Never heard of Chalk paint? Read a few DIY home decorating blogs, and you will see it mentioned often.  Annie Sloan was the originator of chalk paint more than 20 years ago. The paint can be diluted for a wash of color or allowed to thicken for an antique-looking finish. 

Chalk paint isn’t difficult to use. Little preparation is necessary. Surfaces don’t need to be sanded or primed, particularly if you want an aged look. It can be used on most materials, even glass, plastic, and metal. Use it inside the house or outside. It is low in VOCs and is also odorless.

Chalk paint is made by blending flat latex paint with plaster of Paris and water to achieve a thick paint that is easy to apply. It can be used to add new life to everything from furniture to floors to accessories. Chalk paint is not the same thing as chalkboard paint, which is also popular in home décor.

Several painting techniques can be used depending on the desired effect. For a distressed or layered look, use two colors of paint. Paint a thicker layer for the original coat and a thinner layer for the second coat. Wipe or brush away part of the topcoat to expose the under layer. This technique is effective for highlighting cracks, crevices, and raised edges. A mostly dry brush works well for achieving this look.

If you would like to bring attention to a surface’s texture, apply paint to the surface, brushing in all directions. Once dry, rub in Annie’s Soft Dark Wax to bring out the unevenness of the material.

An aged crackled look is popular for accessories.  Use thick paint and dry immediately with a blow dryer. Follow with applications of both clear and dark waxes.                  

You can mix up chalk-like finish paint yourself. One-third cup of plaster of Paris and one-third cup of water mixed with one cup of flat latex paint will make a small amount of chalk-like paint.  Lowes has several recipes and the supplies you will need on their site.

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