DIY chalk paint

Chalk paint has been a trend for DIY fanatics for years, and it does not seem to be slowing down.  The beauty of chalk paint allows you to not have to prep the product beforehand - you can just begin the transformation right away!  Yet one of the down sides is the cost, with some costing $40 for a quart of chalk paint.  Here is a DIY version that won't break the bank, and it will give you the ability to use whatever color gets you excited.

The chalk-finish paint that I'm sharing here is made by blending a flat latex paint with plaster of Paris (powdered gypsum), and water. The resulting thick-body paint goes on as easy as regular paint, but adds the look of an antique finish -- with or without distressing. Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, a chalk-finish paint surface can be left with a matte finish or rubbed for a more satiny look. Everyone from decorators to homeowners appreciates its ease of application and ability to add color to a room without time-consuming sanding, filling, and priming.

Chalk-Finish Paint Recipe

Mix your own chalk-finish paint using the following supplies:
• flat latex paint
• Plastic paint buckets
• Plaster of Paris
• Stir sticks
• Plastic measuring cups (do not reuse for food)
• Water (cool, not warm)
• Paste wax

Mix 1/3 cup of plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser. Chalk-finish paint should not be stored and reused. If you have a smaller project, mix smaller amounts of plaster, paint, and water in the same proportions.

How To Apply a Chalk-Finish Paint

Apply the First Layer - Practice painting a scrap board before tackling a project. When layering different paint colors for a distressed finish, apply a heavier base coat than top coat. Work quickly -- chalk-finish paint dries fast -- and immediately remove any particles in the wet paint.

Add a Distressed Finish

Dip a brush into the second color and dab most of the paint onto paper or a rag until the brush is almost dry. Lightly dry brush color to highlight the raised areas. After the paint dries, lightly rub the top coat with sandpaper, a sanding sponge, steel wool or a dish scrubber to enhance the distressed look. Finish pieces with paste wax.