Furniture painting always seemed daunting to me– there’s the prep, the sanding, the filling, the painting, the repainting, the coating– YIKES! Too time consuming for me, thanks. That’s before I discovered the wonders of chalk-like paint, the same one that sells retail for lots o’ money but can be made at home for pennies on the dollar. This type of furniture paint requires NO furniture prep, hides a multitude of painting sins, and can be customized to whatever paint color your little heart desires. And the recipe requires only three ingredients, two of which I can almost guarantee you already have on hand. 😉 With your homemade chalk-like paint you can makeover that old thrift store dresser, oddly colored chair, or bachelor nightstand you always hated– they sky is the limit!
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, there is a name brand paint with ‘chalk’ in the title. It’s a great paint, there’s entire devoted fan groups of this brand! However, it’s cost-prohibitive for many people, hard to get, and doesn’t come in the shades I need. So that’s when the DIYer in me comes out and I mix up my own. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 Part Plaster of Paris
- 3 Parts Latex Paint
Think you can handle that? Of course you can! Here’s the directions for mixing it up!
1. First, remove lumps from the Plaster of Paris. You can use a sifter or break them up with a chopstick or utensil. Add one part of Plaster of Paris to a container (I like to use a clear container to make measuring/mixing easier).
2. Add water to the Plaster of Paris and stir until smooth. I usually add a little at a time until I find a nice, smooth consistency. Stir it realllllly well, a wisk or even a mixer can be used if you like. I usually use a paint stirrer and mix A LOT.
3. Now, add 3 parts paint to your 1 part of Plaster of Paris. Stir until completely mixed together. If the mixture feels too thick add water, or if it’s too thin add more Plaster of Paris.
To help explain, we whipped up a quick video to show you the process.
How to Make Homemade Chalk Paint
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of out-of-the-can latex and my mixture; if you use the correct ratio, your paint color won’t change. I wanted a lighter shade a gray for this particular project so I did about 1:2 of PofP to paint. Made it a little grainer but it still worked well:
4. Now go ahead and paint! No prep work is needed, aside from cleaning the surface first.
5. If you want a distressed look, use sandpaper to take off paint around edges and corners once dry. I usually skip this step as I like consistent coverage. Distressing happens naturally in my home, HA! We used a cheap-o brush and a grittier ratio of the paint so you can see the brush strokes here. And plus it was painted by a 6-year-old. 😉 For a smoother finish, use a roller or high-quality brush and also more paint to the Plaster of Paris ratio.
6. The final step, if you wish, is a clear furniture wax. Or you can use a dark wax for a dramatic finish. Minwax Paste Finishing Wax works well. I’ve also heard good things about the CeeCee Caldwell brand but it’s pricey. Apply with a wax brush, or if you’re thrifty like me, an old sock that you don’t want any more works really well (you can get in all the cracks this way).
Do you want to see what a miracle worker this paint is? CHECK IT. Here’s my hideous thrift store hutch BEFORE the makeover (oh the horror!!!):
Wondering what the finished result looks like? Here’s the hutch in my old house FIVE years ago! It’s held up beautifully, I need to snap a new photo so you can see it currently. But rest assured– it’s looking great for having been through two moves and a year in storage!
I also used it here on the faux fur ottoman we recovered for my daughter’s room. This recipe makes thrift store makeovers a cinch!
Do you have a favorite chalk-like paint recipe? I’d love to hear your methods and tips!