DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint

DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint:

A couple of days ago I posted some pictures on my Facebook page to show a bedroom set that I painted this summer that I had not yet blogged about.

The reason I hadn’t shown the makeover on the blog was because I didn’t have great pictures.  I had taken them in my garage and in the back of the truck before delivery.

WELL, I received so many comments about how and what I used to paint it that I knew I had to get a post written for everyone. So I hope you don’t mind pictures that aren’t staged.

This was an entire set…bed, chest of drawers, dresser, mirror, and side table.  So I had to get my sister to help with this or I would have been working on it for a month.

DIY chalk finish paint

DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint-Dresser Before

For this job the client wanted the furniture painted black and she wanted it distressed.  I already had a can of Glidden Duo paint in Onyx Black that I knew was the perfect shade of black so I decided to make my own paint.

I have had people mention to me that they heard you should not make homemade chalk finish paint with a paint + primer but I have done it a few times and I haven’t had any issues.  If you are worried about mixing your own paint, Annie Sloan has a great black called Graphite. If you would like to try your own, here is what I did.

Homemade Chalk Finish Paint Recipe:

1 1/2 cup of Latex paint

1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris

1/2 cup of cold water

First step is to mix the Plaster of Paris with the cold water.  It will have lumps so make sure you stir until they are all gone.  It will be the consistency of skim milk.  Then add the latex paint.  Again, mix together until completely combined.

I think I told someone on Facebook that I didn’t sand…sorry, I realized we did sand after I went back and looked at the pictures.

I don’t usually sand when I use a chalk finish paint but this was such a big job and the furniture had been in storage for a while I wanted to make certain the paint would adhere.

DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint-Sanding Furniture

After we cleaned off all the dust, we painted!

Once the paint dried we distressed.

Then it all got waxed.  I used my Annie Sloan clear wax.

DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint-Dresser

It is probably my favorite painted furniture I’ve ever done.

I decided to leave the hardware in it’s original state because it looked so great with the black.

DIY Black Chalk Finish Paint-Dress and Chest of Drawers

For all of you that said you were working on painting some black furniture, I hope this helps.  You see how I mixed the paint in my original post when I painted my mantel, just click here.

Other projects with chalk finish paint:

Mantel Makeover


Coffee Table Makeover

Coffee Table Makeover-Homemade Chalk Finish Paint



  1. I didn’t do any distressing before I painted. I sanded away some of the paint after the paint was dry, only in the areas that I think would get natural wear and tear.

  2. Your furniture looks wonderful. Can you tell me how you distressed the furniture prior to painting?

  3. So glad you found the post. Chalk type paint goes a long way. I painted 2 coats then distressed. You will need no more than a quart of paint to mix up your own.

  4. I stumbled across your post while searching DIY chalk paint as I prepare to paint my bedroom furniture. I have similar sized pieces (a dresser and tall drawers) as you posted and wondered about how much paint you used to complete this project and how many coats you did. Your furniture came out great! I hope to have the same results!

  5. Yes, you can use chalk paint on most anything. Distressing is all up to you, as little or as much as you like, so go for it. I have not tried the ultramatte. I almost ordered it for my kitchen cabinets but decided to stick with the soft touch varnish. I plan to try it though. Let me know how you like it if you decided to keep it.

  6. Uh..can I chaulk paint over the cheepie put-it-together-yourself wallboard/cardboard type furniture that comes from WalMart-type stores? Also is there such a thing as too much distressing? I did a solid birch dresser but I think it needs more distressing before varnishing it. BTW, have you tried the ultramatte? I picked it up but now I’m thinking I should get the soft touch instead. Advice please…

  7. Maybe after years of wear and you would like to buff up the shine but I have never had to do it. I have a piece that was painted a few years ago and still looks great. The wax gets better with time and hardens sort of.

  8. I’m about to paint my daughter’s bedroom furniture, but I keep seeing things about chalk paint that you have to rewax it every so often. I’m wondering if you know anything about that, and also how durable has it been on your furniture?

  9. Wow! I never dreamed of refinishing my bedroom set, but now that I have seen exactly ( I have the same exact set) what it could look like, I just might. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. This is beautiful! I just mixed some home made chalk paint too for the Cargo furniture set I made over. Loved how it came out as well as the savings over purchasing paint!

  11. I did by mine at the hardware store but thanks for sharing about the option at the craft store…I did realize they may be different! ~Sonya

  12. I make my own chalkpaint all the time almost the same way except I use warm tap water to mix with the plaster of Paris. It seems to dissolve the lumps so much better. Also, I learned the hard way…buy your plaster of Paris at the hardware section and not the craft section. It is smoother.

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