What is Chalk Paint

When I say chalk paint you may be thinking of that black chalkboard paint meant for drawing on. While that is also a very cool product it is not what I'm talking about. The stuff I am talking about is a latex paint with the additive calcium carbonate, also known as chalk. You can buy this stuff from only a couple suppliers, either Annie Sloan or Van Gogh. Now, I am not sure what the particular composition of these paints are but I would suspect it is top secret as this stuff can run quite expensive at about $30-50 per quart depending where you get it.

Why Chalk Paint

You may be wondering why the heck would I use a paint with chalk in it, sounds chunky. The paint is actually very smooth but has a thicker consistency which means it has better coverage. Very little preparation is required as the chalk helps the paint adhere to pretty much any surface and I find that the final finish is very durable. But the real beauty does not lie in the application of the paint but what you can do with it after.

Creating a distressed French country inspired piece of furniture is very easily obtained using chalk paint. You can distress corners and edges with ease, white wash or layer and create texture. Its a very versatile paint as you can also create a very smooth finish by sanding in-between coats. Once you are happy with your project all you need to do is seal the piece with soft wax and buff it with some good ole elbow grease.

Where to Use Chalk Paint

Since chalk paint adheres really well you could probably use this pretty much anywhere. The obvious choice: Chairs, tables, headboards, railings, sofa legs. Unlikely choice: Vases, mirror frames, picture frames, kitchen cabinets. Surprising choice: Walls, wood floors, exterior furniture, ceilings. For high traffic locations I would recommended sealing the piece with a durable clear finish and for untouched pieces like a wall or ceiling I would leave it unfinished with no wax. Un-waxed chalk paint is a very flat finish with no sheen and has quite a bit of texture but I would be cautious doing this as unfinished chalk paint can get dirty very easily and is impossible to clean. 

Homemade Chalk Paint 

Before even trying the paint I fell in love and knew I would like it...but I didn't like what it would do to my wallet. It is just so expensive that I couldn't justify buying it. But like most things I knew there must be a homemade version out there somewhere so I started my search. I found many different recipes all revolving around 4 different ingredients. One recipe was told to use unsanded tile grout but also read it smells bad, hmmm I don't want to smell putrid paint so no thank you. The second recommended baking soda, or baking powder but I cannot remember as I couldn't give up my baking ingredients. A third option was to use actual calcium carbonate but had no clue where to even begin looking for it. I finally came across something that I knew would work for me, was cheap and had great reviews. Plaster Of Paris! I loosely followed the instructions as it recommended trying it out and adjusting if need be and this is what I ended up with. 

Chalk paint ingredients: 

  • 2 parts Latex paint - I used Rona collections in a semi gloss. I don't think It matters what sheen you use as it will be flat once you are done with it
  • 1 part Plaster of Paris dry  
  • Tap water - just enough to get a pancake batter consistency with the plaster

Technique: Mix water with Plaster of Paris until thoroughly combined and then mix into paint. Stir, stir and stir some more. You want your paint as smooth as possible. I found as long as the paint is sealed well it can last for a long time and may only need to be thinned with water.

Tomorrow I will show you a project that I completed using my homemade chalk paint recipe and hope you can have just as much run with this recipe as I did.

Word of the day: Hybrid paint

An oil and water based paint which is more environmental friendly then a traditional oil. The finish is hard and smooth like a oil but cleans up with water and soap.


AuthorCamille Pacori