Monday, August 11, 2014

DE (diatomaceous earth) Chalk Paint

I've been wanting to try chalk paint for years (hopefully the trend isn't over yet).  I found this recipe using DE on pinterest (I'd love to give credit, but it didn't link back). Since I had a 25 lb box of it sitting in my garage, I figured I'd give it a try. 

1/4 cup DE
8 Tb Water
1 paint sample (7.2 ounces) Valspar Mercer Blue

Mix the water and DE, then add the paint and stir with a plastic fork until smooth.  Paint.  Wait an hour and lightly sand with 220 sandpaper until smooth.  (Don't be scared-this took under 5 minutes)

Honestly it was fool proof and created a smooth buttery finish.

It ended up looking more gray than blue, so I mixed a little of my glaze with some turquoise craft paint, then it looked too blue, so I glazed it again with some Behr Espresso Bean. (Here's more detailed info about how I glaze).  

I still haven't gotten around to applying a layer of finishing wax.

I have no experience with other chalk paint, but I can't imagine any other kind working better.  DE can be found at any hardware or pool supply store.  (or beg some off a friend that has a pool) The original recipe suggested "food-grade", but I don't think it would have made a difference.
I forgot to take a "before", but I found it in a corner of a picture from Christmas morning). I actually got these at a garage sale about 7 years ago and painted them black. (BTW black furniture is not the best idea for someone who dusts as often as I do)


These tables make me silly happy!

I also painted a dresser and mirror for my daughter so stay tuned. 


  1. This project looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing the steps and materials. I am super inspired now!

  2. Wow, these look SOOO much better. I am working on a kitchen cabinet, right now...with chalk paint. Hope it turns out as good as yours! Thank you for sharing. Leticia

    1. I've painted kitchen cabinets twice. The first time I rolled them and the second time I used a sprayer. If I ever do it again, I will use chalkpaint. Good Luck and I'd love to see your results if you wouldn't mind sending me a link.

  3. I love the way these turned out. I need a new entry way cabinet, when I find the perfect one, I'm going to paint it like this!!

  4. Is there a diff between the DE you use for pools vs the kind used for pests?

  5. I want to know if after you add the diatomaceous earth if its sandpapery feeling. I am thinking of painting window sills and door jambs to kill crawling bugs , diatomaceous earth is known for this, but want to use in paint to see if it does kill them without blowing away.

    1. Jami, Diatomaceous earth loses its effectiveness as a bug killer once it is wet. Powdery DE works by clinging to the bug's exoskeleton and simply dries up the bug. DE seems to work on any kind of bug. I always buy the food grade DE. I have thrown it behind pieces of furniture and know, those places that don't get vacuumed very often. I think it would be beneficial to use around the baseboards inside of closets and at the back of cabinets. The food grade is non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets. Hope this helps!

  6. I want to know if after you add the diatomaceous earth if its sandpapery feeling. I am thinking of painting window sills and door jambs to kill crawling bugs , diatomaceous earth is known for this, but want to use in paint to see if it does kill them without blowing away.

    1. DE has to be in powder form to kill pests. It works it's way into their exoskeletons and the dehydrates them. Putting it in your paint will have no effect on pests. Sorry

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  9. I've been using this recipes for years now, it's the best everytime! I find it better than the brand name chalk paint. Did my bedroom furniture over 5 years ago, one coat, no prep besides cleaning and a poly acrylic seal. Superb durability, have not had to touch up, wipes off beautifully. Thanks!!

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  12. I just did canvas material a chair that was getting thrown out I saved turned out great.

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