Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Make Your Own Chalk Finish Paint

A few days ago I shared with you the beautiful dresser that was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and I gushed over how wonderful this stuff was. No sanding or priming needed beforehand, no matter the finish on the piece you are starting with. That is huge for me, as I am naturally very lazy and impatient, which means I hate to go through all of that rigamarole before I get any peek of what my finished piece is going to look like.  I am all about the instant gratification. 

The one downside to the ASCP is its price - about $40 for a quart.  Yep, that was quart, not gallon (I know - eek).  In its defense, it does save you money since you don't have to buy primer and it goes a long way.  A penny pincher like me, however, gets the shakes when forking over that kind of cash for paint.

I was excited when I came across several online sites that said one could make their own concoction for much less $$$, so I had to try it.
 The recipe that I decided sounded the easiest called for 2 parts latex paint to one part plaster of Paris, plus a little water.  

My 14-year-old daughter hated the look of her dresser and kept emptying it out and pushing it into the hall.  I don't know why, for the paint color and stenciling was so very stylish in 1970 when my mother painted it, but there is no accounting for taste now, is there?  Anyway, I thought it a good candidate for a makeover.

I headed over to the home improvement store and picked up some paint and plaster of Paris, totaling about $25. I knew that I wanted to do two colors on the dresser: a creamy white and a slightly-greenish blue.  I did cheat a bit and bought a Behr paint that claimed to be a paint and primer in one.  The white was Elegant White, but I wasn't sure exactly what color blue I wanted, so I bought two sample sizes - one was Tide Pool and the other Marina Isle.  Once I got home, however, the two colors were so similar, I decided to just combine them both.  

I followed the recipe of 2 parts plaster of Paris to 1 part paint, then added water a little bit at a time until it looked liquidy but not too liquidy.  It is an advantage to have used the Annie Sloan paint and know what the consistency is like, but if you haven't, I would say get it to the point that the paint spreads nicely but isn't too runny. I found it best to put it all in a jar and shake it to get it well-combined.

I so wish that I had had the good sense to have take a before picture, but that was not the case.  Here is the after:

I did note that the homemade stuff does not spread as beautifully as the real thing, but it dried just as quickly, only needed two coats, distressed very well (with sandpaper on many of the edges), and when waxed, looks every bit as good as the ASCP. I was both shocked and pleased and can definitely recommend it! I also have lots of paint and plaster of Paris left over, so if I had to guesstimate how much it cost in materials to redo this dresser, I would say just a few dollars.  

Even more importantly, my daughter was quite happy and has not once dumped it out and pushed it into the hall.  I wonder what her daughter will think about it in 40 years?

* I am linking this to The Shabby Creek Cottage's Transformation Thursday.


  1. What sheen of paint did you use? Flat, satin, semigloss?

    1. I used satin. I am not sure how much it matters, as once you add the Plaster of Paris it looks (and feels) pretty flat, but the wax picks it back up a bit. But satin is almost always the sheen I pick when painting furniture. Thanks for reading!

  2. What wax do you use? I'm new to the DIY chalk paint, will not spend the $ on ASCP!

  3. Hey Daphne. I used Annie Sloan wax on this piece, but you can use any kind of paste wax you like. Minwax is a good one. Definitely get the clear, and if you want to make it look a bit distressed, also get a darker one as well. You'll want to use the darker one first (and go light), then, when you are satisfied, use the clear all over. Make sure to send me a pic when you finish your piece!

  4. Hi Patty,
    Can the homemade chalk paint made with plaster of paris be wet distressed like ASCP? I don't like the mess of regular sanding tho it does have its place.
    Thanks for the guidance.