10 Tips for Using Chalk Paint


Chalk paint is a beautiful option when painting furniture that leaves a rich and distressed finish. Chalk paint is great to work with as it is odorless and dries quickly. Follow the tips listed below to use chalk paint best and get creative!

1. You Don’t Have to Perform Excessive Prep Work

For most types of paint, excessive prep is required including cleaning or sanding surfaces. Some paints even call for you to use primer on the furniture before beginning the painting process. You will be happy to learn that chalk paint does not require any of this as chalk paint tends to stick to most surfaces. Some surfaces that may need to be cleaned or sanded include those with heavy, thick stains of oil, sap or grease. This product is a remarkably easy product to utilize without having to buy extra supplies.

2. Each Type of Stroke Will Have a Different Effect

Chalk paint goes on different with each type of brush stroke that is utilized. You can make the furniture appear to be cloth by making vertical strikes first, then going over them with horizontal strokes. You can make the stipple effect by dabbing a thick area of paint with bristles. Another example effect is to just have a smooth, basic finish. This can be completed by brushing in regular strokes with some strokes over it that run parallel to one another. As you can see, chalk paint adds a unique and beautiful effect no matter the types of strokes you utilize.

3. Chalk Paint Can be Distressed Utilizing Sand Paper

If you want a more antique or vintage look on your furniture after painting it with chalk paint, you can utilize sandpaper. Do not use sandpaper over the entire surface, but rather only over the surfaces that would naturally wear with age. Some of these areas may include around handles or surfaces. Be sure that the sandpaper is the fine-grit variety and only utilize it very lightly. After utilizing the sandpaper lightly, it is possible to go back and add more until you get the desired effect.

4. Chalk Paint Can be Put on Surfaces that are Shiny and Slick

Chalk paint evenly goes on wood via the affects that have already been mentioned. Shiny items made from metal or ceramic, however, require different techniques. For the chalk paint to stick the best to these slick surfaces, dilute the paint with water. Only apply a thin coat and let it dry for hours. After it has dried, apply feather strokes to the surface, then smooth it out using a dry brush over top of the surface.

5. You Can Create Depth with Chalk Paint by Using Two Colors

Many individuals chalk paint their furniture in two colors to add significant depth and a more distressed look overall. Both colors should be put on top of one another in order to access this depth, but it is important to make sure that the colors are complementary. When applying the sanding technique listed above, the bottom color will be shown. This will provide a distressed look that appears as if the furniture has been painted over the years and is beginning to chip away to show that first layer.

6. Adding Wax to Chalk Paint will Offer a Unique Texture

Chalk paint by itself feels dry. There is special chalk paint wax that can be bought and applied on the dried chalk paint layer. This wax makes the paint feel smooth, and it will protect the paint. The wax can be applied with another brush or even with a cloth. It will be a transparent layer over the paint, so will not hide your hard work on painting the furniture.

7. Utilize a Bristle Brush in Blending Colors

You can utilize a bristle brush to blend two layers of colors. The brush can be dipped in the chalk paint. It should then be held in open air to dry a bit, then make firm strokes over the surface of the already painted furniture. This will not be ruined by the paint, but will create a blended look and appearance. This will be another unique effect you can perform to your furniture, but again, it is important to ensure that the colors utilize are complementary or contrasting so that they go together.

8. You Can Make a Smooth Finish with Chalk Paint Also

Some individuals do not want the classical distressed look that can be easily performed with chalk paint. They may rather a smooth appearance for the furniture they are painting on. After painting the chalk paint, sand it with sand paper (as long as it’s the fine grit variety). You are not trying to remove the paint, however. Do the sanding technique for one coat of the paint, apply another coat, then sand it again to create the smoothest and cleanest looking finish for your work.

9. Chalk Paint is Able to be Thinned Out or Thickened Up

Chalk paint is ultimately water based. It has been discussed already that chalk paint has the ability to be thinned out by diluting it with water. It is best to use cold water and to slowly add the water until you reach the desired consistency you are looking for. Be sure to stir it as well. Chalk paint is easily thickened by simply leaving it open. The water will start to evaporate, making the chalk paint thicker. Be sure to stir it occasionally to ensure you reach the desired consistency you are looking for.

10. There are Many Brands and Varieties of Chalk Paint

Though the Annie Sloan company is the only brand that actually labels chalk paint as chalk paint, there are many brands that create chalk paint. They are called different things depending on the brand. Behr calls their variety Chalk Decorative Paint and Wax. Rust-Oleum’s variety is called Chalked Ultra-Matte Paint. Valspar has a variety called Chalky Finish Paint. The Spruce Best Home Chalk Style Paint comes in a large variety of colors and finishes. Finally, there is Chalky Chicks Furniture Paint.

As you can see, chalk paint is a really fun tool to use when painting furniture. Be sure to follow the tips above in order to get the desired effect you are working towards, whether distressed or smoothed and whether there is a unique effect or not. Get the brand of chalk paint that works best for you and your budget, and get started today.


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