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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?

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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.

Disadvantages:

  • 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.
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  • 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
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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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

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