How to Make Calcium Carbonate Chalk Paint

There’s lots to love about chalk paint. It’s easy to work with, doesn’t require too much prep work, and can be cleaned up easily with just soap and water. The best part is it gives your furniture a gorgeous chalky matte appearance.

But chalk paint typically costs more than the other paints, especially the brand-named ones (e.g. Annie Sloan). You’ll usually find a can of chalk paint to cost 30%-40% more than a can of latex acrylic paint. There are also relatively fewer color options.

Good thing you can make your own chalk paint, huh? 

In this post, you will learn how to make calcium carbonate chalk paint.


To make chalk paint with calcium carbonate, follow this process:

  1. Mix 4 tablespoons calcium carbonate and 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. Pour 1 cup of base paint (e.g. latex paint) into a separate container.
  3. Mix the calcium carbonate mixture and base paint until fully combined.
  4. Test your homemade chalk paint on a sample surface.
  5. Adjust as needed. Add more calcium carbonate to make your paint thicker or more water to thin it.

How to Make Chalk Paint with Calcium Carbonate

Making your own chalk paint doesn’t require too many tools. Some aren’t strictly required but can help make the process tremendously less labor-intensive. For example, you can stir your paint with only a paint stick, but using a blender will make the process quicker and easier.

Related: How Long Between Coats of Chalk Paint

Tools and Supplies

The following are what you’ll be using for this calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe:

  • Base paint: This should be a water-based paint; it’s recommended that you go with latex paint with an eggshell or flat sheen
  • Calcium Carbonate: This will be your thickening agent, turning your base paint into chalk paint (available here on Amazon)
  • Water: To thin your paint and achieve your desired consistency
  • Container: This could be a pail or an empty can of paint; make sure that it’s clean to avoid lumps and clumps.
  • Mixing bowl: For combining ingredients
  • Paint stick (or anything you can stir your paint with)
  • (Optional) Blender: If you have an old blender that’s still functional but is seldomly used, you can use it for mixing the paint and calcium carbonate
  • (Optional) Measuring spoons and cups: For precise measurements

Related: Does Dollar Tree Sell Chalk Paint?

Step 1. Prepare your work area

Working with paint can get messy pretty quickly. To keep your work area as clean as possible, you can cover it with a drop cloth, plastic wrap, or old newspaper. Doing this will help with the cleanup later on.

Step 2. Mixing the calcium carbonate and water in a bowl

In a small bowl, pour 4 tablespoons of calcium carbonate for every cup of paint you’ll need. Then, add two tablespoons of warm water for every cup of paint you will need and stir until you end up with a mixture that has a smooth glaze-like consistency. Make sure that there are no clumps of calcium carbonate left.

Step 3. Pour the base paint into a separate container

Pour your base paint into a container large enough to hold your paint. Pour as much paint as you need for your project. 

Step 4. Add the calcium carbonate mixture to the container of base paint and then mix the two 

Pour the calcium carbonate glaze mixture into the container of paint. Stir the mixture until the calcium carbonate mixture has fully incorporated into the base paint. 

Step 5. Test your solution

Dip your paintbrush into your homemade chalk paint and test it on a sample surface. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with water. Add small amounts of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 

If your homemade chalk paint isn’t thick enough, you can thicken it some more with additional calcium carbonate. Add small amounts of calcium carbonate at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Step 6. Paint furniture with your homemade chalk paint

When you’ve achieved your desired chalk paint consistency, you’re ready to chalk paint your furniture or other decor.

But before you apply it to your furniture, make sure that you do the necessary prep work. Ensure that the surface you’re painting is clean and free of dust and grime. Next, sand the surface if necessary. For more detailed steps on how to prep before applying chalk paint see this post!

Once the surface is prepped, you can finally paint it with your homemade chalk paint. Apply as many coats as you need. When your final coat of chalk paint has dried, you may want to seal it with a top coat for protection.

Make sure to store any leftover homemade chalk paint in an airtight container. 

Where to Buy Calcium Carbonate for Chalk Paint

Calcium carbonate is an inorganic compound that has a wide range of uses. It’s used in construction, food and beauty products, and even agriculture. That said, the material is pretty accessible. The thing is, it can come in different forms such as powdered form or tablet form. You’d want to get the powdered form for making chalk paint.

You should be able to find and purchase food-grade calcium carbonate powder at your local grocery store. Walmart stores definitely have them on their shelves. You can also get them through online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. Food-grade calcium carbonate powder is great for making chalk paint as it is ultra-fine and easy to mix.

Arts and crafts stores are also places where you can buy calcium carbonate powder. You should be able to buy them locally, but if no arts and crafts stores are near you, you can always order online. The Art Treehouse offers its purified calcium carbonate in 4,8, and 12 oz. containers.

Some hardware stores have calcium carbonate powder in stock. This product would be located in their paint and/or DIY sections.

Making Chalk Paint with a Blender

Mix all the ingredients you need for your homemade chalk paint into a container. Turn on your blender at its lowest setting, and blend the ingredients for 1-2 minutes until they have fully combined. Adjust the consistency of your chalk paint as necessary. Add water to thin it or add more calcium carbonate to thicken it.

Repeat the steps above until you have your desired consistency. 

Other Ways to Make Chalk Paint 

Using calcium carbonate isn’t the only way you can make chalk paint. You can use other ingredients as your thickening agent.

Plaster of Paris is one such ingredient. Just like calcium carbonate, plaster of Paris has a wide range of uses. It’s used as a protective coating on walls and ceilings. It’s used for crafting and sculpting. It’s even used in dentistry. In making chalk paint, it is used to thicken the base paint, giving it that same thick chalky consistency as store-bought chalk paint. 

Baking soda is another ingredient you can use for making chalk paint. Since it’s more accessible than the other thickening agents mentioned, it’s a convenient choice.

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