The number one questions I get on the blog is “How do you make your homemade chalky paint recipe?”. I’ve used the same recipe to make my own chalky paint for years. Here is a short video to show you how I mix my own paint followed by tips on how and why I use it. Please let me know what other questions you have so I can add them to the list. Thanks to DAP for sponsoring this post!
Everything You need to know about making and using your own chalky paint:
- Homemade chalky paint is WAY more affordable than pre-mixed varieties. You can use what you have at home to mix up your own project paint for a fraction of the cost.
- I use Plaster of Paris by DAP in my mix because it’s not only affordable, but it’s easy to find. You can find Plaster of Paris in your local hardware store, craft store or buy it online here. (*affiliate link)
- You can use a variety of colors instead of being tied into a limited color palette. If you have a hard time picking out colors, pre-mixed paints might be the way to go. The commercial lines of chalk paint available, like Annie Sloan, have gorgeous colors. I just don’t always want to use them. Mixing my own paint gives me freedom to use the colors in my home exactly and to make small batch mixes for little projects. I may not want to buy a pint of red paint for a Christmas picture frame, but I can easily mix up a small batch of paint with red acrylic craft paint I have on hand.
- I mix Plaster of Paris with latex and acrylic paints. Craft paint or leftover house paint, whatever I have on hand works for me! I have not had great success with eggshell finish latex. I would stick to flat finish, but you might give it a try! All paints are different so it’s worth testing out by stirring up your own little batch of chalky paint.
- “Oops” paint is a great way to get good paint at a low price. “Oops” paint is what you will see on a little side shelf hiding in your local paint department. When someone mixes a color they end up not buying for whatever reason (usually they don’t like the color) the store puts it on a deep discount. You can even have it re-tinted to the color you want sometimes. Your local hardware store paint person can point you in the right direction, just ask. Then go home and mix up your super cheap homemade chalky paint!
- I use this recipe because it’s so durable. Chalky paints have a small cure time to them…about two weeks and the paint will actually harden and become more scratch resistant. Be careful at first not to leave wet drinks on furniture or heavily scratch surfaces. With three kids, a dog and a cat we put our stuff to the test and this is a winning recipe!
- Little to no prep. Chalky paint really does stick to just about anything, I have painted wood, metal, plastic, glass, brass…tons of stuff, with great results. You do want to make sure you start off with a clean surface and repair any major dents or scratches. It never hurts to dull a shiny surface with sandpaper before application, but it isn’t necessary. Shinier surface will require more than one coat for good coverage and I find they benefit the most from be cautious in the cure time.
- Chalky paint gives you finish options. You can leave the paint as is for a dull, matte finish. My favorite finish is wax, for a slightly different sheen that makes your pieces look professionally done. You might want to try a polyurethane finish for a light gloss to high gloss finish. It’s always nice to have options! In this picture the first candle stick is waxed, the second distressed with NO wax and the third is chalky paint only.
- When applying your paint sand lightly in between coats. It helps give a super smooth, well adhered finish to your project.
- Your brush matters. Use a good brush and your job will look better and be easier. I use Purdy Brushes in a medium stiffness.
- This is a flexible recipe. Most of the time you will want to mix in a 3 part paint to 1 part Plaster of Paris ratio, but be flexible. You don’t need to measure anything exactly, learn to get a feel for your mixture. If the paint gets to thick add some water, if it gets to thin add some more paint or Plaster. You want the texture to be similar to what you started with! Remember the mixture will thicken slightly upon standing, so start a tiny bit thinner than you think you should.
- When not using your paint store it in an air tight container, like a glass jar. I typically only mix what I am going to use. BTW – I always store some household touch up paint in a glass jar where it is easy to store and use quickly verses having to head out to the garage to find the big nasty can of paint. (I have more household painting tips here!)
- In between coats, when you walk away from your paint project for a little while, cover your paint dish (brush included) with a damp rag. This will hold in moisture and keep your paint fresh. You can even store it like this in the fridge overnight if you can’t get back to your project in the same day.
- Chalky paint goes further than you’d think. I often cover a small dresser or desk with about 4 to 5 cups of paint mixture.
- Don’t be scared, paint can be removed!
Here are a few project you can check out to get you started or click on the pictures below to see more about the projects shown. The transformations you can make with this paint recipe are amazing. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Be sure to pin this post for future reference!
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