How To Use Chalk Paint

Hey guys!! Let's talk about Chalk Paint. I get asked about Chalk Paint a loooot, and today, right here on the blog I'm going to try my best to answer some of the questions I get asked most often and fill you in on all the details of Chalk Paint.

What is it? What are the benefits of using it? How do I get started? Will I be able to seal it? I'm here to answer all of these questions and more for you, today! 

If I had a dollar for every time I got an e-mail asking me How to use chalk paint, or how to get started with chalk paint, I'd be a rich person. (Okay, maybe not rich, but I could totally have a solid shopping trip at Home Goods!) I'm definitely NOT an expert by any means. But that's the pretty darn cool thing about Chalk Paint. You don't have to be an expert, it's super forgiving and allows you to be inspired and spark your creativity. 

Let's start with the obvious questions.

What are the benefits of using Chalk Paint?

In my opinion it's a lot easier to work with then regular paint, or spray paint. Although those things can both be fun to use too, Chalk Paint has a thicker texture, covers better, and is easier to work with. It's also easier to distress so therefore, it's easier to achieve that chippy vintage farmhouse look that so many of you desire. Best part? It doesn't require priming or painting so this makes things roll a little faster.

Here are some things you need to know about Chalk Paint-

1. It's really easy.
2. You'll want to paint everything.
3. It's really easy.

No seriously. 

If you have had thoughts and dreams about using chalk paint but just haven't had the guts to pull out the paintbrush, let me assure you.. EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE. Better then fine actually. More like great. Everything will be GREAT. And soon enough you'll want to paint everything in your house with chalk paint. 

Seriously. I'm already working on my next project. 

Chalk Paint is honestly the best paint I have ever used. I admit it, I suck at painting. After painting our entire house though from top to bottom I've learned a few tricks, but I still don't have a ton of patience for the process. Fixing holes? Ew. Taping off and cutting in. Yuck. And primer? Who has time for that anymore?! 

Thankfully with Chalk Paint it's pretty much a one step process. Okay so maybe not ONE step, but it feels like that to me. 

After much debate, I decided I better keep it simple for this project and paint it Annie Sloan ANTOINETTE color. I'm happy with my choice.
Here are the things you'll need before getting started on your chalk paint project:

Paint (1 QT depending on size. I have about a half can left over after painting this entire buffet with 2 coats of paint.) You can buy paint {here for about $34.95} Seems steep I know, but think about the price of buying a new piece of furniture, or about buying all those primers, sanders and other supplies!

1 Tin of Wax (for coating and protection) 

A Wax Brush (any will do but this one from Annie Sloan makes the process easier)

Any old paint brush for painting (I used this brush.)

Cheesecloth or old rag for dusting and wiping in between coats 

Other supplies:

Rubber Gloves if you don't want to get your hands dirty, A paint stirrer stick, A can opener, Screw Driver for removing hardware, Paper Plate and Plastic Knife.

If you want to distress your furniture (which I think is just about the best part!) then you'll need to have a sanding block and Vaseline if you want to make the process a little faster. 

Now that you have all the supplies, and you've determined what furniture you'll be painting it's time to get started!

For this post, I was working on a really simple piece I was painting for Miss Sav's room!
 I laid out plastic sheeting in my upstairs hallway before I started painting, Experts say to work at "room temperature" I have painted both inside and outside and have found that painting inside works much better for me. Mostly because I'm not constantly wiping off dirt and dust!

 I put enough plastic around me so that I could move freely. Plastic sheeting can be found in bulk on Amazon which is good if there are many projects in your future, or an old sheet would work just as well. 

Annie says you don't need to sand your furniture for the chalk paint to adhere. I found this to be true, but I still gave my piece a slight rub down with the sanding block. Not pressing too hard, just sort of rubbing off the top layer so that I had a clean slate to work with. In my personal experience I've found that the paint just looks a little better when I do a light sand.

After that's done, make sure you wipe down with a rag or your cheesecloth to remove all the dust and any dirt on your piece.

Then it's time to get started!! Chalk paint dries quickly, like, super fast. So you'll have to be sort of quick and work in small sections being careful to put a good amount of paint on your brush each time and not running it so thin, meaning, load up your brush with paint, paint about 5 strokes and then add more paint. This keeps the brush lines from being too noticeable. 

Don't worry if your project is looking really streaky and not so great after the first coat, this will change after your second coat of paint.

TIP: After the first coat is completed you can store your paintbrush in a ziplock baggie in the fridge, it won't dry out that way! 

After the first coat dries -mine took less then an hour- you can go back to painting your second coat. This is when the magic happens, you can finally start to see everything coming together and it's beautiful.

While the second coat is drying, take some time to wash out those brushes with some warm soapy water. I know I know, who wants to pause and take time to clean off brushes when your work is looking so fantastic and almost finished? But trust me, do this now and your brushes will last forever. 

You can either do your distressing here, or after you apply the wax, I personally like to start distressing here. Take your Vaseline and sort of rub it along the areas you'll want to distress, mostly focus on places that would naturally become distressed over time, like the edges and sides of doors. Then just take your sanding block and lightly sand in those areas, you can distress more or less. I did a mix of light and heavy distressing on my piece.

Next up is the Wax part. This part is sort of intimidating to some, as it was to me. I had so many questions. I have used Poly before for sealing pieces but the wax didn't make sense to me. I was worried about how to apply it correctly, but seriously, now that I've done it? It's SO easy. There is nothing to fear folks! Just take your plastic knife and smear a chunk of wax on your paper plate. Dab your wax brush in the wax and sort of circle it around to get the tip of the bristles covered. 

I started applying my paint in circular motions and did some side sweeping. Work in small sections making sure the entire area is covered properly. Then using a clean rag or some cheesecloth to massage that wax into your piece. This enhances the color and sort of "seals" everything. Just one or two uniform stripes in a single area and that's it.

Clean out your wax brush with warm soapy water and odorless mineral spirits to keep your brush soft and clean it from all that wax. 

Things should be looking beautiful from here! Sit back, enjoy, and start planning you're next project!

Here's my little beauty all finished for my babes new big girl room, which will be revealed next week, ya'll! I hope you LOVE it as much as we do;)

I should have did a layer of cocoa underneath this project, but, it's okay. Doing layers underneath keep the original wood grains from peeking through;) 

 Let it sit for 24 hours before placing anything on top of it or using it, please. I don't want to ruin all that hard work;)

Have any of you used chalk paint before? Did you like it? I'd love to hear from you! Just leave me a comment below! Happy Monday!


  1. I wanted to do a happy dance when I saw this post! I've been wanting to try chalk paint, but I've been too scared. I have a bookshelf in our living room that I've been thinking about painting, so I may have to try it now since I have a better idea of what to do! Thank you!

  2. One last chalk paint question :)
    What if you have a dresser, (like those kind you buy from target and put together your self), so what I call almost fake wood and you want to paint that with chalk paint. Can you?

  3. I would love to do a project with this but as you said I have been intimidated. Sounds easy enough to me!!