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Chalk Paint Recipe

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Chalk paint is extremely popular for home do it yourself projects for several reasons.. the biggest reason being that it’s nearly effortless and requires little to NO sanding preparation before painting! However, if you buy “premade” chalk paint, it can be very expensive. Here’s a simple recipe to make your own in ANY color you want!
First of all, before you begin, it’s imperative that you know you should only mix as much chalk paint ahead of time that you actually need. The reason for this is that chalk paint does NOT store very well. Generally speaking, if we’re redoing a piece of furniture such as a nightstand or dresser we use about 1 – 1/2 cups of paint. You can adjust the recipe as needed or just mix up more as desired.

You’ll Need:
2 Tbs Dry Plaster of Paris
1 1/2 c. Paint in Any Color
1 – 2 Tbs water
a container to mix it in

In a bowl or other container mix the plaster of paris with the water until it’s completely smooth. You’ll want to ensure there are NO lumps at all, as you wouldn’t want those to appear in your finished piece! Also, be sure to keep your face away from the dust of the Plaster of Paris, you do NOT want to accidentally inhale this.

Then add the paint, stirring constantly to completely incorporate the Plaster of Paris mixture. You can use any latex paint that you want, any brand- if you’re looking for a really inexpensive project check the “accidental” colors in the paint department of Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc. Alternatively, you can purchase paint color “samples” of about 1 to 2 cups of paint per container, which is usually enough to complete an end table, coffee table or nightstand.

Plaster of Paris can be found online at Amazon, in the craft sections of big box stores such as Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc or in the paint department in stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc. It’s relatively inexpensive, about $6-8 per box and it’ll last you through HUNDREDS of homemade chalk painting projects.

If you’re looking for more of a “watercolor” wash style chalk paint the amounts to use are:
1 1/2 c. Paint
1/2 c. Warm water
1/2 c. Plaster of Paris

Dissolve the plaster of paris in the water until smooth, add the paint, stirring well until fully incorporated. This is generally used to give a washed out or distressed look to furniture pieces.

Chalk Paint Ideas: Wondering what kind of things you can paint?

  • Plant Pots- plastic or terra cotta pots- remember you can write on these with chalk afterwards!
  • Furniture- restore old or ugly furniture and give it a face lift, Check craigslist and local freecycle groups for inexpensive or free furniture to refinish
  • Picture & Mirror Frames
  • Serving trays- a great way to personalize them

Feel Free to Share photos of your Chalk Paint projects in the comments below!

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