BEST Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes (2024)


After spending $45 and a half day drive on a quart of brand name chalk paint, I was determined to find the BEST Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes for a cost efficient alternative.

If you’re interested in mixing your own chalk paint to save yourself time and money, read on because I discovered a bunch of interesting stuff I wasn’t made aware of on other blogs.

I tried four (4) of the most popular Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes and the results surprised me and left me with a hands-down fave! In sharing my experience, I hope it helps you decide which DIY recipe is right for you.

So let’s start my countdown…. 😉

2/3 cup Paint

1/3 cup Baking Soda

Mix really well

My least favourite is the baking soda recipe.

When applying this Homemade Chalk Paint, (HMCP) it had a very gritty texture despite a thorough mixing. I could actually see the tinygranulars in the paint as I was applying each coat.

I was worried it wouldn’t sand down properly, but it turned out just fine…. whew! Here’s what it looks like after the final sanding/distressing.

Although Baking Soda Chalk Paint is listed last on my countdown, it’s perfectif you’re trying to achieve an old weathered, distressed “country” looking piece of furniture.

Deana at Alchemy Fine Living has a great video showcasing a dresser painted with the Baking SodaChalk Paint Recipe.

Baking Soda Chalk Paint Cost – $1.69 for a box of baking soda which can be used for another 5 single chalk paint recipes + cost of latex paint

Time Involved – No time was spent on the purchase because I always have baking soda in my kitchen. 2-3 minutes to mix itthoroughlyinto the paint.

Application – Grainy look and feel even when mixed thoroughly.

Adhesion & Coverage – Great! No priming or sanding required and great coverage.Good coverage after 2 coats but I applied 3.

Odour – Noodourother than the latex paint it’s mixed with.

Clean Up – Cleans up like regular latex. Not as easy as 100% green brand name chalk paint.

Distressing –Requires sanding. Not as effortless as brand name chalk paint (ie distressing with dampened cloth).

Finish –The finished look is chalky but not quite as smooth as brand name chalk paint.

1 cup Paint

2 Tbsp Unsanded Grout

Water to mix Grout

Number 3 on my list is the Unsanded Grout Recipe.

I mixed the grout with the water, then once smooth, added it to the paint. It looked and applied like a brand name chalk paint. It dried fast (within 1/2 hour), and the finish was just as “chalky” as the store bought.

It had a bit of aweirdodour…ok…reallyweird. But because it was applying so beautifully, I wasn’t bothered by it too much.

Fabulous! … so why is it listed No.3 on my list?

This DIY Homemade Grout version started to thicken up while I was applying my first coat…. it turned more like thick icing than paint.

I had to keep mixing it while I was painting and eventually had to add more water because it was too thick. The next day it had reallycongealedand more water was needed. Take a look… it just kept turning into a thick mess!

Here is the before and after. The table on the left is painted with Baking Soda HMCP and the table on the right is painted with Unsanded Grout HMCP. Can you see a difference?

Unsanded Grout Chalk PaintCost –$17.99 for a large 10lb bag which will last a zillion single recipes + cost of latex paint

Time Involved – Easy to find Non-Sanded Grout on-line or at anyLowe’s, Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire or anyon-linehome reno store. Note –Grout comes indifferentcolours. You want tobuy white unsanded grout. Why? If you add a coloured grout to your paint, it may alter your paint’s hue. 3-5 minutes to measure and mix itthoroughlyinto the water and paint.

Application –Fabulous… until it started thickening up. Then time was spent mixing it and adding additional water to obtain the right consistency.

Adhesion & Coverage –Great! No priming or prep required and it had full coverage after 3 coats. The more water I added, the thinner the coverage.

Odour – It had a weird smell. I’d love to explain it to you but I don’t know what to compare it to?

Distressing –Requires sanding. Not as effortless as with a brand name chalk paint (ie rubbing with dampened cloth).

Clean Up –Cleans up like regular latex (brand name chalk paint cleans up much easier)

Finish –The finished look is exactly like a brand name chalk paint. Smooth, chalky and lovely.

3 parts Paint

1 part Plaster of Paris

Water to mix

My number 2 pick is the Plaster of Paris recipe.

I madea smooth paste with theplaster of paris and waterbefore mixing it into the paint. When mixed well, it was silky smooth and applied just asnicelyas brand name chalk paint.

The second day it did thicken a little and appeared a little grainy, but after a thorough mixing it was fine.

The left over paint was stored in a glass pickle jar and used again 2 weeks later.

Plaster of Paris Chalk Paint Cost – $6.oo for a largebox which will last for a looong time + cost of latex paint

Time Involved – Easy to find Plaster of Paris on-line or at any Lowes, Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire or craft store. 3-5 minutes to measure and mix it thoroughly into the water and paint.

Application – Fabulous! The consistency was great and it applied like brand name chalk paint.

Adhesion & Coverage – Great! Nopriming or prep required. Applied 3 coats for compete coverage.

Odour – None other than the latex paint used.

Distressing –Requires sanding. Not as effortless as with a brand name chalk paint (ie rubbing with dampened cloth).

Clean Up –Cleans up like regular latex (brand name chalk paint clean up is much easier)

Finish – The finished look is exactly like a brand name chalk paint. Smooth, chalky and lovely.

I used the Plaster of Paris Chalk Paint Recipe to re-purpose an old sewing table into a little girl’s desk. What do you think?

Calcium Carbonate

2 parts paint

1 part Calcium Carbonate

My hands down #1 choice was the Calcium Carbonate Recipe…which makes good sense since Calcium Carbonate is chalk!

It mixed into the paint easily, had the perfectconsistency, coverage was fantastic, dried within 30 minutes, AND left me with a perfect chalky finish. I stored the left over paint in a yogurt container and it kept the same consistency for days. (I did stir it vigorously each time before use.)

The only downfall to my #1 choice was I had a difficult time finding it! Not many stores sell it in powder form and the pill form won’t work even if you grind them up.

My local pharmacy ordered it in for me and I picked it up 4 days later. Since then, I’ve found a good grade Calcium Carbonate On-line and will be ordering from the comfort of my home. 🙂

As I mentioned above, the Plaster of Paris recipe was used tore-purposethe sewing table into a desk, but I used the Calcium Carbonate Chalk Paint to paint the matching chair. Can you tell thedifference?

Calcium Carbonate Chalk Paint Cost –$11.99 for a 500g container which I’m almost finished. I’ve painted 1 chair, a large desk (NOT the one shown above) and 2 large chalk board frames. I have enough left over for another small/medium project. Out of all four(4) recipes, Calcium Carbonate is the least economical. However, comparing it to brand name chalk paints, the cost difference is still pennies on the dollar in this recipes favour! + cost of latex paint

Time Involved –Took me 2 weeks to track this stuff down! I searched Shoppers Drug Mart, Health Food Stores, Organic Stores and finally asked at my local pharmacy. Next time, I’ll be ordering it on-line! 3-5 minutes to measure and mix itthoroughlyinto the paint.

Application –Fabulous…exactly like brand name chalk paints.

Adhesion & Coverage –Great! No priming or prep required and the coverage was fantastic. It dried faster than the Plaster of Paris (within 20 minutes) because no water was added.

Odour –None, other than the latex paint used.

Distressing –Requires sanding. Not as effortless as with a brand name chalk paint (ie rubbing with dampened cloth).

Clean Up –Cleans up like regular latex (brand name chalk paint clean up is much easier)

Finish –The finished look is exactly like a brand name chalk paint. Smooth, chalky and beautiful!

So the Best Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe… Calcium Carbonate!

Although these HMCP recipes are not 100% green, the coverage and finish are VERY comparable to brand name chalk paints. In researching all my options, I also learned Wall Texture, Limestone and Whitening Powder can be used to make chalk paint.

I wish I knew who to give credit to for the above recipes. Whoeveroriginallycame up with them… thank-you… absolutely BRILLIANT!!!!

Still undecided which DIY recipe you’re going to try? You can read more HMCP Tips here.

If you have a HMCP experience you’d like to share or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get right back to you!

Enjoy your day & happy painting.



BEST Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes (2024)


How do you make high quality chalk paint? ›

There is also a “commercial” way to make chalk paint. You can use BB Frosch paint transformer powder to mix with normal acrylic paints. This is by far my favorite type of chalk, too. It lets you choose your own color and it's just as high quality as the commercial chalk paints.

Can I use Tums to make chalk paint? ›

If you can use antacids to make molded chalk, you can use it to make chalk paint. It's so popular right now and such a good "fixer" for something old that needs a bit of updating. To use: paint as usual. I loved the final outcome.

How long will DIY chalk paint last? ›

It dries to a beautiful matte finish for a modern look or can be layered, distressed or sanded. While chalk paint can last from 1 to 5 years if stored properly, chalk paint will dry up much faster than that if left exposed to air.

What is the ratio for making chalk paint? ›

Calcium carbonate powder chalk paint recipe

Mix 2 parts latex paint to 1 part calcium carbonate powder. Mix well using the emersion blender. This mixes up well and seems to be the easiest recipe in regards to mixing.

How do you make vibrant chalk paint? ›

Instructions. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water and whisk smooth. Divide mixture into cups or a muffin tin. Use a small drop of food coloring to color the individual containers and then use paint brushes, sponges, or foam brushes to paint onto sidewalks.

Why do you put baking soda on chalk paint? ›

So when you add baking soda to your paint it doesn't react with the paint in any way. It just adds texture, the grains of baking soda in the paint create the texture. Baking powder however reacts with the paint and changes it. As you'll see in pictures below the paint bubbles up, making it thicker.

How much baking soda do I use to make chalk paint? ›

Chalk Paint Soda
  1. 1 cup cornstarch.
  2. 1 cup Baking Soda.
  3. 2 cups water.
  4. Food coloring, misc. colors.
  5. 8 small plastic cups.
  6. Paintbrushes.

Is it cheaper to make your own chalk paint? ›

After the second coat I distressed lightly with sand paper and this is the finished look! Pros: I do think this DIY chalk paint is a great option if you're looking to save a little money. It's more affordable the most pre-mixed chalk paints on the market, so it will save you a few bucks.

What are the disadvantages of chalk paint? ›

Con: The Cost

Not only does chalk paint cost slightly more than latex or acrylic paint, but it also requires sealing and special tools. To get the durable finish that chalk paint is popular for, it requires a protective topcoat.

What happens if you don't wax over chalk paint? ›

Yes, you do have to Wax your furniture. If you don't, it'll get marked. Water could damage the Chalk Paint™. It could be scratched or otherwise compromised if left unprotected.

What is the cheapest way to make chalk paint? ›

The easiest and most affordable way to make your own chalk paint is to use INTERIOR CRACK FILLER, water and acrylic or latex paint. Combine 1 cup of interior crack filler with 1 cup of water and mix to a very smooth paste. If you feel the mixture is too thick you can add a dash more water.

How do you make chalk paint with cornstarch? ›

It's a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch to water, so you can make a large batch using that same ratio. If you would like to save time, mix 3/4 of a cup of cornstarch with 3/4 cup of water. Pour this into each muffin tin (6 muffin cups) and then mix in the sidewalk chalk.

What chalk do professional chalk artists use? ›

Brands we use a lot are Lowe & Cornell or Dick Blick studio grade house brand. They aren't too expensive, they cover and blend well, and they have brilliant colors. I also order special chalk from Eternity Arts Chalk in Michigan. They are larger and softer, and are good for large areas of color.

What can I use to seal chalk paint? ›

Seal Chalk paint with clear lacquer

varnishes dry quickly and can be painted over without any problems. We recommend the use of varnishes, especially for surfaces that are subject to heavy wear, as they create a much more robust surface than waxes, for example.

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