How to Make and Use Chalk Paint

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is so popular! I think it looks so fab with its flat, smooth finish! I have been wanting to try it for a while and finally built the perfect project but spent weeks trying to figure out what color I wanted to use. Color usually isn’t a problem for me but this time, I had issues. I finally settled on the can of Clark + Kensington paint in Harbor Lane from free paint day at Ace Hardware to make my DIY chalk paint with plaster of paris.

There are tons of sites around the web with recipes and tips on how to make and use chalk paint. Mostly, it involves experimentation and finding what works for you!

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint 1


  • Paint
  • Plaster of Paris (<– affiliate link!) and water
  • Paint brush
  • Vaseline or other petroleum jelly
  • Sander & 220 grit sandpaper
  • Paste Wax
  • Project to paint

Let me start by saying that I did not take a lot of pics of the process. I was on a roll and forgot, but I’m sure most of you already know how to apply paint and don’t need anyone to show you!

I built the Ballard Designs Inspired Bouclier Side Table from The Design Confidential. The drawers were installed and it was ready to be finished. I started by priming it then painting it with Martha Stewart Living paint in Mushroom.

I have an old mixing cup I use specifically for paint projects. I added a couple scoops (equal to about two Tablespoons) of Plaster of Paris to one cup of water. Unfortunately, I did not realize that Plaster of Paris thickens as it stands so I added a few more scoops. I added the mixture to my paint and thoroughly stirred.

In order to create a vintage look, I applied petroleum jelly to the edges and a few spots where I didn’t want the paint to stick. (I enlisted The Han’s help for this and she did a fantastic job!)

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint base coat of paint

I used an old brush and started applying the chalk paint. The best thing about it being so thick is that it fills in knots and imperfections similar to nail hole filler. In fact, the mixture now looks like joint compound which could be handy for another project later on down the road!

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint applying the chalk paint

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint filling cracks

I used two coats and let it dry. Then I used 220 grit sandpaper to sand the entire cabinet. The petroleum jelly did the trick as the paint did not stick to it and the paint was easily removed in these spots.

Once I finished the sanding, I sealed the entire cabinet, including the drawer fronts, with Minwax Paste Wax. The paste wax gives it a nice, smooth finish. I’ve decided that I really like using the paste wax and, in fact, I use paste wax on the table of my table saw which keeps the wood running smoothly through the saw! It reminds me of the days where my dad would make me wax my car by using the “Karate Kid” method (wax on, wax off). If you prefer something more durable, use polyurethane. I would recommend Rust-Oleum’s Ultimate Polyurethane – I love this stuff!

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint drawer front

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint finished drawer fronts

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint side view

I love it! It is vintage-y looking without being overdone and was a super simple project! I can’t wait to try this again… I hope this will inspire you to try your own chalk paint project!

How to Make and Use Chalk Paint completed project

Have questions or other tips on how to make and use chalk paint? Leave a comment below!


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