Painting furniture with chalk paint gives it new life and a whole different look. Today we are going to talk about how to paint with chalk paint. Follow along for step by step instructions and some tips and tricks to see how this furniture is painted with chalk paint.
Probably the hardest part about learning how to paint with chalk paint is deciding on what you will paint and the color. But when it comes to chalk paint the sheen is the easy part because all chalk paints come in a beautiful matte finish.
Thankfully I had the help of Kirsten from The Wooden Butterfly in Tallahassee, FL. This was my first time painting with chalk paint and she is a great teacher and knows a great deal about chalk paint. And her Facebook is a fabulous resource too.
But honestly, I couldn't wait to get my hands on chalk mineral paint and see how it fairs from milk paint. And without giving a spoiler alert let's jump right into painting with chalk paint on furniture.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you purchase at no cost to you using the links below. All opinions are all my own.
How to Paint with Chalk Paint
Like most painting projects it is best to get started with collecting your supplies.
What do you use to paint with chalk paint?
- Chalk paint (We used Dixie Belle color Cotton)
- Short handle synthetic brushes
- Cup of water
- Painters tape
- Roll of paper
- Cleaner to remove residue or grime (We used Dixie Belle White Lightning)
- Lint free cloth
- Chalk paint wax (We used Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax)
- Wax brush
Now that you know what you need to paint with chalk mineral paint you might be asking what can you paint with chalk paint? Well, I have experience painting old furniture, new furniture, books, and fabric.
Start with cleaning the areas you want to paint. If you only want to paint a particular area, as I did, then spray the cleaner on your rag and wipe it on. Make sure to clean the entire surface.
We used white lightning by Dixie Belle. You will need to mix it in a bottle, but it lasts a very long time. It is important to do the prep work before you start painting with any paint project.
Tape and Paper
Now it is time to paper anything you don't want the paint to get on and then tape it down. Also, use the painter's tape along any edges, so you get that nice clean line when you are finished chalk painting.
Keep Brush Wet
If you are starting with a new brush or if your brush is dry make sure to dip it into the water about 1/2 halfway down then get the excess water off the brush on a paper towel.
Doesn't this seem crazy? But it works.
Whenever you feel like the paint is dragging on the furniture go back and lightly dip the brush into a little water and blot it on a paper towel.
It is like magic!
Your paint will go on much more smoothly and give a smooth finish.
Apply Chalk Paint First Coat
Now it is time to start the transformation.
Dip your damp brush into the paint about 1/2″ and start applying chalk paint along the grain.
Brush thin coats of paint and brush in small sections one at a time. You may have to push the paint into corners or grooves like these, but other than that painting should be a smooth motion with the grain.
Also, apply the first coat lightly. You should be able to see through it a little.
Let this first coat dry for about 10 minutes.
It helps to have a fan running to dry your paint, or you can use a blow dryer on cool setting.
Apply Second Coat of Chalk Paint
Just like the first step apply the second coat.
You can see how it is starting to cover.
If you are using a darker color, this may be your last coat of chalk paint. But if you are using white paint, you will probably need one more layer of paint.
Make sure that your first coat is good and dry. If it is not completely dry the paint will come off like pictured below.
If this happens, do not fret because the next coat will smooth it out. Or at least it worked for us.
Now let this coat dry for about an hour.
Apply Third Coat
Okay, we are almost to the home stretch.
Just like the other two coats of paint start applying your third coat.
This coat will make it a pure white cotton color. You will need multiple coats of chalk mineral paint when using light colors over dark colors.
Let this last coat dry overnight.
See how easy it is with this chalk paint how to guide.
Now it is time to add a top coat. This step is optional especially if you are painting something that won't be touched or anything sat on it. But to be on the safe side, I decided to add the wax.
Next, you will need some wax and a natural bristle brush.
If you want to see the beautiful color of the chalk paint then use a clear wax but if your want an aged or distressed look go with wax with a color like brown wax. A dark wax gives any piece a nice patina.
All you have to do is dip the brush into the soft wax and start brushing it on like butter.
You can use the right to the left brush strokes, up and down or even in circles.
It does not matter.
But personally, I like to go up and down in continuous motion. Work in small areas and start on one side and work your way to the other side. I like to do it this way so I can make sure I am covering the whole surface with wax.
Once you have applied the wax take a clean low lent soft cloth and rub the wax off.
Then take another clean cloth and buff the wax that is still on the chalk painted surface.
See how easy it is the paint with chalk paint.
Remove the Tape and Paper
Now that you are finished remove the tape and paper carefully.
If it looks like any paint is coming up use an x-acto knife to score the color. I had to do this to keep the paint from pulling away from the cabinet.
So here is the final product without accessories.
And then with accessories.
I love how painting the back of this old piece of furniture made my grandma's dishes stand out more.
Products from Amazon.com
If I had to compare chalk paint vs. milk paint, I would say chalk paint is probably easier and you do not have to mix it. It is thicker and covers better and gives that same old fashion look.
But I still LOVE milk paint!!! Both paints give full coverage and a flawless finish. Chalk paint doesn't leave brush marks which I love, and you can get an antique look with wax on both. A lighter color you have to do more coats but dark colors are less.
Don't confuse chalk paint with chalkboard paint. I have actually picked up chalkboard paint before thinking it was chalk-style paint. Chalkboard paint is used to paint with but after you are finished you can write on the painted surface just like an old-fashioned chalkboard.
What is the best chalk paint?
I only have experience with a few brands but after asking some friends I have learned that Dixie Belle is high on the list as well as Annie Sloan. Behr carries a chalk paint brand and what's really cool is they have it in a spray can.
Where to buy chalk paint for furniture?
You can find chalkpaint like the Behr brand at Home Depot, Amazon carries many brands like Dixie Belle and Annie Sloan chalk paint is sold in local small retailers. Most chalk paints come in many different colors and the colors give a beautiful farmhouse style
To find a retailer near you simply go to her website and search your location.
Well, now you know painting furniture with chalk paint is easy and you know some of the best chalk paint brands and tools you will need. In a matter of hours, you can have a whole new look.
Update: Years later and I still love the chalk-painted finish. It looks amazing and as fresh as the day I painted it.
And if you are looking for some inspiration check out our Chalk Paint Ideas post or if you would like tips on styling your hutch check out my storing and displaying vintage dishes post. Trust me it will inspire you and bring a smile to your face!