There are many different boutique brands of chalk paint out there, including the ever popular Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (commonly abbreviated as ASCP), and a few DIY home recipes I've read about, but this is the recipe I've tried and have had outstanding results with. Yes, results that compare to using expensive brand name chalk paint, for a fraction of the cost!
Here it is: a totally awesome, super cheap, knock-your-socks-off DIY chalk paint recipe!!!
1 cup latex paint
2 Tbsp calcium carbonate
1 Tbsp water
It's THAT EASY!!! I mix mine in cheap tupperware containers for about 2 minutes with a plastic fork. I haven't noticed a shelf life on the mixed paint, but I only mix as much as I need for a project and then rinse out the container when I'm finished. I already have enough paint containers laying around, I don't care for more than I need on my shelf!
How does it compare??
I can only compare this product to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because that's all I've used. Annie Sloan's paint is superb. Her paint is the reason I fell in love with chalk paint, so she will always have my heart. It is highly pigmented (meaning it has very dense coloring), is smooth, creamy, and easy to work with. HOWEVER, this stuff is expensive. I am lucky to have a stockist one mile from my house, but the convenient location doesn't make up for the fact that this stuff is $40 per quart. The other limitation with using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it's only available in 32 colors-- albeit wonderful colors, but it makes customizing a color quite difficult.
So here's the breakdown on why I love this DIY chalk paint recipe, with some added tips!
1) It is CHEAP!!
It is as cheap as the latex paint you buy! I've found the cheapest way to do this is to buy a quart of sample paint from Sherwin Williams (about $6 per quart, or about $4 with a coupon!), or a 7oz paint sample from Lowes or Home Depot (about $3 per 7 oz, which is almost 1 cup). Even better: finding sample "oops" paint from Home Depot for 50¢! I undoubtedly prefer using Sherwin Williams' paint samples because you get a whole quart, and their pigmentation is outstanding. Their paint basically rocks and is super high quality.
Even better is free paint! Do you have leftover buckets of paint from any walls you've painted in the past? We have so much leftover paint from our home projects, including a half gallon of white paint and nearly a whole gallon of black paint, so I can have fun lightening, darkening, and creating just the right color with what I have on hand.
The calcium carbonate can be found at your local Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers where you can buy 12 oz for about $7. That's enough for roughly 19 cups of chalk paint!! Even cheaper is getting it on Amazon.com, where you can buy 5 pounds for $10.50!!! That means you can make a quart of chalk paint for less than $5!! (With an initial purchase of WAY less than a quart of expensive brands, plus the remaining materials on hand to make whatever colors you want, whenever you want!)
2) You can pick ANY color you want!!
3) The quality compares to boutique brands!
Honestly, I didn't notice a difference when I switched from the more expensive brand to this DIY recipe. Both paints applied creamy and thick, dried quickly, sanded easily, and created a smooth durable finish. In a blind paint test, I really wouldn't be able to tell you which was which. This recipe definitely creates a quality finish. Though, it really is as good as the paint you use-- so don't buy cheep latex paint! Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are my top faves.
Don't forget to seal your project with a quality wax!
I hope this helps you in your painting adventures!! If you have questions, leave a comment below!! I'd LOVE to hear from you and hear about your experience with this recipe, or any chalk paint for that matter-- what works, what doesn't??