Waverly Chalk Paint Review – Sofa Table Makeover

Is Waverly Chalk Paint good enough for painted furniture makeovers? We put the Walmart chalk paint to the test with this sofa table makeover in this Waverly Chalk Paint Review.

Get more Furniture Makeover Ideas here!

bottle of waverly chalk paint

This week I went to Walmart and picked up only 5 supplies to paint this sofa table.

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Supplies Used for Sofa Table Makeover

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I wanted to see if I could paint a professional-looking, brush-free finish using ONLY products that you can get at Walmart.

supplies used for sofa table makeover

I also limited myself to only buying 5 basic products.

Anything else that I needed for this makeover needed to be basic things that you should already have around your home. – Like a simple screwdriver, dish soap, and some rags.

My total at Walmart ended up being right around $40!

So let’s dive into this makeover and see if it’s even possible to get a high-end painted finish with Waverly Chalk Paint!

Here’s what the table looked like before.

before photo of an oak veneered sofa table before makeover

It’s an oak veneered sofa table that was made in china. Upon closer inspection, it looks like it was refinished fairly recently, so it was in pretty good condition.

But holy moly, that stain they used was definitely too orange for me!

Prepare Table for Paint

Check out this post on how to prepare furniture for paint for more details on the first things to do before painting furniture.

First I removed the hardware from the drawers. There is actually only one drawer on here, even though there looks like there are 3.

So I had to flip over the table to get the hardware off the fake drawers.

Then, just like with every other time I paint furniture, I wiped it down really well to remove any gunk, dirt, or grease that could be on it.

But instead of using my typical Krud Kutter that I love, I opted to wipe it down with an old rag and some Dawn dish soap in a bucket of hot water.

Learn more about How to Clean Furniture Before Painting here!

I’m telling you, this makeover is really taking everything back to the basics, the cheapest way to try to get a high-end-looking finish!

After I scrubbed the table with the hot soapy water, I wiped it down again, rinsing off any soapy residue that might have been left behind. Then I dried it all off before moving to the next step.

Isn’t Waverly Chalk Paint NO PREP??

**Yes, Waverly Chalk Paint says it is a NO-PREP paint, but I don’t take chances when it comes to making sure the paint will stick, especially to a more shiny finish!

**If you truly want a professional finish that doesn’t easily scratch off, don’t skip scuff sanding!

scuff sanding sofa table before chalk paint

I tore up the 220 grit sandpaper into quarters, and then I lightly sanded the table all over.

I didn’t want to sand through the old finish though! I just sanded enough to dull the shiny finish and give the paint something to hold onto.

Read more about the importance of Sanding Before Painting Furniture here.

So basically just a few passes back and forth over the whole thing. It took me about 20 minutes to scuff sand the whole thing.

Then I used my vacuum to suck up all of the dust, and I used a rag to wipe off what was left behind.

Prime Table and Prevent Bleed Through with Clear Shellac

Then we moved the table out to the garage to give it two coats of “primer”, letting it dry for at least an hour before I painted over it.

In this case, the primer is clear shellac. It’s actually what I use on probably 80% of my makeovers.

And it definitely serves a purpose or two, so even though it’s stinky, I don’t ever skip over some sort of primer anymore!

Learn more about the Best Primers for Painting Furniture and how to choose the right one here.

I also use clear shellac to prevent bleed through.

If you’ve never painted wood before, you probably have no idea what bleed-through is. But let me tell you, it’s a big pain!

Basically, bleed-through is when wood tannins or the dye in the stain bleed through your paint.

It looks like orange or pink splotches in your paint job, and no matter how many coats of paint you put over it, it won’t go away.

Shellac is one of the only things that will actually block bleed through!

You can get shellac primer that is tinted white, but I love to use the clear shellac so I can distress the paint a little and see the wood underneath instead of white primer.

Learn the 6 best Distressing Furniture techniques here!

I also like the spray can instead of brushing it on because it goes so much faster than brushing!

I joke sometimes that the piece looks exactly the same as it used to at this point.

The shellac creates a bit of a shiny finish, but I promise, the shellac actually helps the paint stick better. Even though it looks shiny again.

After the last coat of shellac dried for an hour, we moved it back inside to paint.

Learn more about How to Stop Stains from Coming Through Paint in this post.

Using Waverly Chalk Paint

I chose this Waverly Chalky Paint in the color Moss.

Check out my list of the best Green Chalk Paint for furniture here.

How to Avoid Brush Strokes with Chalk Paint

A professional paint finish to me is a finish that doesn’t have brush strokes in it.

But, chalk paint is really thick usually, so it tends to leave a lot of brush strokes.

The biggest trick to avoid brush strokes with chalk paint is to thin out the paint a bit, and use a nicer quality paint brush (not a dollar store paint brush or a chip brush!)

Check out the Best Paint Brushes for Painting Furniture here and learn How to Paint Furniture Without Brush Marks here.

Or you can also spray paint if you are painting a lot!

How to Thin Waverly Chalk Paint

Since I really wanted to try to get a brush-free finish, while using a paintbrush, I added a little bit of water to the paint.

So I poured about 1/3 of the container of paint into a separate plastic bowl. Then I added some water to the paint and mixed it up.

The water thins the paint out a little and makes the paint dry slower, which gives it more time to flatten out, leaving fewer brush marks behind.

**You want the paint to be thin enough to take longer to dry, but not so thin that you are basically painting on colored water!

How to Apply Waverly Chalk Paint

Then I brushed the paint onto the table with a BEST 2” brush from Walmart.

I wanted to use a brush that was a little nicer to help minimize any brush marks.

When I brushed on the paint I tried to only brush the paint on with the direction of the wood grain, in long strokes.

I also didn’t load the paintbrush with very much paint to help avoid any drips that might happen because of too much paint in one area.

And then I was on the constant lookout for any drips that did happen, so I could catch them before the paint dried.

**Update: I wanted to see if I could spray Waverly chalk paint in a paint sprayer and it worked great! Check it out on this Chalk Painting Furniture Black post!

When I got to the drawer, I removed it and painted it on its own.

Since I couldn’t afford any tape for this project, I was really careful to only get paint on the drawer front and not on any other part of the drawer.

When I got to the legs, I went against the grain to apply the paint. I’ve found that it’s easiest to brush horizontally and kind of slap it on instead of going with the grain.

Be careful to not have much paint on your brush if you do this though, because paint can easily go flying once you start slapping! Haha

The crazy thing is that brush marks are pretty nonexistent even going against the grain here!

closeup of sofa table with first coat of chalk paint
First coat of chalk paint on sofa table

I slowly just made my way around the whole table until there was a coat of paint all over it.

While I waited for the paint to dry, I just wrapped the paintbrush in some plastic wrap to keep it moist until I could paint the second coat.

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How Long Does Waverly Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

I came back about an hour later to put on a second coat of paint.

** The back of the container says to wait 2 hours in between coats of paint. I found that my paint was dry to the touch in about an hour.

And then I just basically painted it just like I had painted the first coat.

Each coat took about 20-25 minutes to paint.

I let the second coat of Waverly Chalk Paint dry completely before I moved on to sealing the paint.

sofa table with dry chalk paint before sealing with poly

How to Seal Waverly Chalk Paint

If you aren’t familiar with chalk-style paint, it’s super matte, so it has to be sealed with a clear topcoat.

If you don’t seal it, it won’t be super durable, and you won’t be able to clean it very well.

You can seal Waverly Chalk Paint with water-based poly or wax! Check out this blog post about how to use Waverly Chalk paint and wax here.

Click here to learn all about the different Topcoats for Painting Furniture.

Sealing Chalk Paint with Minwax Polycrylic

I chose Minwax Polycrylic to seal the chalk paint.

I chose it because I wanted to be able to spray the poly on. I personally hate brushing on poly, and it’s so hard to get a really nice, streak-free finish when you brush it on.

I typically spray poly on with my paint sprayer, but since I couldn’t use it on this makeover, I opted for the spray can.

Learn how to spray polyurethane with a paint sprayer here.

Minwax Polycrylic VS Varathane Polyurethane

**Sidenote though, I typically only use Varathane’s brand of water-based polyurethane in a quart can. I love that stuff!

BUT a few months ago, I used their oil-based polyurethane in the spray can, and multiple cans of it spit really bad when I sprayed it.

So I went and got Minwax’s oil-based polyurethane in a spray can, and it sprayed beautifully (as always).

So this time around I didn’t want to use the Varathane brand of poly in a spray can, because I didn’t want it to spit everywhere on me.

I thought that I could trust Minwax’s spray can more!

Even though I typically steer clear of this Minwax Polycrylic because in the past I had issues with it turning really yellow.

But I figured on this green, I would rather the Polycrylic spray a lot better with the possibility that it might yellow the paint a bit.

Learn more about the best polyurethane for furniture here.

Spraying Minwax Polycrylic

ANYWAY, I sprayed 3 coats of the Polycrylic on this table, letting it dry for about 45 minutes between coats.

Between the 1st and 2nd coat, I lightly sanded it smooth with the 320 grit sandpaper to distress the paint a little bit, but mostly to make it feel really smooth.

I shook the can really well for 2 minutes, and then I kept the spray can about 12” away from the table. I kept the coats of poly really thin so there wouldn’t be drips.

I ended up really liking how this Minwax polycrylic sprayed! It didn’t spit at all! And the satin sheen looks great!

How Good is Waverly Chalk Paint?

Honestly, I was pretty impressed with the coverage, especially for the price and the fact that I thinned it out a bit.

The combination of Waverly Chalk Paint and Minwax spray polycrylic is super durable too!

(Including the cleaning, scuff sanding, and shellac primer to help it be durable!)

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

close view of a green painted sofa table

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty impressed with how good of a finish these cheap products made!

I honestly can’t see any brush marks with the “better” paint brush, putting some water in the paint and using long brush strokes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Waverly Chalk Paint.

Check out the full video for this makeover here!

Here’s what the sofa table looks like now!

green painted sofa table

Waverly Chalk Paint Review - Sofa Table Makeover

full view of a green painted sofa table

Can you get a brush-free, durable, and professional finish on furniture with Waverly Chalk Paint from Walmart?! Here is a Waverly Chalk Paint Review with the steps for this sofa table makeover.


  1. Prepare sofa table for paint by removing hardware. Then wipe it down really well to remove any gunk, dirt, or grease that could be on it with an old rag and some Dawn dish soap in a bucket of hot water. Then dry it all off.
  2. Lightly sand the table. Don’t skip this if you want a professional finish that doesn’t easily scratch off.
  3. Prime with 2 coats of clear shellac to prevent bleed through and help paint stick better. Let primer dry at least an hour before painting.
  4. Chalk paint is really thick usually and to avoid any brush marks, thin out the paint a bit. Thin paint by pouring about 1/3 of the container of paint into a separate plastic bowl. Then add some water to the paint and mix it up.
  5. Brush paint onto the table with the direction of the wood grain, in long strokes. For the table legs, you can go against the grain to apply the paint.
  6. While waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, just wrap the paintbrush in some plastic wrap to keep it moist until you paint the second coat. Let the second coat of paint dry completely before sealing the paint.
  7. Seal paint with 3 coats of polycrylic and let it dry for about 45 minutes between coats. Between the 1st and 2nd coat, lightly sand it smooth to distress the paint a little bit, but mostly to make it feel really smooth.
  8. Attach hardware to the table.

Recommended Products

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full shot of green painted sofa table with decorations on top

More Before And After Makeovers

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

top view of a green painted sofa table

I ended up putting some cup pulls on the drawers instead of the old hardware. I think updating the hardware goes a really really long way in giving a piece of furniture a fresh new look.

Learn How to Change Hardware on Furniture in this post!

More Furniture Makeovers

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sofa table before makeover


  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this basic tutorial! I appreciate seeing professional results as a result. Gives me confidence in my own projects. I’ve had issues with GF milk paint scratching off shellac before. Are there differ types?

  2. I’m loving what you did with the table !! I have a few pieces I want to do and we will see lol Thank you for all of the info 🙂

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