best chalk paint

How to Chalk Paint Furniture – Step-by-Step Guide

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An increasing number of people around the world are choosing to upcycle and revamp their furniture as opposed to buying something brand new. This environmentally conscious trend promotes sustainability, is a lot of fun, and is much cheaper! Upcycle your old furniture with chalk paint to give it a new lease on life – we show you how!



What is Chalk Paint?

The matte and chalky finish provided by chalk paint has revolutionized the ways a person can decorate their home. The best chalk paint can be used by anyone at a moment’s notice, as it requires little to no preparation. Where it is necessary to sand or prime a surface before using most other paints, you can apply chalk paint directly to almost any surface as long as it is clean and dry. This is the best furniture paint to use when wanting to redecorate an old piece of furniture, as it can even be used on items that have already been painted. This chalk paint is easy to use and quick to dry, making it ideal for DIY projects!

painting furniture



Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint

As is the case with any product, there are a number of pros and cons of chalked paint that will help you to decide if this is the best choice of paint for you.


  • Typically, no preparation, primer, or sanding is needed.
  • Dries quickly.
  • A small quantity of paint can be used on a lot of surface area.
  • It is easy to blend colors in many ways.
  • You can add thinner to use it in a spray can.
  • Ideal for “distressing” furniture, which is when a piece is given an older, more weathered appearance.
  • Water soluble and easy to clean.


  • Some pieces may still need to be prepared or sanded before being painted.
  • May leave behind brush marks.
  • Once you have finished painting, it needs to be sealed.
  • If sealing with wax, this process can be strenuous.
  • This paint is more porous than others, and may not completely cover the reddish hues of some woods or old stains. You can remedy this by using a primer on the piece.
  • Can be expensive.



What You Can Use Chalky Paint For

Most people use the best chalk paint for furniture, particularly in order to revitalize an older piece or to make newer pieces appear weathered and old. However, you can also use chalky paint for a variety of other DIY projects!

  • This is the best furniture paint due to its versatility. Any piece of furniture can receive a total makeover simply by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Chalk paint can be blended easily to create a color gradient or various shades.
  • Chalk paint is ideal for creating a “shabby-chic” look, where a piece of furniture is painted and distressed so as to appear vintage.
  • You can also use the best chalk paint for furniture that is old or unwanted. This paint will make your old pieces look brand new, complete with an elegant matte-like finish!
  • You do not only have to use your chalk paint on furniture, however. You can also use this paint to add a pop of color to your front door!
  • The best chalk paint can be used on both indoor and outdoor pieces, and is therefore a great idea for decorating your old garden pots and planters.
  • The matte, chalky finish of this paint makes it perfect for painting glass mason jars for a cute storage idea.

chalk paint



How to use Chalked Paint – Tutorial


Choose a Piece of Furniture

You cannot begin a painting project without something to paint! Chalk paint is best used on old furniture, as a fresh coat of color can do wonders for a tired chair or set of drawers. You do not always have to use chalk paint on antique furniture, however, as this paint can also be used to personalize a mass-produced item or to create a more shabby-chic aesthetic.


Choose your Chalk Paint

It is recommended that you choose a brand of paint that is of a high quality. See our chalk paint review above or do your own research to find a brand that works for you in terms of price, color selection, and usability. Some brands may be more appropriate to use on certain surface areas than others, so it is important to choose a chalk paint that will work for the item you wish to refurbish.

chalk paint review


Tools and Materials

You will require a few basic tools when using chalk paint. Brushes and rollers are great staple tools, in addition to tape, stirrers, old rags, sanding paper (if distressing) and even a can opener. Wax will be required for the protective seal at the end. As you become more adept at using chalk paint, you may want to begin experimenting with more unconventional tools to create interesting finishes.


Finding a Place to work

Chalk paint is generally considered to be non-toxic with a very low risk of VOCs. Thus, it is best to paint your piece of furniture in an airy, open space indoors so as to prevent any outside debris falling onto the wet paint. This paint is naturally quick-drying, although it will dry more quickly when in a more open space.

chalk paint brands


Preparing your Piece of Furniture

In many cases, chalk paint is used on furniture that is worn and old. Thus, while this paint rarely requires any surface preparation, it is recommended that you thoroughly clean and scrub any dirt or grime off of your piece before painting it. Some pieces may require sanding or some minor fixes, all of which should be done before applying a coat of paint.


Painting your Piece

Most cans of chalk paint require a can opener to be opened. We suggest that you test the paint on a small, unnoticeable area of your furniture piece before painting. Chalk paint tends to be thick, but it can be spread easily to create an even finish. You should always paint in the direction of the wood grain, although going against the grain once in a while can help to increase coverage. Allow for at least one hour before applying each coat of paint, as you may need two or three coats in order to reach the desired finish and effect.

best chalk paint for furniture


Distressing (optional)

A popular trend when using chalk paint is to distress the piece after painting. Chalk paint looks great either way, but some users may want to distress their furniture piece so as to make it look stylishly weathered. To distress your item, simply use a piece of medium-grain sand paper to gently go over the paint. Begin slowly by testing this effect on the corners and edges of your furniture piece, and gradually increase the coverage as desired.

chalky paint


Sealing your Piece

Wax is the most common material used to seal chalk-painted pieces. This should be applied after your final coat of paint so as to protect it from any future wear-and-tear. Wax can be quite laborious to apply, but this process will be worth it after you see the enhanced color of your chalk paint.



Tips and Tricks for applying Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is easy to use and apply, although you may be interested in some useful tips and tricks to take your DIY piece to the next level.

  • You can use two colors to create a more striking and vibrant aesthetic. These colors can contrast each other for a modern aesthetic, or they may be blended together with a dry brush to create a pleasant color gradient.
  • Experiment with varied brush strokes to create different effects.
  • Distress your piece using fine sandpaper so as to produce a more vintage, weathered look.
  • Lightly sand your painted piece to receive a smoother finish.
  • When painting on metal or other slick surfaces, we suggest that you use two thin layers of paint as opposed to a single coat. This will allow for better adhesion.
  • While preparation may be required on more tattered pieces, you should not overdo this step.
  • As chalk paint is water-based, you can use small amounts of water so as to make it thinner. On the other hand, you can thicken the paint by leaving the lid open for a while and then stirring.

chalked paint



What to look out for when buying Chalky Paint


Drying Time

Chalk paint is the best furniture paint due to the short amount of time needed for it to dry. Most chalk paints will dry to the touch within approximately 30 minutes, but a period of two to four hours should be allowed before attempting to apply a second coat. Once the piece has been fully painted and coated, you should wait for a full 24 hours before proceeding to seal the paint.


Adhesive Quality

When deciding on the best chalk paint for your piece, it is important to consider how well the paint will stick to a particular material. Most chalk paints will adhere to most common materials with ease, although some pieces may need to be primed and sanded before painting so as to ensure adhesion.


Environmental Friendliness

While most paints contain a latex or oil base, chalk paints have a water base. Thus, this type of paint is more eco-conscious. You can use chalk paint to upcycle old or worn-out furniture to recycle and reduce waste. When selecting a chalk paint, it is important to choose one that contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals produced by household products such as paint.



Chalk paint may be more expensive than latex-based paints, but its opaque qualities allow for a greater amount of coverage with less paint. While some paints may cost less than others, it is important to ensure that you are still receiving a product of high quality.



The most famous Chalk Paint Brands

There are many good brands from which to choose when deciding on what chalk paint you should buy. You can use this chalk paint review as a guideline to find the best brands for your chalk paint needs!

best furniture paint



This chalk paint brand sells top-quality products at reasonable prices. It is a thinner chalk paint than other brands, which means that it is easier to spread and can be used in spray cans for a different kind of effect.



This brand boasts the best selection of colors for its chalk paints, with more than 40 different colors to choose from. This chalk paint is non-toxic and contains no VOCs, making it much safer to use. This paint is best used on wooden surfaces and must be applied with a brush or roller due to its thicker consistency.


Folk Art

Many chalk paint brands require a minimum of two coats of paint to produce a smooth, chalky finish. With Paints from Folk Art one coat is enough. This brand is perfect for upcycling old furniture, as its opaqueness helps to cover up unwanted hues, stains, and other blemishes. This chalk paint may take slightly longer to dry, but is available in a wide variety of colors and will provide a good amount of coverage.



Frequently asked Questions


What is best to use to seal Chalk Paint?

It is important to seal your chalk paint so as to increase durability and prevent fading, chipping, and general wear-and-tear. A wax coating will most effectively seal and protect the paint whilst enhancing the color, although this method can be difficult to apply. You can also seal your paint with a polyacrylic spray, glaze, or oil, depending on your desired finish.


What is so great about Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is environmentally friendly and easy to use, making it ideal for DIY projects. Very little preparation is needed in order to use this water-based paint, which allows even the most inexperienced of people to use this paint to their advantage. Chalk paint is also non-toxic and produces little to no VOC fumes, making it safer to use than other paints.


Do You need a special Brush for Chalk Paint?

No, most chalk paints can be applied with any kind of brush, roller, or sponge. By thinning the chalk paint, you will also be able to use it in a sprayer.


Where to buy Chalk Paint?

You can find chalk paints of the highest quality from online retailers such as Amazon. By searching for your chalk paint product online, you will be able to gauge the differences between products so as to make the best decision for your needs.


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