Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog, Chalk Paint, How To Tips, Painting Furniture | 232 comments

I’ve re-finished several pieces of furniture with the 4 most popular Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a few tips which make a BIG difference in DIY paint application and overall finish.

If your chalk paint recipes are not meeting your expectations, or you’re about to mix your own DIY version for the very first time, here are few easy steps which will provide you with brand name chalk paint results.


Let’s Start with Mixing Tips


1.  When mixing your chalking ingredient with the paint of your choice, you can use eggshell, satin finish, or paint & primer all-in-one.   I’ve tried them all and they all work.  However, I achieved the flattest/chalky-est finish, with a FLAT latex paint.

2.  **Important** The key to mixing a velvety smooth homemade chalk paint is getting your chalking ingredient as lump free as you can BEFORE mixing it into your water or paint. To achieve a lump free medium, you can vigorously mix it with a fork or whisk. You can also sift your ingredient through a sifter as you would flour or icing sugar.  Another great method is to put it in a plastic bag and squish it between your fingers until you feel no lumps.

3.  When measuring and mixing, I used the transparent container below.  Using a clear plastic container makes measuring much easier.




4.  After you’ve removed lumps from your chalking ingredient, start mixing your powder with water or directly into your paint depending on which recipe you’re using. To do this, I used an inexpensive $12 blender.  An old mixer or a drill with a mixing attachment would also work great.  If you don’t have any of the above, use some good ol’ elbow grease….but make sure it’s as smooth as you can get it BEFORE you start painting your furniture.  The smoother you can get it, the better your painted furniture will look.


Painting Tips


1.  Choose your brush or roller carefully. Depending on what type of finish you want, a cheaper brush can give you a dry brush or distressed look, while a good quality brush will give a smoother finish.  Here I’ve used a cheap Dollar Store brush to achieve the distressed “country” look.

2.  Homemade chalk paint adheres exactly as the brand name chalk paints.  No sanding, stripping or priming is required.  Give your furniture a good cleaning and then you’re ready to paint.

3.  The chalking medium you choose does NOT determine the quality of coverage.  The coverage is influenced by the brand of paint you use and how much water you add.





4.  Keep a rag/paper towel close by in case you need to remove any grain or particles while painting.  It’s so much easier to remove while the paint is still wet.

5.  With any of the homemade chalk paint recipes, you can easily add water to thin your paint OR add more chalk ingredient to thicken your paint.

6.  Mix as much paint as is required for your project at hand.  It’s better to mix a fresh batch each time rather than leave the paint sitting for weeks.




Sanding & Finishing Tips


1.  Sanding with a fine grit sandpaper (220 to 400) works just fine.

2.  If you’d like to achieve a distressed look, a coarser sandpaper (120 to 180) is required.  Homemade chalk paint does NOT distress as easily as store bought and will not distress with a damp rag.

3.  Seal and finish your furniture with a wax or poly top coat.  If you’ve painted your furniture a white or a very light colour, wax would be the preferred choice as polyurethane may yellow over time.  I like CeCe Caldwell’s Clear Wax.  It’s very easy to work with and 100% all natural.




Storing Your DIY Chalk Paint & Ingredients Tips


1.   After opening your Plaster of Paris, Un-Sanded Grout, Calcium Carbonate or any other chalk paint medium, tightly secure the bag/container and store it in a cool dry place.  This will ensure it doesn’t attract moisture and keep it in perfect condition for the next time you use it.

2.  If you have any unused chalk paint, storing it in a glass container/jar rather than a plastic container will help keep your paint for future use.  I did find making a new batch each time worked much better though.

3.  When re-opening your chalk paint, hold your container on an angle.  The dried chalk paint on the lid and container rim tends to crumble and fall into the fresh paint.


I hope these tips have been helpful.

If you have any tips & tricks you’ve discovered while painting with DIY chalk paint, please fill me in!  If you have any questions about the Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes I’ve tried, don’t hesitate to ask below and I’ll get right back to you.

Have a fabulous day!