BEST Homemade Furniture Chalk Paint Recipe (with VIDEO!)

| |

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here.

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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. πŸ˜‰ 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
  • Water

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.

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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:

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

4.  Now go ahead and paint! No prep work is needed, aside from cleaning the surface first.

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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. πŸ˜‰ For a smoother finish, use a roller or high-quality brush and also more paint to the Plaster of Paris ratio.

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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!!!):

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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!

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

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!

We used a cheap-o brush so you can see the brush strokes here. For a smoother finish, use a roller or high-quality brush.

Do you have a favorite chalk-like paint recipe? I’d love to hear your methods and tips!

If you've been searching for a great chalk paint recipe, LOOK NO FURTHER! This 3-ingredient recipe works wonders as a no-prep furniture paint so you can make old furniture look amazing again-- in YOUR style and favorite colors!

Share This Post With Friends!
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Similar Posts

64 Comments

  1. Thank you for this info!!! Have a hideous but wonderfully large old cupboard I wanted to use as a pantry in my kitchen but figured I’d need a second mortgage to do it in chalk paint. And most tutorials seemed to overcomplicate the process – this is great and feels do-able!! Now the time to do it is another story…

    1. Time was my challenge too! I had my husband take the kids out for 3 hours one day and got most of it done, then the second layer the next day while they were asleep. It was SO worth it!! Good luck!

      1. Thank you for this. I have a wooden patio bench that needs painting. Can chalk be used for outside furniture and if so, should something be applied over chalk paint for protection? Thanks!

  2. Beautiful transformation of the hutch, Carrie! I’m going to try your recipe. I’ve seen several before, but the mixing of the Plaster of Paris with water first is new to me. Makes great sense. Thanks!

  3. I use BB Frosch Chalk paint powder and mix it into my paint. its $10 to buy enough powder to mix into a gallon of paint. I use sample size paints from Lowes and mix in 2 tablespoons of the chalk paint powder which costs about $2.50. I love it because its all mineral based so there is no grit to it at all like with the plaster of paris, and the ratio is already done for me so I don’t have to figure that out. I just recently discovered it and its fantastic. Its such a cheaper solution then the expensive brands and I don’t have to make it. Lol! Plus I can us it inside and not worry about chemicals and all the extras with plaster of paris (which I have totally used before). I love your transformation. Its fantastic. Im working on my hutch make over post. I painted the back part a different color too. So much fun!!!

    1. I think your math is a little ‘off’, Aurie.
      BB Frosch’s website states that $10 (4oz) powder is enough to transform a quart of paint into chalk paint.
      The 16oz powder, which costs $32 is what you need to transform a gallon into chalk paint.

      While this powder is less expensive than pre-mixed brand names, it’s nowhere near the bargain of mixing your own at home. Personally, I’ve found that calcium carbonate is the best for homemade chalk paint and it’s not gritty or full of chemicals. It mixes beautifully and is much more durable than the pre-mixed chalk paint I’ve used.

      1. + Jaytee. I absolutely agree with you. Calcium Carbonate is the best mix for CP. Not so easy to find (always the online chance) but it’s cheap and makes a great Chalk Paint.
        + Carrie: Gorgeous hutch! I just love it!!!!!!

        1. Just remember. If you want to use the acrylic craft paints instead of latex, you HAVE to use calcium carbonate instead of pop. Correct me if I’m wrong, please!

      2. Where does one buy calcium Carbonite and how much do I add to a gallon of paint?

        1. You can actually use Plaster of Paris and get it a the hardware store! If you follow the ratio in the post it will work well. So about a third of a gallon of the PofP and a gallon of paint.
          πŸ™‚

          1. You can also get Plaster of Paris at Walmart. That’s where I got mine and I use the same CP recipe as Carrie, it’s works great. Love your hutch.

        2. 4tbl sp calcium carbonate
          2tblsp water
          1 cup latex paint
          This paint will last longer than the paint made with plaster of Paris which I find goes hard very quickly. Personally I prefer the C.C.

    2. I want to paint a large dining room table. Should I apply a clear poly over the chalk paint on the top? How much paint would I need @ 1/2 a gallon? I’ve been looking for the chalk powder you mentioned, but am unable to locate it. Help?

      1. I heard you could add Baking Soda,Well I did and it was great a sample of paint from ACE HARDWARE and two table spoons of BS and a half cup of water ,I’m so happy the way it turned out .The color was red ! Thanks

    3. Can you use this in a power sprayer? Just curious if the grittiness gunks up the sprayer?

  4. I absolutely love your hutch. We just bought a new home and as soon as we get moved in I’m going to make over my mom’s hutch. It’s actually quite pretty but it’s dark and probably stuck in the 70’s so maybe time for an update and fresh start in the new home, so this has really inspired me. I love your color choices too. So fresh and clean looking. As is, it’s black on the inside and a dark brown (not sure what kind of wood, or even if it’s real wood, lol. ) So again, thanks for the inspiration, wish me luck ( =

    1. Good luck!!! It will look great! The whole thing took me about 6 hours with some drying time. A little bit of effort with HUGE payoff. Can’t wait to see your finished project!

  5. I love your hutch! I recently did a dining room table and now I’m hooked on chalk paint.

    1. Thank you, Jessica! Question: did you do a wax layer on top of your table? I’m trying to decide on a tabletop myself and I’m not sure what to use to finish it. Thanks!

  6. How does this hold up in high traffic area’s like living room furniture? I am converting an old dresser into a media console for the living room, and I really want to paint it, but am worried that it might chip. Thoughts??

    Also, have you tried it with metallic paints? I was really hoping to do it in a gold color.

  7. Hi Carrie!

    Thank you for all the good info! You do amazing work. I do have one quick question for you. I have just started experimenting with refinishing old wood furniture using chalk paint. I just mixed up a teal paint using a similar recipe. When it came time to sand the edges to make it look distressed some of the paint peeled off rather than sticking to the wood. Have you had any experience with this? Any possible suggestions?

    thank you so much for your time!!

    -Kheli

    1. Hi Kheli!

      I haven’t seen that happen with this particular recipe, it seems to sand well enough for me. Maybe increase the plaster of paris to make it grittier and not as paint-like? Sorry, hope you find a solution!

  8. Thanks for these instructions. Thinking about painting an old laminate desk that I use as a sewing table. How long did you allow to dry/ cure before putting to regular use? I had read in a tutorial for the name brand stuff that it needs to cure for 30 days – yikes! I don’t want to wait that long to sit my machine back on my desk, but I also don’t want it stuck together. Thank you.

  9. Carrie can you let me know if you can write over this painting as in a chalk board?

    1. I don’t think so. For that you’ll need to buy chalkboard paint, which I’ve used and totally love! Hope that helps!

  10. Thank you Carrie for the wonderful recipe for the chalk paint, it is amazing the transformation of the hutch it really was unattractive until you used your magic paint.Take Care,kind regards Stacey

  11. i bought enamel paint with primer by mistake can I U.S. It or does it have to be latex?

  12. Does this paint have to be used right away or can it be stored and used at a later date? Thank you for the information. I went to Walmart to buy some clearance paint and plaster of paris tonight……can’t wait to try it!

    1. I typically try to use it on the first day because it starts to harden when stored. That being said, I’ve never stored it super air-tight so that *might* work. Otherwise, plan to mix up a new, fresh batch each time you want to use it.

  13. Your hutch is beautiful! I have a question for you. I made some chalk paint with P of P and it kept getting thicker and thicker on me. By the time I was done it was like wet sand. And I was doing a small table and working fast! Any suggestions? And I found this site after I had done my painting. My recipe was 1 1/2 tablespoon water, 2 1/2 tablespoons P of P and 1 cup paint.

    1. Hmmm… not sure! Sounds like it was starting to harden for some reason, I haven’t had that problem unless I’ve been using it for hours. Were you in a hot climate at the time? The room temp may have impacted it.

    2. To the question about the paint getting really thick….did you use regular paint or paint with primer in it? The paint with primer gets very thick and I don’t recommend using it when making chalk paint. Stick to the regular paint.

        1. Hi Carrie – thank you SO much for all the info you are noting down here. Just one question that always bothers me – is there any difference between a Latex paint and PVA [waterbased] paint, or is it one and the same thing? Here in the RSA, the paint that you usually use for walls, ceilings, doors etc is called “PVA” in the everyday life, but I always wonder if it can also be used for making my own chalk paint, as all the recipes on the internet usually mention “Latex” paint.
          Thank you for replying to this question of mine – I do not know whether I will see your answer to my question, so if you think it would be better to e-mail it to me, my address is as follows : isobel@conchemsaligna.co.za Comments from anybody else will also be VERY helpful in this regard. I can also mention that I use the abovementioned PVA paint for most mixes of chalk paint.
          Thanks again, Isobel.

    3. Make sure your paint does NOT have primer when using plaster of Paris. It will cause it to get hard like that.

    1. I’m not sure it matters, I usually just use what I have on hand. πŸ™‚ That being said, you may wish to use flat and then add sheen with your top coat.

  14. Thank you for the recipe for chalk paint. I have seen info for others and how to use them, but yours I will use! I am ready to get going on the rest of my projects! Thank you so much.

  15. Do you need to sand or prep the surface at all? I have an old dresser that is wooden, but looks like there is a varnish on it (it’s shiny).

  16. I have a similar formula. I pick up those small latex paint samplers from Home Depot. They can match just about any colour under the rainbow for under $5.00. I rub out any roughness with burlap and apply a coat of carnuba wax for a nice sheen.

  17. This may be a really stupid question…
    Doesn’t the plaster of Paris set up? how much open time do you get? it appears to have an abrasive texture to it, no?
    Dumb guy

    1. It doesn’t start to set for a few hours, and if you cover it REALLY well it won’t set up even overnight. It’s a little abrasive, hence the ‘chalk like’ texture. πŸ˜‰ That’s what makes it really stick and be super forgiving without having to spend hours prepping the surface first.

    1. I’m so sorry, I don’t remember the exact color and I don’t have the can anymore. I do know it was Sherwin Williams. So sorry!

  18. Hi. I live in Australia and we have a lot of problems getting some of your products. The pop is a good alternative but I have found calcium carbonate reaaly good to make my chalk like paint. I just make a paste with 2 tablespoons of cc and add it to 1 cup of paint. Simple! I also find that it keeps quite well. Bonus ?. I save as many plastic screw top jars as I can and store my paints in them they work really well for keeping the leftover paint in.

  19. i will give chalk paint a try, you make it look so easy!
    thanks for the recipe.
    hugs from Argentina.

  20. When the paint dried I had tiny bumps. I could not get the plaster of paris to completely smooth out. It looks like a little sand got mixed in my paint. Has that happened to anyone?

    1. I had the same sandy texture when I used the POP. It’s really frustrating like paint has a hand ful of sand in it. I’m I missing something or is the paint suppose to be gritty.

  21. If you use paint with primer, it sets up fast. I had to keep adding water. But it does work.

  22. Thank you Carrie- I loved you hutch and used your recipe for #2 P of P chalk paint on a bookshelf I was going to throw away! It turned out beautiful! Can’t wait to start my next project!

  23. Beautiful Job on the hutch. I have an old hutch that I’m going to try your recipe. I already have the gray paint and I was going to add a little bit of blue paint to it to paint the inside, because the Behr paint is “Classic Gray” with blue undertones. Looks like we like the same color combos.

  24. Found you via Pinterest!

    Nice job! I use this recipe, too, with great success.
    I have one addition, which has proved to help with scratches and unintended chips: I give my mixture a good, healthy squeeze of white glue. I find the durability to be stronger. No ratio to offer. If you picture 1/2 a bottle of glue, squeeze it until it makes the Pfffft noise and that’s it. Thought you might experiment with that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.