Transforming Yesterday's Junk into Tomorrow's Treasures

Home Made Chalk Paint

Posted on 29th February, by tyndrgn in the lab. 2 Comments

While I was painting the couch longing for some of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, I came across this youtube video from about how to create your own chalk paint using baking soda. Later I found this post by Sherry at No Minimalist Here, which touches upon the same subject, using one of three options they are Calcium Carbonate, Whiting Powder, and Plaster of Paris. Its time to experiment and find out which one I prefer.

Today's Test Subjects

First I figured the baking soda and plaster of paris would be the easiest to start off with while I search for the other two options online and in local stores. I had four wooden plaques that I had something in mind for and decided to kill two birds with this one stone. For this part of the experiment, two of the shapes will be set aside, till the calcium carbonate, & whiting powder arrive.

I mixed up a half ounce of baking soda with one & half ounce of behr’s mined coal per alchemyfineliving’s instruction one part baking soda to three parts paint. The round shape got painted with this mix, the paint brush seemed to drag on the wood as if it were weighed down. While this dried I mixed up one ounce of plaster of paris with two ounces of the same mined coal per Sherry’s suggestion. I than painted the fancier rectangle with this mix, the paint went on smoothly it almost seemed to level itself out as well.

Peek at Next Weeks Toolbox Project

So now lets watch paint dry, the plaster mixture dried faster then the baking soda mixture. To the touch both mixtures had that gritty feel of chalk paint, although to me the plaster / paint mix was a little rougher, both mixtures required a light sanding I used a fine grit paper for this just to knock any rough spots down a little. The plaster / paint mix seemed to accept the sanding easier. Both shapes where then wiped down and let to dry.

I worked on the toolbox project that will be posted in a day or two, then I mixed another batch of paints different colors this time, they were one part baking soda / three parts Martha Stewart’s bone folder this was used for the round shape. For the fancy rectangle, I then mixed one part plaster of paris / two parts Valspar’ Bay Area from their allen + roth collection. Both shapes where given a light coat of their paint mixtures, not quite a dry brushing but, I did not worry about 100% coverage.

Once again the plaster / paint mixture dried faster, once dried it had a gritty texture and was easy to sand there where no rough spots prior to sanding. When the baking soda mixture was dry it had the same gritty texture, but seemed to take more elbow grease to reveal the base coat; also none of the wood showed through the base coat while sanding. Here are my findings as the experiment now stands.

Baking Soda / Paint ratio 1-3

1: Did the paint go on smoothly?
Answer : No it seemed to drag on the wood but no caking up was noticeable on the application.

2: Did the paint brush clean up easily?
Answer : yes the paint came off the brush easier than regular latex paint.

3: How was drying time?
Answer : faster than ordinary latex paint but slower then the plaster / paint mixture.

4: How did the paint look after drying?
Answer : The color remained the same the texture was slightly gritty

5: How did it distress?
Answer : I have mixed feelings on this, sometimes I do not wish to see the paint or wood under the base coat yet I want the top coat to be able to distress down to the base coat easily. With this mix, it is my opinion that it would be a matter of timing if you allow it to dry for longer, will the top coat become even harder to sand? ( I will test this and post an update)

Test Subject : Baking Soda - Final


Plaster of Paris / Paint ratio 1-2

1: Did the paint go on smoothly?
Answer : yes there was no caking up on application

2: Did the paint brush clean up easily?

Aanswer : yes the paint came off the brush easier then plan latex paint

3: How was drying time?
Answer : drying time was quicker than plan latex, and the baking soda mixture.

4: How did the paint look after drying?
Answer : The color remained the same the texture was slightly gritty.

5: How did it distress?
Answer: Some of the wood did show through but, that is what I expected. It took less effort to sand this mixture than either the plan latex paint, or baking soda mixture.

Test Subject: Plaster - Final

I will mention that during this test, I discovered that the baking soda may have a chemical reaction with the latex paint causing it to harden quickly, on the left you will see the baking soda / mined coal mixture after just two hours in a sealed container it is already at a play-dough like consistency, on the right is a picture of the mixture I made up last week for this experiment. It could not even be washed out of the container, the plaster of paris mixture did not have this issue, so if you choose to try the baking soda option because its what you have on hand… mix only what you need so you do not waste your paint.

Later this week I should have the results of the use of calcium carbonate, & whiting powder to make your own chalk paint, I will also be getting some Annie Sloan chalk paint to test along with any of our home made options, as I feel it would give you a better feel on how they measure up to what your wanting to recreate.

Blessed be, till next time.

2 Responses to “Home Made Chalk Paint”

  1. Lace057 says:

    Did you find the plaster paint separated?

    • tyndrgn says:

      Yes I did experience that issue with the plaster mixture, it seems to still be fine to use once its mixed back up, but can be a hassle to deal with.

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