Some painters like to create their own chalk finish paints by using powdered pigments.If you spend time on Pinterest or home decorating and décor websites, you’ve likely heard a lot about “chalk paint” or “chalky finish.” It may sound like it, but this is not the kind of paint they use to make chalk boards. This type of paint is typically used on furniture and accessories and is named after it’s matte, or chalky, finish.

There are several ways to make this paint for your own projects. One way is to purchase the official “chalk paint” kit which consists of powder pigments and latex paint. Simply mix the powder with the paint, adding as much powder as you need to achieve the color you want.

If you’d like to get a matte finish with a latex paint color you already have, simply add plaster of Paris to the paint. Keep in mind: plaster of Paris will lighten the color, especially if you add a lot.

Here are few things you should know if you’d like to use chalk finish paint on items in your home:

  • Chalk paint dries quickly, so apply your base coat as fast as you can
  • Most paint experts advise that you apply a heavier base coat when using this kind of paint
  • You may need multiple coats of paint to achieve your desired color saturation or to keep wood grains or past finishes from showing through
  • It has a soft finish, which makes it easy to distress
  • Paint over old furniture finishes and then lightly sand along the edges and areas where you want to show wear
  • The flat finish absorbs dirt and fluid easily
  • Be careful when washing or wiping down items with chalk paint, as the paint can be easily damaged
  • You can apply a wax finish to furniture to help preserve the look you created
  • If you use a wax finish, you may have to reapply the finish once a year or so

Purchasing ready-made chalk finish paint may be the best way to go as your primary concern will be on using the paint and adding a wax coat, or not. When you made your own chalk finish paint, it is best not to store or re-use what is left.

The soft matte finish this paint provides is beautiful on accessories, but don’t be surprised if you have to re-paint a table or dresser that gets high use. Chalk finish looks beautiful, but without a protective top coat, may not last.

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