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  • Writer's pictureBrittney Valeski

DIY Chalky Paint.

We've all seen it. THE Chalk Paint. The Holy Grail of the furniture makeover tools. While this stuff does last through it's fair share of dressers, benches, tables, and anything else I get my hands on, it comes at a steep price. I'm sharing tips and tricks I've learned along the way to get that same beautiful chalky finish at less than a third of the cost. (Hint, it's not all about the paint)

Welcome back guys! Today I'm sharing the recipe a friend of mine passed along (with some adjustments) for amazing chalky paint that helped me dive head first into the world of flipping furniture.

You don't have to break the bank to have nice furniture. Most of my pieces have totaled less than $30. Put on a podcast and get to work creating your new work of art. Using a less expensive version of this paint allowed me to be free with my creativity and really get good at what I was doing.


What is chalk paint and why is it so popular?

Have you ever tried to paint over a piece of wooden furniture only to have it peel right off after it dried? Don't lie. You probably have. My first disaster piece came three weeks before Alex and I moved into our new house. We had been given some tall, unique bookshelves and wanted to create bedside bookshelves for our master bedroom. Funny story... I forgot to measure and was sure they'd fit. Spoiler alert... they didn't. BUT this was a good item to learn a good lesson on and now they house some extra tools in our garage. There is no waste in this house. Only some good ol' fashioned Bob Ross happy accidents.

Fun fact: If you apply regular paint, no matter the sheen to a non sanded poly coated surface, this is when your peeling occurs. I let my first coat sit for a few hours and when I came back to add the second coat, the first layer peeled up with my brush strokes. OH NO. I have no time to sand and sand and sand a piece down unless it's something that just has to be stained. Chalk paint was invented by Annie Sloan herself, wanting a paint that would adhere to most any surface without all the prep work. She went as far as to patent the name 'Chalk Paint'. This is why all others you see in your local paint aisle or online are referred to as 'chalky paint' or 'chalk finish paint' or any other number of names, just not Chalk Paint... that's all hers. This woman has single handedly changed the game as far as refinishing and bringing to life old pieces that otherwise may have ended up in a landfill because let's face it, sometimes, we aren't feeling the extra elbow grease.

Some Key Advice For Using Chalky Style Paint

  • Don't sand - especially dark pieces - This paint was invented for a reason people. Let it be. I have seen the horror stories online, once you sand down a dark varnish or finish, you better be planning to paint it dark. The color from the stain/varnish will saturate everything and you'll be left with a mess. I recently saw a post where a lady was trying to paint a dark dresser white but she sanded first.. it's now pink. Whoops.

  • Do use good wax/wax brush - This is one of those products I will spend good money on, and here's why. A few months ago I bought the less expensive wax at Michael's. I brought it home and it was liquid. Like thin liquid. It almost ruined my end tables, grrrr. I took it back and was told this is how the wax is. After watching tutorial after tutorial on how to wax furniture, I knew it was supposed to be an actual waxy consistency and Michael's was kind enough to take it back, opened. I splurge on my local all natural furniture wax from a super cute company called Junk Monkey Paint Company. This lady gives me some real inspo fever. So far I've waxed a dresser and end tables and it barely looks like I've used any. As for applying, I do love this brush I purchased at Michael's. Make sure to keep it clean, rinsing with hot water and dish soap and hanging to dry. They'll last years if you keep them clean!

The Recipe

This is super easy and honestly, from using the Valspar Chalky paint, I can't tell much of a difference. It just so happened the Valspar was a better deal at the time or I would totally have made my own.

You'll need :

Paint- any color, any sheen

Plaster of Paris


Paint Stick

Small Bathroom Cups

3 parts Plaster of Paris to 1 Part paint.

Add water to plaster until you get a smooth consistency and all powder is dissolved. Then add paint.

Stir well.

That's it.

This recipe calls for 3 parts paint vs 1 part Plaster of Paris and "add water until smooth". I start by using small bathroom cups as my measurement tool and I'll explain why. I highly recommend making this paint in small batches as it will go way further than you'll ever think and doesn't store the greatest. You'll see recipes out there measuring in quarts and gallons, if you need a ton of paint then go for it, I just know how far this little bit will get me. I ultimately like to use leftover paint I have but if I need a specific color, I mostly get the sample sizes unless I come across a great deal on a quart. Samples at Lowe's are $3.50 (quarts can be as low as $9!) and I've never come close to using it all.

So that's it you guys, that's the over complicated version of an easy recipe. Like I've said before, I can't do anything simple. If you use this recipe and make your own paint, send a photo with your project before and after.

Until Next Time,



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