Last summer I made a pallet style table for a friend. I made my own custom chalk paint using drywall compound and one litre of white latex paint. I followed the instructions here:

Mix 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup drywall compound into the paint. The amount of drywall compound depends on how thick you want the paint. Do not exceed 1/2 cup. The first coat is normally straight paint with no drywall compound added.

I put emphasis on the portion that I paid attention to. I didn't add too much as I figured it would be too thick or clumpy so it would not apply well. I stirred it well enough that the drywall compound was mixed into the paint.

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I thought the end result would be textured but it painted fairly flat. I then distressed it and it did turn out well but I feel the effort in making the paint didn't yield any results.

What is it about chalk paint that makes it popular? Is there something I might have done wrong with my paint mixture that cause less than ideal results?


My experience is with the commercial brands (my wife uses and sells them). The two main advantages that I see are:

  • that they allow a very smooth finish with a brush. If you were to paint furniture with latex paint, you'd get a lot more brush strokes than with chalk paint.
  • it's easy to do the shabby chic thing (distressing, ageing, etc) with chalk paint.


  • It's damned expensive, compared to regular latex paint.
  • You can't color match like you can with regular paint (where the paint guy scans a color sample and the computer matches it)
  • It's not a durable surface at all. For furniture and such it has to be sealed or waxed, which is another step.
  • Adding the disadvantages here is very helpful, especially the need for sealing/waxing. Welcome to Arts & Crafts and thanks for the input.
    – user24
    Aug 5 '16 at 14:46

The whole appeal of Chalk Paint is the matte/flat result achieved on a variety of surfaces, requiring little to no prep, fast dry time, opacity control & finishing options.

To achieve a textured surface, additional products/tools, techniques and/or a different recipe is needed. The better quality of latex paint & type of finish (flat is recommended), produces slightly different & better results.

I'm not sure why you chose that particular recipe. Or why the first step says to paint the first layer w/o any drywall compound mixed in... The 3 well tested, popular recipes, use different ingredients, have flexible mix measurements, and instruct to apply directly to the object. I always do TONS of research beforehand when it comes to diy.


  • Minimal to no prep required
  • Ability to adhere to a variety of surfaces
  • Finishing options
  • Muted colors
  • Matte/Flat finish
  • Quick dry time
  • Variety of Chalk Paint Brands, now available in store.


  • Finishing work
  • Cost
  • Trend (resulting in large quantities of ruined pieces)

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