How to Remove Chalk Paint Easily and Quickly

If you’re looking for a fast and easy tutorial on how to remove chalk paint from furniture, then you’ve come to the right place! Chalk paint is great for giving the furniture an updated look without a lot of fuss. But when it’s time to make a change, how do you get rid of that old coat of paint? In this blog post, we’ll discuss ways to remove chalk paint easily and quickly.

We’ll go over what type of paint stripper works best, if you need it, and how to avoid damaging the underlying surface while removing the chalk paint.

old paint peeling off and tools to remove paint

Removing chalk paint from furniture can be a difficult and time consuming task. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Click here for the paint removal checklist and guide

But with our tips on how to remove chalk paint easily and quickly without damaging your furniture, you can make sure that your next project turns out perfect!

And then you can either paint your furniture again, or show off the wood on your wood furniture.

Supplies used to Remove Chalk Paint Easily and Quickly

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Ways to remove chalk paint from furniture

Removing chalk paint from furniture can be a tricky task, but with the right tools and techniques, you can make it look like new in no time!

Here are some easy and effective ways to remove chalk paint from your furniture:

Wiping the Chalk Paint Away

When the chalk paint is still fresh and wet, you can easily wipe it away using a damp cloth. Simply dip the cloth in some warm, soapy water and gently wipe away all traces of the chalk paint.

The longer the paint dries, the harder it will be to wipe it away. If the chalk paint has dried for even a few hours, it will take a lot more elbow grease to wipe the chalk paint off.

Sanding Chalk Paint Off

If your chalk paint has been on your furniture for a while and is starting to harden, you can use a sander and sandpaper to remove it. Start with a medium-grit sandpaper, like 150 grit, and gradually work your way up to a 220 grit sandpaper.

Most sanders only work on flat surfaces though. You can buy these foam sanding pads that go on your sander to easily sand curves and details. And check out our blog post about foam sanding pads for electric sanders to get tips for getting the most out of your sanding experience.

Otherwise, you can fold some sandpaper over these contour forms to help you get the chalk paint from the details. Learn more about sandpaper for furniture painting here.

When using a power sander, make sure you know what is under the paint. It is way too easy to sand past a thin layer of wood veneer and into MDF or particle board if you aren’t careful.

Here’s a guide on how to sand down wood whether it’s wood veneer or solid wood. Check out the best sanders to remove paint here.

If you have topcoated your chalk paint with wax, and it has been less than 30 days, the wax will gum up your sandpaper, making you go through a lot of sandpaper… so this option isn’t the best for that case.

Carbide Scraper to Remove Chalk Paint

If neither of those options works for you, you can use a carbide scraper to scrape the chalk paint off. Be careful to scrape in the direction of the wood grain, and to not scrape too hard or you may damage the underlying wood.

Scraping works best on flat surfaces as well, but it’s a faster option than sanding most of the time.

Removing Chalk Paint with Chemical Stripper

If all else fails, using a chemical stripper like Citristrip will remove the chalk paint. This type of paint stripper is safer to use and doesn’t have a bunch of fumes.

It takes a little longer to loosen the paint, but in my opinion, my health is worth waiting a little bit longer for stripper to work.

Chemical stripper is the best option for furniture with details that are hard to get into. Here’s our list of the best wood stain removers that will make your project easier and more successful.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to easily and quickly remove chalk paint from your furniture. Remember, it’s important to use the right technique for each type of painted surface and how much time has passed since painting. Learn more on how to remove paint from furniture here.

How to avoid damaging the underlying surface

When you want to remove chalk paint from furniture, you have to be careful so that you don’t damage the surface underneath.

Here are some tips to help you avoid damaging wood or other surfaces:

Always test a small, inconspicuous area first before tackling the entire piece in order to ensure that the technique you plan to use won’t damage the surface underneath.

When using a sander, start with a medium grit like 150 grit sandpaper so you don’t accidentally sand too much. You can always go with a lower grit to remove more if you need to.

When scraping or sanding, always make sure you are working in the direction of the wood grain and not against it. (Go in the same direction as the lines in the wood.)

You can’t always tell what direction the wood grain is going when it is covered in paint though. So, you’ll have to remove at least a small area to see what direction to do the rest in.

When using a chemical stripper, make sure it will work on the type of furniture that you are removing the paint from so you don’t damage the surface.

Do you have to remove chalk paint to paint over chalk paint?

No. You don’t always have to remove the chalk paint before repainting. If the existing paint is in good condition and does not scratch easily, it does not need to be removed.

Most of the time you can sand it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper, prime it, and then apply a new layer of paint on top of it.

It’s important to make sure the surface is clean and use a primer before painting over existing chalk paint to help the new paint stick. Learn how to clean before painting furniture here. And learn about the best primers for painting furniture here.

If you don’t want to use chalk paint again, here are the best paints for furniture. But if you want something that looks a bit more like stained wood, then gel stain over white paint is a great option without stripping off old paint.

Note: If you just recently put a layer of wax on your chalk paint, you need to remove the wax before you paint over the chalk paint. Wipe the wax off with a rag and mineral spirits. Make sure the lay the rag outside, and flat to dry if you use flammable mineral spirits.

Does chalk paint wash off easily?

If the chalk paint is barely dry, you can wipe it off of hard surfaces.

If you get chalk paint on your clothes, use stain removers and wash immediately before the chalk paint starts to cure.

If you properly prep your surface, let the chalk paint cure, and topcoat it with polyurethane, you will create a very durable finish that will not wash off or scratch easily.

Here are five furniture makeover mistakes to avoid if you want to successfully transform your pieces and achieve the desired results

scuff sanding furniture legs, spraying clear shellac and spraying waterbased polyurethane

Removing chalk paint from furniture is a project on its own, but with the right techniques and tools, it’s possible to get the job done without pulling your hair out!

Whether you choose to use sandpaper or chemical stripper, make sure that you take all necessary precautions such as testing in an inconspicuous area first before tackling the entire piece and always working in the direction of the wood grain when scraping or sanding.

You don’t need to remove existing chalk paint if it is already sealed properly – just lightly sand it down, prime it well, and apply a new layer of paint on top. Check out my guide on how to paint over chalk paint here. You can also learn more about repainting furniture here.

With these tips in mind, you should have no problem removing your old chalk paint and giving your furniture a fresh look!

Can I try more ways to remove chalk paint if one method doesn’t work?

Yes, you can definitely try more ways to remove chalk paint if one method doesn’t work. In fact, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case your first attempt isn’t successful.

For example, if you have already tried sanding or scraping and it didn’t work, you can try using a chemical stripper. Maybe applying a stripping solution and letting it to sit for a designated amount of time would be more effective in removing the paint.

Some ways might work better than others, depending on your furniture and type of paint for furniture, so it’s always worth trying out different methods to see what works best for you.

Don’t be discouraged if the first method doesn’t work, and don’t give up on removing the chalk paint. It’s possible that a combination of methods might be necessary to completely remove the stubborn paint.

How soon can you apply a new layer of paint after removing old chalk paint?

After you’ve successfully removed the old chalk paint from your furniture, now you may be wondering how soon you can start applying a new layer of paint. The answer is, it depends on the method you used to remove the paint.

If you used sandpaper or a scraper to remove the chalk paint, you can start painting as soon as you have finished cleaning up any paint residue. You may need to touch up some areas with light sanding before painting, but otherwise you should be able to start priming and painting right away.

However, if you used a chemical stripper, you’ll need to remove stripper residue by washing the surface with mineral spirits and letting it dry completely before painting. This typically takes a bit longer, so be patient and make sure you have also prepped furniture for painting before starting repainting.

How to Remove Chalk Paint Easily and Quickly

old paint peeling off from furniture and tools to remove paint

Don't know how to get rid of chalk paint without damaging your furniture? Here's our tutorial on how to remove chalk paint quickly and easily.


  1. For fresh and wet chalk paint, dip a cloth in soapy water and wipe away all the traces of chalk paint.
  2. For dry chalk paint, use a carbide scraper to remove chalk paint from flat surfaces quickly.
  3. Start with 150 grit sandpaper and gradually increase to 220 grit sandpaper to sand off the paint. Use a power sander on flat surfaces, and use foam sanding pads, or contour grips to sand curves and details.
  4. Or you can remove chalk paint using a chemical stripper if you don't want to use either of the other methods.

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