How Baking Soda Can Change the Way You Paint—in Just 5 Minutes

5 Minutes

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Chalk paint is super trendy (still!) because it quickly gives your surface an aged, matte look that is easily distressed. But, oh boy, can it get super pricey! I've got the perfect 3 ingredient hack for turning any house paint into chalk paint in 5 minutes.
First, you'll need baking soda. This recipe will make a little over 1 cup of paint. For a quart of paint, quadruple the amount, but remember that it dries out quickly.
Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of latex paint. Make sure to mix it well—you’ll need the consistency that my mixture had in the video. Lastly, add a few tbs of cold water.
Mix your ingredient until they create a thin, non-grainy texture. It takes a bit of time to dissolve all the baking soda, but, as you can see in the video, once it’s dissolved it will look just like the chalk paint you buy in stores.
This one cup of paint was more than enough to paint my end table and coffee table. I’m loving how genuinely chalky they look (and how little I spent)!

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Have a question about this project?

60 questions
  • Deb12575404
    on Jun 28, 2017

    Did you wax the tables after?
  • Gail
    on Oct 1, 2017

    Why do you need to add the water?
  • Sue Turner
    on Oct 2, 2017

    doe's it have to be latex paint?
    • Jennifer Rapp
      on Oct 3, 2017

      you can use acrylic
    • Chrystall
      on Oct 6, 2017

      There is no difference between latex and acrylic as both are "water based" paint. They no longer use rubber latex in paint but continue to call either latex.
    • Sandra Hellewell
      on Oct 11, 2017

      FYI: It definitely should be "flat" latex or acrylic paint!!
  • Pearl
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Can you colour this paint? I am wanting a nice red, could I just add some paint from a sample jar they sell at home depot

  • Cindy O. Riley
    on Oct 3, 2017

    Does it wear well or easy to scratch?
  • Janet
    on Oct 7, 2017

    Can you use any color of latex paint?
  • Marjon wood
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Do you apply wax afterwards?
  • Jackie Leonard
    on Oct 14, 2017

    Do you have to sand or strip finished wood before applying this paint?
  • Alice Ann Burk
    on Oct 16, 2017

    Can you write with chalk on the painted surface?
    • Amanda
      on Oct 16, 2017

      It's chalk paint, not chalkboard paint. Common misconception. :-) True chalk paint sticks to pretty much everything and gives painted surfaces a very dull, chalky look.
    • Kelley
      on Dec 7, 2017

      I use plaster of paris, twice the baking soda amount with no water. And it can be written on like a chalkboard. I’ve done a couple of projects for my grandchildren.
  • Lyn25274326
    on Oct 17, 2017

    Do I need to strip or sand down furniture before painting and Do I wax after painting .
    • Ani Brieger
      on Oct 24, 2017

      you need to sand it just to enough to remove any loose, flaky paint and to roughen up the surface.
    • Bryan
      on Oct 26, 2017

      You could wax or polycrylic
    • Bryan
      on Oct 26, 2017

      I don't like wax because you have to keep redoing it. Polycrylic is a few coats once and you're done.
  • Mel31357754
    on Oct 17, 2017

    I do smaller projects and have lots of the 2 oz. Acrylic paints. Can I use these?
    • Jo Ann Miller
      on Oct 18, 2017

      I Use the small bottles of craft paint mix ed with plaster of Paris. Works great even on glass.
    • Mel31357754
      on Oct 18, 2017

      That's great and affordable! Happy painting 😀
  • Jackie Johnson
    on Oct 18, 2017

    My husband wants to go "industrial" with his home office. Has anyone tried Bondo for the texture?
    • Shirley Lewis
      on Oct 27, 2017

      It could be done,but would be labor intensive if doing a wall .I don't think you can roll it on even if you made it really thin.It would probably dry too fast or not at all. Try it on a scrap piece of sheetrock or whatever smooth piece board you have. You learn a lot by trial and error or rather I do. Lots of errors 🎃😂 Shirley Lewis@ Wenches Benches
    • Dale
      on Oct 28, 2017

      I have successfully used thinset tile mortar as an exterior finish which looks very much like stucco, no reason it could not be used interior. Depending on how thick or thin you mix it, you can have as much or as little texture as you like, and it is very paintable.
  • Lucy Vazquez Fernandez
    on Oct 26, 2017

    Can you use this chalk paint on a chalk board?
    • Kelley
      on Dec 7, 2017

      If you want a chalkboard end product use twice amount of plaster of paris instead, without adding water
  • Madeleine Dixon
    on Oct 28, 2017

    What's "a couple of tbsps"? A number would help so no one ends up wasting paint!
  • Zub4846045
    on Oct 30, 2017

    Can use this on old pine kitchen cabinets?
    • Deborah
      on Oct 31, 2017

      Yes you could use this on kitchen cabinets, but a mat finish paint would be just as good without the extra labour. Also I'm not sure how durable it might be in an environment that should be cleaned regularly. A coffee table or end table will be dusted regularly but that doesn't involve soap or water. Maybe try it someplace first and see how it stands up to scrubbing.
    • Kelley
      on Dec 7, 2017

      Flat paint is not good in a kitchen setting since it can’t be cleaned well without rubbing off
  • Linda kilmurray
    on Oct 30, 2017

    what is latex paint (U.K.)
    • Deborah
      on Oct 31, 2017

      Latex paint is a water based paint. Typically used to paint walls in a home. Low or zero odour.
    • Janice
      on Nov 26, 2017


  • Mhp31603318
    on Nov 4, 2017

    Can I use this chalk paint on fabric, then wax?

  • Sue H
    on Nov 19, 2017

    Does it have to be flat paint?
  • Bgk31897216
    on Nov 27, 2017

    What kind of peppers for southwestern pot roast
    • Myrna
      on Apr 13, 2019

      Generally one would use Thick and Chunky Salsa......

  • Carolyn
    on Dec 3, 2017

    Is this paint as durable as chalk paint?
  • Zan Miller Welch
    on Dec 5, 2017

    do you use flat paint?
  • Anita Wells
    on Dec 8, 2017

    Calcium carbonate is what makes chalk right? So you don't need CC just baking soda to get same look?
    • Miranda Revive
      on Dec 18, 2017

      Food grade calcium carbonate powder makes a much better chalk paint- no contest. You can order a 5-10 lb bag on eBay and it is very inexpensive. Baking soda chalk paint is never completely smooth and always has a grainy texture. CCP chalk paint is much smoother. I have found that adding a little white school glue to CCP chalk paint is the closest to the name brand chalk paints and can be sanded with a damp cloth.
  • Ozz11542558
    on Dec 14, 2017

    Is baking powder the same as soda please
  • Are8295546
    on Jan 14, 2018

  • Ann
    on Jan 26, 2018

    Can’t you just use wax on it like regular chalk paint?
  • San2369965
    on Jan 27, 2018

    I want to paint an old secratery desk using this paint, do I need to sand it first??
  • Bev
    on Jan 27, 2018

    Could you apply this to fabric?
    • Connie
      on Feb 18, 2018

      All you can do is just try it on a small piece of fabric and if it works then come back and tell everyone . And add a picture of what you did, so everybody can see the outcome of it.
  • Jill
    on Jan 29, 2018

    does the finish on the latex paint matter. ie flat, semi gloss, eggshell?
  • J
    on Jan 30, 2018

    Baking soda? Wow! Never would have thought of that. Do you think this would work on a patio?
  • Victoria Williams
    on Feb 1, 2018

    .tCan you do this with colored pai
  • Joy
    on Feb 2, 2018

    Does the work like the chalk paint, for kids to write on?
    • Leah Bowers Bopp
      on Feb 10, 2018

      No that’s actually called chalkboard paint. They are not the same. I make my own chalk paint using plaster of paris. I’m not sure what the difference in ingredients that chalk paint is to chalkboard paint. you can probably find a diy recipe for that too.
  • Pat.oneal1
    on Feb 21, 2018

    I thought chalk paint was thick but your's looks thin. Does it thicken ?

  • Susan Duchesneau
    on May 11, 2018

    What else can I use to crackle All I have is Almera glue !! It's a mother's day present

    • Stephanie Rae
      on Jul 2, 2018

      You can use regular school glue that dries clear. You paint a layer of glue onto the surface, thinly for a fine crackle effect and thick if you want larger cracks, and then while it's still wet, spread your paint over top of the glue. The difference in viscosity causes the two layers to dry at different rates which pulls apart your top paint film.

  • Carol Reynolds-Arnoldy
    on May 13, 2018


    This sounds and looks wonderful. Thank you.

    I'm going to chalk paint

    kitchen cabinets and im wondering if you seal it at end. Lmk. Thank you

    • Lo411
      on Jun 13, 2018

      If I was to do this to my kitchen cabinets I would definitly seal it.

    • Rhonda Weir- Vaudt
      on Aug 9, 2018

      I would not use chalk paint on kitchen cabinets!

    • Mwe13484738
      on Aug 27, 2018

      I chalked painted , glazed and then yes sealed. I used all rust oleum products. I love my cabinets and they clean up just fine.

  • Bla22251191
    on Jul 22, 2018

    If using chalk paint can you paint over it with latex or do you have to remove and sand first?

  • Bobbie Cyphert
    on Aug 10, 2018

    Would this cover over wood that is unpreped ( non sanded) or without primer?

  • Chris Kugler
    on Aug 28, 2018

    I saw another recipe that used plaster of Paris. Have you tried that? How does it compare

    • Linda Dodson
      on Sep 5, 2018

      I have tried both and both are great.

    • Jody Moore
      on Sep 11, 2018

      I have not tried the baking soad chalk paint yet, but I am going to. Thank you for your post!

      I use the following to make my own chalk paint:

      If you want to make your own it is super cheap and easy!

      1/3 cup of cold water

      1/3 cup of plaster of Paris

      1 cup of latex paint

      I like mason jars for the mixing part.

      Add the the water and plaster of Paris together in the jar.

      Give it a good shake until all of the lumps are out.

      Add your paint to the mixture and shake until you have a uniform consistency.

    • Jody Moore
      on Sep 11, 2018

      I know Wax is the trending sealant for chalk paint, but I like furniture and decor that is low maintenance. More importantly, I have a four-year old who likes to lick random things... and even if the wax is non-toxic, I don't want my kid eating it.

      I seal my work with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in matte. It is a bit expensive at $17.99 per quart (Walmart), but a little goes a long way.

      I am super frugal, so when I found it at Ollie's for $4.99/per quart; I stalked up!

    • Jody Moore
      on Sep 11, 2018

      I used my homemade chalk paint to do these photo frames from a garage sale I picked up for pennies. I then went to the dollar store and picked up two placemats and glued them onto foam packing with spray adhesive. All together the project cost me under $3.00. These have not been sealed yet. I just wanted to show you how the paint looks.

    • Li
      on Sep 13, 2018

      FYI - if you sign-up for their email list most major paint companies (Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc), you receive substantial online coupons. My last one was 30% off from Sherwin Williams.

    • Chris Kugler
      on Sep 13, 2018

      Wow. Thanks for the suggestion

  • Kanakadurga
    on Sep 12, 2018

    What Happens If We Add White Cement Instead Of

    Baking Soda?

  • Deanna
    on Sep 17, 2018

    Will it work like chalk ai,t for kids to wrote on or yourself

    • Brittney Denise Boggs
      on Sep 18, 2018

      No that is chalkboard paint, this is for chalk paint. The difference between them is one makes a surface turn into a chalkboard. Chalk paint comes in many colors, it is like regular paint but it is so much better than regular paint because there is no need for extensive prep work and primer. It is a paint that has a flat matte finish, and it is easier to distress making it perfect for farmhouse and shabby chic decor. Google Annie Sloan paint to see examples of this paint

    • Gwendolyn
      on Oct 2, 2018

      Chalk paint is just a like a flat house paint with more pigment in it so if you bought flat wall paint and picked a dark color it may look closely about the same and as for not using primer I always would. It will help your piece stand the test of time I just thought of something else oil based primer can be tinted and is exactly like a chalkboard when applied correctly.

    • Bruce Connell
      on Oct 2, 2018

      Try adding tile grout to your paint for a good “chalk board”. We use it on our kitchen jars and then write on the contents of the jar in chalk.

  • Sandra Lindekugel- Aderhold
    on Sep 22, 2018

    Can this work using craft acrylic paints???

  • Ruby
    on Oct 2, 2018

    Where’s the video?

  • Nicole
    on Oct 8, 2018

    Is this similar to the chalk couture products? I have been dying to try, but very expensive.

    • Andrea Goubeaux
      on Oct 11, 2018

      No, Chalk Couture products are pastes with a consistency similar to brownie batter. I don’t believe this recipe would be thick enough to give satisfactory results when used with their silk screen transfers.

  • Debbie Steele
    on Oct 10, 2018

    usually use flat paint for my furniture , Does this recipe help make the flat paint look more chalky ?

  • Barbara Thompson
    on Oct 13, 2018

    Do you have to do the wax finish like with chalk paint

    • MittzyVon
      on Oct 22, 2018

      Always wax after chalk paint even homemade chalk paint as you need something to protect the finish. Plaster of Paris and latex paint also makes chalk paint. I’ve been making my own for years. If you do not wax you should apply a matte clear coat.

    • Stephanie
      on Jan 11, 2019

      I was wondering that same thing

  • Margaret Adamson
    on Oct 17, 2018

    I'm lost, what is chalk paint and does stand up well with use?

    • Kendall Wilkerson
      on Nov 21, 2018

      Yes, and there is no surface prep needed. It is usually flat paint mixed with a chalky substance. But you do need to seal it with the appropriate wax that is made for chalk paint once the paint is dry.

    • Sylvia
      on Jan 9, 2019

      Ohh girl, once you see it you'll become obsessed lol!! It's beautiful!!

  • Heje
    on Jan 7, 2019

    Will it work to use the baking soda that was used in the fridge as a deodorizer?

    • Christine Askew-Palmer
      on Jan 8, 2019

      I bet it would. I would true it but I havent any surplus paint. (I live in an apartment) . I would think it would do the same because i do use my used refrigerator baking soda when I wash a tough dish sometimes just for the subtle grit/paste. And also to clean my sinks / like a deordorizer

    • Heje
      on Jan 8, 2019

      Thank you for the info.

    • Kyther
      on May 3, 2019

      Of course. There's only one baking soda.

  • Jennifer Palermo
    on Apr 13, 2019

    What a great idea!! Question:

    Can I use chalk paint on wrought iron railings?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Erica Smith
      on May 3, 2019

      #Jennifer I'm sure any chalk paint will hold up to the iron railings but here is a link for you to read about the chalk paint. Annie Sloan is EXPENSIVE but you can use the info with the other chalk paint or the homemade! I've used homemade like this on things on my porch and its lasted. Good luck!



    • Jennifer Palermo
      on May 4, 2019

      Thanks a lot Erica!!

  • Mary Ann Starnes
    on Jun 2, 2019

    Can you use craft acrylic paint, instead of latex?

  • Barb C
    on Jun 8, 2019

    Do the homemade chalk paints adhere as well and hold up as well? I hope so. I'm asking because I like the velvety matte texture of chalk paint but not into distressed or flaky look. Thanks for the tip and any advice you have.

  • Colleen
    on Jun 23, 2019

    Can you use satin or glossy paint. ? I would like to use this on our bathroom walls. And what would I use to seal it.

    • LaTasha Parsons
      on Oct 19, 2019

      The consistency will not be the same nor measurements. I use a nonyellowing matte clear coat to seal my pieces. It prevents the need for rewaxing in the future. And also keeps the pieces from scraps, spills, and scratches from my children.

  • Engela
    on Jul 6, 2019

    With what wax do do seal. Homemade?

    • LaTasha Parsons
      on Oct 19, 2019

      I do not use wax to seal the furniture I use chalk paint on. I use a non yellowing matte clear coat. That you can get at any local hardware store. But it must say non yellowing on the container. This prevents the need to relax in the future.

    • Johnavallance82
      on Feb 9, 2020

      Hello there,

      I understand folk use Clear or Antique Wax to seal their projects. Hope that helps.

  • Susanne Constantino
    on Aug 19, 2019

    Can you actually write on this with chalk, or is it just for that matte look?

    Thank you!

    • LaTasha Parsons
      on Oct 19, 2019

      Yes ma'am you can if it is sealed properly.

    • Betsi
      on Nov 17, 2019

      This is not the same as blackboard, or chalkboard paint, though. Chalk paint is used when you want good coverage without having to strip the finish off of your piece first. Hope this helps.

    • Johnavallance82
      on Feb 9, 2020

      Hello there,

      Not blackboard paint! Just chalk like finish! Hope that helps.

  • Debbie Boltz
    on Jan 25, 2020

    Can this paint be saved? I only need a very small amount.

    • Johnavallance82
      on Feb 9, 2020

      Hello there,

      Yes, I understand it can if stored in an airtight tin or jar. Best wishes.

  • Danielle St-Pierre
    on Feb 17, 2020


    Does your recipe give the same texture as if I would use plaster Paris? please.

    Because I have two very large desks to do.



  • Vijaya
    on Feb 18, 2020

    Do you have to use latex paint?

    • Wendy
      on Feb 24, 2020

      Yes, I've found that it does need to be latex paint.

    • Greg Scholl
      on May 8, 2020

      Agreed....oil paint does not lend itself to the workability of latex/acrylics...and of course takes a LONG time to dry and fully cure!

  • Vijaya
    on Feb 18, 2020

    How long do you need to mix?

    • Wendy
      on Feb 24, 2020

      It took me about 7-10 min using a paint stir stick. My arms were slightly burning so my daughter willingly took over for a few min. Next time I'd use a dollar store wisk. But you save money & looks equivalent so was well worth it & I have my mom doing this in her home too, but for her great grandchildren & she's loving doing it.

  • Anne Griffin
    on May 4, 2020

    Any wipe down or topcoat necessary?

    • Greg Scholl
      on May 8, 2020

      Hi Anne..only needed if you desire extra durability and protection . I always topcoat painted furniture with a good waterborne topcoat like General's Flat out Flat or flat clear.

    • Greg Scholl
      on May 8, 2020

      of course ONLY if I'm not waxing the piece...but generally I'll use a flat or satin waterborne over paint.

  • Jan Behringer
    on Jun 6, 2020

    How to mirror clear ornament glass balls

  • Jan Behringer
    on Jun 6, 2020

    How to paint clear glass ornaments

    • Grandmasue10
      on Jul 27, 2020

      I would drip some different colors into the ornament then gently swirl to coat. Or you could go red, dark pink, lite pink for example. Dark green medium or yellow green, and light green.

  • Pushpa
    on Jul 1, 2020

    Can u use acrylic paint instead of latex paint ?

Join the conversation

2 of 54 comments
  • Grandmasue10
    on Jul 27, 2020

    Thanks. It's good to hear from someone who's been there, tried it, bought the t-shirt.

  • Grandmasue10
    on Jul 27, 2020

    Yes, I have 4 small bottles perfect for 1 or 2 blooms. I'll be trying it on those.

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