I love using chalk paint, but it can sometimes get expensive to buy the name brand paints that are out there. I’m generally a sucker for all those paints, and I like to try them all out. But when the budget doesn’t allow for expensive chalk paints, you can make your own chalk paint using any latex paint and some calcium carbonate powder. I’m going to show you how I updated some yard sale picture frames with my version of DIY chalk paint.

The benefits of chalk paint are that you don’t have to do much prep work, and you can pretty much paint over anything. You can also sand it to give it a vintage or shabby chic feel, and every piece looks unique. Also, with a finishing wax the chalk paint feels so soft and smooth. So there you have the reasons why I like to use chalk paint! Let’s get into it.


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Mix up the paint

A little bit of chalk paint goes a long way. I put about 1 cup of white primer in a container to mix it up with the calcium carbonate powder. I measured out about two large spoonfuls of the powder. It’s a good idea to mix the powder with a bit of water first to avoid any clumps in the paint.

Paint the Picture Frames

I bought these pictures frames from a yard sale for $1 for all three frames. Even though I didn’t love the color, I couldn’t leave them for that price! ┬áPaint works wonders to update anything, and especially with DIY chalk paint this turned out to be a very inexpensive project.

Now you don’t have to, but I always like to prep my pieces before painting them. It takes about five minutes to give something a quick sand, and it always makes me feel better thinking the paint will stick. I generally use 120 grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface.

Here is how the frames looks after one coat of the DIY chalk paint. I just used a regular paint brush, but you could use a roller if you want. I also like to do a quick sand between coats to remove any lumps or drips.

Chalk paint dries so fast. I was able to do three coats of paint and have them all finished within a day.

Wipe on a chalk paint sealer

Minwax finishing paste is one of my favorite sealers for chalk paint. It goes on very smooth and dries without feeling too waxy. Put it on using a lint free cloth, wipe off any excess, then after it dries for a while you can buff it to give it a bit of shine.

Hang your frames and add some art

There you have it! Easy DIY chalk paint picture frames on a budget using primer and calcium carbonate powder.

I made some tropical watercolor art and I think they contrast so nicely against the white frames. You can see the tutorial for these tropical art pieces that I did as a guest post for Pam over at P.S. I Love You Crafts. I also have prints of these available in my Etsy shop.

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