DIY Chalk Paint + how to refinish furniture!

May 17, 2014 | DIY, Home Decor, Inside FCF, Lifestyle

DIY Chalk Paint recipe & tutorial

I've run away and am back home in Oregon for a few days, enjoying much needed time with my family. Since I'm enjoying myself way too much, I've asked our DIY and Crafting contributors from Find it Make it Love it to show us how to make our own DIY Chalk Paint! Trust me, it's worth the read. Take it away, girls!

Hi! It's Melanie again from Find it, Make it, Love it! Steffany and I have been so excited about Jordan's “Focus on Change” theme for this month. We think one of the most fun ways to mix things up in our homes is to change furniture! We are here to show how to easily transform a pieceย for CHEAP…by making your own DIY Chalk Paint!ย Let's chat real quick about the perks of DIY chalk paint:

  • Much less expensive than the name brand.
  • Can use any color you want.
  • It dries super fast.

And best of all…..

  • No sanding required!

It's true, no sanding required! As long as the furniture does not have a heavy lacquer finish, this paint will stick! We have painted dressers, tables, nightstands and even a piano with no sanding!

If you're following along with Jordan's 30 Days of Positive Change Challenge, we've got you covered for at least 3 of the challenges! Ready!?

Let's dive right in with the BEFORE and AFTER reveal picture:

DIY chalk paint recipe & tutorial

This is a table Steffany snagged from her Grandma, it was headed to the dump if you can believe it! We fell in love with it's geometric top and curvy legs–gorgeous! We have decided Grandma furniture is a perfect way to acquire beautiful furniture to give new life to. Thrift stores and Yard Sales are also great ways to score some fabulous pieces! (Check out Jordan's Yard Sale tips HERE, and HERE. Also check out some of our other thrift store furniture transformations HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (23)

Before starting, wipe down the furniture using a de-greasing cleanser if necessary.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (15)

Now for the DIY money saving chalk paint recipe:

What you need:

Here's a couple helpful tips: if you're painting a small piece, just buy the sample size of paint from The Home Depot for about $3-it is exactly one cup! Plaster of Paris can be found at Walmart for around $5 a box, and a box will last a long time. So for under $10 you're on your way to a fabulous furniture update!

DIY chalk paint recipe & tutorial

Here's how to do it:

  • Pour the water and the Plaster of Paris into the bowl.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (19)

  • Mix the two together with the whisk VERY well! This is the trick to perfect homemade chalk paint!

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (20)

  • Next, pour in the paint……

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (21)

  • and mix until well blended.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (22)

  • A foam brush works best, then just start painting.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (16)

  • We took this picture after the first coat. Don't panic! The first coat of chalk paint never looks good! Just keep going. ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (17)

First coat close-up. Just keep going. ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (14)

As we mentioned, the paint dries super fast. It can be re-coated after about 10 minutes. See how good it looks after a few more coats?;) We painted 4 coats on this table.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (12)

With such a cool hexagon top, we wanted to do a little something special. We taped around the outer edge with painter's tape to start our design. Then used a ruler and pencil to lightly draw lines from corner to corner. This gave us a guideline for the rest of the design.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (13)

We used a ruler as a spacer for the remaining lines. (Honestly, we were winging it here. Keeping it simple and hoping it would look how we wanted! ๐Ÿ˜‰

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (8)

With a box cutterย and a ruler,ย we trimmed lightly trimmed any tape hanging over.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (9)

When painting with stencils, whether it's an actual stencil or just painters tape, be sure to paint from the edge of the tape inward. This will prevent the brush from pushing paint under the tapes edge. Perfect lines are a big deal on a project like this!

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (10)

  • Once you're done painting, carefully pull off the tape.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (11)

Clean lines! Hooray!

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (4)

  • For the charming distressed look, sand along all the edges with sandpaper, letting the dark wood underneath peak through.

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (7) DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (5)

Seal it with a good finish. Our favorite is Minwax Paste Finishing Wax., which isย also found here.ย It is easy to apply, and it holds up perfectly!

4x6 landscape reuse - Page 006DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (3)

In just a few hours a piece of furniture can be totally changed!

DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (1) DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (2) DIY Chalk paint-Hexagon table (6)

What do you think?! We know there's something sitting around your house that could use a fresh new look, we say change it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

Be sure to stop by Find it, Make it, Love for more ideas!


Thanks ladies! I hear everyone talking about how fabulous chalk paint is, and now I understand the glory of it all ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing, and have a fabulous weekend!





  1. Ashley @ 3 Little Greenwoods

    Homemade chalk paint is to much fun! It does stick to everything and provides great coverage. I have a cheapy kitchen hutch in my garage just waiting for me to make her pretty with some chalk paint.

    I love the colors and pattern you have used on Grandma’s table! Awesome job!

    ~ Ashley


      Thanks so much Ashley! So glad to hear you also love homemade chalk paint! Have fun making that hutch beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Emily

    I’m assuming you use colored paint to color your own paint?


      Yes Emily, we used white latex paint for the whole piece. The design with the gray, yellow and teal are just acrylic paints. Once the whole thing is painted with the chalk paint, the acrylic paint will stick just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Cd Z

    is this the same as like a chalkboard paint?


      This is a super common question! No, this is not the same as chalkboard paint. Kind of confusing, we know. ๐Ÿ™‚ Chalkboard paint is just the good old black chalkboard paint for writing on with chalk. Chalk paint is just called that because of the Plaster of Paris that’s in it that gives it a “chalky” feel. The “chalky” feel of it is what allows it to stick to furniture so well. I hope that answers your question! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. sue

    found you through roadkill rescue and love this tutorial! i’ve been buying my chalk paint on ebay and it gets expensive!!! i love that i can make it myself now.. also i love the way you finished this table.. i’ve never used finishing paste though– always poly. what is the difference between the 2? would poly yellow over white? we use the water based now since it’s so much easier to work with and if we’ve painted something with acrylic paint we always do a quick spray of a clear coat just to be sure the paint doesn’t run.. but maybe with finishing paste that wouldn’t happen? let me know.. also are there different sheens in the paste? thanks!

  5. Kara

    I was wondering if I could use chalk paint on top of that fake wood….. More of a plasterboard type piece. The cabinet i have is red and I was hoping to put yellow chalk paint on top and distress it so the red showed through a bit. But I’m unsure if the chalk paint will stick. Do I just need to sand the red fake wood first to allow the chalk paint to stick or do I need to prime first? If I do prime, will that get rid of the red coming through that I was hoping to achieve? Do I have any other options?


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