- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.p5VL3RkF.dpuf The Old Lucketts Store Blog: Tips for making and mixing your own chalkboard paint

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tips for making and mixing your own chalkboard paint

Yes, you can make your own chalkboard paint.  But why should you?  Why shouldn't you?  HOW do you do it if you want to?

We asked one of our veteran furniture painters, Heather, a few questions about how she was able to turn a tired side table in to a funky & cheerful nightstand.  

Here is a recipe and her thoughts and suggestions if you want to mix your own paint for your next project.

 Here is the nightstand before.  We shared this on our Facebook page and asked for painting suggestions.  I had to laugh.  A few people said it looked great as is.  This is what it looked like from the front....you're right, not too bad in this pic....

Here is the one and only shot I took of the damage.  If you look more closely, it had scuff marks, dirt and STICKERS all over it!  I guess the "pretty filter" was on for the first picture!

So, if you're going to repaint a piece, Heather uses a similar process with all her furniture, regardless of paint type.  You can see the details of her process here, here, and here.  First you need to do a light sand (especially if there are stickers), and clean the piece so it's ready to accept paint.  Then use a primer (Heather likes to use Kilz) as the first coat.  Here is the piece after a quick coat of primer.
After you're done priming, you are ready to mix your very own paint!

The Old Lucketts Store's 
Recipe for DIY Chalkboard Paint
2 cups FLAT paint
-  2 Tablespoons UNSANDED grout
Mix well with a stir stick

You should now be able to paint, distress, and finish the piece as you would with other chalkboard paints.

Here are some helpful answers to questions we get at the store about working with this type of paint:

What are your tips for a First Timer?  Don't be afraid.  If this is a first project, pick a small, manageable project & get a few quarts of FLAT finish oops paint at the hardware store.  It's much, much cheaper and you won't feel guilty while you're learning to practice mixing & applying the paint.

How much paint do I need to mix?  Mix small batches at a time.  To give you an idea, the end table in this post was painted with 2 cups of paint (one cup per color; 1 coat of paint on this piece).  Mixing smaller amounts also ensures the unsanded grout mixes in really well.

Does the color change when you add the unsanded grout?  Does it get more pastel-looking?  Do I need to get one color darker or lighter than what I really want?  No.  If you follow the recipe, the colors should stay true. What you see is what you get.

Do I need to seal this or add anything after I'm done painting?  Yes, you do have to wax over your home made chalkboard paint ALWAYS.  Because you are using a flat paint, it will scratch and stain very easily with no protection.  

Can I store this paint?   Covered, this paint mix will last as long as your over the counter paint.  The grout will tend to make it thicker if it sits for a long time.  If this happens, you can add a tad bit of water to thin it back out (this is why it's best to mix the paint in smaller amounts).

Why would I want to mix my own chalkboard paint?   If you want to mix your own paint (as has been done for hundreds, if not thousands of years), it's a personal choice, it's fun, and there is a certain sense of accomplishment you get from creating a custom paint.  Commercially available chalkboard paints have lovely, proven & popular color palettes & formulas.  These brands have quite the following built up within the custom paint & finishing communities.   For DIY chalkboard paint, the color choices are only limited to your imagination - you can use any paint chip color or create a custom match color base - just mix in the unsanded grout.  Depending on the paint you select, it can also be less expensive than commercially available versions.

Is there anything else I should know?   Be sure to keep your leftover grout in a closed container and in a dry place or it could dampen & spoil.

Here is the super-quick side table after some home made paint was applied.  Simple, easy, and this project took the morning (which was mostly dry time in between coats).

Yes, you can distress your DIY paint like other paints.  Be sure to wax it though.

If you found this recipe, this post, and Heather's tips helpful, don't forget to pin this post and share with your friends!


  1. Thanks so much for all the tips...this little piece turned out really cute.


  2. This is great, but I do have a couple of questions.....You have called this "chalkboard paint" - is it meant to be used as chalkboard paint( to write on with chalk) or is it just being used like products that are called "chalk paint" (like Annie Sloan's paint), or both? Thanks. :)

  3. Really cute and love the choice of colors! QUick question -- this is "chalk" paint and not chalk"board" paint, correct?

  4. I'm confused too about the "chalkboard" term.

  5. We're only using the term "chalkboard" because "Chalk Paint" is trademarked by Annie Sloan and is only supposed to be used in reference to her brand of Chalk Paint. Any other products (even the kind you make)are not allowed to use "Chalk Paint". We know almost no one says the "board" part when referring to homemade paint, but when you get blog comments about legal action for those misrepresenting Chalk Paint, you just write "chalkboard" and leave it at that. I don't know if other blogs with similar recipes are also getting anonymous blog comments like that or not. Seems odd, but chalkboard it is!


  7. I love this look! Great work! Thanks for sharing this process and formula! What kind of wax do you recommend, and how do you apply it? I am looking forward to trying this!

  8. I like mixing my own chalk paint and the experince of learning with it, without feeling guilty. The very first chalk paint I mixed was a charcoal gray, and I just used more of it the other day to make an actualy chalk board on my clipboard. It was perfect just the way it was, after several months of being stored in a mason jar. That made me very happy and I still have more left!

  9. for the person that was asking about the differences in the paint... this recipie is for a "faux" chalk paint as real chalk paint (like an Annie Sloan) has a chalk base, not a latex base and is a low VOC product. there are other newer paints on the market (like a CeCE Caldwell)that are actually NO voc too that have a chalk/clay base. All of these you do have to wax. Or you can try a milk paint (like a Miss Mustard Seed) where you have to do more prep on the front end, but you don't have to wax.
    the end result LOOKS very much the same it just takes a different path to get there! All of it is FUN to play with!

  10. Thanks for sharing this post! My boyfriend and I just moved into an apartment together. For the most part we bought secondhand items at flea markets and thrift stores and perked them up ourselves by sanding them and painting them. We did buy buy a new bed at a nearby furniture store for a great price.

  11. After ALOT of research I found the amazing recipe of using Latex Flat paint and Calcium Carbonate (yes found in the vitamin store)and a bit of water. Mix the Calcium Carbonate and water until you get a smooth texture. 1/3 Calcium Carbonate to 2/3 paint. Mix well and you will be amazed! I have used ASCP and I love it but it is pretty pricey.

  12. This post is so informative and makes a very nice image on the topic in my mind. It is the first time I visit your blog, but I was extremely impressed. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday! Furniture Stores


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