How to Make Chalk Paint {Tutorial}

I don't know who to properly credit for the original DIY version of chalk paint.  But I know that after reading all these variations, I decided to go with the one that Yetunde of AfroMartha used.  Why? Because I knew I was working with a very imperfect furniture piece and most of the DIY chalk paint tutorials I read used less additive, which I believe produces a smoother finish. I didn't want smooth. I wanted a please-hide-my-flaws finish.

With that being said, let's get on with the "recipe."

{DIY Chalk Paint}
Using a 2:1 ratio

2 c latex paint of your choice (the finish doesn't matter; I used leftover trim paint so it was a semi-gloss finish)
1 c additive of your choice (I chose to use white unsanded grout)
measuring cup
bucket to mix
paint stirrer

Measure out 2 cups of paint into a container.  Stir in 1 cup of unsanded grout.  Be sure to mix, mix, mix well.  Pour into a paint tray.  That is all.

  1. Mix one batch at a time.  This paint dries super fast, so imagine how quickly it dries in a paint tray.
  2. Use a paint brush to paint into grooves, but use a foam roller to provide as "even of a coverage" as you can over the entire piece.
  3. Plan to finish this chalk painting process in one day so that you don't waste materials.  Your foam roller will be as hard as a rock before you know it if you leave it for another day.
  4. If you don't want as grainy of a finish, then add 1/2 cup of hot water to the grout, mix well, then add the paint.  (As I stated, I wanted grainy and I didn't mind bits of grout dispersed on my furniture.  Adds character.)
If you're interested in distressing the piece, there are several tutorials out there for that.  I did not want the distressed look because that's not the style I have going on in my craft studio.

If you follow this tutorial, this is what you should see:
I darkened the edges of this photo to help you see the mixture a bit better.

See?  It's very textured.
And here you can see the texture on the finished piece:

And again, the entire finished piece:

I hope this helped!  I can see more chalk paint pieces in my future.  Can you?

To view the tutorials on how this piece was refinished click here and here.

{Click here to see where I link up.}

Happy Crafting,

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  1. I can see the texture now. Looks like it might be a challenge to work with such thick paint. Especially since you were doing it in hot weather; that would speed the drying time considerably. I haven't seen a chalk paint finish in real life that I know of. You have made me quite curious!

    1. I've never seen the Annie Sloan chalk paints in person, but check out this link: Her paints don't look textured but have that chalky appearance. Maybe someone in your area sells them and you can check it out. :-)

  2. It reminds me of my own-made paints back in University. I had to do all kind of hideous mixtures as part of my homework, just imagine how awful did the kitchen smell --I had to cook some of them...

    1. Cooking paints? I can't even imagine. lol

  3. i like that look---very helpful :)

  4. Thanks for the recipe! Your dresser looks fantastic!

  5. Oooooh, girl. Do you know that I had no idea why people used chalk paint... instead of chalkBOARD paint. I did not understand at all... until I read this post!! LOL. So, it is to hide the imperfections, right? Anyway, I can't remember if I told you, but I LOVE how the dresser ended up! It is so sleek.

    1. I think some people may use it for hiding imperfections. Probably that's why no sanding is required. But I think it's also to give it that historic old-world charm. If you look at some of the original chalk paint colors from Annie Sloan, they all are from a muted palette. The look you see in these historic homes. I don't care so much about that, but hiding flaws in a sophisticated way. I think now that people have the recipe, they can create the chalk paint in any color of their choice, instead of being limited. And yes, it's different from chalkboard paint. :-)

  6. Very nice... I really like the silver hardware.

  7. paint is always an easy fix that produces great results

  8. Awesome, LOVE IT! Using chalk paint is still on my list! :) I'm thinking this Fall I'm going to play with it constantly! I'm so ready to be finished with the triple digits here!!! Thanks for sharing at my party!

    XO, Aimee


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