Chalk paint creates a soft, chalky patina that gives the furniture an antique look, and it makes cleaning furniture and cabinets easier because it requires less preparation. Although it is a useful and valuable product, this paint can be expensive, averaging $20 per quart.
However, making chalk paint at home is an easy DIY project that many people can complete in under 30 minutes. Best of all, you can practically use water-based latex paint colors to create chalk paint and customize your project.
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The equipment required to make chalk paint is not particularly hazardous, but it can be messy and the paint and fine powder required may require working in a ventilated area. When using plaster of Paris, it is recommended to protect the work surface with a tarp or newspaper and to wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of the fine powder.
Chalk paint is thicker than latex paint. Depending on the viscosity of the paint after adding the chalk substance, the amount of water added to help thin the paint will vary. As a general rule of thumb, chalk paint should be similar in consistency to pancake batter.
How to Make Chalk Paint with Baking Soda
Baking soda is the key ingredient in the easiest DIY chalk paint recipe, making it perfect for a quick or small project. Use basic baking soda found at grocery stores (or in your pantry).
Pour 1 cup matte or flat latex paint into a quart container. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of baking soda, mixing as you go. Don’t throw it all together – this can cause clumps in the paint.
Mix the ingredients well until the baking soda is completely dissolved. If the texture seems too thick, add two tablespoons of cold water to thin the mixture. The goal is to have no rigid structure.
How to Make Chalk Paint with Calcium Carbonate
Calcium carbonate is mostly known as a dietary supplement used to treat stomach upset and heartburn. 100 percent calcium carbonate is difficult to find in hardware stores and is more expensive per ounce than baking soda or plaster of Paris. However, it works well for making chalk paint because of how easily it dissolves in liquids.
Pour 1 cup matte or flat latex paint into a quart container. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of calcium carbonate, one tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go.
Mix the ingredients well until the calcium carbonate is completely dissolved. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
Chalk paint is used to cover a variety of surfaces without requiring a ton of prep work. It provides amazing coverage and is hassle-free. However, it can scratch the surface after drying, so it should be sealed with a water-based polyurethane or wax. While buying ready-made chalk paint can be expensive, DIY chalk paint is easy, fast, and inexpensive.
What is so special about chalk paint?
Chalk paint stands out from other paints because it requires no preparation like sanding or priming. The paint can be applied to almost any surface, indoors or outdoors: floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, glass, metal, wood, concrete, plaster, and even fabric.
Do you have to seal chalk paint?
The important thing is to completely seal your piece so no water can get in and damage your paintwork. Stir Chalk Paint Lacquer well before starting and regularly during use.