Sewing Stool Redo & Chalk Paint Recipe Revealed

Save big money on your painting projects with DIY chalk paint. This recipe uses calcium carbonate.

Hello beautiful friends! This is a SUPER OLD post, but the information is just as relevant today as it was when I wrote this!

This little stool was my guinea pig for DIY chalk paint way back when I first started using it. Forgive the small awkward photos. I’ve learned a thing or two about photography since then!

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

I found this little stool at an estate sale for $10:


I thought it would be the perfect project to try out DIY chalk paint since if I ruined it, it would be no big loss.

It ended up turning out pretty cute:


It was really gross before…


So anything would have been an improvement!

Here you can see how smooth the paint is…

DIY Chalk Paint



Aww Brennan was so little and cute! He really did like that little bench!

Homemade chalk painted stool

This is a stool for a sewing table, but you could use it anywhere. The lid lifts off for a little bit of extra storage:


Ok so where were we? Oh yes! Chalk paint!

Here are my not-so-secret ingredients:

Save big money on your painting projects with DIY chalk paint. This recipe uses calcium carbonate.

I searched far and wide before settling on this combination.

Calcium Carbonate seemed to be a favorite in my searches. I found a lot of 1/3 this to 2/3 that, but I wanted an exact measurement so I played with it a bit and this is the final result.

If you can’t find Calcium Carbonate at your mega vitamin store, you can easily order it on Amazon like I do. I started out using the 12 Ounce size you see pictured above for $9.99. One 12oz container will yield about three quarts of paint. Now I purchase Calcium Carbonate Powder (5lbs) for only a couple dollars more. Follow that link to see where I purchased it from on Amazon. I can use that same bag for almost a year!

Behr by Home Depot is my go-to for paint. The price is great as is the coverage. The stool above is “Cottage White” in a flat finish. Annie Sloan’s Old White is a tiny bit yellow in comparison. This is more creamy white.

UPDATE: Behr no longer carries the paint pictured above, so now (as of 2017) I use the one in the red and white can labeled: “Interior Flat Ultra Pure White, Paint and Primer in One”.

If you’re a visual learner like me, I made a video (2/2017) to show how I make a quart of chalk paint:

If this video gives you any trouble, see it on YouTube HERE. πŸ™‚

If you’d rather read about the simple process, here ya go…

To make a quart of DIY chalk paint:

  • Dissolve 3/4 cup (or 12 TBSP) of calcium carbonate powder in just enough water to reach a smooth consistency. (Like ranch dressing.)


  • Add to 3 cups (24 oz) of paint. (Or to an empty quart can…about 2/3 full of paint.)

This will make a little less than a quart, so that you have room in your can to add the calcium carbonate mixture and stir without making a big mess.

  • Mix well. I stir in one direction for about a minute, then the other direction for another minute. After you mix it well, top off the quart can to make a full quart and give it another quick stir.

It works just like the expensive chalk paints; no prior sanding required, no priming. The total cost to make a quart is easily less than a third of the cost of the fancy brands.

If your chalk paint mixture has been sitting for more than a couple of days, give it a quick stir with a paint stick before using.

And if you only need a very small amount…

To make one cup of DIY chalk paint:

  • Add one cup of paint to a container.
  • In a separate container, dissolve 4 tbsp calcium carbonate in just enough water to dissolve the powder to a smooth consistency (like ranch dressing).
  • Stir it into the paint.

That’s it! So simple! It is still smooth when I remove the lid.

I finish most pieces off with Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax.

UPDATE: I have used this chalk paint recipe on hundreds of other projects since I first wrote this post and I still love it!

Visit my DIY Project Gallery to see them all!

If you have any questions about how to chalk paint furniture, check out my chalk painting tutorial:

How to Paint Furniture using Chalk Paint step-by-stepHow to Paint Furniture Using Chalk Paint

Hopefully you’ll be inspired to try this recipe. Now go out there and paint something!



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  1. Oh this is cute!! I have been meaning to redo myn daughters vanity bench for quite sometime, this may be just what I needed to get me going! New follower from the weekend wrapup!

  2. I haven’t tried making it that way, but it sounds great. The stool is super cute too!

  3. You did an amazing job on the stool! And, little man is way too cute. Love the fabric as well. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House! It means the world! Would love it if you would share this lovely post at my Make it Pretty Monday party which goes live at 8am CDT on Monday. Here’s the link to this week’s party if you want to take a look. Hope to see you at the bash! Have a happy week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  4. Awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I visited my mom last week, and she had discovered an Annie Sloan retailer there. Can’t believe I did it, but I broke down and bought a few things to try for over a hundred dollars. Yes, I must be crazy. Well, not any more. I’ll be heading to Home Depot soon for lots of quart sizes in all the colors I want. Get this: I already have Calcium Carbonate powder in my vitamin drawer! So, I’m all set, right? Thank you for all your testing and getting the recipe just right for the rest of us. πŸ™‚

    • You’re funny! The good thing about Annie Sloan’s paint is it does go a long way, so at least you’ll be able to tackle several painting projects with it! I love it, too but it’s sooo pricey!! I think you’ll really like this recipe πŸ™‚

  5. Leena Milligan-Lanteigne Β· Owner/Artist/Crafter at Pink Cherub Moon

    Hi Christy! Love how your stool turned out! Thanks for the recipe too! I’ve been wanting to make my own chalk paint because I just don’t have the budget for the “real” thing. LOVE your desk! It’s gorgeous and looks really great with your little stool! I was at Lucketts too! I went on Sunday. I live about 20 minutes away and it’s my favorite shop! I love all the great stuff they have! I wish I’d known everyone who was going so we all could have met up. Do you live local? It was such a great market but I didn’gt get to see it all. I’ll have to go to both days next year! Have a great weekend! Hugs, Leena

    • Hi Leena! Thanks for the sweet comments on my stool:) I live in Virginia Beach about 4 hours away. When I heard about all the fun gals that would be there, I decided to grab my mom and make a little trip out if it. We stayed Saturday night in Ashburn. I would really recommend taking two days to check everything out. We were able to take our time and found some really great deals! You’re lucky you live so close!! There was another little area of antique stores just down the road that had some really amazing things, too. That’s where I bought my way-too-pricey paint. Maybe we’ll get the chance to meet up next year? Or if you ever vacation down this way, give me a shout! πŸ™‚

  6. So glad I stumbled on this- i “splurged” on some chalk paint and LOVE it but of course now I want a variety of colors so this is a great option! I may have missed it-Did you mention where you got the fabric- love the design?

  7. I’ve seen that fabric at JoAnn, and I love it!!!! I haven’t tried that recipe for chalk paint…I’ve only tried the plaster of paris. I’m always looking for new ideas tho. πŸ™‚ Love the stool…awesome job. =D


    • It’s kind of steep for burlap at $9.99/yard, but if you have a 40%off coupon it’s not so bad! Hope you are enjoying your weekend and making progress on your big hole ha ha!

  8. I really like how it turned out. I just purchased a little stool at a yard sale two weekend ago. I have been thinking of trying chalk paint or milk paint on it. Have you worked with milk paint before?

    • Hi Jenny! I haven’t tried milk paint yet. The super shabby or “chippy” look doesn’t really go with my house. I think that’s the look you get with milk paint. But if you love that look, it would be worth trying! I have seen some gorgeous pieces done with it πŸ™‚

  9. Your stool came out so cute! I love the fabric you used for the seat. I just bought plaster of paris and am dying to mix up a batch of homemade chalk paint to try. I think my first project will be a $5 book case I picked up at a local thrift shop.

    • Thanks, Lisa! I tried my DIY paint on this stool which was gross before just in case it didn’t turn out nicely, but it turned out great! I’ve heard good things about plaster of Paris too, but I haven’t tried it. Good luck on your bookcase πŸ™‚

  10. great work,,,,it is really smooth.

  11. Love this so cute love the burlap! Would love it if you came by One More Time and share it
    Hope you can make it… if not this week I host every Sunday…Hope you can make it some time.
    New Follower

  12. It turned out so cute! Love your fabric choice too. Your little buddy is the best though!

    Have a very blessed day.
    Linda at The French Hens Nest

  13. Come share this post on Centerpiece Wednesday
    Karin πŸ™‚

  14. Adorable! Love the fabric! I have tried several versions of homemade chalk paint and none have impressed me much. I’m gonna have to try this one. But I don’t blame you a bit on the Duck Egg….it’s a great color. I just painted my kitchen island with it recently!! πŸ˜‰ (among a few other things…love it)
    Thanks so much for sharing your stool on Project Inspire{d}. Pinning πŸ™‚

  15. great job on all your painting. Love the frenchy material on the stool.

  16. What a fabulous makeover! I love the French burlap, too.
    I’m visiting you today from Common Ground. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday (open thru Sat) and I’d love for you to link up! I hope you get a chance to stop by, link up and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

  17. Elizabeth says

    This is awesomely cute! Thanks for the chalk paint recipe & all of the detailed instructions. I find them very helpful. ~Liz

  18. Wonderful redo! Love your choice of color and fabric. Thank you for sharing with us at Monday Funday. πŸ˜‰ Bonnie @ Uncommon Designs

  19. it is so cute,thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  20. Black Horse Vintage says

    Thank you for this. I had about $400 in ASCP and even took a $200 class on how to use it. After going through a quart way to fast, I wanted to try a DIY and after trying others (plaster of paris, grout) I tried this today and, it is the best! It actually covered better than ASCP – I will continue to use her wax, but I paint pieces for profit and at $38.00 quart – just doesn’t make sense. Thank you very much for sharing. Great job.

    • That’s awesome! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know! I love it, too. It goes on SO smooth! I still use the AS wax too to give it a good seal. XO

  21. Oh, that is so cute! I love the pattern of the fabric & the color your chose for paint – I too love Behr from HD!! Good choice πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your “recipe” for chalk paint – I made my own as well, but used plaster of paris – I’d be curious to see how it compares to the calcium stuff you used! I’m still trying to figure out which wax to use without having to buy the really expensive stuff, but may just need to do it πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing – I found you at The Shabby Creek Cottage

    • Thanks for visiting, Nicole! I’ve heard good things about the POP too. I feel like the wax is the key to protecting the paint finish no matter what kind we use, so I’m afraid to go cheaper there. The expensive stuff does last a long time, but it is really pricey! Maybe I just need to give the cheaper kind a try and let my three year old test it out ha ha!

  22. I love anything beachy looking,and would love to try this tray. I may be missing something, so I’m sorry if this sounds dumb, but why would you use chalk paint if you are covering it with a wax? Couldn’t you just use regular paint? Is it a texture thing?

    • Hi Laurie, I used regular latex paint on the pickets because they were bare wood and would take the paint well. The frame is painted in chalk paint which is famous for adhering to any surface without priming or sanding. Since the frame was stained and had a finish on it, chalk paint was perfect, but it’s the wax finish that is formulated to bond with the paint to give it a durable lasting finish. Without the wax, the chalk paint wouldn’t adhere as well. I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

      • Oh, got it. I think I was just figuring since it wasn’t going to be used as a chalk board type item since it will have wax, why use it at all. But I think I will make my own now because I love the no prep option and did not know chalk paint worked so well. Thanks for the help!

  23. Hi Christy!
    I read that you love the color duck egg from ASCP .. so do I!! Here is a GREAT website that has all the ASCP colors matched to Behr and Sherwin Williams paints. I have just recently painted a couple of things using the calcium carbonate recipe with Behr “Grey Morning”. LOVE the color and it went on beautifully! Give it a try. ASCP is a wonderful product but too pricey for my budget.
    Have fun painting!

    • Kelly, you are so sweet to pass this on! I bookmarked the sight for future reference. I’ve gone through several quarts of ASCP, but overall I prefer the DIY paint with the calcium carbonate! Now I can match her beautiful colors! Thank you! XO

  24. You can either order calcium carbonate on the Internet: ( has it for $7.95 for 1 lb., plus free shipping), or you can get it in bulk (I’m talking 15+ pounds) from a feed store in your area, for CHEAP. Like $8 for 50 lbs.! That would make a LOT of chalk paint. Maybe split it with crafting friends?

  25. I have a question regarding paint used for this project. In your write-up you mentioned using flat paint but in the picture, it shows semi-gloss enamel…can you please clarify for me what you use? Secondly, I am getting ready to tackle a large coffee table that appears to be pine and wonder if it should be primed first to keep the knots in the wood from bleeding through the chalk paint? thanks in advance for your attention!

    • Hi Michelle, I used interior flat enamel which is what the picture shows. You could probably use either, though as long as you add the calcium carbonate. For your table, the knots will eventually show through over time, so I think it would be a good idea to prime at least the top first. I’ve used this recipe on tons of pieces and I’m really happy with it. Hope this helps, good luck πŸ™‚

  26. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! i’m for sure using it soon πŸ™‚

  27. Another masterpiece, and yes, I am pinning this one, too. And I’m following you because you have really good taste and I love your blog. Can’t wait to read more. — Nancy

  28. Christina in Cleveland says

    SO glad I found you and this recipe! I am going to try this out on a dresser using low/no VOC paint because I live in an apartment. SWEET! The dresser was a find at a hotel liquidator. Thank you!!!

  29. Love that chalk paint! I buy my calcium carbonate online from Duda Diesel. They have good quality and reasonable prices, especially when you buy in quantity.

  30. Another source for calcium carbonate: on ebay search for the seller kelp4less. I just bought 5 pounds including shipping for $9.35, but if you look at their store, they have larger quantities available too, and the price drops to about a dollar a pound including shipping!!!

  31. What do you use to take the clear wax back off of your pieces? I used drapery backing, but doesn’t seem to take it all off. My piece still feels a little tacky.

    • Hi Kelly,
      I use a soft cotton cloth like an old t-shirt. You may have applied too much wax. To apply, you should buff on your wax, immediately remove the excess by wiping with a soft clean cloth, leaving only a thin layer behind. Allow that to dry. 15 minutes or so is usually enough time. Then buff your surface to a beautiful sheen using a clean soft cloth. I like to add another coat to table tops. I usually add that coat the next day. If you have applied too much and it has already dried. Apply another thin coat, buffing in as you go. This should reactivate the dried wax. Immediately use a soft cloth to remove most of it, leaving a very thin coat behind. Then buff in 15 minutes or so. When you are removing the excess, your surface should not feel sticky. It should feel pretty smooth. Hope this helps. Let me know how it works for you!

  32. Thanks for the recipe Christy, I’m off to my health food store today to pick up some Calcium Carbonate – the biggest jar I can get and then I’m off to Home Depot to pick up some Behr Cottage White. Thanks for saving me $$$$$

    • Yes! This recipe is fantastic, Marie! I ended up having to buy the calcium carb from Amazon. I got a 20lb bag for $17. Just give it a quick stir each time you open it, but it should be smooth. Let me know how you like it! πŸ™‚

  33. Heather J says

    Christy, I am SO thankful that I came across this homemade chalk paint. I love the other but the price kills me:) I completely trust your guidance and advice so I am giving it a try….And you are absolutely right….HOME DEPOT pay this lovely lady for sending us all your way:) lol So thank you once again for the awesome easy to understand instruction:) Have a great day!

    • I can’t wait to hear how you like it! I love this recipe, and the price can’t be beat. Be sure to give your paint a good stir before you use it each time. πŸ™‚

  34. Yvonne Sanders says

    I also use the calcium carbonate to make my own chalk paint. Works very well. I ordered mine online from Daniel Smith art supplies. 1 pound for 7.99

    • I love the calcium carbonate as well. The last time I bought it, I bought a 5lb bag and it was very cheap, like less than $20. I should have made a note of where I purchased it, but this will last a very long time! Happy painting! πŸ™‚

  35. Beth A. Leahy says

    Do you think I could paint my interior doors with this? (Bathroom, bedroom, closet, etc. They are fairly dark stained wood right now.

    • Hi Beth! I love chalk paint for furniture, but because of the work that goes along with waxing, you would be better off lightly sanding, priming and painting your doors. The chalk paint gives furniture a soft rich hand-painted feel, but you wouldn’t need that for doors. You also want a paint that can withstand a lot of abuse. I painted my kitchen cabinets with latex enamel from the Home Depot and they have held up great and would probably work better. Here is my tutorial I put together for that: There might be a bit more prep up front, but no waxing or sealing required in the end. Best of luck to you!

  36. Aleksandra says

    Hi Christy, l you show self-priming flat enamel. Is it crucial that it’s self-priming? I have latex paint and was wondering if I can do this project without a primer, or do I need one?

    • Hi Aleksandra! You can absolutely use regular latex. No primer is needed. I usually have to paint three coats when I am painting white over a dark wood, and I had hoped that using the paint with the primer built in would require one less coat. That wasn’t the case though, so either is fine!

  37. Hi Christy, I just found your site and have been looking at your updated patio cushions (so pretty!) AND several of your painted pieces. I want to paint an old oak dining table and chairs and had heard about Annie Sloan, but when I went to the only store nearby that sells it, I saw it had such a ‘flat’ look and that’s not really what I want for my table. So, what I am wondering is, have you ever used any type of light clear coating that would give it just the tiniest sheen? I know she has the wax, but the table that I checked out in the store where I bought the paint looked really bad. The sales lady said it could be that the wax wasn’t properly applied – it just looked really blotchy and marked up with fingerprints to me – so I’m not sure that the wax is really going to cut it for me. I was hoping you might have some suggestions. I’m going for a creamy white, distressed / slightly shabby look and possibly with a warm brown glaze over it. Any suggestions, lol? Thanks. Great blog, btw. So glad I found you.

    • Hi Pam! I recently painted my parent’s oak bedroom set. You can see the dresser here: I used chalk paint and Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax on it. The chalk paint is very flat, but the wax is needed to bond with the paint to give it that long lasting durable finish. It should not be blotchy or streaky. I too believe what you saw was just not properly applied. It should be smooth as silk. I recommend practicing on a scrap piece of wood first. After the paint is dry, buff in the wax with a soft cloth, then wipe most of it off. It should feel smooth, not tacky. Wait about 10 minutes, then buff to a nice sheen with a new soft cloth. Try to work and wipe in the direction of the grain. If applied correctly, you will love the results. You always have the option of using a satin latex, but you will need to sand and prime first. So glad you found me too! Good luck! XO

  38. Hi Christy,

    Did you strip the stool prior to applying the chalk paint?

    I am wondering if this is the same process you applied to the dining room table base and chairs you re-created in this post:

    Your creations are beautiful!

    Thanks so much!

  39. Lourdes Garcia-Ambrosio says

    Love this dresser – I have one very similar that the previous owners of my house left and I plan to make it into a bathroom vanity. This color you used is exactly the color I want to paint the vanity and I want it to have a flat look – Can I use this chalk paint recipe for a bathroom vanity? Will the moisture or some water splashes affect the the paint finish? I do plan to replace the top with marble but still worried about the body of the vanity with the chalk paint finish. Thank you πŸ™‚

  40. I have used ASCP but even though it goes a long way It is expensive when mixing colors. Which brings me to my question;. have you tried making your own with a colored paint and if so is it true to the color?

  41. Hi Christy. Thanks for the DIY Chalk Paint recipe. I’ve made my own using similar ingredients. I find that when the paint dries it isn’t nice and smooth/soft. So I end up sanding first…then painting again and then sanding (you get the picture). I haven’t invested in the AS wax and am wondering if it’s the secret? Once applied to the furniture does it ‘smooth’ out the surface? Hope this makes sense! And I LOVE your work.

    • Hi Renate, thank you! Chalk paint does dry a little rougher than regular paint. I paint two to three coats, depending on the coverage needed, then sand after to smooth out any roughness using 220-320 grit sandpaper. Then it is super smooth. The wax is a must as it is what bonds with the paint to give it a long-lasting durable finish. It also gives it a beautiful soft luster. Give it a go. The wax is around $27 but lasts a really long time. Here is my chalk paint tutorial that also talks about waxing that may be of help: Good luck! πŸ™‚

  42. I like your article. I plan to paint an old furniture. This looks like a very good option. Is latex paint the one that we usually use for walls? I would like to make different colour (blue, Grey). Do I need coloured latex colour instead or I mix some acrylic colour with it?

    • Thanks, Taja! Yes, the same latex you would use to paint your walls, in a flat or matte finish. πŸ™‚

  43. Hi Christy – thank you for posting such a great recipe. Last night, I made up a near-quart, following your simple directions and I couldn’t be happier with the results. The color I like every bit as much as ASCP and it is just as easy (if not, easier) to apply. As a single dad, with a whole house to refurbish, your blog provides real inspiration – now, just a perfect ‘how-to’ for functioning roman blinds would make for the perfect week!

    • I’m so glad to hear you liked it, Jay! I really do as well. It works just as well as the expensive brands and holds up fantastically! Best of luck tackling the rest of your projects! πŸ™‚

  44. Already have seen loving every project you do along with very handy tips. Proof that reading comments helps – saw comment about buying Calcium carbonate thru an ebay company/seller.
    When first heard about making my own chalk paint went looking for calcium carbonate, nobody knew what I was talking about in any vit. store, natural foods, even Sprouts.
    Grand Junction is slow to get things, let alone hear about them. I do get frustrated here.
    Love your blog and projects you do, handy tips are very appreciated.

    • Thanks again, JaneEllen! I too cannot find the calcium carbonate locally, have to order online. πŸ™‚