Making your own Chalk {like} Paint….

Alright, I love my Annie Sloan and I almost always will use hers… I think. I’ve been asked a couple times or more about my findings on the homemade chalk paint. I have so far made several batches of black chalk paint. Not because I didn’t like Graphite, but because my clients don’t like the grey black and even with dark wax it just isn’t’ black. So I have mixed with non sanded grout, calcium bicarbonate, and plaster of paris. I think it really all comes down to personal preference. I mentioned I love Annie Sloan… I like it rich and creamy and thick. I love the texture of the paint. I love it all… well, I have used behr, valspar, and sherwin williams. But then I ran into the Ace and bought a can of Benjamin Moore Space Black in ultra base acrylic. It in it’s own, is beautiful thick creamy paint… but when I turned it into chalk {like} paint it was the moment I had been hoping for with all the different trials!! That moment when you could do a little dance and paint all day- & I did!!

So, here’s the secret to my success. The above mentioned paint. 2 cups to be exact. In a separate mixing container I use 1/2 cup of plaster of Paris ( I like this the best for me. easy to get and 40% coupon at Michaels doesn’t hurt) and I don’t measure the water anymore. I mix the two together until they are the consistency of a really thin gravy with no {and I mean no} clumps… then I pour that mix into the paint I have divided out. Here’s the key mix it so well, until you think you have forgotten what you were doing there standing- oh mixing… it looks, it feels, it brushes on just like Annie’s. It’s beautiful and it sands down beautiful!! And at $13.99 a quart vs. well you know- it’s even better!! But, the only thing I have to be honest about is unlike the Behr, Valspar, and SW… for some reason the black doesn’t keep. It gels up after two days and won’t mix back down. So mix to size for project.

I can’t say that I will always mix instead of using Annie’s or even CeCe’s but it does make for a nice alternative when her color chart doesn’t appeal to every client or project.

Hope that helps!! Thanks for stopping by!!



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  1. LavenderBleu says:

    Lori, I know all of us are trying to find the perfect recipe and it seems as though you may have stumbled across it. I also love my ASCP, but you are so right…the price is so wrong! Finding a way to keep the costs down is essential in creating beautiful objects for the home. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Questions:

    1. Do you need to prime still for it to have the same adherence qualities? Meaning can you paint lacquered wood, varnished wood, waxed wood, laminate, metal?
    2. What is the shelf life of the homemade “chalk paint” normally?
    3. How do you protect the homemade “chalk paint?”
    4. Any idea of sq. ft coverage from the recipe you created? Thanks

    • Lori Young says:

      It does have the same qualities as the real stuff. I have painted on veneered and metal with it and it sticks.. I actually think it does a little better than other. It sands down into chalk dust but you do have to use a little more umpf to get it really down if you are going for a heavier distressed look.
      The shelf life for homemade normally I have no real idea. I have one can I used with valspar that was so gritty (probably more to do with how I mixed it than anything) but also really thin and it’s still there almost 2 months later. I can’t keep this recipe more than 2 days. So worth it to me though on the consistency and smooth like “budda” feeling.
      I use Annie’s wax to protect!! To me there just isn’t anything out there like it that I can readily get my hands on. I have thought about ordering a few of the waxes that are a tad cheaper but with shipping I just go to the little store here and buy hers.
      As far as square footage, You would probably have to just play with that one. I am not sure I have done a table and 4 chairs and a rustic pine armoire with that recipe together. No idea on square footage. Sorry. It does make about 3/4 of quart.

  3. Shabby Daze says:

    Price aside – try adding a little true black to CeCe Caldwell’s Vermont Slate. I did a piece for a client who also wanted a deep black. Then I mixed the CeCe wax with a little of the latex paint to finish it off. Didn’t really make sense to me to add latex to a totally No VOC chalk paint/wax but we give the clients what they want. I tried the homemade stuff and it was gritty. Looks like your recipe would be less so but I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered. LOL

    • Lori Young says:

      Thanks Donna, I will try that. I am not looking to replace either of those ladies paints for sure!! I paint tooo many pieces to be mixing up my own all of the time. Just when someone wants a particular color that they don’t offer!!

  4. Katlyn says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed post. I have been looking all over for someone to say what the cosistency should be when you mix it with the paint. How thick should it be when its all ready to go? and if Im getting brush marks when I paint (that arent dissapearing when it dries) does that mean my mixture is too thick? Thanks again!

    • Lori Young says:

      I am so sorry I am just seeing this question. I’m not getting notifications anymore when someone comments.
      I would say the slurree you make with POP needs to be a little thinner than the gravy mix you would pour into boiling water. Your paint should be just a thick as would be normally without being watered down. But not so thick that it stirs into a gel or jelly like consistency- too thick and will just harden on you quick. If you are seeing brush strokes it could be too thick- could be because the chalk paint is a texture paint. Could be your brush. Work with a wet brush to start- the thinner your paint the less obvious your strokes will be. And a fine grit on the sanding after can smooth out most everything you see!! Hope that all helps!! And isn’t well too late to help. Sorry again.

  5. shannon says:

    Hello, I am about to rush out and get the Ben Moore paint, but after looking at their website I do not see the “Ultra Base Acrylic”. Is there another name for it? I see the Ultra Spec. HELP!!!!!

    I am a first timer and also very cheap, so this was right up my alley!


    • Lori says:

      Hi Shannon, any of their paint is awesome to use!! It’s just the regular kind and on the can that was what it had for the description… Hope that helps!! ~ Lori

  6. Dot says:

    I had some Graphite from ASCP and it was not black enough for what I needed. I too, like Shannon, tried to find the “Ultra Base Acrylic” from Ben Moore but the paint store did not know what that I was referring to?? So, as not to waste the Graphite from ASCP, I took the can to our local paint store and they added 2.5 ounces of black pigment and shook the can repeatedly. The results were perfect and the store never even charged me for their tinting service!! Now that was real customer service! They were afraid to add more than the 2.5oz because they said it might gel up, but the amount they added was perfect anyway! Hope this helps some of you!
    Lori: Thanks for your quick response to my email last week. I do want to concider Maison Blanche and will be ordering a hand painted color chart. From my ASCP experience, I have learned that a handpainted chart is the only way to go! Thanks again!
    Dot in Michigan

    • Lori says:

      Wonderful!! That is the other thing you absolutely can do!! Use what you have!! And awesome they didn’t charge you for the pigment!! It’s just a good ol’ blue can and it really is the only kind they have at my Ace… so funny it’s causing such a mess… 🙂 I look forward to you getting our color chart!! It’s beautiful!! Happy Painting!! ~ Lori

  7. Kelsey says:

    Have you ever had dark grey or black paint dry chalky white / light grey? I used a recipe similar you yours with Valspar paint and it dried very light and very chakly. I ended up painting it with regular paint in the same color to get the dark shade my client wanted.


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