What is Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint has become an increasingly popular choice for DIY painters. But what is chalk paint? And why is it so popular?

Dive more into chalk paint secrets here.

brushing chalk paint onto furniture and different brands of chalk paint

Chalk paint brands boast that chalk paint is the perfect way to give your furniture personality and character with virtually no effort.

Click here to subscribe

They say it’s easy to use, has a quick dry time, and requires no sanding or priming. But is that true?

In this blog post, we’re going to explore what chalk paint is, how it works, and why it’s so popular among DIY furniture painters.

What is Chalk Paint and Why Is It Popular?

Chalk paint is a water-based, low VOC decorative paint that has been around for centuries. It’s made from a mix of chalk, pigment, and binder, giving it a chalky finish.

Unlike other types of paints, it’s formulated to be “chalky” in texture and appearance when dry, giving the painted surface an aged look.

Check out my comparison between chalk paint vs acrylic paint here.

The appeal of chalk paint is that it’s easy to use, requires no priming or sanding before use, and has a quick dry time. Learn the best way to paint furniture without sanding here (it’s not with chalk paint!)

It’s also available in a variety of colors and is easily customizable with different wax finishes.

This makes it an ideal choice for furniture painters who don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping or finishing their projects.

Since chalk paint is so popular, you can find it relatively affordable compared to other paint products, and can be used on almost any surface.

You can even make homemade chalk paint for cheap! Check out this homemade chalk paint dresser makeover.

It’s no wonder it has become the go-to choice for DIY furniture painters around the world! We’ve used it on these chalk painted furniture ideas!

Benefits of Using Chalk Paint on Furniture

Chalk paint is an ideal choice for furniture painting due to its ease of use and quick dry time (about 30 minutes).

It’s also very forgiving, making it a great choice for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience with paints and finishes.

In addition, chalk paint can be used on almost any type of surface, including wood, metal, concrete, and even fabric. Check out how to paint fabric with chalk paint here.

The chalky finish it creates is also unique– giving the furniture a vintage or aged look especially with the addition of distressing. Learn how to distress furniture with these 6 techniques.

And chalk paint can be used with wax to create custom finishes that will protect your furniture from wear and tear over time.

Disadvantages of Using Chalk Paint on Furniture

Although chalk paint has many advantages, there are also some drawbacks to using it on furniture.

One of the biggest is that it truly isn’t a “no-prep” paint. On most surfaces, the chalk paint will stick better to the surface if you scuff sand beforehand.

But, it does stick better than most paints, even without sanding. Check out this post on how to paint laminate furniture without sanding vs sanding to see how chalk paint compares to latex paint.

Also, chalk paint doesn’t stop stains from coming through paint, so you have to prime to prevent those as well.

Most brands of chalk paint are very thick, so you should expect to have brush marks or texture in your paint when dry.

You can chalk paint furniture without brush marks though if you want to!! Check out the best chalk paint brushes here. You can even spray paint a dresser with chalk paint.

And last but not least, it requires a topcoat or either wax or polyurethane to make it truly durable.

Otherwise, expect to touch up your paint frequently. And, since chalk paint is matte and porous, it will look dirty and stay dirty without a topcoat.

Check out my guide on how to paint over chalk paint properly for a successful painting project.

Even though chalk paint has a lot of disadvantages, the ease of use, and easy accessibility to it, make it a popular choice.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

What You Need for a Chalk Paint Project

Before getting started with your chalk paint project, there are a few items you will need. These include:

Preparing to Use Chalk Paint on Your Furniture

Before you begin painting, it’s important to properly prepare the furniture’s surface. This involves cleaning the furniture and sanding the furniture so that the paint will adhere properly.

It’s also important to prime the furniture with a stain blocking primer. This helps the paint stick better and prevents any stains or discoloration from coming through.

Learn how to prepare furniture for paint here.

Once you have prepared the surface for painting, you can begin applying your chalk paint. Here are the best paint brushes for painting furniture and the best rollers for painting furniture.

Painting with Chalk Paint: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Begin by painting on a light coat of chalk paint.

Step 2: When you’re finished painting, let the chalk paint dry for at least 30 minutes. If you want to give it an extra smooth finish, lightly sand with a 220 grit sandpaper once it’s dried.

Step 3: Repeat with 1-2 more coats of paint.

Learn more about chalk painting furniture here. Also, here’s how to chalk paint laminate furniture.

Sealing and Finishing with Chalk Paint

Once you’ve applied the paint, it’s important to seal and finish the project. This is done by applying a wax or polyurethane topcoat.

For a matte finish, apply a wax topcoat with a brush or cloth. Then wipe the excess wax off with a lint free rag. Learn more about the right wax for chalk paint here.

For a satin or glossy finish, apply 2-3 coats of waterbased polyurethane with a painting sponge or spray can.

Wax or polyurethane will protect your furniture from wear and tear over time. Learn more about topcoats for painting furniture.

And that’s it! With the right preparation and technique, you can use this versatile type of paint to give any piece of furniture a unique look and feel. Happy painting!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Chalk Paint

Although chalk paint is easy to use, there are a few mistakes that can ruin your project. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not cleaning and sanding the furniture before painting. It’s important to make sure the surface is clean and smooth for best results.
  • Not priming the furniture. Primer helps prevent any stains or discoloration from coming through the paint.
  • Not using a topcoat to seal and protect your project. Without a topcoat, your furniture may look dull and dirty over time. And it will easily scratch.
  • Not allowing enough dry time between coats of paint. Make sure you’re giving the paint plenty of time to dry before applying additional coats. It only makes the project take longer if you don’t wait for the paint to dry.

Following these tips will help ensure a successful chalk paint project! Good luck! Here is a similar post on five furniture makeover mistakes to avoid.

If you need to remove chalk paint, here’s how to remove chalk paint easily and quickly.

Chalk Painted Furniture Ideas

Ready to start chalk painting furniture? Here are some of my favorite furniture makeovers using chalk paint.

Chalk paint is a popular and easy-to-use type of paint that can transform furniture and other surfaces.

It has quite a few advantages, such as its quick drying time, low VOCs, and easy accessibility. However, it also has some disadvantages that can be avoided with the right preparation and technique.

By following these tips and using the right supplies, you can get great results with chalk paint. So get creative and have fun! Good luck with your next project!

More Chalk Paint Resources

Click here to subscribe

Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.

Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!


  1. Linda Van Asveld says:

    I really dislike chalk paint. I am not a fan of distressed look, and having a table painted with chalk paint sealed with wax, whatever you put on the table shows by leaving a mark. It looks dirty, you see finger marks. I deglossed it with Krud Kutter and rewaxed it. After a few months, it needed to be redone.

    I tried it once, never again

    1. I agree, wax does not hold up well. If you topcoat chalk paint with waterbased polyurethane you will be much better off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *