Asked on Apr 11, 2013

Should I use home-made chalk paint or ASCP?

Heather RosenbergCori WarnerPenster47


This is my first attempt at painting furniture with the distressed look. Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated!
19 answers
  • Kathleen Bell
    on Apr 11, 2013

    What a beautiful piece. I have no advice about the chalk paint as I've never used it, but I sure hope you post after pics. I keep trying to find something like this.

  • Karen Adams King
    on Apr 11, 2013

    Wow....this is a beautiful dresser. If there's not a reason to (such as a damaged or chipped finish), I wouldn't even touch it. It would be a shame to de-value this piece with paint!

  • Amy Furlong
    on Apr 11, 2013

    I think it would be beautiful painted with chalk paint. I've only used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint but I'm just discovering (in the past week) other brands. I think for the first time I would use ASCP over making it yourself. That way you will know what the paint is supposed to look like and how it covers. It's incredible paint and the finish it gives you is beautiful. Do some searches to find other furniture done with chalk paint - or even milk paint - and find a color and combination you like. I adore the cottage style and I'm in the process of painting all my bedroom furniture to give it the light and airy cottage look. Good look and post after pictures!

  • Gail Salminen
    on Apr 11, 2013

    @Stephanie what a beautiful piece! I haven't used chalk paint and I haven't done distressing. You might want to consult with @Petticoat Junktion and/or @Color It Simple who have done some great work. Petticoat has an excellent blog as well. Thanks for posting and do update us with your progress and experience :)

  • Whitney A
    on Apr 11, 2013

    Definately use the ASCP. I have used "homemade" but only on old metal lockers. I wouldn't chance it w/ such a beautiful piece.

  • Sherrie
    on Apr 11, 2013

    I have used both. And home made works just as well as the brand name except its cheaper. If this is your first time you should go ahead and use the brand name. This way you can get a feel for it and the consistency. Many people love the look but affordability is stopping them from doing these painting projects. Do you know that chalk paint dates back to the Romans? This is not a new product it is very old it is just popular right now. You can also make aging wax, milk paint. You name it you can make it. I am will post recipes, and links, then I can tell you how to find pigment if you don't want to order it for the wax. I went to the art store and the women that owned it put there heads together to help me find a solution so I could have pigment to make my wax right then. And it worked.

  • Fran
    on Apr 11, 2013

    I wouldn't go with home made on your first attempt. If you use ASCP, don't forget to finish it off with the ASCP wax. That is what gives it that beautiful, quality finish. If you use just the paint, it will have a chalky finish, thust the term "chalk paint". Working with the dark wax (which gives it an older look) can be tricky so you may just want to use clear. You might also try General Finishes Milk Paint, top it with a General Finishes glaze/stain (also a little tricky) and then use a polyacrylic finish.

  • Stephanie
    on Apr 11, 2013

    Thank you so much! It really is a beautiful piece and I picked it up so cheap from another military wife who was moving. Her house is like treasure trove of goodies!

  • Julee S
    on Apr 11, 2013

    I have a question. What is ASCP and where do I find it?

  • Z
    on Apr 11, 2013

    @Julee, ASCP is short of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. You can find it online or from a dealer. If you scroll down on the link below you'll find American Retailers on the left. Click on that to find out where to find in your area.

  • Z
    on Apr 11, 2013

    Stephanie, I'm with the others. No matter how little you paid for it, it's a shame if you paint over this gorgeous piece. Ofcourse that's up to you. It is yours to decide.

  • Jann Olson
    on Apr 12, 2013

    I have used both. Couldn't really tell any difference at all between the two. Other than homemade is much less expensive.

  • Shanna Gilbert
    on Apr 12, 2013

    I always make my own chalk paint. I use the plaster of paris recipe. The calcium carbonate recipe is fine if you don't distress the piece, but if you do the places you distress don't look natural. I have used AS paint and it is great,but I sell my pieces and the AS paint cuts way down on the bottom line. If you make your own just make sure you mix it well. I use a drill attachment. If you don't mix it well, there will be lumps in your paint. Good luck to you!

  • Kathy Owen
    on Apr 12, 2013

    Hi Stephanie, sorry I'm late commenting but it's been a crazy week here and thanks Gail Salminen for the nice complement. For a distressed look you don't have to use chalk paint. You can use latex or basically any kind of paint and when it dries just use an electric sander to distress a little or a lot. If you use latex you don't have to wax or seal it. If the wood that is sanded looks raw and new you can always put on a coat of wax to darken it. I like chalk paint, I use many kinds and brands of paints. Just wanted to give you another option.

  • Sherrie
    on Apr 12, 2013

    Here is the link to the one I use. And since I got the recipe from her she deserves the credit! Calcium Carbonate2 parts paint1 part Calcium CarbonateMy hands down #1 choice was the Calcium Carbonate Recipe...which makes good sense since Calcium Carbonate is chalk!It mixed into the paint easily, had the perfect consistency, coverage was fantastic, dried within 30 minutes, ANDleft me with a perfect chalky finish. I stored the left over paint in a yogurt container and it kept the same consistency for days. (I did stir it vigorously each time before use.)The only downfall to my #1 choice was I had a difficult time finding it! Not many stores sell it in powder form and the pill form won't work even if you grind them up.My local pharmacy ordered it in for me and I picked it up 4 days later. Since then, I've found it on-line and will be ordering from the comfort of my home. This is the recipe I use. I have also used the one for Plaster Paris. I have bought it also but I can't tell the difference. When I use lime. I also order it either online and from the pharmacy. When I make my own wax. I buy a artists pigment pastel color. It is almost pure pigment. I wear rubber gloves and crumble it. It crumbles very easily and add it to the wax. After trying to find pure pigment right away I didn't want to wait to order it, it worked perfectly. I have also used lime that you purchase at garden center for chalk paint. The only difference between calcium carbonate is one is edible and one isn't. They are both natural. You use pigment for the aging wax because it holds up better than adding paint to your wax, after awhile paint fades. I don't find any difference, I have purchased tons of it. I also know several high end people who refinish and resale their furniture and they use this recipe. It is more expensive and I am cheap. I refinish a lot of furniture and I have bought a lot of it and until I decided my hobby was way to expensive I needed to improvise. Because I love it, I want it to be affordable. But I would buy some sample jars and practice before you start on anything. I have tons of old recipes. From milk paint, lime paint to stain. If you want more, I can get more. Let me know.

  • Janet A
    on Apr 28, 2013

    I hope you reconsider painting this gorgeous chest. I love to paint furniture but some things are just too pretty natural. If it is your first time, go to the thrift store and find a nice practice piece. But, if you decide to do it anyway, good luck. I hope it turns out beautiful.

  • Penster47
    on Jul 28, 2013

    Frankly I don't care for painted over antiques. It also ruins FOREVER their antique value.

    • Jody
      on Mar 5, 2015

      I agree to a point but many 'antiques' have been repaired or refinished or are in bad shape. When that's the case they lose a lot of value if not all.

  • Cori Warner
    on Jul 28, 2013

    If you don't want to pay the premium price for the AS, try the Valspar paint with primer that you can purchase at Lowe's for $30 a GALLON rather than a quart. Their primer contains chalk, and handles a great deal like AS and Maison Blanche. OR you can simply mix chalk into any paint, and you can order it at (more on this at And one tip, since you mentioned you're new at painting furniture: don't paint the tops of the drawer fronts. Since these drawers set into the frame (rather than on the frame) of the dresser, if you paint the top part of the drawer, the drawers will stick. Also be careful about getting paint inside where the drawers sit for the same reason. Good luck!

  • Heather Rosenberg
    on Jun 9, 2014

    My 1st attempt was not with ASCP but with a homemade receipe made with Non-sanded grout. I mixed a bit of water with the grout, mixed it well then I added it to my paint. Needless to say, I LOVE the way it turned out!

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