Chalk Paint Tips

I’m not a “certified” chalk painter, but I’ve done a lot of research (Pinterest and YouTube videos). 🙂  More importantly, I’ve painted A BUNCH of things with chalk paint.  I’ve compiled all that knowledge, and I’m going to share some chalk paint tips with you today!


I taught my first (ever!) class this past weekend on chalk paint.  It was a small class, but we had a lot of fun.


At my class, I shared a page of helpful hints for using chalk paint.


Chalk paint is a miracle. There isn’t any prep, sanding, or primer! And, you can paint over anything: laminate, wood, glass, plastic, FABRIC!

  1. Apply the first coat and let dry (around 30 mins).
  2. Add a second coat of paint and let dry (another 30 mins).
  3. Apply wax with a brush and wipe off extra (with a lint-free cloth).
  4. Sand if you want a distressed look.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure the paint is well mixed. Tip the can over for 30 mins and then give it a good shake.
  • Clean/dust your piece before painting.

While you’re painting:

  • Keep in mind the paint dries very quickly!
  • Don’t load your paintbrush with paint. The paint is thick.
  • Quick brushstrokes work best.
  • Most pieces take 1.5 – 2 coats of paint.
  • In between coats of paint, put your brushes in ziplock bags.
  • Keep your paint covered. It can thicken when exposed to air.
  • You can use a roller for chalk paint. *
  • You can add one coat and add a wash of a second coat (or even second color!) with watered-down paint.

While you’re waxing:

  • Don’t overwax! Think about how you apply hand lotion – put on a small bit and massage until it is absorbed.
  • Use a brush to apply the wax and a lint-free cloth to wipe off excess.
  • The dark wax adds dimension and age.
  • You can use the clear wax as an eraser if you’ve added too much dark wax.

After you’re done painting:

  • To clean brushes (paint & wax), wash with soap and water.
  • Buff your piece 24 hours after your last coat of wax if you want a (slight) glass effect.


  • You can mix chalk paint colors!
  • Don’t overthink a piece. Just start to paint it – in a color you love!

{If you want all these tips in one place, you can download them below.}





If you want to learn more about specific projects I’ve done using chalk paint, click on the pictures below:

ChalkyPaintChair17 PaintedHeadboard5 PaintedDish.9

At the class, we painted wooden plaques.  One of the girls at my class later mod podge a photo to the plaque and created some inexpensive (but really cute) photo art!


To see more about the photo art, click HERE or on the photo below:


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13 thoughts on “Chalk Paint Tips

  1. Never heard of chalk painting before, but love it. Especially the idea of painting on fabric. I make window treatments and am always looking for new ideas. Love yard sales and junk shopping, too.

  2. have you ever painted kitchen cabinets with chalk paint? Do you think they would hold up to the constant uses. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen! Yes, I have painted kitchen cabinets with chalk paint: And now that it’s well over a year later, I can say they’ve held up really well! My only complaint is that I wish I hadn’t used wax as the finish coating. Instead, I would use a polycrylic. The wax is hard to wipe down. But the actual chalk paint has held up really well!

  3. I have used chalk paint ever since it first came out. I love how I didn’t have to prime anymore and loved how beautifully combining colors can achieve that great looking aged piece look but I sadly discovered it does NOT cover everything. Mahogany furniture will bleed through just like with all the other paints. I was told to use Shellac and even then it through. Great old pine pieces that have had a tung oil finish need shellac as well or the paint will peel off. I wish I wasn’t speaking from experience but I am, sadly so. I still love the paint. I love love love all the looks you can get by adding layers which has taken my furniture painting to a whole new level. I would recommend it. But I only want to spare the poor DIYer who wants to paint a fabulous 8 ft mahogany armoire old white only to discover the bleed through like I did. Maybe somebody has a tip that I don’t know about.

  4. @Becky for dark colored furniture I use Sherwin Williams Prep-Rite Bonding Primer. I use two coats and then use my chalk paint. So far so good. I just redid Kitchen cabinets and used Laquer and then dark wax and then lastly a final coat of laquer.