Chalk Painting Furniture Black

Today we’re sharing the steps for chalk painting furniture black with Waverly chalk paint. It’s a simple process that anyone can do.

Get more chalk painting tips and secrets that you need to know here!

buffet before painting black

Black-painted furniture looks so good! But a lot of times it comes with a big price tag. There’s no need to pay big money for it when you can do it yourself right??

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So, here’s the step-by-step process that anyone can follow to paint furniture black.

We bought this buffet from Facebook Marketplace for only $30!! Can you believe someone was selling this thing for so cheap?? We’ve listed the best places to get good furniture for cheap here.

scroll down to see the after photos

Supplies Used for Chalk Painting Furniture Black

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Prepping Buffet Before Paint

First, we removed the hardware.

I don’t love these knobs by any means, but I also always remove the hardware so it’s easier to sand everything, and because painting with them on just looks messy to me.

Using a screwdriver to remove hardware from a buffet

I love this electric screwdriver to remove the hardware.. it makes the process way quicker and I love that it isn’t a bulky drill.

When it comes to doors, I used to remove the hinges, but almost every time I would have issues putting the hinges back on.

So, I usually either tape off the hinges, or in this case, I’m just leaving them on and painting them black with the rest of the buffet.

Then we cleaned everything with Krud Kutter. Learn more about how to clean furniture before painting here.

This piece was pretty dusty because it sat in our workshop for over a year… sooo we had to remove that, but we also wanted to remove any oils, grease, or grime that was on it.

Learn why it’s so important to prep furniture for painting here!

How to Fill Chips in Wood Furniture

While my husband cleaned, he paid attention to all of the chips in the wood, so then he could come back and fill them in.

Fill In Chipped Wood With KwikWood

He used KwikWood to fill them in. It’s my favorite stuff to fix chips that are bigger than a quarter inch. It dries hard, and it dries in an hour. Learn how to use KwikWood here.

filling chipped veneer with kwikwood

Fill In Chipped Wood With Wood Filler

I used some regular wood filler later on to fill in some other chips and dings. Read through this post to learn more about the best wood fillers for furniture.

After the KwikWood was dry, I sanded the top of the buffet down to raw wood. I had to sand the KwikWood down, flush with the wood around it.

And then there were a lot of scratches, and I wanted to sand those out as much as possible.

Sanding KwikWood filled areas on a buffet with a SurfPrep sander

If I would have just sanded a few spots down to raw wood, the top would have looked splotchy after I painted it. I’ll show you what I mean in a minute.

I used a few different grits of sandpaper to sand the top down. I used 80 grit and 120 grit to get most of the old finish off and sand out the scratches.

And then I finished it with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and remove the sanding swirls that the coarser grits created. Learn more about sandpaper for furniture painting here.

While I was sanding, I also sanded the edge of the doors down a little bit. Doors are notorious for getting stuck once you put some layers of paint on them.

So I like to sand those down a little bit extra before I paint them, and make room for the layers of paint.

And while I was at it, I also sanded the rest of the dresser with a medium grit foam sanding sponge to help the paint stick better.

Do You Need to Sand Before Chalk Paint?

Technically no, you don’t have to sand before chalk painting furniture. But lightly sanding before you chalk paint will make it adhere better.

And that can be the difference between your paint scratching easily and not scratching off at all.  Learn all about the importance of sanding before painting for the best adhesion in this post.

Scuff Sanding Buffet Before Painting

This light sanding before painting is called scuff sanding. We just want to remove the shine from the surface and add some grittiness to the surface.

Scuff sanding a buffet with a SurfPrep sander before painting

Just think about how hard it is to hold onto something slick.

It’s the same thing for paint. Paint has a hard time sticking to slick surfaces. But if you put a grippy phone case over your shiny new phone, it will make it easier for you to hold onto.

And if you scuff the surface of your furniture up just lightly before you paint, the paint will be able to hold onto the furniture a lot better.

Best Grit Sandpaper for Chalk Paint

220 grit sandpaper is the best for scuff sanding before painting furniture with chalk paint. 220 grit sandpaper is also perfect for distressing chalk paint, and sanding in between coats of paint.

If I don’t want to distress chalk paint, then I use 400 grit sandpaper when sanding in between coats of paint or topcoat.

Replacing Door and Drawer Stops

The doors on this buffet didn’t stop where they were supposed to. So I bought a bunch of these metal stoppers on eBay, and they just go right back into the holes where stoppers used to be.

Hammering metal door stoppers in buffet cabinet

So I replaced those for the doors and the bottom drawer. And then I cleaned all of the dust up. Check out my SurfPrep Vacuum POV-8 review here to learn all about it.

Learn more on how to fix old dresser drawers from falling out in this post.

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How to Get a Smooth Finish With Chalk Paint

The easiest way to get a smooth finish with chalk paint is to spray the chalk paint on. But if you don’t have access to a paint sprayer, there are a few tricks to paint furniture without brush marks.

Check out the best chalk paint brushes here.

You can add some water to the chalk paint to thin it out, which basically makes the paint take longer to dry, and it has a better chance of leveling out, leaving behind minimal brush marks.

Check out my list of the top chalk paint brands for your future furniture makeovers.

Can You Spray Chalk Paint?

Yes! Chalk paint can be sprayed with a paint sprayer, using the same method as most paints. Chalk paint is very beginner friendly too.

Chalk paint comes in spray cans too. Check out how to use spray chalk paint and this chalk spray paint comparison to learn more.

spraying black chalk paint onto the buffet using a paint sprayer

How to Thin Chalk Paint for Sprayer

This Waverly chalk paint is super thick! So I had to add a lot of water to thin it out enough to spray nicely. I think I added probably 30% water this time.

Typically I put 10-15% water into the paint to thin it out for the paint sprayer. Learn more about how to thin paint for Wagner FLEXiO sprayer here.

But hey, the extra water made the paint stretch even further! If I brushed on this paint, I wouldn’t have added as much water. Maybe 10-15% water instead of 30%.

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Spraying Buffet With Black Chalk Paint

I used my Wagner FLEXiO 3000 (the newest model is the FLEXiO 3500 but its basically the same sprayer) to spray the chalk paint onto the buffet.

Here’s more about how to use the FLEXiO 3000. And here’s my list of the best HVLP paint sprayers for furniture. Chalk paint works in all of them too!

I sprayed a test spray onto some cardboard, and then I sprayed the black chalk paint all over the buffet. I sprayed a thin coat so I wouldn’t get runs in the paint.

Check out the best black chalk paint for furniture here.

Head on over to our black chalk painted furniture ideas for more inspiration.

Spraying black chalk paint on the buffet with Wagner sprayer

How Long Does Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

And then I left the paint to dry. Waverly chalk paint says to let it dry for 2 hours before painting another coat.

Typically chalk paint dries to the touch in 30 minutes, but that depends on the weather and if there is humidity in the air.

How to Hide Wood Grain When Painting

A couple of hours later, I came back to find that you could see the wood grain everywhere I had sanded down to raw wood, and there were more dings and scratches that I hadn’t filled.

Brushing spackling to fill wood grain on the top of a buffet

So I filled all of those areas. Learn more about how to hide wood grain when painting in this post.

And then a few hours later when everything was dry, I sanded it all down. It was after the kids went to bed, so I sanded by hand instead of using my electric sander.

Check out the best sanders for furniture here.

Then I cleaned up the dust. And I sprayed another coat of paint.

Touching Up Paint Inside Cabinets and Drawer Edges

After spraying, I used a paint brush to touch up some spots inside of the cabinets, and to paint the inside edges of the drawers.

Touching up the drawer tops and edges with black chalk paint and a paint brush.

And then it dried overnight.

Sealing Chalk Painted Buffet

I covered my paint sprayer tip with a damp paper towel and some tin foil to keep the paint from drying out, and the next morning I emptied out most of the paint and put some water-based polyurethane into it instead.

The residual paint tinted the water-based poly, which is exactly what I want when top coating darker colors. Otherwise, the water-based polyurethane can sometimes look streaky or foggy.

And then I sprayed 3 coats of polyurethane onto the buffet. Learn all about how to spray polyurethane in a paint sprayer here!

Spraying polyurethane topcoat onto a black chalk painted buffet

The topcoat gives the chalk paint some sheen so it isn’t matte… and it helps make the paint more scratch resistant. Read through this post to learn more about topcoats for painting furniture.

In between the 1st and 2nd coat, I lightly sanded with a fine grit foam sponge to smooth the surface a little bit.

Watch the full video of this makeover below…or scroll down for the after photos and additional chalk painting furniture tips!

And here’s what it looks like now!

Black chalk painted buffet with drop pull hardware
Full front view of black chalk painted buffet with drop pull hardware

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

Black painted buffet with cabinet doors open

Doesn’t it look so good in black?? I think the elegance of this buffet goes so well with the black. And since it’s so elegant, I thought it needed a little bling bling. So we added sparkly hardware.

Get more painted buffet ideas here.

What Is Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is a water-based paint that is great for painting furniture or decor.

It is a matte paint that has great adhesion. A lot of people and paint companies claim that you don’t need to sand or prime before using chalk paint. And that’s true in some cases, but not all.

It is a very porous paint, so it has to be top coated or else it will get dirty easily. It’s not the most durable paint, but with a top coat, it can become very durable.

Here’s more information about what is chalk paint exactly and why it’s popular.

Waverly chalk paint review

Waverly chalk paint is a budget-friendly chalk style paint. It comes in a few different colors and it works just as well as any other chalk paint on the market – despite its price being lower.

Read our Waverly chalk paint review here.

Is Waverly Chalk Paint Discontinued?

No, Waverly chalk paint is not discontinued.

Waverly chalk paint used to be sold in a lot of Walmart stores. Recently they were removed from the shelves, but I am still able to find them online through Walmart.

You can get free shipping to your home as long as you have an order over $35, or you have the Walmart plus membership. Here’s everything you need to know about Waverly chalk paint.

Is Chalk Paint Good for Painting Furniture?

Yes! Chalk paint is a great paint for painting furniture. Get more chalk painted furniture ideas here.

It is better than using wall paint (latex paint) on furniture, even with sanding and priming before painting with latex paint. Check out this post to learn more about painting furniture with latex paint.

Is chalk paint the best paint for painting furniture? Probably not. But it is a good paint!

Here is a great step-by-step tutorial on how to chalk paint furniture and get the best results. Also, learn how to chalk paint laminate furniture here.

Read through this post to learn more about the truth of using chalk paint for furniture and 5 chalk paint problems and how to fix them.

How to Distress Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is so easy to distress. You can sand it with sandpaper (I like 220 grit sandpaper for distressing.) You can also use a wet rag to wipe away the paint to create a distressed look.

Here are more great ideas for distressing furniture.

How To Seal Black Chalk Paint

Sealing black chalk paint is a little harder than other colors of chalk paint. If you aren’t careful, the topcoat can look really streaky and blotchy over black paint because it’s such a dark color.

My favorite way to seal black chalk paint is by spraying oil-based or water-based polyurethane on it. Learn more about the best polyurethane for furniture here.

You can use a spray can for this if you don’t have a paint sprayer.

When spraying water-based polyurethane with my paint sprayer, I add a little bit of the black chalk paint into the water-based polyurethane to tint it black and help reduce the haziness that sometimes happens with water-based polyurethane.

You can use wax to seal black chalk paint too. The best wax for black chalk paint (or any dark chalk paint) is Fusion Mineral Paint’s beeswax.

A lot of other waxes leave a streaky look over the black paint. But I haven’t had that issue with the beeswax.

Best Top Coat for Chalk Paint

If you want the most durable topcoat for chalk paint, you’ll need to use a polyurethane topcoat. Here’s how to apply polycrylic to painted furniture.

Polyurethane topcoat is harder to apply by hand than wax though, so wax tends to be a favorite for beginner painters.

I personally like to spray water-based polyurethane topcoat over my chalk-painted furniture to seal it. If you don’t have a paint sprayer, you can use polyurethane in a spray can instead.

scroll up if you missed the after photos

Chalk Painting Furniture Black

Black chalk painted buffet

Paint your furniture black all by yourself! Here are the steps to chalk painting furniture black, easy and affordable.


  1. Remove the old buffet hardware with an electric screwdriver. Then clean everything with Krud Kutter.
  2. For any chips or wood damage, fill them in with KwikWood or a wood filler. After the KwikWood dries, sand the top of the buffet down to raw wood. Use 80 and 120 grit sandpaper to get most of the old finish off and sand out the scratches. Then finish the sanding off with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and remove any sanding swirls. Scuff sand the rest of the dresser as well to help the paint stick better.
  3. If doors and drawers on the buffet don't stop where they are supposed to, install new metal stoppers. Clean up all the dust with the vacuum.
  4. Thin out chalk paint by adding some water to it. Paint the buffet with the black chalk paint and let it dry for about 2 hours before painting another coat. If there is any wood grain, fill it in with Spackling thinned with water.
  5. Touch up paint inside the buffet cabinets and drawer edges with a paint brush. Let dry overnight.
  6. Apply 3 coats of waterbased polyurethane onto the black chalk painted buffet. In between the 1st and 2nd coat, lightly sand with a fine grit foam sponge to smooth the surface a little bit.
  7. Add hardware to the buffet and enjoy!

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before photo of a buffet with 2 drawers and 2 cabinets - french provincial style


  1. Elizabeth Eddy says:

    Where did you get those knobs they’re awesome!

  2. Julie Briones says:

    Love this makeover buffet with black chalk paint! I’ll be featuring your DIY at Tuesday Turn About this week! Pinned!

  3. Hi there and Thks for such great info. You are the only painter / influencer that I use and keep in my inbox’ ❤️ for quick reference!
    Silly question for you .
    – Should I scuff sand my primer layers before applying my first layer of paint? I’m thinking Yes’ but then maybe No’ incase it effects the primers blocking qualities?? hmmmm????
    Thks – Marnie Restyles !!! BC 🇨🇦

    1. Hey Marnie!! Thank you so much for the love!!
      Not a silly question at all. If the primer is rough feeling, I sand it smooth before painting. But I try not to go through the primer. It’s not bad if you do here and there, but sanding it does give the possibility of bleedthrough issues in those spots that are sanded past the primer. You don’t have to sand the primer before painting either! Hope that helps!

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