Sewing our Sanity

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homemade Chalk Paint

Dear Monica,

I loved working with the Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint on my china cabinet and had read so much about making your own chalk paint that I thought I would try it on our TV cabinet.  It is a solid piece but getting quite a bit scratched up and starting to show its age. I wanted a new look and buying something new is out of the question right now, so paint it is.

I found a few different recipes here and here. I decided to go with Plaster of Paris, since it seemed to be the easiest to find.  I bought mine at Lowes for about $6.  I didn't have any flat latex paint on hand but I did have some red eggshell latex paint from our dining room.  Most recipes seem to use flat but as long as it is not a semi-gloss or a gloss it should be fine.  

Some recipes suggested mixing the PofP with a bit of water before mixing it with the paint.  I highly recommend this or you will be stirring the PofP and paint FOREVER.  I started conservatively but found that a higher paint to PofP ratio worked.  I used about 2/3 paint to 1/3 PofP.  

The top of the cabinet was pretty scratched up from our center surround sound speaker and someone had left a sweaty glass on it, which left a bubbled surface. 

So, I sanded the top to remove the bubbles.  

Then I started painting and painting.  I found that this paint did not cover as well as the ASCP.  But that could have been because I was trying to cover a black piece of furniture with red paint.  After two coats it looked like this....

so I ended up putting on 4 coats to get the color I wanted.  Then I put on a coat of clear wax, which really darkened the piece up and made it the exact shade I was going for.

All in all, I would use homemade chalk paint again.  It was easy to make, easy to use since I didn't have to sand, and had the same chalky look.  But, I would only use it on a piece that I knew I was not going to keep forever.  I feel the ASCP is far superior and gives a piece an heirloom look.  



Linked at Miss Mustard Seed


  1. Emily - was your piece smooth even without wax? I'm painting a bench with homemade PofP chalk paint (red, like yours!) and from everything I have read about chalk paint I expected the paint to be smooth, like a chalkboard. But it's actually rough. I'm not convinced that wax will make it smooth.

    I also used a roller for part of it - the back of the bench that will be against the wall. I didn't like it - it spread the paint much more evenly and quickly, but a foam brush was far smoother.

    I am glad to know that clear wax darkened your piece. I was thinking of using brown wax on mine because the paint looks so bright. Either would work in the room.

    I think I'm going to try out wet distressing and brown wax on the bench back to see how I like them before I decide what to do with the rest!

    1. No, mine was not totally smooth either. Even though I mixed and mixed the PofP it didn't all dissolve and I could feel some little bumps of it in the paint and even see a few white flecks. I have read that some people sand the homemade chalk paint between layers and before they wax, but I started to do that and red doesn't sand very well. After I put the wax on it was quite a bit smoother, not nearly as smooth as ASCP but still smooth. If I were to do a second coat of wax that would even make it smoother. I considered a dark wax also but after brining it in the room ti is the color I was going for. I can't wait to see your bench and hear about your homemade chalk paint.

  2. Thanks, Em! I took some "before" pics, and will let you know when I have some "afters" also. I decided to do one clear wax coat and see how it is, then add a 2nd of brown if I decide it's not dark enough.