Chalk Paint And Candle Wax Method

Chalk Paint And Candle Wax Method

In this tutorial we are going to show you what we did with a small coffee table using the candle wax and chalk paint method.


coffee table

The table is a very lightweight piece but has some nice design work and we thought it would make a good distressed furniture piece.  It was originally finished in a dark mahogany stain.




  • Chalk Paint – You can buy the Annie Sloan brand or you can make your own with our VERY simple recipe here:  How To Make Chalk Paint
  • Regular Latex paint for the undercoat that will show after distressing the piece
  • Paint Brushes
  • Steel Wool Pads and/or medium grade sandpaper (use a sanding block if you prefer)
  • Finishing Wax – On this piece we used MinWax Paste Finishing Wax but you can also use Annie Sloan’s waxes made especially for chalk paint or you can finish it with a fast drying polyurethane or some other similar finish
  • Clean, dry cloths or rags
  • Candle Wax



We’ used chalk paint so we didn’t need to do any type of sanding or other prep work.

We decided to do an undercoat in a dark color to show under the topcoat after we distressed the table.  We chose an interior latex paint from Color Place.  The color is called “Coalmine”

You can paint the entire piece in the under coat color if you wish, which is what we did on this table, or you can cover only the areas you are going to distress.  To see how this is done see our Red Dresser tutorial





After the paint dried we took some basic candles and began to apply wax anywhere around the piece where we wanted it to be distressed later on.  The wax makes the top coat of paint peel off with ease, making your job of distressing much more enjoyable!

*TIP: Remember to focus the wax on areas that will naturally distress in an original piece.  This is usually corners, edges, engraved areas, high ridges and similar areas.

applying the wax

applying the wax



For the top coat we decided on a light butter-cream yellow.  We used Valspar Signature interior latex but any good latex paint will do the job

You can do one or two coats.  Whatever you prefer but on this one we only needed one.





Alright, now down to the fun part!  We used the steel wool and sandpaper to begin scuffing the table in the areas in which we had applied the candle wax earlier to begin showing that Coalmine black color underneath the yellow top coat.

We also scuffed and scraped on other areas as well until we got the optimum amount of distressing that we were looking for on this piece.

Ultimately we decided to go with a moderately distressed look.

distressed coffee table

distressed coffee table

distressed coffee table




After the paint had dried thoroughly we went ahead and began applying the finish.  We used the MinWax Furniture Paste again on this one because we didn’t want anything too glossy.  If you want a higher shine finish you can use polyurethane.

Apply the paste per the instructions.  You generally want to apply it on the entire piece with a clean, dry cloth.

waxing the table


NOTE: You may want to additionally use a waxing brush when you have design work such as seen on this table.  It makes it much easier to get the wax in those small grooves.  We didn’t use one on this piece but it does help a lot.

Wait 10-15 minutes for the paste to dry and then begin buffing with a clean cloth.  The more you buff the more shine you will get so adjust your buffing according to the look you wish to achieve on your piece.


Well, here it is!    Not bad for a little bit of supplies and elbow grease.

distressed coffee table

Thanks again for checking another of our easy tutorials on how to distress furniture.  We hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think and if you have any questions.

Happy Distressing!

How To Make Chalk Paint

How To Make Chalk Paint

How to Make Chalk Paint – 3 Amazing Homemade Chalk Paint RecipesHow to Make Chalk Paint

Well, if you haven’t heard about Chalk Paint chances are you will soon.  Everyone seems to be talking about it and for good reason.  We’re gonna talk a little bit about it and then we’re gonna show you how to make chalk paint .  Let’s go!

What Is Chalk Paint?

Chalk Paint was designed by Annie Sloan and is a formula paint that is designed to go on nearly anything you could ever wish to paint on the inside or outside with no prepping or sanding.  It covers easily, dries quickly and helps you achieve a beautiful patina that is perfect for distressing with very little time and effort.

Chalk paint goes on smooth, dries very quickly and is easily sanded to distress your piece for a well-worn look.  It is called chalk paint because it covers the piece with a soft, chalky patina that is perfect for creating an exceptional antique look.

The problem is that it’s a little pricey at $34.95 and up/ quart.  However, the other wonderful thing about chalk paint is that it is also very easy and inexpensive to make yourself.

There are quite a few different ways to make chalk paint, and everyone has their own preference for which one works best for them.  We are going to give you the 3 most popular chalk paint recipes.  The directions below show you the steps for how to make chalk paint with the Plaster of Paris, but the directions are essentially the same for each recipe.

We will first show you the Plaster of Paris recipe, and how to make it.  Then below you can find the recipe for how to make chalk paint with Baking Soda and with Unsanded Grout

Plaster of Paris

TIP:  DAP makes a great Plaster of Paris product 

How to Make Chalk Paint with Plaster of Paris - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-500px


chalk paint plaster of paris

First you mix the plaster and water together until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps.

plaster of paris mixturechalk paint recipes

Next you will need 1 cup of pre-measured latex paint.   We recommend using a quality latex like Valspar.

TIP: A good quality latex paint can make your project shine

Next  pour the plaster and water mixture into the paint and stir well until all of the mixture is dissolved with no lumps; make sure the paint is as smooth as before.


The paint will appear at first no different than the basic latex paint you had before, but when the chalk paint dries on the furniture you will begin to see that faint, aged and chalky patina that you are looking for.

You can double the recipe for a quart of paint, quadruple for a 1/2 gallon and so forth.

**Important Note:  You can always add more or less plaster to suit your taste as well.  This recipe is a conservative one.  If you want a more chalky finish then add some more plaster.  If you want less then add less.  Just experiment and have fun.

Don’t forget that this stuff dries fast!  If you are working on a big project where the paint will be exposed for a long period of time, think about pouring just what you need to paint with into cups to hold while you paint.  This will keep the rest of your paint from getting too thick too fast.

If it does start getting thick you can add a little water to loosen it up but just add slowly until it smooths out a little to keep your consistency…..well……..consistent!

Now that you know how to make chalk paint you can easily use your new found skills to try other chalk paint recipes.  Here are two more for your to test.  There is no right or wrong recipe.  Each has its own differences and each may be preferable depending on your project.

Baking Soda

How to Make Chalk Paint with Baking Soda - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-500px

Unsanded Grout

TIP:  Use a good quality unsanded grout such as the one from Mapet.  It is the one we use in our paint projects.

How to Make Chalk Paint with Unsanded Grout - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes 500px

You now have chalk paint to make your very own distressed furniture creations.  Check the tutorials for how to apply it and get that distressed furniture look.

Good Luck!  Let us know how it turns out and if you have any questions.

**Update: If you are interested in seeing our take on other homemade chalk paint recipes be sure to check out our latest guide: The Definitive Guide To Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes

Before you leave, if you want a really cool and free infographic with all three chalk paint recipes.  Feel free to check it out below.

It is easily shareable and will look great on your Pinterest boards, so feel free to use it just make sure you link back to us!

How to Make Chalk Paint - Homemade Chalk Paint Recipes-1_edited-500x1300

Learn how to antique furniture with antique glaze or wood stain with our free tutorial