How-To / Video

DIY: Get the Look of Chalk Paint

Ever wondered how stores get that amazing vintage finish on old tables and chairs?  I’ll let you in on the secret:  it’s called chalk paint.  Annie Sloan (the Martha Stewart of the U.K.) made this stuff famous and seriously makes a killing on it.  She sells a quart of her chalk paint for about $39 bucks.  It is the best, but when I’m rehabbing old furniture generally I’m on a budget and $39 seems a little steep.

So, I stopped by the mill shop at the Preservation Resource Center, where J.R. Portman showed me how to mix up a little concoction that offers a similar look.  He loves the stuff and even uses it on his own line of amazing furniture and lighting.

J.R. combines one part baking soda with two parts flat latex paint.  He says it’ll mix a little easier if you dilute the baking soda with a water, but it’s not necessary.  Stir that baby up and voila, you have a home cooked version of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint!  What’s so great about it is that it can be applied to almost anything: finished wood, unfinished wood, metal, etc.  Once you’ve slapped on a thick coat and allowed it to dry, sand the edges to achieve that vintage look and make sure to seal it with a paste carnauba wax.

You can thank me later.

3 thoughts on “DIY: Get the Look of Chalk Paint

  1. Hey Florence! Thanks for the note. J.R. has used the homemade recipe and bought the Annie Sloan chalk paint as well. He says the homemade stuff isn’t quite as good, but it’s pretty darn close. And… I saw some of the pieces he did with the homemade version and they looked great! GOOD LUCK!

  2. Hi I just found your blog via ( as I have been reading up on all of the different chalk paints and waxes. I haven’t tried any as of yet but I wanted to save money by making my own first. I have to tell you, I have seen quite a few recipes to make homemade chalk paint everything from adding spackle to plaster of paris but this recipe made my eyes light up because I already have my paint and the baking soda is in my pantry! No extra money spent! Now that makes my wallet sing, lol. I will try this formula and see what kind of results I get. I already have poly as well so that will be my top coat, which I’ll need any way for the table I will be working on. Thank you so much for writing about this easy peasy recipe, you made me one happy gal! BTW love your blog… Guess I won’t be painting tonight because I’ll be reading (Hammer-and-Heels) instead! Great job on everything. Sincerely, Florence Lewis

  3. Pingback: Make your own chalk paint with baking soda | Portman Workshop

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