DIY Chalky Paint Review

Hi Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your Good Friday and have lots of fun Easter plans ahead!  
As most of you know, I have been working on our master bedroom for forvever the past few months now.  My last major painting project was finishing up my dresser.
  I have used {and loved!} Annie Sloan Chalk paint for a few projects before {here and here} and then painted our bed and side tables in graphite.  
While I love the dark look, I decided to still paint our dresser white {which was originally my plans for ALL of the furniture!}  I think it provides a nice contrast with the bed and it helps to keep the room nice and light.
Since I had lots of white latex paint left over from painting our bathroom cabinets, I decided to try out the DIY chalky paint method instead of buying the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  There are many recipes out there involving mixing unsanded grout, calcium carbonate, or Plaster of Paris with regular latex paint to create your own chalk paint.  Plaster of Paris was the most familiar ingredient to me, so that is the one I went with.  
 1/3 C Plaster of Paris 
1C white latex paint {it was a satin finish}
1/3 C water {I would start with about 1/4 C first and then add as needed}
***Please note that these are rough estimates.  The ratio of Plaster of Paris to paint can vary from 1:2 to 1:3 depending on how “chalky” you want your furniture piece.  Start with a smaller amount of water and add as needed until you get your desired consistency***
{the little journal can be found here}

So how did the DIY chalky paint compare?
  • No initial sanding or priming of the dresser was needed as with ASCP.
  • The finish of the DIY chalk paint had a slightly rougher finish and I did do a very light sanding between coats.  Perhaps the calcium carbonate would give a more smooth finish?
  • I ended up applying 4 coats of the DIY chalk paint to the dresser to get the desired look.  I have only had to apply 2 coats of the ASCP in the past {although this was with a darker paint}. This could also be due to the amount of water that I used – remember to start with less water as you can always add more!
  • Although I did the DIY method for the paint, I still used the Annie Sloan wax for the finish.
  • I did some light distressing and found that the DIY paint distressed very easily.  Ensure that you start with a a light grit sand paper and light pressure until you get the feel for it.
  • Obviously, there is a big cost difference between the two paints – especially if you are able to use left over paint to make your chalk paint.  I didn’t bother working out the exact costs, but it was definitely much less!
So in the end, the DIY chalky paint method took a little longer and required a couple of more steps, but I did not notice a huge difference between them when everything was finished up.  Of course, I am not a painting expert and perhaps those that have more experience with the paint would notice more of a difference.  I would probably still stick with the ASCP for larger, more important projects but for most of my pieces, the DIY method should work just fine especially with a little tweaking!

I still have another 4 or 5 projects still left to do in the master bedroom and bathroom but it feels good to be done with the painting! {well, most of it!}

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here is the BEFORE picture of the dresser {also before it was moved to its new location!}  The room is looking so much better now – I can’t wait to show you it all!

Wishing you all a fabulous Easter weekend!

I linked up with Chic on a Shoetring, Gluesticks, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Today’s Creative Blog, Skip to My Lou, Ask Anna, Craft-O-ManiacFingerprints on the Fridge, Thirty Handmade DaysThe Shabby Nest, Miss Mustard Seed, Tidy Mom, Delightful Order, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, The 36th Avenue, Not Just a Housewife, Blue Cricket Design, Lil Luna, Uncommon, Oopsey Daisy, Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Tip Junkie, Coastal Charm, Under the Table and DreamingCRAFT, I Heart Naptime, Positively Splendid, Simply Klassic Home, Funky Junk, Be Different Act Normal, Tatertots and Jello and Lolly Jane.



  1. says

    It looks wonderful!! I think you made a great choice in the white for balance. I have used the DIY with the POP too and loved my result. I primed first, so I only required one coat. After a light sanding, it’s buttery soft.

    Happy Easter ~ Shannon

  2. says

    I love how this turned out! The white looks great. I’m a big fan of the white-on-white knobs, and you styled the whole think beautifully!

  3. says

    Looks great Jenn. I make my own chalk paint too with POP, as we don’t have ASCP here in Australia yet. I love using the DIY chalk paint and have been very happy with the results.
    Look forward to seeing your room when it is all finished.
    Happy Easter

  4. says

    I love your site and these projects are great. I know that Anne Sloans paint is for any surface but DIY chalk paint isn’t. How is it holding up or did you wax it, that seems to seal it well.

  5. says

    This is so pretty – I haven’t used chalk paint yet as I’m new to re-painting in general but I want to give it a try. I love seeing how yours turned out. I’m also about to start working on our master bedroom, so yours was a good inspiration for me. (I just posted my first re-painting project on my blog if you have a minute to check it out.) Thanks for sharing your dresser.

  6. says

    The dresser looks great, Jenn, as do your side tables! I also did the DIY chalk paint using white left over paint and plaster of paris and found the same thing you did. Of course, I was painting over red, so I figured it might need an extra coat, which it did {I wound up doing 3}. I do like the option though if the budget doesn’t allow for the ASCP paint or if you wanted it ASAP. I love the display on the top of the dresser, too!

    Visiting from Nifty Thrifty Tuesday : )

  7. says

    Your dresser looks great, and I love the knobs. I made a similar chalk paint with plaster of paris and I really like how it worked (I have not yet tried AS paint.) I mixed the warm water (a bit less) with the p.o.p. first then added it to the latex. I love how it worked.

  8. says

    Found you on the Tip Junkie linky party. I had no idea you could make your own chalk paint! I’m distressing my first table over at – come check it out when you have a chance! Cheers, MGal

  9. says

    This looks so pretty! I must try this recipe! I chalk painted a desk the other day and it took 3 coats of ASCP – that is not cheap. I love how your dresser came out. Very nice. Does the homemade chalk paint dry as quickly as regular chalk paint? That is the one thing I don’t like actually.

    I would love if you stopped by to link this up to my Creative inspirations party happening now! I would love to have you there!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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