One of My Favorites: Chalk Paint

Essentials

If you aren’t yet acquainted with chalk paint, then my friends, allow me introduce you. I just know you’ll hit it off.

Chalk paint is one of my favorites for lots of reasons. It looks fabulous, it’s durable, it can be super cheap, and it works on everything! Chalk paint works best when you want to freshen up an old piece of furniture like a dinner table or a dresser. Distressing (if you’re into that kind of thing) is a breeze with chalk paint.

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Now, if you plan to use chalk paint, there are some things you need to be aware of.

First, chalk paint is very porous, so I recommend sealing it with either furniture wax or polyurethane. It may cause a rough texture that requires light sanding between coats. Second, it is very thin – much thinner then the acrylic paint or wall paint you’re used to – so it takes a few coats to get the coverage you desire. Luckily, it dries super fast so you won’t have to wait too long (~15-20 minutes) before starting your next coat.

It’s really easy to get your hands on chalk paint. With its growing popularity, many manufacturers are coming up with their own versions, but after loads of research I decided to make my own. I scoured Pinterest to find the perfect recipe, but I never stick to recipes (with admittedly mixed results, but I still think my chicken and dumplings are just as good as my MIL’s), so I tweaked it and made it my own.  

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Here’s my chalk paint recipe:

1 cup paint (any color you want — this is a great opportunity to use up those samples piling up in your garage)

1/4 cup Plaster of paris

~3/4 cup of water

I mix the paint and plaster of paris together, careful to get all the lumps out and slowly add the water to the desired texture – like cream, not too thick not to thin. This may take a little experimenting. Add more water if it’s too thick or more plaster of paris if too thin. I tend to like mine a touch thicker than most recipes I’ve seen. I mix it and store it in an airtight mason jar and keep it until the plaster of paris starts to thicken in the jar. It only lasts a couple weeks, so you might want to have a couple projects lined up to stretch the batch as far as it will go.

I’ve used this recipe A LOT: side tables, picture frames, dining table, kitchen cabinets, and ceramic tile. My only complaint is a slight yellowing of the polyurethane on my white cabinets and dining table. I’m going to repaint these items and seal with wax rather then polyurethane.

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Here is a table I painted (no sanding before) for my kids’ room

I love how chalk paint can transform literally any object you want to paint. Metal, wood, glass, ceramics – it covers it all!  Definitely something I will keep in my arsenal for years to come.

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