Chalk Like Paint – Make Your Own For $4.00

Hi Everyone.
I haven’t used any of the popular milk or chalk type paints that are all over blogland but I have seen several pieces up close and personal.  I love the chalky appearance of the paint but the
price is out of my budget
So what is a girl to do?
 Make her own chalky like paint of course!
I got to experimenting with different products and this is what I came up with.
Chalk is actually Calcium Carbonate and the product can be purchased in health food stores and at numerous on-line stores.  The cost is around $4.00 for 12 ounces.
Whiting powder will also give you a similar look for approximately $3.00 for a 1 pound package.  I could not find this locally but it is available on-line.
Plaster of Paris also works well and can be purchased at Michaels or Home Depot.  Home Depot sells 3 pounds for approximately $6.00.
To get the chalky paint look just add ANY ONE of the above to your latex paint.  The amount you use depends on how chalky you want the paint to look when dry.  I experimented using the sample size paints and used a ratio of 2/3 paint to 1/3 product.  You may need to add a few drops of  HOT water to the paint and occasionally stir it if gets too thick.
I saved and washed out glass jars to mix the paint in.  I have used the paint over and over again and each time I just added a couple of drops of hot water and stirred really good.
Do you remember the vanity I painted recently?  Well,  it was my first trial using the homemade chalk like paint.  For this I used the Calcium Carbonate and it worked beautifully.  No priming, no sanding required and it covered in two coats.  It also was
very easy to distress.
For the vanity I used approximately 1/4 of the 12 ounce jar of Calcium Carbonate plus a sample size pot of paint.  The total cost was less than $4.00
vanity - chalk paint
I just finished painting two mirror frames with latex paint mixed with Whiting Powder and some small items using the Plaster Of Paris.  All of these worked great and I’ll be posting pictures soon.
I did not use wax on the vanity but I did use Briwax on several other projects and I liked the sheen it gave them.
You can also create custom colors by adding acrylic craft paint to the latex and powder mixture.  Chalky paint is cheap to make and now you can have it in any color.
Added 9/19/2011
Just to answer a few questions.
I prefer the Calcium Carbonate to the other products just because it is easier to stir and goes on smoother.  I purchased my jar of CC on-line from Swanson Vitamins.  It is cheap and you can paint many large pieces with just one jar.
No need to prime or sand the furniture if it is in good condition. If you are using the Calcium Carbonate make sure and buy it in POWDER form and not tablets. There are no exact measurements here. More powder means more of a chalk look. I used Behr and Martha Stewart satin paint sample pots (around 7 oz each) and added approximately 2/3 paint to 1/4 powder and aabout a tablespoon of HOT water.
I have added a Pin It button located on the left. Hope this works
I would love to hear from you if you give this a try.

234 thoughts on “Chalk Like Paint – Make Your Own For $4.00”

  1. Sherry,
    You are a G E N I U S!! Seriously, that is a brilliant idea, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I sure like the price…now I'm excited to try this endeavor.

    Can't wait to see what else you paint, well done! XO ~Liz

  2. Girl, you just blew the lid off the whole chalk paint craze!! I just could not justify the cost, since most of my projects are for resale, I can't wait to try this. Did you have to prime first, you said 2 coats so I am guessing not!!


  3. Hey Sherry, Carole from Maynard Greenhouse said that sandless grout does the same thing. I've been wanting to try out the additives and see how it goes. Thanks for the extra tips on product. Your vanity is really gorgeous.xo

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I have wanted to try Chalk Paint for a long time now, but no one around me sells it (or has even heard of it!) I'm so glad you figured this out, I can't wait to try it! …. Now, I just have to find something to paint! 😉

  5. OMG…..can't believe you figured it out!!! Way to go!!! I've been wracking my little brain trying to come up with a product or the money to buy the original, and now you went and did it!!! Thank you so much for sharing this info….will be trying it out this winter(oops, sorry to use that word)when it gets too dreary to go out!!! How about the waxing part, or did you skip that??? hugs…cleo

  6. My daughter, who is a bio-medical engineer, was just trying to convince me last week to make my own chalk paint. I tuned her out, because she tends to think very scientifically! But you made it sound so easy! I read your post to my daughter and she said, "That is what I told you (about the calcium carbonate)." But I explained to her that you made it sound so easy! (That did not set well with her!ha!) I have used the real chalk paint many times, but CANNOT WAIT to try your ideas! Thanks! Lori L

  7. You are so sweet to share this with us, Thank you so much!
    I will give it a try as soon as I can find one of those products here in Dubai, otherwise I will get it on-line.
    Your vanity looks so pretty.

  8. I can't wait to try this Sherry. Thanks for the tip. I just wasn't willing to pay the price of the chalk paint.

  9. I have a bag of unsanded grout that I was going to try to use as in the martha stewart recipe for chalk board paint but your recipes may work better, thanks for sharing!!

  10. Hi Sherry,
    I'm going to try this method for sure. I wasn't exactly loving the ASCP, especially the price. So, I'll give this a try.

    You are brillant! Love your vanity and I wish it were mine.


  11. Sherry you are wonderful for sharing this! As soon as I get back on my feet (I broke my ankle)… I'm on this! I can't wait to try it. I was out of chalk paint and I wasn't happy about the price! Thank you!
    Susan @ homeroad

  12. I love that you have a Research and Development department in your house, Sherry! : ) I wondered what was in it that made it "chalk". I've tried the AS one – a couple of colors, but I think flat paint can also give a similar look. I'll bet your ingredients also help to avoid the sanding and priming though.

  13. Thanks for the experiment! I have a BFA and when first saw the hoopla over the chalk paint, I thought back to my classes and knew all it was is an old master plan of adding a drying agent, chalk or plaster to paint. I also think adding gesso to latex paint may help with the no prime plan. Thanks for your insight and inspiration!

  14. WOW, thank you! Now I can get the same fabulous results without the price tag (or the guilt from spending way too much money on paint!) Thank you so much. And the vanity really is beautiful. (I also love the trophy cup!) Have a great week.


  15. You are BRILLIANT! I bow to your incredibly thriftiness. Seriously, I never even though of making my own chalk paint. Awesome! I am going to give this a try on my next paint project, this sounds like so much fun! I'm with you, the cost and color limitations have turned me off the ASCP, its just so expensive! I wanted to give it a try, but…
    Now I will try my own batch!

  16. You are a genius scientist! I just knew there had to be a substitute and you found it! I have used plaster of paris with paint and with gesso successfully but probably didn't realize that I was using some form of chalk paint. I am so happy to the success you have had with the and certainly appreciate you sharing the "receipe"! I'll be picking up calcium carbonate for a project I'll be starting next week!

    You're the greatest!

  17. Sherry,
    You are just too clever! Who would have ever figured this out, not me! Love your vanity! I have not done the chalk paint either and now I won't I'll use your method if I get around to it!

  18. Wow, love your vanity..and thanks for the tip about the paint. I have wanted some chalk paint to redo my dining room table and chairs but was not about to pay the price for it. I knew it would be cheaper to make it myself.

  19. Thanks Sherry for sharing this with us! Know that I will definitely be trying this out. I've used chalk paint and I do like it but I like your formula a whole like better!

    Thanks again and enjoy your day,

  20. Oh my word! I have been waiting for something like this! I just could not make myself pay the price for the ASCP. I am going shopping for the calcium carbonate this weekend and mixing up some of my own paint. I am so stoked!! I may actually get a project or two completed. Now, if there was just a magical way to make a slipcover!!

  21. Haha you go girl! I live close to Belgium which is where the chalk paints are made & looked on their website to see what was in it & decided I'd make my own when I got to the states. But hey big big thanks for taking the experimentation out of my hands lol

  22. First Sherry you vanity is torturing me with it's beauty *winks* Second I'm ALL over this!! I've seen many AS chalk paint projects around the blogesphere and they look great, but I couldn't justify the price. I'll def be giving this a try! Vanna

  23. Hi Sherry…

    I just read the sweet note that you left on my Sunday Favorites post, my friend…and came right over! First of all…welcome home! How was your trip to Italy? I am totally envious, dear friend! Hehe! I'm sure that you and honey had a fabulous time!!!

    Well dear friend, I sm in total awe! I would have never in my wildest imagination…thought of making chalk paint! You are certainly the "Creative Queen" in my book, Darlin'! I have been wanting to give the chalk paint a try but really would like to try your rendition. It certainly would be much cheaper. I'm going to look for the Calcium Carbonate next time I go to town. I was wondering just how big or the size of your "sample" paint that you used? Just so I can get idea of how much to mix. I love, love, LOVE how your french vanity turned out…it's one of the most beautiful pieces that I've laid eyes on, dear friend! You did GOOD when you found that! Anyway, thank you soooo much for this great chalk paint tip! I'm sooo excited to give it a try! Can't wait to see your other projects!

    Love ya,

  24. Sherry, you are a darling and a genius! I'm so grateful for this awesome idea… chalk paint is all over blogland and I've been wanting to give it a try but it is so expensive! I love your vanity and the finish on it is absolutely gorgeous! Would love to know the name of that cream paint. Thanks Sherry for this wonderful tip!Have a lovely evening~Poppy

  25. Thanks so much for letting us all in on your little secret. I just love chalk paint but it is quite expensive and I love the price of this homemade version. Your vanity came out beautiful. Can't wait to see what else you painted!
    Marianne 🙂

  26. I can't wait to try this. I've been wanting to try chalk paint so much but didn't want to spend that kind of money on a little bit of paint. Thanks so much!!!!

  27. Wow! What a great idea! I didn't know you were a decorating scientist, but you are. I may want to try that sometime. I haven't ever bought or used chalk paint before either. I certainly like your cheaper version. Has anyone who has used chalk paint before tried this as a comparison? I'd love to know what they think too.

  28. What a brilliant idea! I was wondering the same thing not too long ago if there would be some way to make our own!

    LOVE all your furniture! And I will be trying out my own chalk paint very soon! To heck with those high prices!

  29. This sounds great…definitely worth trying out… I was just wondering, does it distress in the same manner as the Annie Sloan chalk paint? I live in Canada, and haven't wanted to pay the shipping on Chalk Paint!

  30. How amazing Sherry!!! I haven't tried chalk paint either- and have been a bit hesitant because of the price~ how fantastic that you have found an alternative!! That vanity is absolutely gorgeous… I just love it! Thanks so much for sharing at my party this week!

  31. Love the vanity, its beautiful! Also love the idea of making your own chalk paint as the cost is so high. I'm wondering did the $4.oo batch paint more than the vanity? I bought 3 quarts of ASCP and have used about 1/3 of each quart which, of course equals about 1 quart and I've painted 6 end tables, a sofa table, 5 large sconces, 8 frames and a few smaller things. Even though the price is high you can paint a lot of pieces. I certainly dont want to sound negative on making chalk paint ( I love the idea of it), just wondering what the cost per piece is on both paints. Your thoughts? And thanks for the info!

  32. I was just thinking yesterday "how could I make my own chalk paint" I was thinking more along the lines of unsanded grout added to the paint, but after talking to my chemist husband this sounds way better..If I could kiss you through the computer I would…Sent over from "yttm"
    Your newest follower.
    Would love if you stopped over some time.

  33. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have used the ASCP and I love it, but like you I do NOT love the price and limited color choices! I am so excited!! BTW, saw this on Art is Beauty. Thanks to her for sharing!

  34. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have been kicking around the idea that there must be a way to diy chalk paint, and you have done ALL the work for me! 😀 I cannot WAIT to try this, I even have some PoP at home already! I forsee some serious mad scientist work going on in my house tonight!! (BTW, Rebecca at You Are Talking Too Much sent me!)

  35. Thanks for the info Sherry, and the vanity is gorgeous… I have a question though. I thought chalk paint was for painting things in order to use chalk to write on. Like chalk boards? I have noticed that more and more people are using it to paint furniture with. Can you please explain to me what it is I am missing from this? Thanks so much..

  36. Hi Sherry. What a great idea! Too many of us have been spending WAY too much on ASCP – I knew there had to be a better way! Way to go!

    I'd like to use the plaster of paris – does it matter if I mix it in latex satin, or flat??? I'm kind of thinking that flat would be best.

    Thanks again for sharing this great idea!


  37. Thank you for sharing! Art is Beauty sent me over! Your vanity turned out beautifully. The paint is definitely something I will be able to make and use.

  38. Dare I tell you…. there are (2) French Antique Twin Beds w/curved to the bed edge headboards w/caning & center plaque here at a local shop…

    I found you from "You're Talking Too Much" blog shout-out today.

    Thank you for posting about the recipes…I tried Plaster of Paris but did 1:1 and it came out more like Suede Paint Texture…so will reduce the PoP and try again.

  39. OMG – you have no idea how excited I am about this! No one sells chalk paint in Dubai and getting it shipped here is ridiculous. I am SO trying this. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  40. Rebecca from You Are Talking Too Much ( posted about you today!! I am SO excited that you thought of this!!!! You are a brilliant woman!!!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with the world!!!!!! I've been loving the look of chalk paint from a far….but now, now I can join in!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! 🙂

  41. Oh, you are a genius! I can't wait to try it.

    I do love ASCP and even though it is pricey, the lack of primer and extra time sanding has been worth the price for me.

    But of course, I'm willing to try your version. If it works in the same way and is that cheap how could I not love it?

  42. Let me declare straight off the bat that I have an interest in ASCP as the Scottish distributor, but alongside that I am a trained house painter and decorative painter of 25 years experience and have a lot of knowledge of making traditional paints and materials and I teach some of this in my classes in both Scotland and in the USA (am currently in SF teaching a class).

    I genuinely applaud anyone who thinks out of the box, learns a little about paint technology and uses low cost materials and paints to create new and exciting finishes and this is in many instances totally possible with inexpensive materials like whiting which we use all the time. Whiting is in fact already in most house paints and adding more does change the look to be like chalk paint. However just adding more whiting to latex will not negate the need for preparation and priming. It will "stick" to the surface but no lasting bond can be made and you certainly can't paint over wax and hope for it to last in the way that ASCP can – actually ASCP is the ONLY paint I have found worldwide that will go over wax successfully. I'm not saying you can't make it look the same…just you do still need to do the prep.
    Likewise in the 70's I used to make a lot of wood-wash using Plaster of Paris which incidentally burnishes beautifully however once again this will not form a bond to pre-finished surfaces without primer etc.
    Adding anything to paint will probably compromise its integrity as a surface coating so it will definitely need sealed.
    I am not saying not to use it, just to be aware of the limitations of what you are creating.

    Incidentally Annie's paint range …all the colours intermix so you can create a lot more than just the colour chart.

    I have never tried baking soda although you can make a paint stripper from it – not sure what it would do IN paint.

  43. Goodness Sherry, I'm so glad you posted this. I've been dying to try the chalk paint but just can't pull the trigger on buying it (too pricey) plus the waxes. I don't have enough projects to justify the price.

    I'm going to bookmark this and print it off….going to give it a try anyway.


  44. Well Sherry, you know that I will most definitely be giving this a try! I knew someone would come up with a do-it-yourself version chalk paint eventually. I actually googled it a week or so ago looking for some ideas. Thanks so much for sharing! And I'll let you know how it works out.

  45. I absolutely cannot afford the ASCP so was over the moon when I found this post via Pinterest. I strongly dislike dull paint finishes so would definitely be waxing any piece that I painted with chalk paint. The only reason I wanted to use ASCP was because you didn't have to prime &/or prep the piece prior to painting & it would still stick. Does this recipe do that? Can anyone testify to its durability? Thank you & I greatly look forward to any responses since I'm very anxious to use this. 🙂

  46. Wow, I am blown away by your response to this post. I have not used other brands of chalk paint so I cannot compare this formula to those. I have seen a number of pieces painted with a popular chalk paint and I cannot see any difference in the appearance between those and ones painted using any of the additives I have mentioned.

    I must respectfully address Paintycaits comment that no lasting bond can be created using these additives. I have painted several pieces using EACH of these additives and have never sanded nor primed. Three of the pieces had a heavy shine to the finish which I presume was wax or polyurethane and the paint went on beautifully and adhered as well as a primed or sanded piece.

    I look forward to seeing your painted projects and hearing your feedback.

  47. Amazing! I never would have thought of making chalk paint myself! I have tried it and really like it, but it was just too expensive for me. I am definitely going to try this! I've already "pinned" it. Thanks Sherry! Lisa~

  48. Sherry, Sherry, Sherry…
    You poor thing. You've become public enemy #1 with every stockist out there! (NO. I'm not a stockist) Like you I can't come off the money it cost to buy chalk paint.
    …and I'm always looking for a new idea or way to get around spending lots of money. Don't think I won't try this…I've got a small box of Plaster of Paris in there and a lovely shade of Green Valspar designated for a little project!

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea!

    …no can of Ooops! paint is safe now!

  49. I will be trying this. Just one question, does the latex paint have to be flat or can you use a semigloss? Just asking because I have a big can of semigloss I would like to use, but I want that flat look that the chalk paint has. You are GOOD!!

  50. I made some chalk paint using spackling powder that I had on hand. It also worked really well, love the way it goes on so smooth and creamy. And dries so fast. And like you said, it sands beautifully too. So glad I don't have to buy that expensive paint and can use up what I already have.

  51. You have definitely caused quite a stir with your discovery! I'm glad I was not the only one too cheap to fork it out for the real thing! I was starting to get a complex! Can't wait to try it out…your vanity looks fabulous, and most of the pieces we girls are painting don't get that much wear and tear anyway, now do they? Great job!

  52. Wow! I want to try this. Do you know if it holds up like the ASCP? I have it and you cannot scratch it off of the piece you painted–would be interested if this is true for the homemade stuff. You're so smart! I am your newest follower from Thrifty Thursday. Hope you can visit me sometime too:)

  53. Would it be wrong for me to tell you I love you Sherry without even meeting you? Hahaha….you rock – I have a large piece of furniture just screaming for chalk paint but it isn't sold in my area!

    Thank you!

  54. I absolutely LOVE chalk paint: just did a post on what NOT to use it on, and these were only b/c of the price. I'm def. going to try your recipe…thank you for sharing!! Now maybe I can forgo my next order I was planning. 🙂

  55. Having used ASCP for numerous projects, I can vouch for the price vs. the investment. It works a little something like this: I painted all my kitchen cabinets with exactly 1/2 quart (not gallon) of paint. That's right- half of a quart. That is the magic of ASCP- because it is NOT latex it performs and bonds differently. I painted my cabinets with no sanding, no priming and without taking them off their hinges because there is no dripping and no smell with ASCP. It also dries almost instantaneously which is another unique feature. And because it is a 'green' product it is not flammable – I know, I painted my fireplace – and is safe around dogs and kids. Is it worth the $35 a quart? It is if you want to paint a kitchen and 4 chairs in one day and have them ready by dinnertimw….

  56. OK…it doesn't matter to me one iota whether people in USA add whiting to paint or not because I am based in Scotland. Actually it doesn't matter to me whether people in Scotland add whiting to paint or not. As a stockist/distributor….it will make no difference to my sales.

    If adding whiting to paint made it stick better to surfaces do you not think that Bher, and Dulux and Pratt and Lambert would have done that already?????
    Adding whiting to latex just makes it look similar to chalk paint….that's it. It doesn't magically change it into what Annie has developed.

    If you have fun with it and get what you want from then cool….enjoy

  57. THANK YOU!!!! What perfect timing. I have some new finds primed and ready for paint. I will be trying this tomorrow. Extra handy too because there is NO WHERE in my town to buy ASCP. I am so thrilled you shared this. I am going to post this link to my FB page.

    PS-If it turns out anything like your vanity. I will be happy as a clam.

  58. Thanx for sharing Sherry! I actually just had somebody mention to me the other day that I could make my own with some plaster of paris and gesso. Just was not sure of the combo and how much. I will have to try this and see which I like better.

  59. Awesome post. The ASC paint has one heck of a marketing department that has convinced a ton of bloggers that they just have to use it, but I just can't get past the enormous price tag for a teeny tiny amount. I can do $4.00 though! Someone had told me about adding gesso to paint, but not sure if it's the same chemical or not.

  60. Thanks for the idea. I have used and will still use ASCP for my projects, but I decided to try making my own. I used plaster of Paris ( couldn't find any of the other additives) and latex paint. I added water as needed since my paint was like pancake batter. I painted 2 battered curb rescues and did have result much like ASCP but there is definitely "something" missing. I will use my concoctions for less important pieces but definitely think ASCP is worth the investment. You get out what you put in! Thanks for the idea and for sharing with the rest of us "junkers".

  61. Oh my gosh…. I am THRILLED. I actually did buy the FORTY dollar quart, but this is the one I'll be using forever! You are AWESOME!

    Thank you so much…. and I'll give you a pat on the back for your cheapness! You're a chickie after my own heart… and it's a COMPLIMENT!

  62. I've often thought the ridiculously expensive version had to be a simple combo of paint & chalk, or possibly just gesso, as the villabarnes blog has shown us. Thank you SO much for sharing this! I hate the cost of the leading brand & feel sorry for people who are adding shipping to that cost, but the limited color selection is what I hated the most. You're a genius & get serious 'pay it forward' bonus pts for sharing.

  63. p.s. – I just had a chance to read through the comments & especially thought about the points made by PaintyCait. I paint professionally, so have a very good working knowledge of doing things the 'pros' say can't be done. If bonding is the only big question here, then I'd suggest using a good bonding/leveling primer (such as Gripper) as a base, instead of latex paint. Box stores will tint primer, or just add acrylic to get the color you want. Just a thought.

  64. Thanks so much for the recipe but it has never been addressed yet if satin paint will work for this, or does it have to be flat paint? I have been looking all over the net for a recipe and the only one I found was using unsanded grout. I didn't want to buy the $12 bag of it just for experimenting.

  65. I knew it
    I knew it
    I knew it ….

    I've got the chalky look down to a tee with elbow gease, but my elbow is tired …
    NOW I can work smarter, not harder1

  66. Hi,
    I was so excited about this idea. I posted about running out and trying it. Well, I did the plaster of Paris version. It was easy to find so I wnet with that. I mixed and mixed and mixed it up and even added a little water. The paint looked rich and creamy, I painted away. As it dried, it looked like I painted it in a sand storm and it feels like sandpaper 🙁 Any idea what I may have done wrong??? I must have missed something. Thanks so much! Shannon

  67. Ditto a thousand times! G-E-N-I-O-U-S!!!! You saved us all about $45.00 a can and the wait of shipping!
    Beautiful work too!

    Lucky 7 Design
    Mama J and Her Fashionistas

  68. Hey,

    I admire you not being afraid to experiment. I love to question products and see if I can make the same thing. Ha I even tried painting a sofa. Screen printing ink is awesome. Anyways, I think I found a better solution to this though, here is the recipe on how to make imatation gesso for furniture otherwise known as chalk paint:

    1 part Whiting Chalk
    1 part PVA White Glue
    1 part water
    1 part slaked Pigment (optional)

    They even quote that Annie, herself, even quotes this in her book call Paint Alchemy. Basically, what they are making is gesso with pigment added. Gesso is used to prime artist canvas and is a bonding agent. Many people believe that house primer can do the same thing.

    So to my experiement…

    I didn't have any pigments but I had a tube of purple acrylic paint. I mixed that in with some white primer first. Then, I mixed in a little bit of water and tested it out on a piece of wood I had out back. It makes sense! Bonding Primer would be able to stick to varnish surface and do all that stuff they say. Water down it makes it smooth and you can make it transparent like. When I did this it made the wood grain show through. The only thing is that acrylic paint doesnt have a lot of pigment in it so I'm going to have to get some pigments so the color isn't compromised.

    You and I are on the right track, but I don't think adding chalk to latex is going to make it stick to anything. Primer already is suppose to have white chalk in it. If you wanted to add more white chalk to primer to give it a more chalkier feel that would probably be ok and then add pigment. I think pigments are essential in getting this right though and I must wait to get some myself so I can truly see the color.

    Thanks for leading me onto my quest though, I will get back to u guys to show u my results.

    Peace. Nicole Fleming

  69. I tried using the Plaster of Paris yesterday and it looks good but not durable at all! Did I do something wrong or does this just give it the look but not the durability of actual chalk paint!

  70. Hi Sherry, thank you for this information!!! I have been waiting to try the chalk paint and so glad you shared this. Why pay the high prices when you can make it yourself!! Thank you for all the time and expense you put into for the experimenting!

  71. pretty sure you're a complete genius! thank you for going to the trouble to figure this out for the rest of us! i am so excited to try this sometime. does adding the chalk to red paint make it pinky? or just chalky red?
    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  72. Sherry… Thanks so much for posting this information. I just couldn't justify paying the King's ransom for paint. Now you are talking my kind of cheap language here.

    Hope you don't mind, I posted your link on my blog today.

    Thanks again.

    Hugs, Deb

    BTW… love your blog and that vanity is to die for.

  73. I just had to let you know that I tried this and it worked great. Just pinned it because I think it is an awesome idea!

    I used gypsum joint compound powder from Home Depot. Couldn't find Plaster of Paris and the "men" there looked at me like I was nuts!

    I used paint I have left over. I used less than a pint of paint with about a 1/4 cup of powder and some water. Thanks for sharing!

  74. Been patiently waiting for someone to figure out an alternative to the ASCP. Yay!!!! Was going to try using gesso and pigment to see if that would work, but now I'm just going to use this. Thank you!!!

  75. Awesome info!! Question: I mistakingly purchased calcium gluconate powder & mixed as you suggested. Tried thinning with H20 & cannot get the mixture smooth. It looks "grainy"?? Does it do the same w/calcium carbonate? Many thnx in advance for your assistance!!

  76. Thanks so much for this info. I'm pinning it and may use it later on. I like the different choices for the "chalk." And, best of all, it opens things up to lots of color choices!

  77. Sherry thanks so much for posting this! Another blogger told me about this post and I tried it this past week using plaster of paris. I didn't add any water to my paint (since the plaster of paris container said not to). The finish on my new (to me) table came out PERFECTLY! I am a huge fan of the handpainted look and it compliments my french provincial dining table perfectly. I didn't use wax to seal either-just regular satin poly and I just love it. Thanks for the WONDERFUL tip and $$ savings. 🙂

  78. Oh my goodness! I whipped up some of this with latex paint and plaster of paris last and it is brilliant! I am thrilled with the results and can't wait to make some in more colors! Thank you so much for blogging about this! You are my hero! 🙂

  79. Beautiful paint job on your furniture! Thanks for sharing the way cheaper version of Sloan chalk paint. The paint seems so much better than another recipe for chalk paint that I found a week or so ago on another site.

    Found your site at Coastal Colors blog and will be visiting again.


  80. love,love,love this !!!
    I used Plaid Craft Acrylic paint and
    Dap Plaster of Paris,and it worked beautifully!
    ALL the ingredients are made in the U.S.A.!!! That is very important now days ! Keeping our money and jobs in country!! ASCP is made in Belgium and import costs are probably partly why the price is so high.

  81. I am about to embark on a big bedroom furniture painting expedition and wanted desperately to try chalk paint. I simply could not justify the price. Came across your blog this morning and will be trying your suggestions. Thank you so much for posting this!!!

  82. Had to share this … As I told Sherry before, I've been painting up a storm with her recipe. I've been playing with many combinations but the cheapest I've found is with plaster a paris. The problem I was having is clumps after mixing. I found that if I use my handheld blender (the kind you use to mix a hot pot of soup). I actually bought one just for this at Wal-mart for $25. Just wanted to let everyone know that it makes the paint SMOOTH. Hope it helps : )

  83. Interesting idea…how is the paint holding up over the long run? Does it sand/distress as easily and with as little mess as chalk paint? I work with chalk paint all the time, and, a tiny itty bitty bit goes a LONG way, justifying the cost for me. How much paint did it take to do the vanity? How much was the paint you used? Thanks!

  84. I am so excited to try this out! Thank you for doing all the hard work experimenting and coming up with a recipe. I'm not one to pay $40 for a quart of paint but have been wanting to try it. Sweet!
    🙂 Sandra

  85. How is your piece holding up? I am interested to know as I have a desk that needs to be painted. Secondly, were there any issues with VOC's? I would be painting inside the house and am very sensitive. Couldn't I just make sure to use a low/no VOC paint and the additives for the same effect? Thank you for any assistance you can offer!!

  86. Sherry,

    Thank you for sharing your chalk paint recipe. Last night I bought Annie Sloan's book. The draw back was the paints I dislike ordering colors I'm not sure about and also waiting for them to come in.I tried the recipe using p.o.p. and it turned out fantastic. I did two picture frames (started small) and I liked the results. Thank you for your generosity. I think your work is fantastic. Please keep up the good work.


  87. you are the BEST I could never afford to this new project without your chalk paint info ..I can't wait to do my Grandmothers old China Cabinet
    Good JOB!!

  88. Oh my gosh!!! Thank you!!! You just saved me from having to take out a 2nd mortgage on my home to buy chalk paint. Can't wait to try it!

  89. I am really new to the whole chalk paint experience, and have a couple of questions. On the french vanity if you didn't use dark wax, how did you get such awesome shading? Also, if you were going to try and make your own chalk "Paris Grey", what base would you start with? Anyone please feel free to jump in with suggestions, I can use all the help I can get!

  90. Thanks so much for posting this! I'm giddy and excited to try it! I admit I have ordered AS chalk paint and have just tried it today….it's great, but I paid 160 Euros for 2 cans of paint and 2 cans of wax. That's just not in my budget for the long haul. I'm very thankful for people in blogland who help spread the word on cheaper alternatives. Thanks again!

  91. I got so excited over this recipe that I headed right out to get some calcium carbonate. No luck after four health food stores and a whole lot of miles. I went into Walgreen's on the way home, deflected as I was. Lo and behold I happened to walk past the Tums on my way to get something else and stopped dead in my tracks. I remember that they had calcium and thought what is the chance. Picked up the bottle and read the ingredients – calcium carbonate. Picked up a bottle of the peppermint ones, as this was the only ones without color. On my way home I was desperately trying to figure out to powder it. When I got home I took at the Cuisinart food processor, chopped it to a fine powder after a few minutes. Went to work on adding it to the paint. Painted my first small piece and all I can say is WOW! Thank you so much for sharing with the world, Sherry.

  92. Sherry, what a great post and what interesting comments to read too. A wealth of information, thank you all. After poking around the garage I found an old can of medical grade plaster of paris (thought I'd thrown it out, woohoo still here!). Definitely going to make up a sample to try this technique. Found that we have two ASCP stockists in the area so if I chicken out using the homemade there is always the real thing for a Plan B on some big projects. Thank you again!

  93. Seams funny all the stockists are coming out swinging in defense of ASCP, but I think they are forgetting the main flaw of their beloved paint. It's too darn expensive. Not everyone can afford such a lavish price on a small quart of paint.

    I am glad you are brave enough to post these recipes for us to try. I would love for someone to give a real review of each of these recipes along with a review of ASCP.

    ASCP is a great paint which is why I am sure other companies are working diligently to replicate it. Stockists beware…LOL

  94. I can't wait to try this out on a china cabinet we just got on CL. We were pondering whether or not to spend the big bucks on the Annie Sloan paint but are going to opt for this method. Thanks so much. Megan

  95. Sherry, I just googled DIY chalk paint, and it brought me to your blog. I've been wanting to Annie Sloan, but really hated to pay that for a gallon of paint. Anyway…now I am anxious to get this mixed up and try it on a project. I've just become your newest follower. Please, please come visit me and maybe you'll become my follower as well. THANKS.

  96. Hi Sherry,

    This post got me excited as chalk paint is not available in South Africa. So I got some plaster of paris at our local hardware store and made my own chalk paint following your guide. I painted a few tables and I am so happy with the result. I would love for you to go over to my blog and have a look!

    Thanks a million!

  97. Thanks for posting this recipe! I mixed plaster or Paris with a little water until smooth before adding paint. The paint adhered nicely and dried in minutes. I could distress almost right away. The paint distressed with no mess and was so much easier to scuff from the edges than any latex I've tried. I'm thrilled to have an inexpensive way to get a beautiful look. I plan on waxing the china cabinet as it will be in our dining room and I have children. Other than the price, I ruled out ASCP on account of the grease stain problem other bloggers have reported. Thank you for a perfect alternative!

  98. Is this the same as chalkboard paint? I want to make a chalkboard for a party so the kids can draw on? Would this work?

  99. Hi Sherry
    I just fell into your blog and jotted down the chalk paint recipe. Do you still paint and blog I would love to see some of your pieces. Thanks

  100. I was inspired by your article to chalk paint all the miss-matched furniture my Daughter has collected for her 1st apartment.

    I'm in the middle of the 1st & 2nd coats ~taking a wine break~

    Things are going well so far, but I'm confused about the Wax. Do I get a tinted mix?

  101. I am going to try this on some pieced I have. My only question is What do you use for a final protective coat. All the top coats I have found leave a very high gloss when they dry. This looks weird on a piece you are trying to make old. Any suggestions?

  102. Thanks for this great post AND for the pin button! You have been pinned by little ole me!!

  103. Hi Sherry!

    Great ideas & tips!
    I'm reading through all of this but wondering, does this work for writing with chalk on it??
    I'm looking to try this for a tiny cafe to save myself money, but need to be certain I can use chalk to list what the cafe offers.

    Thanks so much, Heather

  104. I tried latex and plaster of paris on a super glossy coffee table and it worked great. I coated it with polycrylic to protect it. Thanks for the great tip on mixing chalk paint.

  105. I am a new follower and will be going to your home in a minute..but I could not really afford ASCP.But I loved what I could do with this so became a huge fan…and have spent the money…but in reading this and if you are still finding a success…You have me hooked…I put you on my favorites and will pull your button…of the three which works best when dealing with veneers or hard paint finishes,I hate Prep…did I say hate prep.

  106. Old post, but new to me! I love that you shared your recipes for chalk paint, since I can't find it around my parts. I am heading out right now to purchase some plaster of paris and add it to old paint we have around…hoping to get the same results.
    I plan on posting my first ever furniture refinishing project on my blog and will definitely be linking to this post to credit you for the fantastic chalk paint alternatives!!!
    Thank you soooo much!!
    Debbie 🙂

  107. Calcium carbonate is simple to buy. 50 lb. should be less than $10.00. Why it's lime! Food ole lime you use in your yards! I know that I am very late posting but I loved your research and took it a step further when I started looking for it. I bought some today and have two projects I am working on. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks

  108. I love this because I am on a tight budget, but want to put beatiful pieces in my home. My one question is what do you do to add a little distressing and at what step? Do you paint, sand corners to distress, soap between coats of chalk paint….I am curious? I do apologize if you've answered this already, didn't have the time to sort through a year's worth of comments 😉

    Thank you,

  109. I have a addition to add to this that might make it even smoother. I have tries many different kinds of DIY kinds and this works best for me. Before you add any of this to paint add hot water and stir it first. Then add it little by little to paint mixing it really good. I purchased chalk paint a sample so I could feel their paint and get the texture for it. This falls right up there in consistory and smoothness. I can not take credit for this idea it came from someone who told me about it. But I started out with yours and was thrilled! This just fine tunes it.

  110. My mom found this posted and has painted several pumpkins using this formula. It look just as good as the other stuff. Sorry can't and won't pay $35+ for a quart of paint. Plus, she was able to get the colors she wanted.

  111. I love What you did with the vanity. It is simply beautiful. Thanks for the information on chalk paint. I just came back from home depot with the plaster of paris, tomorrow I will try it.

  112. I used plaster of paris. It works wonderful. I like that I am able to make any color. I would love to send you a picture of my chair. Its simply fabulous, darling.

  113. I am definitely going to try this out, I have always wanted to try chalk paint but the ready made ones' cost is just so discouraging. I cannot wait to try this on my long line of furniture waiting to be transformed.

  114. Hello Sherry, like the idea of making whatever color you want in chalk paint. I would like to send you a picture of what I have done with chalk paint. wiil you send me your email so I can send you a picture. Thanks so much, Danette

  115. Great web site you have got here.. It's difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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  116. Actually chalk paint is as old as the good ole days! Lime Gessco Paint. And Imthank her for sharing this! So I want to share some information back. I have searched and searched for information for paint and how to make your own wax, Bee's wax, and Turpentine and a color pigment. I am linking a sight hoping this is okay? That everyone can gather informatio. Or you can use Carbanuba wax which is good ole solid car wax. Not liquid.Chalk paint has been used since the Roman Empire. There are also recipes for milk paint and many many more. Here is one sight I gathered the information from. I also have all the recipes to make your own wax, I can't link the page but if Sherry wants it I can copy and send it to her.
    I applaud Sherry for posting this recipe. She could honestly be making money from advertising chalk paint.
    And the other posters that have posted this can't possibly work…they are wrong. Where do you think these recipes have come from? Or the painting techniques? They have been around since man wanted to create beauty and you can go to the caveman days where they found a way to use pigment. Thanks!

  117. I see this post is a bit old, but just wanted to say that I came across this and tried it and it works wonderfully! I used Plaster of Paris and it looked great.

  118. Thank you for the posting of this new technique as I couldn't justify paying so much for the ASCP. If someone has already tried this and used a wax I would like to know what kind they used. Thanks again….

  119. Your vanity is gorgeous. Thank you for the recipe. I've used AS chalk paint and I loved it, it covered quite a few pieces, but it is expensive, and not in my budget right now. I'll be whipping some up soon.

  120. I apologize for being to stupid to understand your ratio of 2/3 to 1/4. That makes no sense to me. Why change denominators? Shouldn't it be 2/3 to 1/3 or 3/4 to 1/4? Please enlighten me.

    Thanks for the post. I love seeing what others are doing with paint!

  121. I purchased calcium carbonate from a store that sells wine making supplies. It's used to make wine, so if you have a store in your area that sells wine making supplies, they probably carry this. I pay $3.00 for a pound.

  122. Hi just ran across your blog while searching Pinterest for a chalk paint recipe. I have tried AS paint and I love it although I do not love the price plus I have to drive far to purchase it unless I want to tack on shipping costs. This past week I tried mixing unsanded grout to my paint and while it works well it does not mix well and I have a lot of bumps that need to be sanded down. I just ordered some calcium carbonate and I'm going to second coat my piece with this method and see if it's smoother! Any tips you can give would be awesome…my first piece with homemade paint is a smallish cabinet but I have some nice pieces waiting to be painted once I find the right recipe! Wish me luck!!

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