Learn how to make chalk paint with the best & easiest recipe used & loved by thousands. It’s the only DIY chalk paint recipe you’ll ever need.
What is so special about chalk paint?
There are a million posts out there about chalk paint. Some love it, and some see no point paying extra money when there is good old latex paint. Having tried almost all the different brands of chalk paint and latex paint, I understand why chalk paint lovers swear by it. But I ended up loving my own chalk paint more than any “brand-name” chalk paint.
Here’s why this is the best homemade chalk paint recipe out there and why you should learn how to make chalk paint for yourself:
- It’s almost as cheap as latex paint.
- Adhesion is the best you’ll see.
- It is more durable than most store-bought brands.
- You can make it in any color you like.
- You control the consistency of the paint.
- It can be easily modified for paint sprayers.
- You can make a big batch or a small batch – whatever you need!
What Makes This Chalk Paint Recipe Different?
Before coming up with my own recipe, I searched and tried all the popular DIY chalk paint recipes out there. I found the unsanded grout recipe to be the worst of the bunch, while the plaster of Paris recipe performed a little better. Although I was satisfied with the one that used Calcium Carbonate, I took my recipe one step further and added an extra ingredient to make it even better. Once that extra bit of magic was in the mixture, I came to see that this DIY chalk paint recipe was the best of the bunch!
As an engineer in the construction industry, I’ve always had a natural curiosity about construction materials in terms of what they do, how they work, what additives can be mixed together and so on. I knew talc was used in many areas of construction, including in paints. Talc not only improves the adhesion of paint, but it also works as a matting and anti-cracking agent.
With this in mind, I added talc to my DIY chalk paint recipe, and the results I got just blew me away!
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For more info on what talc is and where it is used, please visit Industrial Minerals Association North America.
How do I make homemade Chalk Paint?
I don’t premix anything like many others do. Instead, I use an old cheap blender to mix my chalk paint. First, I pour the latex paint into the mixing cup.
Then I add 4 tablespoons of calcium carbonate. If you don’t know which calcium carbonate to use or where to get it from, you’ll find all that information at the bottom of this post.
Next, I add one tablespoon of talc. I use pure talc with no scent and no additives.
Then I add a little a bit of the water. As I mentioned above, use as much water as you need to achieve your desired thickness. If you will be using a blender like I do, I would suggest that you start with no water at first. Once you’ve mixed it for 2-3 minutes, take a look at your chalk paint and see if the consistency is what you’re looking for. If you want it more fluid, then add 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time and carry on like this until you reach your desired consistency.
Once all these ingredients are in the mixing cup, I blend it for 3 minutes. But if you’re going to hand-mix the paint, then I would suggest that you mix the calcium carbonate and the talc first. Then add a bit of water into that mix and stir really good, so you don’t end up having lumps. Then add the latex paint and keep stirring until you feel all are mixed well.
Additional Information About My Chalk Paint Recipe
I know many bloggers suggest flat finish paint in their recipes, but I like eggshell finish. Since I use talc in my DIY chalk paint recipe, I don’t need to start with flat paint, as the talc will matte down the small amount of gloss in eggshell.
I bought and used all 3 products below thinking they might be different since their prices were different. But truth be told, they all provided the same result and basically worked exactly the same. So you can go for any of them depending on how much you will need or how much you want to spend.
- 20 pound pack of Calcium Carbonate Powder
- 1 pound pack of Calcium Carbonate Powder
- 1 pound pack of Calcium Carbonate Powder
I believe any scent-free talc powder should do, as scent-free ones have no oils or additives in them. But if you are like me and can’t decide which one to get, here is the link to what I use.
How should I apply my homemade chalk paint?
However you’d like! You can use a paintbrush, a roller, or (my favorite) a paint sprayer. But if you’re going to spray, you’ll need to make a tiny modification to the chalk paint recipe given above. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Modified Chalk Paint Recipe for Spraying
I modified my DIY chalk paint recipe for use with my Wagner Paint Sprayer (by simply increasing the water content):
- 1 cup of latex paint in the color of your choice
- 4 tablespoons Calcium Carbonate
- 1 tablespoons Talc
- 1/2 cup of Water
How to Make Chalk Paint for Spraying
Again, put all the ingredients into a blender and mix it for 3 minutes. Your DIY chalk paint for paint sprayers is ready for use! If you have the same Wagner Paint Sprayer, then you’ll want to give this recipe a try, as it will surely pass the velocity test. But please note, it may not pass other paint sprayers’ velocity tests. Therefore, if you have a different brand paint sprayer, I recommend that you do the velocity test before using it.
Should I wax my chalk painted furniture?
My chalk paint is super-durable, but I still use wax on every piece of furniture and almost all of my crafts. Without wax, your furniture or whatever you’ve painted will be susceptible to marring, smudges and stains because the chalk paint has a matte finish. Also, if your unwaxed piece gets wet, the water could damage the finish. It’s best to wax and not have to worry! Besides, wax gives the paint a beautiful satin sheen and silky smooth feel, so there’s really no reason not to do it! I’ve tried almost every major brand of wax out there, and my favorite is Fiddes & Sons Supreme Wax Polish.
If I’m going for the best finish ever, I’ll sand between coats of paint with 220 or 300 grit sandpaper, and then I’ll sand once more before waxing. The finish is smooth as butter!
Can I use Baking Soda to Make Chalk Paint?
Well, the short answer is yes, you could, but the results won’t be as good as with my chalk paint recipe. I’ve tried baking soda mixed with paint, and the only time I ever use it now is to make a paint we use for faux-stone painting. It’s a really cool technique you can learn about here!