Better Home Advice

home improvement and decorating ideas

Easy DIY Chalk Type Paint — January 18, 2017

Easy DIY Chalk Type Paint


Easy DIY Chalk style paint.  I’ve used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and it is wonderful,  I’ve also used another Chalk type paint called Fat Paint which is also great but when you use Brand Name, you are limited to their colors and their prices.

You may already have some latex paint that you have used in your home and you want to match some furniture.  This is great for that!

Calcium Carbonate is excellent for making your own  DIY Chalk Paint.  You should be able to find it in a large bag at a farm supply store.  Farmers use this on their fields.  You will not need food grade, you just want to make sure it’s a nice fine powder.  One large bag will last you forever and you may want to share it with a few friends.   I’ve also seen people selling smaller quantities on

The Basic Recipe is 2 parts of your latex paint (choose flat or egg shell) and one part Calcium Carbonate Powder.  You may also choose to add a small amount of water depending on how thick you want this paint.  Every latex paint is a little different so just use your judgement.  Add the powder to paint and stir it in.  If you want it a little thinner now add a very small amount of water and stir.  Repeat until you are happy with the consistency.   This is very forgiving and your measurements do not need to be exact.

Make small batches with as much as you think you are going to use on your piece but it will store for a while in air tight container.  Probably at least a couple weeks.  You may need to add a little water and stir again when you come back to it.

No extensive prep work required when you are using this paint.  Simple clean your wood furniture and brush it on.  Once you have painted give the whole piece a very quick light sand with 220 or smoother sand paper.  Just so it feels really smooth to touch.  It is very easy to do this.  You will spend only a few minutes for this stage.  If you want to distress do it it now.  If not, be sure not to press too hard with the sand paper.  You won’t want to burn through especially on the edges, it can be easy to accidentally burn through on the edges.

The final finish is your owner personal decision.  On most of my pieces I brush on a coat of non-yellowing satin finish Varathane.  I find this less work than buffing a wax and it gives it a nice smooth finish.  I make sure to get satin finish because I don’t like super shiny.  The other option is a soft wax finish. Annie Sloan carries this.  I like it too but it is a little more elbow grease.  It does feel super silky to touch though if you use a wax and buff! Another great product is Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  If you want that antiqued look this is very helpful!  If you have a piece that you are worried about extra protection on, I have used the Varathane and then once it cures buff on a layer of soft wax.


For super Beat up furniture make a thicker plaster type mixture.                                              I’ve made it even thicker for a plaster type finish on really beat up furniture.  You just make it as thick as you can while still being able to brush it on.  Do a couple coats and then give it a good sand after and you will have a nice textured but smooth to touch finish on a piece of furniture that you may have scrapped!

Below are some examples of a few projects I have done. Happy Painting!








Vanity to Night Stands Upcycle — January 4, 2017
Vanity to Night Stands Upcycle — January 3, 2017

Vanity to Night Stands Upcycle


Have an old Vanity that the top is too far gone to repair? Why not turn it into a set of night stands!

Check out this transformation from beginning to end below:


Sad little Vanity

First Remove the top, this one just had some screws I was able to undo from the inside and a few wood plugs that I had to wiggle to let the glue come apart.  Every one will be different.


Now you are left with two sets of drawers, time clean.  You can use whatever you like soapy water? Windex?  There isn’t much prep when you use Chalk Paint! No need to sand before you paint yay!!


First Coat of Chalk Paint.  You can purchase ready made Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (which I do love) or you can DIY your own in any color you like.  This is my own DIY Chalk Style paint.


Wait for it to dry which is really fast with Chalk Paint.  You should be able to start your second coat in about an hour.  I always do two coats even with Brand name Chalk Paint.


After this has had a chance to dry it will feel a little gritty and you can give it a very smooth finish by very lightly and quickly sanding the entire piece with 220 sand paper.  This will sand very easily and will not be labour intensive but will leave it feeling silky smooth!6

At this stage you can go a little harder on the edges if you want to go for a distressed look.  I tend to do this light distressing on most of my pieces.  I just love the look!


Vacuum all the dust off.


Now you can seal it by painting a layer of non yellowing Varathane.  I like a satin finish as I do not like it to be really shiny.  Just brush it on and wait for it to dry.

9The other option would be to use a clear soft wax finish.  Annie Sloan sells this also and it will do a great job seeling and will feel nice a smooth when you are done.  This is also a good finish.  I find wax a little labour intensive with the buffing and like the hard finish the Varathane gives.

Now onto the top:


You will need a chop saw, hand saw or you can often have the lumber store make your cuts when you buy the lumber.  I used inexpensive lumber 3 x 8 and chose pieces with some knots in them for interest.  Cut lengths to over hang about half an inch.


Lay them out and use another board to screw them all together.  Pre-drilling is recommended so you don’t split the wood.


Beat up the edges and corners with a hammer to take out the hard edges.  You can beat the top a little too if you like a more distressed look.


Give it a light sand to whatever your preference is.  I used 120 for the top.


Vacuum up the dust


Now to stain the top with one of my favourite stains.  Dark Walnut.  I gave one good coat and waited 24 hours before seeling with Varathane.


Give the stained top a coat of Varathane. Once it is dry you can place the top.  Use wood glue and screws from underneath where you can to secure the top again.  And after a litte work and creativity you are left with a set of gorgeous DIY night stands.  That should have cost you very little to make!


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