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. These pieces look amazing! Ivery iced my own chalk paint with a Behr brand and after.mixing in the diluted PoP, it lightened my black paint to a deep dark charcoal color!? I did 2 coats and still…? The only difference is that I used warm water but I don’t really think it was that. Might you have any idea why I can’t get it to stay and deep black like the original? TIA, Jules

  2. I painted a small table with “my own” chalk paint. It lightened the original shade. Does plaster of Paris cause this?

  3. It may lighten the color some but not too terribly much. One thing about chalk paint though is that it is a dry chalky color and will darken a good bit when waxed! I would test it on a piece of scrap wood with was to see that it is the color you want.

  4. Hi Sonya, wow! Stunning result! I’m just starting out chalk painting and want to try something with the black finish. I decided to cut the recipe to a third (1/2 cup paint and whatever a third of a half cup worked out to for the plaster of Paris and water) for a practice run on an old coffee table. When I mixed them – it went grey and I’m worried this will happen if I mix the full recipe as well. How did you get it to stay black? Thanks!

  5. The only way to not see brush strokes is with a sprayer and you can certainly put chalk paint in your sprayer. Just add water to it!

  6. Beautious! I have done small pieces with Chalk paint – and love it. BUT I need to redo my dining room table- i am trying to save it after my house fire. I am NOT a fan of BRUSH STROKES – so the top of the table literally is stopping me from starting the project. so i ask — did you BRUSH this on- and if so, can you see the “start-stop” of the paint? Can you take a photo of the top – or any large surface area where you would have to blend the strokes? My other option is to use my sprayer but i won’t be able to use chalk painr in it. THanks for any reply from anyone!!!!

  7. Hi Sonya!

    I have just discovered your blog. Just love it!
    Please tell me what kind of brush do you use to paint the furniture?

    Thank You,

  8. I am happy that I came across your blog today, as I love to refurbish quality furniture. Your set came out beautifully, I’m sure your client was pleased with the outcome. I am interested in Paris Grey that was mentioned. Do you know who makes it? Again, kudos; you really did a beautiful job.
    This is when I sort of wish our home wasn’t “done”, but after 48 years of marriage, we have pretty much finished our decorating, and have no room for any “new ideas” unless it is a project like yours, refurbishing we already have! It is nice to be all cozy and
    “Finished”, but I love decorating, and the ideas keep coming, with no more room! Oh well, I do enjoy seeing new ideas, and if my
    Kids need any help or advise, I keep a file for just that sort of thing, and your beautiful project was added to that file! Thank you for such good advice. Experience is a wonderful thing, and I love to read what people are doing with old furniture!
    So thank you again!

  9. So glad you found me! I don’t know the age of the furniture but this was also the clients grandmothers. Sometimes if you have find the name and style of the furniture in a drawer or on the back you can google it and see some similar. This furniture was given new life with the black. It was gorgeous!

  10. Love this post. I came across it on Pinterest looking for chalk paint ideas. I was shocked to see the same style furniture I own! My parents were given what looks like the same set as you finished (slightly different drawer layout on shirt dresser) second hand in the early 1960s. Then it was passed down to me. Which I LOVE IT. such amazing quality. Rare to find in furnitire made these days. I know you mentioned this was for a client but I’m wondering if you know approx age of the furniture? I’d love to know more about how old mine actually is. Thank you for your post. Ironically im thinking of redoing my set for my daughter now.

  11. Yes, you can add more water. Even store bought Chalk paint thickens over time. I’ve added water to plenty of mine. I would make sure that you add enough water so that it will not thicken before you are done with this coat. Adding the water can ever so slightly change the color and you wouldn’t want that to happen half through painting a coat.

  12. love your black bedroom set. I used your homemade chalk paint recipe (sort of). I kept reading other ones saying to mix the Plaster to a pancake consistency so I probably only used half of the water and then mixed it in with my 1.5 cups of paint. It was a nice consistency of paint and covered very well for a first coat but fairly it quickly it started to thicken quite about before I finished. I added a splash of water to the remaining paint in my bowl. I’m assuming by the time I do the 2nd coat I will need to add more water still. Is this ok?

  13. Three options…1. Wax removes wax, so if you also have the clear wax you can go back over the dark and it will lift it off. 2. Sand it off 3. Paint back over it with paris grey.

  14. I put the antique dark wax by Annie Sloan over paris grey & it it makes it more yellow than i like. How can i remove it?

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