Texas Living

Chalk Paint Gives New Life to Old Furniture

By Callie Leahy 5.9.14

Chalk paint, also known as milk paint and a close relative to chalkboard paint, is an easy-to-use craft paint made for sprucing up distressed furniture.

Deborah Newton-Hair, the DIY design genius behind the Facebook group the Texas Craft Maven, says chalk paint is quick-drying, long-lasting, and an ideal medium for crafters of all experience levels.

Newton-Hair says you can make your own chalk paint with 2 cups of paint, 4 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris, and 2 tablespoons of water. If you prefer purchasing your paint, start off with Miss Mustardseed or CeCe Caldwell brands.

So what is the ideal chalk paint project? Newton-Hair says the properties of chalk paint make it a perfect match for antique or slightly battered furniture.

“Let’s say you’ve got grandma’s old table that’s kind of been beat up. It’s ugly, but you don’t want to throw it away; it’s got a lot of nicks and dents in it,” Newton-Hair says. “Chalk paint will give it new life. It’s self-leveling, so it will fill in some of those scratches and dents you might not want. You won’t have to sand or prep the furniture in any way.”

Chalk paint has bold coverage and will even cover pieces that are swathed in polyurethane or made of shiny, metal, and even glass. It’s fast-drying, has superior binding qualities, leaves no smell, is easy to clean up, and can be sanded with a wet cloth. Less mess!

“It’s quick, so gratifying, and it’ll make a painter out of anybody,” Newton-Hair says. “It’s your grandma’s paint; it looks like it already has a history to it.”