Good Vibes Blog

How to Make DIY Chalk Paint (Updated Twice!)

For a little less than $4.00 per batch, my home-made paint is ALMOST as good as $30.00 name brand chalk paint. Here’s how to make chalk paint as smooth and robust as the expensive pre-mixed boutique brands.

*Updated 10-28-2020 – slightly increased the amount of Floetrol, decreased the amount of water and added paint extender. These changes resulted in a much smoother less gritty feeling chalk paint product with slightly longer open time.

KellaChic Chalk Paint Recipe:

  1. About 2/3 pint latex paint* or about a cup and a half (Satin is preferred but Flat and Semi Gloss can work)
  2. 3 (not heaping) teaspoons Plaster of Paris
  3. 1 teaspoon of water
  4. 1 teaspoon paint extender (found at hardware stores)
  5. 3 teaspoons Floetrol (found at hardware stores)

Mixing Instructions:

  1. Place the teaspoon of water and paint extender in a small container or jar.
  2. Add the Plaster of Paris.
  3. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the plaster powder.
  4. Add and mix the Floetrol. It helps to maintain body.
  5. In a separate jar pour the latex paint then add the plaster of paris, water and Floetrol mixture.
  6. Tighten the top on the jar and shake thoroughly to mix well.

WARNING! ALWAYS USE OIL BASE PRIMER OR SHELLAC BEFORE PAINTING! You will experience pesky stain bleed through more often. This is because latex behaves differently than the acrylic base that professional chalk paint manufacturers use. So, oil base or shellac primer coat is required for each project! I learned this the hard way and believe it a small price to pay for the large savings and the result is a robust makeover job.

*Paint Brand Matters*

Update: 7-4-2021: The pandemic plus the big storm and power outage earlier this year in Texas is causing serious shortages in many things include paint ingredients. This is resulting in increased prices of General Finishes product and a lack of general paint supply.

The Sherwin Williams ‘test’ paint quarts I usually buy to make my DIY chalk paint have been unavailable for months. So, I turned to ACE brand Royal quarts. It’s possible that the dark color (lots of added pigment) is the culprit but . . . the paint is runny and thin even after adding plaster of paris. Using, it felt latexy, kind of rubbery not chalky. Peeling and low adhesion is why straight up latex paint should not be used on furniture so I’m a little concerned about this batch.

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