Can You Tint Chalk Paint? (Benefits & How To)

Chalk paint comes in different colors, but, sometimes you want the finish to have a unique color. So, can you tint it?

You can tint chalk paint by mixing it with other water-based paints or by adding pigments. You can tint it to any color shade you want.  However, you shouldn’t tint it with oil-based paints or sealants because they have a different solvent and aren’t compatible. 

Paint Pigments

You can add paint pigments to chalk paint to change its color. Paint pigments are insoluble particles that will impact the color of the finish.

To do so, add the pigments to the paint before applying it, and mix them. The pigments will dissolve into the formula and give you a tinted finish once the finish dries. 

However, you must use pigments made for water-based paints. Since chalk paint is water-based, it will only accept water-based pigments. If you add oil-based pigments, you will ruin the finish. 

Also, you shouldn’t add too many pigments as the coating will get too thick. Too many pigments won’t dissolve into the coating, so the finish will have an inconsistent color. 

Acrylic Paint

You can tint chalk paint by mixing it with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is water-based and has more pigments than other paints. To do so, add a few drops of acrylic to the chalk paint and mix to get a lighter or deeper finish. 

You can use acrylic to tint (or darken) any water-based paint. That’s because acrylic is thick and has a colorful finish (more pigments). Acrylic paint has more pigments because it’s designed to be used for artwork and detailed work. 

Related Read: Can You Mix Chalk Paint with Latex?

How To Tint Chalk Paint?

Tinting chalk paint is easy, but you must use the right ratio to avoid over-thinning the finish. 

1. Choose The Mixing Paint

Choose the color you want the finish to have. To tint chalk paint, use acrylic or latex paint, or add pigments. You need the base color that you selected, the other color for tinting, plain cardboard for mixing it, a spatula to pour, and a brush to blend.

2. Add The Tinting Paint

Pour chalk paint into a clean bucket, then add a small amount of acrylic to the bucket. Don’t add too much acrylic paint at once as the finish can get too lighter. Also, the mixture must have more chalk than acrylic paint. 

Count the drops (or amount) of acrylic you add to prevent adding too much or over-thinning the paint.

3. Mix The Paints

After adding a few drops of acrylic paint, mix the mixture for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, inspect the color shade of the mixture. If the color shade is darker than you wanted, add lighter acrylic paint to the mixture and re-mix. 

If you get the desired color shade, mix the mixture for 5 more minutes, and use it. 

Related Read: Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint?

Darkening Chalk Paint

You can darker chalk paint by mixing it with darker water-based paint. However, you shouldn’t add too much dark paint as it can ruin the final shade. 

While darkening it, use water-based paint that has a deeper color than the final shade you want. That’s because the dark paint will become lighter when mixed with a lighter chalk paint shade. To avoid it, always use a deeper color than the finish you want. 

Also, you must first add a small amount of black (dark) paint to the mixture. If you add too much dark paint at once, the finish will get too dark, and it’s hard to lighten it back. So, add a few drops, mix, and inspect the finish to see if you should add more dark paint. 

Other Colors

You can change the chalk paint finish to any color. To get a tinted (lighter) finish, mix it with lighter water-based paint (or pigments). To get a deeper (shade) finish, mix it with a deeper color. 

Chalk paint has a simple formula and comes in a white or grey base. So, you can add pigments or mix it with water-based paint to get a different colored finish. Because of its simple formula, the paint is compatible and accepts pigments. 

However, while mixing it, you shouldn’t add too many pigments or too much acrylic. If you do, the chalk paint will lose its dry and textured finish. 


Tinting is an easy way to change the color shade of chalk paint. You can tint it by using lighter water-based paint or by adding pigments. You can also darken it by mixing it with dark water-based paint. 

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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