Make your own chalk paint, you say?

Okay, so I was gushing over Elise Logan’s cabinet make-over post before publishing it on twitter and lamenting that there aren’t any vendors of the chalk paint brand she uses super close. To get any, it means a bit of a drive, and with how crunched for time I’ve been as of late–that means it isn’t happening. I’m just not driving 30 minutes anywhere unless it’s really important.

Then, a twitter friend @lizjamar directed me to this very interesting site where they document how to make your very own chalk paint.

Oh. My. God. Are you serious??

I had to try it. I mean, what did I have to lose?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor this project all I had to buy was the plaster of Paris and an empty paint can. Hey, if it worked, I wanted a good way to save my new product for using on everything! I already had water and white latex paint on hand. Since this was an experiment, I didn’t want to buy too many things in case it didn’t work.

Now, I’m using a frame I already had. My old office used to be heavy on blues and greens, so I have a handful of these frames that just don’t fit aesthetically anywhere in our home and have been collecting dust in boxes. I know that going with such a dark color is a tough choice when going to white, but I’ve heard awesome things about chalk paint’s ability to cover everything. I figured, what do I have to lose?


Reading directions isn’t my strong point, but this time I really slowed it down and made myself pay close attention to what I was being told to do. It was very specific about the measurements. I had a lot more materials to make paint than what the recipe called for, but I figured I would play it safe and start small.

On the right you can see my water and plaster mix. It looks a little milky. I bet it doesn’t taste all that awesome.

I added the paint next and that’s when I  knew I had an issue.


This is where you start fudging the directions. Lot of good reading them did me!

On the left you can see my exact reproduction of the recipe.

It doesn’t look like paint. It looks more like ice cream. But that’s not an ice cream I want to eat!

The directions said to add water as needed, so I started with a little here, a little there. Mixing it up really good. By the end I think I was dumping whole cups of water in just to see if it would change the consistency enough for me to mix it at all. I finally wound up with something close enough to paint I thought I could finally get down to work. Since I didn’t know what the mix would do, I painted immediately.


I used painter’s tape to protect the glass. I don’t trust myself to stay neat. There’s a reason I invest a small fortune in drop cloths. I believe I applied this with a foam brush. I needed something that could get into all those creases and crevices.

The first coat had decent coverage. I could still tell I was painting a green frame, but in my mind I could visualize a couple coats going on and making that all disappear. It would be beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChalk paint, even my weird, basterdized mix, dries fast, so after setting up my next project I was able to do another coat.

I slapped on a second and even a third coat. My excitement was starting to wane and the only thing keeping me going with disaster of a DIY was that I’d talked about it so much on Twitter, I damned well wanted to see it through.

The green was still obvious, and I was starting to notice the base coat cracking and separating until it looked something like the desert ground at noon in the middle of a drought. Not good for my look.


Well, I stuck it out, but I’m not hanging this on my wall.

I don’t think this frame can be salvaged, but I’ll probably keep it around for something. I hardly throw anything away these days!


It was an interesting project. I like the idea and I’m open to being told I did something wrong. I learned halfway through that my local Home Depot carries small pots of chalk paint, so for a small project like the frame, I could have been set if I’d just spent a couple dollars. Guess I need to pick up some and try another frame to do a comparison of the two products!

Sidney Sig

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