If you’ve ever used chalk paint, you already know how fabulous it is. It cuts your workload in half, dries beautifully, and adheres to most surfaces. The downside? It’s quite pricey (average price is $32-$40 per quart) and you’re somewhat limited on color choices. There’s a simple solution though – make it yourself! It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s incredibly inexpensive. Here’s how it’s done:
DIY Chalk Paint Recipe
- 1/3c. Plaster of Paris
- 1/3c. water
- 1c. latex paint
- Clean & empty container
- Mixing stick
- Measuring cup (do NOT use this for food)
1. Combine the plaster and water in your container. Use your mixing stick to stir the two together until it’s nice and smooth.
2. Add your paint and stir until it’s well blended.
That’s it. You’re all set and ready to paint. It really couldn’t be easier. Plus, you’re saving a lot of money by making it yourself. My recommendation is to check out the “Oops” paint options at your local Home Depot and/or Lowes. These are paint colors that were returned for whatever reason (bought too much, wrong color for the persons project, etc), that are extremely cheap. You can get sample sizes as cheap as $0.50 and gallons as cheap as $5!
There a couple things to note when using a chalk paint:
1. Chalk paint (be it store bought or DIY) dries quickly. Make sure to store any unused portion in a container with a tight fitting lid. You can actually purchase empty paint cans from Home Depot or Lowes for $2-$5, to store your leftover DIY chalk paint.
2. Being that chalk paint dries so quickly, you’ll be able to do additional coats without an extensive dry time. Typically, you’ll be able to do a second coat by the time you finish your first coat.
3. When applying chalk paint, you’ll notice that your first coat is streaky (as seen in the pic below). This is normal and nothing to be concerned about. Just make sure you use smooth, even brush strokes. Typically, you’ll need 2-3 coats for full coverage and at that point, it should all blend together nicely.
4. If you’re planning on distressing your masterpiece, chalk paint is the way to go. I’ve tried other methods and this was by far the easiest. It still takes time and effort but not nearly as much as using regular paint. Also, the finish is nicer to the touch.
5. Unless you’re painting a piece of furniture that will have hot items on it (pizza boxes, coffee mugs, etc), you can seal your paint with a wax paste. NEVER use wax on pieces that will come in to contact with hot items as it will melt the wax and ruin your hard work. In those instances, it’s best to use polycrylic or polyurethane.
Here are a couple of photos of my most recent DIY chalk paint recipe in use. This is after 3 coats, some distressing and a clear wax sealant. Notice that there’s no more streaking (like you get after the first coat).