Give Chalk Paint a Whirl

I don’t shy away from much.  If I don’t know how to do something, given enough time and a bit of research I’ll figure it out.  Well, I’ve done the research and hands down it looks like chalk paint’s the way to go if you’re considering refinishing a piece of furniture! First off, let me say “chalkboard” paint and chalk paint are two entirely different things. While they are very similar, chalkboard paint is simply that, a paint that’s used to create a chalkboard.  Chalk paint, however, is latex paint with an additive that once dry has a flat chalky appearance, that is, until it’s waxed.  Why use chalk paint?  Because 9 times out of 10 you don’t have to strip or sand, unless you’re working with a high gloss piece. It dries fast and is easy to distress.  Once the wax finish is on it’s a very durable!  It can be used on laminate, glass, floors, and if watered down a bit it can even be used to paint fabric. Pretty impressive huh?!


Our handsome son. Ok, I may be a bit biased! 😉

So, all that said, I decided it might be best to test this paint on a trial piece before I do what I’d really like, try this on my treasured studio armoire.  My mom found this little table at a garage sale and our son’s in need of a dining table for his apartment. IMG_4031

So voila, perfect test project! (Matt seemed happy to help 😉 Because the table top’s surface was a bit dinged up and worn we did sand it, hoping to give it a nice smooth finish once complete.

There are many different recipes for chalk paint on-line. I found the following recipe at  Denise actually has four recipes listed and this is one I wanted to give a whirl.  In the future, as I try the others, I’ll let you know how they work as well!

DSC_0324My recipe for this piece:

2 parts flat latex

1 C. plaster of paris+ just enough water that, when mixed, it’s the consistency of pancake batter.

First, if you can, SIFT the plaster of paris.  You want to get any lumps and clumps out of the plaster before using it.  Then using an inexpensive hand held mixer, add in a little water at a time mixing until you get that aforementioned pancake batter consistency. Add smooth batter to your color latex paint. Mix until all the plaster batter is well blended into paint.  It’s possible there may be tiny clumps of plaster in your finished piece.

I used a small smooth surface foam roller to apply the paint to this table top then used a inexpensive brush to smooth out any bubbles the roller left behind.  As you’re painting you’ll want to work with thin layers, load your brush with paint and just touch the tips of the brush into water before application, this helps keep brush strokes smooth.


I was able to get this look with two layers of paint.  Nothing like waiting for paint to dry…


You don’t necessary have to do this but as this was a table top and I wanted a nice smooth finish I did go over the table and legs with a bit of steel wool to knock off any stray texture.  I then wiped that off with a damp rag and let dry for a few hours.  Next wax. DSC_0328 Brush it on and work it into the surface much like you would put lotion on your hands.  Rub it in well.  Then with a cloth wipe it off. You want to give it a chance to soak in then wipe it off so that it’s not tacky. I let the piece dry over night and buffed with the next day.


See where I’ve already buffed the wax? Hint the upper right hand side hasn’t been buffed yet!

A little patience, timing, and a bit of elbow grease is the trick and you should be tickled with your final piece!  I think I’m gonna like this stuff!!  What surface to do next?  Hum…

Remember, most surfaces require no sanding or prep work.  Give it a whirl, you’re gonna love it!

4 Comments on “Give Chalk Paint a Whirl

  1. I didn’t know you could make your own chalk paint. I have only seen it ready-made and quite pricey if you were doing a big project. Might have to try this some time!!!


    • You should Denise! As you can see, not hard at all! I don’t know about you but, I don’t always need a full gallon so, it’s nice to know you can mix exactly what you want. If you do give it a try, let me know how it turns out!


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