What are the steps to using chalk paint?

Chalk paint is applied differently than regular oil or latex paints. The main difference is that you don’t have to prepare the surface before painting, but you do have to apply a wax coat after painting to preserve the finish.

Chalk paint contains calcium carbonate (chalk), which gives it a supremely flat finish. It’s used mainly to create a rustic or distressed look, which is achieved by sanding the painted piece to reveal the surface beneath. Because it’s easy to control the evenness of the coat and it doesn’t leave visible brush strokes, chalk paint is also popular for repainting wood cabinets, windows and trim.

Before you start to paint, decide what you want the finished project to look like. If you want total coverage, you can thicken the paint a bit by letting it sit open for a few hours. To make a paint wash, thin the paint with water. The supplies you need are paint, brushes, fine-grit sandpaper, wax and lint-free wiping cloths.

Step 1: Don’t sand or prime the existing surface, but do make sure it’s clean. If the surface has stains or a deep red wood stain such as cherry, you might need to apply a coat or two of shellac first so the stains don’t bleed through.

Step 2: Apply the first coat of paint, brushing thinly or thickly to get the effect you want, and let it dry. If the item needs another coat, apply it as soon as the first is dry.

Step 3: Once you’ve got the coverage you want, use fine-grit sandpaper to remove paint from the areas you want to expose.

Step 4: Remove all the sanding dust with a damp cloth.

Step 5: Use a brush and a cloth to apply the wax in small sections at a time. You may want to apply more than one coat of wax, depending on the desired sheen on the finished piece. Buff after each coat.

Step 6: Let the wax set for as long as three weeks for a really durable finish.

NEED A LITTLE MORE INSPIRATION?

SEE MORE OF OUR
RESIDENTIAL
SERVICES

ORDER FREE
PAINT SWATCH
SAMPLES

BROWSE SOME OF
OUR FAVORITE
PROJECTS