Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint

Today I’m talking all about painting furniture with chalk paint.

Painting Furniture with Chalk-Type Paint

If you take a look around my blog, you’ll quickly realize I am a huge fan of any type of chalk-type paint (or miracle paint as I lovingly call it).

Painting with Amy Howard One Step Paint

Chalk-type paint eliminates the prep work and doesn’t require stripping, sanding, or priming!  It adheres to almost any surface, dries quickly, and cleans up easily with soap and water.  It’s pretty close to the perfect paint.

Distressed Yellow Chalk Paint

If you’re new to painting furniture, go ahead and try chalk-type paint!  I think it will help you gain confidence, and let you then branch out to other paint types – although you may not want to after you see how easy it is to use!

Gray Chalk Paint Distressed and Dark Wax

To begin, I usually just wipe down a piece to remove any dust or dirt.  I personally have never used a primer with chalk-type paint, but I would suggest it if the piece has a really glossy finish.

Step 1:  Paint

Paint the entire piece with paint.  I usually use a brush (but a small roller could come in hand for some pieces such as cabinets).  You’ll find that a little paint goes a long way, and I almost always use two coats of paint.  Chalk-type paint dries really fast, but make sure the first coat is dry before applying the second.

Chalk Paint Tutorial

Step 2:  Wax (Clear)

After the paint is completely dry, apply two coats of wax on the piece using a wax brush.  I don’t wait for the first coat of wax to dry before I apply the second coat.  A tip when waxing, less is more! You are not limited to using wax, but wax does work well with chalk-type paint.  However, I would recommend a water-based polycrylic for cabinets, table and desktops, floors, and outdoor furniture.

Adding Clear Wax to Chalk Paint

Step 3: Wax (Dark)

This step is optional.  Dark wax is good if you want to bring out details and/or like the aged look.  You must apply clear wax BEFORE you apply dark wax.  Go easy on the dark wax.  You won’t need much!  Apply the dark wax with a brush over somewhat dry clear wax.  Remove excess wax with a lint-free cloth.

Adding Dark Wax to Chalk Paint

Step 4: Buff Buff the wax using a lint-free cloth.  It’s pretty easy to see where you missed the wax, so you can easily touch those places up with a brush or rubbing the wax in with your cloth.  Buffing helps smooth out and remove extra wax.

Buffing Chalk Paint Wax

Step 5: Sand  I recommend sanding after you apply the wax because of the chalk nature of chalk-type paint.  It will make a mess if you sand before waxing and then you risk waxing in the chalk paint particles.  I usually sand the edges and places where normal wear and tear would occur.

Sanding Chalk Paint

And that’s it!  This is by far my favorite paint to use on furniture. You can also see the more basic tutorials in my Painting Furniture Tutorial Series by clicking HERE. Still want more tutorials and information on painting furniture with chalk-type paint, milk paint, spray paint, latex paint, and oil-based paint?  Then you need to check out my eBook, Painting Furniture.  Receive your FREE copy by signing up for my newsletter.

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13 thoughts on “Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint

  1. Hi Sarah, I would like to know what number of Sand paper are you using to sand thé wax?

    Thank you,

  2. Hi Sara,
    I really enjoyed your tutorial. I love chalk paint as well and have painted many decorative items with it. I haven’t tried furniture yet, but that’s my next step. My question is, will chalk paint with a wax finish hold up on a kitchen chair that gets a lot of use everyday, especially with kids and their “messiness”? Once the wax is set, can it wash off with everyday wiping?
    Thank you!

      1. Thanks Sara! So on a cabinet (say China cabinet) what would you use instead of wax? Sorry to hear about your bad luck! ! It’s always a learning process!

  3. I cannot find the pale creamy yellow color I want in chalk paint. Can it be mixed, or do you have a source that has such a pale color?

  4. I really enjoyed the article about chalk paint. I am trying to decide which paint to use on my bedside tables. Since you don’t recommend chalk paint for table tops, would you still use it on them and not wax the tops or use a different type of paint?