What Kind of Paint Do You Use to Make Chalk Paint? DIY Recipe for a Cost-Effective Solution

Are you looking to give your furniture a chic, vintage look? One reliable way to achieve this is by using chalk paint. But what kind of paint do you use to make chalk paint? It’s a common question that many DIY enthusiasts ask themselves.

Well, the good news is that making your own chalk paint is simple and straightforward. All you need is regular latex paint and a substance called plaster of Paris. The plaster of Paris helps to give the paint its signature matte, chalky finish. With these two ingredients, you can create your own custom shades of chalk paint in a variety of colors that will transform any piece of furniture into a stunning work of art.

Not only is making your chalk paint an affordable and convenient alternative to store-bought brands, but it also allows you to experiment with different colors and textures. No more scouring the internet for the perfect paint shade – you can create it yourself with just a few simple steps. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to revamp your furniture with this easy and fun DIY project!

Benefits of Using Chalk Paint

Chalk paint has become increasingly popular among DIY enthusiasts and professional painters alike, thanks to its numerous benefits. Here are some of the top benefits of using chalk paint:

  • Easy to Use: One of the main advantages of using chalk paint is its ease of use. Unlike traditional paint, there is no need for priming, sanding, or stripping the surface before painting. Chalk paint can be applied directly on any surface, making it a quick and convenient option for painting furniture, walls, and other surfaces.
  • Wide Range of Colors: Chalk paint is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, from bold and vibrant hues to soft, muted tones. This allows you to create custom colors and effects that suit your personal style and design preferences.
  • Beautiful Matte Finish: Chalk paint offers a unique matte finish that gives furniture and other surfaces a beautiful, vintage look. This finish is perfect for achieving a rustic or shabby chic look, and can also be used to create distressed or aged effects on wood, metal, and other materials.

If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of chalk paint, take a look at this table, which summarizes some of the key advantages of using this versatile paint:

Advantages of Chalk Paint Traditional Paint
Requires no priming, sanding or stripping Requires extensive surface preparation
Creates a beautiful matte finish May have a glossy or shiny finish
Available in a wide range of colors and finishes May have limited color selection

With these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder that chalk paint has become a popular choice for DIY projects, home decor, and furniture painting. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, chalk paint is a great option for achieving a professional and stylish look.

How to Make Chalk Paint at Home

Making your own chalk paint at home is a cost-effective and fun way to give your furniture and décor a new look. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a stunning, chalky finish that will transform any surface into a vintage masterpiece. Here’s how to do it:

Ingredients for Making Chalk Paint

  • Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate
  • Latex Paint
  • Water

Steps to Make Chalk Paint

To make your own chalk paint, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Mix together 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate with 1/3 cup of water until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Step 2: Add 1 cup of latex paint to the mixture and stir until completely combined.
  • Step 3: Add more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
  • Step 4: Use a brush or roller to apply the chalk paint to your surface.
  • Step 5: Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat (if necessary).
  • Step 6: Use sandpaper to distress the surface for a vintage, shabby-chic look (optional).

Tips for Making Chalk Paint

Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect chalk paint:

  • Tip 1: Be sure to mix the plaster of paris or calcium carbonate with water before adding the latex paint. This will prevent clumps from forming in the paint mixture.
  • Tip 2: Use flat or matte finish latex paint for the best results.
  • Tip 3: Apply the paint in thin, even coats to prevent brushstrokes from showing.
  • Tip 4: Experiment with different colors and distressing techniques to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.


Making your own chalk paint at home is easy, affordable, and a great way to give your furniture and décor a new lease on life. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of creativity, you can create beautiful, custom pieces that will have everyone talking.

Ingredient Amount
Plaster of Paris or Calcium Carbonate 1/3 cup
Latex Paint 1 cup
Water 1/3 cup

Remember to always follow safety guidelines when working with plaster of paris, and be sure to store any leftover paint mixture in an airtight container.

Differences between chalk paint and regular paint

Chalk paint has become a popular choice for DIYers and home decorators alike because of its versatility, ease of use, and unique finish. But what makes it different from regular paint? Here are some key differences:

  • Adhesion: Chalk paint is designed to adhere to almost any surface, including glass, metal, wood, and more, without the need for sanding or priming. Regular paint, on the other hand, typically requires a surface to be clean and prepped before it can be applied.
  • Texture: Chalk paint has a thicker consistency than regular paint, which gives it a textured, matte finish. Depending on the application technique, it can also create a distressed, vintage look. Regular paint, by contrast, typically dries to a smooth, glossy finish.
  • Color range: While regular paint can be mixed to create any color under the sun, the palette for chalk paint is more limited. However, many brands offer a range of pre-made, on-trend colors that are perfect for certain styles, like shabby chic or farmhouse.

So, if you’re looking for a versatile, easy-to-use paint that can create unique finishes and adhere to almost any surface, chalk paint may be the way to go. Just keep in mind that it may not be ideal for every project.

Best surfaces to use chalk paint on

One of the best things about chalk paint is that it adheres to almost any surface without the need to prime or sand beforehand. However, there are some surfaces that work particularly well with chalk paint and can give you the best finish possible. Here are the top surfaces to use chalk paint on:

  • Wood: Chalk paint is perfect for wooden surfaces, such as tables, chairs, and cabinets. It has a matte finish that looks natural and can enhance the wood grain. If you want to create a distressed or vintage look, chalk paint can do that too.
  • Metal: Chalk paint adheres well to metal surfaces, making it ideal for updating or refinishing metal furniture, light fixtures, and even picture frames. With its porous finish, chalk paint can give a softer look to metal than high-gloss spray paint.
  • Glass: Chalk paint can be used on glass surfaces to give them a frosted or smoky effect. You can also use it to write on jars or bottles for decoration. However, it is necessary to clean the glass before applying the chalk paint to ensure proper adhesion.

How to use chalk paint on different surfaces

While chalk paint is versatile and can adhere to most surfaces, there are some tips to follow to ensure the best finish. Here are some guidelines to follow when using chalk paint on different surfaces:

Wood: Clean the wood surface before applying the chalk paint. If the wood has a glossy finish or has been previously painted, sand it lightly before painting. When applying the chalk paint, use a brush, roller, or sprayer, and ensure that you apply thin coats.

Metal: Clean the metal surface before applying the paint. If the metal has rust spots, you will need to sand it lightly to get rid of them. Apply the chalk paint using a brush or sprayer, and ensure that you cover all the metal surfaces evenly.

Glass: Clean the glass surface with soap and water, then dry it with a clean cloth. To create a frosted effect, use a fine-grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface, then apply the chalk paint using a spray bottle or brush. For writing, use a chalk marker instead of regular chalk to prevent smudging.

Chalk paint for outdoor surfaces

While chalk paint can be used on outdoor surfaces, it is important to use the right kind of paint. Outdoor surfaces are exposed to harsh elements and need a durable finish. Look for chalk paint that is specifically designed for outdoor use and has a protective finish. This will ensure that the finish lasts longer and can withstand the sun, wind, and rain.

Surface Best Chalk Paints for Outdoor Use
Wood ASCP Outdoor Chalk Paint, Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint, Krylon Chalky Finish Outdoor Spray Paint
Metal Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Outdoor, Krylon Chalky Finish Outdoor Spray Paint
Concrete Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint, Krylon Chalky Finish Outdoor Spray Paint, Behr Chalk Decorative Outdoor Paint

When applying chalk paint to outdoor surfaces, ensure that you clean and dry the surface before painting. Apply thin coats and let them dry completely before applying another coat. Protect the finish with a clear topcoat or sealant to ensure that the chalk paint lasts longer and can withstand outdoor elements.

Techniques for Distressing Chalk Paint

One of the main reasons people use chalk paint is for its unique ability to be distressed, giving furniture and other decor pieces a vintage or shabby chic look. Here are some techniques for achieving the perfect amount of distressing:

  • Sanding: After applying your chalk paint and allowing it to dry, use sandpaper to gently rub away some of the paint on edges and corners to reveal the wood or other surface underneath. This creates a natural distressed look.
  • Dry Brushing: Dip your paintbrush into the chalk paint, wipe most of it off on a paper towel, then lightly drag the brush over the surface you want to distress. This creates a weathered look without removing too much paint.
  • Waxing: Apply a clear or colored wax on top of your chalk paint, allow it to dry, then use sandpaper to gently rub away some of the wax. This will create a subtle distressed look with an added layer of protection for your piece.

It’s important to remember that less is more when it comes to distressing. Start with a small amount of distressing and build up if desired, as it’s easier to add more distressing than to try to remove excess paint or markings.

Technique Best for:
Sanding Creating a natural distressed look on corners and edges
Dry Brushing Creating a weathered, aged effect on flat surfaces
Waxing Adding a subtle distressed look and extra protection

Experiment with different techniques and have fun distressing your chalk paint projects to achieve the perfect vintage or shabby chic look!

Tips for Sealing and Protecting Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a popular choice for DIYers because of its matte, vintage look. However, it is not the most durable paint out there and needs proper sealing and protecting to keep it looking fresh for a longer time. Here are some tips you should follow:

  • Use a Wax Sealer: The most popular sealer for chalk paint is wax. It not only provides a protective layer but also gives a soft, velvety finish to the paint. You can use clear or tinted wax to add depth and character to your piece. Use a wax brush or a lint-free cloth to apply the wax in small, circular motions, and then buff it off with a clean cloth for a smooth finish.
  • Try a Polycrylic Finish: If you want a tougher finish than wax, you can try a polycrylic sealer. It is water-based and has a low odor, making it easy to apply indoors. It dries clear and doesn’t yellow over time like some other sealers. Use a sponge roller or brush to apply a thin layer, and let it dry for a few hours before applying the next coat.
  • Use a Spray Sealer: If you’re working on a smaller project or want a quick and easy sealing solution, you can use a spray sealer. It is easy to apply and dries quickly, but it may not be as durable as a wax or polycrylic sealer. Hold the spray can about 8-10 inches away from the surface and spray in a sweeping motion, making sure to cover the entire piece.

Whichever sealer you choose, make sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. It is also important to wait for the chalk paint to fully dry before sealing, usually overnight or 24 hours, to avoid smudging or damaging the paint.

Here is a comparison table of different types of chalk paint sealers:

Sealer Type Pros Cons
Wax Matte finish, adds depth and character, easy to remove or redo Needs reapplication, can yellow over time, may not be as durable as other sealers
Polycrylic Durable, water-resistant, dries clear, doesn’t yellow over time May be hard to reapply, can have a slight sheen, requires multiple coats for optimal protection
Spray Sealer Quick and easy to apply, dries quickly, doesn’t need brush or sponge May not be as durable, can be more expensive, hard to control the amount of sealer

With these tips, you can preserve the beauty of your chalk paint DIY projects for years to come.

Popular Chalk Paint Color Choices

Using chalk paint allows you to create a shabby-chic or vintage style look in your home. Aside from its versatility and easy-to-use nature, one of the best things about chalk paint is the huge range of colors that are available. Here are some of the most popular chalk paint color choices:

  • Old White: This is a classic chalk paint color that looks great in any room. It has a soft, warm feel and works well with other colors.
  • Paris Grey: This chalk paint color is a lovely light grey that can be used to create either a modern or vintage look.
  • Duck Egg Blue: This is a very popular color that can bring a splash of calming freshness to any piece of furniture.

If you’re hesitant to use a bold color on a large piece of furniture, consider using it on a smaller object like a picture frame or lamp. Chalk paint colors like English Yellow, Emperor’s Silk, and Antibes Green can add a punch of color to a room and work great for smaller projects like these.

Not sure which chalk paint color to choose? Look online for inspiration and find blogs or Instagram accounts that show different furniture pieces painted with various colors. You can also play with different color combinations by painting smaller pieces of wood or paper and testing how they look. Using color wheels or consulting with a color expert can help you make the perfect choice for your needs.

Below is a table of some other popular chalk paint colors that may inspire you to create your next project.

Color Description
Coco A rich, dark brown color that has a rustic, vintage feel.
Emile A mauve color that works well in rooms that require a feminine touch.
Giverny This shade of blue is brighter than duck egg which can add a pop of color to your decors.
Napoleonic Blue This is a bold color that can bring a modern twist to a vintage piece of furniture.

Overall, choosing a chalk paint color comes down to your personal style, vision and creativity. Don’t be afraid to experiment, have some fun, and see where your imagination takes you!

FAQs about what kind of paint do you use to make chalk paint

1. What type of paint is best for making chalk paint?

When making chalk paint, it’s essential to use flat or matte paint. Avoid using glossy finish paints as chalk paint needs a porous surface to adhere to.

2. Can I use any type of acrylic paint to make chalk paint?

Yes, you can use any type of acrylic paint to make chalk paint. However, flat or matte acrylic paint is the best option and the most commonly used.

3. Do I need to mix anything with the paint to make chalk paint?

To make chalk paint, you will need to mix your chosen paint with calcium carbonate, plaster of paris, or baking soda. These additives help the paint dry to a chalky finish.

4. Can I use latex paint to make chalk paint?

Yes, you can use latex paint to make chalk paint. Make sure to use flat or matte latex paint. You can use a paint sprayer, roller, or brush to apply the paint.

5. How do I know if the paint is too thick or too thin?

The consistency of the paint should be similar to that of pancake batter. If the paint is too thick, add a small amount of water, and if it’s too thin, add a little more of the chalky additive.

6. Do I need to prime the piece of furniture before painting it with chalk paint?

No, one advantage of using chalk paint is that it doesn’t require priming before painting. However, it may be necessary to sand or clean the surface beforehand to ensure better adhesion.

7. What can I use to seal my chalk painted furniture?

You can use wax or a clear polyurethane sealer to protect your chalk painted furniture. These sealers will help to protect the finished piece from scratches and stains.


Thank you for taking the time to read about what kind of paint to use to make chalk paint. Using the correct paint and additives is key to achieving the perfect chalky finish. Remember to choose flat or matte paint and mix it with calcium carbonate, plaster of paris, or baking soda. If you have any further questions, feel free to visit our website again. Have fun painting!