Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe – Plaster of Paris

By on March 24, 2014

I love to paint furniture…obviously. What I’ve really started to love is chalk paint. I’ve been addicted to Annie Sloan chalk paint specifically. I can’t get enough. Sadly…I’ve been informed that my addiction to ASCP is causing my husband to develop a complex about our bank account. So what’s an ASCP addicted girl to do?

Chalk Paint Recipe

Make my Own Chalk Paint!

I’ve seen homemade chalk paint in use on various websites by other furniture painters yet still I have wavered on my attempt because, well, it’s Annie Sloan. I mean, am I right? Nothing can beat ASCP.

I’ve heard about using baking soda, unsanded grout, plaster of paris and even a recipe that used real ground up chalk. In all of these, the one I heard over and over again that was the best homemade chalk paint recipe was the one using plaster of paris. There are plenty of others and I’m sure you can google them, but after seeing this one, you may not want to.

If you’ve never heard of plaster of paris before, it’s basically what they use on walls or ceilings to patch up or use to create a nice smooth surface. It can be sanded down when dried and essentially is a plaster…like the name says.

I headed on over to Home Depot to get my supplies. Since chalk paint seems to go such a long way and I like to have different colors on hand I decided to pick up some of the 8 ounce paint samples they have. I’ve purchased the Annie Sloan paint samples in the 4 ounce size, so I knew with 8 ounce I would have plenty of paint to do several projects. The recipes I saw all called for 1 cup of latex paint and since 8 ounces equals 1 cup, I was in business.

behr small sampleThe helpful guys at Home Depot will mix these little sample paints in any color you want. Seriously, at about $3 per paint pot, you can’t beat this. I gathered up about 5 color samples to try out and now that I’ve finished one project I’m glad I did. One of the ones I had them mix was for a chair I’ve been working on and I wanted a dark gray, almost black finish, so I had them mix up a color called Jet Black.

Next, I picked up a container of plaster of paris. This comes in a sort of school lunch milk carton container looking thing. It gives you a nice easy pour spout although I spooned it out so it’s just handy to close up easily.

My Plaster of Paris Chalk Paint Recipe

When I first followed some of the recipes online, I found the consistency to be a little thick. Honestly, I was afraid of dumping it into my paint. It was super lumpy. So I increased the water just a bit. I ended up using:

  • 1 – 8 ounce pot of paint (this is 1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water

I mixed the plaster and water into a small plastic dish and stirred it up with a spoon until it was smooth…almost reminded me of pancake batter. Then I dumped it straight into the sample paint pot and stirred it up until it was completely mixed into the paint.

Next, I grabbed my paint brush (yes, I did use my Annie Sloan paint brush…which you will take from me when you pry it from my cold dead fingers) and applied it to my chair. I have to admit, I was completely shocked. It went on just like the ASCP. It also dried super fast and when it did try it had the same chalky appearance that the other stuff had. Honestly, I just couldn’t tell much of a difference. I used one coat and then applied my finishing wax and it was pretty awesome. You can see in the picture below, I just finished painting the arm which is still wet, but the bottom of the arm support is dry already!

Closeup of Paint

How Much Does Homemade Chalk Paint Cost?

I spent just under $7 on a full container of plaster of paris. It’s 4 pounds, and I used 2 1/2 tablespoon so according to my Google tablespoon to pounds conversion I dropped about $.15 cents on plaster of paris. Add to that my $3 on the paint and I’m up to about $3.15 for a full 8 ounce pot of chalk paint. In the past, I’ve spent around $12 plus shipping for a 4 ounce chalk paint sample size from Annie Sloan. So, I can now have 8 ounces of paint for $3.15 or $24 plus shipping with ASCP.

Final Thoughts

I’m not gonna lie, I loved this stuff. It was super easy to mix up and oh my goodness…the savings! The other thing to keep in mind is that when you make your own chalk paint, you aren’t limited to the colors available from the other chalk paint makers. The sky is the limit here folks.

I still have quite a bit of inventory in my garage of Annie Sloan paint in my garage that I will definitely make use of and I definitely still love the brand and paint, but I can definitely see myself switching things up when I run out of my favorite colors.

Link partying up with the following:

The Dedicated House

About Misty Spears

I absolutely love all things DIY, especially when it comes to decorating my own home. I’m a thrift store junkie and my head just explodes with ideas to repurpose old junk into something practical and beautiful when I come across that perfect treasure. I’m a wood furniture rebel and try to paint every surface I can to bring color into my life. My life revolves around my family and enjoying every moment that life serves up to me. You can connect with me on Twitter @diyhomeinterior, Instagram @mistyspears and see my pins on Pinterest for a sneak peak into all the DIY projects I am working on and crazy life happenings.


  1. Jen

    March 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Oh I am TOTALLY doing this! I have a wonderful color I’ve wanted to use but it’s in a flat finish. Is it safe to assume flat is okay for making your own chalk paint?

    • Misty Spears

      March 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Flat is actually what I used Jen so I would say Yes! I like that chalky look so it just fits well.

      • Valeria

        March 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Great idea Misty! I am definitely going to try this. I was wondering, what kind of paint did you use? Interior flat latex, outdoor, etc?

        • Misty Spears

          March 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm

          This particular one was an indoor flat. I would go with either flat or maybe a satin. I wouldn’t imagine gloss would look very good as chalk paint, although, who knows, I’ve never tried it.

  2. Edie Dykeman

    March 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    How cool! My mother was an artist, but most of the time in her teaching career she worked with her second graders. Plaster of Paris was a common medium that she would use for some of her projects. Brings back lots of memories. She would have loved this post.

    • Misty Spears

      March 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Oh that’s great Edie! I honestly didn’t know it was used for painting before this project…shows ya how much of an art teacher I would be lol

  3. Cynthia Dixon

    March 25, 2014 at 12:01 am


    You’re on a roll with this painting thing! LOL The chair arm looks great! I’ve never heard of this technique, but you certainly make it look easy. Great post BTW.

    • Misty Spears

      March 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you Cynthia. I just finished the chair up last night and I will be working on the full tutorial for it in the next day or so. Can’t wait to show you!

  4. Marilyn Thompson

    March 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I don’t know that I’d ever try mixing my own paint but it sounds like fun. Re-pinned.

    • Misty Spears

      March 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you Marilyn! You should give it a try. I’m in love with it now and it saves so much money.

  5. Bonnie Gean

    March 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I made homemade chalk paint once… ROFL – It was a disaster!

    Next time I want to try my hand at it, I know who to come to for inspiration! :)

    • Misty Spears

      March 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Hey Bonnie! I’d be happy to help with anything I can! I think I might do a video of the actual process *wink* *wink*

  6. Judy

    April 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Thank you! What is the finishing was that you used?

  7. Karen

    April 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Misty, I am in the process of using your technique. This is my first time refinishing anything. I’m doing an off-white paint on a small dresser. The dresser it looks like it’s been stained mohogany so I lightly sanded and applied my first coat just waiting for it to dry before I start my second coat. Thanks for the tip.

    • Misty Spears

      April 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Are you doing a home made chalk paint for the offwhite color Karen? I’d love to see your finished dresser if you want to come back and post a link to a picture of it!

  8. Sharon

    September 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I am just getting into painting tables and dressers but am wondering what the Chalk Paint story is, I’ve seen lots of posts about it but not sure what it should and shouldn’t be used for and why it is used more often, there must be a reason everyone is using it. It is the final finish? Thanks for enlightening me.

    • Misty Spears

      October 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      For me, it’s best to be used on pieces where you want a more vintage look, although I have seen some people use it on more modern pieces. I personally love it because it’s a thick paint, it doesn’t require primer and it sticks to anything…seriously, anything. I love the final finish, it’s more of a flat chalky appearance and once you wax it, it’s gorgeous. I don’t use it on everything, but definitely on my solid wood pieces that are more antique in style and those pieces I want to give a more distressed or aged look. Hope that helps!

  9. Candace

    December 6, 2014 at 12:31 am

    How long does the mixture last usually?

    • Misty Spears

      December 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I’m not sure of the maximum amount of time, but I’ve stored some mixed chalk paint in a container with a tight lid and used it the next 2 weekends without issue. I did notice it was a little thicker so I probably wouldn’t go much further than that, although typically I mix just enough for a single project so don’t have much leftover.

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