A tale of two dressers – Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe

 We are seeing that the simplicity of taking old beautiful furniture and bringing it to a new light in your space. Refinishing furniture is blowing up all around the web and almost every day we have customers email or coming into the store asking about this super simple method to update your furniture:

Two words: Chalk Paint

Right now there are so many different chalk paint recipes out there. Have you seen all the beautiful furniture pieces re-finished to an old world weathered charm and wondered how to achieve that look?

Dresser Below: Painted in Simply White OC-117

Have you seen the expensive chalk paint lines out there and decided it was just out of reach at $40.00 + a quart?

Well I have the answer for you! Make your own in any colour under the sun and keep it low cost with left over paint for another time! I have used both expensive brand names and made my own chalk paint and honestly, I cannot tell the difference.  



Air-tight container (to store your paint – I usually use an empty quart can from the store)

Paint colour of your choice in a low sheen

Calcium Carbonate

Luke warm water

Kitchen sponge

Min wax furniture wax (there are many options for finishing: wax, gloss top coat)


One Cup of paint to two tablespoons calcium carbonate.  Measure paint into container.  In a separate container measure in appropriate amount of calcium carbonate.  Add small amounts of water to calcium carbonate.  Stir until all lumps have disappeared, not too much water!

Both liquids should be about the same thickness.  This process if very much like making gravy.   When ready add the chalk mixture to the paint stirring until well blended.

Now time to paint your furniture.  It does not have to be perfect.  Remember you will be sanding back the paint to show the wood surface beneath.

If you want a more solid finish consider two coats of paint, lightly sanding between coats.

The dresser was painted in Wasabi AF-430 and the wall is Lambskin OC-3.

Once your paint surfaces had dried it is time to sand to your desired distressed look.  Don’t panic if you sand back to far just add more paint.

A trick I have learned is instead of using sand paper and creating a bunch of dust, use a wet kitchen sponge, the kind with the rough side.  Let the water do most of the work, and this process keeps the dust way down.

The bed below is painted in OC-29: Floral White. The wall behind it is pained in Sparrow AF-720.

When you have achieved your desired look its time to give it the beautiful velvety finish.  I use Min Wax.  Take a small amount on a rag and rub it hard into your furniture.  You can use a stiff bristled brush to work the wax into crevices if your piece has a lot of relief work.  Work wax in until completely covered.

Wait 24 hours and then re-apply one more coat of min wax.  This is where you really want to rub it in and burnish the piece with a clean rag.  If you have an electric car waxer this does the trick at a fraction of the elbow grease and sweat.

Calcium carbonate is available if you know where to look for it.  Colours art store in Port Coquitlam will bring it in for you or Opus Art Supplies has it in stock.  It is very inexpensive as it is really just chalk.  I have seen other recipes using grout or plaster of paris but have never tried these.

The table below is painted with Simply White: OC-117


Good luck and have fun!

 - Lori