How to Chalk Paint Furniture White

Chalk paint can transform even the most old and worn out pieces of furniture into beautiful works of art. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to chalk paint furniture white for a stunning finish that will make your guests take notice.

Get more tips and Chalk Paint secrets that you need to know here!

buffet before the makeover

Here’s what our piece of furniture looked like before getting painted white.

White is one of the hardest colors to paint furniture, but in this post, we’re sharing the simple things you need to do to make everything go smoothly and end up with beautiful white chalk painted furniture.

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Supplies Used for Chalk Painting Furniture White

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How to Chalk Paint Furniture White

Painting furniture white can be challenging, but with the right supplies and steps, you can get the perfect white finish you are looking for.

Here are the steps for painting furniture white with chalk paint.

Get more white painted furniture ideas here.

Prepare Furniture for Chalk Paint

The first step is to remove all hardware from the piece of furniture.

This includes any knobs, handles, hinges, pulls, or other pieces that may be attached to your piece of furniture. This will help make your paint finish look so much nicer.

Place them all in a bag or a container to keep from losing them while you paint.

Once all hardware has been removed, it is important to clean your piece of furniture thoroughly using Krud Kutter or another degreasing cleaner specifically designed to remove oils, dirt, and grime from wood surfaces.

This will help your paint adhere properly and results in a smoother finish.

Learn more about how to clean furniture before painting here.

If your furniture has a lot of chipped veneer or damage like this piece has, this is the time to repair your damaged furniture.

Learn how to fix chipped wood furniture here.

chipped veneer at the bottom of the furniture
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Before applying any primer or paint to your piece of furniture, lightly scuff sand the surface using 220-grit sandpaper. This will help the primer and paint adhere properly to the furniture.

Learn more about the importance of sanding before painting furniture here.

Once the sanding is complete, use a shop vacuum and tack cloth (or a microfiber rag) to clean up any dust particles left behind by sanding.

The next step in chalk painting furniture white is to apply a stain-blocking primer like BIN shellac primer.

This type of primer helps stop stains from coming through paint and provides extra protection against moisture and wear for your finished product. However, if you haven’t prevented these bleedthrough in the first place and need to fix these here’s our guide on how to fix paint bleed through.

Check out the best primers to stop tannin bleed here.

You can paint over it after about an hour, but for best results, allow this primer to dry overnight before applying any chalk paint or topcoat. If you let the primer dry for a longer time, it will block bleed-through stains better.

Learn more about the best primers for painting furniture here.

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Paint With White Chalk Paint

Once your primer has had enough time to dry, you can begin painting your piece of furniture with white chalk paint.

I used my homemade chalk paint recipe to turn Behr latex paint into chalk paint…. making it stick better to the furniture. We used the color “Heavy Cream” from Behr (I think) for this makeover.

Wondering What is Chalk Paint exactly and why it’s popular? Check out the post to learn more!

Check out this post to learn what is the difference between chalk paint and regular paint.

It usually takes about 3-4 coats to get full coverage, but the coats of white primer count towards this and help with better coverage.

Check out the Best White Chalk Paint for Furniture here.

furniture sprayed with white homemade chalk paint

I like to use a paint sprayer to apply the chalk paint, but you can use a paint brush or roller.

Here are my lists of the best paint sprayers for furniture, the best paint brushes for painting furniture, and the best rollers for painting furniture.

Allow the chalk paint to dry between coats of paint. Chalk paint dries quickly… in about 30 minutes to an hour.

Topcoat the White Chalk Paint

To protect your painted piece of furniture from scratches or other damage due to everyday wear and tear, it’s important to apply a couple of coats of protection.

I like to use Waterbased Polyurethane because it doesn’t yellow and does a great job protecting my paint.

Let the topcoat dry for 24 hours before moving to the next step.

Learn more about topcoats for painting furniture here.

Replace the Hardware

Finally, replace the hardware that you removed previously once everything has had ample time drying time.

For the next 30 days, be extra careful with your freshly painted furniture to allow time for it to cure.

For this white painted buffet, my client wanted to leave some of the oak showing. So, we sanded down the drawers and stained them again (I believe with oak wood stain.)

And then, we replaced all of the hardware with the hardware she purchased.

If you’re curious about how to price flipped furniture, check out my furniture painting price list guide to learn more.

Get more painted buffet ideas here.

white chalk painted furniture with cabinets open
after painting furniture with white chalk paint

More Before And After Makeovers

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

5 Tips for Chalk Painting Furniture White

Now that you know how to chalk paint furniture white, here are some more tips to help you create the best white painted furniture.

Check out these other chalk painted furniture ideas.

Read through this post to learn more about the truth of using chalk paint for furniture.

Prime Before Painting

Before painting any piece of furniture, it is important to prime it first. This will help block stains that may bleed through the paint and ruin the finished product.

A good stain-blocking primer will also help you get better coverage, meaning you won’t have to paint as many coats of paint after you prime.

Be sure to use a stain-blocking primer specifically designed for this purpose. My favorite stain-blocking primer for white chalk painted furniture is BIN shellac-based primer.

Caulk Cracks and Seams

Putting caulk in cracks and seams will help create a smooth, seamless look on your piece of furniture.

applying paintable caulk to the furniture seams

Usually, you can’t see these cracks and seams until you have a coat of white primer or paint on your furniture. Then all of a sudden, you can see a bunch of black lines.

Make sure to use paintable caulk and wipe off the excess with a damp rag before leaving it to dry. Usually, after 30 minutes, you can paint over the caulk, so it doesn’t have to hold you up for long.

Sand Between Coats of Paint

Sanding between coats of paint and primer will help create a smooth finish on the final product. I like to use 220-grit sandpaper for this, but you can use 320 or 400-grit sandpaper.

The paint on the edges will easily sand off, so be aware that if you sand after your last coat of paint, you can easily create a distressed look.

Here are 6 of the best Distressing Furniture techniques you can do!

If you don’t want a distressed look, just don’t sand too close to the edges of your furniture. You can also use 400 grit sandpaper to sand even lighter to avoid distressing the paint.

Be sure to remove the dust before painting or topcoating. 

Topcoat Chalk Paint

When applying polyurethane topcoat, it is best to spray it on in light coats instead of brushing it on in order to prevent putting too much on at once, which can cause your waterbased polyurethane to look yellow.

Applying multiple thin coats is always better than one thick coat that can potentially be uneven or streaky when dry. 

Use an All-In-One Paint Instead

If you want to save yourself time and money, consider using an all-in-one paint that already includes a topcoat, so you don’t have to apply one separately after painting your furniture white.

Check out our list of the best all-in-one paints for furniture in this post! One of the best options is Heirloom Traditions Paint and here’s my Heirloom Traditions All In One Paint review to learn more about it.

Here are the best white paint for furniture for more options.

This will make the process go faster while providing extra protection against wear and tear. 

Check out this furniture makeover on painting furniture white for one example of paint that doesn’t need topcoat.

Learn more about the best paints for furniture here.

Chalk Painting Furniture White doesn’t have to be difficult! With these simple steps, you can achieve beautiful results quickly and easily! Happy painting!

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How to Chalk Paint Furniture White

white chalk painted furniture

Want to paint your furniture white? Here's exactly how to chalk paint furniture white so you can update your furniture on a budget.


  1. Remove all hardware then clean furniture with Krud Kutter to remove oils, dirt, and grime.
  2. Repair any chipped veneer or damage.
  3. Lightly scuff sand with 220 grit sandpaper to help the paint stick then clean up any dust particles left behind by sanding with a shop vacuum and tack cloth.
  4. Prime with a stain-blocking primer like BIN shellac primer to block bleedthrough stains.
  5. Paint furniture with white chalk paint. Homemade chalk paint is one of the cheapest chalk paint. You can use a paint sprayer, brush, or roller. Let the coat dry for around 30 minutes to an hour between coats of paint.
  6. Topcoat white chalk paint with Varathane waterbased polyurethane and let it dry for 24 hours.
  7. Replace with new hardware.

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More Chalk Painted Makeovers

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buffet before painting it with white chalk paint

One Comment

  1. Laura Kelly Walters says:

    This looks awesome! I would love for you to go link up at Project Creative Friends Linky Party!

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