So what does a die-hard DIYer do but make some myself!
I found several recipes online for gesso and chalk paint. Here are some links if you are interested in going down that path yourself:
Gesso - Earth Pigments
Wiki How Gesso
However in the end, I used a simpler recipe which was just mixing normal acrylic paint with powdered calcium carbonate. This is similar to what Sherry at No Minimalist Here uses. I like how it turned out but as I've never seen ASCP or something painted in her chalk paint I have nothing to compare my homemade paint to. So I can't tell "if it worked out".
If you read this, and you have used ASCP yourself can you please let me know if the paint is smooth to touch before you put the wax on? On Annie's website it talks about the paint feeling velvety and my chair does feel this but only after I'd waxed it. COMMENTS MUCH APPRECIATED!
I think perhaps I'll have to order some sample pots from the UK to compare. .....Or I could just be happy with my version and not compare at all.
To make the chalk paint, I used a 500ml sample pot of flat latex (acrylic) paint and mixed it with 3 heaped tablespoons of calcium carbonate. I bought the calcium carbonate in the form of AG LIME (agricultural lime). I use the Ag Lime for my chickens so it was handy. I think next time I will try a finer powder as there are little bumps in my paint that look fine on the chair but may not suit a chest of drawers or flatter surface. I then mixed the paint with an electrical mixer (actually I used my bamix...). I used a lovely mix of clear and dark wax over the paint. I'm very happy with the result.
I still have to finish upholstering the chair. I'm going to use double piping which I haven't tried before. I haven't had time to drag out my sewing machine lately. And I want to stencil a French image on to the seat and just today ordered the stencil from the States. But this blog post is about the paint so I thought I'd share the unfinished chair with you now.
Ignore those staples and ragged edge below as they will be covered by the piping.
The stencil I ordered is this one from Maison Stencils. I think it will look charming on this chair:
The chair before was nice but very stained and dirty and I really didn't like the mottled wicker. The wood on the flowers at the top was actually quite damaged even though it doesn't show up in the photos.
I hope this encourages you to try your own homemade chalk paint. My chair has been painted for a month now and is wearing well. The paint has adhered extremely well and I didn't sand the chair but I did prime it.
I'll post the finished chair when the stencil arrives and it's all complete.