Making Your Own Chalky Paint or MY Best Recipe Yet!

I have been painting and selling furniture for over three years. I have literally tried between 20 to 30 different paints. And I love them ALL..well most of them!

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I, like you, find this hobby/business expensive especially if you are trying to make some profit.

I began experimenting with “making my own Chalky paint,”  years ago. I researched to find the main ingredient of chalk paints to give it that stick to it property was limestone in various forms. So off of the internet I bought calcium carbonate. This worked great when mixed with paint but leaves a bit of a gritty feel which is easily rectified by lightly sanding the paint when dry with a 220 grit sand paper, (or higher.)

Other friends also used “unsanded grout powder”, but I personally tried this and did not like the results.

Many painter friends use plaster of paris with great results.  Plaster of paris has been known since ancient times, and is called this because of it’s preparation from the abundant gypsum found near Paris. As a general warning, take precautions to not breath in the plaster of paris powder while working with the powder.  In general do all your sanding outside and wear masks if needed. Try not to breath in any paints or chemicals, that is “Common Sense 101“. Take the time and precautions to heed this, as all poisons, whether inhaled or eaten (pesticides) are cumulative.

Recently, I was working on a bench redo and had an “oops” can of paint.

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Those are the paint cans in the paint stores or paint sections of store that are marked down. I decided to add both POP(plaster of paris) and some calcium carbonate.

To do this put you plaster of paris in a small bowl, (about 2-4 tablespoons, depending on how thick you like it)

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Now add enough water to make the powder completely dissolved with no lumps.Into a thick “gravy” consistency.

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Add this mixture to your paint and stir it thoroughly. If your mixture is thicker than you want remember you can always add a little water, to any water based paint, to thin it out.

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In this instance I decided to do the same with the calcium Carbonate, (Same process).

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I was amazed at the quality of sturdy paint I got from these two additives.  Firstly, this was an enamel so when you change from matte, to eggshell, to satin, to enamel, you get a progressively harder paint and finish.

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This is important for the longevity of your paint on your piece. When I added this to my Oops paint and painted there was no sheen, as is normal with an enamel. I let it dry overnight and this paint was on good and SOLID!

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Let me say I am a lazy sander so I did very little sanding to this piece, proir to painting In my book THAT is the WHOLE PURPOSE of any chalk paint! Little to no sanding!

It is very important to seal your chalky paint or it will absorb dirt and stains. I love poly lacquers but I have had so many experiences of poly yellowing my white and/or lighter pieces that I just use wax now on my light/white pieces. Any wax will do. They all have a bit different qualities.

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Here is my finished bench I did with my homemade chalky paint.

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Thanks for visiting! God bless you!

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  1. Hi! Thanks so much for this great recipe — I can’t wait to try it! Should I only mix the amount I will need for a current project, or will the leftover chalky paint last for awhile? Also, what type of poly lacquer do you recommend for darker colors? Do you prefer that to wax? Thanks for your time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it saves for a long while! If it gets thick by the time to use it just add a bit of water and stir. I usually do a sample jar like at Lowes or Home Depot or a quart at a time. Any poly works for darker colors…minwax or rustoleum. Depends on the sheen you want on the poly.


  2. I have one more question! Where do you buy your calcium carbonate and what kind do you use? I looked on Amazon and there are a LOT of listings, from very cheap to very expensive. Want to make sure I buy the right kind, but also get the best value 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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