DIY Chalk Paint Tutorial – Part 2

This is the second instalment of the DIY Chalk Paint Tutorial. To read up on supplies, prep, and before information, please check out Part 1 of the Tutorial.

So we left off right before making the paint.. Now that you’ve got your supplies laid out and ready, let’s begin.

Making DIY Chalk Paint

Mix equal parts of plaster of paris and warm water until completely mixed and powder has dissolved. Once a smooth consistency has been achieved, add double the amount of paint and stir. It should come to a smooth liquid, almost like coffee cream. I started with 1/4 cup, to yield 1 cup of chalky paint. For me that seemed like plenty for the legs and shelf of my table. [I was able to paint on exactly 4 coats]

instructions---mix

To make DIY Chalk Paint you need to mix 1 part plaster of paris to 1 part warm water until dissolved smoothly. Then add 2 parts paint (this should double the entire mixture). Make sure you identify TOXIC if recycling a food/beverage container for safety reasons.

Instructions to chalk Paint Properly

Slowly paint all over the item’s areas that you are planning on painting. After the first coat, let it dry completely. This can be anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on your paint selection. So seal your container while you wait, and completely rise your brush if you plan on putting the next coat on hours/days later. You will want to swish the mixture a few times to make sure it’s not solidifying before the next coat. Add a bit of water if it gets too thick before your next coat.

NOTE: The first coat will looks disastrous and horribly streaky. Not to worry; it gets better.

To avoid streaks on the coat, it’s advised to do a quick light sanding of any streaks or powder chunks in between each coat of paint. Use small grit sandpaper and lightly sand the entire painted surfaces.

Sand the painted surfaces in between in each coat of paint. Make sure it is completely DRY before doing so, and that you give it a quick wipe to remove the dust before applying the next coat of paint.

Sand the painted surfaces in between in each coat of paint. Make sure it is completely DRY before doing so, and that you give it a quick wipe to remove the dust before applying the next coat of paint.

Continue the [paint, dry, sand, dust] process until your item has been completely coated so you no longer see the wood colour bleeding through, and paint streaks are barely visible. For my table, it took 4 coats. Recommended is 3, but since my table was starting out as a deep mohaghany and going towards a cream paint, I wanted to make sure there would be no bleed.

Here is a progressional set of  images after each coat has been applied and has had time to dry. I’ve converted them to greyscale so that you can focus on the texture differences.

Image of the furniture piece after each coat of chalky paint.

Image of the furniture piece after each coat of chalky paint.

How to Distress your Furniture

You can either skip this step and go straight to waxing, OR you’ll want to grab another piece of sand-paper and distress your furniture piece. I sanded down all the corners to give it a used-but-classic look.

instructions---sand-distressed

Before & After distressing the piece of furniture. Corners are the usual, but feel free to sand down some horizontal patches throughout. You can also put some stain on a rag and gently add some colour over top of the distressed areas and on the outsides of your piece on “commonly abused” locations.

The Finishing Touches

Next step is the last step. You will want to seal the chalk paint with a layer of soft finishing wax.  Grab a piece of cheesecloth or lint-free cloth and scoop out a bit of the wax. You’ll want to start by gently going over the areas you distressed. Then, you’ll take your cloth and rub on the wax in circular motions. Think Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio style. The more you rub, the shinier it will get so if you prefer the matte finish like myself, make sure there is an even coat and leave it at that.  You can always give it another go later on to get the shine. Leave it for 48-72 hours to cure. For a fun antiquing effect, use a dark wax.

Soft Paste Finishing Wax from Minwax
Soft Paste Finishing Wax from Minwax

And there you have it! Your very own chalk painted piece of furniture. Bonus if you distressed it too :)

Stay tuned for a professional Before&After series of the entire project. In the meantime, enjoy this quick cell phone image of my lovely new table! Accessories to come..

Before and After Pictures

after

For more DIY tutorials, subscribe to our newsletter.