Design · Frugal · Fun

Make your own chalk paint!

Chalk paint, not to be confused with chalkboard paint. The latter is what you apply on a surface to make it possible to write on with chalk and has the ability to be erased clean. Chalk paint is a grade of paint that is creamier than regular latex paint that can be applied to furniture without the need for prepping your surface. It’s great for achieving a vintage, distressed look but also great for any style you’d like.

I have zero experience with chalk paint, so this is a new thing for me. Needless to say it, I was very excited to try it out.

To buy it retail, chalk paint is expensive. I’m talking like 30 to 40 bucks a pop for just a small quart. It pains me to even type that. That’s A LOT of money and while I’m sure it’s great paint you’re getting for that price (it better be!), I just can’t justify spending that kind of money. I did what I always do in my quest for saving money, googled “How to make your own chalk paint” and I wasn’t surprised to see a bunch of sites show up.

A DIY Lowe’s post was at the top, with a recipe. I used that.

  • 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris
  • 1/3 cup cool water
  • 1 cup latex paint, in color of choice

Mix the first two ingredients until smooth, mix in the latex paint, until smooth.

I used a nice light grey I had left over from painting one of my girl’s rooms.fmfgreychalkpaint

THAT’S IT! And people are paying 30-40 bucks for a quart this? I paid 5.00 for a whole big tub of Plaster of Paris, water from the tap and latex paint I had on hand from other home improvement adventures. All I can do is shake my head at the people who buy things they could so easily make at home, even if they aren’t typical DIY’ers.

The Lowe’s recipe says this would paint one coat on a six drawer dresser. My table is about that size, but I doubled it anyway, just in case. It also says that the paint shouldn’t be stored and reused but I’ve kept it now for over a week, in the pickle jar I mixed it in and while it needs shaking, still seems to be in good form.

Speaking of pickle jar. Mix this recipe on an old jar with a secure, airtight lid. Forgot to mention that.

Now, my creative curiosity got the best of me and I tried making chalk paint with acrylic craft paint…and it worked. I wanted a couple other colors to use in my project and while I have a few different latex paints, I was left needing one more color, green. It was an experiment, so I didn’t jot down measurements but because I didn’t need a lot of green (tfmfmultipaintchalkpainthough I ended up making a pretty massive amount, considering I only needed to paint one drawer front). I used Tablespoon instead of the Cup measurements…mixing PoP (Plaster of Paris) and water until I got a consistency that was close the jar of paint I’d made. Added in 2 oz. of green craft paint but I needed it to be a different color green, so I added some yellow and black to make my standard green color into a more olivey green color. So, due to that, I ended up having to go back and mix in more PoP and water but it worked out. I mixed until it was the right color and consistency. I made way too much, but that’s what happens sometimes when you’re a DIY’er. Live and Learn!

Here’s a great tip, too. While painting, when  you need to take a break. Put your paint brush into a zip lock baggy and seal it the best you can, around the handle that is sticking out. It will keep your brush wet until you resume painting.




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