Do chalk paint additives work?

Lorie J.
by Lorie J.
Has anyone used any of the additives that you can use to make your own chalk paint? The Annie Sloan chalk paint is so expensive! I'm hoping to find something that is just as effective on different kinds of surfaces but cheaper.
  19 answers
  • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Nov 08, 2013
    I feel your pain. I did a small project with a recipe found on here. It called for plaster of paris and water. It was thick and really a lot more gritty than ASCP. It dried out and I didn't get the consistency of hers. I am not a pro or anywhere near that to have the knowledge on how to thin or thicken or resolve any problems like the lumps and inconsistencies. I keep repeating in my head...if it's too good to be true...:)
  • Pat Dollar Pat Dollar on Nov 08, 2013
    I wrote down the recipe one day: Mix 2 tablespoons of plaster of Paris with one tablespoon water (make sure it is smooth). Then add to one cup of paint. I use a glass jar. Put the paint in first then add the mixture close the lid and shake.
  • 117135 117135 on Nov 08, 2013
    i make my own for almost all of the things I paint. Mix the plaster of Paris with hot water to help it dissolve. I start by placing a small amount of POP in a disposable plastic container. Add some hot water and mix until you have a pancake like batter. Not to thick or to thin. The recipe is 3 parts paint to 1 part POP mix. I measure out the paint and pour into a separate container( I use left over jars or plastic bowls) than I add 1 part Pop and stir until fully mixed. I usually make in small batches, enough to complete one project. The pop/paint mixture will separate over time, so I don't recommend using it again. I have used mine again within a few weeks but not much longer than that unless it is stored in a tightly sealed container. The pop separates and goes to the bottom of the container and if you try to mix it it will leave chunks in the paint. I hope this helps!
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Nov 08, 2013
    Check out Diane's blog at She has done about all of them.... store bought and home made and she has done the grout mix, the plaster of paris and the calcium carbonate powder.......... she tested all of the above and last I read she had mixed calcium carbonate powder with I believe she said plaster of paris. She is definitely the one in the know as far as I am concerned.
  • Lori Rowe Lori Rowe on Nov 08, 2013
    The recipe I use for chalk paint and has worked fantastically is: 1/2 Cup Plaster of Paris, 1/2 Cup water, and 1&1/2 Cups latex paint. Stir the POP into the water first, then stir in your paint. It makes a very smooth and easy to work with paint. I can't afford ASCP either!
  • Srp198286 Srp198286 on Nov 08, 2013
    ASCP seems well worth it to me. It goes a long way.
  • Jasmin Jasmin on Nov 08, 2013
    Its all I ever use. I make my own with the Plaster of Paris as well, and most things posted so far here seem to have the same-ish measurements. Use left over paints, buy a litre container of Plaster of Paris and you'll have your own chalk paints for less then paint on sale lol! I spend my money on the clear coats. Different waxes and polys.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Nov 08, 2013
    I do the same as DeDe, using POP and HOT water from tap. The first time I tried it I didn't mix the POP with water first and I had a gritty mess. It really works well if you do it right.
    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Nov 09, 2013
      @Elaine Simmons That is what I did wrong...tomorrow will be hot water...:)
  • Pat Dollar Pat Dollar on Nov 08, 2013
    I think I found a much better recipe: One part Calcium Carbonate to two parts latex paint. You will need food grade calcium carbonate which I found on at a cost of only $9.99 for 5 lbs. It is also available in smaller quantities as well. The original recipe used a very expensive vitamin supplement in powder form but I am sure the food grade would work as well. This mix creates a less grainy paint and mixes easier than chalk or plaster of Paris. No water needed.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 09, 2013
    Oh my! I posted earlier I needed to paint my old hutch but now I am scared to! HA! For my first time out, I think I will stick with AS paint! Were I going to do more than just these pieces, I might try making my own! But thanks to all of you for the tips!
  • Kathy Campbell Kathy Campbell on Nov 09, 2013
    I too have used calcium carbonate with latex paint. I buy paint at yard sales and mix in glass jars. I use the small containers of acrylic paint to color my paint. I have not used and ASCP because I have a hard time paying so much for paint. I have been pleased! I also make my own dark wax buy using dark walnut stain and paste wax.
  • Swimom Swimom on Nov 09, 2013
    I just recently made a homemade version of chalk paint using a tablespoon of plaster of paris, and several tablespoons of hot water. I blended it well in my magic bullet and when I liked the consistency, I added a cup of latex paint, and blended it again. It worked great. No lumps or gritty residue, however the color was a good deal lighter than I expected. I stored the leftovers in a jar and checked on it just today expecting it to be a solid rock, but it's not. You can play with the consistency and perhaps if I added back in more of the aqua latex paint, it would have darkened up a bit, but as for my first experiment, I thought it was great. I won't bother trying the grout technique as I understand the results are quit gritty and require sanding between coats, but this version did not!
  • Anne Anne on Nov 09, 2013
    I have painted numerous pieces of furniture using POP version and I love it. AS is too pricey for me and not available in my area. One small trial paint size of any latex paint mixed with water and POP will paint just about any size small dresser or side table with some left over for a total of less than $5. I refuse to pay $35 for a quart of paint that I would feel I needed to paint everything same color to justify the cost.
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Nov 09, 2013
    I use 1 quart of paint, 1 1nd 1/3 cup hot water, 1 and 1/3 cup of plaster. I mix the plaster in the hot water, then add it to the paint for 6 and 2/3 cups of paint. I use a drill end paint mixer to mix the paint and store it with a tight lid. I usually get an 8 cup plastic container from goodwill for 99 cents to store my different paints. be sure to mix well before each use. This recipe never fails and is smooth as can be! You can use 1 c paint with 1/3 c plaster and 1/3 c hot water for smaller batches.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Nov 10, 2013
    I made my own and have very old recipes that I have made like they use to back in the good ole days, but I want to say a few things that hit home to me and stunned me the other day. I picked up a additive to made leather and suede paint and it had cancer causing agents. California has banned it. This stopped me in my tracks. Also plaster Paris has agents in it that cause problems, use calcium phosphate it is food edible if your making your own. Don't use anything else. I am a big believer in doing things cheaply really big. Milk paint is very easy to make and you don't have to worry about chemicals. I now read before I paint. I re-sell and re-do others furniture. When I do I buy CeCe's or Plaster Paint, now I am getting ready to drive to Arkansas and try Shabby Paints hers are green. I have a responsibility to protect my customers and my family when I paint something I want it safe and right.
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Nov 11, 2013
    Calcium Carbonate is found in health food stores and the pharmacy departments. It is something folks take as a supplement. Only problem I have is finding it in the powder form. Easy to find the tablets, but I am not sure I want to deal with the additives that hold the pills together or going through grinding them or dissolving them. AGAIN I recommend reading about the different choices at my blog friends site. She has posted two very informative blogs about making your own chalk paint.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Nov 12, 2013
    calicum carbonate is food edible lime. You can order it online or buy lime. I make my own paint by using lime slaking it and adding pigment.
  • Atihcnoc Atihcnoc on Jun 12, 2015
    Sherrie when you make your own paint it means, you just add water to the lime slaking or mix lime with any house paint? Thank's for your help.