DIY Chalk Paint Review

As I’m finishing up this post I’m currently sitting snug as a bug in bed and trying to recover from my trip to the Silobration. We literally just got home a few hours ago and HOLY SMOKES–it was amazing. We had the best time and I’m just so grateful for the entire experience. It was even better than anything I had imagined and I can’t wait to share it all soon. But in the mean time, I wanted to share a little DIY chalk paint review for you guys. Can you believe I’ve never tried DIY chalk paint? Crazy, I know. But I finally mixed up my very first batch last week and used it to paint a cute little wooden stool. I was actually surprised by the results and I have some thoughts to share on it, so I hope this helps if you’re curious about making your own chalk paint. Grab your coffee and let’s hop to it!

DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy

So there are a ton of different chalk paint recipes out there, but I found a very basic and straightforward recipe from Lowe’s that I’ll be using for this review: “Mix 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water; stir until completely smooth. Mix that with 1 cup of latex paint and stir thoroughly. This will make enough chalk-finish paint for one coat on a six-drawer dresser. Chalk-finish paint should not be stored and reused.”

DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy

Once I had the chalk paint mixed up I was ready to paint. Here’s a before shot of the stool I used for this review:

DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy

I didn’t do anything to prep this stool other than clean it up with a wet rag. No sanding or anything–I just wanted to go straight in with the DIY chalk paint, like I would with any other pre-mixed chalk paint.

Here’s how it looked after the first coat of paint:

DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy

Thoughts After 1st Coat of Paint

The first thing I noticed after mixing the paint is that it felt very thin and light in texture. It was much thinner than most chalk paints I have used. (It actually reminded me a lot of the Rust-Oleum milk paint.)  It applied easily, but the coverage was quite streaky and the paint was very runny. I had drips of paint everywhere! I also noticed it took a bit longer than I expected for the paint to dry before I could move onto the second coat. Once it did dry, the finish was matte.

Thoughts After 2nd Coat of Paint

I was much more impressed with the second coat of paint. It went on smoother and the coverage was MUCH better. It almost seemed like the paint had thickened up while it sat in the can in between coats–it felt more like a regular chalk paint and was not runny or watery at all. It offered more even coverage, there were way less streaks, and it applied easily. After the second coat I distressed lightly with sand paper and this is the finished look!

DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy DIY Chalk Paint Review #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #diy

Overall Thoughts

Pros: I do think this DIY chalk paint is a great option if you’re looking to save a little money. It’s more affordable the most pre-mixed chalk paints on the market, so it will save you a few bucks. Another bonus is that DIY chalk paint gives you the ability to completely customize the color to whatever you like, which is pretty cool. (I used the color Olive Grove by the Magnolia Home paint line.) And I have to say, the second coat of paint did give great coverage.

Cons: Even though I’m happy with the way this stool turned out after the second coat of paint, I wasn’t crazy about the paint itself. The consistency on the first coat was too water-y for me, I was literally dripping paint everywhere. I also didn’t love mixing it–Plaster of Paris is definitely a bit messy. Call me lazy, but I love the convenience of just popping open a can of pre-mixed chalk paint and getting to work. I don’t have to figure out the ratios to mix a small batch of chalk paint (math isn’t my favorite thing!) and I’m also not wasting any paint I didn’t use, because I can just seal the can back up until the next project. And lastly, I don’t think Plaster of Paris is exactly the healthiest thing to be mixing (and possibly inhaling), which is definitely a big drawback in my opinion.

DIY Chalk Paint Review. #chalkpaint #farmhouse #paintedfurniture #diy

I’d love to hear if you’ve used DIY chalk paint and what you think! Obviously there are a LOT of different recipes out there, which will probably yield very different results, but these are just my honest thoughts on this particular recipe. (I used this one because it’s the first thing that pops up on Google, so I figured it was pretty popular!) And even though I’m happy with how this stool turned out, I don’t see myself using DIY chalk paint again any time soon. I expected to love it, but it didn’t cut it for me. Guess I’m just a sucker for the convenience and ease of pre-mixed paint!

Here’s a few other chalk paint related you might like: 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint vs Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint

Review of the Krylon Chalky Spray Paint & Wax

Magnolia Home Chalk Paint Colors + Overview

DIY Chalk Paint Review. Testing out DIY chalk paint on an old wooden stool. #chalkpaint #paintedfurniture #ascp #DIY

Leave a Comment

30 Comments

  1. Alicia wrote:

    Sarah I love the color of the stool!! I’ve never made diy using the pop but I have used BB Frosh and love it!! Have you ever tried it?

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
  2. Melissa Filson wrote:

    Hey Sarah, I’ve never tried this recipe and I’ve never used premixed chalk paint but I have been using another recipe that works great for me and it’s easy! Mix one part calcium carbonate with two parts paint…that’s it! I don’t really even measure, just kinda eyeball it. I’ve painted 2 antique nightstands, my dining room table and chairs, made a sign and a coat rack, and I’m working on painting an old desk now! I love it and the best part is I ordered the calcium carbonate from Amazon for around $5 and it’s a pretty good size bag and I’ve just added it to paint we already had at home! Super cheap and easy and I think it works great!
    Loved your pics and videos on Instagram from the Silobration!! Can’t wait to hear more about it! Glad you made it home safe and sound my friend 😀

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
  3. Becky wrote:

    I have not had the chance to use chalk paint. I love how your little stool turned out and the color is great. I think when I try it I most likely will use the already mixed up product. Mixing is not one of my favorite things. Lol. Have a great Day Sarah. Can’t wait to hear about your trip. xoxo

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
  4. I’ve only used chalk paint once, Annie Sloan and I loved it. So easy and the small chest I painted turned out better than I expected.
    I have one question. I have a wingback chair. The upholstery is good on it but the color is not. I’d like to paint it with chalk paint. I’ve read in several places after completion of painting the fabric is stiff. Is this true? Does the paint come off on your clothes? Can you use anything on top of the paint to soften the fabric?

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
  5. Carol wrote:

    Why didn’t you use the Magnolia Home’s chalk paint? I’ve used many brands including home made and it is definitely the best. I painted 1940s metal lawn chairs with just one coat and super coverage.

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh I have it and use it all the time. I just wanted to try DIY chalk paint to see how it compares.

      Posted 10.22.18 Reply
      • Rose J. wrote:

        How do you think it would work to “white wash” a brick wall with BLACK 🙁 mortar? I have FINALLY gotten my husband to agree to it but if we start & its a mess? I will NEVER, EVER, ‘TIL MY DYING DAY hear the end of it. What’re your thoughts? I love everything that you’ve done. YOU could be another Joanna! You have an excellent eye for design! I know what I want but when I try to put it all together, it just looks sad. :-/

        Thanks for answering!

        Posted 10.22.18 Reply
        • Sarah wrote:

          Ah you are so sweet Rose, thank you for the kind words! And I personally would not use this to white wash a brick wall. But unfortunately I haven’t done a project like that yet, so I can’t say which paint would be the best to use. Sorry!!

          Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  6. Susan Ronnfeldt wrote:

    I LOVE the color of the little step ladder! I am not on Instagram, so cannot wait to hear about your time in Waco! I love your blog, by the way!!

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Ah thank you so much Susan!! Can’t wait to share all about it soon. xo

      Posted 10.22.18 Reply
  7. Angela Servello wrote:

    Welcome home! I don’t know about you but no matter how awesome and fun a trip/vacation is…..there’s no place like home. Can’t wait to hear all about it. I’m so happy you got to have this opportunity. Love this post. Sometimes, convenience is more important than saving a few bucks, for me anyway. So happy you had a safe trip. 💞 Angela

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Angela! And yes, I totally agree. Convenience is worth a few extra bucks in my opinion!

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  8. Laura Harrie wrote:

    Sarah,
    I have made that same recipe for DYI chalk paint and I liked it, but it is more work than opening a premixed can of chalk paint! I must say the one item I did paint, a small plant stand, turned out great! For something big I’ve used the store bought for sure. Love that color for your step stool! I still have a huge box of Plaster of Paris, thinking of other uses!

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      That’s awesome Laura! If you can think of any other ways to use Plaster of Paris let me know. I have about 15 extra pounds, lol

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  9. Sharon J wrote:

    I use regular latex paint usually satin or eggshell finish and the calcium carbonate recipe. 1 cup of latex paint, 2 T of CC, 2 T of water. I have never found it runny. I have had to add a bit more sometimes to make it thinner(depends on the paint). It does take 2 coats almost always. But I did my two wall units for less than $20(not counting what I paid for the CC). You can have so many other color options with DIY!!!
    Do love the color that you used. I just hate to spend over $30 for a quart of anything!!

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I hear you Sharon, chalk paint is kinda pricey! But I’m so glad to hear you had luck with your DIY recipe. Mine was so darn runny. Maybe I needed to add more Plaster of Paris to thicken it up?

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  10. Carol Holtorf wrote:

    Did you put a clear wax coat on after you painted it? Looking forward to hearing all about your trip to Waco.

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Nope, I didn’t do any wax on this stool. I’m a rebel like that! lol 🙂

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  11. Susie wrote:

    Hi Sarah
    the little cubby above your newly painted stool is that wood or metal. The stool and the cubby color looks good together. Glad you had a great time on your trip.

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      It’s actually metal. I chalk painted it too a few months ago!

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  12. Lynette Curtis wrote:

    Hi Sarah, When I first started using chalk paint I couldn’t buy it in Australia, so I had to mix my own. I still mix my own with plaster of paris, and if it is too thin just add more plaster, I don’t measure my paint, plaster or water. I like making it, as it saves me money and it can be kept in an airtight container (jars are best) for an extended period. I have painted things such as, a large number of various furniture items, picture frames, brass, shelves, metal milk drums wooden items and done stencilling with chalk paint etc. I usually finish my items with a water based clear finish.

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks for sharing that Lynette. I think this recipe needed more Plaster of Paris to thicken it up. It was just so darn runny. I might give it a try again and “free hand” it next time so see if I would like it better!

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
      • Lyn Curtis wrote:

        Thank you Sarah for taking time out of your busy day to answer all our posts. I love your decorating ideas, your home is stunning! How do you keep it so clean and your furnishings white with 3 little treasures running around the house. Regards Lyn.

        Posted 10.24.18 Reply
        • Sarah wrote:

          Hi Lyn! I don’t really keep it all that clean, we definitely have lots of messes around here. I just clean up before I take photos!

          Posted 10.25.18 Reply
  13. Gina wrote:

    I use this recipe- 1 cup paint, 1T unsanded grout, 1T water. You mix the unsanded grout with the water and then add to the paint. Not watery at all and always works great! I love the green color you used!!

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Wow that sounds awesome! Thanks of sharing Gina, I might have to give that one a try!

      Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  14. Debbie wrote:

    Glad you had a wonderful trip, Sarah. I just completed a Vintage Market Days weekend as a vendor and I’ve tried/ used different chalk paints on furniture pieces. However, the vendor across from me was selling Mineral Paint. I didn’t get a chance to chat with her much but I did ask her the benefit vs chalk paint. She mentioned that mineral was better for the environment and it felt much the same as chalk paint on her display piece. Was wondering if you had ever used Mineral Paint? If so, what are your thoughts?

    Posted 10.23.18 Reply
  15. Lynzee wrote:

    Hi Sarah, I love your blog!
    Where did you find this little stool – I love it! It has so many little details. Do you know if this particular rendition of a step stool has a name?

    Posted 10.24.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I found it at a local consignment shop Lynzee. I don’t think it’s vintage actually, it seemed pretty new!

      Posted 10.25.18 Reply

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