Homemade Paint

2 Materials
10 Minutes

The number one question I get asked is about how I mix up my own chalky paint. Today I am sharing how I do it! I use just about any paint I have laying around. Especially old latex house paint, but I also use acrylic craft paint for small projects. I use the old house paint because it goes with my home seamlessly and I have an abundance of it.
homemade paint
I like to work in small batches since most of what I do are small projects. This is perfect for making over picture frames, boxes, furniture really any home decor items that need a facelift.  I start by measuring out a small amount of paint in a plastic cup and then add one to two scoops of plaster of Paris followed by a small amount of water.
homemade paint
You will want to stir the mixture thoroughly, I use a plastic spoon I can toss when finished.  The goal is to dissolve the plaster and get the consistency of the paint back to normal. The plaster makes it thicken, so add water gradually. It is a loose recipe and I find the recipe changes every time, depending on the paint you use, so it is hard to give exact amounts. I have a video demo on my blog (link at the bottom!) that shows a little more, you can see the consistency there.  You don't want too much water or the paint will be runny and thin, if you don't have enough water the paint will be too thick. Once you play with it a little you will get a good feel for the proper consistency. Much like a cooking recipe you can add more of what you need, more paint or water to thin, more plaster to thicken. The plaster just acts as a durability agent, adhering to your work surface better and hardening for protection as time passes.
homemade paint
Chalky paint allows you to paint with less prep, practically none! You always want to start with a clean surface. The great thing is chalky paint adheres well to glass, metal, wood, practically anything. Like this metal picture frame I gave a quick update to!  You can sand and scuff your surface if it is particularly slick, but don't have to. You will want to apply your first coat and let it dry completely. Depending on what you are painting and the desired finish you, will likely need another coat. Sometime with a surface like glass the first coat will be thin. Lightly sand in between coats for maximum adhesion. I use a 220 grit sandpaper. The second coat will adhere and go on with better coverage.
homemade paint
Chalky paint will cure with time, meaning it will get harder within a few weeks. If you are painting furniture or high traffic pieces this is good to remember, be gently the first week or two. You can decide to distress your piece or leave it with a solid paint job, the look is up to you! If you decide to distress try a 220 grit sandpaper with a little more force. I almost always seal my pieces with a paste wax for added protection and a professional looking finish (you can see how here).
homemade paint
If you want to check out what I did with this wood to turn it into custom curtains you can see the results HERE! They are AWESOME... you won't want to miss it! I hope you will head over and visit me to see all the fun garage sale scores and thrift store finds I love to make over!

Suggested materials:

  • Plaster of Paris  (Craft Store)
  • Latex Paint  (Hardware Store)
Hunt & Host: Decorating & DIY

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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