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!
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.”
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:
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:
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!
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.
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: