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 piece for CHEAP…by making your own DIY Chalk Paint! 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.)

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

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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.

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

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  • Next, pour in the paint……

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  • and mix until well blended.

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

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

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First coat close-up. Just keep going. 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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! 😉

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

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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!

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

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Clean lines! Hooray!

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

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

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

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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! 🙂

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 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and have a fabulous weekend!