Seal Chalk Paint?

If you don’t seal chalk paint, over time you will see where a person touched the wall as the oils in skin will show as will marks from anything rubbing against the furniture. It is best to seal and protect the finish with either wax or waterbased polyurethane. Doing this will ensure a lasting finish.

How to Fix Blotchy Wax on Chalk Paint?

To fix a blotchy wax finish on a piece of chalk painted furniture is to keep buffing with a soft lint free cloth until the blotchiness goes away.

To keep blotchiness from happening in the first place, when applying the wax, only use a small amount and apply in a very thin coat. Use circular motions when buffing. When the cloth glides across the surface easily is when the wax is applied well.

When waxing a large flat surface, use wide circular strokes across the surface using even pressure this will ensure and even sheen across the surface.

If the blotchiness still persists, try using another type of cloth. Worn t-shirts work well as do blue Shop paper towels. I have even used Swiffer cloths.

How to Remove Wax From Chalk Paint?

If you want to paint over a waxed finish, you can use chalk paint right over the wax.

If you want to use another type of paint or finish, you will have to remove the wax first. Pour mineral spirits into a bowl and dip a rag in. Wipe it over the surface and rub into the surface to remove the wax. You may have to use a few rags as the wax will stick to them. Once a rag feels waxy, use another one.

Once most of the wax is off, you can sand the surface to remove the rest.

Should I Use a Brush or a Cloth to Apply Wax Over Chalk Paint?

You can apply wax with either a wax brush that is made for using to apply wax. It has a rounded tipped end. Or use a lint-free cloth, such a cut-up worn t-shirt or SHOP Towels.

To apply the wax, swirl the tip of the brush into the can of wax and remove a little bit. Brush it lightly over the chalk painted surface to apply a very thin coat. Re-load the brush when you need more wax to cover the surface. Then buff with a lint-free cloth.

To use a cloth to apply the wax, dip a section of the cloth into the can to remove a little wax. Rub it onto the painted surface it large circular motions. Keep the wax coat thin. Add more wax to the rag as needed to cover the surface and then use a clean lint-free cloth to buff.

Blue chalk painted sideboard in decorated entry of home

After Painting With Chalk Paint FAQ’s

How Long Does it Take For Chalk Paint to Dry?

Chalk paint dries pretty fast in about 30 minutes. If the paint was applied in a thicker coat or in humid weather, it could take longer as it may feel dry to the touch, but the underside may not be dry. It is better to wait a little longer to be sure.

Why Does Chalk Paint Have to Cure?

After you’ve apply wax to a painted surface, it will become dry to the touch quickly but it has not yet hardened to a durable hard finish yet.

The hardening process called “curing” starts as the solvents in the wax evaporate over time usually a week to a few weeks depending on the temperature in the room where the piece is.

You can use your newly painted furniture right away, but just be gentle with in for a few weeks.

Once cured, your piece of furniture can be used normally.

Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint?

If you want to paint over chalk paint with another color of chalk paint, then you can paint over it, even if the paint has wax on it.

If you want to paint over the chalk paint using a regular latex or acrylic paint, then you will need to remove the wax first before painting. If the chalk paint had polyurethane over it, you will need to sand and use a primer before adding regular paint over it.

How Do I Fix Bleed Through

Bleed through of wood tannins in furniture can show up through paint, especially if you are painting over unfinished wood or old pieces of furniture with dark finishes.

To fix the problem, let the paint dry and then you can apply a coat of clear shellac over the area with bleed through. Once dry, apply another coat of chalk paint over the area.

If your piece is very old and has a dark stain, you can take the extra step and brush on a light coat of clear shellac over the entire piece before painting. Let dry and then paint.

How to Remove Chalk Paint?

You can remove chalk paint from a piece of furniture by sanding it off or using a paint stripper.

If stripping, I like using CitraStrip as it is the least toxic brand. It takes a little longer to break down the paint, but does the job well without any fumes.

Once the chalk paint is removed, you can wash the surface with a damp cloth to remove any lingering stripper and then sand the surface smooth with 220 grit sandpaper.

I hope this FAQ post about chalk paint answers all your chalk painting questions. If not – just leave your question in the comment section of this post.

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  1. I used chalk paint and then distressed it. The areas of distress seem to be lighter like a hallo around the distressed area, meaning a lighter shade of the main paint. How do you get rid of that or will top coating Cahill paint with polyurethane take that away

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Penny – When you wax or poly over chalk paint, the paint will darken lightly and the color will all look the same. Test out you poly on one of the ditressed spot in the least seen area of the item you painted. I have never used Cahill paint with polyurethane so I am not sure what the product is. Is it a paint or poly? You just need a straight water-based polyurethane. You don’t want to use an oil-based poly as that will yellow the paint color.

  2. Rosemary Thomas says:

    Thank you for sharing all your experience with chalk paint. If unopened chalk paint is left inside a cold building will it still be any good? Temperature was under 50 degrees, I’m not sure how cold the paint got.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rosemary – If you let the paint come to room temperature and can stir the paint to mix it well, it will be fine. If it is very thick and can’t be stirred easily, it may still work, but it will be hard to brush on to the surface evenly. Once the paint is dry, you will have to do a lot of sanding to create a smooth finish. I hope this helps.

  3. says:

    My chalk paint has gone hard and solid how can I get to back so I can use again thank you

  4. I have some raised decorative areas on some old furniture (quite detailed: bumpy and curvy) that I want to paint in a different colour from the main colour. Do you have tips on how to mask these areas? Can I use some kind of liquid mask on a chalk-painted (but not yet waxxed) surface?

  5. I’m trying to paint some brown kitchen chairs white. I cleaned them, wiped with mineral spirits and have painted 3 coats. I’m noticing some bleed through along with paint completely coming off in some spots when I paint along with the paint looking a yellow tinge. I’m at a loss as to what to do to save this project I feel like I need at least 3 more coats to get a nice white finish

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jo – Before I can answer, what paint did you use – a store bought brand or a DIY mixture you made?

      1. A store bought paint. Krylon from Lowe’s

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi again Jo – I have not used the Krylon paint, but do see that it comes in a can and also a spray. Here is what I think has happened and how you can fix it. The bleed through is happening because the paint didn’t have enough stain blocking ingredients in it or the can wasn’t stirred or shaken well so the stain blockers may have come out unevenly.

          Either way, you have to create a stain blocking layer. You can do this with a primer like KILZ or a clear shellac. KILZ primer is white and comes in a can and a spray. Add one light coat of this and let it dry. Then paint using the Krylon paint again. One or two light coats should be plenty.

          If using clear shellac, brush on one light coat. I had to do this for a very old wood mirror once. After the shellac coat – no more bleed-through.

          I know it is frustrating, but with a little more effort you can get your chairs looking the way you envisioned.

          1. Thank you so much

  6. Patricia Ladas says:

    I just painted a natural solid light maple dresser with Rustoleum gray chalk paint. I washed and lightly sanded the dresser before painting. I’ve put two coats of paint on and I’m noticing, what looks like, small water spots coming through; just a few here and there. Not sure what this is and how to remedy this. An advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patricia –

      If the spots are actually areas where moisture has come through, then let the piece dry a few more days, the lightly sand to smooth, then repaint the area.

      Another thing that could be happening is that the wood tannins, even sap is coming through the paint. It can happen with some wood. If this is the case, you will need to use a stain blocking primer like KILZ over the areas and then repaint. KILZ makes many formulas. I like MAX the best- it is waterbased. Their original formula is oil-based and dries in 30 mins. It is the best.

  7. Clark Smith says:

    When trying to create a distressed look do you paint a darker color of chalk paint over the piece then a lighter color for the second coat. Then sand the edges or high points of the piece. Cover and buff with your wax of choice? Do you have another way?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Clark – When distressing furniture you can use only one color, unless you want to create a piece with some patina. Do you have an idea of what color and the look you want for your piece? The most popular way to create aged and distressed furniture is to paint the piece, let dry. Distress the areas you want with 100 grit sandpaper to remove some of the paint and expose the wood underneath the paint. Add a very light coat of clear wax and buff it in, then add a layer of dark wax. Use the brush to push it in the areas you want and then buff. If you want a lighter look, use can use white wax over the clear wax. Before using dark or white wax, you want to use clear first. This allows you to better spread the dark or white wax evenly over the surface or into the nooks and crannies.

      You can also use Vaseline to age and distress. I find this way messy. You add some Vaseline to the areas on a piece of furniture where you want the wood to show through. Then paint the piece and let dry. Rub the areas where you added Vaseline and the paint will come off.

      These are the only ways I know to distress and age furniture.

  8. usvintagewood says:

    Thanks for sharing. Quick question: What happens if you don’t wax chalk paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      If you don’t seal chalk paint, it will absorb oil from fingers and stains that will be hard to remove since the paint is so matte. On walls it can look rustic not sealed, but on interior furniture it looks much better sealed. Outdoor furniture, unsealed can take on a rustic look.

  9. Thanks for the information on chalk paint vs latex. I painted a chair using flat latex. I thought ready-mixed chalk paint was too expensive and I was leery of making my own. Admittedly, it took much more work than the chalk method. I sanded, primed, then put on the finish coat. I did a little distressing on the edges. I lightly sanded the finish coat with very fine sandpaper. (It did not shred or peel.) To me, it looks like a chalk finish, (someone with a better-trained eye might disagree) but it is very smooth and durable. No protective coat needed. A lot of people might not want to invest this much time, but to me it was worth it. I’m happy with the way it turned out.

  10. Shelly K. says:

    I am trying to repaint a nightstand I previously painted with DIY plaster of paris chalk paint…I waxed it with minwax, now 5 years later trying to repaint it with plaster of paris chalk paint, the paint won’t stick it comes right off. I tried cleaning with mineral spirits, then washing with warm soapy water, sanding and reapplying the paint..It’s not working…Any suggestions?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shelly – Sorry to hear that you are having trouble getting a new coat of paint to stick to your nightstand. You are doing the right thing, but using mineral spirits over it. You may want to try a different brand and really rub it in and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away. After this step and the surface is fully dry, go over with 100 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block to rough the surface up. Clean off the sanding grit and mineral spirits with hot water and TSP or dish detergent, rinse well and let dry for a day. Then try repainting.

      I hope you have success.

  11. I was wondering if you use paint with primer in it for chalk paint, is it going to work for painting fabric or is it going to dry out too fast?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie – I think it will be fine. I have made many chalk paint mixes using Paint/Primer. When you mix up your paint for fabric painting, I would add a little more water to the mix. Keep it in an air-tight container between coats to lessen it from drying out.

      If you see it drying out in the container as you work, keep stirring and adding tiny amounts of water so you can keep applying it. Even if the paint does thicken, once applied on the fabric and it is dry, you can sand the painted fabric to smooth it – just like you would do on wood.

  12. Hi, I know this post is older but I love how informed you are and how great you are at answering questions, do you know if you can distress it with water and/or vinegar and water? Also can you spray it with water and get the drippy look? Thanks

  13. The stool turned out pretty; the use of ribbon is very clever.
    I am a less is more girl so I am going to adhere the ribbon ribbon with glue and no furniture tacks.

    I use 2 lines of Chalk paint for my use and that of my customers painted pieces: Annie Sloan and General Finishes. I just find the overall finish of the piece has a more quality look than any recipe for chalk paint that I’ve used.

  14. Christopher Fugle says:

    This was a misleading blog to compare Annie Sloan’s water based paints against latex based paints. It does not matter whether there is a chalky additive used (calcium carbonate or other). The Annie Sloan brands commands a higher price as it is more like the tempura paints we finger painted with as children. Completely non-toxic, no glues, formaldehydes, fixatives or rubber/latex is used in the formula. The main benefits is that colours blend incredibly well with no mix procedure outside of dipping a brush into two different (or more) colours. Larger batches only require light mixing for consistent results. Not possible with latex based paints as latex paints separate by nature leaving their chemical compounds in layers as the paint settles over time. If you are only slapping on a one coat , lazy redo of a chair or dresser then sure any old latex will do. It will take days to deeply dry, required one or more primer coats for the colour coat to sit well and sanding between coats…all of which are not required (but optional) by Annie Sloan’s products. I can on a sunny warm day paint an entire dresser, faux finish it and wax/seal the 2nd coat in under 3 hours. Using latex (and I have done so many a time) would have become a multi-day, more difficult procedure. No add to the mix that water based paints allow for washes, fancy finishes, water-based glaze mixed with a second colour can create amazing finishes. Add mica powders to a water based glaze with a touch of the original colour and the finish be comes a galaxial beauty with almost no effort. Give Annie credit where it is due. She created a line of easy to use products that turn transformations into fun and less work. Best part? Deciding to make a quick change to a finished item 6 months later is just a recoat of paint opposed to a sanding/stripping/cleaning then priming and painting again.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christopher – I am not knocking Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at all. She and her paint are amazing. I have used it a few times, but her colors are not colors I like to decorate with. Mixing the paints make the cost even more. Making the alternative is much less expensive. I like to find affordable alternatives. For me, the mixes I make using latex paints have come out amazing for the effects I like to achieve on the furniture I paint.

      1. Patty Sanderson says:

        Hi Diane,
        I was wondering what you thought about using an acrylic finish vs. wax? I read where you said that poly(urethane) finish would leave water marks, and not be easily fixed, whereas with wax you can buff it out and easily reapply another coat of wax. So would the same hold true with an acrylic finish, that is, leaving a water mark and not be easy to fix? Also I was going to use a spray finish instead of applying with a brush.
        Thank You!

        1. A rub on polyurethane adds a seal to your painted surface and preserves the flat finish that wax provides. There are issues with wax. It has to be reapplied and not recommended for surfaces where hot items are set or food touches.

    2. Sue Slater says:

      Does Christopher Fugle make Annie Sloan paint/work for Annie Sloan or sell Annie Sloan paint? I have to wonder. I am not saying that Annie Sloan paint isn’t a good product, but I have very successfully created my own chalk paint in the exact color I wanted and for considerably less money. And it is durable. I definitely did not consider my 3-coat chalk paint job covered with 3 coats of polycrylic to be “a lazy redo of a chair.” Come on, Christopher. I am a skilled long-time DIYer who is proud of my finished projects.

    3. I’ve been painting and refinishing furniture for over 35 years. Today’s latex flat paints like valspar and do it best paints are equal in quality to most chalk paints. First you cannot just add a coat of paint if wax has been added as a finish. Painting is much simpler than spending a lot on small quantities of name brand chalk paint with limited color choices. I agree with author. Painting can be simple and cost effective.

    4. Beverley Reed says:

      According to Annie Sloan there is no chalk in her paints.

      “Many decorative paint enthusiasts, from individuals to businesses, have begun offering products or blog recipes that capitalize on the “chalk” word in Chalk Paint®. (Psst…..There is no chalk in Chalk Paint®.) While we applaud their initiative for joining the revolution, we’re confident that after comparing products, you’ll go right back to the original Chalk Paint®. It’s simply the best paint in the world for decorative painting!”

  15. I’m looking at making an outdoor chalkboard in the backyard in the kids’ zone. As it will be exposed to the elements, I thought galvanized steel is better than wood and lighter as it will be mounted against a fence. Will the recipe with unsanded grout and a black exterior paint adhere well to metal and will it be weather proof? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Fleur –

      Chalk paint made with any ingredient adheres great on metal. Just make sure to sand it with 100 grit sandpaper first to rough up the surface a little and make sure it is free of dirt and or grease. If you use a few light coats, letting each on dry before applying the next the painted finish should hold up fine. What you will notice over the years will be a slow fading of the paint that will only add to its charm.

      1. It won’t only fade but the paint will start to chip off. Outdoor flat paint with a sprayed lacquer. Finish will help. It’s the heating of metal that causes the chip process. Put in the shade and protect from the elements and it will last a long time.

  16. I have a question.. After painting with chalk paint. Can I wax the piece and then use a water based poly on it for long term protection? I like the look of chalk paint but I don’t want my pieces to get scratched on my kitchen table ..I didn’t know how durable the wax would be when consistently wiping off the table after dinner.. So I thought about just adding poly..but idk if it would give me the smooth finish I want

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tabitha – When using wax over chalk paint, you cannot add poly over it. It will not stick, you would have to remove the wax first. If you have a chalk painted table and it is going to get a lot of use and have glasses of water on it, you may just want to stick with wax and here is why. If you get a water ring on a waxed surface, you can simply buff it out with fine sandpaper and re-wax over it. It will blend right in. IF you use poly and you get a water ring, you will need to use fine sandpaper again and put a coat of poly over it, but you will see the fix..the line of the new layer of poly. My kitchen table just has wax on it. When I see it starting to look a little beat up, I simply go over the surface with very fine sandpaper or steel wool and add a new thin layer of wax. I buff it to a shine with a soft cloth and the table looks brand new. I do this about every 6 months. If you do just use wax, build up a few layers so the paint gets great protection. Apply a thin layer at a time and buff, and then add another thin layer and buff.

      1. Thanks for that!!!! I’m renovating my kitchen and changing the style, figured I would save some money by doing gray chalk paint and distressing to our simple black painted chairs and table in the breakfast nook. Along with black wood bar stools.

  17. Thank you for the informative view and information. I have used chalk paint and wanted to make my own as they can be expensive. Thank you! I’m going to try this soon.

  18. I have a shower that is all glass with gold metal holding the glass in place. Since the gold is so outdated I would love to paint it. Any suggestions? Will chalk paint hold up?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim –

      I know the gold you are talking about. It was very popular in the 90’s. :-) Gold is back, but in a different way. It is darker and burnished. I had bright brass lamps in my bedroom from the 90’s. Instead of painting them, I used sandpaper to remove some of the shine. (Sanding is needed to paint, so it is worth a shot to take sandpaper over the surface nice and straight.) It may be enough to lessen the look of the gold around your shower. You can read about it here:

      Painting the metal gold frame is doable, but since it will get wet, you have to make sure you let the paint cure for a few days before using the shower. Spray paint would be best or even Marine paint, but that can be pricey and only comes in a few colors. If you want to use spray paint inside, you will need to mask everything in the room. That alone is a big undertaking. Using a brush will be easiest.

      You can use chalk paint. It will adhere great, but will have to be sealed. If you want to use it, you still must sand the metal first and clean it. Then paint. Let the paint cure for a few days to a week. Then seal is with 1 – 2 light coats of water-based poly.

      If painting with regular paint and primer:

      You first need to sand all the metal with 160 – 220 grit sandpaper. Clean off the grit and wash the metal with TSP cleaner. It is sold in the paint aisle. Make sure the surface is free of soaps, lotions, oils etc. If any of these are on the surface when you paint, the paint will fail and not adhere.

      Once clean and dry, tape off glass with painter’s tape. Then roll or brush on one very light coat of Glidden Gripper Primer or Behr Multi-Surface Primer. Using one of these is a must!!! Use a high quality 2″ angled brush (Purdy) to apply or a small foam roller. Once the first light coat of primer is dry, apply another very light coat. Remove painter’s tape. Let this dry 24 hours. Reapply painter’s tape, Tthen apply a very light coat of paint, let dry and then another light coat of paint. You must use very light coats. If you apply the paint too thick, it will eventually peel off.

      To protect the paint, you can seal it with 1 – 2 light coats of water-based poly. It won’t yellow the color of the paint.

      Key factors in success: Sanding the metal helps the primer or even chalk paint have something to grip onto. Making sure the metal is super clean, no soap residue. Light coats of paint adhere better than thicker ones.

      1. Janie Farner says:

        I am tagging on to this post because it won’t let me start a new post for some reason……. Anyway, I just wanted to say that that was an AMAZING article that you wrote. It was complete, simple and very “scientific”…!!!! Loved it and I thank you for all the great advice, tips and recipes – very much appreciated.

      2. They make a paint that is intended for bathrooms. It prevents mold growth. Great stuff.

    2. Hi Diane, i started reviewing the questions asked to date to see if mine had been asked already but gave up somewhere in the middle of 2014. So if it’s a repeat, sorry :0)

      I was wondering if adding either the POP or the Calcium change the actual colour of the paint at all ( e.g. Lightens it) ? I ask because I’m going to paint a small set of chestnut kitchen cabinets and would compensate for it if a change occurs. Love the tutorial!

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Sheena – The CCP and PoP powder can lighten the paint a little. You will especially see black, red, and navy look lighter after mixing, not a huge change, but it will lighten it.

  19. Debbie Foster says:

    Thank you! I’m so interested in this and know absolutely nothing about it. I really want to learn.
    I need a hobby.
    Thanks again, Debbie Foster

  20. Vera and Velimir says:

    My dear,
    Can you tell me proportions in grams for chalk paint recipes?

    Thank you,
    Regards from Belgrade

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vera and Velimir –

      I have no idea since in the US we don’t use grams… I am clueless :-) I did go to measurement converter online and this is what I found:

      1 ounce is 28 grams, 1 cup is actually 237 grams if you are measuring water, paint will be different because it is a heavier liquid so measure accordingly.

      1. 1 cup is not 28 grams, 1 ounce is 28 grams, 1 cup is actually 237 grams if you are measuring water, paint will be different because it is a heavier liquid.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Alisa- Thank you for taking the time to correct what I wrote. When I was asked I had no idea and had to look it up. I will fix my mistake in the conversion ratios. :-)

  21. eleanor thurston says:

    can you chalk paint for fabric and do chairs.?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Eleanor – Yes you can use chalk paint on fabric. It works great on chairs.

      1. What chalk paint recipe is best for chair fabric makeover? :-) Thanks.

  22. So happy to have found your site! I am wondering if you have ever used a colored non-sanded grout & if yes, how did it affect the paint color? I have a bag & would love to use it!
    Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chris – I have not used anything but the white non-sanded grout. I do believe since the colored grout is tinted with a dye that it may change the color of the paint when mixed in. If you have the bag already, try mixing it into a small amount of your paint and see what happens. Paint it on a piece of scrap wood and let it dry. If you like the color, then you are good to go.

  23. Hi….if i make white chalk paint how can i tint it to get different colours?
    Do i have to use tinted paint?

  24. Hello, I am looking for a solution to make spray chalk paint that is removable. Like sidewalk chalk but in a spray version. I want to use large letter stencils to spray “welcome” on the ground for my wedding, but I need it to be washable. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  25. Great information! I have used both the plaster of Paris & calsium carbonate formulas with equally good result for many years now. You are right about the leftover pop not keeping long which makes it best to only mix small batches. The cc last ,from my experience , at least 9 mos in tightly closed jar- the longest time I’ve gone between using up leftover paint. (I always have cc as I use it in the stalls & nest boxes in the barn ,& just mixed in water to white wash the walls. I also mix it with ag lime as a soil booster in the garden.)
    As for paint, I only use flat finish, but some brands’ flat has too much sheen, so my favorite is Benjamin Moore dead flat base. It gives me the closest result to Annie Sloan. Also, I like the drippy, chippy, distressed look for some pieces , & found that after I paint on 2 thin coats, then after dries, add a thick coat of elmer’s white glue hear & there. I can go back & glomp it on & let it drip some ,where I want, & it comes out looking like it was in the loft of an old barn for 50 yrs! A lot of people really like that! To get it to look fairly authentic, I check out really old pieces at flea markets & auctions. Sorry so long! Glad I found your site! Your instructions are really good!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jerri –

      Sounds like you enjoy using chalk paint and have many clever ideas to share. Thanks for the tips on the Ben Moore paint, I will try that out and the idea to use the Elmer’s Glue. I learned from my hairstylist that she uses Vaseline to distress her pieces. I love that so many different looks can be achieved with chalk paint and common household stuff.

  26. Robin Valdes says:

    Hi Diane, this may be a silly question, but after the calcium carbonate power is mixed with the latex paint how long will it store on the shelf for? Is it like regular Latex paint, as long as it’s sealed tight it will last for a year or longer?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Robin – Chalk paint made using Calcium Carbonate Powder can last for about a year if you seal the jar air-tight. Chalk paint made with the Plaster of Paris only lasts for a few days after use.

  27. Dorian Black says:

    Hi. Please forgive the idiotic question, but if all I wanted was to transform a wall into a chalkboard, and I painted it with acrylic without any additives (grout or plaster of paris), would it work well as a chalkboard or not? Is the grout only for the aesthetic texture or does it play a role in making the use of chalk on the surface better? Many thanks.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dorian – Acrylic paint is not chalkboard or chalk paint. It is a type of latex (water-based) paint.

      The non-sanded grout, Plaster of Paris, Calcium Carbonate, or any of the additives used to make chalk paint are what give latex or acrylic paint the chalkboard effect. You can buy chalkboard paint already made at the paint store, but the colors are limited. Making your own gives you the option to make a chalkboard any color you want. If you are going to use acrylic paint to make your chalkboard, I would use Calcium Carbonate Powder. It works better than PoParis or non-sanded grout when mixed into acrylic paint. The other two will work, but they can get clumpy.

      1. Dorian Black says:

        Many thanks. I’m grateful for your reply.

  28. Hi. Thank you for sharing the results …you’ve answered all my questions about chalk paint & I’m ready to dive in and give it a try. I’m new to this & have what might be a silly question. In regard to using wax or poly to seal the finished piece, could you do both? I like the idea of the wax and the resulting patina, but not the idea of having to redo it down the road. So. Is it possible to wax, buff & then deal it with poly?

    1. Robin Daniels says:

      I did precisely that on my husband’s desk which I painted with AS graphite chalk paint. I added two thin coats of wax, and decided the finish simply would not be durable enough for his daily use. I then used a non-glossy poly on top of the wax. (I did this project several years ago, so I do not remember precisely which poly I used.) The desk still looks great. Well, except for my husband’s piles of papers!

      1. Thank you for all of this information on chalk paint. I have sanded a bookcase, four table legs, and several dining chairs before seeing that chalk paint does not require sanding. Grrr…. I anticipate my dining set will get as much use, if not more, than your husband’s desk. Would a sealer such as Polycrylic be okay to use after the wax, as far as food consumption goes? Yes we have plates and silverware however, we also own a 10 year old boy and cannot always guarantee the use of silverware or dishes. Thanks again for the plethors of chalk paint information.

  29. Janie Landis says:

    I’m going to DIY my own chalk paint but have already purchased a quart of Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay paint (i guess it’s in a flat finish). Do you think this paint mixed with the formula for Chalk Paint will work on a couple of items – a lamp and a table? I’ve seen where you can use Vaseline to help in distressing, or even white vinegar. Should those methods be used when using DIY Chalk Paint? I have lots of Annie Sloan paint on hand but like you, need a darker navy blue than she offers right now, thus, my motivation for making my own chalk paint. Any thoughts on this? Many thanks.

  30. And you can use any colot paint?

  31. Sharon Christensen says:

    I want to use the chalk paint on my dining table and chairs. They get a lot of use or should I say mis-use?? I have 11 small grandkids that are very hard on furniture. I plan on using a sealer on them after painting. How many coats are recommended and will the table be food-safe? How well does the chalk paint hold up for years or any length of time? Which one of sealers are the best for durability – Minwax Polyacrylic or Zinsser Ultimate Polyurethane or which one do you recommend for table and chairs? Thanks

    1. Are use the same color chalk paint on two different pieces of furniture they didn’t come out the same color once dark and one is lighter I put an extra coat on the lighter one trying to make it dark but it’s still lighter what can I do

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Sheila – Did you use a primer. If the woods were different, one may have contained more wood tannins that caused the color to change. Another reason would be the paint wasn’t stirred enough. To fix it, sand the color you don’t like, just to smooth it, not to remove it. Clean off the grit and then apply a coat of stain killing primer like KILZ brand. Then stir the paint very well and repaint. Doing this should allow the paint to stay true to its color.

  32. Robin Cox says:

    After the wax is applied, can you still write with chalk on it?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Robin – No. After you wax the surface will be shiny and protected. You will not be able to write with chalk on it anymore.

  33. I am not a complete beginner to DIY chalk paint, but I learned a lot from this post, and your Q&A in the comments. Thank you!

  34. Linda Miritello says:

    Have you ever tried any of these formulas with a paint spray gun? If so, did you thin the formula considerably with water?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – I have never used a spray gun with chalk paint, but if I was going to I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe. It mixes up the smoothest and never clumps up. You can add a little bit more water to the recipe to get the flow you need, but you don’t want to add too much or it may lessen how it adheres.

  35. Hi. I’m sorry if you have already answered a similar question. I just used the grout recipe to pain my cabinates. I made a wite paint for the top ones and a black for the bottom. The white is pretty much bullet proof! I haven’t even waxed it yet. Lol. But the black is very fussy and is chipping so easily. I have waxed some of them and those seem to be worse. :( I did use a paint and primer in one for both of them and had no problems with them getting hard… I’m starting to wonder if the black has something in it that’s more delicate? Just wondering if you have encountered this or know of anyone that has. It hasn’t been 30 days yet but like I said the white is on there but good. Thanks! Looking forward to your thoughts.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Erin – I am not sure exactly what happened with your black chalk paint. It could be how a pigment in the color mixes in with the grout, but I don’t think that would cause the problem. It could be that the bottom cabinets have something on them that the top ones did not. Grease, dirt, oil etc.

      The only problem I do know is that when mixing dark colors like black and navy blue with grout or Plaster of Paris that the color lightens. Also if it is not mixed well you may see white spots of unmixed PoP when you sand. It sounds like you are having a different problem…one with adhesion. I would have to guess since if it is the same formula of paint and mixed in the same amounts as the white that there is something on the surface of the bottom cabinets that is not letting the paint adhere. I would wait another week to see if it cures, if not, you may have to sand them to smooth, clean well with TSP and then paint.

      1. The base paint for your black paint is probably different than the one for the white. When making a tinted paint, the technician has to use certain formulas of base to achieve the color you have picked. Perhaps the amount of tint required for black paint alter the formula enough to be a poor mate for cc or PoP.

  36. Hi Diane, calcium carbonate is ground up marble also known as chalk, I bought a fifty pound bag of baseball field marker at Home Depot (calcium carbonate) for $8.00 that’s a bargin.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – Thanks for this tip. I will check it out. What a great deal for $8.00!!! I bought chalk line chalk very inexpensively and it worked but I found it grittier than the health food grade CCP. How is the texture of the field marking chalk? I also noticed that it was a warmer white color. This doesn’t matter when using colors, but when I mixed it into white paint, it warmed up the white. Have you used other CCP brands/types? Do you see a difference?

  37. Which type of latex paint do you suggest when making DIY chalk paint, glossy or flat?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Summer – You can use flat, satin, eggshell or even semi-gloss since when you add the Calcium Carbonate or Plaster of Paris the paint will turn flat. I always use a satin finish, but have used semi-gloss and flat as well. I have never used Gloss.

  38. Well I was excited to try your recipe, (2tbs Calcium Carbonate- Now, Plaster of Pasris, water, plus paint-literally within less than 1 minute it turned to an unusable clump. The only difference is my DAP POP is in a blue box. I haven’t found anything stating that makes a difference. I will try without the pop, but I think if someone tries this they have to be willing to waste the paint…even if it’s just sample size.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Paige – The reason the mixture turned into a clump is because PoP cannot be mixed with paint that has primer or acrylic in it. It used to be that only a few brands made Paint + Primer formulas, but now almost all do and it is getting hard to tell which formulas don’t have primer in them since it is not written on the label. If you are unsure if the paint you have has primer or acrylic in it, only use CCP to make the chalk paint. CCP can be mixed with any paint.

      1. All samples in valspar are produced from the signature paint. Now that lowes is carrying sherwin williams you could try the sample in that , It is eggshell but not considered a paint and primer.

  39. Hi there Diane,
    How long do you have to wait before you start waxing? Is it until it’s dry or do I need to wait 24 hours? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Waldina – I wait for 24 hours just to make sure the paint is throughly dry, but you can wax as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. If you wax too soon though, some waxes may remove a small amount of the paint. If this happens you may want to wait to wax until the paint is very dry.

  40. I am at the waxing stage of my first chalk paint project and love the look, $$ and ease of it all!! Problem is that as I am waxing some of the color is coming off on the cloth, is this normal? And as I am buffing some of the paint is completely scratching off!! I did not sand the cabinet, just washed.(was a painted piece all ready, just didn’t like the color) My DIY recipe is the calcium carbonate and paint is Behr satin enamel ( just a $4 sample jar bought new ) I did let paint dry 24 hrs before using the SC Johnsons paste wax. Everything was going so well until now, any ideas? Should I have roughen up the cabinet first by sanding? Can I repaint over the scratches now that it is waxed?
    Please advise, would love to do more furniture pieces but need them to hold up to kids

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachelle –

      On some pieces depending on the paint, a little paint may come off when you wax, but not a lot to make a difference in the finish. If a lot is coming off then something is right with the paint, Sample Pots are sometimes not really full-formula paint. What brand of CCP did you use. I always use the NOW Brand. It has never failed me yet.

      From what you have told me, I think two things may have happened. I always sand the surface, even previously painted ones with a quick 5 minute going over with a sanding block. It helps to add some “tooth”. The other thing that could have caused the paint to come off is the sample pot of paint. These little pots of paint are good for showing color, but I have learned that they are not really full paint, they are a watered down or lessened formula of paint. If this is the case for the Behr you used, then it could be that. To remedy your situation. I would go over the areas that have scratched off with 220 or fine grit sandpaper to smooth and remove some of the wax. Clean off the grit. Buy new paint and then re-paint a light coat over the areas using the brush to feather out the paint to blend with the rest of the surface. Let dry and add one more light coat. Sand areas to smooth if yu see a ridge. Use vert fine sandpaper for this. Once the paint has dried for 24 hours you should be good to go for waxing. I use Johnsons Paste Wax all the time. It is smelly, but adds a nice layer of protection and shine.

      For a super durable finish, try the recipe that uses CCP and Plaster of Paris. It will be rock hard and is even hard to distress if you want an aged look. You do need to use paint that does not have a primer it in already though when using Plaster of Paris. The primer in some brands ( Valspar) may bind and make the mixture turn to sludge. I just chalk painted chairs with some leftover SW enamel paint and CCP. I will be posting about them tomorrow.

      1. Thank you! Did not know that about the sample sizes and will give my next piece a quick sanding first

  41. Love your website. Four out of five batches of my chalk paint have turned to sludge. Luckily I made very small batches. I was using PoP and Zalspar paint and primer in one ( because that’s what I have on hand). The first two batches I used an old blender to smooth out the sludge with no avail. Third one worked and it was semigloss Valspar all in one. The last two batches I used very warm water , no blender, immediate sludge when I added the paint. I looked through several cans of our paints, most are paint and primer. If I use Calcium Carbonate or limestone can I still use my all in one paint and primer or will I still get sludge. Anxiously waiting to start my project. Thanks in advance.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – Sorry to hear that a few of your batches turned to sludge but that happens when the PoP and Non-Sanded Grout recipes are mixed with paints with primer in them. It is getting harder to find paints now that don’t have primer in them. Look for basic paint or contractor paint.

      To answer your question: When using the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe you can use any paint. It will mix up fine and not turn to sludge. Happy painting!

  42. Hi, where would you get calcium carbonate? I want to make homeade chalk paint for refinishing desk. Thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carla – You can buy calcium carbonate powder at the health food store or on amazon. Make sure to get the powder not the tablets. I use the NOW brand.

  43. Thanks Diane. I will try that. Sounds a lot of work. I thought the joy of chalk paint was little or no prep! No, I haven’t tried mixing my own. Might try that next. Which do you like best? Plaster of Paris or calcium carbonate? Or are they the same? And can you use any water based paint with it?

    You are very kind answering all my questions.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lesley – When chalk paint first came on the scene that is how it was promoted – no prep work. It is true, it is less prep, you do not have to prime with a primer before hand, but it always is a good idea to run sandpaper over the surface before painting. I always do this and was happy to learn at an Annie Sloan workshop I attended that the instructor did the same. I like the Calcium Carbonate Powder recipe the best. I use it all the time now. If I am doing a piece that needs to be super durable – like a tabletop, I will add a tablespoon of Plaster to the mix. CCP mixes into any water based paint and will not clump up. Plaster of Paris may clump up when mixed with paint + primer in one formulas.

  44. Hi Diane
    Thank you for such a useful site. I’m new to chalk paint, so I bought a box of ready mixed sample colours. I painted some onto a white chair, but the next day, I noticed that it wipes off very easily with a damp cloth. I’d missed some dust under the chair and accidentally touched the paint. Is it supposed to do that? Is that why you have to wax? Or have I bought a dud batch of paints? I wouldn’t have expected it to wipe off so easily.

    Thanks again.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lesley – This should not have happened. What brand of chalk paint did you use? How many coats? Were they thin or thick?

      1. Thank you so much for the reply Diane. I bought this sample batch on eBay from chalk2chic and put it on straight from the pot. It was quite thin anyway and didn’t cover all that well.


        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Lesley – I am not familiar with that brand of chalk paint. I would try painting your piece again, but try sanding the surface first before painting. I always sand the surface with 100 grit sandpaper first to rough it up a little. This gives the surface some “tooth” and gives the paint something to adhere to. A quick 5 minute going over is all that is needed. Clean off the sanding grit well. Stir the paint in the pot well and repaint. Apply one thin coat, let dry. Apply a second and let dry. Let the paint cure for a few days and then do a scratch test. If the paint comes off, then I think it must be the paint. Have you ever tried making your own chalk paint?

  45. Diane, you are an amazing woman. Such a cheerful giver. I have been wondering about chalk paint and every question that I could possibly have, you have already answered. Knowledge is power and you have liberated me. Thank you so much for your kindness. Also, many of the ladies who commented also gave me additonal insight and in many cases, new ideas. Girl, you rock!!! :) Thank you so very much.

  46. everything i’ve read says to wax the finished product, but i’m painting kitchen kabinets & want to finish with a shellac type coating which will allow for easy cleaning. will this work? thanks in advance

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Paula – You don’t have to use wax to seal chalk paint, water-based poly works well, too. I have used Minwax Polycrylic and Zinsser Ultimate Polyurethane. Do not use shellac or oil-based poly. They will darken or yellow your paint color.

  47. Rebecca Cunningham Wasson says:

    I have a question about the latex paint. Do you use interior or exterior latex paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – You can use either. I usually use interior in a satin finish, but if you are going to paint outdoor furniture, you can use exterior latex. If using Plaster of Paris or non-sanded grout make sure the paint is not a primer + paint formula. They can turn the mixture into sludge.

  48. Hi Diane,
    I made chalk paint using a grey grout.
    Thinking that the white grout would make my red paint pint.
    Well what happened was I got a purple instead.
    I didn’t want to throw the whole batch out so I proceeded to paint the table.
    Next day I painted the table again without any grout. The paint was a latex, satin.
    I still wasn’t happy with the results, so the next day I painted another coat.
    I wasn’t able to do the distressing that I wanted to do, due to the purple that came through.
    I waxed the following day, and if am happy with the results.
    But confused by what happened.
    If I used regular white grout would I have had a problem with the colour. (Red and white grout = pink?
    I have done chalk painting before with great results, using pastel colours. But this was a first using a bold red.

  49. Betty White says:

    Hi Diane
    After much research I finally found cheap calcium carbonate aka LIMESTONE. I can get 20 pounds for $9.95. Just an FYI for everyone who has been having problems locating calcium carbonate: try your garden centers and feed stores. Hope this helps. Happy painting.

  50. Sheryl Creeley says:

    Hi Diane,
    I just tried your recipe with the calcium carbonate & plaster of paris , I applied 2 coats and have a lot of brush strokes when it dried. How can I get rid of them? Should I sand & repaint with a roller or if I use a roller to apply another coat will that work? Any help will be appreciated!!

  51. Susan Csejka says:

    I have so been wanting to do some chalk painting on any number of items but had found the “name” brands to be cost prohibitive for Grannie’s budget and I love to paint stuff! I do have access to almost unlimited paints thru my town’s reuse/recycle center. So my color choices are beyond the beyond. I’ve painted almost every room in my little house using this benefit as well as bits and pieces of furniture and accessories. Now having read your tutorial several times, I’m read to take the leap!! And I found a source of calcium carbonate on Ebay (RawSupply); good pricing (better than Amazon), free shipping. Just now ordered and waiting most impatiently to get started. Thank you so very much for your blog, ideas, hints, recipes, etc! Such a delight!!

  52. Diane Loszewski says:

    when you have used the Johnson wax paste, How many coats do you apply and do you buff in between each coat? Thank You!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – I use 2-3 coats of wax. I apply a thin layer, wait about 5 mins then buff it with a piece of a cut up old shirt. I buff between every coat – very hard to bring up the shine. If you used the Plaster of Paris recipe, it may take more buffing and coats to get a high sheen.

  53. Elen Miranda says:

    What brand of wax do you recommend using after painting? I plan on painting a dining set in a dark brown color and I don’t want to have a distressed look to it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elen – My favorite wax is Fiddes and Sons in Clear. It goes on easily, can be buffed right away, and buffs to a nice clear protective sheen. It adds a nice patina to the paint. If you want to darken the dark brown paint color to deepen the patina, you can add dark wax over the paint. This can make a piece look richer, but not distressed. If this is a look you want, I would suggest using Fiddes and Sons in Jacobean, Annie Sloan Dark Wax, or Miss Mustard Seed’s Dark Wax.

  54. Hi Diane. Do you have an ASCP color equivalent table? I guess what I’m trying to ask is, any diy recipe plus what Valspar(or other brand) paint color would be closest to ASCP Paris Grey or duck egg blue, etc? Thanks! Love your blog!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – I don’t have a color matching chart, but that is a great idea. :-) I will put one together and post about it soon.

      1. Wonderful! I knew if you didn’t already have one that it would be a great idea for your blog. I haven’t seen one anywhere else! Good luck!

  55. I’m finally getting brave enough to try chalk paint. question–can I use chalk paint and wax coat on porch tables?
    they get some moisture, naturally. but not much sun. THANKS — your tut gave me guts to try this == finally!!!

  56. Diane Green says:

    Hi Diane, I have a completely unfinished wood table. (I sanded it before I saw the DIY Chalk Paint tutorial) Can you apply chalk paint to a piece of unfinished wood or should I use a primer first? Thank you for your help.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – You are ahead of the game. Having a sanded unfinished table is the PERFECT starting point to paint over. No primer is needed. You are ready to go. Use light coats, let each one dry before applying the next and you will get one very nice and smooth finish.

  57. Bev Nethers says:

    I have already painted two chairs with Valspar matte white spray paint with primer. Then, I started to wax the chairs with Briwax which is solvent (toluene) based. The wax dissolved the paint. Tried the same thing with gel stain with same results, dissolved the paint. Will Annie Sloan wax work over the spray paint with primer? Do you know of other brands which would work and offer more color options? I need a very light brown.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bev – Briwax is my least favorite wax and I only use the white one when I want to add a whitewash over raw wood. It removes paint as you found out. Annie Sloan has a dark wax and Fiddes & Sons has a few gold and brown colored waxes. These will not remove the paint when applied.

  58. I have been researching chalk paint as well…. Here in Georgia, there is a company called “Rethunk Junk” that offers a class in their version of chalk paint – wonderful product, has a sealer built in and you do not need to wax afterwards unless you really want to up the sheen. One 4oz sample of white paint gave me two coats on a bright red side table, no priming reqd. Distressing was easy with a sander, mistakes easily fixed without having to reprint an entire side. Product ‘cures’ to a hard finish after 24 hrs. Highly recommend this over other paint products that require a wax. They even offer a ‘stain’ and one of the instructors used it on her hardwood floors!

  59. Anette Greene says:

    Should I construct my new desk first then chalk paint or paint each piece first then put together?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anette – I would construct it first. If you paint the pieces first, a build up of paint may get on the ends and edges and the pieces may not align right as you assemble it. If you want to paint first, just be careful of getting paint on the edges.

  60. Thank you so much Diane!
    My ‘project’ has just been delivered, an old solid wooden desk with a glass top, I wish to paint it and use as a dressing table, am nervous but so excited! Will be choosing a paint soon and purchasing some calcium carbonate, eeeeek! :)

  61. Thanks for all this fabulous information!
    Am excited about having a go now!
    I have a few projects I want to work on but ASCP paint is pricey so I would love to make my own!
    Am in the UK and am unsure about the type of paint I need to mix in?
    Does it have to be an ACRYLIC based paint? Or would an emulsion work ok?
    You may have already answered this question above, so sorry if you have!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Miggs –

      It does not have to be acrylic paint – just water-based paint. It can’t be oil-based.

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  63. Wendy Letter says:

    Hi Diane – I just had to write what a godsend your website has been to me. We decided to refinish our kitchen island & I decided to take on the cabinet painting myself. Sherwin Williams pushed me to use their Pro Classic Acrylic Latex Enamel & it is sooooo thick & difficult to work with! Using your chalk paint recipe is giving me great results!! Thank you so much!! I used the same CC powder & PofP powder as you – & I am excited to see the finished project. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful ideas with us! :) Wendy from Wichita, KS

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Wendy – I love using chalk paint on furniture and wood. I am surprised by the SW Pro Classic being thick. That is the paint I used to repaint my kitchen cabinets and I loved it. It does self-level and created a brushstroke free finish. I used chalk paint on my powder room cabinets and loved how they came out too. Maybe the SW paint you got was old. Happy to hear though that your cabinets are coming out great now.

      1. Wendy Letter says:

        Hi Diane! Thanks for your reply! I took the paint back to SW & they even tried to paint my drawer front – and added Floetrol to it – without any success. Getting all that off was a real chore. So that’s why I was so glad to find your CP recipe! Maybe because I am doing them in black, every brush mark shows? I absolutely love the CP finish & have experimented on the back of a couple drawer fronts with the Minwax “Natural”. I think maybe I must have applied too much wax because no amount of buffing erases the original “line” where I applied the wax. :-/ Hubby not sure he wants a wax coating & would prefer poly. I like the idea of wax. HOWEVER, since this is our kitchen island, & I am sure we’ll need to clean up/wipe down/repaint a cabinet over the years, I wondered how difficult it is removing the wax finish. Can I simply sand & touch up areas with the CP or do I have to remove the wax with the Odorless Mineral Spirits as mentioned in a post WAY up above? (I tried to read through to see if my question was already answered!) I think I will order some Fiddes & Sons wax as reading through your replies, it looks like that is your preferred wax with Johnson’s Paste coming in 2nd.

        A couple things I’ve learned through this journey is, if I haven’t used up all my paint, I will “seal” the top level of paint by adding saran wrap to cover the paint (like you used to do when stovetop-made pudding was cooling, so it didn’t get that awful film on top), & when I distress an edge, I go over it with a staining pen in the color of the rest of our cabinets so that we have some continuity between the island (distressed black) & the rest of the cabinets. It looks pretty good so far.

        Thanks for any tips you can add re: the wax … I have buffed the heck out of it & still am not sure of the finish. Is it supposed to be super shiny & “wet-looking”? I was going for more of the “muted” or soft effect, a subtle sheen. Don’t know what I did wrong. :-/

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to all of us – you’re so sweet to do so & share your brilliance with us! :) Take care xxx Wendy

        1. Wendy Letter says:

          Update: We just tried Briwax on another drawer back & can see scratches in my beautiful finish! I would be so heartbroken if the fronts of the cabinets had buff mark scratches in them. He used one of his really old super soft undershirts. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome! Thank you!!

          1. Diane Henkler says:

            Hi Wendy –

            I am not a fan of Minwax or Briwax. I have found Minwax does not melt into the finish. Briwax has removed the finish on one piece I did. My fave wax is Fiddes and Sons in clear. It goes on easy and you can buff right away. As far as the sheen – the more you buff the more shine you will achieve.

            Wax needs to be applied in very light coats. Apply one and buff, then repeat for more shine and protection. If it is applied to heavy, it is hard to get it buffed evenly. Are the scratches – scratches or are they build up of wax? Have you tried another type of cloth to buff out the scratches?

  64. Great post! I’m just wondering if you can still write on the paint with chalk once it has been waxed? Thanks :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gem – Once chalk paint has wax over it you cannot write with chalk over the finish.

  65. I’m gathering my supplies to make the chalk paint. I want a aged look over white for a bookcase. when looking for the wax, I found Minwax in a neutral color at HD. I see many sites are mentioning “dark wax” which sounds like what I would like. Does Minwax come in light or dark? If so I am wondering where one would find the dark? Thnx

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – I believe Minwax has two colors of wax – Natural and one called Special Dark. I have only used the natural and it is my least favorite wax. I have never seen the dark one anywhere but online. The natural is not a clear wax, it has an orange tint to it and will make your white chalk paint have an orange cast. I prefer using Johnson’s Paste Wax. It is $7 a can and can be found in most stores cleaning supplies aisle. I also like Fiddes and Sons wax. They carry many colors. You can buy it on Amazon. When I want to age a finish to look dark, I use antiquing glaze. I bought it at Lowes. I put a coat of it on over the chalk paint and then rub it in and remove it until I get the look I want. I then sand to distress. You can sand before or after adding the layer of clear wax. You can see the steps in this post:

      If you are going to use dark wax – you need to use clear wax on the finish first. Buff and then apply the dark wax. You need to do this so that you can move the dark wax around where you want it on your finish otherwise the dark color will get splotchy looking.

  66. So I tried the DIY P of P method today and failed! I mixed 1 cup of P of P with water until pancake batter consistency, then add 3 cups of latex satin paint and mixed again. My mixture was thick so I kept adding water until I got the pancake batter consistency once more. I started painting but kept getting a lot of clay like buildup form the plaster of paris. What do you think I did wrong? or could try differently. I resorted to buying Annie Solan paint to finish the project but I would love to find a diy version that is just as good. Thanks again

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi LeeAnna –

      The recipe does call for 3 parts paint to 1 part PoP, but the outcome can vary depending on the brand of paint. I have made and used so many mixes and have found that you can still get great adhesion with less PoP. Try using only a 1/2 cup of PoP to the 3 parts paint or mix 4 Tablespoons of PoP into 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix it well until the powder dissolves, then mix it well into 2 cups of paint. This will create a smoother mix. If it makes the paint thick again, then it could be that the paint has a primer in it. Since I started on this DIY chalk paint journey and made a lot of it, I prefer the calcium carbonate powder recipe and if I want super durable and am only going to sand a little, I add a tablespoon of PoP to the mix. I hope this helps. Since everyone uses different paint and city and town water supplies have different minerals etc in them – outcomes can vary.

  67. Great post, thank you so much! As a UK resident I have been a bit confused by some of the terms in many of the DIY recipes online, but I have experimented a little. I bourght some very cheap second-hand paint in Satinwood (Dulux) but found that much of it was the old solvent based, as I believe are the trade versions. Some was water based but the only way to tell was reading the small print on the back of the can. What to do??? Would the solvent based just have been a waste of money? I tried one batch mixing Bicarbonate of Soda in a little white spirit and another batch mixing POP with a little white spirit first then mixing with the solvent based paint. As you can’t mix with water or it will not work. (Neither can you mix a solvent based Satinwood with a water based as it turns to cottage cheese and then goes solid!) My experiment has worked well, though the Bicarb version is very gritty but this sands lovley and smooth very easily and the POP version is great. ***I have to say that I don’t know the ingredients of POP and whether there area any reactions / fumes that are released when mixing with white spirit – none obvious but I will look into it further before doing any more!***

  68. J. Turner says:

    Thank you for doing all this research for us! I just started using chalk paint. I don’t live anywhere near a place that sells Annie Sloan (2.5 hours), so I used an 8 oz size can I got at Home Depot. I also tried the Plaster of Paris method today, but found that it got too gritty.
    1/3 c. water
    1/3 c. P of P
    8 oz. paint
    I would like to order some of the Webster’s and try that, but I think I will try your method and use the calcium carbonate. I don’t mind gritty for an underlayer, but the top layer I would like smooth.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      If your PoP mix was rough, you can rub some 220 sandpaper over it to smooth it. That is the nice thing about all chalk paints, they sand so easily. I like using the Calcium Carbonate Powder the best out of all the DIY mixtures. It always makes up into a very smooth mixture. Webster’s is very nice, but I kind of think it is just a bag of Calcium Carbonate Powder in a branded bag :-) Happy chalk painting!

  69. LOVE your blog! I’ve spent hours on here learning and have not seen this question yet, so forgive me if you’ve answered it previously. Normally when painting furniture or any surface, you can’t paint latex paint over an oil based paint or enamel, without first priming the surface. Do you know if they same rule applies to the chalk paint? I’m assuming it does. I’ve got a previously painted bed I’d like to paint over and not sure what type of paint is on it. I sure don’t want to have to prime it-that’s why I LOVE the chalk paint!! Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandy – you can paint chalk paint over anything without having to prime – that is one of best things about it. I always go over the surface with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface before painting. Once you do that you can paint right over anything.

      1. Thanks so much! I’m in a new relationship…………….with Chalk Paint!!!
        Blessings to you!

  70. Yes i did mix the PoP first but I think I used cold water . I got all the chunks out so can I continue to use this paint or do I need to start all over :(

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – You can still use the paint, but stir it well and try to break up any clumps as you mix. If one shows up in your painted surface, you can simply sand over it and then reapply paint over it.

  71. My 7 year old daughter requested a desk for her bday…we found a great little roll top desk for $10 bucks and it’s in great shape. I’m going to try and do the chalk board paint on it. I’m thinking I’m going to use a poly coat on it when I’m done, I
    would think it would be more durable for a kid’s piece of furniture. Any tips or suggestions would be great!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – When a few light coats of wax are layered and each one buffed, you can create a very durable finish. It does take time to do this though. If you want to be once and done, then I would use Minwax Polycrylic over it in a satin finish. Use 2 light coats, letting the first one dry before applying the second coat. You can use 220 sandpaper over the first coat to smooth it out if your have any drips. Make sure to clean any sanding grit off before applying the second coat of poly. The desk sounds adorable. I an sure your daughter is going love it!

  72. What do you use to apply the chalk paint and does it leave brush marks? Thanks. I am trying my first DIY on a dresser and don’t want to mess up:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – I use an angled Purdy brand paint brush. They cost around $10, but if you wash it out well with soap and water and hang it to dry it will last for years. Good brushes rarely leave brush marks so I think it is worth buying the best you can afford. If you are going to distress your painted finish with sandpaper, this will remove any brush marks that do show up. If you are making chalk paint with Calcium Carbonate Powder you can roll it on. It will be super smooth. I use a small foam roller with rounded edges. The rounded edges don’t leave roller lines. Experiment a little on a piece of scrap wood before doing the dresser. It will help you perfect your application.

  73. Another question ? When I was pouring the extra in a bowl so I could put a lid on it and save the extra. I noticed a few hard chunks which I’m assuming is the Plaster of Paris. What causes that!??

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – Did you mix the PoP in warm water first before mixing it into the paint? This dissolves the PoP and lets you see that it is all dissolved and mixed well before adding it to the paint. In the future, when mixing PoP in the water, if you see a chunk and it won’t dissolve, remove it and add a bit more PoP, let it dissolve and then add to the paint.

  74. I waited about a hour between each coat . It’s only been about a hour since I stopped painting ;) and I used the P& P receipt !
    So I will wAit a few days and hopefully everything will be ok!!!
    My next question is how long to I wait to
    Apply the wax?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – Paint may feel dry to the touch in an hour, but really can take days to dry. You can wax after about 24 hours.

  75. I am painting my cabinets . I couldn’t find any paint that didn’t have primer in it! So I got Glidden premium paint + printer. I lightly sanded one door and did nothing to the second door . I have applied 3 coats and when my nail hits the paint it scratches off!
    What did I do wrong ?
    Is it the paint ?
    Do I have to let it sit?
    Thanks !!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – The paint will scratch off right after it is dry. It needs to fully dry (a few days) and cure (up to 4 weeks depending on weather conditions) to get to a super durable finish. A few questions and I will better be able to help you. How long ago did you apply the last coat? Did you let each coat dry before applying the next? What DIY chalk recipe did you use?

  76. hi there, if i apply wax over top of the chalk paint can i still write on it with chalk, also i dont wax it will it effect the paint if it is used as a memoboard.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kiralee – Once you wax over chalk paint you will not be able to write with chalk on it. If you don’t wax, it will be exactly like a chalkboard and you can use it as one.

  77. I was wondering if I was to use chalk paint on laminate wood, like book shelves, would you tell me I should sand those first? Also, should I prime or do you feel that step could be skipped? Thank you, Charlene

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Charlene – you do not need to sand, but I would sand first. You don’t have to go crazy, just a 5 – 10 minute going over with 100 grit sandpaper on a hand sanding block will be enough to rough up the surface and help with adhesion.

  78. Hi, I am very interested in learning about chalk paint. Thank you for all your information. If I were to paint a piece of furniture that was pressed board with laminate overlay, would you sand, and prime first? Is priming necessary do you think? Thank you again

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Charlene – I always sand first. It only takes 10 minutes or less to go over the surface with a hand sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper. All you need to do is rough up the surface a little bit. You do not have to prime.

  79. Joanne Norquay says:

    I would like to paint my unfinished wooden deck chairs with chalk paint. What finish should I use? Can I wax or will the wax melt off? I am so excited to get started.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joanne – You can use any finish/sheen of paint since when you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris it will turn to a flat finish. I have used flat and satin with great results. Wax will melt off in the sun. If you like a rustic aged look, you can just let the paint wear, if not I would use a water-based poly over the paint. Minwax Polycrylic or Zinseer Ultimate poly are two good brands to use.

  80. Amanda S. says:

    Wonderful post! So informative. I have been on the fence about DIY chalk paint but I think this has sold me!! I do have a question though like so many others. I want to paint my baby’s crib, changing table and dresser. On the ASCP website it says it’s safe to use for cribs. How would I go about doing this with the DIY version? I am definitely thinking the Calcium Carbonate Powder is the way for me as it seems the safest. What should I finish it with? The wax? Any recommendations on a brand for that?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amanda –

      I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder. I like the look of the wax better over chalk paint, but for the crib I would use Minwax Polycrylic or any water based poly. Wax does wear down and may not be the best thing on a crib where a baby touches. I would paint it so it has lots of time to cure – up to a month before using it. For the dresser and the changing table – wax would be OK if you wanted to use it. I like Fiddes and Sons in Clear. I buy it on amazon.

      1. Amanda S. says:

        Thank you so much! I will check out the wax on Amazon for the other furniture. We have used Polycrylic many times for other projects (counter tops, tables,etc) so I am very familiar with finishing with that. Perfect! I think I could do a satin Polycrylic finish on the crib so that it’s not overly shiny compared to the other furniture? I have plenty of time for it to cure as I am due Christmas Eve. Thank you for your help! I am excited to be able to do a custom color other than just white, black,etc.

  81. Absolutely loved this post, and everything you’ve shared about chalk paint. I’m going to do it this week! I can’t thank you enough. Quick question…I know there should be no prepping needed but how far does that apply? I have a seriously ugly chipped up chest of drawers where the paint on it, from the previous owner, was partially removed so there are huge patches of painted parts and some that are bare wood. It feels pretty awful to rub your hand over it. Will chalk paint really fill that in and level it out, with perhaps 2 or more coats to help it along? Thank you again!!!

  82. Hi Diane, I am wanting to paint my counter tops in my kitchen with chalk paint, is this possible? and if so once I have painted it what should I use over the chalk paint to make it durable and hardy incase of water spills etc.? They are pine counter tops but am wanting to sand them a bit first as they have been stained to a dark wood. Thank you so much this has been awesome reading never knew you could make your own chalk paint, I have used ASCP but too expensive. Thanks again Mandy

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mandy – If you want to paint your counter tops, I would sand them a bit first to rough them up. I use a hand sanding block with 60-100 grit sandpaper. Clean the grit off and then use the Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris recipe. It cures to the hardest finish. Once it is dry, I would seal it with Zinseer Ultimate Polyurethane. It is water based, but super durable. I used it on my staircase.

  83. Hello, Diane,
    I think I’ve found an expert in Chalk paint! I am so thankful for your website! I have three dressers waiting to be chalk painted… I do not know which paint color to buy! I am overwhelmed… Can you suggest a few to paint over a dark stain dresser and a maple stained dresser. I want a light color… the house is very small so i guess light color furntiture helps. I am two blocks from home depot… so any Glidden or Berh or Martha Steward colors will work. Thank you .

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angelica –

      It is hard for me to suggest colors without seeing your rooms, but since you said you want light colors, it does make it easier – you have already narrowed it down. I would go to Home Depot and pick up paint chips in colors that you gravitate to. Bring them home and look at them in your homes light to help you choose the one you like best. Or the 3 you like best if you want to paint each piece a different color. When buying paint make sure it does not have primer or acrylic in it. I use Glidden Premium in a satin finish. Make sure it not the one that says Paint + Primer on the can.

  84. I like to use the oops paint, it keeps the cost low, and plaster of Paris which is also cost effective. My projects have come out great every time. I once used the corn starch recipe it worked OK too.

  85. I have an antique wooden dresser that I want to redo. It is solid wood and has been stained then sealed, I believe with a polyurethane. I wanted to try chalk paint, distress and wax. Do I have to sand the pc down or can I just apply the chalk paint on the pc as it is now?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ingrid –

      I always sand a little bit. You don’t need to go down to the bare wood – I use 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. I run it over the surface for about 10 minutes. It will help with adhesion.

      1. Thank you so much Diane. :-) I am excited about trying DIY chalk paint on this piece.

  86. Mike OConnor says:

    I only use oil-based paint. Could this wok with paint thinner instead of water?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I have never tried it, but I do not think it would work.I think if you mixed any of the DIY chalk paint making ingredients to oil-based paint it would turn to sludge.

  87. Melissa D says:

    I made my 1st attempt with chalk paint this morning on a chair…..before I read all of this of course. I used the Plaster of Paris recipe. It was super thick. So, first question, to thin do you just keep adding water? It got windy as I was trying to paint with something more like cake icing instead of pancake batter. It looks nice since its dried, but it was just clumping as I painted. It was probably the combination of being too thick to start and the wind, but I was getting discouraged and the wind got worse so I stopped. Could you offer any advice before I try to continue. The paint I used was Sherwin Williams Duration Home Latex.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melissa –

      I think the reason the paint got thick was the paint you used – SW Duration is an acrylic formula. Sometimes, but not always “acrylic” can bind the PoP. It is best to use the plain ole latex with nothing added. I would just make it up in small batches.

      As far as adding water to the mix, you can add more – a few tablespoons, but you don’t want to add too much so you dilute the mixture.

      Don’t let this first attempt stop you from trying again. I prefer using Calcium Carbonate Powder over Plaster of Paris because it does not ever get thick. You can buy it at the health food store. It stays smooth and creamy. I have always had excellent results with Glidden Premium paint in a satin or flat finish. It is sold at Home Depot. I have also mixed the two – CCP and PoP in one mix and loved the results. You can read about that in this post:

  88. The Home Boutique says:

    A very informative blog post. We’re a stockist of ASCP in the UK but prior to discovering ASCP we used to mix our own paint, must admit it is so much easier and more versatile to use ASCP :)

  89. Hi Diane!
    you have inspired me to try this!
    I am unsure about the wax… exactly what type of wax do you use? Can I get it in the home improvement store?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi again, just read your step by step chalk paint post, where you painted the corner cabinet lime green, it answered all my questions and you showed the exactly what wax you use!
      Should have read that post first!
      Thank you!!!

  90. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Very helpful comparisons, been looking for something like this for a while!

  91. I tried the plaster of Paris recipe just then and all my paint turned to clay!!!

    1. Oh goodness.., it deleted the rest of my note
      I went on to say….
      What did I do wrong?
      I tried to add more water but it went lumpy
      How much water do I add to for example 1 cup of plaster of Paris?

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi again Nina –

        2 – 3 tablespoons. I just replied to your last comment and I think you used a paint that has a primer in it. Let me know what type of paint you used.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nina –
      What type and brand of paint did you use? Plaster of Paris and Non-sanded grout will bind when mixed with a paint that already has a primer in it or an acrylic. Most of the little sample pots may bind, too.

      1. I’m from New Zealand so not sure that you’d know the brand. It’s called wattyl. I don’t know much about paint so just asked the shop girl for a latex paint. Soooo guttered though!
        I found a baking soda recipe so I might try that out as it is quite expensive to buy grout here

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          HI Nina –
          I have never used baking soda, but I heard that it can be used. My favorite additive is to use Calcium Carbonate Powder. It is sold at the health food store. Here in the states it is $6 a bottle. You can make a lot of chalk paint with it.

          1. Oh wow! I just looked up the price of a small bottle of calcium carbonate and they start at $26 :( (About $23USD)
            I might go the baking soda route haha

  92. Thank you Diane for taking the time to reply to my comment. I am still not sure as to which paint to go with. We have a wood chest (very basic board and batten construction) that was used as a toy chest. The surface is pretty distressed already (used by boys) and we want it to stay that way. My son is moving into his own place and wants it to look RUSTIC beach cottage as he will also be displaying his surf boards around the room. We want the worn wood look but with an overall wash of white. Should I go with the milk paint or can the chalk paint be thinned and brushed on then wiped off? The chest had a clear finish on it but I don’t know what kind and it is now pretty worn off over much of the top and pretty scratched on th sides. Once again I thank you for sharing your expertise on painting.

  93. Hi Diane,
    I have read through all the comments and replies to this post. There is one question that I have not seen addressed at all so I am asking. Is milk paint similar to chalk paint? Are they basically the same, especially the powdered mixes? If anyone can clarify that for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much for your dedication and sharing in all this.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy –

      Milk paint and chalk paint are two different things. Milk paint is a powder that you mix with water. It is all natural. It is like a stain and can be transparent when applied. It needs a bonding agent so it sticks to previous finished surfaces. It will stick well on raw wood. It is easy to distress and chips off. Chalk paint is opaque, it is sold in a paint form. It does not need a bonding agent. It sands smooth to distress, but does not chip off.

  94. Hi Diane! Thank you for your informative posts! I used your recipe to mix up a small batch of chalk paint using plaster of paris, mixing the plaster of paris with water first until smooth; however, I did the first coat and it is SUPER gritty and didn’t cover very well at all. Do you have any ideas for me what went wrong? I’ll have to sand the bench down again because of how rough it is! My other question is what is the benefit of using chalk paint and wax versus primer and regular paint? It seems like you have to sand with both, apply just as many coats, and then the priming and waxing would take about the same amount of time. And with the paint being gritty like this, it’s going to take me even longer with more sanding! Thanks for your help!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katie –

      Sorry to hear that you got a gritty mix. It could be the Plaster you are using. I use the DAP brand that I buy at Lowes. If is wasn’t the smoothness of the Plaster, it could be the paint. What brand of paint did you use and type? It could have factored in, so can the water you used.

      Don’t let this discourage you from trying it again if you like the look of chalk painted pieces. My first mix came out lumpy and then got rock hard. I played around with it until I got it figured out. I love using chalk paint because I love the way the finish looks after it is waxed. That is the #1 reason I like it over using latex alone. It is not for saving time and effort. There is a patina that you just can’t get with regular latex. For my mixes I have had complete success with Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish when I mix it with Plaster alone or Calcium Carbonate Powder. I prefer using Calcium Carbonate now over Plaster. I do like to use both in one mix now if I want a rock hard finish that I only want to distress a little.

      As far as time and effort go when using chalk paint versus primer and latex – they both are equal in the time it takes from start to finish. I have written about this a few times as I think many think chalk paint is a magical paint and will take all the hard work away. That is not the case. Chalk paint may not need a primer so you save time in prep work, but it requires time after painting because you have to wax and buff. To use primer and latex you need more time in prep work and if not sealing the paint with a poly, the after painting process is quicker. So the time frame for using either is the same.

      Annie Sloan says you don’t have to sand, but you should and even in an Annie Sloan class I took, the instructor told us we should sand enough to rough up the surface. I totally agree that this. A 5 – 10 minute going over will only help with adhesion no matter what you are painting with – plain latex or chalk paint.

      For your piece, try using warm water with the Plaster of Paris and really mix it up well. Rub your fingers in the mix to make sure it is dissolved. Then add it. If it is still gritty, I would try using Calcium Carbonate Powder. I use the Now brand that I buy at my health food store. It is a very smooth powder with no gritty feel. When making chalk paint there is a little trial and error time since it is a recipe and no two mixes will ever be exactly the same.

  95. Hi again, Diane! I wanted to thank you for your tip, the color match to ASCP Florence turned out beautifully, I used your POP recipe with great success once again. Please know that I am so grateful for your inspiring blog and generous nature.

    I’m wondering if you have any advice on decorative painting, the whimsical M-C style that uses lots of vibrant colors, checks, stripes, and stencil designs… can this be done with POP chalk paint, and no priming? Clear wax gives chalk paint a lovely satin sheen but to achieve a durable, high gloss finish, what product would be a good choice? Can spray-paint gloss be used over POP chalk paint, and would it affect the paint differently if it’s water based or oil based? I have looked at some bloggers who do this kind of decorative painting but I’ve yet to find any offering tips or tutorials. I’m sure I can determine this by trial and error (and will happily share if I do), but any tips in advance might spare some frustration and would be enormously appreciated!

    Thank you! Have a lovely week!

    1. Sleepy I have wondered about that myself. Personally I don’t love waxing, I never get the “lovely satin sheen” you speak of, even buffing doesn’t give me a polished result. Ok I guess for a vintage finish, but for a mid-century or modern piece it’s just dull and lifeless.

      I tried Krylon gloss spray once and it bubbled up on the chalk paint, NOT GOOD! But I can’t be sure if that’s a typical result or just because I tried spraying in extreme weather temperature. Has anyone else tried spray gloss instead of waxing? And how did it work for you? Thanks~~

      P.S. This may be something everyone else knows but I sure don’t! What is “whimsical M-C style” ??

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sleepy –

      I usually use wax, but for the powder room I have been posting about, I used Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish. It creates a subtly protective sheen over the chalk paint. It is brush-on water-based poly that you can buy at home improvement and craft stores. I would not use oil based products over the paint, it would change the color.

  96. Karen Kellett says:

    Hi Diane i’m just starting out at having ago with diy chalk paint can I use any type of paint you have mentioned latex and satin wood
    We can get small sample pot in different types of finishes can I use any

    Look forward to hearing from you soon

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen –

      Most paints will work fine. I have found paints that have a primer in them already will bind up. Same goes for acrylic craft paints. If you are doing a small project – they will work, but the consistency will get thick fast. Only make it up in small batches if using one of these paints.

      Valspar paint has primer in it. Their contractor formula does not. You can use any sheen of paint. It will all get flat once you add the Calcium Carbonate Powder or Plaster of Paris.

      I like the way my mixes come out when I use Glidden Premium paint in a satin finish. I have used Behr, True Value paint, and Sherwin Williams with success also – but when using their formulas without primer.

  97. Thank you for a very detailed review on the options of chalk paint. I’ve never used it and didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t want to spend the big $ on Annie Sloan chalk paint so it’s nice to know that there are several alternatives.

  98. Hi Diane, I was reading a lot of DIY on painting kitchen cabinets and was confused about when to apply the wax to the chalk paint, before you sand or after you sand, or does it make any difference either way? For those who can not find Calcium Carbonate you get it on Amazon for around $10, make sure you get the powder form and not capsule`s, also some drugstores sell it, it is used as a bone strengthen, and now for a paint strengthen. Lol

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Annel –

      Waxing before or after sanding is more about preference than right or wrong. If you wax before sanding, the sanded areas will be rough – bare paint and wood. If you sand then wax, the sanded areas will appear polished. I like the more polished look on modern pieces, the rough look on rustic pieces. Thanks for for the tip on where to get the CCP :)

  99. Sorry previous comment should have read ” laminate countertop ” not “laminate cabinets”

  100. Hi, I would like to paint my laminate cabinets with the chalk paint to make it look like concrete.. Which of the DIY chalk would you recommend? Instead of the lacquer or polyurethane, thought I would use Enviro-tex lite that is used on bar tops and tables(1 coat = 50 coats varnish).. Do you think using the Enviro-tex, it would take away the chalk look ?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lee –
      Envrio-Tex Lite will take away from the chalk look. Using it would give the finish a high gloss glass look and protect your counters, but not make them looked aged. It is great stuff, but costs quite a bit if you have a lot of counter top, it could get costly. If you have a large area to do and you don’t want to wax over the finish, I would use a water based polyurethane – Minwax makes one called Polycrylic.

  101. Hi, just wondered what sort of store you bought the CALM from Susan ie chemist, hardware?
    Many thanks, Suzanne

  102. Susan Fletcher says:

    I couldn’t find calcium carbonate in my area. Found another product called CALM with magnesium and calcium. Worked great! Smooth as silk!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan – This is good info. Thanks for sharing. There are so many ingredients that you can use. I know others who can’t find Calcium Carbonate Powder will be glad to know this. Love hearing success stories.

  103. Amy Ouellette says:

    I have fallen in love with Amy Howard chalk paint. There is no prep , other than cleaning, and you don’t have to wax it! My question for your DIY paint- do you have to prime or sand first?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amy- With DIY chalk paint you do not need to sand or prime. I always sand though just to rough up the surface a bit. I learned to do this at an Annie Sloan chalk paint workshop I went to. It only takes 5 minutes and won’t hurt – only helps with adhesion.

      My Best- Diane

  104. So many helpful insights on your blog! Looking to redo dark, old mahogany Duncan Phyfe dining set to distressed, very pale taupe. Super tight budget and can’t tolerate any smells. Will be working in small apt so even more important not to have fumes. Your suggestions for paint with no VOCs? Best paint/wax combo for odor free process (will likely use Calc Carb)? Thanks!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cam – I have not used no or low VOC paint when making DIY chalk paint. It may work fine, but I have only used regular latex. I am not sure if there is something in or not in the paint that may not mix up correctly. If you can get a sample jar – you may want to test it out. I know Behr and Benjamin Moore both make no VOC paint. Olympic does too. For wax – Fiddes and Sons- $18 has little smell as does Annie Sloan Soft Wax- $25. Johnsons- $7 is the least expensive wax, but smells quite a bit. Not sure of your budget, but there is a new chalk paint company that has no VOC’s. The site is still very new, but check out: Country Chic

      1. Thanks for your prompt reply, Diane. Will look into Behr, BM, O paints. This is project I’ve wanted to do for many years and seems like more (yeah DIY!), healthier!, and cheaper options are becoming available. :)

  105. Thanks so much for this great info, Diane! I love everything on your blog!

    I have a couple painting questions for you. How would you use DIY chalk paint to create a faux limed finish similar to the blue moulding on this page? (I would take their class, but I live in another part of the country.) Would you use a white glaze or a wax or ???

    Second, I have a black painted dining table I want to DIY chalk paint pale yellow and age it a bit. Would you use a product like Valspar Antiquing Glaze, or an antiquing wax or ? I’d like to have the most durable possible finish, so it would be great if I could put a non-yellowing polyurethane over it.

  106. * * * H E L P ! ! ! ! !

    I desperately need help finding a latex-paint color match for Annie Sloan “FLORENCE.” I prefer BEHR or Sherwin Wms because they work so well with your POP recipe. What a fabulous DIY tip! THANK YOU for sharing it!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I don’t have a Behr paint deck to see what color matches Annie Sloan Florence, but I am sure there must be one that is close. I do have one for Glidden and Sherwin Williams. Check out Glidden – Real Teal #A1144 it is almost an exact match. Sherwin Williams Turquish SW 6939 is close.

  107. Hello, this is the best website so far in regards to Chalk paint. Thank you! I am looking at painting several laminate Ikea and would like to make different colors for each piece. Does chalk paint work on laminate and I have read that you can mix acrylic paint such as those founds at Michael’s to make different colors? You use a white base paint and mix in the acrylics.

    Would you recommend this or would you recommend using colors from the paint line?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jacki –

      Chalk paint works on laminate, but you should still rough up the surface first with 100 grit sandpaper, clean it off, then paint. I have used acrylic craft paint and non-sanded grout. It works, but it does bind up. Only make it in small batches so you won’t waste any paint. I am not sure why you would need to mix the paint into a white base first. Just use the craft paint. Mixing it into white – you are only going to get pastel colors or are going to need quite a lot of craft paint if you want deep colors. If you are going to use Calcium Carbonate to make your mix, then using acrylic paint is fine. I have made my mixes with all types and brands of paint, but I like Glidden premium line in satin latex the best to make my chalk paint. I buy the colors in quarts. If you only need a small bit of paint – buy sample jars. I know at Home Depot you can get any color made up in a sample size jar for a few dollars.

  108. Joan Durham says:

    Hi Diane, I am in the process of painting a pine bookcase/cabinet and I would like to know how many coats of paint should I use? The wood has gone a horrible orangey colour over time and I have been threatening to paint it for a while. I have sanded it and have started with the chalk paint. I think it will need at least 2 coats. Does that sound about right to you? I won`t be doing the distressed finish. Love the multi coloured chairs in your kitchen. My you have been busy! Joan xx

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joan – Every piece is different, but 2 coats should do it. You want to make sure you can’t see any wood tint through the paint and the color should look even all over. You may need 3 coats if your paint is light in color. Make sure the wood tannins do not leach through the paint, if you start to see a brown tinge in your paint, you should sand back over those areas and add some clear shellac or a primer like Kilz to stop the bleed through. This has only happened to me when using chalk paint. It was a very old piece.

  109. Jenee' Boudreaux says:

    I have a question about the diy chalk paint using p.o.p. recipe. I made a batch yesterday & painted a drawer front to test out the durability. The drawer is stained & lightly top coated with a poly. I put one coat to start. I did the “scratch test” on it today to see if it would come off, & it did. My questions- how do I know if I made the paint correctly?,does the paint normally scratch off?, once I wax it, is that going to prevent the paint from scratching off? I’m afraid to paint the whole piece in fear of it still chipping one it’s waxed. Help PLEASE:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenee – You may have to add another tablespoon of P of Paris to the mix to make it even more durable. Every surface is different when it comes to how the paint adheres or bleeds through. It also takes up to 30 days for the paint to cure, so it may scratch off the day after.

      A few weeks ago I posted about a corner cabinet I did where I mixed P of Paris with Calcium Carbonate in one mix. It was durable and passed the scratch test as soon as it was dry. I am going to use it again. My advise would be to add more P of Paris to your mix. As long as you mix it in a bit of water first to make it smooth then add to the paint, you can up to about 3 more tablespoons than the recipe calls for. Here is the link to the post on the cabinet I mixed the two ingredients togehter.

  110. Thank you so much for the informative post! I have been wanting to try chalk painting on some small projects in hopes of building up the courage to do a larger piece of furniture. A friend of mine said to use sanded grout, what it the difference in sanded and non sanded grout?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barb – Sanded grout has a fine sand in it and is more girtty, than non-sanded. You can use non-sanded grout – that is what I first used when I started making my own DIY chalk paint. If you are only going to make 1 cup, it is OK to use for small batches as the mix will dry out very fast. For bigger projects I would use Plaster of Paris, (I use DAP brand – buy it a Lowes or True Value Hardware) or Calcium Carbonate Powder (NOW brand bought at the health food store). They create smooth mixes and won’t bind the paint. I recently even mixed both P of Paris and C C Powder in one mix. I loved it. Here is a post I wrote about it:

      It is not hard to mix or paint with – if you are unsure of your skills, make a small batch and paint a piece of scrap wood to get the process down. Once you do, then you will be painting everything :)

  111. Someone asked earlier & it was not answered & I can find no info on this in any DIY recipe on the internet… what sheen of paint do you use? flat? eggshell? satin? surly not gloss? Does it matter? Does one sheen perform better than another?

    1. Often chalk paint recipes recommend using paint samples such as Behr and Sherwin Williams. Behr’s samples only are available in a flat sheen and Sherwin Williams is only in satin. I’ve successfully used both in POP recipes and found it makes no difference, the POP takes over and you’ve instantly arrived at that yummy, soft chalk paint effect. I really don’t think it matters what the sheen originally was…in the end, it’s chalk paint. Just make sure it’s latex/acrylic (water based) paint and isn’t a “With Primer” formula.

      1. I had already started my project & I chose satin. The finish turned out beautifully. I did use Behr with primer in it tho ::eek::. I hope that doesn’t effect me in the long run negatively but I had read somewhere that I should use the Behr with primer (the Lowe’s paint with primer I read was bad).

        I did however use Minwax wipe-on poly & I ruined my chest to streaks. I knew better than to use any minwax product from past experience so that was 100% my fault & it will NEVER happen again as & will never touch another of their products. I have sanded my chest a bit & put one more coat of chalk paint on so it is back to looking lovely. I am now waiting for my Shabby Paint VAX shipment to arrive & I have my fingers crossed that it works as good as I have read that it does :o)

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Teresa – You can use any finish. Once you add the chalk compound to the mix – it will turn flat. I have used all finishes. The only type of paint that may cause a problem when you mix it up is a paint-and-primer-in one-formulas.

  112. When you say “buff” what do you mean by that. After I wipe on the wax am I supposed to do something after that? Do you mean sanding or something? Do you do any sanding between coats at all?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kari – Buffing is polishing. Use a soft lint-free cloth. I cut up old t-shirts for the task. Once the wax is on, you wipe the cloth over it and rub hard.MAkig circular motions all over the surface. Put some elbow grease into it. You will see a shine start to develop in the wax. More buffing, more shine. If using Johnson’s paste wax, let it sit for about 10 minutes before waxing. With Fiddes and Sons, Briwax, or Annie Sloan wax you can buff right after you apply it. You only need a thin coat of wax. You do not sand in between wax coats, but you can always sand in between paint coats to help ensure you have a nice smooth paint finish.

  113. Are chalk painted items weatherproof?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I personally have never used it outside, but I have heard from many others that have used it outside with great success. I think it depends on what you think success it. It will not peel like regular paint, but will wear to a nice aged looking patina when used outside. It you like that look, then yes it is weatherproof.

  114. Linda Beattie says:

    Hi… Wanda, and all. Here’s my 2-cents worth on the washing-down-the-drain issue. I, too, washed down my kitchen drain a small amount of leftover paint. Too little to use for my next project, so I just rinsed it down. Then had the same thought as Wanda…water system and then, of course, I could just see my husband replacing drain pipes and finding my HMCP clogged up in there somewhere. So, here’s what I now do, as I like saving my containers (quart-size, round plastic snap-lid…$1.00 @ Dollar Tree.) I just find an empty container or piece of paper in my kitchen garbage can and pour (push) as much of it as I can into that. It hardens, as Diane says, pretty quickly, so that before it gets to the landfill, there is not much to worry about.

  115. Hi Diane,
    I just made my first batch of DIY chalk paint with POP. I washed everything with plain water and let it go down my sink drain. Then, I wondered if that was a mistake. Can you tell me if it is wise to wash the DIY chalk paint down the drain? Is it safe?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Wanda – It is better if you let the paint dry in the can or bowl you mixed it in and then throw it away. This way no paint gets into the water system rivers etc. The Plaster of Paris will harden the paint if left open – making the drying out period go faster. It is Ok to wash your brushes and rinse out containers, but in the long run better to dry out the paint and then toss in the trash.

  116. Joan Durham says:

    Hi I love the look of chalk painted items and have done a try out on a large mirror. My problem is finding the wax. I wonder if any of your U K subscribers have found a suitable product.
    Love the website. You are so inspiring!
    I am 75 years young and have been making things from an early age . Not so much nowadays. Having said that I have just re papered my hall and done all the paintwork. I am just going to do a pumpkin for my neighbours children. I am also making a pouffe from an old milk crate and a piece of foam, Plus material for the cover. Keep up the good work Diane. x

    1. Annie Sloan and Fiddes & Sons are both UK companies. If you visit their web sites you can look for local stockists.

  117. I did my first chalk paint project and used latex paint w/plaster of paris. The tables turned out great. The waxing however was a pain in the you know what. It took me forever to get the wax to look finished with no streaks. I used the Johnsons paste wax. The final pieces look great but I have been on the search of a better and easier way to wax. I found a Johnsons One Step floor wax that says you do not have to buff. I was wondering if anyone has tried this yet and what are your results?
    Thank you…..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kelli – Happy to hear your tables came out great. I know one misconception about using chalk paint is that many hear you don’t have to prime, so they think it is easier because you can save a step and not prime. It is true, but you do have to wax on the finishing end of the painting process and it does take time, so using chalk paint will not be any quicker than using primer,paint, and poly.

      Johnson’s is the least expensive paste wax and does take the longest to buff to a high shine. You may have applied too much if you got streaks. You only need a very thin coat. Let it dry, then buff. Reapply wax and buff again until you get the level of shine you want. Lots of muscle is needed. Liquid wax is not the same – it is made of different ingredients and you will not be happy. It will be a sticky mess. If you want a wax that is easier to buff – try Fiddes and Sons. It goes on very smooth and buffs up a lot quicker than Johnson’s. It does cost more – about $18 – $24 depending on where you get it. I buy it on Amazon or at Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder website. Annie Sloan wax is wonderful to work with, but does cost even more than Fiddes and Sons. Miss Mustard Seed sells a wax with her Milk Paint line. I have not tried it yet, but I am sure that it is wonderful and buffs to a shine easier than Johnson’s.

      1. Thank you! I appreciate you letting me know. I will try Fiddes and Sons on my next project.

  118. Beverly Morris says:

    I have read every inquiries and I haven’t had my question answered yet. Wondering if chalk paint could be applied to plastic. Our kitchen cabinets are not what I would desire. And at this time it is out of our budget to replace them. I hate to think I will have to stay with them forever. I don’t want to sound stupid with this question. I have heard that chalk paint can cover more than wood. Just wanted your thoughts. If so would you still apply wax and buff? DIY laytex paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Beverly – I have not used it on plastic, but I am sure it can be done as it does stick to just about anything. I would experiment with it. Let it cure for 30 days and see if it scrapes off or not. If it does – than I would not use it on your cabinets. I think you would need to rough up the plastic surface before applying it. I would use the mix of two ingredients – I just posted a new recipe that I think is the most durable finish yet. you can find it here:

  119. Diane!! Thank you! I have been using DIY chalk paint for a few months and have never bought Annie Sloan….mostly because I’m cheap. I was wondering if there’s something I was missing out on. Thanks for making me feel confident I’m not missing out on much – except saving a few bucks!

  120. Thanks for sharing this experiment! I used your recipe yesterday for the Plaster of Paris chalk paint on two end tables in my living room. I even used Valspar paint from Lowe’s and it worked beautifully. For the first coat, I mixed the plaster of Paris and water mixture into Kilz primer. It worked! I’m hooked on chalk paint for refinishing now. A fireplace mantle and a bathroom vanity are waiting to be altered. :)

  121. Hi Diane
    I wanted to verify that I can still draw on the “item to be painted” even if I add wax to it? Thanks so much for the information, it has answered a lot of questions I’ve had in regards to chalk paint vs chalk board paint and all the different recipies!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Brady – What are you going to use to draw on the chalk painted and waxed finish?

      1. Hey Diane,
        I’m doing Crayola chalk with my kids, I’m painting our front door which is pretty well protected from the elements. So, maybe I’m reading to much into things, but I’m guessing from your question that if we are wanting to use it as a chalkboard then it’s better not to use the wax, is that correct?
        Thanks for your help

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Brady – If you want to use the door as a chalkboard, then do not use wax. Just paint it and let it be. If it wears in places – simply re-coat.

  122. So excited to do this to a chair I recently purchase – going for a goldenrod yellow but I was also wondering about doing it to jus the tops of a pair of end tables. How does chalk paint with the wax hold up to drinks (hot and cold) set on top?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Katie – I do have coasters on all my chalk painted tables, but Chalk paint holds up great even without them. The best thing about it – it is so forgiving. If it does get damaged, it is so easy to fix. Lightly go over with a piece of sandpaper, and then add a few brush strokes of paint over the damage, let dry and then wax. Damage gone. You can’t do this with other finishes.

  123. Thank you for all of this information!! I happened to stumble into a store near my house the other day and discovered the Annie Sloan line being sold there. All of this is very new to me, never heard of it before. I have been feverishly researching DIY, ASCP, etc. for the last few days and this is the best blog I have found. You may have mentioned it in your reviews but I was curious as to the kind of latex paint you found best to use with Plaster of Paris? I’m going to refinish an old dining room set that is very dark and I would like to get good coverage so I think the POP is the way to go. I know you mentioned Benjamin Moore and to use flat finish correct? I have also read that many use satin finish. Which do you prefer? Thank you Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tara – I have used all types of paint finishes with great success. Once you add the Plaster to the mixture – it will become flat no matter what finish you use. I do however like using a satin finish the best though. Flat works well also, but the satin seems to create a nice mix that takes the wax beautifully.

  124. norma hemauer says:

    Hi Diane,
    First, I want to thank you for the great tuts on your site and the time and effort that you take to explain and answer our “newbie” questions. :-)
    Now for my question. I have read many posts and watched many youtube videos, and now I think I have information overload. I recently painted, DIY w/PoP, a small round table with 3 shelves that will be a nightstand. I used a little bottle of craft paint(a dark green) on areas that I intend to sand ,i.e. edges and little details. After it dried I used some very light tan(leftover wall paint) and covered using two coats. I have done a little sanding and like the look, with some green and the original wood showing, but am unsure how to seal it.
    I would like it to have an old feel so am thinking about a glaze,watering down some craft paint and then wiping off, or using a stain and quickly wiping it off. Have you had any experience with the above two methods?
    For sealing, would it matter if I used glaze or stain, if I were to use the wax or poly as the sealer?
    Thanks again for all the help and inspiration you give. I KNOW I can do this!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Norma – I have used all the methods you have described. Each one will produce a slightly different finish. If you like how it looks now and just need to seal it, I would use clear wax. If you want to darken it a bit to make it look aged – use clear wax first, then dark wax. Using the clear wax first allows you to move the dark wax where you want it. Simply apply a thin coat of wax and buff with a lint free soft cloth. Apply pressure when buffing to bring up the shine in the wax. You may need to add more wax after buffing it, if you desire more shine.

      Another option: When I want to darken the color, I like to use antiquing glaze instead of dark wax. I use the one made by Valspar. Add it over your painted finish and then quickly wipe it off. If you get too much on – just go over it with a wet cloth to remove it right away, then wipe on more and remove it. It will leave a subtle darkness over your paint. After the glaze has dried, I apply clear wax and buff it to a shine.

      Poly works well as a sealer for chalk paint also. It is easier than waxing as you apply it with a brush and just let it dry. I think the wax looks so much better than the poly, but everyone has their preferences.

      If you are still hesitant – practice the different methods on a scrap piece of wood. You can do it!

      1. norma hemauer says:

        Thanks so much for your detailed answer.

  125. Thanks for all of the great info! I have worked with ASCP and the DIY techniques with plaster of paris and unsanded grout. Recently I purchased a bag of Websters Chalk Paint Powder online. I had some difficulty with it, and am womdering if you or any of your readers have tried it as well and were successful?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – I have only used Websters once, but it worked very well for me. What type of paint are you using? If it is a paint and primer in one formula – it may bind up and get thick quickly. All Valspar paints have primer in them. Olympic paints unless they are marked – all have primer in them now, too.

  126. I noticed your comments about mixing POP with Valspar paint with primer. I was doing a little research because I just had the same thing happen with a POP mixture with Behr with primer. Now I’ve used Behr without primer for MONTHS with no problem, so when I had a little left over from the walls and wanted to coordinate a mirror frame I thought nothing of it. OMG! I couldn’t add water fast enough! It’s too coincidental, it HAS to be the primer! So now I know…primer is a big no-no! Thanks for the help!

  127. How long do you let it sit before applying wax?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I wait 24 hours to make sure the paint is completely dry.

  128. One of the post I read mentioned the “Plaster of Paris” is extremely toxic? I’m a little afraid to use that one, but might try the calcium one.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – I think the Plaster of Paris is only toxic if it is heated. You will like the Calcium Carbonate Powder – it creates a very smooth mixture.

  129. was excited to try on a dresser that was given to us free. We picked a great turquoise color from SW and mixed with non-sanded grout as above. However, as it dried… raised and cracked and when I tried to brush the crack away the entire original white color was there. ……not sure what to do now. Got really thick quickly as we were painting but would smooth out without lumps. It was hot outside in our garage and evening sun on the pieces….maybe it kind of “baked” it…..not sure and not sure where to go from here with this piece?? Thinking I will need to sand off

    1. The original paint underneath was very shiny off white color. If it was originally an oil based paint, does this effect the adherence of the chalk paint mixture?

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly –

      The reason it cracked was the paint dried too fast before it had time to adhere because it was in the sun. Always wait for the shade to paint or paint inside. If you don’t want a crackled look – sand it down to the smoothness you would like and then repaint.
      The oil based surface should be roughed up a bit with 60-100 grit sandpaper before you put paint on, but I do not think that caused the problem. It was the sun :)

      As far as the non-sanded grout – it is the one DIY mixture that tends to clump up. I only use it for small projects now. I like to use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate Powder. They do not clump up the paint. In fact, if stored in airtight containers the leftover mix can last about 4-6 months.

  130. Hollie Eaton says:

    Hi, Just a quick question, i am wanting to try the plaster of paris recipe for chalk paint, but my hardware store didnt have Plaster of Paris only white plaster. It was only 2 euros for a big box so thought would get it anyway. Would i be able to mix this with the paint and get the same texture as using P of Paris? Dont want to ruin my unit, so thought would ask first.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Hollie – I have only used Plaster of Paris – it is plaster that is made with Gypsum. If the white plaster you bought is smooth and does not have sand or cement in it, then it should be fine. If you are not sure, try mixing a small batch and see what happens. Some plaster is made with lime – that would work also.

  131. Hi again. I have tried your recipe and I simply love the results. Thank you so much for saving me money. My husband thanks you to lol.

    My question is storing unused paint. Can you store it and reuse it later? I sealed my extra paint in a glass jar and when I went to do some touch ups it was very very thick. Can I add water and use it and get the same results as the first time or should I discard the unused paint?

    Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nikita – I have found that mixtures made with non-sanded grout will not keep. Plaster of Paris and Calcium Carbonate recipes will last up to 6 months if covered tightly. I use plastic coffee cans with lids. I press all the air out by popping the lid before storing. You can add more water to these to thin if necessary, but only add a little and mix it well. If the paint mixture gets very thick (like non-sanded grout does) adding water will not help revive it. I would just toss it. I only make up the non-sanded grout recipe in small batches as it does thicken.

  132. I just refinished my vanity this weekend! It looks amazing. I used the Plaster of Paris recipe and used the Valspar’s PANTONE Deep Green from Lowe’s. It matches Annie Sloan’s FLORENCE color spot on!
    Also planning on refinishing my end table with Olympic’s ALPINE VALLEY color to match the PROVENCE color by Annie Sloan. I did purchase her waxes and brush and they are worth the money spent. Although I just can’t bring myself to spend $40 on a quart of paint so the Plaster of Paris recipe work out just fine. Not as smooth of a finish as the more expensive alternative but it works out just the same. Just use some 220 sandpaper and you’re good! My vanity was my first chalk paint project and I am addicted! Buffing the wax in takes a little elbow grease but is totally worth it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shanee – I agree with you – I am addicted too! Isn’t it just amazing what the wax does? I just love using DIY chalk paint and wax now. It provides the finish I have always wanted to create when I painted furniture. Leaving it undistressed or distressed, I love the finish!

  133. Laura Morrison says:


    First of all, thank you for your wonderful blog and info! I just wanted to follow up on a couple of things I wondered about if you have time please?

    First of all – have you tried using powder paints to mix the colours and do you think it would make a difference? Maybe just to the liquid content?
    Also, I think you mentioned about using a latex paint with the plaster of paris, is that right? I was wondering first of all what the purpose the latex adds to the mix and latex paints are not something I can get hold of readily here in UK (maybe they’re called something else..) would adding a small quantity of latex to the mix be possible do you think? Does the latex just give the paint more adhesive?

    I really appreciate your expertise and opinion if you can! Laura

  134. Marcia Crowell says:

    Thank you so much for the information. I have 8 dining room chairs to do altogether. I will sand on the rest of the chairs. I plan on sending you a pic of my chairs. Thanks so much for your time in answering my question. Marcia

  135. Marcia Crowell says:

    I just painted my 1st of 8 chairs for my dining room. I used the unsanded grout version. I needed to apply 3 coats to get my dark chair completely covered, to my satisfaction. It is gorgeous on my chair but when I was putting the fabric back on the chair, the paint wanted to chip off where I bumped it. Could you help me in determining why my chair did that? I let the chair set for a few days after painting before putting the back on it, hoping to let the paint “cure” before moving it around alot. I also tried a thin layer of wax as well. Tell me what I did wrong so that the other 7 can be finished without problem! Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marcia – One of two things could have happened. The paint needs to cure – it can take up to 30 days. I had a very shiny laminate table that I thought was a fail, but after a few weeks, I can run my nail over the surface and it does not scratch :) It may just take some time.

      The other thing that may have happened, was that you did not sand enough. I always go over the piece with a sanding block with medium grit sandpaper- if you did this maybe you missed the edges. I was at an Annie Sloan class this past weekend at a DIY blog conference. The teacher who works for Annie Sloan told us she sands everything, and that it should be done – she just uses a piece of sandpaper in her hand. On your next chair – sand more and make sure you get all the edges and then clean it well before painting.

  136. Would this recipe be ok to run thru a spray gun instead of brushing it on?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sherry –

      Yes – water it down slightly according to the paint gun directions. I would use the Calcium Carbonate Powder – it is the smoothest mixture of all the DIY chalk paints I have used.

  137. Hi…I’m getting ready to start my first piece (vanity) with DIY chalk paint. I’ve looked at Home Depot for the wax and they only carry one can of dark wax glaze. I was wondering if you know where I can order it online? Thought it might be cheaper that way. Also, I would need a wax clear coat too to put over the darker wax coat right? If you could please give me any tips for a beginner it would be much appreciated also. Thank you so much and I look forward to your reply.


    Jennifer Till

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – you can buy clear Johnson’s Paste Wax at Lowes. It is in the cleaning aisle. They also sell it on Amazon. I buy Fiddes & Sons wax on Amazon, too. It is a bit more expensive, but works very well.

      When using dark wax, you should use clear wax first, buff it and then apply your dark wax. This allows you to easily move the dark wax where you want it.

  138. Just one question, could you please define latex paints, my guess is a water based acrylic latex style paint, Australian paints are also defined differently to your paints, I have a full kit of Jo Sonja acrylic mediums but I am guessing that the latex would give more flexibility..
    Many Thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beverley – You are correct. Latex is water based and has a rubbery feel to it when dry. When an acrylic is added to latex – the paint becomes more durable and loses some of the rubbery feel. When making DIY chalk paint – acrylic latex may bind when mixed with the Plaster, Non-sanded grout, or Calcium Carbonate Powder. You will have to test it out to see. It may work just fine.

  139. I am so grateful, Just started with Annie Sloan chalk paints and they are so expensive here in Australia $59.95 for a can $35.00 each for waxes and $35 – $55 for brushes I used a small amount of duck egg and am not in love with the result, so probably wasted my money there, but I will use the old white, was just about to forget about carrying on with it as I still have to purchase the waxes to get the finish I wanted. Now after seeing your recipe’s I can get more shades that suit my style better, unfortunately we don’t have the same brands as you have there but I am sure I will find the alternative here. Thanks again for your great recipe’s

  140. Rita Gore says:

    Very helpful. Thanks.

  141. awesome info! def going to start my projects now :)

  142. Great post!!! And just in the knick of time for me. I was just about to invest in more ASCP for a major project. I am so excited and thankful for this post!!

    My question, what wax do you use that is comparable to the ASCP dark wax to get that aged/antiqued look?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nicki – If you want dark wax, use Fiddes and Sons Dark Wax. They have a few colors. You can get it on Amazon. I like to use Valspar antiquing glaze and Johnson’s Clear Paste Wax or Fiddes and Sons Clear paste wax over it.

  143. Thanks! Having a new baby on the way anything cheaper and works as well as the expensive stuff helps:)

  144. I just wanted to comment on the ASCP which I have fallen in love with. It is super easy to use and was produced for people to be able to mold into a product of their choosing. You can open the can to add thickness, add water to make a wash, or even combine paint with ASwax to color the wax itself. Annie Sloan has created this product for many surfaces including cabinets, floors, concrete, etc. If someone is to use this on a floor there is a special sort of sealer for this purpose.
    It is called chalk paint due to the fact it “feels” like chalk when applied. Chalk”board” paint was created to use like a chalkboard. Thus they do differ. ASCP are blendable thus giving you more color choices (they just came out with a bright yellow-Canary yellow I think), not to mention there are numerous painting techniques that help you to achieve various looks including a dark wax.
    I have not experimented with any of my own mixes but I have experimented with ASCP all I can say is that it is VERY easy to use. Thanks for your comparison, I might try others in the future.

  145. Ann Rivers says:

    Diane, I love your test on chalk paint and all the great info you provide. What brand of paint do you like for mixing your own chalk paint? It seems every paint I purchase has a primer in it.
    Many thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – I use Glidden’s Premium line. It makes up velvety smooth chalk paint. I use satin finish most of the time, but have used semi-gloss, too. You can buy it at the Home Depot and Walmart.

  146. What is the problem with the Valspar paint and primer in one? That is what I have and was going to use :/ Glad I read this first though.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle – Valspar paint has a primer in it. Primer alone is almost like chalk paint – it sticks to everything. When you add the Plaster or Calcium Carbonate powder – it seems to bind paint and primer in one paint formulas. I believe all Valspar paint has primer in it. That is what the paint guy at Lowes told me. If you already have the paint. Try mixing up a small batch and see what happens. If it binds up and becomes too thick, you should use regular latex.

  147. Wanted to let you know. Use min wax wipe on poly to seal instead of regular poly. Like for rcabinets. It comes in 2 different finishes. It absorbs into the paint and into the wood. Regular poly just sits on the surface of the paint!

  148. Ellen Garrett says:

    Awesome tutorial! You covered it beautifully but 1 question. What color grout or does it matter?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ellen – I have always used white non-sanded grout. The dyes in the colored grouts could affect the paint color.

  149. Can you use chalk paint on laminate furniture. I have an old cheap entertainment piece and it needs lots of help. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Pat – yes! I would take a sanding block with medium grit sandpaper over the surface to rough it up first. Clean the surface well and let dry. Then paint.

  150. I love the look and ease of chalk paint. However I notice that it is always distressed. If I do not want the distressed look is chalk paint still appropriate?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donnarae – You do not have to distress it. I have done two pieces that I didn’t distress. The advantage of using it for me is that there is no sticky or rubbery latex feel to the paint that sometimes happens to pieces painted with straight latex. Plus when the wax is buffed it brings out the color in the paint. I think it looks much better than latex alone or even latex with polyurethane.

  151. I believe it was the paint. This morning I went and got the same color from Home Depot, using Behr base. It worked perfectly! Yeah! thanks

  152. Hi Diane,

    I’m really struggling with the grout water mixture when I mix with paint. I did it yesterday and it worked perfectly. Today, I’ve gone through 2 cups of Valspar sample paints that turn to brick while I’m stirring. I am so confused. Obviously it is setting up as grout should, but why? Can you help? is it possible that 2 T is to much?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melanie – I have found that Valspar paint always seems to harden. I think it is because it is a paint and primer in one formula. Grout is the best DIY mixture for hiding wood tannins, but the mixture will get thick after a few hours no matter what paint you use. I only make it in small batches because of this happening. If you need a lot of paint to cover a large piece of furniture and want to have leftovers – use Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate. If you seal the mixture in an air tight container they will stay smooth for up to 6 months.

  153. Could I use a DIY chalk paint over a veneer? I can’t afford to replace my old dresser with real wood, but would love to give it a face lift. I would not be distressing it. Should I sand first? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amanda – You can use chalk paint over anything. It works beautifully on veneer. One of chalk paints selling features is that you don’t have to sand.I have found it can’t hurt to sand first. I always rub medium grit sandpaper over every piece before I paint. Since it only takes a few minutes, I think it is worth the time. It will only help with adhesion and give you a long lasting finish.

  154. I found ur diy chalk paint most informative – thank U for all of the work that U did to put A.S. , grout & plaster of paris recipes head to head in comparisons – I will use the P. of P. recipe (cost is factor enuff!) But, what paste wax r u familiar with (besides A.S. ‘s ) & that u have used that (1) is clear and (2) one that has a darker color – that u mentioned adds dimension to the chalk paint. I noticed that U had a picture of Johnson’s paste wax – is this the one that U use? and are there different shade variations of wax? I love the distressed and antiqued look over a creamy buttermilk paint and I have a few pieces of furniture to do. Thanks again for you info. Shari

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shari – I have used Johnson’s in the past and it is fine. The cost is under $10. I have come to like Fiddes & Sons and Briwax even more. They don’t smell as much. They are a bit more expensive, but I like the quality of the shine they produce. Fiddes & Sons comes in clear and dark wax finishes. I am sure you would find one that you will like over the buttermilk paint. You can buy it on I have never used dark wax, I like to use dark glaze over the chalk paint and then clear wax. I explain how I did that in this post – A bottle of Valspar Antiquing glaze is $7 and will last for a while since you only need a little bit.

  155. Hi,
    Thanks for all the info. I’m a professional furniture builder and plan on using the chalk paint for some of my stuff. On raw wood would you use shellac as a sealer or go straight to the paint? To get the paint smooth before adding the plaster or grout
    you might try straining the paint to get it clean. Pros that spray layex through airless sprayers often clean their paint, that’s what I plan on doing.
    If anyone needs an extra leg or part I can suppy. Check out my website.
    Dan Katz-Chattanooga Millworks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Dan – If you are going to distress the piece after painting to give it an aged look, you should use clear shellac if the wood is old or if you think there is a possibility of the wood tannins bleeding through. I have never had to do this, but if you add a coat of paint and see the color change – you should use the shellac.

  156. Maggie Domby says:

    Help! My husband made a queen sized headboard out of pallets and after pressure washing it, the bare wood looked worn and amazing. Problem is, this piece is going into a cabin of our which has wooden walls. So, I suggested chalk painting it a white/cream color to make it stand out against the wooden walls. He reluctantly said yes, and to “not mess it up!” Well, I mixed 1 cup POP with water and then 3 cups latex paint, and got busy. I was hoping for a light, white wash look, but I must have made the mixture too thick because what I got was a thick painted headboard. I was hoping to see the natural wood through the paint? Now, I am wondering what to do… From other posts, I am considering sanding it with a 400/600 grit sandpaper? I was planning to not wax it because I want the look very rustic. HELP!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Maggie – All is not lost. What you could have done is what is called a “dry brush” method to get a bit of color on the wood, yet still see the wood. I would use the sandpaper to remove most of the paint. You may end up loving the headboard and getting exactly the look you desired by doing this. It has happened more than once to me – thinking I failed, yet with a bit of tweaking got the best looking piece ever.

  157. Rachel McAdams says:

    Hi Dianne,

    I love the look of the chalk paint on your projects. I have an old piano in need of something. Would you recommend using chalk paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – Chalk paint would work and look great. In fact, if I paint my piano, I will use chalk paint and wax. It will look better than just latex which sometimes can take on a rubbery feel. With distressing or glazing adds the patina that makes it look like it was bought painted and not just a piece of painted furniture.

  158. I enjoyed your article and I appreciate you mentioning that you used latex paint. So many people post blogs with how to make it, but never mention which type of paint is best to use. Thanks for the great info!

  159. Hi I just found this post on the DIY chalkpaint.
    Ever since I first read about this technique at No Minimalist Here…I wanted to try it.
    I knew I had a box of Plaster of Paris SOMEwhere…but I couldn’t find it. I finally went to Lowes on the other side of the lake and they were all out…shows you how popular the method is–even the stocker asked why everyone was buying it up…They had 25 lbs and YES! I bought it.
    I have enough P.O.P to last a life-time!!!
    I love using it. Thanks for the comparisons and details about the wax.

  160. Noel Cole says:

    Hi Diane! I am still in the midst of reading this page, but couldn’t wait to finish reading to ask your advice. (NOTE: I will go finish reading the page.) I am very eager to re-do my circa early 90’s computer hutch. It is not real wood, but rather that very heavy pressed wood stuff that so much office furniture is made of. It is light in color, like simulated maple or something like that. I would love to be able to send you a picture of it. I want to paint it and distress it, but am not sure which blend to use!

    I am very crafty and creative and not afraid of projects like this. I am just having a hard time determining what paint mixture to use and/or buy. Do you think you could help me figure this out with a little more information??

    Any advice you can offer to get me started?? Now, back to reading….

    Thanks so much,
    Noel =)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Noel –

      I would use the Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate recipe. They are the best. The non-sanded grout mixtures can sometimes bind up as you mix – wasting your paint. Plaster of Paris is my go-to. I think it covers wood tannins better than Calcium Carbonate. Calcium Carbonate of all the mixtures is the easiest to mix up. The powder dissolves in the water and paint better creating a much smoother mixture. Plaster of Paris takes longer to dissolve and you may have to break up some clumps. I have been very happy with both. Your choice may come down to what is easier to get in your area.

  161. Hi! My question is about the wax. What sort of wax is this and where would I get it?? Thanks!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Mary – What you want is called Paste Wax. Is is very soft and spreadable. The most common one that you can buy in most home improvement stores in either the wood stain aisle or the cleaning aisle is Johnson’s Paste Wax. You want to get clear if you just want the shine. If you want to age the piece by making it look darker or even a layered color – you would use colored wax. Every company has different names for these – dark, Jacobean, etc. I like using the clear the best. The wax I like the best that is not as pricey as the Annie Sloan brand is Fiddes & Sons. You can buy it on Amazon. I think it is cheaper on the Websters Chalk Paint site.

      Once applied, you need to buff it with a clean lint-free soft cloth to bring up the shine.

  162. Jenny Luttrell says:

    Thank you for this GREAT post– I have theorized there was no difference, but have not had the patience to actually go through the scientific method to find out!! I have had great results with plain old Glidden and non-sanded grout with water.
    To make it a CHALKBOARD ( rather than CHALK painted furniture), you lightly sand the piece with extra-fine sandpaper after you have painted it with the chalk paint, then “slate” your surface– rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire piece and erasing it. NO WAX! That makes it a chalkboard.
    I have found that the Annie Sloan wax is like butta- so easy to use. It’s like spreading Crisco over your furniture and is easy to get out of the little grooves and crevices that furniture may have. A bit pricey, but if you are making your own chalk paint, you still come out ahead. And a little goes a long way!

  163. Melissa c says:

    Hi Diane~LOVE this post and all the help you provide! I researched and researched blogs before tackling my first project and yours was the one that convinced me to give it a whirl! Because I didn’t have any grout or pop on hand, I used this link for the recipe: and had a custom color sample made up using Valspar satin with a red base. I worked out whatever proportion 1c paint to 1/4 baking soda would be for the sample and painted away. Since this is the only project I have done, I would be interested to see what your results are and if the paint texture is similar to your recipes. I am happy with it; let me know if you experiment!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Melissa – I have not used Baking Soda yet, but I will give it a try and get back to you or post about it. I did read on another blog where they tried all the DIY recipes – baking soda was their last choice – only because it went on gritty. It has to be sanded to smooth. I am excited to give it a try and find out.

  164. Would furniture beeswax work as a wax or must it be a special wax? :0)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Frances – Yes – most paste waxes contain Beeswax as one of their ingredients. I have never used just Beeswax, but I think it will do the job. Is it a brand name wax that you have or just a tub of 100% Beeswax?

  165. Melissa c says:

    Just a quick note on the valspar paint…I had a custom color made in a 2oz sample jar and used baking soda instead of grout or pop. It worked out beautifully, no problem at all. Just one more thought on the mysterious valspar paint!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melissa – I have never used baking soda. How does that work? What is the recipe you use? I will have to test it out :)

  166. Do you suppose using charcoal or black coloured grout would work
    better when using a really dark colour of paint? It seems that using
    a white grout or POP would grey or muddy the dark colours. Don’t
    know…just asking. Thanks for all your information on techniques.
    Just awesome!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vena If it is non-sanded grout and the same color as the paint it would work fine. If it is not the same color, the pigment in the grout may change the color of he paint. I would make a small batch first to make sure.

  167. Susan Austin says:

    Word of caution: Do NOT use Lowe’s Valspar Ultra Paint and Primer (all in one) to make chalk paint. I have tried it twice now, and each time it seizes up into an unusable BRICK that will NOT thin down and it’s completely impossible to paint with. I used Sherwin Williams’ paint previously with no problem, but for a new project I needed paint and happened to be at Lowe’s. I didn’t ask for the Ultra (and actually didn’t notice that’s what he’d mixed until I got home), but figured I’d go with it. Mistake. I first mixed the POP with some water and got it nice and smooth, then stirred it into the paint (as I’d done with the SW paint). Immediate seizure. Tried thinning it down with water, that does NOTHING. It takes a ton of water, only to end up with a horrible, extremely lumpy, grainy mixture that is impossible to paint with. Next, I tried adding the dry POP powder to the paint and stirred until nice and smooth. Thought it was looking good, but then after just a minute it began to thicken up to the consistency of pudding. Tried adding a little water to thin it down … immediate seizure and another brick of paint mess! I don’t know if it’s the combination of paint and primer in one that doesn’t work with POP or if it’s just that Lowe’s paint is poor quality. Regardless, no more Lowe’s paint for this chalk painter.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan – Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us this. It is so good to know. I, too have had trouble with Valspar paint. It was when I first started experimenting with making chalk paint. At the time, I thought I was doing something wrong, and questioned if it was the Valspar paint. but now I know – it was the paint. I think I even replied to a comment early in the testing, that I would not recommend Valspar. It makes so much sense to me now, to have someone back up what I was kind of thinking, but was not sure without more testing. You have provided us with that.

      Have your tried the Calcium Carbonate Powder yet? I do like using it. That and the Plaster of Paris seem to always come out the smoothest. I have used Glidden paints in most of my mixtures without any problems.

      I will add a note to the posts – both of them – stating not to use Valspar paint and primer in one. Thanks again.

      1. Susan Austin says:

        Diane, I haven’t tried using the calcium carbonate yet, as I haven’t found it locally but I would like to try it at some point. Might be a while, though, since a little POP goes a long way. :-)

      2. It’s not just Valspar’s paint and primer in one! This too has happened to me using Valspar paint. The first time was when I used one of the pre-mixed Valspar color samples using non-sanded grout and it immediately became very viscous but didn’t completely seize up. It was hard to work with, but it was a small project, so I used it thinking this was the norm since this was my first attempt at using DIY chalk paint. Since, I have used your recipe beautifully on furniture using Behr and Glidden paints, mixed when purchased. I thought that due to my inexperience making chalk paint I had done something wrong in my first attempt. I only made the connection to Valspar paint when I recently tried using a pre-mixed flat black (from the section with pre-mixed basic colors; white, black blue and red in the various sheens) and it completely seized up. It must be some additive they use in the pre-mixed and all-in-one paints to keep the pigments in suspension that reacts with the grout and water mixture to cause the paints to seize up. Your site has been an invaluable resource for me so I thought your readers might be interested.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Russell – Thank you for your note and taking the time to tell us your findings. I do believe Valspar paint has an additive in in that causes it to seize up. Your experience with it, plus mine, and a few other readers tells me that it is the paint – not how we made the mixture. I have used both Behr and Glidden with great success, too. Thanks again for adding to the DIY chalk painting conversation on my blog XO Every tip will help other readers have success. I just love the look of chalk paint and wax. I will be making my own for many years to come.

          1. Just My Cup of Tea says:

            Invaluable help and insights on your blog! Thank you so very much! I too had a big mess of trouble with the Valspar paint samples – I thought it was something I’d done wrong, so I’m happy to find out it was probably the paint. I’m going to give it another go, thanks to you!

          2. I actually have had great success with SOME Valspar paint. It seems to be the colors mixed in the “Base A” that solidifies on me. Mostly Whites/Creams. I switched to the Behr Samples at Home Depot and have not at a problem with the Whites/Creams since. :)

          3. Diane Henkler says:

            Thanks Gretchen – This is good to know. A rep from Valspar wrote to me about the Base A and to use the contractors paint instead. It has no primer in it. Behr Plus I think has a primer it in, but I have used the Behr brand and the mix came out fine. Lots of can label reading needed to make sure their is no primer or acrylic.

  168. Help…any ideas why a mirror I’m currently panting (consigned) for a friend is chipping with ASCP? I’m a bit worried…realizing now that it probably should have been primed. I don’t know what to do. It’s a baroque style mirror with lots of nooks and crannies.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Anna – One of ASloans biggest selling features is no primer or sanding. This is not the case for all pieces. If your surface is at all shiny, slick, glossy, or very smooth – always rough it up first with medium grit sandpaper. You don’t need to get the big electric sander out – sandpaper on a sanding block will do the job nicely. Then clean it all off with a tack cloth. I have found priming is good on pieces where the wood tannins may bleed through and change the color – usually lighter colors. ASloan suggests using clear shellac over these pieces first.

      For your mirror, I would go over the areas where the paint is chipping with sandpaper to rough them up a bit, then reapply the paint in thin coats. If it is coming off in the nooks and crannies – it may have been dusty in them and the paint won’t adhere. I would take a wet rag and get into all of the crevices you can to clean them out and remove any loose paint. Let it dry and go over with a tack cloth and then paint again.

      Another aspect to consider is it does take chalk paint up to 3 weeks to cure properly. All is not lost, you just have to go back and rework some areas.

  169. Where do you purchase the wax you recommend? Lowes & Home Depot don’t carry it, only the Minwax brand (which I read you didn’t like as it was orangey). Making my own paint with PoP since I have it on hand, for a small project & ordering some Annie Sloan for a large dresser that I don’t want to take any chances on. Thanks for all your tips. :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beth – You can buy Johnson’s and Fiddes & Sons on Lowes sells Johnson’s paste wax in the home cleaning aisle. Websters Chalk Paint site sells Fiddes & Sons also.

  170. hi, I really appreciate all the information in your post about different chalk paints and wax. I have a question. I have heard that you are supposed to paint the piece, then wax it with clear, THEN sand it to distress it, then wax it again. Is that correct? And if so, do you have to let the paint dry over night or several hours before you put on the first coat of wax? Or can you put the first coat of wax on after the paint is dry to the touch? How long does the first coat of wax need to dry before you can distress it? Thanks for your help! Pam

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pam – Yes, that is the way to do it. The second coat of wax is usually for adding a color wax on top of the clear. You would not want to add colored or dark wax right over the paint first as you would not be able to move it around to spread the color our evenly. I always wait a day before distressing and waxing just to make sure the paint is dry. Most waxes can be buffed to a shine as soon as you apply them. Fiddes and Sons is a wax I use that can be buffed right away. When I use Johnson’s Paste Wax, I let it dry to a haze for about 15 minutes – then buff with a soft lint free cloth (old t-shirt) to bring up the shine. Once the wax is on you can distress it right away. I have distressed before waxing and have had excellent results, so distressing before or after the wax will work. I like the smoother quality of the waxing after distressing – it is all up to the look you are trying to achieve – if you prefer a rougher hewn look – distress – after wax. The more pieces you do, you will start to find what look you like best.

  171. Aloha,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and answer questions. I’m a fresh “newe'” to the painting scean. I have a stained cherry armoire that I want to be chalk white. It is a little bit glossy not to much. I would like to distress it.
    1. What does “T” stand for in the recipes?
    2. Do I have to sand it?
    3 Do I have to prime it?
    Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Malin – “T” stands for tablespoon. You do not have to sand it with an electric sander, but I always go over all the pieces I paint with Medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block to rough up the surface. It only takes a minute, but helps with adhesion. I remove all the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag. You do not have to prime it. There are cases where there could be bleed through of the old finish. If that happens you can use Clear Zinseer Shellac over the piece. When that is dry – paint again with chalk paint.

      1. Aloha,
        I tested it on the inside oft he door. Made my own chalk paint with non sanded grout mixed in with white semigloss latex paint. Was a little thick. I sanded the area first and I sanded after the first layer of paint. Before I waxed it, i did a little bit of distressing. Was not total happy, but it was ok. Last night, I sanded little more on the painted area and the paint came off? Just like a big piece of plastic wrap. It is suppose to do that? If I fail this project, I will never hear the end of it from my husband.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Malin – No, the paint should not come off. It sounds like one of two things happened. The surface was too glossy – you may need to sand more. Every surface is different, especially if it is one large flat surface like your door or a table top. The other reason it may have not adhered is the paint and grout were not mixed well enough or you need to add more grout. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more water. You may want to try the Plaster of Paris instead of the grout, although even though the grout can get thick fast – I have found it adheres the best right away. you may want to wait for the paint to cure a few days before waxing and distressing. There is no fail when it come to painting – it is only paint and you can repaint over it. Just try a new mix with more grout in the mixture and sand the surface more. Let me know how it turns out.

  172. I never comment on sites but had to here. I’ve wondered about all of the various DIY recipes and appreciate you sharing what you learned. Thank you!

  173. Hi Diane,
    Thank you for the reply.
    I think Calcium Carbonate is in baking powder ( also known as bicarbonate of soda ) I might be wrong though…lol.

    I sanded down the mirror after doing two coats did a bit of distressing and I am so HAPPY with how it turned out !! really cant wait to get on with doing other things also been promised some furniture items for free woop Like everything its all about practice.

    Thanks again love your site xx

  174. Thank you so much for sharing this and for all the replies you have given to peoples questions you are very kind.
    I had a go at my own DIY chalk paint tonight using Bicarbonate of soda/Baking powder. The first batch I made being a bit dim I added water to the Bicarb and of course it started expanding in the never even attempted to use it. My second lot I did 1 cup of paint to 200grms bicarb ( the whole tube) not thick very much like a pancake consistency. I have painted two layers onto a painted white pine mirror but it seems to be really gritty? I will sand it down but not sure what I did wrong. I have been waiting for some POP to arrive after buying it off eBay and just had to have a go at this chalk paint. One question, I’m in the UK and you mention Poly to which I have no idea what that would be here in the UK.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jilly – I have never heard of using baking soda, I can imagine how it must have expanded the paint. I hope you get the PoP soon. Do you have a vitamin or health food store nearby? Try using Calcium Carbonate Powder. It runs about $6 here for a jar that will make a quart. It is used for bone health. You can drink it. :)

      Poly is short for Polyurethane. Use water based polyurethane over painted pieces so the color won’t yellow. Polyurethane is a protective finish like a urethane or varnish.

      1. Suzanne Brodie says:

        Hi Dianne, I just want to say a huge thank you for your commitment to this subject. You are always so helpful and a reply seems to be instant. I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone who follows when I say that I/we so appreciate your advice and help. Best wishes, Suzanne.

  175. I just checked on Amazon and Annie Sloan chalk paint is selling for $49.99 a quart plus $11 shipping!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – That is a crazy price to pay for a quart of paint. As much as I love Annie Sloan and her paints. I cannot imagine paying that when the DIY versions work so well – especially the Calcium Carbonate Powder and Plaster of Paris recipes.

  176. Why can’t it be used on trim? I have all these stained/ polyurethaned door frames I was going to use chalk paint on.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – Chalk Paint can be used on trim, it can be used anywhere. I mentioned that I don’t think I would do it on trim or walls, The reason – only because of having to wax and buff over all the surfaces just seems like more work than needed for baseboards and walls. Around your door frames would be fine, as you would not have to be on your hands and knees going around to wax and buff after painting :) That is the only reason I would not paint trim with it.

  177. Anat Itkin says:

    Thank you so much, I can learn a lot from this post!!!

  178. will using colored non sanded grout present a problem? thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gail – I have only used white so I can’t say for sure. Since the grout has colorant in it – it may change the color of the paint if using a light color. If you have it on hand – try stirring a little bit of into the paint and see if it changes colors.

  179. I want to try out your diy unsanded chalk paint recipe on a small dresser. Do I have to use flat latex paint or can I use some eggshell latex paint I have on hand in the right colour? Thanks for the very helpful and informative postings on the subject!
    Elaine, in New Brunswick, Canada.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – any finish of paint will work. I have used flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss with great results.

  180. what kind of paint, flat or semi or satin?
    can I use fawn colored non sanded grout?

  181. I have found your comparison tests of the chalk white paint methods just what I was looking for. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and other ideas too. One thing that does puzzle me though is; I live in the UK and have not heard on “latex” paint. We can get water soluble acrylic paint here for walls and woodwork and I wondered if this would be the equivalent of latex? Any comments would be really appreciated.

    Can’t wait to start mixing and painting!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Belinda – I have used water-based acrylic craft paint to make my own chalk paint with excellent results, so I think it will work fine. I will be posting tomorrow about a sideboard I used DIY chalk paint to makeover. I used Calcium Carbonate powder. It mixed well into the paint and did not harden at all like some mixtures sometimes do when using the grout or plaster. If you have not read the update to the Testing Chalk Paint 123 post, I tried a few more paints. You can see the update here:

  182. I finally tried this recipe with POP and I eyeballed it until it came out to the consistency you describe. The first small batch though started to get too thick as I was painting so I just added more paint and water and it remained ‘pancake’ like for the rest of the day until the job was finished. BTW I didnt use an old mixer or any other special stirring methods other than my own hands and believe it or not an extra pair of chop sticks! Cant decide if I’ll be using wax or poly. I used SW satin paint in an dark green color (almost charcoal) so I dont think any glaze will show even. Besides I dont want too much of a “shabby chic or country like” look anyway. The finished product so far looks great…Thanks for the recipe!!

  183. I’ve just started looking into all of this chalk pain business and wanted to say not only a big thanks for sharing your efforts with us all but also I am SO impressed with the number of questions you have answered! Seriously impressed! What a generous soul you are!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Daphne – Thanks so much. After my first experience using chalk paint on furniture, I have been smitten with the ease of use and finish it provides. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I am happy to share all I know with readers. I have learned a lot from everyone leaving comments with their experience using it, too. XO

  184. Help….Diane…anyone out there have bleed through with Chalk Paint? I had my first “event” today with ASCP. I heard that I need to prime but someone else mentioned challac (sp.) I need a quick fix if anyone else has had this happen..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – Bleed through can occur with ASCP. I have had it happen when I didn’t add enough Calcium Carbonate to one of my DIY mixtures. You need to cover the surface with a coat of Shellac – Zinseer makes a popular one. It is clear.

      You don’t want to use primer if you are going to distress the edges with sandpaper as the white color of the primer will show through and ruin the effect. Bleed-through varies by wood – some have more tannins in them then others.

      1. Thank you, thank you…I knew you’d have the answer….and it’s good for other’s to read as well! xoxo

  185. Wonderful info. What are your thoughts on using this Plaster of Paris recipe over interior concrete floor? Would it need to be finished? What gloss of paint would you recommend for less skid result?

  186. Thank you so much for this post! My husband has been so skeptical about chalk paint and this has given me a lot of help to convince him into letting me use it in our new house!! Thanks!!

  187. I painted one project with Annie Sloan duck-egg-blue. I used a fairly dry brush, painting over a dark-stained piece. I wanted to see brush strokes and wanted some of the dark to peek thru. One scant coat did the trick & I topcoated with a wipe-on water-based poly. Fabulous result. After reading your blog, I decided to try your recipe for the DIY chalk paint w/Plaster of Paris. I bought cream-colored paint (the kind with primer already mixed in) in cream color–just an extra precaution b/c I was painting cream over top of stained oak. It took 2 to 3 coats, but still much easier than sanding & priming. I have been chicken about the DIY chalk paints, but now I am a BELIEVER!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi MK – That is great to hear since you have worked with both. I have been working on a piece today that I will post about later this week. As I was painting, I was loving it more and more with each paint stroke. It is the best stuff – chalk paint. I am glad Annie Sloan came on the home decorating scene or we might not have ever known that such a beautiful paint finish could be achieved so easily. I have only worked with sample jars of Annie Sloan – I loved it, but not the price. :) Thanks for sharing your experience.

  188. Hi Diane,

    I live in Australia in a home that gets very hot in summer (often weeks over 104 F ) – is it only direct sunlight that will adversely affect the wax ? I’m thinking high ambient temperatures are likely to do the same thing? Is it possible to use a different sealer over chalk paint rather than a wax if wax is not suitable due to climate?

    Thanks – very informative post!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kellie –
      You can use water based polyurethane over chalk paint. Here in the states – Polycrylic is good brand to use. As long as it is water based. If it is not – it will yellow your paint color as soon as you put it on. Both Annie Sloan and Ce Ce Caldwell’s sell a water based polyurethane sealer in their product lines.

  189. Thanks Jan!!! I am going to give it a try!!

    1. Keep us updated Alisa :)

  190. Can chalk paint be used on furniture that is outside? Would extra steps be involved?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi LeighAnn – I would not use chalk paint outside unless the furniture is covered by a porch roof. If you do, use water based polyurethane, not wax to protect it. Wax would melt in the sun. If the furniture is sitting out in the elements you would be better off using exterior paint or spray paint. It is made to take the elements.

      1. janet metzger says:

        Sorry to disagree Diane, but Chalk Paint® works beautifully outside…no wax as you have mentioned. I have patio furniture and picnic tables painted sitting on an open deck…no problems at all! No need to seal Annie’s paint when used outside as it will develop a beautiful worn patina over time. The exterior of Annie Sloan’s little retail shop in Oxford England is painted with her paint. Amy @ Maison Decor blog has painted the exterior of both her Boston shops in Chalk Paint® and just recently a woman in Northern California mixed Annie’s Coco and water and using a plain garden sprayer, painted her cement patio inground pool surround! Her husband has since powerwashed it to test the durability and it stuck like glue!!! No top coat needed.

  191. Do you have any idea if you can you use Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint in the same way??? no sanding???Benjamin Moore® Chalkboard Paint (308)—Available in Any Color

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alisa –

      I have not had a chance to use the paint yet, so I am not sure if it is the same. Since it is Ben Moore – it is a good quality paint, but without testing it out first – I can’t be sure it will work in the same way. I see more testing in my future. :)

      1. Jan Bergseth says:

        Hi Alisa and Diane,
        I have bought 2 cans of the Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint and am currently trying an experiment for adhesion as Diane suggested. I painted half the board with Annie Sloan chalk paint and the other half with Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint. I painted it 1 week ago and let it sit. Yesterday I checked as Diane suggested, rubbing with my fingers and scratching with my fingernail. The ASCP is much chalkier and softer (best word I can think to describe) and will scratch. The BM paint has a somewhat chalky feel but does not scratch at all. In fact I tried a bit of sandpaper and the ASCP sanded quite easily but the BM paint took more pressure to sand. I think the BM chalkboard paint will adhere very well. In Canada, a can of BM was $22.oo for a litre. ASCP was $52.oo I still want to try Diane’s recipes though. I think it would be much more economical and you can by the smaller sample size pots of paint. I was able to source the calcium carbonate powder at our local drug store. They had to order it in and everyone kept asking why I wanted it-told them it was an experiment! Love the feedback and questions here :)

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Jan – thank you so much for sharing what you learned about the BM chalkboard paint. If it adheres well and feels flat and chalky then it will work fine. Did you try waxing it to see how it took the wax? It is nice to know that we have options when it comes to using chalk paint now. I need to stop into a BM dealer so I can check it out. Thanks again for sharing your intel. XO

          1. Jan Bergseth says:

            I have not waxed the sample yet, I will soon and let you know Diane. Am I able/ allowed to post a picture here?

  192. I may have missed this info but can I use semi gloss paint?

  193. One more question. I see you used Minwax for the clear wax. Does Minwax make a dark wax too? Do you put the dark wax on first over the chalk paint then the clear wax if you want a distressed look? Or vice versa, or what is the correct way?? Thank you

  194. I saw a sight where you can add the chalk paint to a little of the wax to give the wax a different color and the undercoat. Have you tried that?? Looked really nice.

    1. Jan Bergseth says:

      Do you remember what site you saw this on Faye?

  195. I have a couple of questions. what was the white paint you used under the blue chalk paint. Was it a latex flat, semigloss, eggshell? What about using chalk paint over a semigloss (latex)??? Can that be done?? Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Faye –

      The white base I painted the blue over is primed MDF molding that I had left over from my studioffice remodel. I didn’t do anythign to it. It was a semi-gloss/satin finish. You can use chalk pant over any surface. It is best ot always check for adhesion. I always sand the surface lightly before I paint. It will only help in the long run.

      I have not tried changing the color of the wax with chalk paint, so I am not sure. I think it would probably work though.

      You add clear wax first and rub it all around. Then add your colored wax on top. This allows you more freedom to get the color where you want it. If you put the dark wax on first, it soaks into the paint and then you can’t move it around to get a smooth even coverage. I have only seen Minwax and Johnson wax in clear, they may come in darker colors, but I have never seen them in the stores in my area.

  196. You cleared up a mystery to me! Thanks so much–now, I’m ready to paint of time! Know this took a lot of time and I really appreciate it!

  197. I am wondering whether I could paint my laminex kitchen cupboards with chalk paint and obviously how well it would hold up. I think I would lightly sand them beforehand. I have granite on bench tops so only need to do cupboards. Do you think this would be successful. PS LOVE your blog

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Suzanne – You can paint kitchen cabinets with chalk paint – many people have. I have not, only because when I painted my own kitchen cabinets, chalk paint was not around :) The only problem that could occur is if the cabinets were right above the stove. Over time the heat may wear the wax coat down. It would not ruin anything – you would just need to re-wax from time to time. I would definitely sand them before hand to make sure the paint adheres well. I know there are a few websites that discuss painting kitchen cabinets with chalk paint at length.Try a Google search. I think Annie Sloan is or just came out with a book on using chalk paint on kitchen cabinets. That may help you answer any lingering questions you have before starting.

  198. Hi Diane, I read your article last evening about creating your own chalk paint, and you convinced me I could do it! I bought all the things I needed within an hour at Home Depot, came home and chalk painted and waxed a gold leaf 4′ x 6′ mirror through completion within 2 hours or less. I played around with a couple of different sand papers and found that 600 sand paper worked the best before the waxing. Thank you so much for the great help!

  199. Jan Bergseth says:

    Hi Diane,
    I just noticed on your most recent comment, Calcium Carbonate powder. Is this something you can also use to make chalk paint from regular paint? If so, have you tried it and where is it sold? Also wondering if you’ve tried the Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint as chalk paint?
    Thanks and have a wonderful day :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jan – I will be writing a new post this week about some new findings on chalk paint. Calcium Carbonate powder can be used instead of non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris. It is sold in the health food store. You can eat it :) I bought a 12 oz jar of it for $5. I like it because it does not harden the paint like the grout and plaster can at times.

      I have not used the BM chalkboard paint. I have used craft store chalkboard paint. That does not hold up at all. I will have to give it a try and add my findings to my post.

  200. Hello again….have you or anyone used the Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paints? I have a mirror I’d like to paint and have found the PEFECT colors. However, reading on-line reviews the paint sounds horrible to work with. Most folks that are having difficulty are painting walls. I’m wondering…..could I mix this paint the same way with non-sanded grout or just paint with it. Do you recommend priming first? I’m not sure if I should return it and try another product. Any insight or help?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – I have never used the paint – only her crafts paints, but since the color is perfect, I would just try it on a piece of scrap wood to see if you like it. I am sure it will work fine. I think what naysayers of the product did not like was how the paint looked on large flat surfaces. It would look way too uneven. On your mirror frame – it is smaller and probably has details that will only add to the depth and un-eveness of the metallic look. It can’t hurt to experiment with the non-sanded grout, plaster, or Calcium Carbonate powder to see how it looks. You may come up with something wonderful.

    2. Hi Anna – I just painted an armoire with a watered down coat of ASCP (so I did not have to sand!) as a primer. Then, I painted it with MSL metallic paint. I also used it on a mirror frame. It went on beautifully and looks awesome! I hope it works for you. I purchased it at Home Depot – a gallon, since I have more projects to do.

      1. Thank you Kathleen. So after painting a water down version for ASCP, did you think mix the Martha Stewart into chalk paint or just paint it unmixed right over the primer?


  201. Hi,
    I just bought some old furniture that I want to paint for my Grandaughters room. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this experiment and sharing it with all.
    My problem is I haven’t made up my mind between chalk paint and gloss paint or what color. Right now we are changing her room to disney princess (she’s 4) so I would love to do white with bright pink but later I have a dark blue gingham canopy and stuff for her bed.
    Can you paint over chalk paint that has been waxed? ? Have you had problems with gloss or semi gloss paint chipping?
    Thank You for any suggestions you have.

  202. Hi Diane, I used the DIY recipe for chalk paint with sanded grout. I thought I had a really good outcome but after a week of the wax…I decided wanted another coat of protective wax and for my piece to be a bit shinier. However, I used ASCP wax and now when I gently rub for the shine the paint is chipping off. Thankfully, it’s a piece for myself and not a client but I’m scared now about the longevity of pieces I’ve done. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I used Valspar paint. I’m thinking I need to stick to ASCP. HELP!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – In your note you said you used sanded grout – did you mean non-sanded? There are two types and non-sanded is the one to use. I have never had the paint come off when re-waxing so I can only guess what may have caused the problem. Since I have re-waxed all of the pieces I have done, I don’t think you should worry about your other pieces. As with any recipe – every batch will come out a bit differently. Time, temp, old versus new paint, etc. can effect the outcome. Here are a few things that may have caused the problem: If the paint is chipping off, not just rubbing off – was the piece originally very shiny? You should still rub sandpaper/sanding block over the finish just a bit to take the gloss shine away before painting. It will help the paint adhere better. If there is too much shine – no paint, even chalk paint is not going to stick for very long. Was the latex paint old or not mixed well before you added the grout and water? All paint needs to be stirred very well before using as some of the ingredients sink to the bottom. Was there enough non-sanded grout added to the mixture – without enough – you would not get good adhesive properties. I have never used Annie Sloan wax – – only Minwax, Johnsons, and Fiddes & Sons. It may be something in the wax, but I doubt that would have caused the problem. The only other thing I can think of is the Valspar paint itself. I used have used Valspar with no problems – except it is the one paint that seems to get thick instantly when mixing.

      Reviewing what I wrote – I think it goes back to adhesion when you first applied the paint. – was the piece not dry enough before painting or it was too shiny. Are you going to sand it down now to start from scratch?

  203. Hi there!
    thanks for the great tips..
    I have found a paste wax in clear at my home improvement store, but not in a dark color. Do I need to use another paste wax over my clear paste wax or can I use a liquid wax over it so I can achieve the darker look I want.
    Any suggestions of wax brands??

  204. Diane,
    Could I paint a whole bedroom set this way? Can it be repainted?


  205. BonitaLolita says:

    We recently got a small shop in our town who specializes in Annie Sloan paints. Her business has boomed in the last 6 months!! But, I just had a hard time spending that kind of money for a couple of “inexpensive” projects. But, now hearing and seeing your test results I will definately try the DIY version. Thanks for your experimentation. :) Can’t wait to try it!

  206. Hi,

    Absolutely love your website. I was wondering if I wanted to use Antiquing Glaze, should I wax it thereafter? I went to homedepot today hoping to find dark wax and only found clear wax. I am on a budget and can’t afford Annie Sloan Soft Dark Wax so I was hoping to find alternatives. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisette –

      Yes you can use antiquing glaze. It is what I use all the time. I do not use dark wax. Once you like how the depth and color of your glaze looks you can use clear wax right over it. I would wait about 30 minutes to make sure the glaze is dry before adding the wax and buffing.

      1. Diane and Lisette, what is antiquing glaze and how do you use it? I have bought a tin of ASCP dark wax($50 in Canada) but haven’t used it yet (because it’s so darn expensive!). What is the brand name of the glazes you use? And what brand of clear wax are you using? Thanks again in advance for the information :)

  207. Hi! I’m so excited on your great website! I have an old accent table with a dark finish on it. I want to distress it with white then black on top. Do I use chalk paint for both colors or just the black coat?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carlene – Do you want the table to look more like a black table with white accents or a white table that will expose the dark finish when you sand the edges and then have the white aged with black? If it is the first – black table – chalk paint for both colors. If you want it more white – I would do white chalk paint and then dark wax or antiquing glaze over it. When you sand it, – you will expose the dark original finish.

  208. Christine says:

    I admit I’m a believer in sanding. :)
    I just finished antiquing new French doors with a dark Briwax. I think I’m a believer in wax. And paint. Love me this painting stuff!
    I’m looking at furniture with a new eye and have a lot planned. Thanks for getting back to me!

  209. Is the paint you mix in with the Plaster of Paris wood paint or acrylic paint? Or what type?
    Fantastic information! You got me inspired to do it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mireia – any water based latex type paint will work. I like to use a flat or a satin finish as I find they mix up better than a semi-gloss. I have used acrylic craft paint and that works quite well also.

  210. Christine says:

    Hi there!
    I’m also new to this and have some (wonderful) CeCe Caldwell paint. I’ve also been collecting paint samples in colors I love. Planning ahead.
    My question I’ve never seen addressed here online: what makes this paint adhere so well that one doesn’t need to sand or prime? I have a hard time believing it won’t chip or scratch! I know everyone swears, but what makes it stick? Any idea? Thanks.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christine – I totally understand how you feel. I used to feel the same way until I used it for the first time. The powder that you add to the paint – be it the non-sanded grout, plaster, lime, or calcium carbonate is what makes it stick and hide the color of the surface you are going to paint. It is also what gives it a flat finish. If you are not going to antique or age the finish, then I would sand the piece only if it had bumps or an uneven surface – other wise you do not need to sand or prime. Chalk paint goes on like a primer would. It is a primer with color really. For me the magic is the wax. That is what brings out the beauty. Some say since you don’t have to sand and prime initially – you save time and less work, but you do have to add the wax coat – that is work and takes time on the other- finishing end of the project. On everything I paint – using latex or chalk paint – I always take a sanding block with fine grit sandpaper over each dried coat and then clean the surface of dust with a tack cloth before I apply the next coat. So no sanding needed before, but a little bit in between coats will give you a smoother finish. As far as chipping or scratching – only time will tell. So far all the pieces I have done are chip free.

  211. Hi Kristie, what exactly do I ask for? Is it Websters paint or Websters power …? I am from Australia so hope it is over here. Also while I’m at it could I ask whether your capital T’s over there are for teaspoon or tablespoon measurements ie 2T of whatever? So many thanks. Suzanne

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Suzanne – not sure if Kristie replied to you or not. It is a powder. They sell it in bags. I think around $17 a bag. I could not find it in my area and did order it on their Website. I want to try it. Capital T = Tablespoon. Small t = teaspoon. The website is:

  212. I have been following and reading about your experiments with chalk paints, DIY vs. the name brand paints. I do not know if you are aware of a powdered form of chalk paint that is sold called Webster’s. If not, then it is a great alternative for those of us who love to paint with chalk, but are on a limited budget. Webster’s comes in a white powder form only and has exact measurements of water and any color of paint you want to turn into chalk paint by adding the powdered formula. The best part is that with the wax, it only cost me around $17 total for enough of the dry mixture and wax to paint 4 items. Two were dressers and the rest were smaller tables but I still have some left. I think since it is measured carefully in a lab, and is just as safe as ASC paint, if you add your own paint, you can virtually create any color under the sun! If you want to be completely VOC free, then rather than using old latex paints you have stored up after so many projects, you can always buy the brands that are free of harmful chemicals. My point………………You can guess about how much of each part goes into a DIY recipe version and hope for the best, or spend a small amount of money ( as much as you would on grout or the other components the DIY recipes call for) and have any color you wish and enjoy the same results as someone who has bought the more expensive brands. It really is quite simple and genius if you ask me. I love it and would not use anything else. Please be sure to try it and tell us what you think.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kristie – thanks for sharing this info. I did order the powder as I want to experiment with it and see if it is any better or worse than the grout, plaster, or calcium carbonate. If it mixes up as well as you say – then it would be a great alternative for anyone who like no fuss no muss. :)

  213. Thanks so much!!! I tried a recipe online and was happy about, but I had to prime it. Excited to try yours!!!

  214. Your tutorial is brilliant, and want to thank you for all the effort and work. But I have a question I hoped you could answer. If a person wanted to seal their piece after waxing, because I like the waxed look but would like extra protection, would that work or is the wax/poly combination not compatible?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Heather – The poly finish would not stick to a waxed surface very well. Both wax and poly are protective sealers each offering pros and cons. You can put wax over poly though to give a table top even more protection.

      Do you want a dark wax look, but want the poly finish? If so – use an antiquing glaze instead of dark wax to get the aged effect. Valspar makes one. I show how to use it in this post – Then you can use water based Polycrylic over it to get the protection you want. In that post I use wax, but you can use poly over the glaze without any problems. That is how I used to do it, before I discovered chalk paint and wax.

  215. Thanks so much for the helpful post Diane. I just did my first later of wax and after buffing it felt the same as before. Should I continue with more layers? What does “buffing” mean exactly? I’m picturing circles…is that right? I am using the Johnson wax.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – Buffing is just polishing with a soft rag. Use the softest rag you have and apply pressure and rub in circles over the waxed surface or up and down and around, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are moving the rag around with some pressure – it will bring the wax to a polished state. You can always apply another layer of wax, let it dry for about 30 mins and then buff again. I usually do 1 – 3 layers depending on the piece and how much wax I applied on each layer. Thin layers are better than one thick one. I use Johnson Wax. I am working on a project with it right now. While I am waiting for it to dry – I am answering questions from readers. :)

  216. Yes Ii mixed w water first and am using Sherwin Williams flat paint

  217. Actually I used Sherwin Williams paint w the grout…something def went wrong

  218. DIY Chalk Paint….oh boy I just mixed my first batch using the recipe here. 1 cup paint with 2 T unsanded grout. It got so thick and hard. Kept adding water but it kept thicking. Did I read the recipe right? Should it be 2 teaspoons vs. 2 Tablespoons. Anxious to try but afraid to waste more paint. Please help-soon! Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Annie – what kind of paint are you using? Did you mix the grout with the water first? Some mixtures will get hard after a day, but I have never had it get hard while mixing. I use 2 T grout to 1 cup of paint to start and a few tablespoons of water. You may need to add some water to your paint first. Each brand and finish of paint and the water you use creates a different consistency. Depending on where you live -some water supplies have more iron or chlorine, salt etc in them that can change the outcome. The best mix I ever made was with Glidden {navy blue label} satin paint. It never hardened – I had the mixture for 6 months in a covered plastic coffee can and used the same mixture on 3 projects. I have had other mixes that hardened in 24 hours. It may take some trial and error. As long as you have no lumps in the mix – even if it is comes out a little thicker than normal paint – you can still paint with it.

  219. Hi, Thank you very much for your help. I too would like to know about if the grout is ok if its white and also you speak about Valspar paint which I looked up and see that its in the USA. I am in the UK and the UK dont sell Valspar paint. Is it the same as emusion paint?


    Adam x

    1. Hi Adam,
      I live in the UK and Valspar is equivalent to emulsion paint. You would need to buy bathroom tile grout to make your own chalk paint as it isn’t called un-sanded over here. The sanded grout in the UK is flooring grout. Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks Arlene that is a great help. I have just be looking at Crowns ultimate paint which says you can use it on wood so im thinking that would be good too

        1. Adam, you can use any emulsion on wood, but remember, they are acrylic based and will need a suitable undercoat if used straight from the can. You will not get the same effect as the ASCP unless you use the emulsion with grout or plaster and make your own chalk paint. If using emulsion on its own, there is no point in waxing as the wax will not penetrate and seal the emulsion as it does to the chalk paint. Hope this helps.

  220. My question is about a desk I have. It is painted white (probably with latex) with yellow drawers. I don’t mind the white but the yellow does not match with things in our house. Could I paint the drawers with DIY black chalk paint and wax it or would it look to different weird with the other type of paint everywhere else?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Roberta – I think it would look fabulous. The contrast of colors would be so chic. If you are worried that the finish on the white latex and newly chalk painted drawers doesn’t match – don’t. If the white latex is semi-gloss then the shine from the buffed wax will match it. If the white latex has a flatter sheen – use less wax at first and buff. Keep repeating until you like the way the two different sheen’s go together.

  221. Hello again….I am learning so much here. Question….my unsanded grout is white is that the type you are talking about when making your own chalk paint? Thanks so much!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – yes that is the the one to use – white. I found out recently that you can also use lime. The white powder you use in your garden. I have not tested it myself yet, but was told it will not make your mixture hard after a few days like some mixtures get if you have leftovers.

  222. Can you wet sand ASCP? I’ve been reading up on CeCe Caldwell paints and it says you can sand/distress with a damp cloth or sponge to avoid the mess of sanding with paper. Sure sounds like it may be easier and not so messy.

  223. I just painted two matching vanities…mixing ASCP arles and cream. The vanity came out YELLOW. I know everyone says if you don’t like it you can just paint over it but it was a lot of work sanding and waxing. My question is this….I’m not a fan of how the dark wax looks (scared to try it) but now I’m wondering if that would help to change the “yellow” color by darking it vs. repainting. Does anyone have any advice to try and help save me the work of totally redoing the vanities. Please help!

    1. Arles IS a yellow ochre. I painted two bedside tables with it straight out of the can. I actually wanted it more yellow than the yellow orange that it is, but I can live with it for now. The beauty of this paint is that there is no need for sanding, even after it has been waxed. So, you can paint right over it in a different colour. There is no need to be scared of the dark wax. You need to use clear wax first and while it is still damp, apply the dark wax and then wipe off a bit after a minute. Annie Sloan has posted a youtube tutorial on how to do this.

    2. If you put clear wax on first and let it dry, you can then use the dark over it. If you dont like the dark after this, re apply the clear and use the clear to wipe it away. try it on a sample piece of wood first..

      1. janet metzger says:

        Adam….Odorless Mineral Spirits will also remove the waxes without harming the Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. It is a solvent for wax, but not for paint. Simply wipe off all the wax with OMS and a clean rag and rewax. Also you should NOT let the clear wax dry before applying the dark wax…the clear should be wet and fresh for best results. You can also mix Annie’s paints with her wax for beautiful tinted waxes. Annie’s paints are the most forgiving paints I have ever worked with. I also beg to differ with you Diane….Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is FABULOUS on walls!!! Soft and velvety, I have the used it in my home and my shop and everyone always comments on how beautiful they are. The DIY concoction would not look so great, but real stuff is a keeper! My biggest problem with the DIY mixes is that you are still dealing with LATEX PAINT and that is a poor environmental choice for sure.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Janet – I am sure AS Chalk Paint looks great on walls, but so does any good quality paint at less than half the price. I just could not see spending $35 a qt for paint for my walls. Thanks for the tip about removing the wax with odorless mineral spirits.

    3. Diane Henkler says:

      I would use the dark wax or an antiquing glaze – Valspar makes a few colors that will darken the color. Test it on an area on the back or non prominent spot. The trick is to wipe the wax or glaze on and then quickly wipe it off. You can keep a wet rag nearby to remove even more, if it gets too dark. You keep applying and wiping off until you have the entire piece covered. If there are any spots that you see lines of overlapping, just dab with the damp rag to lessen or remove.

      Doing this should tone down the brightness of the color. You could also use a liming wax or glaze – one with white in it to lessen the color. It would be like whitewashing with paint. I have done this myself. Use a dry brush and dip the tips into a mixture of 50% paint and 50% water. Brush it on and it acts as a glaze. I think Valspar makes a white or liming glaze.

      Either one of these would lessen the brightness of the yellow – the dark would make the color deeper, the white – a softer yellow.

      I hope this helps.

  224. I’m reposting because I don’t think my question went through. Can I polyurethane a children’s desk and chair set after waxing so that it can be a durable workspace for small children?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – If you want to use poly then there is no reason to wax it first. The wax adds a patina to chalk paint, but it also adds a layer of protection. Poly would be more durable for a kids table.

  225. Thanks Diane, it is for a kitchen surface so I think poly is best.

  226. Thank you for the tutorial. Do you know if it is possible to make black chalk paint? I have an old entertainment aremoire that I want to paint black and would like to use chalk paint. If i I use non sanded grout, do you think it will make the black paint turn grey when mixed?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – good question. I am not sure. I would have to experiment with it to see. Do you have any non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris to try a small batch?

  227. Great tutorial!!! It is was I was looking for. I have some furniture to paint but I felt a bit scared about DIY chalk paint. I’ll try with plaster of Paris (which is what I have at home) and I’ll tell you the results.

    A big hug from Mallorca!

  228. So if you do decide on a poly coat, put it on after wax? thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI Kim – If you are going to use poly, then there is no need to wax. The wax protects and finishes just like poly. No need for both.

  229. Hello. I wondering if this method of painting would work good for my daughters bed? Also how long does it take the wax to dry before she could use her bed again? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ashley – it would work beautifully on a bed. Once you apply the thin layer of wax, you let it dry for about 30 mins and then buff. You can add as many thin layers of wax as needed, just buff well after each layer to bring out the shine and patina. Once it is buffed, you can use the piece right away. Note: when you apply the wax is does smell at first, but as it dries the smell goes away. The smell comes more from the open can of wax and the wax on the rag you use.

  230. Hi,
    Thank you for this information. I’m new the the furnature redo stuff and have been so confused about what this chalk paint stuff is. I’m wondering if you could use a regular varnish instead of wax. Is it just that the wax looks better or are you not supposed to put varnish on chalk paint?

    1. If you use varnish, I would use a polyurethane, water-based varnish for furniture,otherwise it will yellow. You can choose matt or gloss depending on the look you want. It also depends on what you will be using the furniture for. I have only ever used wax so far. The reason for the wax is that it gives the chalk paint its hardness and durability while giving it a soft sheen when you buff it. The wax penetrates the paint. Chalk paint and wax is supposed to give character to a piece of furniture such as Scandinavian or French style or like any other old piece of painted furniture. It is not meant to be shiny like new furniture from the factory. I would also suggest that you look at Annie Sloan’s website for more information and other blogs from people that have used the paint.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer –

      You can use water based polyurethane, but in my opinion the wax adds much more depth and character to the piece. How I like to think about chalk paint is that it is what non-oil based paints used to be like, before latex. Chalk paint is not rubbery feeling like latex at all and it sticks to almost anything. The addition of the non-sanded grout or Plaster of Paris give it amazing sticking qualities, so there is no need for primer. With latex paints – you need to put a primer on first. I would only use chalk paint on furniture or smaller wood items, not on walls. It is the perfect paint for furniture. I have used oil, latex, and chalk paint on furniture and I am finding that I like the way the chalk painted pieces come out better. One misconception about chalk paint is that you have to distress and age it – you do not. I have two pieces in my home that I did not distress with sandpaper – the smooth finish is much smoother than a latex finish.

  231. My question is this…I want to chalk paint two matching vanities in the Master Bathroom. If I wax them after and let them “dry out” for a couple weeks, will they hold up to moisture or water that may occassionaly drip on them.

    Thanks for any info

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Annie – Yes- no problem with an occasional drip of water, the wax acts as a protective finish and will keep the water drop from penetrating. As on any piece of furniture – if you put a drink down on it – use a coaster. The nice thing is with the wax – you can always add another layer and buff it to a shine anytime, especially if you see an area that the wax has worn down.

  232. I use ASCP all the time. However, living in the UK, I don’t pay nearly as much as those that live in the USA. The consistency of the paint can vary depending on how long it has been stored or if it has been opened. As it is water-based, it is easy to add water to thin the paint or to let it evaporate a bit, depending on what look you want. Thicker paint works best for really beat up pieces and produces a good base coat to come through when distressing.
    It can be used on walls and is recommended for old houses as it has low VOC and lets the plaster breathe. It leaves a nice chalky finish without flaking. You don’t have to seal it. I have tried it out in a cupboard. Best to use where you don’t need to clean the walls often. It is great for repainting kitchen cabinets and all you need is a few coats of soft wax. Not beeswax. The wax hardens the paint even more than when left alone to cure.
    I will most likely make my own if I can’t blend or find a colour I like from what I have already. The reason you can use unsanded grout is because it has a cementous base, in the UK it comes from Portland Stone, which is very strong and helps it stick to anything. There is also chalk added to give it some tooth and which helps to give the soft finish. It is pretty much what paint used to be made of before they used Latex in the USA and Acrylic in the UK.
    I am a huge fan of ASCP and can find no fault with it whatsoever. I also use the clear and dark wax. I now use Hannant soft wax who I think supplies the wax for AS but is cheaper. As said before, if you can make your own cheaper, go for it. However, I would use a matt paint instead of a soft sheen paint when making your own chalk paint. Just my preference.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Arlene – thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experiences with chalk paint. It is so interesting to hear. I agree with you that the thicker paint works well on beat up pieces. I am a fan of painting with it now as it provides such a great finish that does not feel rubbery at all like latex when it dries. I don’t think I will ever paint furniture any other way again. :) It is also fun to experiment with and come up with lots of different looks.

      1. Hi Diane – It was really good of you to do a post on the different ways of making your own chalk paint. I wouldn’t have the patience! I won’t use anything else either! The other problem with using Latex on its own is that wax will not penetrate the paint and therefore is a complete waste of time to use it – better to use polyurethane instead. Whatever makes your life easier when making something beautiful is a bonus! Have fun with your chalk paint. I look forward to seeing what else you do with it! :)

  233. Thanks for the great article…answered all my questions! Now I have a better feel for chalk paint and have the confidence to try my hand at it…oh, one question…wax with color, where would I find this? I love that idea! Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Charlie –
      Annie Sloan sells a dark wax. I have never used it. I use colored glaze first, then clear wax. If you want to make your own colored wax -You can add some oil paint sold in the artist supply area of any craft store to add color to your wax. You have to mix it in to the wax very well. The more you stir it into the wax, the warmer the wax becomes and will melt a bit – which is good to get the color into the wax. You can even melt the wax in the sun for a while, but DO NOT melt it over an open flame. It will produce a fire. Once mixed well you can apply it to the furniture, let dry and then buff. You will be able to create many different looks with it.

      1. Wow, Thanks…I cannot wait to try this…I paint with oils…want to try chalk paint with a landscape scene…then wax! Whoa…will keep you informed on outcome! Thanks!!

      2. I would think you could put a bit of wax in an clean, empty tin can, then place that in a sauce pan of hot water, not over an open flame, too. Since I only want a tiny bit of dark wax this would work well for me, instead of buying both regular and dark wax.

  234. I used the 4 tbsp. of plaster of paris, 2 tbsp.of water to 2 cups of paint as Kara mentioned above. Mine mixed up beautifully and the 2 coats went on my cabinets with ease and look wonderful! I made certain to get satin paint with no primer. Tomorrow I will be waxing, and trying shoe polish to make them look more antique.

  235. Kari@Loaves n Dishes says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog, I’m so glad that I did! This is such great info and I can hardly wait to start painting.

  236. Thanks for your great post. I wish I had that info available to me when I began experimenting with DIY chalk paint earlier this year. Although I LOVE the ASCP, it is more than I can comfortably afford, particularly since I do not have any local retailers. However, I have used many of the colors and overall, in the end, I am just as happy with the results I have gotten with my POP mixtures. I have found the trick to smooth paint is to use very hot water and mix your POP first. I happen to prefer mine rather thick, but that is a matter of taste and coverage. I then add the latex paint (usually from sample sizes) until I have the color I want. I very often will use acrylic craft paints to tweak the colors. I usually mix my batches in small disposable tupperware-type containers, that can be closed tight, and it usually will last a few weeks, sometimes even longer if I add some water and stir. Half the fun is the experimenting, because if you don’t like the result, you can just paint over it!!! Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beth – I could not agree with you more – the fun is in the mixing and experimenting. Each of my batches have come out a bit differently, but I am smitten with the way the paint goes on and covers every time I paint with it. I am a convert and love using the DIY versions. I mix mine in coffee tubs that have a seal tight lid. This keeps the mixture useable for a long time. I used craft paint on my very first project. It worked perfectly. I have a few smaller projects that I want to do soon and will be using craft paint to make up my chalk paint. Thanks for sharing your tip on using hot water to mix. XO

  237. Kitty Lacy says:

    I’m so excited to know someone did this “homework”. Very, very helpful! Thank goodness I can now afford to paint so much more using this economical recipe!

  238. Michael @ re.Create Design says:

    Hi Diane – It’s Michael (formerly Blue Velvet Chair). Okay, I’ve read your post line-by-line, and you have inspired me to give DIY Chalk paint a try!!! It will be my first time! I’m going into the chalk paint jungle just after the holidays. If I don’t return by New Years Eve, send someone after me :-)

  239. Okay, I tried painting with a slightly different recipe and it was a disaster! The recipe was 2 cups paint, 4 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris and 2 Tablespoons Water. I mixed the water and plaster or paris in a separate container until smooth. As soon as I added it to the paint it turned into a consistency similar to wood filler but slightly more hard…I couldn’t even stir it. So, I added water until I got it back to a more smooth consistency. When I started painting, it was very gritty and it was drying on the brush as I was painting. It was all over the place. I was able to take 220 sandpaper and smooth it out, but even after 2 layers, the paint job is not even. Sooo…when your recipe calls for 3 parts paint and 1 part plaster of paris and water, that seems like it would make the paint even tougher to stir. Also, is the “pancake consistency” just the plaster of paris and water or when it is added to the paint? I’m so sorry my post is so long….Any suggestions would be appreciated…it seems like you are very knowledgeable and I want to save my piece I’m painting :( Thank you in advance!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kara – I think what happened, but not sure was that too much Plaster of Paris was added. Different brands/finishes of paint can make it come out thicker or thinner. I made two batches over the summer with Glidden satin latex and I still have them. I just used one to make a Christmas gift. It was still usable – a little thicker than when I made it, but I painted a piece with it and loved the results.

      My suggestion would be to only mix 1T of the POP and water. Add only a little bit of this to the paint at a time. Mix it well and then add a tiny bit more until the POP/water mix is all in. If you see it getting thick, just add a little bit of water and mix. One of my readers told me she makes up her mixtures in empty paint cans with lids that they sell at the paint store. Once in these cans, she can take her mixture to the store to get it shaken on a machine. Very smart.

      1. Thank you for your suggestions. I will sand down my project and try again. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

  240. Oops, forgot to say that the Rustoleum tintable product I mentioned called “Chalkboard” and they tint it for you at Home Depot. But again, in the future I will use the DYI recipe.

  241. You read my mind and answered those questions and more! Thank you so much for your time and efforts. There is absolutely no way I could afford to pay $35 for a quart of ASCP, even if it does “go a long way.” So these alternatives are great. By the way, a couple weeks ago I bought a quart of Rustoleum’s new tintable paint for about $12/qt. prior to knowing about the DYI. 12 colors, I chose a brown/mocha, but haven’t used it yet as my paint area is too brrr cold at the moment. I will use it, of course, but never again after knowing I can use any color of paint I fancy without limitation with the DYI recipe.

  242. Sillyquestion says:

    This may be a silly question. I’ve heard you can make chalk paint using calcium carbonate (which is available in health stores and is also what white chalk is made of). I wonder if it’d be possible to dissolve chalk in water overnight and use it to make chalk paint??

  243. Thank you for these posts on chalk paint! I am a beginner in upcycling/refurbishing and have been reading countless blogs on ‘how to’ without finding out details such as you’ve given me today…I am so grateful. I live in Perth, Western Australia and haven’t yet seen available to me any of the popular ‘chalk paints’ mentioned in any of the blogs I’ve read. There is apparently one made in Australia, but I’ve yet to try it (or even find it near me). My first 3 projects have been with water based latex paint only, none of which turned out as I’d hoped so I’m in the process of figuring out how to ‘fix’ them! So glad I’ve found your blog… thank you, thank you, thank you!

  244. grannyjack says:

    Hi, Only came across your site earlier today, just have to say how fabulous. I, like yourself regularly drag items of discarded furniture left by the wayside or destined for the local council tip into the back of my car (much to the dismay of my family, who think I am barmy). I like the idea of the chalk paint and would like to give it a try on a recent acquisition. What is the ratio of Grout to water? Keep up the good work.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      The amount of water varies. Start with a few tablespoons mixed into the grout. Keep adding more until you have a nice smooth consistency. It can be thick – you just want to make sure to break up the lumps. Then add the mixture to the paint and mix together until it is smooth.

  245. Eileen Perkins says:

    Hi Diane I found you site very interesting I have a varnished bed I want to paint white can I paint it with chalk paint . also can you use solvent based paint to mix with grout thanks regards eileen

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Eileen – I have only used latex paints, but I do not think it would be the same with oil paint. It would be too thick and since you have to add water to the mix – water and oil don’t mix -I think it would turn into a mess. One of the selling features of chalk paint is that it provides a durable finish that requires no priming or sanding and can be cleaned up with soap and water.

  246. Eileen Perkins says:

    Hi Diane I found your site very interesting I have a pine bed I want to paint white can you use solvent based pant with grout or is it only water based paint you can use .regards Eileen

  247. Michael Zink says:

    DIY = Do it Yourself?

    1. Great tutorial!!! It is was I was looking for. I have some furniture to paint but I felt a bit scared about DIY chalk paint. I’ll try with plaster of Paris (which is what I have at home) and I’ll tell you the results.

      A big hug from Mallorca!

  248. Denise Cerro says:

    Great post Diane, and thank you for doing the research! I have used both Annie Sloane & CeCe Caldwell chalk paints…I love them both, and of course the no sanding /priming thing lets you jump right into creativity! I’ve been wanting to try out my own recipe, but afraid it wouldn’t hold up as well…now that you did the experiment I’m off to Home Depot to get the color I want and mix my own!
    Thank you, thank you…I can’t wait to try it!

  249. Thank you for taking the time to do all this for the post. Now that you have done all the hard work, I am looking forward to getting some things done that have been WAITING. Again Thanks.

  250. Cheryl Smith says:

    Thanks so much for all the great information. I mixed up some paint using your plaster recipe. It worked better than the chalkboard paint I bought at the store. Thanks again!

  251. Melissa c says:

    Just painted an end table with DIY chalk paint this afternoon. I planned to distress it a bit and then use a dark glaze to wipe on and off. Do you think I should wax it before or after the glaze? I’ve read that glaze will absorb quickly with chalk paint, so use it sparingly. Maybe that is why I should wax with Johnson’s first. Any thoughts? Your post was super helpful….planning on pinning it! Thanks

    1. Hi Melissa – You should glaze before wax. If you wax first the glaze will have nothing to stick to. Have a clean soft cloth to quickly wipe off the glaze as you apply it to get the depth you want. Once you like how the glaze and distressing looks – apply a light coat of wax.

      1. Melissa c says:

        Thanks so much for the quick reply! I’ve looked all over the web to make sure I do this right!! Will be working on it after the final school bus comes this morning. Have a blessed day :)

  252. Hi! Thank you so much for this! I have some questions… When you say ‘paint’ does it matter if it’s wall paint or craft paint? If using wall paint will the sheen end up the same (flat, gloss, semigloss, or satin) or does the powder change it? And have you ever used an old blender to mix water/grout/powder before mixing in the paint? Again, thank you for your experiment on this! Blessings!

    1. Hi Melissa – I have used all types of paint and have had success with each one. I did notice that when I used craft paint, I did need more water. The sheen of the paint doesn’t matter – it will become flat when mixed with the Plaster of Paris or Non Sanded Grout. I have never used a blender to mix, but it would probably work. Another reader mentioned she buys empty paint cans with lids to mix her paints. She then takes them to the paint store, where they place the can on the shaker for her – for free. The fun thing with the chalk paint – it is so forgiving – too thick -add more water – too thin layer on another coat.

  253. Diane, I notice you use a different wax. I am fixing to do my sons cabinets…will this hold up just as well? I also wondered if anyone has ever mixed reg. paint mixed with the Annie Sloan paint to get a true black color? Thank you

    1. Hi Ann – There are a few different brands of paste wax. I have only used Minwax and Johnsons. I like Johnsons much better. There is also Briwax which I have been told is good also. They all work the same, so it is about preference of brand. I would like to try Annie Sloan Soft Wax to see if there is a difference, but have not had a chance. Marion over at Miss Mustard Seed did a wax comparison you may want to check out. AS far as mixing paints – I do it all the time. Try a little bit and see what happens.

  254. First, I LOVE your blog. Thanks so much for sharing so much great and thorough information. My question is on durability. I’ve done a handful of painting projects (dressers, kitchen cabinets, chairs, etc) and they always seems to chip where there is the most wear (i.e. where the drawers hit the dresser or where the cabinets hit the frame, etc). Is chalk paint more durable or is it the wax that makes the difference? I read (twice!) your post on repainting a dresser and that was helpful. I’m planning to use that method on my most recent buy- a beautiful dresser that I don’t want to mess up! But I also read this one and have heard so much about chalk paint that I thought I’d ask if it would make the piece more durable. I’m not planning on distressing it. I want it to look modern and professional. Any thoughts are welcomed! Thanks!

    1. Hi Tiffany – If you are going to give it a thin coat of wax, then I think you will love how durable it is. Why not try it on a small piece before doing the dresser to make sure you like the finish. Another option would be to use a latex enamel paint. An enamel provides a more durable finish then just a latex. Another thing to remember when painting furniture – let is cure for a few days after you paint it. Using a piece right away before the paint is truly dry is bound to chip when moved or bumped into something.

      1. Diane, Thank you SO much for responding. I appreciate the advice. :)

  255. Thank you so much for the comparisons! I was wondering if there was a vast enough difference to be concerned about. Thank you for the recipes too. I’m so excited to try it all out for myself and see what all the hub-bub us about! :)

  256. What an excellent blog! Thank you so much. I’ve been making my own chalk paint for about a year now using Plaster of Paris. We don’t have ASCP avail. in Australia. I enjoyed reading the comparison outcomes but especially picked up on a few tips to gain a smoother consistency with my DIY method. Well done. Thanks a million.

  257. Did you know that you can buy an empty paint can at HD to mix your paint in then take that can back to HD and have them mix it on there paint mixer, I had them run it twice. It works perfect!

  258. Susan from Michigan says:

    I have been wondering what the difference in grout verses plaster of paris was. Thank you for your experiment. Now I know.

  259. great post Diane! I’ve used all three, and for the $$ I prefer using the Plaster of Paris version.
    Pinned it!

  260. Donna @ My Sweet Things says:

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful, helpful post! I recently bought a quart of Annie Sloan and loved the performance but the cost was a bit high to purchase more colors. I will be giving the DIY version a try!

  261. Thanks for this indepth post. We’ve been looking at some options for making chalkboard paint and want to try a couple of these out. Thanks!

  262. Wow, this is a fabulous tutorial ….. thank you so much I actually am going to try this and cannot wait to see the results!

  263. This is fantastic! Everything I ever wanted to know and MORE! Thanks for the very thorough and interesting experiment.