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Painting walls, ceilings, cabinets, and furniture make your home look beautiful. Do you think furniture requires the same paint and technique while painting? No! Furniture is a different material than bricks and concrete; therefore, it requires different painting materials. Chalky paints are most famous for decorating furniture again. Nonetheless, learning about how to chalk paint furniture is necessary to have a beautiful makeover.

Let me share some thoughts about chalky paint while painting furniture. I really like Krylon chalk paint, but it requires professionalism to achieve awesome results. Don’t worry! It’s not too difficult if you follow my personal experience and tips about chalk paint. However, choosing the right chalk paint brands is crucial, along with the accurate procedure.

If you are struggling with painting chalk paint furniture, I’m here to oblige you. I have shared the instructions to chalk paint colors for furniture, chalk painting for beginners, chalk paint furniture ideas, and more.

How to chalk paint furniture without sanding or priming

What Is Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint Furniture has become a common term whenever people talk about furniture painting. No doubt, it makes the furniture look beautiful, like brand new. Nevertheless, people are confused between chalk paint and other paints.

How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint

According to my research, chalk paint was discovered long ago, i.e., more than two decades. It’s perfectly suitable for all kinds of furniture because of its chemical composition. At present, almost all the brands are producing black chalk paint, white chalk paint furniture.

Furthermore, it’s recognized for its beautiful finish and is water-based. Working with high quality chalk paint brushes, make sure to keep them clean using some soapy water. In my opinion, the viscosity is a little bit more than regular paints, and it offers low drips. Most importantly, they have lower amount of VOCs.

It’s made by adding different compounds having different aggregates to get textured composition. Different types of chalk paint contain plaster of paris, calcium carbonate, diatomaceous earth, original chalk, and more. The aggregate of these ingredients depends on the end application and type of paint you are going to produce.

Did you know?

The most popular type of paint for distressing furniture is chalk paint. Using chalk paint to distress surfaces is easy and it dries quickly.

How To Chalk Paint Furniture Steps

sideboard before chalk painted
Sideboard before painted
close up of sideboard navy blue chalk painted
Sideboard after chalk painted

Chalky paints are useful for almost all kinds of furniture, such as cabinets, metal furniture, wood, and fabric. The old piece of furniture will look beautiful and new after painting. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Furniture and Supplies

First, choose which things you want to paint, such as a table, cabinet, or more. After that, gather all the necessary supplies such as degreaser, lint-free rags, wood filler, putty knife, sandpaper, chalk paint, roller or brush, paint tray, wax, etc.

There are some optional supplies you can buy if you need additional work. They include drill, screwdriver, painter’s tape, artist brush, painter’s pyramids, and so on. It’s always good to enlist all the necessary and optional supplies before getting started.

Step 2: Cleaning of The Furniture

Cleaning the furniture is crucial before applying the new coat. Otherwise, the old finish will disturb the end results. The best solution is to wipe it with neutral soapy water. Here don’t wax it because you are not going to polish it. Clean it properly with degreaser or cleaner, don’t forget to wipe at the corners and places. After that, eliminate all the residue from the carpet or floor.

Note: Learn all the basic tips to prevent chalk paint problems.

Step 3: Pick up A Right Brush

How to Use Chalk Paint with brush
Using chalk paint with brush

The beauty of chalky paint reveals when you paint it with the right type of brush. Make sure to paint in a single direction to get uniform brush strokes. Using a chip brush for this task is always recommended by me. It makes the overall furniture painting a breeze and allows you to paint in any direction or angle. Usually, two coats are necessary to make it long-lasting.

Among the best brushes we have found are Purdy brand brushes. We like their 1 ½” angled brush, 2″ angled brush and the 2 ½” angled brush.

Step 4: Sanding

I usually use fine-grit sandpaper as it works well for furniture. It eliminates the extra layer of old paint and other unnecessary things. Don’t scrub forcefully but apply a reasonable amount pressure while sanding. Don’t apply too much pressure, and keep all your senses turned ON while sanding. Don’t forget to sand the already missing areas.

Step 5: Clean The Sanding Dust

Wipe off all the sanding dust using a towel or soft cloth. Don’t forget to wipe it all over the furniture and trace out all the dust created by sanding.

Step 6: Apply Wax

how to seal chalk paint with wax or poly sealant

Sealing chalk paint is a hot debate among people. Sealing is important, and I always recommend you go for wax before applying chalk paint. It will keep them away from water, debris, and grease by providing long-lasting performance. Apply some high-quality wax compatible with chalky paints and let it dry.

Don’t use the same brush for waxing but a separate one. Start applying from the corners and apply several times if needed. However, outdoor furniture does not require waxing but go for other options.

Step 7: Apply The Chalky Paint

Apply the first coat of chalky paint to the furniture. Keep the stroke the same to get a beautiful finish. Make the paint dilute or viscous by observing the paint finish on the chair or table. Use different paint brushes to reach the corners and tight areas. After that, let the chalky paint dry. Check the dry time written on the paint box or consult with the manufacturer.

Step 8: Second Coat (Optional)

Furniture does not require applying a second coat but goes for it if you feel it necessary. Make sure to have diluted paint for the second coat; otherwise, it will create a mess. Congrats! You have done with the chalk paint furniture. Let it dry properly, and enjoy your new furniture.

Chalk Paint vs Regular Paint

Chalk Paint vs Acrylic Paint

The primary difference of chalk and regular paints is of their advantages. Chalk paints are suitable for many surfaces and don’t need priming. Sanding is considered an important step to get high grip of the paint. Overall, they are easy to apply and handle.

On the other hand, priming is necessary for regular (acrylic) paints, which can increase the overall cost. If you are using oil-based paints, you have to bear the toxic effects of VOCs, which are also messy on furniture.

Chalk Paint vs Latex Paint

Latex paints are prepared with a composition of different materials, such as titanium, resins, limestone, and dioxide. However, chalk paint ingredients are plaster of paris, unsanded grout, and baking soda.

They are suitable for different materials due to the difference in ingredients. Therefore, they are used in variety of applications.

Benefit Of Latex Paint

  • If I talk about the pros of latex paints, they are thick and offer smooth coverage.
  • It is available in several tintable colors and finishes.
  • It do not require a topcoat and are affordable to buy. On the other hand, chalk paints are easy to apply to furniture and have high adhesion.
  • Latex paint is water-based and is useful for large paint projects such as floors, walls, ceilings, and interior or exterior painting for houses.

Benefit Of Chalk Paint

When it comes to smaller projects, chalk paint has a few benefits over regular latex paint.

  • Chalk paint is primarily water-based, it has low volatile organic compounds.
  • Several chalk paint brands are almost odorless. 
  • Every painting project begins with prep work (sanding, cleaning and priming). It seems like a lot of work. However, it’s no secret that so many people love chalk paint because you don’t have to prep beforehand. So, preparation is not difficult with chalk paint. The only prep work you need to do with chalk paint is to clean the surface before painting.
  • It takes 15-20 minutes for chalk paint to dry, so you can apply a second coat on the same day.
  • The thickness of chalk paint makes it easier to cover a large surface with little paint. I remember, I just used two coats of paint for painting old furniture.
  • Chalk paint uses minerals such as lime and clay to withstand high and low temperatures. 
  • Chalk paint has a great deal of durability.

A Guide to Using Chalk Paint

learn how to chalk paint furniture

Most surfaces can be painted with chalk paint. DIYers usually use chalk paint for painting furniture, glass, marble, fabric, and flooring. The only thing that is usually required for paint to stick to some surfaces is light sanding and priming.

It is not recommended to paint walls, ceilings, or exterior houses with chalk paint.

 Paints such as chalk paint aren’t durable enough for projects such as painting rooms and houses. Moreover, chalk paint is not a suitable choice for very large outdoor items like garden sheds.

Do you have to thin chalk paint for sprayer?

Yes, it is good to thin the paint before spraying it. A bit thinner, but not too thin. You can pour chalk paint about halfway into the spray gun pot. Take note of the amount of paint in your measuring cup. Mixing the paint and water together thoroughly requires adding small amounts of water at a time. The chalk paint will need to be diluted with 10-20% water.

Best Chalk Paint Brands You Should Try

The market is flooded with chalk-type paints. Here are our best chalk-style paints based on what I have used in my projects.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

Among the world’s best-known registered brands, it is regarded as one of the best furniture paints.

It is made by the original inventor of chalk paint and is popular among DIYers. It is thick and requires a topcoat as well. So, water can be used to thin it.

Cece Caldwells chalk paints:

An eco-friendly, natural chalk paint. Also, the brand uses unique color combinations.

Rustoleum Chalked Ultra-Matte Paint:

It is odorless and requires few topcoats.

Behr Chalk Paints

Preparation steps such as priming, sanding, or stripping are not required when using BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint. The BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint can be applied in high traffic or high moisture areas with the addition of a topcoat, which adds an extra layer of protection.

Disadvantages of Chalk Paint

Although chalk paint has many advantages, it does have a few drawbacks, so you may want to know what to expect before painting your furniture with chalk paint.

Chalk paint leaves brush marks on the surface, so it may be difficult to get a completely smooth finish.

Choosing the right color requires mixing different paint shades. Some brands, such as Annie Sloan chalk paint, do not offer custom colors.

According to some observations, if you wish to paint over chalk paint, you should apply primer first.

Heavy use of chalk-painted items can cause the paint to flake, peel, and chip.

If you seal your project with wax or poly sealants, you will need to devote more time to your project.

It is difficult to clean chalk paint that has not been sealed.

Chalk paint costs more than regular paint.

How To Chalk Paint Furniture Without Sanding?

The brands have produced a new compound known as “Liquid Deglosser,” which is the best alternative of sanding. I apply it to the surface directly, removing the old paint with a chemical reaction. Other benefits are no odor, but good to apply in ventilated areas.

FAQs On How To Chalk Paint Furniture

Do you need to sand before using chalk paint?

Yes, you need to sand the furniture before applying the chalk paint for a better finish. While using Liquid Deglosser, you can eliminate this as it’s the best alternative of sanding.

How do you apply chalk paint to wood furniture?

First, remove the attached hardware and sand it properly. After that, apply the wax all over the surfaces. Don’t skip the cleaning using neutral chemicals. In the end, apply the paint with a quality brush.

What is the best way to apply chalk paint?

Start with preparation and collect different brushes for unique strokes. Clean the surface using sandpaper, remove the debris, and apply the paint. For a beautiful look, don’t forget to apply the wax.

Is it better to paint furniture with chalk paint or regular paint?

The selection between chalk & regular paint depends on your budget, environmental conditions, type of furniture, and more. However, chalk paint is a better and more convenient option to make your furniture look beautiful.

How do you get a smooth finish with chalk paint?

Make the paint ready by putting a small amount of water in the paint. In my experience, it’s good to get a better finish. Don’t use a single brush but apply with different brushes, keeping the same direction. Let the paint dry properly to get desired smoothness and finish.

Can you use chalk paint in a sprayer?

Yes, that’s right, chalk paint be sprayed. Using Wagner paint sprayers will help you apply chalk paint faster and more smoothly.

Final Thoughts On How To Chalk Paint Furniture

In conclusion, following the accurate steps is necessary, as described above. How to chalk paint furniture is not a challenge now, as you know the straightforward steps. Whether you want to paint new or old furniture, the steps will remain the same.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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