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!
This week I went to Walmart and picked up only 5 supplies to paint this sofa table.
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- Waverly Chalk Paint 16oz (this table only used about a third of the container!)
- BEST 2” Paint Brush
- Gator 220 Grit and 320 Grit Sand Paper
- Clear Shellac
- Minwax Polycrylic Spray
I wanted to see if I could paint a professional-looking, brush-free finish using ONLY products that you can get at Walmart.
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!
Waverly Chalk Paint for Furniture
Here’s what the table looked like before.
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 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.
Clean the Table
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.
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.
Scuff Sand the Table
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!
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.
Click here to read more about The Importance of Sanding Before Painting Furniture.
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 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 Primer for Painting Furniture (and How to Choose the Right One) here.
Prevent Stain Bleeding Through Paint
First and foremost, I 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!
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.
How to Use Waverly Chalk Paint
I chose this Waverly Chalky Paint in the color Moss.
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!)
Click here to learn about The Best Paint Brush for Painting Furniture.
Or you can also spray chalk 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 black chalk painted buffet!
Painting the Drawer
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.
Painting the Legs
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!
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.
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.
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!
Click here to learn all about different Topcoats for Painting Furniture.
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!
Check out my list of the top chalk paint brands for your future furniture makeovers.
(Including the cleaning, scuff sanding, and shellac primer to help it be durable!)
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.
Check out the full video for this makeover here!
Here’s what the sofa table looks like now!
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.
- BEST 2” Paint Brush
- Prepare the furniture for paint.
- Thin the chalk paint with some water.
- Brush 2 coats of paint onto the furniture.
- Seal the chalk paint with 3 coats of poly.
- Attach the hardware and enjoy!
Related Furniture Makeovers
- Homemade Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover
- Behr Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover
- All in ONE Painted DIY Dresser Makeover
- Chalk Painted Fabric Chair Makeover
- Thrifted Sewing Table Makeover
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