One of my favorite tools in my decor toolbelt is paint. Not just any kind, however. I have a particular fondness for chalk paint. In this post, I’ll explain what exactly chalk paint is (along with why I love it so much!). Plus, I’ll show you how to whip up a batch of DIY chalk paint and a fun way to use it in your home.
Painting furniture professionally has gotten me pretty spoiled when it comes to what paint I use for projects. My favorite type to use by far is chalk paint. Not only do I like the rustic finish it has, but it is by far the easiest paint to use, hands down!
I often prefer to buy chalk paint by my favorite brands, however, there’s always a time or two when I do not have access to my favorite one and I need to paint something, ASAP. Anyone know what I mean? There are lots of recipes out there for DIY chalk paint, but this one is for when you’re in a pinch and need to make some fast.
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What is Chalk Paint?
Let’s chat real fast about what this incredible paint actually is. Chalk paint is a type of paint that has a signature matte finish. It’s a great paint to reach for if you want to give an item a distressed finish. If you love a rustic, chippy appearance, you’ll love this stuff!
That’s not to say you have to produce an aged appearance when you use this paint. In fact, you can also use it to give a super smooth coat to a worn-out piece of furniture too.
Benefits of Using Chalk Paint
First of all, I love the finish you get with chalk paint. Like I mentioned above, it can give even brand new items a rustic, aged finish. I like the matte finish it has much more than a glossy shiny one.
Secondly, chalk paint requires no prep work. Typically when you want to paint something you have to spend hours sanding it, cleaning it, and prepping it. With chalk paint, there’s none of that grunt work! Simply pick up a brush and start painting. Seriously.
Lastly, you can buy chalk paint in so many different beautiful shades, but you can easily make your own custom DIY chalk paint in whatever color you like. How fun is that?
How to Make Chalk Paint
Now that you know how awesome this paint is, let’s chat about how to make a batch of your own. You likely have most of the supplies at home already, which is always nice!
DIY Chalk Paint Supplies
- Baking Soda
- Any latex paint of your choice (mine was SW-Salty Dog Satin)
- Spare container for mixing (I recycled an old plastic Hellman’s mayonnaise jar—just rinse it out first!)
- Chip brush
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Gilders Paste Wax Rub in Gold (optional)
- Spray Sealer
Step by Step Instructions for How to Make DIY Chalk Paint
- Measure out and pour 1 cup of water into your spare container and mark it with a Sharpie. Pour out the water and dry your container out with a paper towel.
- Pour out your latex paint into the spare container up to the 1 cup mark only.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda and add to the paint in your spare container.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of cool water to your paint mixture and replace the lid tightly.
- Then shake your container vigorously for a minimum of 5 minutes to mix thoroughly.
- Now your paint is ready for use immediately.
Tips for Painting With Chalk Paint
- Tip #1 – If you need to stop painting for a short time and plan to use the same brush and color; wrap your wet brush up tightly in a wet paper towel followed by a piece of saran wrap. See below.
- Tip #2 – If you aren’t able to do Tip #1 in time and your paint dries on your brush, soak it in some Murphy’s Soap for a few hours and watch your brush come back to life! It’s literally magical! See below.
- Tip #3 – Place a rubber band around the paint container. Use this to scrape your brush against and get off the excess paint instead of the lip of the container. This helps the lid to not stick to all the paint later on. Plus, it’s just cleaner.
How to Use Chalk Paint
The entire reason I made this DIY chalk paint was to give these old planter pots in my backyard pool area a major makeover.
I decided to see if they could be salvaged. As you can see, they were in really rough shape with old chippy paint and grime; therefore, they got a bath! Then they sat out in the sun to dry completely.
They were easy to cover with my DIY chalk paint, but they definitely needed two coats! Optionally, you can sand them lightly after painting if you’d like a super smooth surface, as this recipe is a little gritty. These pots are going back in my yard, so it was a ‘no’ on the sanding for me. As you can see, I simply brushed the paint right on—no prep necessary!
I like to give my DIYs a little extra something, so I added some of this gold-colored wax to the raised areas of the planter pots for added detail and color.
Finally, since these were going to be outside all of the time, I sealed them with Triple Coat Spray Sealer. Again, this step is totally optional.
Viola! Quick & easy diy chalk painted pots! See how easy this was?
Final Thoughts on DIY Chalk Paint
This is my “go-to” recipe for DIY chalk paint in a pinch! Try it for yourself and see if you like it when you don’t have the real deal available! I use this on all materials; wood, glass, metal, plastic. It’s ultra forgiving and provides a great coverage.
I will say, there are definitely other recipes for DIY chalk paint. Most require Plaster of Paris (which I never seem to have on hand). These recipes may have a bit smoother finish. This recipe just works for those times when you’re in a pinch and need to paint something and don’t have “all the things”!
>>BE SURE TO PIN THIS FOR LATER!<<<
diy chalk paint tie-dye t-shirt idea
My friend Amy Sadler wrote about a cute idea that uses DIY Chalk Paint on t-shirts to create a fun tie-dye effect over on her blog Chateau Chic DIY. Using this method is so easy and fun to do with the kiddos! You’ll be addicted to tie-dye projects in no time. Visit her post to learn more about the process and options to create your very own tie-dye t-shirts! >>How to Make a Tie-Dye T-Shirt using Chalk Paint<<
If you love this kind of DIY idea, you need to be getting my emails, friend! Each week I send out a couple of emails that include updates, crafts, shopping experiences, and decor inspiration. Be sure to get yourself signed up below. I can’t wait to meet you!
How to Make Chalk Paint
- 1/2 cup Baking soda
- 1-2 tbsp Latex paint of your choice
- Spare container with lid for mixing
- Measure one cup of water out and pour it into your container. Mark the spot where the water comes to with a sharpie. Dump the water out, and pour the latex paint to where the line is.
- Add 1/2 cup baking soda.
- Add 1-2 tbsp of cold water, place the lid on the container, and shake vigorously for at least 5 minutes.