Homemade Chalk Paint

I am so happy Dena is back today from Happy Home.Austin

All the rage these days in the painted furniture world is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It covers easily, with no sanding or priming required, dries quickly, and leaves a hard, protective finish.  However, with it being a relatively new-to-us product out of the UK, it’s sometimes hard to find, and is fairly pricey for a limited selection of colors.  A quart of paint is about $40.

Now, I must admit, I don’t have any personal experience with this paint; but after hearing so many good things about it, and seeing the beautiful finished products of those who have, I was dying to try it.  Considering I prefer getting my paint from the “oops” sections of my local home improvement centers at a price of about $4 a quart, I just could not bring myself to pay ten times that for the same amount.

After doing some research, I found out that making this paint, or something similar, is not at all difficult.  You can use a ~3:1 ratio (paint to additive) with calcium carbonate, sandless grout, or plaster of Paris.  I used calcium carbonate, which can be found in any natural food store.

I started with this old $5 chair that had definitely seen better days.

I didn’t want to take the time to sand the whole thing, so decided I would test the homemade chalk paint on it.


So here is what I did:

I boiled a little water (maybe a third of a cup) and added it slowly to about ¾ cup of calcium carbonate, mixing it well until there were no lumps.  (I have also tried adding the calcium into the paint without the boiled water, and ended up with lots of little lumps).  Measurements do not have to be exact, and you can add more or less as you prefer.

I poured about 1 ½ cups latex paint into a container, added the calcium carbonate mixture to it a little at a time, stirred, added more, stirred, and so on until the paint mixture was the consistency of slightly watery paint.  Again, adding more calcium will thicken it up, as will letting it sit uncovered for a time.

I then began applying it to the unsanded, unprimed wood and immediately was in love with chalk paint.

It covered well, dried quickly, and once dry, did not flake or peel off.

I read that you are supposed to wax first before sanding, so that’s what I did.  I used Howard’s Feed-N-Wax, mixed with a little wood stain to give it a weathered look.  Let that dry and then sanded it in just the right spots.


I also applied it to this side table (sorry, no before pic), that had a super shiny finish on it that, normally, I would have sanded first.

It also turned out great!

Since I have never used the original AS chalk paint, I have nothing to compare my version to, but if it’s anything like this, it’s a wonderful product.  I will be using this paint recipe on lots of future projects, in many, many different colors. :)

Don’t forget, you can connect with Dena on her Facebook page Happy.Home.Austin!


  1. does it have to be latex paint? or can you use other types of paint as well?

  2. Tammy Johnston says:

    Dena,I have checked your posting for homead chalk paint on the chair. I love the look. Can you tell me about the stage of mixing the wax and stain.and sanding. I did not understand if you just brush on inspots,let dry and the gently sand back to acheive the burnished look.

  3. trish folts says:

    Can you tell me if this paint will harden or otherwise expire once mixed? I am curious what the shelf life is. CeCeCaldwells and Annie Sloan are good for about 1 year.

  4. Mominizer Mominizer says:

    gorgeous Dena! I am so glad you shared the recipe – I have used AS and love it, but will be making your recipe!

    • Happy Home Austin says:

      Yay! I’ve made several small batches in the last week using this method, without measuring anything. Thankfully, it’s very fool proof . The key is to mix the calcium in hot water before adding it to the paint. Works like a charm.


  1. […] freshening these old rose back chairs with homemade chalk paint , I wanted to make them look more … errr.. less fresh… more like old […]