To make chalk paint, measure 1 cup of latex paint in the desired color. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cool water and 2 1/2 cups of Plaster of Paris to a plastic bowl. Stir to combine.
Chalk paint thickens and dries fast. It should be made in small quantities as needed, but a thickened batch can be brought back to the correct consistency by slowly adding water. If a chalkier finish is desired, add more plaster.
Chalk paint can be made with other substances besides Plaster of Paris. Combine 1 cup latex paint, 3 tablespoons of cool water and 1/2 cup of baking soda in a plastic container and mix to form chalk paint. The same product can be achieved by adding 1 tablespoon of cool water and 2 tablespoons unsanded grout to 1 cup of latex paint. The cost of each method is less than $7 plus the cost of paint.
Chalk paint is used to give wooden furniture a vintage, rustic look. When applied in thin coats, it brings out the wood's natural grain. Thin coats, as well as manipulating the surface with soft wax or sandpaper, can produce a distressed look. Thick, even coats produce a warm, smooth finish that adds a modern flair to furniture.