Chalk Paint

I had heard a lot of talk about chalk paint, but I wasn’t sure it was worth the hype… until I tried it myself!


– Chalk paint and chalkboard paint are basically the same thing. If you don’t seal the piece/wall with wax or some sort of poly, you can easily write on it with chalk.

– The best known brand is Annie Sloan. It’s thicker than most homemade versions & takes fewer coats to cover, but is far more expensive. Other chalk paint brands exist, but all are more costly than homemade with little difference in finished effect.

– There are also various recipes online for chalk paint, but I was so happy with the recipe I used that I might not stray from it. If you’d like, just Google chalk paint recipes to see what others have done.

– Chalk paint is very versatile. Use it on walls, furniture, upholstery, etc. Just don’t use it on flooring or any place where it might be exposed to water, like a backsplash or bathroom. (That’s at least what I’ve read while researching chalk paint.)


I really dread painting furniture. The sanding, priming, etc. involved in prepping a piece for paint makes me cringe. And even after a finishing coat of polyacrylic, I’ve had things chip soon after. Maybe it’s my own error, maybe not. Either way, it’s frustrating. So when a friend told me that she used homemade chalk paint on a desk & it held up, I thought I’d give it a go.

My coffee table has been taupe, aluminum foiled, animal print, and yellow. It’s also been scratched, chipped, and ugly. I finally tried out a “distressed look”, but it just looked sloppy. I decided a creamy warm gray would be best, and chalk paint might be my last hope.  

Guess what…it worked beautifully! And so far, it’s held up to my five kids like a dream! And the best part was no sanding or priming!!!!


  • 1/3 cup Plaster or Paris
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 cup Paint

Mix together the plaster and water first. Then mix in the paint. 

I read others advise not to use any paint+primer and to avoid Valspar paints. I also read that flat paint is normally used but semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, etc. work just fine. I used satin paint with no problems.

It takes a few coats, especially if your chalk paint is thin, like mine was. I might experiment with a bit less water next time.

The dry time is great! Chalk paint dries quickly, unlike other paints. So, that meant less waiting between coats.

Be sure to protect your work with a good coat or two of soft wax. There seems to be a lot of choices on brands of wax, but I used SC Johnson paste wax. A word to the wise, this wax STINKS, so use it in a very well-ventilated area! The fumes were giving me a headache, even with all the windows open! Also be sure to give the paint & wax time to cure. I painted one day & waited 24 hrs before waxing it. Then I waited 24 hours more before using it. Sufficient cure time is important! And I didn’t want to risk ruining what I hope is my final time painting this coffee table.


Next time, I think I’ll try a different brand of wax. But other than that, I’m super excited to join the chalk paint craze!

What will you try chalk paint on? 


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