Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Version of DIY Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was definitely the reason I started to paint furniture, but it took a few months to start selling pieces and bring in money.  I had already invested quite a bit into the paint.  I bought five of the sample pots and 1 quart along with a can of clear and dark wax--almost $200!. 

While the quart of Paris Grey that I bought really went a long way, I don't want to paint everything Paris Grey.  I would like to have a variety of colors that I can afford to stock up on.

I had been checking other sites on what colors people have found to sell well (to potentially invest in another quart of ASCP) and what I found was more and more bloggers talking about DIY chalk paint. 

Elizabeth & Co.'s post about her recipe and her results is what gave me the confidence to try it.  Lowes has Valspar sample pots already mixed with colors and a bunch were on sale.  Along with the $6.78 box of plaster of paris, I picked up 3 pots of a color named Purple Stripe that was marked down to $1.47 each. 

I decided to try it on a small chair I picked up at a church sale. 
I followed Sharon's recipe and used a small Classico sauce jar that had ounce markings on the side so I could easily measure out one part plaster of paris to three parts paint.
I made sure I added the water to the plaster of paris first and then added the paint and shook it to mix.  I also added a little brown paint to tone down the color.

I started to paint the chair and I immediately noticed that the paint was thicker and covered much better in just one coat.   
After the second coat of paint I waxed it with clear and dark wax and added the crown stencil with ASCP Cream.  I slightly distressed it on the edges.  (I did notice it was harder to distress than ASCP.)  Not bad for my first try!

After some trial and error, I have perfected my recipe and love using it. 

  • 1 Heaping tablespoon of plaster of paris
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
    • Mix in a bowl with a popsicle stick to a sour cream consistency
  • 8 ounces of paint
    • Pour plaster of paris mix directly into into the sample pot of paint 
    • Shake
    • Paint    

I almost always paint two coats and then sand the entire surface with a medium sanding sponge to make it smooth as silk and distress the paint.  This table was painted with Behr Outback and finished with clear and dark wax.
I prefer to distress at the edges and areas where the paint would normally wear off.  Or on the details of the piece to highlight them.  I love to see the transformation from the fully painted piece to the distressed look.
I still have some ASCP left and I use it here and there, but if I want a specific color, I will buy the sample pot of latex paint.  The normal price is $2.95 for eight ounces of paint and Home Depot will mix them into any color.

The best value for your money will always be oops paint. Home Depot sells the sample pot oops for $.50, quart oops for $2-$3 and gallon oops for $5-$7.  But you have to hope you like the oops paint color.

If you have a Sherwin Williams store in your area, their Color To Go is a great value if you want to have a specific color mixed.  It is $6.49 for 31 ounces.  Even though you have to buy more paint up front, it comes out to be half the price per ounce than Behr paint.

Linking to:

Elizabeth&Co. | DIY Showoff | I {Heart} Nap Time | Homemaker On A Dime | Craft-O-Maniac | Crafty Texas Girls: Cowgirl Up | I Should Be Mopping The Floor | Primitive&Proper | {Primp} | Southern Lovely | Beyond the Picket Fence | Embracing Change | Miss Mustard Seed | Redoux | Liz Marie | Too Much Time On My Hands | Six Sisters Stuff | Funky Junk Interiors

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Cozy Little House


  1. I love the color of the dresser, its so me :) I have never used or made chalk paint, I am gonna give it a try, thanks for sharing :)

  2. I'm about to try this so I very much enjoyed reading your info, thank you!

  3. the chair is so sweet but i LOVE that little dresser! what a great color!

  4. Very cute pieces! Love that purple color on the chair.

  5. I love that table and would buy it in a second! I just discovered chalk paint this year and have only used the homemade kind. I love it. I've transformed several pieces and once Christmas fun is over I have more to work on. Looks like you are doing a great job.

  6. I love the color you did the desser, and the distressed look. You did a wonderful job, it looks great. Thanks for sharing how to make chalk paint.

  7. I've been using Behr sample pots from Homey D's mixed with the Plaster of Paris on several pieces recently and I couldn't be happier with it. This is after trying ASCP, the gesso chalk paint recipe, and the unsanded grout recipe. Plaster of Paris is most frugal and I find it easier to distress than the others.

    I've matched some Behr colors with ASCP, but I still almost always find that I want to "mess with" the colors slightly, just as I did with ASCP. Must be the artiste in me!

    Your chest looks wonderful! Good on ya!

  8. That chair looks amazing! To think it was dated, orange-pine before, now it looks so modern and contemporary. Love the colour, I think I may have to paint my dresser pink now, rather than blue!

  9. Help! I have tried the diy chalk paint a couple of different times and it does not work for me. If I paint it onto any surface that was previously finished, I can scratch off my diy chalk paint with a fingernail. Any suggestions? Chair looks marvelous, by the way.

  10. LOVE that little dresser. I haven't tried the chalk paint using plaster of paris. I use calcium carbonate. I think I should try your recipe though, it sounds like you have great results!
    Kim @ Too Much Time

  11. I use the same recipe! Its a keeper for sure. That's a great idea to put it in the Classico jar with the measurements on the side. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Cute church chair-pretty color. LOVE the ASCP.

    Small House / Big Sky Donna
    White Oak Studio Designs
    Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations


  13. So glad you found success with the homemade chalk paint! It is a thrifty alternative, gives you lots of color options and works well! And that little chair is so darn sweet!

  14. Great little pieces and I love homemade chalk paint, too!
    Thanks for linking up to the party!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  15. Thanks so much for explaining how you make your paint. The furniture looks beautiful.

  16. Love that purple chair! I'm going to get brave and try that chalk paint one day!


  17. It is expensive stuff, I'm going to try this recipe...thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing! I've tried to make my own DIY Chalk Paint but preferred ASCP but it's getting expensive. You've inspired me to give DIY Chalk Paint a second try!

  19. I absolutely ADORE your blog...I'm new and I love all your amazing furniture, your OH-SO-HELPFUL tips and your awesome tutorials. I love the links you supply and how generous you are with what you have learned! THANK YOU! I am a fan!


  20. I painted my first chair using the Behr paint and plaster of paris, butt my paint easily scrapes off. It looks great 'til you touch it..any ideas what I did wrong?

  21. 11:25 pm: Did you sand the piece first?
    Susan: Lovely little chair with the crown!
    I found that the PofP paint cures quickly. Doesn't stay 'open' as long as ASCP. I did a Syrocco shelf w/ PoP paint and had to use coarse sandpaper for some of the distressing. From now on, I paint and then distress right away.
    You have a new subscriber........I'm proud it's me.....LOL

  22. I have made my own homemade chalk paint as well, from a recipe off the internet, but the recipe called for unsanded powdered grout in place of the plaster of paris. It works great. I bought a large box of unsanded powdered grout from Home Depot for under $15, and I only use a TBSP. or two and mix my flat latex paint (must be FLAT) with the powder and water. I mix the paint with my old paintbrush in used Lean Cuisine meals plastic containers (rinsed out) and use that to paint my piece. Then just toss when you are done.

  23. I love this!! You did a great job! I have made my own chalk paint also, using the unsanded grout, AND with semi gloss and it works fine for me! Love love your distressing!! I'm inspired! thanks for sharing!

  24. How thick is it suppose to be and how long will it last in a sealed container? I used a mason jar. But the first one i made was almost as thick as pudding

  25. It must be devine intervention I used a coupon, couple of weeks ago, for a free sample from Lowes as well as bought POP on that same trip, and have just put a small classico jar in the dishwasher. Looks like I will be making my own Chalk paint. Thanks for taking the time to share your success. Sheryl

  26. AMAZING post! I just bought three dressers and one I'm wanting to convert into a bathroom vanity. I was planning to buy AS paint but now I'm wondering if I should try to do my own chalk. I tried some about a yr ago and didn't like the look of it.
    Thanks for the help!

  27. That looks so perfect! Thanks for sharing and sharing with such detail. I haven't tried this yet, but now I just might give it a go! Thanks as always for inspiring!

  28. If you have a True Value around you can get a quart of paint in your choice of color for $3.99. Much more for the money. I like to buy a white then add some color to it to make chalk paint. I will be trying your recipe very soon. Finally bought myself some POP to add to paint a table. Glad I found your blog thru DDD's Inspiration Gallery Link Party. I've been subscribed for while but for some reason haven't received any posts from you. Happy days


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