Blackcabbit's World

Bit by bit, the Blackcabbit crafts its nest of DIY handmade art and illustrates a kingdom of doodle critters to beautify the world she lives in.

DIY Gesso / Chalk Paint

Fireball had a Christmas Party in his kindergarten last week. Like most of his school events, we the mothers were very involved. While rest of the Okaasan-tachi were making Christmas Decorations, I was asked to paint Planet Earth on an off-white fabric. Of which, it would be used as the main ornament piece featuring our children’s baby photos.Homemade Gesso Primer

Normally, I will primed my canvases with gesso before painting with acrylics. Otherwise, it will be a waste of good materials as too much paint soak through the fabric. Ever since I came to Japan, I have not worked on any canvas painting. So, I did not have any gesso primer at home. To be frank, it will be too expensive for a one-off school project.

As usual, I goggled…and found two useful sites:
Crafting on a Budget #3- Homemade Gesso!!!
A Youtube video uploaded by Cassie Keith

Playtime Paint by Celebrating Chemistry

Cassie gave me the idea of using chalk, and I sort of combined her idea with the method shared by Celebrating Chemistry, and came up with this DIY gesso or homemade chalk paint:DIY chalk paint gesso

Materials & Recipe:

DIY Gesso1. White craft glue – 4 parts.
2. Acrylic paint – 1 part
(Note: White acrylic is recommended but since the main color for my globe is blue, I used a blue acrylic paint instead. Of which, I bought from the 100-Yen shop.)
3. Chalk four pieces (also from the 100-Yen shop) & a ziplock bag.
4. Wooden Mallet
5. A glass jar with about 100ml of water.


I used a plastic spoon to measure and mix the glue & acrylic paint with water. I put the chalks into the ziplock bag, removed excess air and sealed it. Then, I pound the chalks into powder form, as fine and smooth as possible. However, there were still a lot of chalk bits but it was okay for me since it gave an “earthy” texture. Lastly, I stirred the mixture while adding the chalk powder slowly until I get the consistency I wanted.

The Verdict

DIY Chalk PaintIt was easy to paint on the fabric. I had just the right amount of DIY paint to cover the entire globe, which was approximately 105 cm diameter. I let it dry for a day before using the acrylic paint on it. Btw, I tested it on a fabric scrap and washed it, and is pleased to announce that the paint was actually permanent. I guess it is good enough for a school project, making banner and stuffs since it was very cheap to make. Nonetheless, I will still go for professional gesso if I am doing a masterpiece artwork because I am not sure if it may caused the colors to change in the future.


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This entry was posted on December 11, 2013 by in Art & Illustrations, Craft / DIY Projects, Life in Japan, School Life and tagged , .
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