Painting DIY: 3 Ways to Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint


A chalkboard finish is a popular choice, especially in DIY painting projects.

It is an excellent choice because of its texture. Brushstrokes are also incorporated with the finish, making it easy to apply. Sanding the dried finish will give furniture a distressed look.

This finish is very versatile as it doesn’t just have to be used for DIY chalkboards and bulletin boards. In fact, you also learn how to make chalkboard mugs here.

However, the label of chalkboard paints does state to avoid contact with food. But, it does say it’s non-toxic. Good thing?!

This post will walk you through three ways to make your own chalk finish paint using different agents.

DIY Chalk Finish Paint # 1: Calcium Carbonate Recipe

Mixture: 2 Parts Paint + 1 Part Calcium Carbonate Powder

If you remember chemistry class, Calcium Carbonate is literally chalk.

This mixture will dry at least 30 minutes after application. It can be applied on surfaces just like brand-name paints. However, Calcium Carbonate can’t be found easily.

You could try asking your local pharmacy (don’t use the pill form) or veterinarian (if they have ingredients for homemade dog food recipe).

Alternatively, you can find it online. Try sites that cater to weightlifters, as some of them apply chalk to their hands when weightlifting.

DIY Chalk Finish Paint # 2: Plaster of Paris Recipe

Mixture: 3 Parts Paint + 1 Part Plaster of Paris dissolved in water

Make sure to mix this one well. When used for painting furniture and walls, it applies like braided chalk paints.

After a day of sitting, this mixture thickens so make sure to mix it thoroughly before using again.

This mixture does not require priming. It’s best to apply three coats of this paint for full coverage.

Plaster of Paris can be found in your regular craft stores.

The best thing about this recipe – it only takes 5 minutes to make. After that, you can paint furniture, craft projects, or walls.

DIY Chalk Finish # 3: Baking Soda Recipe

Mixture: 2 Parts Paint + 1 part Baking Soda

This version is perfect if you want to achieve an old, distressed look.  When sanded, the finish will look distressed and weathered.

The paint does not look as smooth as brand-name chalk paint when dry.  But, as I’ve mentioned, this formula will give you that perfect, country look.

Don’t worry if your mixture looks and feel grainy while (and after) mixing; it’s supposed to be like that.

It only takes 2-3 minutes to make this paint recipe.

Painting with Chalk Finish Paint

  • Use one of the chalk paint recipes above.
  • Painting over laminate furniture does not require a primer. However, if you are working on glossy pine furniture, you should do light sanding using 150-220 grit sandpaper, first.
  • Although the recipes last (when stored properly), it’s best to make just enough paint for your painting projects.
  • You can also use a top coat as a finish to the chalk paint.  Use either lacquer, shellac, poly or wax. You can distress chalk paint before or after wax application.
  • Eggshell latex paint provides the best chalk finish.