Applying Chalk Paint to Furniture: A Beginner’s Guide

Applying Chalk Paint to Furniture: A Beginner’s Guide

May 20, 2020

Chalk paint is all the rage right now – and for good reason. It requires little to no prep, distresses beautifully and is incredibly easy to use. Perhaps you have an old chest of drawers you want to revamp or some shutters that are longing for a new pop of colour. Either way, chalk paint makes for a great distressed and shabby chic look or a smooth and seamless finish – whatever your preference.

To help you get started, take a look at our easy guide on what you need to know about applying chalk paint.

Why should I use chalk paint on furniture?

Chalk paint is low prep, non-toxic, easy to clean up and works well in creating rustic, farmhouse style décor that is so sought after. It also works well in creating contemporary, full-coverage finishes on furniture from dressers and doors to mirrors and children’s toys. Whether you are planning on flipping furniture for profit or have items to upcycle and give a new lease of life, chalk paint is a great option.

How to apply chalk paint to furniture

1. Select your paint

As a rule of thumb, one litre of chalk paint should cover around 13 metres of your chosen surface. That’s approximately the equivalent of a medium-sized chest of drawers or two standard nightstands. At Frenchic, our furniture paint cans are 750ml – which will cover approximately 12.5 square metres per coat.

Because of the paint’s strong adhesive properties, it can be used on a range of materials, including metal, wood, glass, concrete and most other textiles.

For most painting projects, one or two coats of chalk paint will be enough. However, you might find you need up to three coats if you are covering a dark surface with a lighter shade of paint.

Opt for a paint that has no nasties. It should be toxin-free and have no smell, which is important when you’re planning on painting indoors. You can even buy ‘paint and go’ paints, which are self-priming, self-levelling, self-sealing and do not require any effort on your part! Choosing these environmentally friendly and low maintenance paints are great for the planet, your wallet and your time.

Consider outdoor paint if you plan on painting garden furniture and wall paint if you only want to cover interior walls. For more decorative paint, there is crackle chalk paint that gives your furniture an aged appearance with none of the elbow grease.

When working with chalk paint, you’ll also want to purchase a clear wax to finish off your furniture.

2. Buy a quality brush

While you don’t have to purchase specific paintbrushes for chalk paint, cheap paintbrushes can lose bristles throughout the paint job, which can impact the finish of the project.

Generally, oval brushes that are a blend of both natural and synthetic bristles work well with chalk paint and allow you to paint those hard-to-reach spots.

3. Clean the piece of furniture

To get started, clean the piece of furniture you’ll be painting. Give it a wipe down to remove any dirt and lint. Sugar soap is a great way to clean and prepare all surfaces prior to painting.

4. Patch holes and scratches

Inspect your piece of furniture to identify any gouges or deep scratches that will need to be filled in before the painting can begin. Add a filler with a putty knife, level it out, then gently sand the surface until smooth. Again, make sure all dust has settled and been cleaned off before painting.

5. Tape where needed

Stick down masking tape where you do not intend to paint, such as doorknobs, handles or glass. This will help you create a neat edge while protecting the other material from paint.

6. Get painting!

Once you’ve laid down some newspaper or drop sheets, it’s time to get painting! Using your brush, apply the chalk paint, working your way up from the bottom of the piece of furniture. Paint in long, sweeping strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Keep in mind that chalk paint dries fast, so work quickly to get the best effect.

If you are painting a dark piece of furniture a lighter colour, you may need three coats for solid coverage. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long in-between coats because the paint dries so quickly. If you’re looking to create a more distressed piece, two coats of paint may be enough.

7. Distress (if desired)

While this step is certainly not necessary, it is a very popular trend. The key to natural distressing is to lightly sand the areas where a piece would naturally wear over many years and remove paint from there. Typically, this is around the handles or knobs, corners, along the edges and random spots here and there.

Once you’ve sanded to create a distressed look, wipe down the piece one more time to remove any dust.

8. Wax to finish

Wax helps protect your refinished furniture and add durability. It will help deepen the hue of the paint colour and keep it looking great for years to come.

Once the surface is fully dry, apply a clear chalk paint wax to your chosen surface using a wax brush. A small amount of wax will go a long way, so apply it conservatively to begin. Remove any excess wax using a fresh lint-free cloth. The wax will cure and harden, which can take between five and 21 days, depending on the room temperature.

9. Stand back and admire!

Your piece is now ready to sell on or sit happily in your home. Now you can decide which piece you want to paint next!

Chalk painting has never been easier

Applying chalk paint to furniture is a fun and relatively easy task for all! Get started today by visiting Frenchic Paints for all of your chalk paint needs. Our high-quality, affordable brushes make painting easy and effective, while our ‘paint and go’ range needs no priming, buffing or sealing.

Take a look at our full range of furniture painting products and get in touch with our friendly team who are happy to help you find the solution to transform your furniture.



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