DIY Chalk Paint Recipe for a Red Table

I love the color red. My car is bright red, I have a pair of bright red pants, and my kitchen walls are deep, dark red. My house has red accent home decor all over too, so when my mother who lives with me said I could paint her small end-table bench, I figured why not paint it red and try a DIY chalk paint recipe using grout.

I used a DIY chalk paint recipe with Plaster of Paris to paint my piano white, but I was not as impressed as I had hoped. Some of the paint easily peeled off with a little fingernail scratching. My husband said mixing paint with grout would probably look and stick better than paint and Plaster of Paris.

Red Creates an Atmosphere of Passion

Red is the color for fire, passion, and luck. It’s important not to overdo red, according to feng shui principles, but I’m planning adding just enough red in my home to bring me right to the edge of back luck.

Here’s the before and after pictures of my mother’s table bench:

Small bench table before

After Painting Table

End Table of Bed After


As you can see, it turned out pretty well. It looks a lot better because the table was a little beat up. Here’s how I did it:

Sand A Little

Okay, so I know it’s not usually necessary to sand before using chalk paint, but I did not want to take any chances after my husband chastised me for not sanding the piano before I painted it. I used 220 sandpaper and in only a few minutes just lightly sanded the table.

I wiped off the dust with a paper towel, but afterward my husband told me to get a “Tack” rag at from a place like Home Depot for easily removing sanding dust.

Mixed One Part Wet Grout to Two Parts Paint

You can measure it out in a measuring cup perfectly if you like, but I used a plastic Dixie cup and filled it up with one third non-sanded grout and a little water. I stirred for several minutes–about five–until the lumps were gone. The grout had the consistency of vanilla frosting.

grout consistency for chalk paint

See. It really looks like vanilla frosting.

Pour In Paint and Stir

When you’re sure you have all the lumps out of the grout mixture, pour in the paint and stir well.

DIY Red Chalk Paint Recipe

Start Painting

I used a 2″ brush and painted top to bottom.

I bought the paint color called brownstone 05C7 fromĀ  Kurt True Value Hardware. It’s an interior latex semi-gloss paint. Adding the grout to the paint, however, gave the table a flat finished look.

The color is pretty, but keep in mind that pictures on the Internet may not show the true color and colors can even vary depending on the browser you’re using. In other words, be sure to check the color samples if you decide to buy the exact color.

Plaster of Paris or Non-Sanded Grout?

For my DIY chalk paint recipe, I’m going to continue to use the two parts paint to one part non-sanded grout. The chalk paint went on smoothly, and it dried quickly. I had to do a few touch up spots but overall the process was quick and only took me about two hours to sand, mix the paint, and do the actual painting.

I liked the result of the paint so much that I painted a dresser too. I had just enough paint to do both pieces of furniture with one Dixie cup of paint.

DIY Chalk Paint Red Dresser

One warning: be careful if you get to the very bottom of the paint and you’re almost running out because for me the paint was more grainy from some of the grout sinking and the last paint strokes showed a little grout. The solution may be to stir the paint more often to keep the consistency the same.

It’s been about a month since I’ve panted the table and dresser, and the finish still looks nice with no peeling. I want to use wax paste on the two pieces, but my husband doesn’t think it’s a good idea. He says it will be difficult to clean because dirt will get embedded in the wax.

What do you think? Do you use wax on your furniture after painting it with chalk paint? Have you tried making your own chalk paint, and how has it worked for you?



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