Chalk Paint - What's All The Hype?

My top 6 reasons why I LOVE chalk paint!

Have you heard all the hype about Chalk Paint? Have you tried it? Is there a difference? What are the advantages? I am certainly not an expert, but I have repainted countless pieces of furniture using both chalk paint and your typical house/wall paint (latex and acrylic). I will share with you differences that I have noticed and why or why I choose to use each type of paint for certain projects.

Chalk paint gives you such a unique, smooth and beautifully perfect finish!

I just recently began painting with chalk paint, and I LOVE it! It really does give a unique and beautiful look to whatever you are painting, and it will pretty much go over anything you are painting! There’s no need to prime or sand either, which is awesome! What’s the downside? I really haven’t found one, except the price. BUT, if you know where to purchase it, it’s totally worth it because one quart will paint multiple pieces and then some!

So, as you know, I love, love, love to redo furniture! I love the look of painted furniture mixed with natural/wood stain! My typical go to, was to use the “liquid sander” and then paint the wood using your normal Valspar or Glidden wall paint. I would paint a couple of coats, and then lightly sand the edges and corners to distress. You can see some of those pieces here: (I have refinished over 50 pieces of furniture, these are just a few) I still use this method on many pieces, for one because the paint is so much cheaper, and for two, I still love the look!

I don’t invest in the “cabinet” or “furniture” paint because I really don’t know that there is a difference. I did it once....I allowed the woman to talk me into "you really should use cabinet paint if you are painting furniture"....and although I paid twice the price for the “cabinet” paint, I sure didn't get twice the coverage or twice the bargain that’s for sure. So I generally get the middle of the road paint in an eggshell or flat finish. I love Valspar and Glidden paint. You will learn through my posts that I am very frugal, I don't like to spend money if I don't have to. I like bargains, clearance, sales....and yes...FREE! lol

My last two sets of tables (end tables and coffee table sets), my personal TV stand, hutch and toychest have all been painted using Rustoleum chalk paint in Linen White. I found that Hoods has the BEST price on chalk paint at $18 for a quart versus the big box stores and small vintage stores that sell it for $30 + per quart. (there is a Hoods in Festus and High Ridge) If you haven’t been in a Hoods store lately, you MUST go! They have THE coolest home décor and lighting, not to mention BEAUTIFUL furniture!

What’s So Great About Chalk Paint? (My 6 reasons for using Chalk Paint)

1. First of all, nothing beats the finished look of chalk paint! It has such a smooth, unique finish that is unmatched by any other paint that I’ve used! (I have not tried Milk Paint yet, so I don’t know about that). 2. You don’t have to sand or prep your wood - or whatever you are painting! (I recommend always wiping it clean before you start to get any old oils or dirt off – or trust me, this will show through). It does take two coats (most all paints do, even the paints that have a “primer” in them); the first coat will look like more of a primer coat, but just wait until that second coat goes on! It’s beautiful!! 3. One quart of chalk paint lasts me forever! I have painted seven pieces of furniture so far with one quart and I still have paint left! (1 toychest, 1 tv cabinet, 1 toybox, 2 end tables and 2 coffee tables!) 4. Distressing with chalk paint is super easy and the look is unmatched! It gives it more of a "worn" look rather than a "scratched" look! 5. It dries super fast! 6. You can't see brush marks!

How Do You Paint With Chalk Paint?

Nothing special! Clean your piece really well to remove any grime, oils and dirt. Then apply your first coat. Chalk paint is "dry" so it dries on your piece and brush quicker than regular paint. Your first coat is more than likely not going to cover and will require a second coat. So do NOT worry if your first coat looks like a primer, that's what you want! You're going to see brush strokes and some of the wood color coming through (just like a first coat of primer).

Just wait until you apply that second coat.....pure beautiness! (that's not even a word lol) Let your first coat dry (will be within minutes!) and apply your second and final coat! You can use a roller or regular brush, you're not going to see the brush marks! After the second coat, if you see areas that need some touch up, just touch them up! You're not going to see brush marks.

Here are some BEFORE, FIRST COAT, and SECOND COAT pics! This was my toy box that I painted for the playroom. I am not distressing it, it's going to get personalized! :) You can see on the middle picture (first coat) that it really just looks like I primed it. Then the last picture shows my second coat....voila! This was all done within about an hour. (I do paint fast lol)

DISTRESSING: If you want to distress your piece, be sure it's good and dry! (Wait an hour or so for this part). Use a piece of sandpaper (100 grit works awesome) and sand the edges and corners to get the "worn", distressed look! When you "distress", you want to sand edges and corners, the parts of the piece that may normally or typically get worn or scuffed. I LOVE the way chalk paint sands (distresses) because it doesn't give you the "I just sanded this piece" look, it gives you a true distressed/worn look! Like this!

How Do You Seal Chalk Paint?

This part is super easy! There are two sealers that I recommend! Neither of these will "yellow" and they are water soluble (easy to clean off your brushes!) The first one is Minwax Polycrylic! I love the "matte" finish, but if you like more of a shine you can get this in gloss as well! You can find this polycrylic at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes and other places as well! It's around $17 a quart but will last a very long time! My other recommendation is Rustoleum Chalked! This will not yellow, is easy to clean up and one quart will also last forever! It's around $18 a quart at Hoods and sold in the same section as the chalk paint. They are both awesome and around the same price! Just brush it on! (be sure you're in a well lit area because it's very easy to "miss" some areas, you want to make sure you clear coat the whole piece!)

Taking a Look at the Difference in Paint:

I love both looks! I have countless pieces in my home (actually almost every piece of furniture I own is a piece that I have purchased or found for free and refinished!) and half are done with regular wall paint and half were done with chalk paint! Some people cannot tell the difference, but once you paint with chalk paint, you'll notice! :)

The piece on the left was painted with wall paint and then distressed. The piece on the right was painted with chalk paint then distressed. Can you tell the difference in the sanding? The chalk paint gives you more of a "worn" look and the wall paint gives it more of a "sanded" look.

Here's another piece (my computer hutch in the office) done with wall paint then distressed (heavily distressed):

And here's a piece done with chalk paint and distressed:

And TV stand! (no distressing) This piece used to be "Duck Egg" blue and sat on the floor (no feet). I painted it white and added the bun feet to the bottom - completely changed the look!

So there you go! Hopefully you gained a little insight on using chalk paint and even distressing furniture! I am not a professional, lol, just a gal who loves to paint furniture and has painted countless pieces! If you've been hesitant to try it - I encourage you to DO IT! You can't really mess it up! There have been plenty of times when I have finished a piece and thought "aw man, that didn't turn out too good...." but then I give it a couple hours, go back and look at it and think, "wow, that really looks good!", GO FOR IT!


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