The Truth About Using Chalk Paint for Furniture
If you’re considering using chalk paint for furniture, there are some important things you need to know. Chalk paint has become a popular option for updating furniture and is praised for its ease of use and environmentally friendly nature.
However, it’s important to understand the downsides of chalk paint before starting your project. In this post, we will discuss the pros and cons of using chalk paint on furniture and give you some other options if you want to use a different paint. You can also learn more about chalk paint secrets and ideas for using chalk paint here.
Chalk paint is a type of water-based, matte, chalky type paint that was originally used for furniture and decorative art.
It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its versatility and ability to update furniture without much effort.
Pros of using chalk paint on furniture
Chalk paint is overall a great paint for furniture. I’ve used it for 9 years on many different pieces of furniture.
See all of my chalk painted furniture makeovers here.
It’s a great choice if you need to quickly update or refresh older pieces of furniture.
It’s easy to find at almost any store (though the color selection might be limited depending on what brand you use) and it dries quickly.
Check out this list of the top chalk paint brands for all the good brands of chalk paint.
Plus, it sticks to furniture (and primer) better than latex wall paint.
There’s also lots of room for artistic creativity with chalk paint – you can blend colors to create an ombre effect and distress the finish for an aged look.
And yes, you can even get a plain solid finish with chalk paint.
You can also topcoat it with any sheen level that works best for your project – from matte to glossy.
But that’s only one part of the truth about chalk paint for furniture.
Cons of using chalk paint on furniture
There are some drawbacks to chalk paint, too.
Depending on the brand you buy, it can be more expensive than other paints.
And you still have to buy primer and topcoat if you want the chalk paint to adhere well and be durable (not to mention stopping stains from coming through the paint!)
Yep, you really do need to still scuff sand, prime, and topcoat for best results.
Plus, chalk paint doesn’t level out flat unless you water it down. So expect brush marks or roller texture all over your furniture.
Unless you use these tips to paint furniture without brush marks.
Here’s a list of the best paint brushes for painting furniture and the best rollers for painting furniture.
And some chalk paint brands make it sound easier than it is, leaving DIYers with a project they aren’t happy with.
Also, many chalk paint companies (and DIYers) use wax as a topcoat. Wax is not very durable and requires more maintenance than other options.
Learn more about topcoats for furniture here.
And finally, depending on the brand you choose, your color options are limited. But you can go with a different brand of chalk paint to find other colors.
Is it OK to paint furniture with chalk paint?
Yes! You can paint furniture with chalk paint and get professional results!
But just know that to get the best results, you will still have to scuff sand, prime and topcoat when using chalk paint.
There is nothing wrong with using chalk paint on furniture.
If correctly done, it will last a long time and it will look great all the while.
Tips for successfully using chalk paint on furniture
If you’re going to use chalk paint, here are some tips for achieving a beautiful finish on your furniture:
- Scuff sand your piece with 220 grit sandpaper. This will give the chalk paint something to grip onto. Learn about the importance of sanding before painting furniture here.
- Prime your piece with a stain-blocking primer. This will prevent bleedthrough and help the chalk paint adhere better to the furniture surface. Learn about the Best Primers for Furniture here.
- Sand with 220 grit sandpaper after you prime, and between coats of chalk paint for a smoother feeling finish.
- Topcoat with 2-3 coats of water-based polyurethane for extra durability. Check out what’s the best polyurethane for furniture here.
Learn exactly how to chalk paint furniture (and see what happens if you don’t scuff sand or prime before chalk painting furniture) here.
What Kind of Paint to Use Instead of Chalk Paint
If chalk paint isn’t the right choice for your project, no worries.
There are lots of other options available – from spray paint to all-in-one paint, enamel paint, and more. Each offers different benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that is best suited for your project.
Read through my comparison between Milk Paint VS Chalk Paint to know which one is right for you.
Check out this post on types of furniture paint for all of your options.
I know that might be overwhelming though, so here are some of my favorite paints to use instead of chalk paint.
- Heirloom Traditions Paint (Painting Furniture with Heirloom Traditions Paint)
- General Finishes Milk Paint (Painting with General Finishes Milk Paint)
- Fusion Mineral Paint (Makeover using Fusion Mineral Paint)
- Melange ONE (Makeover using Melange ONE)
- Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel (Makeover using Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim)
One last tip: Regardless of the type of paint you use, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for be best results.
Chalk paint is a great option for furniture projects, as it offers lots of room for creativity and can be easily found at most stores.
However, chalk paint does have some drawbacks such as still requiring primer and topcoat, brush marks or roller texture on the surface, and overall being as much or more work than other paints on the market.
I hope you found this post helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!
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