Chalk Like Paint – Make Your Own For $4.00

by Sherry
vanity - chalk paint
Hi Everyone.
I haven’t used any of the popular milk or chalk type paints that are all over blogland but I have seen several pieces up close and personal.  I love the chalky appearance of the paint but the
price is out of my budget
So what is a girl to do?
 Make her own chalky like paint of course!
I got to experimenting with different products and this is what I came up with.
Chalk is actually Calcium Carbonate and the product can be purchased in health food stores and at numerous on-line stores.  The cost is around $4.00 for 12 ounces.
Whiting powder will also give you a similar look for approximately $3.00 for a 1 pound package.  I could not find this locally but it is available on-line.
Plaster of Paris also works well and can be purchased at Michaels or Home Depot.  Home Depot sells 3 pounds for approximately $6.00.
To get the chalky paint look just add ANY ONE of the above to your latex paint.  The amount you use depends on how chalky you want the paint to look when dry.  I experimented using the sample size paints and used a ratio of 2/3 paint to 1/3 product.  You may need to add a few drops of  HOT water to the paint and occasionally stir it if gets too thick.
I saved and washed out glass jars to mix the paint in.  I have used the paint over and over again and each time I just added a couple of drops of hot water and stirred really good.
Do you remember the vanity I painted recently?  Well,  it was my first trial using the homemade chalk like paint.  For this I used the Calcium Carbonate and it worked beautifully.  No priming, no sanding required and it covered in two coats.  It also was
very easy to distress.
For the vanity I used approximately 1/4 of the 12 ounce jar of Calcium Carbonate plus a sample size pot of paint.  The total cost was less than $4.00
vanity - chalk paint
I just finished painting two mirror frames with latex paint mixed with Whiting Powder and some small items using the Plaster Of Paris.  All of these worked great and I’ll be posting pictures soon.
I did not use wax on the vanity but I did use Briwax on several other projects and I liked the sheen it gave them.
You can also create custom colors by adding acrylic craft paint to the latex and powder mixture.  Chalky paint is cheap to make and now you can have it in any color.
Added 9/19/2011
Just to answer a few questions.
I prefer the Calcium Carbonate to the other products just because it is easier to stir and goes on smoother.  I purchased my jar of CC on-line from Swanson Vitamins.  It is cheap and you can paint many large pieces with just one jar.
No need to prime or sand the furniture if it is in good condition. If you are using the Calcium Carbonate make sure and buy it in POWDER form and not tablets. There are no exact measurements here. More powder means more of a chalk look. I used Behr and Martha Stewart satin paint sample pots (around 7 oz each) and added approximately 2/3 paint to 1/4 powder and aabout a tablespoon of HOT water.
I have added a Pin It button located on the left. Hope this works
I would love to hear from you if you give this a try.

Related Posts


Liz September 19, 2011 - 3:12 am

You are a G E N I U S!! Seriously, that is a brilliant idea, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I sure like the price…now I'm excited to try this endeavor.

Can't wait to see what else you paint, well done! XO ~Liz

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training September 19, 2011 - 3:19 am

Your vanity is beautiful and I love how you have it decorated! Love to love vintage silver pieces!

So you made your own chalk paint….that sounds pretty fancy!!!

Kendra aka "Domestic Princess in Training"

The Polka Dot Closet September 19, 2011 - 3:20 am

Girl, you just blew the lid off the whole chalk paint craze!! I just could not justify the cost, since most of my projects are for resale, I can't wait to try this. Did you have to prime first, you said 2 coats so I am guessing not!!


[email protected] September 19, 2011 - 3:25 am

Great tips Sherry! Sometimes being a mad scientist leads to great discovery. I'm the gesso queen, but I've also mixed plaster of paris into paint. I haven't tried calcium carbonate though.

Linda @ A La Carte September 19, 2011 - 3:27 am

Wonderful info! Gosh I would not try the chalk paint because of the cost but this makes it reasonable.

[email protected] September 19, 2011 - 3:52 am

Thanks Sherry!! I too was very hesitant to try it as it was a big investment. Now, I'll be heading to Depot or Michael's and get the materials!

Have a great week!

AntiqueChase September 19, 2011 - 3:55 am

Great post!! Thanks for sharing!

Debra @ Common Ground September 19, 2011 - 4:08 am

Hey Sherry, Carole from Maynard Greenhouse said that sandless grout does the same thing. I've been wanting to try out the additives and see how it goes. Thanks for the extra tips on product. Your vanity is really gorgeous.xo

~ Regan September 19, 2011 - 4:19 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have wanted to try Chalk Paint for a long time now, but no one around me sells it (or has even heard of it!) I'm so glad you figured this out, I can't wait to try it! …. Now, I just have to find something to paint! 😉

[email protected] September 19, 2011 - 4:43 am

YES I will be trying this! I'm very excited by the prospect. I'm another one too cheap to buy chalk paint, but the thought of no sanding has always tempted me!

sweet violets September 19, 2011 - 5:22 am

OMG…..can't believe you figured it out!!! Way to go!!! I've been wracking my little brain trying to come up with a product or the money to buy the original, and now you went and did it!!! Thank you so much for sharing this info….will be trying it out this winter(oops, sorry to use that word)when it gets too dreary to go out!!! How about the waxing part, or did you skip that??? hugs…cleo

Lori Lucas September 19, 2011 - 7:29 am

My daughter, who is a bio-medical engineer, was just trying to convince me last week to make my own chalk paint. I tuned her out, because she tends to think very scientifically! But you made it sound so easy! I read your post to my daughter and she said, "That is what I told you (about the calcium carbonate)." But I explained to her that you made it sound so easy! (That did not set well with her!ha!) I have used the real chalk paint many times, but CANNOT WAIT to try your ideas! Thanks! Lori L

Nita {ModVintageLife} September 19, 2011 - 7:47 am

crazy good

Angela September 19, 2011 - 8:36 am

You are so sweet to share this with us, Thank you so much!
I will give it a try as soon as I can find one of those products here in Dubai, otherwise I will get it on-line.
Your vanity looks so pretty.

Mel @ September 19, 2011 - 9:35 am

That vanity is so pretty, I've never seen one quite like it before.

Great info. on creating chalk paint; I kind of always suspected that it wasn't rocket science, although the price of it sure makes you think it is 🙂

[email protected] September 19, 2011 - 12:14 pm

I can't wait to try this Sherry. Thanks for the tip. I just wasn't willing to pay the price of the chalk paint.

ShantyGirl September 19, 2011 - 10:40 am

I have a bag of unsanded grout that I was going to try to use as in the martha stewart recipe for chalk board paint but your recipes may work better, thanks for sharing!!

Sylvia September 19, 2011 - 11:07 am

I too couldnt justify the price of chalk paint but will have to try your idea for sure!!!


sissie September 19, 2011 - 11:13 am

Hi Sherry,
I'm going to try this method for sure. I wasn't exactly loving the ASCP, especially the price. So, I'll give this a try.

You are brillant! Love your vanity and I wish it were mine.


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper September 19, 2011 - 11:30 am

oooh i want to try this. you might just be my hero.

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns September 19, 2011 - 11:40 am

How neat a quite smart Sherry! I'll be giving it a try soon:)

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures September 19, 2011 - 11:46 am

Thanks for sharing. I will be posting this on fb and pinterest.

Gina September 19, 2011 - 11:46 am

This is an excellent idea! Who knew? Your vanity looks fantastic.

Susan @ September 19, 2011 - 11:53 am

Sherry you are wonderful for sharing this! As soon as I get back on my feet (I broke my ankle)… I'm on this! I can't wait to try it. I was out of chalk paint and I wasn't happy about the price! Thank you!
Susan @ homeroad

Michele Smith September 19, 2011 - 12:03 pm

WOW! That is flippin awesome. Sure beats the price of CP.
Can't wait to see your other projects!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions September 19, 2011 - 12:10 pm

I love that you have a Research and Development department in your house, Sherry! : ) I wondered what was in it that made it "chalk". I've tried the AS one – a couple of colors, but I think flat paint can also give a similar look. I'll bet your ingredients also help to avoid the sanding and priming though.

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs September 19, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Wow that is soooo cool!!!
Thank you for sharing it with us! I am going to try it for sure ~
I am looking forward to seeing your other items that you painted with it ~


SHERRY HART September 19, 2011 - 1:07 pm

Holy smokes Sherry… are definitely on to something as that stuff is quite expensive!!!

Amy @MaisonDecor September 19, 2011 - 2:34 pm

You are going to get a lot of attention from this post!! I will try it out and compare~I like the idea of creating my own color lines…

Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage September 19, 2011 - 2:58 pm

I've been meaning to do this, myself!!! Thanks for doing the experimenting for me!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Richard Cottrell September 19, 2011 - 3:08 pm

I have been saying this over and over on the blog. Glad some one else is doing it to. Power to the bloggers. Richard from My Old Historic House.

[email protected] Charm September 19, 2011 - 3:19 pm

What an awesome idea…thanks so much for sharing this info…you know how I love anything thrifty!


Rosie Goins September 19, 2011 - 3:24 pm

The "recipe" I had said mix half paint and half plaster of paris. I had to add a good bit of water. I will try your 2/3 to 1/3 ratio.

Anonymous September 19, 2011 - 3:25 pm

Thanks for the experiment! I have a BFA and when first saw the hoopla over the chalk paint, I thought back to my classes and knew all it was is an old master plan of adding a drying agent, chalk or plaster to paint. I also think adding gesso to latex paint may help with the no prime plan. Thanks for your insight and inspiration!

Charm Bracelet Diva September 19, 2011 - 3:28 pm

WOW, thank you! Now I can get the same fabulous results without the price tag (or the guilt from spending way too much money on paint!) Thank you so much. And the vanity really is beautiful. (I also love the trophy cup!) Have a great week.


Melissa September 19, 2011 - 3:49 pm

You are BRILLIANT! I bow to your incredibly thriftiness. Seriously, I never even though of making my own chalk paint. Awesome! I am going to give this a try on my next paint project, this sounds like so much fun! I'm with you, the cost and color limitations have turned me off the ASCP, its just so expensive! I wanted to give it a try, but…
Now I will try my own batch!

Honey at 2805 September 19, 2011 - 4:07 pm

You are a genius scientist! I just knew there had to be a substitute and you found it! I have used plaster of paris with paint and with gesso successfully but probably didn't realize that I was using some form of chalk paint. I am so happy to the success you have had with the and certainly appreciate you sharing the "receipe"! I'll be picking up calcium carbonate for a project I'll be starting next week!

You're the greatest!

Marigene September 19, 2011 - 4:21 pm

The vanity came out beautiful…thanks for the thrifty tips on the making of chalk paint…it can be affordable to anyone!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts September 19, 2011 - 4:44 pm

I can't wait to try this. You are a genius!!!

Ginger Zuck September 19, 2011 - 5:02 pm

You are just too clever! Who would have ever figured this out, not me! Love your vanity! I have not done the chalk paint either and now I won't I'll use your method if I get around to it!

Sheila September 19, 2011 - 5:16 pm

Wow, love your vanity..and thanks for the tip about the paint. I have wanted some chalk paint to redo my dining room table and chairs but was not about to pay the price for it. I knew it would be cheaper to make it myself.

adventuresindinner September 19, 2011 - 6:26 pm

Oh wow! I was just looking at a brilliant, green chalk wall and wondering how I would ever find that paint. Now I don't have to spend a fortune or hunt forever. Thanks so much.

Gail September 19, 2011 - 6:34 pm

Thanks Sherry for sharing this with us! Know that I will definitely be trying this out. I've used chalk paint and I do like it but I like your formula a whole like better!

Thanks again and enjoy your day,

Suzan September 19, 2011 - 7:02 pm

Oh my word! I have been waiting for something like this! I just could not make myself pay the price for the ASCP. I am going shopping for the calcium carbonate this weekend and mixing up some of my own paint. I am so stoked!! I may actually get a project or two completed. Now, if there was just a magical way to make a slipcover!!

♥ Sonny ♥ September 19, 2011 - 7:36 pm

I too used the latex paint/plaster a paris to do 2 nite stands and a wardrobe. I am very happy with the result..

Love your vanity. you did an excellent job.

Richella September 19, 2011 - 7:47 pm

Sherry, you are one smart cookie. I love that vanity–it's so pretty! Thank you for sharing your secret formula with us!

Shell September 19, 2011 - 8:09 pm

Haha you go girl! I live close to Belgium which is where the chalk paints are made & looked on their website to see what was in it & decided I'd make my own when I got to the states. But hey big big thanks for taking the experimentation out of my hands lol

lvroftiques September 19, 2011 - 8:18 pm

First Sherry you vanity is torturing me with it's beauty *winks* Second I'm ALL over this!! I've seen many AS chalk paint projects around the blogesphere and they look great, but I couldn't justify the price. I'll def be giving this a try! Vanna

Chari at Happy To Design September 19, 2011 - 8:30 pm

Hi Sherry…

I just read the sweet note that you left on my Sunday Favorites post, my friend…and came right over! First of all…welcome home! How was your trip to Italy? I am totally envious, dear friend! Hehe! I'm sure that you and honey had a fabulous time!!!

Well dear friend, I sm in total awe! I would have never in my wildest imagination…thought of making chalk paint! You are certainly the "Creative Queen" in my book, Darlin'! I have been wanting to give the chalk paint a try but really would like to try your rendition. It certainly would be much cheaper. I'm going to look for the Calcium Carbonate next time I go to town. I was wondering just how big or the size of your "sample" paint that you used? Just so I can get idea of how much to mix. I love, love, LOVE how your french vanity turned out…it's one of the most beautiful pieces that I've laid eyes on, dear friend! You did GOOD when you found that! Anyway, thank you soooo much for this great chalk paint tip! I'm sooo excited to give it a try! Can't wait to see your other projects!

Love ya,

Poppy September 19, 2011 - 8:57 pm

Sherry, you are a darling and a genius! I'm so grateful for this awesome idea… chalk paint is all over blogland and I've been wanting to give it a try but it is so expensive! I love your vanity and the finish on it is absolutely gorgeous! Would love to know the name of that cream paint. Thanks Sherry for this wonderful tip!Have a lovely evening~Poppy

Marianne September 19, 2011 - 9:05 pm

Thanks so much for letting us all in on your little secret. I just love chalk paint but it is quite expensive and I love the price of this homemade version. Your vanity came out beautiful. Can't wait to see what else you painted!
Marianne 🙂

Red Door Home September 19, 2011 - 10:02 pm

Such a creative and clever idea! I would have never had known you used your own paint. Just think of all the color possiblities.

COTTAG3 September 19, 2011 - 10:12 pm

I can't wait to try this. I've been wanting to try chalk paint so much but didn't want to spend that kind of money on a little bit of paint. Thanks so much!!!!

Jenny September 20, 2011 - 12:24 am

This is completely blowing my mind. AMAZING

Kelly September 19, 2011 - 10:35 pm

Wow! What a great idea! I didn't know you were a decorating scientist, but you are. I may want to try that sometime. I haven't ever bought or used chalk paint before either. I certainly like your cheaper version. Has anyone who has used chalk paint before tried this as a comparison? I'd love to know what they think too.

SJ September 19, 2011 - 10:47 pm

That is FANTASTIC! I love how it turned out and thanks for sharing the chalk paint. I am going to try it on some new end tables I just got yesterday! New follower!

Brittany September 19, 2011 - 11:08 pm

Absolutely beautiful! What a great idea!

Sewlutions' World September 19, 2011 - 11:28 pm

Thank you for sharing, I will have to try it. Like others here, I have used gesso as my additive with success.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers September 19, 2011 - 11:36 pm

I have not tried the ASCP either, because of the price. This is great to know. I am going to bookmark this post and try it sometime.
Thanks Sherry!

Sandy September 19, 2011 - 11:36 pm

What a brilliant idea! I was wondering the same thing not too long ago if there would be some way to make our own!

LOVE all your furniture! And I will be trying out my own chalk paint very soon! To heck with those high prices!

Confessions of a Plate Addict September 19, 2011 - 11:48 pm

Wow, Sherry! Thanks! I have been curious about chalk paint but unwilling to pay the price. Now I can feel free to experiment! Pinning this one!…hugs…Debbie

Cynthia September 20, 2011 - 12:20 am

This sounds great…definitely worth trying out… I was just wondering, does it distress in the same manner as the Annie Sloan chalk paint? I live in Canada, and haven't wanted to pay the shipping on Chalk Paint!

Reply September 20, 2011 - 2:37 am

Thank you so much for sharing this! I had just shared with my readers that although I did like the ASCP, I couldn't justify the expense. Now….there is no way I can! Way to go! Thank you so much. Love, Me

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage September 20, 2011 - 4:52 am

How amazing Sherry!!! I haven't tried chalk paint either- and have been a bit hesitant because of the price~ how fantastic that you have found an alternative!! That vanity is absolutely gorgeous… I just love it! Thanks so much for sharing at my party this week!

Jo Ann September 20, 2011 - 2:02 pm

Love the vanity, its beautiful! Also love the idea of making your own chalk paint as the cost is so high. I'm wondering did the $4.oo batch paint more than the vanity? I bought 3 quarts of ASCP and have used about 1/3 of each quart which, of course equals about 1 quart and I've painted 6 end tables, a sofa table, 5 large sconces, 8 frames and a few smaller things. Even though the price is high you can paint a lot of pieces. I certainly dont want to sound negative on making chalk paint ( I love the idea of it), just wondering what the cost per piece is on both paints. Your thoughts? And thanks for the info!

art is beauty September 20, 2011 - 12:12 pm

I was just thinking yesterday "how could I make my own chalk paint" I was thinking more along the lines of unsanded grout added to the paint, but after talking to my chemist husband this sounds way better..If I could kiss you through the computer I would…Sent over from "yttm"
Your newest follower.
Would love if you stopped over some time.

Tara Leigh September 20, 2011 - 12:22 pm

Awesome!!! I'm so excited! Cheap Chalkpaint! I do have a question though can you polyurethane over it or do you have to wax?

art is beauty September 20, 2011 - 12:33 pm

also FYI…my husband is a chemisty teacher and baking soda is basically the same as calcium carbonate. and you can buy a huge bag at costco. 🙂
Thanks, Karin

Flower Child Designs September 20, 2011 - 12:55 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have used the ASCP and I love it, but like you I do NOT love the price and limited color choices! I am so excited!! BTW, saw this on Art is Beauty. Thanks to her for sharing!

Kristybelle September 20, 2011 - 1:11 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have been kicking around the idea that there must be a way to diy chalk paint, and you have done ALL the work for me! 😀 I cannot WAIT to try this, I even have some PoP at home already! I forsee some serious mad scientist work going on in my house tonight!! (BTW, Rebecca at You Are Talking Too Much sent me!)

Tina September 20, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Thanks for the info Sherry, and the vanity is gorgeous… I have a question though. I thought chalk paint was for painting things in order to use chalk to write on. Like chalk boards? I have noticed that more and more people are using it to paint furniture with. Can you please explain to me what it is I am missing from this? Thanks so much..

Nan September 20, 2011 - 2:35 pm

Hi Sherry. What a great idea! Too many of us have been spending WAY too much on ASCP – I knew there had to be a better way! Way to go!

I'd like to use the plaster of paris – does it matter if I mix it in latex satin, or flat??? I'm kind of thinking that flat would be best.

Thanks again for sharing this great idea!


AnJayla September 20, 2011 - 2:38 pm

Thank you for sharing! Art is Beauty sent me over! Your vanity turned out beautifully. The paint is definitely something I will be able to make and use.

Stacy Curran September 20, 2011 - 3:42 pm

You seriously are a genius! I can't believe you came up with a way to do this! I think there is going to be a drop in ASCP prices after your version takes hold!!

Amy-Thrifty Treasure Hunter September 20, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Dare I tell you…. there are (2) French Antique Twin Beds w/curved to the bed edge headboards w/caning & center plaque here at a local shop…

I found you from "You're Talking Too Much" blog shout-out today.

Thank you for posting about the recipes…I tried Plaster of Paris but did 1:1 and it came out more like Suede Paint Texture…so will reduce the PoP and try again.

Reply September 20, 2011 - 3:59 pm

I seriously can't wait to try this! You are a genius for figuring this out, and a angel for sharing it.

French September 20, 2011 - 4:08 pm

You are brilliant! I want to figure out where I can use this!

lisaroyhandbags September 20, 2011 - 4:14 pm

OMG – you have no idea how excited I am about this! No one sells chalk paint in Dubai and getting it shipped here is ridiculous. I am SO trying this. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

Upscale Downhome September 20, 2011 - 4:16 pm

Brilliant and gorgeous results! Amazing solution that I will definitely try; thanks for giving us the scoop!

Mimi September 20, 2011 - 4:30 pm

Thanks so much Sherry! Would you recommend satin or gloss latex?
Can't wait to try this 🙂

Laura :) September 20, 2011 - 5:13 pm

Rebecca from You Are Talking Too Much ( posted about you today!! I am SO excited that you thought of this!!!! You are a brilliant woman!!!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with the world!!!!!! I've been loving the look of chalk paint from a far….but now, now I can join in!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! 🙂

Gloria Fox @ Potentially Beautiful September 20, 2011 - 5:26 pm

Oh, you are a genius! I can't wait to try it.

I do love ASCP and even though it is pricey, the lack of primer and extra time sanding has been worth the price for me.

But of course, I'm willing to try your version. If it works in the same way and is that cheap how could I not love it?

[email protected] Decorating September 20, 2011 - 6:43 pm

LOVE this!! Saw you at Talking Too Much and created a link back on my site! Thank you….chalk paint has just been too expensive for me to purchase. I can't wait to try this!

PaintyCait September 20, 2011 - 7:51 pm

Let me declare straight off the bat that I have an interest in ASCP as the Scottish distributor, but alongside that I am a trained house painter and decorative painter of 25 years experience and have a lot of knowledge of making traditional paints and materials and I teach some of this in my classes in both Scotland and in the USA (am currently in SF teaching a class).

I genuinely applaud anyone who thinks out of the box, learns a little about paint technology and uses low cost materials and paints to create new and exciting finishes and this is in many instances totally possible with inexpensive materials like whiting which we use all the time. Whiting is in fact already in most house paints and adding more does change the look to be like chalk paint. However just adding more whiting to latex will not negate the need for preparation and priming. It will "stick" to the surface but no lasting bond can be made and you certainly can't paint over wax and hope for it to last in the way that ASCP can – actually ASCP is the ONLY paint I have found worldwide that will go over wax successfully. I'm not saying you can't make it look the same…just you do still need to do the prep.
Likewise in the 70's I used to make a lot of wood-wash using Plaster of Paris which incidentally burnishes beautifully however once again this will not form a bond to pre-finished surfaces without primer etc.
Adding anything to paint will probably compromise its integrity as a surface coating so it will definitely need sealed.
I am not saying not to use it, just to be aware of the limitations of what you are creating.

Incidentally Annie's paint range …all the colours intermix so you can create a lot more than just the colour chart.

I have never tried baking soda although you can make a paint stripper from it – not sure what it would do IN paint.

Judy September 20, 2011 - 8:35 pm

Goodness Sherry, I'm so glad you posted this. I've been dying to try the chalk paint but just can't pull the trigger on buying it (too pricey) plus the waxes. I don't have enough projects to justify the price.

I'm going to bookmark this and print it off….going to give it a try anyway.


Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. September 20, 2011 - 8:36 pm

Well Sherry, you know that I will most definitely be giving this a try! I knew someone would come up with a do-it-yourself version chalk paint eventually. I actually googled it a week or so ago looking for some ideas. Thanks so much for sharing! And I'll let you know how it works out.

Michelle L. September 20, 2011 - 9:01 pm

I absolutely cannot afford the ASCP so was over the moon when I found this post via Pinterest. I strongly dislike dull paint finishes so would definitely be waxing any piece that I painted with chalk paint. The only reason I wanted to use ASCP was because you didn't have to prime &/or prep the piece prior to painting & it would still stick. Does this recipe do that? Can anyone testify to its durability? Thank you & I greatly look forward to any responses since I'm very anxious to use this. 🙂

charlotte September 20, 2011 - 10:02 pm

i've been wanting to try chalk paint and now i can!! thank you so much!

Sherry September 20, 2011 - 10:04 pm

Wow, I am blown away by your response to this post. I have not used other brands of chalk paint so I cannot compare this formula to those. I have seen a number of pieces painted with a popular chalk paint and I cannot see any difference in the appearance between those and ones painted using any of the additives I have mentioned.

I must respectfully address Paintycaits comment that no lasting bond can be created using these additives. I have painted several pieces using EACH of these additives and have never sanded nor primed. Three of the pieces had a heavy shine to the finish which I presume was wax or polyurethane and the paint went on beautifully and adhered as well as a primed or sanded piece.

I look forward to seeing your painted projects and hearing your feedback.

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses September 20, 2011 - 10:43 pm

I'm definitely trying this!! Thanks so much for sharing.

Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano September 21, 2011 - 2:05 am

Thank you! I went to Micheal's to look for chalk paint today and couldn't find any. Now I'm glad I didn't!

Robyn Rasmussen September 21, 2011 - 2:10 am

I LOVE this! I am surely going to try and make sure to link back to you when I do! I am so excited to have found you from the blog I am now your newest follower and anxious to see what else you have up your sleeve!
-Robyn from

[email protected] September 21, 2011 - 2:13 am

whooza Sherry.. that is fantastic! Thanks sooo much!

The Pennington Point September 21, 2011 - 2:58 am

Amazing! I never would have thought of making chalk paint myself! I have tried it and really like it, but it was just too expensive for me. I am definitely going to try this! I've already "pinned" it. Thanks Sherry! Lisa~

[email protected] September 21, 2011 - 3:58 am

Hi Sherry, I was about to order more ASCP…so glad I made time to read blogs tonite! Awesome!!!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot September 21, 2011 - 5:19 am

Sherry, Sherry, Sherry…
You poor thing. You've become public enemy #1 with every stockist out there! (NO. I'm not a stockist) Like you I can't come off the money it cost to buy chalk paint.
…and I'm always looking for a new idea or way to get around spending lots of money. Don't think I won't try this…I've got a small box of Plaster of Paris in there and a lovely shade of Green Valspar designated for a little project!

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea!

…no can of Ooops! paint is safe now!

Dee September 21, 2011 - 3:21 pm

Could you tell me if I could use the baking soda in the behr paint and primer?

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch September 21, 2011 - 6:40 pm

I will be trying this. Just one question, does the latex paint have to be flat or can you use a semigloss? Just asking because I have a big can of semigloss I would like to use, but I want that flat look that the chalk paint has. You are GOOD!!

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch September 21, 2011 - 6:45 pm

I just posted your link on Cedar Hill Ranch's facebook page. Great idea!

vikki September 21, 2011 - 8:53 pm

I made some chalk paint using spackling powder that I had on hand. It also worked really well, love the way it goes on so smooth and creamy. And dries so fast. And like you said, it sands beautifully too. So glad I don't have to buy that expensive paint and can use up what I already have.

mary beth September 21, 2011 - 9:33 pm

You have definitely caused quite a stir with your discovery! I'm glad I was not the only one too cheap to fork it out for the real thing! I was starting to get a complex! Can't wait to try it out…your vanity looks fabulous, and most of the pieces we girls are painting don't get that much wear and tear anyway, now do they? Great job!

Tammy September 21, 2011 - 11:56 pm

Wow! I want to try this. Do you know if it holds up like the ASCP? I have it and you cannot scratch it off of the piece you painted–would be interested if this is true for the homemade stuff. You're so smart! I am your newest follower from Thrifty Thursday. Hope you can visit me sometime too:)

Rhissanna September 22, 2011 - 3:13 am

Seriously genius. Fabulous and frugal. I'd simply assumed I was out of the chalk paint party, until I read this. Thank you, thank you!

Rhissanna September 22, 2011 - 3:14 am

Oh, and I'm not a follower just on the blog name alone.

Rhissanna September 22, 2011 - 3:15 am

OOOps! I meant, I'm NOW a follower, just on the blog name alone *blushes* stupid keyboard.

Sherrie September 22, 2011 - 3:21 am

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Peggy September 22, 2011 - 3:51 am

Would it be wrong for me to tell you I love you Sherry without even meeting you? Hahaha….you rock – I have a large piece of furniture just screaming for chalk paint but it isn't sold in my area!

Thank you!

MyChampagneTaste September 22, 2011 - 4:56 am

I will sure try it, thx for sharing
Rasha @ Mychampagnetaste

Carole @ Blue Chateau Interiors September 22, 2011 - 11:52 am

Sherry – I can't thank you enough for posting this. I've been wanting to try the popular chalk paint, but the price scares me away.

I'm going to use your recipe on a couple of chairs I picked-up at Goodwill last week.

Kathy September 22, 2011 - 1:50 pm

Amazing! I love the look and most especially the price! YOU Go Girl! Love it!!!
Will definitely try this and PIN it!

Farmer's Wyfe September 22, 2011 - 4:08 pm

I absolutely LOVE chalk paint: just did a post on what NOT to use it on, and these were only b/c of the price. I'm def. going to try your recipe…thank you for sharing!! Now maybe I can forgo my next order I was planning. 🙂

Unknown September 23, 2011 - 1:35 am

Having used ASCP for numerous projects, I can vouch for the price vs. the investment. It works a little something like this: I painted all my kitchen cabinets with exactly 1/2 quart (not gallon) of paint. That's right- half of a quart. That is the magic of ASCP- because it is NOT latex it performs and bonds differently. I painted my cabinets with no sanding, no priming and without taking them off their hinges because there is no dripping and no smell with ASCP. It also dries almost instantaneously which is another unique feature. And because it is a 'green' product it is not flammable – I know, I painted my fireplace – and is safe around dogs and kids. Is it worth the $35 a quart? It is if you want to paint a kitchen and 4 chairs in one day and have them ready by dinnertimw….

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle September 23, 2011 - 3:41 am

Brilliant! I just posted a recent project with ASCP, but what I didn't share is the CONS that I found with the paint. I can't wait to try your alternative recipe. Your the best!!!

PaintyCait September 23, 2011 - 4:15 am

OK…it doesn't matter to me one iota whether people in USA add whiting to paint or not because I am based in Scotland. Actually it doesn't matter to me whether people in Scotland add whiting to paint or not. As a stockist/distributor….it will make no difference to my sales.

If adding whiting to paint made it stick better to surfaces do you not think that Bher, and Dulux and Pratt and Lambert would have done that already?????
Adding whiting to latex just makes it look similar to chalk paint….that's it. It doesn't magically change it into what Annie has developed.

If you have fun with it and get what you want from then cool….enjoy

Tanya Anurag September 23, 2011 - 4:30 am

Wowwww…. You are soooo smart!! I would love to try this out. Thanks for sharing. I am really glad that I follow u 🙂

[email protected] September 23, 2011 - 5:55 am

THANK YOU!!!! What perfect timing. I have some new finds primed and ready for paint. I will be trying this tomorrow. Extra handy too because there is NO WHERE in my town to buy ASCP. I am so thrilled you shared this. I am going to post this link to my FB page.

PS-If it turns out anything like your vanity. I will be happy as a clam.

Carole @ Blue Chateau Interiors September 23, 2011 - 12:31 pm

So. Yesterday, I mixed some Plaster of Paris with some paint. Applied it to a couple of chairs. Today, I will be distressing them. I'll post the results on my blog when they're complete.

Thanks, Sherry, for the recipe.

Pamela September 23, 2011 - 1:18 pm

Thanx for sharing Sherry! I actually just had somebody mention to me the other day that I could make my own with some plaster of paris and gesso. Just was not sure of the combo and how much. I will have to try this and see which I like better.

Curtains In My Tree September 23, 2011 - 1:29 pm

What an invention

there is always a cheaper and just as good way of doing things

Now will you paint my project for me ? LOL


Cindy September 24, 2011 - 10:52 am

Great info Sherry…thanks so much for sharing!

Gracie's Cottage September 24, 2011 - 12:44 pm

Hot topic here Sherry! Thanks foe Sharing; I can't wait to give it a try!

Pam September 24, 2011 - 1:48 pm

Awesome post. The ASC paint has one heck of a marketing department that has convinced a ton of bloggers that they just have to use it, but I just can't get past the enormous price tag for a teeny tiny amount. I can do $4.00 though! Someone had told me about adding gesso to paint, but not sure if it's the same chemical or not.

Linda September 24, 2011 - 2:05 pm

This is awesome,Sherry! Can't wait to try it!! Thanks so much!!

catnap September 24, 2011 - 9:27 pm

Thank you over and over again! You are a genius! You are my favorite person today!!!!!!!!!

catnap September 24, 2011 - 9:28 pm

Thank you so much I think you are my favoritist person today!!!!!!!!! Absolutely wonderful!

karinkarpenter September 25, 2011 - 10:34 pm

Thanks for the idea. I have used and will still use ASCP for my projects, but I decided to try making my own. I used plaster of Paris ( couldn't find any of the other additives) and latex paint. I added water as needed since my paint was like pancake batter. I painted 2 battered curb rescues and did have result much like ASCP but there is definitely "something" missing. I will use my concoctions for less important pieces but definitely think ASCP is worth the investment. You get out what you put in! Thanks for the idea and for sharing with the rest of us "junkers".

{Bellamere Cottage} September 26, 2011 - 1:35 am

Oh my gosh…. I am THRILLED. I actually did buy the FORTY dollar quart, but this is the one I'll be using forever! You are AWESOME!

Thank you so much…. and I'll give you a pat on the back for your cheapness! You're a chickie after my own heart… and it's a COMPLIMENT!

Susan September 26, 2011 - 3:42 am

I've often thought the ridiculously expensive version had to be a simple combo of paint & chalk, or possibly just gesso, as the villabarnes blog has shown us. Thank you SO much for sharing this! I hate the cost of the leading brand & feel sorry for people who are adding shipping to that cost, but the limited color selection is what I hated the most. You're a genius & get serious 'pay it forward' bonus pts for sharing.

Susan September 26, 2011 - 4:04 am

p.s. – I just had a chance to read through the comments & especially thought about the points made by PaintyCait. I paint professionally, so have a very good working knowledge of doing things the 'pros' say can't be done. If bonding is the only big question here, then I'd suggest using a good bonding/leveling primer (such as Gripper) as a base, instead of latex paint. Box stores will tint primer, or just add acrylic to get the color you want. Just a thought.

Kim @ Too Much Time September 26, 2011 - 1:43 pm

Brilliant Lady, I cannot wait to give this a try! Awesome. I featured it today. Come grab check it out and grab a button!

laniebp September 26, 2011 - 4:23 pm

Thanks so much for the recipe but it has never been addressed yet if satin paint will work for this, or does it have to be flat paint? I have been looking all over the net for a recipe and the only one I found was using unsanded grout. I didn't want to buy the $12 bag of it just for experimenting.

Candylei September 27, 2011 - 2:58 am

It turned out fabulous! Now I want to try it out as well! Woohoo!

Reply September 27, 2011 - 5:05 am

I really liked the Plaster of Paris method. I posted about it here



Jacqueline September 27, 2011 - 3:46 am

I am literally blown away! Who da thunk?!!

Meliss @ Shabby LOCO! September 27, 2011 - 10:33 am

Gurrlll….You better be careful! I think Ole' Annie is gonna come on across the pond to find you! How DARE you expose her like this! hahahahaha LURV it! I am off to Home Depot TODAY!!!!!!!!! Thank You!!

Carmel @ Our Fifth House September 27, 2011 - 1:08 pm

Genius! Bookmarking this!

Carole @ Blue Chateau Interiors September 27, 2011 - 5:51 pm

Hi Sherry!

I just posted my chair re-do. I used homemade chalk paint as inspired by your post.

Let me know what you think. 🙂

The LadyBugs Garden September 27, 2011 - 6:53 pm

I love the Idea of making our own chalk Paint. I re posted your tutorial making you the arthur on my blog.

I love you blog and creations!!

cityfarmer September 27, 2011 - 10:34 pm

I knew it
I knew it
I knew it ….

I've got the chalky look down to a tee with elbow gease, but my elbow is tired …
NOW I can work smarter, not harder1

cityfarmer September 27, 2011 - 10:36 pm

p.s. can I quote you??

Screaming Sardine September 28, 2011 - 9:31 pm

Thanks so very much for sharing this recipe. I'm pinning it and will be repeatedly tweeting about it. (I have my reasons, as I'll share with you in an email)!

Tracy Screaming Sardine

[email protected] September 28, 2011 - 8:05 pm

I was so excited about this idea. I posted about running out and trying it. Well, I did the plaster of Paris version. It was easy to find so I wnet with that. I mixed and mixed and mixed it up and even added a little water. The paint looked rich and creamy, I painted away. As it dried, it looked like I painted it in a sand storm and it feels like sandpaper 🙁 Any idea what I may have done wrong??? I must have missed something. Thanks so much! Shannon

MELANIE September 28, 2011 - 9:23 pm

Ditto a thousand times! G-E-N-I-O-U-S!!!! You saved us all about $45.00 a can and the wait of shipping!
Beautiful work too!

Lucky 7 Design
Mama J and Her Fashionistas

Anonymous September 28, 2011 - 10:47 pm


I admire you not being afraid to experiment. I love to question products and see if I can make the same thing. Ha I even tried painting a sofa. Screen printing ink is awesome. Anyways, I think I found a better solution to this though, here is the recipe on how to make imatation gesso for furniture otherwise known as chalk paint:

1 part Whiting Chalk
1 part PVA White Glue
1 part water
1 part slaked Pigment (optional)

They even quote that Annie, herself, even quotes this in her book call Paint Alchemy. Basically, what they are making is gesso with pigment added. Gesso is used to prime artist canvas and is a bonding agent. Many people believe that house primer can do the same thing.

So to my experiement…

I didn't have any pigments but I had a tube of purple acrylic paint. I mixed that in with some white primer first. Then, I mixed in a little bit of water and tested it out on a piece of wood I had out back. It makes sense! Bonding Primer would be able to stick to varnish surface and do all that stuff they say. Water down it makes it smooth and you can make it transparent like. When I did this it made the wood grain show through. The only thing is that acrylic paint doesnt have a lot of pigment in it so I'm going to have to get some pigments so the color isn't compromised.

You and I are on the right track, but I don't think adding chalk to latex is going to make it stick to anything. Primer already is suppose to have white chalk in it. If you wanted to add more white chalk to primer to give it a more chalkier feel that would probably be ok and then add pigment. I think pigments are essential in getting this right though and I must wait to get some myself so I can truly see the color.

Thanks for leading me onto my quest though, I will get back to u guys to show u my results.

Peace. Nicole Fleming [email protected]

gertie @ The Old Block House September 28, 2011 - 11:53 pm

Thank you for this post. I'm going to give this a try. I did experiment a little with cornstarch, but I think I used too much paint per the cornstarch used.


Jen September 29, 2011 - 12:39 am

There will be a special place in heaven for you. Thank you! So wanted to try it, but $45 a quart + shipping + wax = ouch.

Dee September 29, 2011 - 1:25 pm

I tried using the Plaster of Paris yesterday and it looks good but not durable at all! Did I do something wrong or does this just give it the look but not the durability of actual chalk paint!

Sherry September 29, 2011 - 10:23 pm

It looks wonderful Sherry! I used gesso and paint and it was also chalky and cheap. I will have to try this. Thanks!

Janette - The2Seasons September 29, 2011 - 11:41 pm

Duh….It didn't even enter my mind that we can make this stuff. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for thinking outside of the box and doing the research for all of us.

d e l i g h t September 30, 2011 - 1:38 pm

Hi Sherry, thank you for this information!!! I have been waiting to try the chalk paint and so glad you shared this. Why pay the high prices when you can make it yourself!! Thank you for all the time and expense you put into for the experimenting!

Kim September 30, 2011 - 4:30 pm

I just read that you can substitue baking soda for the calcium carbonate – this would be even cheaper!

The Vintage Chateau September 30, 2011 - 4:31 pm

I've already experimented using plaster of paris and Martha Stewart paint samples. It might not distress as easily as ASCP but seems to be a good inexpensive alternative. Thanks for sharing!

Lynda Dishner September 30, 2011 - 5:11 pm

Miss Sherry you are my kind of woman. I knew I could not buy that chalk paint. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I will try that soon. Lynda

[email protected] Sort Of Fairytale September 30, 2011 - 6:40 pm

pretty sure you're a complete genius! thank you for going to the trouble to figure this out for the rest of us! i am so excited to try this sometime. does adding the chalk to red paint make it pinky? or just chalky red?
thank you, thank you, thank you!

Petticoat Junktion October 1, 2011 - 3:38 am

Hi Sherry, I found you through At the Picket Fence. I love your chalk paint makeover, I'm going to try your chalk paint recipes and I'll let you know how they turn out.

Decor & Harmony @ 4290 October 3, 2011 - 2:44 pm

Holy smokes! You have gotten a boat load of comments I'm ready to give your recipe a try. I just happened to have Plaster of Paris and lord knows I've got plenty of paint. Cheers to you Sherry!

Proper Prim October 6, 2011 - 2:54 pm

Sherry… Thanks so much for posting this information. I just couldn't justify paying the King's ransom for paint. Now you are talking my kind of cheap language here.

Hope you don't mind, I posted your link on my blog today.

Thanks again.

Hugs, Deb

BTW… love your blog and that vanity is to die for.

[email protected] Decorating October 6, 2011 - 4:28 pm

I just had to let you know that I tried this and it worked great. Just pinned it because I think it is an awesome idea!

I used gypsum joint compound powder from Home Depot. Couldn't find Plaster of Paris and the "men" there looked at me like I was nuts!

I used paint I have left over. I used less than a pint of paint with about a 1/4 cup of powder and some water. Thanks for sharing!

Decorating with Cents October 6, 2011 - 9:19 pm

OMG, you just saved me $$$, so you're definitely worth following. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing, now I need to look for the carbon 'something or other'.

gail October 7, 2011 - 3:00 am

Deb form Proper Prim sent me over. I happen to have some plaster of paris… I will be giving this a try! thank you!

kristiB October 7, 2011 - 2:54 pm

Been patiently waiting for someone to figure out an alternative to the ASCP. Yay!!!! Was going to try using gesso and pigment to see if that would work, but now I'm just going to use this. Thank you!!!

Kathy October 8, 2011 - 5:38 pm

Awesome info!! Question: I mistakingly purchased calcium gluconate powder & mixed as you suggested. Tried thinning with H20 & cannot get the mixture smooth. It looks "grainy"?? Does it do the same w/calcium carbonate? Many thnx in advance for your assistance!!

Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic October 9, 2011 - 11:22 am

Deb from Proper Prim sent me over. Thanks for posting this, I'll definitely give it a try.
I'm a new follower, I'm off to browse your blog now. 🙂

Hyphen Interiors October 9, 2011 - 2:38 pm

Thanks so much for this info. I'm pinning it and may use it later on. I like the different choices for the "chalk." And, best of all, it opens things up to lots of color choices!

Tammigirl October 12, 2011 - 1:32 am

People like you make the internet sparkly!

Lisa Glowacka October 14, 2011 - 4:57 pm

Sherry thanks so much for posting this! Another blogger told me about this post and I tried it this past week using plaster of paris. I didn't add any water to my paint (since the plaster of paris container said not to). The finish on my new (to me) table came out PERFECTLY! I am a huge fan of the handpainted look and it compliments my french provincial dining table perfectly. I didn't use wax to seal either-just regular satin poly and I just love it. Thanks for the WONDERFUL tip and $$ savings. 🙂

Erin October 14, 2011 - 7:16 pm

Oh my goodness! I whipped up some of this with latex paint and plaster of paris last and it is brilliant! I am thrilled with the results and can't wait to make some in more colors! Thank you so much for blogging about this! You are my hero! 🙂

Anonymous October 14, 2011 - 8:41 pm

Beautiful paint job on your furniture! Thanks for sharing the way cheaper version of Sloan chalk paint. The paint seems so much better than another recipe for chalk paint that I found a week or so ago on another site.

Found your site at Coastal Colors blog and will be visiting again.


Judi October 15, 2011 - 9:52 pm

love,love,love this !!!
I used Plaid Craft Acrylic paint and
Dap Plaster of Paris,and it worked beautifully!
ALL the ingredients are made in the U.S.A.!!! That is very important now days ! Keeping our money and jobs in country!! ASCP is made in Belgium and import costs are probably partly why the price is so high.

DEB October 16, 2011 - 3:36 pm

I am about to embark on a big bedroom furniture painting expedition and wanted desperately to try chalk paint. I simply could not justify the price. Came across your blog this morning and will be trying your suggestions. Thank you so much for posting this!!!

[email protected] October 17, 2011 - 2:39 am

I finished my project using the plaster of paris recipe. I did have to sand the surface with medium pressure and 220 grit paper because it was a little gritty. SO worht it though. The end result is butter smooth and I love it. THANKS so MUCH for sharing the recipe =))) If you want to see the finished project, I just posted it.

Erin October 17, 2011 - 4:09 pm

Just blogged about this and included pics of my little project:

Decorating with Cents October 17, 2011 - 11:45 pm

Hi Sherry,
I was able to use your recipe on drift wood and it turned out great. When you have a sec you can check out the pics on my blog. Once again, thanks for sharing your recipe (note I used lime instead of whiting powder)

It's Just Me October 18, 2011 - 12:03 am

Had to share this … As I told Sherry before, I've been painting up a storm with her recipe. I've been playing with many combinations but the cheapest I've found is with plaster a paris. The problem I was having is clumps after mixing. I found that if I use my handheld blender (the kind you use to mix a hot pot of soup). I actually bought one just for this at Wal-mart for $25. Just wanted to let everyone know that it makes the paint SMOOTH. Hope it helps : )

Kim October 19, 2011 - 1:49 pm

Hi Sherry,
I used your formula and it worked great I did a big post about and featured YOU…again!

Thanks so much-Kim @ Too Much Time

Miss Charming October 25, 2011 - 3:47 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this! It's what DIY is all about.

Sandy's ponderings October 26, 2011 - 9:54 pm

OMG…I think I love you!!!!! I have been procrastinating on buying ASCP. I just can't get past the price. Thank You!

Valerie Reid October 26, 2011 - 10:22 pm

So, excited to try! Thanks, for sharing!

Chalk Paint Ideas Lady October 27, 2011 - 3:29 am

Interesting idea…how is the paint holding up over the long run? Does it sand/distress as easily and with as little mess as chalk paint? I work with chalk paint all the time, and, a tiny itty bitty bit goes a LONG way, justifying the cost for me. How much paint did it take to do the vanity? How much was the paint you used? Thanks!

Dumpster Diva October 29, 2011 - 4:07 am

I totally LOVE YOU!

Sawdust and Paperscraps October 30, 2011 - 3:40 am

I am so excited to try this out! Thank you for doing all the hard work experimenting and coming up with a recipe. I'm not one to pay $40 for a quart of paint but have been wanting to try it. Sweet!
🙂 Sandra

Peggy October 31, 2011 - 5:03 pm

How is your piece holding up? I am interested to know as I have a desk that needs to be painted. Secondly, were there any issues with VOC's? I would be painting inside the house and am very sensitive. Couldn't I just make sure to use a low/no VOC paint and the additives for the same effect? Thank you for any assistance you can offer!!

Masago November 4, 2011 - 8:27 pm


Thank you for sharing your chalk paint recipe. Last night I bought Annie Sloan's book. The draw back was the paints I dislike ordering colors I'm not sure about and also waiting for them to come in.I tried the recipe using p.o.p. and it turned out fantastic. I did two picture frames (started small) and I liked the results. Thank you for your generosity. I think your work is fantastic. Please keep up the good work.


Shabby Marilyn November 11, 2011 - 2:54 am

Thank you Thank you, I will try to make the chalk paint. Thanks for sharing, new follower and I can use this for my redo's. Hope to see you visit and follow!

Drama Mama Lori November 15, 2011 - 3:42 pm

This recipe is perfect! Thanks! I linked and gave you props here…

New follower! Thanks again!

Anonymous November 17, 2011 - 9:01 pm

you are the BEST I could never afford to this new project without your chalk paint info ..I can't wait to do my Grandmothers old China Cabinet
Good JOB!!

Mel November 20, 2011 - 6:23 am

Oh my gosh!!! Thank you!!! You just saved me from having to take out a 2nd mortgage on my home to buy chalk paint. Can't wait to try it!

Anonymous November 21, 2011 - 5:04 pm

Looking forward to trying your recipe!! Thanks so much!!

Mel November 22, 2011 - 3:51 am

I am really new to the whole chalk paint experience, and have a couple of questions. On the french vanity if you didn't use dark wax, how did you get such awesome shading? Also, if you were going to try and make your own chalk "Paris Grey", what base would you start with? Anyone please feel free to jump in with suggestions, I can use all the help I can get!

Southern Belles Boutique January 13, 2012 - 12:18 am

I used your recipe and loved the results. You can see the photos on my blog at

Thank you for posting the recipe!

jacky @ small home love January 19, 2012 - 2:25 pm

Thanks for posting this. I was actually looking at chaulkboard paint this weekend at home depot, this looks much more fun and cheaper.

Siggie January 27, 2012 - 5:07 pm

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm giddy and excited to try it! I admit I have ordered AS chalk paint and have just tried it today….it's great, but I paid 160 Euros for 2 cans of paint and 2 cans of wax. That's just not in my budget for the long haul. I'm very thankful for people in blogland who help spread the word on cheaper alternatives. Thanks again!

Gr8DaneMom January 28, 2012 - 12:38 am

I got so excited over this recipe that I headed right out to get some calcium carbonate. No luck after four health food stores and a whole lot of miles. I went into Walgreen's on the way home, deflected as I was. Lo and behold I happened to walk past the Tums on my way to get something else and stopped dead in my tracks. I remember that they had calcium and thought what is the chance. Picked up the bottle and read the ingredients – calcium carbonate. Picked up a bottle of the peppermint ones, as this was the only ones without color. On my way home I was desperately trying to figure out to powder it. When I got home I took at the Cuisinart food processor, chopped it to a fine powder after a few minutes. Went to work on adding it to the paint. Painted my first small piece and all I can say is WOW! Thank you so much for sharing with the world, Sherry.

Molly February 12, 2012 - 3:57 am

Sherry, what a great post and what interesting comments to read too. A wealth of information, thank you all. After poking around the garage I found an old can of medical grade plaster of paris (thought I'd thrown it out, woohoo still here!). Definitely going to make up a sample to try this technique. Found that we have two ASCP stockists in the area so if I chicken out using the homemade there is always the real thing for a Plan B on some big projects. Thank you again!

Ruth February 14, 2012 - 3:54 am

Seams funny all the stockists are coming out swinging in defense of ASCP, but I think they are forgetting the main flaw of their beloved paint. It's too darn expensive. Not everyone can afford such a lavish price on a small quart of paint.

I am glad you are brave enough to post these recipes for us to try. I would love for someone to give a real review of each of these recipes along with a review of ASCP.

ASCP is a great paint which is why I am sure other companies are working diligently to replicate it. Stockists beware…LOL

GBL February 29, 2012 - 11:41 pm

A thousand thank-yous for posting this!! I am definitely trying this. I love ASCP, but my budget doesn't like it so well.

Our Pinteresting Family March 1, 2012 - 2:59 pm

I can't wait to try this out on a china cabinet we just got on CL. We were pondering whether or not to spend the big bucks on the Annie Sloan paint but are going to opt for this method. Thanks so much. Megan

Candy March 2, 2012 - 4:34 am

Sherry, I just googled DIY chalk paint, and it brought me to your blog. I've been wanting to Annie Sloan, but really hated to pay that for a gallon of paint. Anyway…now I am anxious to get this mixed up and try it on a project. I've just become your newest follower. Please, please come visit me and maybe you'll become my follower as well. THANKS.

Sumaya Warwick March 22, 2012 - 6:08 pm

Hi Sherry,

This post got me excited as chalk paint is not available in South Africa. So I got some plaster of paris at our local hardware store and made my own chalk paint following your guide. I painted a few tables and I am so happy with the result. I would love for you to go over to my blog and have a look!

Thanks a million!

Melissa March 24, 2012 - 4:17 am

Thanks for posting this recipe! I mixed plaster or Paris with a little water until smooth before adding paint. The paint adhered nicely and dried in minutes. I could distress almost right away. The paint distressed with no mess and was so much easier to scuff from the edges than any latex I've tried. I'm thrilled to have an inexpensive way to get a beautiful look. I plan on waxing the china cabinet as it will be in our dining room and I have children. Other than the price, I ruled out ASCP on account of the grease stain problem other bloggers have reported. Thank you for a perfect alternative!

FGB March 30, 2012 - 5:15 pm

Is this the same as chalkboard paint? I want to make a chalkboard for a party so the kids can draw on? Would this work?

Cherub Cottage May 5, 2012 - 1:24 am

Hi Sherry
I just fell into your blog and jotted down the chalk paint recipe. Do you still paint and blog I would love to see some of your pieces. Thanks

Reply May 6, 2012 - 7:20 pm

I was inspired by your article to chalk paint all the miss-matched furniture my Daughter has collected for her 1st apartment.

I'm in the middle of the 1st & 2nd coats ~taking a wine break~

Things are going well so far, but I'm confused about the Wax. Do I get a tinted mix?

Mrs Tillys May 12, 2012 - 9:49 am

Thank you so much 🙂 Just googled where I can get this in Germany… and lucky me I have a whole week off :)PERFECT!!!

amy48200 May 16, 2012 - 3:19 pm

I am going to try this on some pieced I have. My only question is What do you use for a final protective coat. All the top coats I have found leave a very high gloss when they dry. This looks weird on a piece you are trying to make old. Any suggestions?

Jo May 19, 2012 - 2:17 am

Thank you for the recipe – only question I have is the paint flat, satin or semi gloss?

Annie Wetherbee May 28, 2012 - 1:58 pm

Thanks for this great post AND for the pin button! You have been pinned by little ole me!!

Anonymous June 8, 2012 - 11:08 am

Hi Sherry!

Great ideas & tips!
I'm reading through all of this but wondering, does this work for writing with chalk on it??
I'm looking to try this for a tiny cafe to save myself money, but need to be certain I can use chalk to list what the cafe offers.

Thanks so much, Heather

Always Something July 3, 2012 - 5:49 pm

It really worked! I used plaster of Paris and it turned out great. Thanks so much! See the finished product at:



Giuseppe Bianco July 7, 2012 - 4:12 am

I tried latex and plaster of paris on a super glossy coffee table and it worked great. I coated it with polycrylic to protect it. Thanks for the great tip on mixing chalk paint.

Dewdrop Gardens July 8, 2012 - 12:02 pm

Thank you for this recipe!!! I can't find chalk paint here (not in regular stores at least) but I can definitely make my own! Thanks!!!

kathryn cain July 9, 2012 - 1:21 am

I am a new follower and will be going to your home in a minute..but I could not really afford ASCP.But I loved what I could do with this so became a huge fan…and have spent the money…but in reading this and if you are still finding a success…You have me hooked…I put you on my favorites and will pull your button…of the three which works best when dealing with veneers or hard paint finishes,I hate Prep…did I say hate prep.

Dewdrop Gardens July 11, 2012 - 2:25 pm

Old post, but new to me! I love that you shared your recipes for chalk paint, since I can't find it around my parts. I am heading out right now to purchase some plaster of paris and add it to old paint we have around…hoping to get the same results.
I plan on posting my first ever furniture refinishing project on my blog and will definitely be linking to this post to credit you for the fantastic chalk paint alternatives!!!
Thank you soooo much!!
Debbie 🙂

Sherrie July 14, 2012 - 7:38 pm

Calcium carbonate is simple to buy. 50 lb. should be less than $10.00. Why it's lime! Food ole lime you use in your yards! I know that I am very late posting but I loved your research and took it a step further when I started looking for it. I bought some today and have two projects I am working on. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks

Unknown August 22, 2012 - 10:23 pm

I love this because I am on a tight budget, but want to put beatiful pieces in my home. My one question is what do you do to add a little distressing and at what step? Do you paint, sand corners to distress, soap between coats of chalk paint….I am curious? I do apologize if you've answered this already, didn't have the time to sort through a year's worth of comments 😉

Thank you,

Freshinista August 31, 2012 - 3:34 pm

Found you through Elizabeth and Co. I sm totally going to try the chalk paint recipe. -Jen @ Freshinista

Sherrie September 6, 2012 - 1:45 pm

I have a addition to add to this that might make it even smoother. I have tries many different kinds of DIY kinds and this works best for me. Before you add any of this to paint add hot water and stir it first. Then add it little by little to paint mixing it really good. I purchased chalk paint a sample so I could feel their paint and get the texture for it. This falls right up there in consistory and smoothness. I can not take credit for this idea it came from someone who told me about it. But I started out with yours and was thrilled! This just fine tunes it.

jarehares September 11, 2012 - 2:13 am

My mom found this posted and has painted several pumpkins using this formula. It look just as good as the other stuff. Sorry can't and won't pay $35+ for a quart of paint. Plus, she was able to get the colors she wanted.

Dannie October 13, 2012 - 1:26 am

I love What you did with the vanity. It is simply beautiful. Thanks for the information on chalk paint. I just came back from home depot with the plaster of paris, tomorrow I will try it.

[email protected] Shabby Cottage Home October 13, 2012 - 2:33 pm

WOW!! I'm sooo glad you posted this recipe. I have tried a little of the chalk paint but for the amount of furniture I paint for our shop, its just too expensive. I am diffenently going to try this. Thanks soo much!!

Dannie November 2, 2012 - 3:47 am

I used plaster of paris. It works wonderful. I like that I am able to make any color. I would love to send you a picture of my chair. Its simply fabulous, darling.

Melissa Anderson November 9, 2012 - 5:14 am

I am definitely going to try this out, I have always wanted to try chalk paint but the ready made ones' cost is just so discouraging. I cannot wait to try this on my long line of furniture waiting to be transformed.

Nancy January 15, 2013 - 2:14 pm

GREAT tip! I haven't tried it yet, but now I will, since youve made it more affordable. Love your vanity.
xo Nancy

Dannie January 23, 2013 - 4:36 am

Hello Sherry, like the idea of making whatever color you want in chalk paint. I would like to send you a picture of what I have done with chalk paint. wiil you send me your email so I can send you a picture. Thanks so much, Danette

Anonymous February 25, 2013 - 9:17 am

Great web site you have got here.. It's difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

Also visit my weblog – quantrim usage

Sherrie February 25, 2013 - 11:50 pm

Actually chalk paint is as old as the good ole days! Lime Gessco Paint. And Imthank her for sharing this! So I want to share some information back. I have searched and searched for information for paint and how to make your own wax, Bee's wax, and Turpentine and a color pigment. I am linking a sight hoping this is okay? That everyone can gather informatio. Or you can use Carbanuba wax which is good ole solid car wax. Not liquid.Chalk paint has been used since the Roman Empire. There are also recipes for milk paint and many many more. Here is one sight I gathered the information from. I also have all the recipes to make your own wax, I can't link the page but if Sherry wants it I can copy and send it to her.
I applaud Sherry for posting this recipe. She could honestly be making money from advertising chalk paint.
And the other posters that have posted this can't possibly work…they are wrong. Where do you think these recipes have come from? Or the painting techniques? They have been around since man wanted to create beauty and you can go to the caveman days where they found a way to use pigment. Thanks!

Megan Opaliski July 8, 2013 - 2:34 pm

I see this post is a bit old, but just wanted to say that I came across this and tried it and it works wonderfully! I used Plaster of Paris and it looked great.

Anonymous July 12, 2013 - 12:37 am

Thank you for the posting of this new technique as I couldn't justify paying so much for the ASCP. If someone has already tried this and used a wax I would like to know what kind they used. Thanks again….

Jeannie and Linda August 22, 2013 - 2:58 pm

Your vanity is gorgeous. Thank you for the recipe. I've used AS chalk paint and I loved it, it covered quite a few pieces, but it is expensive, and not in my budget right now. I'll be whipping some up soon.

kk rousseau November 27, 2013 - 10:14 pm

I apologize for being to stupid to understand your ratio of 2/3 to 1/4. That makes no sense to me. Why change denominators? Shouldn't it be 2/3 to 1/3 or 3/4 to 1/4? Please enlighten me.

Thanks for the post. I love seeing what others are doing with paint!

Anonymous February 10, 2014 - 4:51 pm

I purchased calcium carbonate from a store that sells wine making supplies. It's used to make wine, so if you have a store in your area that sells wine making supplies, they probably carry this. I pay $3.00 for a pound.

amalitsa anastasiou February 11, 2014 - 8:03 am

You are an inspiration to all your followers I am a new shabby guru and proud of it …WILL DEFINITELY USE YOUR NEW IDEAS AND SAVE $$$ IN THE PROCESS!
[email protected]

MeMeSue August 18, 2014 - 6:03 pm

Hi just ran across your blog while searching Pinterest for a chalk paint recipe. I have tried AS paint and I love it although I do not love the price plus I have to drive far to purchase it unless I want to tack on shipping costs. This past week I tried mixing unsanded grout to my paint and while it works well it does not mix well and I have a lot of bumps that need to be sanded down. I just ordered some calcium carbonate and I'm going to second coat my piece with this method and see if it's smoother! Any tips you can give would be awesome…my first piece with homemade paint is a smallish cabinet but I have some nice pieces waiting to be painted once I find the right recipe! Wish me luck!!

seravina danniella June 8, 2016 - 7:56 am

Your blog has given me that thing which I never expect to get from all over the websites. Nice post guys!


airless spray

Summerland cottage studio January 20, 2018 - 8:42 pm

This is a great share, thank you Sherry!
I love the vanity style too.


Leave a Reply