DIY Chalk Paint

May 22, 2014 by Jenny Melrose

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When you search around Pinterest, you will discover that a number of the projects that involve painting furniture use chalk paint.  There are many brands of chalk paint that are available for purchase but they can be a bit pricey.  So, when supplies are costly, why not try to make your own?  A lot of chalk paint recipes call for unsanded grout, plaster of paris, or calcium carbonate. Now, to pick up one of these ingredients along with a quart of latex paint isn’t a problem if you are doing a piece of furniture.  But what if you are new to using chalk paint or your crafting a smaller project?

DIY Chalk Paint Tutorial

DIY Chalk Paint


I’m going to show you how to make your own chalk paint with ingredients you can find at home and/or home improvement stores with very little cost.  Here’s the recipe:

Baking Soda Chalk Paint Recipe

  • 1 cup latex paint
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp water
Chalk Paint Ingredients

Now to make things super easy and inexpensive, stop by Home Depot and look at their paint sample mistints.  These are great for 2 reasons (if you find a color you like).  First, their mistints for this size are only $0.50!  Second, they come in a volume of approximately 1 cup so no need to measure the 1 cup of paint.  Don’t you love it?

Next, you need to have a piece that you’d like to give a face lift with chalk paint.  I picked up this clock at Goodwill for just $3.00.

select an item to paint

You need to prep your piece for painting.   For my clock, I removed the clock mechanism.  To help make distressing on the edges easier, I ran an old candle along the sides of my clock.

Wax before Chalk Paint Application

Now that your piece is prepped, you need to prepare your “chalk paint”.  In an old yogurt container, add the water and baking soda.  Mix until it becomes a paste.  Pour in either 1 cup of latex paint or the entire contents of a paint sample jar.  Mix thoroughly.

Chalk Paint Recipe

Now paint your piece. Since I am focusing this post on crafters, I painted mine using a foam brush…the kind that often go on sale at Michael’s 20/$1.00.  It took me 3 coats of paint to thoroughly cover my piece.

Chalk Paint Coats Needed

Once your piece has dried completely, it will feel gritty. So, lightly sand & distress as much as you’d like.  Your piece will feel silky smooth after you have finished sanding.

Lightly Sand Chalk Paint

Now, “chalk paint” needs to be sealed.  Usually, you will hear about people applying wax to their pieces.  You can pick up some wax but you can also seal your piece with polyurethane.  I had this Polycrylic in my crafting cabinet so this is what I used.  (Note:  using wax allows you to have a very matte finish or you can buff it to make it shinier while polyurethane gives your piece a more durable finish).

Seal Chalk Paint

Once again, I used the same foam brushes when applying the Polycrylic.  (Note, never shake polyurethane to mix it!  This will create bubbles.   Also, using a foam brush can also create bubbles in your finish so be careful.)

So, here’s my finished piece!  Not only do I like it but my husband and youngest bot said it looked “pretty good!”

How to Make Chalk Paint ItemsI think this piece will definitely give a nice punch of color in whatever room it’s place in, don’t you think?\

Chalk Paint Clock

I had plenty of paint leftover for another project.  If you have extras, just place the lid on your yogurt container….and don’t forget to label it “chalk paint” with the date!
Have fun crafting with your own DIY chalk paint!  I think you’ll have a blast!   Oh, and since I used mistint paint, my chalk paint didn’t even cost $1.00!
Now, it is spring cleaning time so you may feel as though you have to put your “crafting” on hold while you clean and organize your home.  This isn’t the case, though.  If you like upcycling items from Goodwill, see how I made this Business Card Holder from a frame, a fat quarter and NO sewing required!
I also upcycled some old coconut oil jars into these Anthro Inspired Chalk Board Storage Jars.
And finally, I purchased a photo box from Michael’s (when they were on sale 6/$10) and turned it into a spice file storage box (with free spice printable cards)!
So whether you are crafting, organizing, or DIYing, have fun!  You are only limited by your own imagination!
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Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse. Click on the picture or link for the full tutorial.


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