Remodeling your chalk to be gorgeous things

Have you fallen in love with the look of chalk painted furniture and are ready to try your hand at doing this yourself? Finding a cheap piece of furniture and transforming it into something beautiful (and possibly sellable) is every DIYer’s dream. If you are thinking about painting some DIY chalk paint projects, you’ll want to read this first.

Should I purchase chalk paint or make it myself?

Chalk paint is a type of paint that you could make yourself using off-the-shelf ingredients. As you might expect, making chalk paint yourself costs a lot less than a name brand however, it’s messy, requires equipment and tools, and there may be a learning curve while you learn how to make the right type for you. Some DIYers find that it may be a matter of trial and error when making their own chalk paint, and getting the correct color and consistency is very important. But quart for quart, making your own chalk paint tends to be a lot less expensive in the long run.

What is chalk paint?

Chalk paint, not to be confused with chalkboard paint, is a type of mineral-based paint that gives a chalky or matte appearance to furniture. It’s slightly dusty to the touch due to the ingredients. The main components in chalk paint are pigment (in the form of paint) and either Plaster of Paris, non-sanded grout or calcium carbonate for the mineral component.

Isn’t chalk paint easier to use than other paints?

Yes and no, and depends on the final look you are going for. Any vintage piece of furniture will most likely need some sort of prep work before painting. You might have a piece of furniture with a chipped veneer, gauges, holes to fill or other repair work like sanding that will need to be done first. Acrylic paint usually needs a coat of primer (chalk paint doesn’t), but acrylic may only require one or two coats. Chalk paint may require more than two coats but this depends largely on the color you are painting over and the color you are trying to achieve. Chalk painted furniture usually does better with a coat or two of wax (some paint lines suggest a layer of soft wax followed by a harder wax). This wax layer helps create a smooth surface and helps protect the paint layers. Since many chalk painted pieces are going for a shabby chic appearance, you may also want to follow the waxing with some distressing; sandpaper, chains or other materials may be used to get this distressed look. So chalk paint isn’t necessarily easier or less time consuming, but it will help you achieve the look you are going for.

How can I make chalk paint?

There are different DIY recipes out on the web for making your own chalk paint. Although the ingredients differ slightly, the key to remember is that you should not use a paint with a primer in it. The primer ingredients will not mix well with the mineral or solid materials, and you’ll end up with a semi-solid, goopy mess. Make sure you mix your supplies in a well ventilated area and since the pouring and mixing often lead to a mess, be sure you wear gloves and protect your table or area first. Here is a recipe you can try to make your own chalk paint.