Blackcabbit's World

Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts 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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