We recently moved my oldest daughter to a new room after she outgrew the small room that had been perfect when she was a toddler. To ease the transition, we promised that she could change her new room to give it a more sophisticated flair. On a shoestring budget, of course.

As her wonderfully creative mother (serious smirk), I offered to repaint her furniture. Old pieces we had accumulated were about to receive facelifts by moi.

I had discovered this wonderful invention called chalk paint that supposedly made repainting furniture a breeze. No sanding! No priming! Just paint! It’ll look magazine-worthy! You’ll be the best mom ever!

Gulp. It only costs $40 a quart. After talking it over with my husband, we agreed that we couldn’t justify the expense. I thought my chalk painting idea was fini.

But being ever thrifty and (did I mention?) creative, I simply Googled “homemade chalk paint” and found a simple recipe.

We headed to a big hardware store and left with a quart of $3 mis-tint paint (which was the perfect antique white), a $5 tub of grout, some paint brushes and a can of finishing wax (the most expensive item at $10).

Basic Chalk Paint Recipe

  • 1 Cup of flat latex paint plus 1 Tablespoon of unsanded white grout equals chalk paint.
  • Stir well and adjust the amount of grout to achieve the "chalky" look that you want.

I was so pleased! A cup of the homemade chalk paint went a long way. I grabbed a few items from around the house that I didn’t mind experimenting on and got to work.

It was great!

As I saw how the paint was drying, I added more grout to give it a flatter, chalkier appearance. The pieces dried quickly and after a couple coats of wax, they were ready to go. My daughter was thrilled at her “new” furniture.

Give it a try! See what you think. Hopefully you will be happy with the results and proud of your economical effort at repurposing and beautifying old pieces in your house.


About the author: Simri Davis lives in McKinney with her husband and three children.