Homemade Chalk Paint

4 years ago by in DIY, furniture, Home Decor, home improvment

Chalk paint is all the rage yo.

Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, of course.

If you don’t know what chalk paint is, go HERE to learn all about it.

Which you really should do anyway ’cause it’s good to educate yourself in the art and aesthetics of uber cheap ways to improve your 1980’s hand me down furniture.

Know what I’m sayin’?

I have been itching to paint some chairs with chalk paint, but how do you justify $50 for paint when the chairs were just a few bucks?


So I decided to make my own chalk paint. After doing some serious searching and studying on the internet (while simultaneously watching New Girl on Hulu) I came up with this tried and true recipe:

1 cup Plaster of Paris

3 Cups of latex paint (preferably flat finish)


Easy peasy right?

And here’s how to make it:

Put 1 cup plaster in a mixing container and add just enough water so it’s the consistency of peanut butter. Stir and stir and stir until all the lumps are gone. Then add your paint and mix thoroughly.

This is for painting several pieces of furniture, so if you are just painting a chair or two cut it in half, or even a fourth.

I tried it out on my wood chair in my living room and guess what…

It worked beautifully!

I previously painted a friends coffee table with some Anne Sloan chalk paint, and I really felt like the consistency, finish, and texture were very similar.

Here’s the before photo:

And here is the after:

And a few up close shots so you can see the texture and light sanding:

Chalk paint almost has a sandy like texture, so it distresses beautifully.

My only tip would be to paint quickly.  The paint did thicken a bit after it sat awhile but of course that’s what plaster is supposed to do.  I wonder if it could be stored for a long period of time after mixing? Probably not, but I don’t know.

In case you’re wondering, Plaster of Paris costs about $6 for a huge 4 lb container at Home Depot. I spent $3 on a paint sample, so it was a really cheap project, and I have tons of plaster left over to try it again.

Let me know if you give it a try or have mixed your own super cool paint before!

13 Responses to “Homemade Chalk Paint”

June 4, 2012 Reply

Hi there, my friend Sarah Samuelson directed me to your blog. I’m trying to paint my TV set with turquoise color. but I don’t want to buy $20 primer. If I mix it with plaster, would it make the color lighter?

Natalie Wright
June 4, 2012 Reply

The plaster does not change the color of the paint. It will remain the same shade. It does however slightly thicken the paint just so you know!

June 6, 2012 Reply

Hi Natalie,I just found your blog today and I adore it. This recipe sounds similer to the one I use except I use unsanded tile grout. I use the paint with the primer built in but I have painted a black peice to a pastel color with no problem.so to Aza,Id suggest buying turquoise paint with the primer built in,then use Natalie’s recipe. Oh and im not sure about your recipe but mine def doesn’t store well. Ps. have you found a recipe for homemade wax for the top yet? Ive looked everywhere. Nice “meeting” you. =) Angie

June 13, 2012 Reply

Hey there! I love your site! Have you ever used this recipe to paint walls? And ‘ditto’ on the wax query ~

June 16, 2012 Reply

I used this recipe recently, and I liked it as well or better than ASCP, at least the way I mixed it. I prefer it thinner. It does separate after use, but who cares. I’m not going to paint everything turquoise! I still use her wax, tho, but I haven’t tried any others yet.

Jamie B.
August 7, 2012 Reply

This recipe ROCKS! Thank you for sharing. I just painted one of those God-awful cherry, lacquered, Queen Anne-style cocktail tables & it turned out beautifully!
Jamie B. recently posted..House.My Profile

[…] a chalk paint recipe & I found one! I saw (on Pinterest, where else?) this recipe from Natalme, http://www.natalme.com/homemade-chalk-paint/ – this is the recipe I followed except I halved the ingredients because I was only trying […]

September 17, 2012 Reply

If you read the label, Plaster of Paris is not exactly healthy – ie contains carcinogens. There is a healthier powder made up of several ingredients that you can find on the web – Google “Chalk Paint Powder”. You add it to your paint (preferably a healthy paint), just like your recipe. The cost isn’t much more than making your own. No matter which way people decide to go in the chalk paint world, I wish they would look for the healthiest choices. Plaster of Paris? No. Unsanded grout? No.

September 22, 2012 Reply

We mixed up your recipe for chalk paint and used it on several pieces of furniture in our shop. We have tried ASCP and this homemade version covered even better! This is saving us a lot time and money and of course the colors you can make are endless! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!!

Just pinned and shared your link on my facebook page…thanks again!

February 4, 2013 Reply

Does this also have the same adhesion qualities of ASCP (no sanding or prepping)? Or is it just similar in terms of the texture and distressing?

Natalie Wright
February 4, 2013 Reply

Hey Stacey! I have used ASCP before and it does adhere just as well. The texture is similar, but I have heard that ASCP distresses a little easier. It’s totally a personal preference- and it comes down to saving money too!

August 2, 2015 Reply

Do you have to put anything over the top? My Aunt and I are looking into painting her dining table, three chairs and wrap around bench and your recipe for the paint is the best one I have found yet! We have A LOT of painting to do with it so I just want to make sure we know what we’re getting ourselves into! If there is a certain top coat we will need please let me know! Thanks!

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