Chalk Paint Furniture Guide: How To, Cost & DIY Tips

Find out how to use chalk paint for your furniture, the best DIY tips and the cost of chalk paint. In our guide you will find detailed information and tutorials to watch.

Chalk paint is a paint specifically made for painting furniture. This kind of paint has a matte finish and adheres well to most surfaces making it so easy to use. In fact, chalk acts as paint and primer, and with it, you do not need to incur extra expenses of buying a premier.

If you have old furniture in your house, you can refurbish and refinish them using chalk paint. Chalk paint is a unique paint used for decorative painting, and it’s rapidly picking among most people. It is easy to use making it suitable for application by anyone including DIY amateurs and even professional interior designers.

This kind of paint has a fast turnaround time, it’s spontaneous, and requires little effort, yet the results are amazing and stunning. It can be used on any surface including old and new furniture, bricks, cement, metal, plastic, etc. It actually requires no sanding, no priming and little or no preparation. All the qualities of this paint sound amazing and for good reasons.

Chalk paint offers a variety of colors; in fact it possible to mix several colors to achieve a desired unique shade for a piece of furniture. This decorative paint can revitalize an old dull looking piece of furniture and transform it into a stunning masterpiece. It’s a versatile paint that can be used on any piece of furniture and gives a nice velvety, matte finish. If you want to transform a drab looking piece of furniture, look no further. Use chalk paint and have fun while at it.

Benefits of Painting Furniture Using Chalk Paint

Chalk paint comes with a host of benefits that we will outline below. This kind of paint is becoming widely popular because it’s not only easy to use, but it gives off amazing and outstanding results. In fact, chalk paint is now gaining momentum, and it’s even being used to paint kitchen cabinets. Let’s look at the reasons why you need to consider using this kind of paint for that treasured piece of furniture in your home.

No Preparation Work Needed

When we say using chalk paint is relatively easy we mean it. It might be hard to believe but if you are planning to use chalk paint on that piece of furniture all you need is a clean surface. You don’t need to go through the gruesome process of sanding, stripping and even priming. All these time-consuming processes that make a painting job a tedious are eliminated when using chalk paint.

When using chalk paint, you just need to wipe the surface of your furniture clean so that the paint can adhere. It’s a spontaneous and an immediate process that does not need you to sit down and start strategizing in the preparation process.

However, having no prep work applies when the condition of the piece of furniture you intend to paint is good without any visible damages. It goes without saying that if you are going to paint and revitalize your furniture, the piece needs to be in good condition without severe damages such as deep scratches.

The goal of painting is to refurbish the furniture and make them look as good as new. Therefore, assess your furniture first before painting and fix any loose screws and hardware. If it’s broken, consider having it repaired first. After this, you can clean the furniture, and then your chalk paint job will be easy and breezy to the finish. The only exception that might necessitate a sand job is if your piece of furniture has a smooth, shiny surface like a laminate finish. Otherwise, any other furniture will make the process of applying chalk paint manageable and easy.

Less Drying Time

Using chalk paint gets easier, and it’s less time consuming because of its ability to dry up in a shorter time. If you apply two coats of chalk of paint, it will take an average one and half to two hours to dry up. In fact, the time indicated includes the time you take in between the two application, i.e., the wait time after painting the first coat.

Unlike the other paints where you have to for days to use your newly painted piece of furniture, chalk paint allows you to use furniture after even a day after painting. For example, if you painted your furniture in the morning, it’s possible to use it by the following day all dried up. No long wait times and the process of painting is easy and fast.

It’s still advisable to allow the painted item to sit overnight but this does not mean that the paint is not dry as yet. The wait time eliminates the possibility of cracks in the second coat. Nevertheless, chalk paint still has less dry time as compared to other paint options.

Fewer Coats

Chalk paint generally requires only a few coats; about two to three coats to achieve a preferred color shade. This is a time saver for anyone using this kind of paint on their furniture. It also saves on painting cost because you can achieve satisfying results without using too much paint.

Chalk Paint Is Latex-Based

Since chalk paint is latex based, it means that you can clean your painting tools and materials using soap and water. You do not have to purchase mineral spirits to do a special cleaning for the paint to come off the tools.

In case you smear the paint on your skin, you can easily clean it off unlike when you use oil-based paint products. In short, chalk paint is not only easy to paint and use, but it also gives you an easy time to clean the working area including the tools and paint splatters.

Enhances Imperfections

The beauty of using chalk paint on any surface is that instead of emphasizing on imperfections, it enhances them and adds a unique finish that mimics a worn out look with a touch of freshness. For example, if your piece of furniture ends up having a few visible brush strokes, the paint will create a natural worn out effect that is appealing instead of looking unsightly.

You can also achieve a distressed look associated with chalk paint by sanding away brush marks. The effect is more natural and enhances the furniture by making the imperfection eye-catching and unique. You get to have a shabby distressing look.

Gives Beautiful Matte Finish

Chalk paint, as the name suggests gives off a matte finish that can be described as chalky appearance. The matte finish is very popular as it tends to give your furniture an antique-kind of style which is actually appealing and elegant.

You Achieve Any Style

Chalk paint does not just give you a shabby distressing and a matte finish only. Chalk paint is available in a color pallet that can give your furniture a modern, stylish smooth surface. In fact, the distressing look commonly associated with chalk paint is optional, and it’s possible to achieve a finish that you desire out of this paint. Many styles can be achieved by using chalk paint which includes rustic, antique, artistic (where you paint your designs), cottage look, and even farmhouse style.

You Can Wax Over It

Even though waxing is optional, if applied over the chalk paint it acts as a great sealer to the finish. Unless you prefer having the natural look of wear on your furniture, it’s advisable to wax the surface to seal and preserve the furniture.

Wax brings out the color of the chalk paint even better and also preserves it to last for a longer period. Since chalk paint has a matte finish, it allows the wax to have better adhesion to the chalk painted surface.

Readily Available

If you walk into any home improvement store near you, it’s unlikely that you will miss chalk paint. This kind of paint is readily available, and if you are looking for a specific brand, you can always order for it online.

Easy for DIY

Using chalk paint is easy even for a beginner. This makes it an interesting DIY project. For a first DIY project, you are guaranteed of getting excellent results. In fact, as you keep painting your furniture, you will be inspired to incorporate more styles due to the ease of handling chalk paint.

More so, chalk paint allows you to correct errors in the first coat. If you do not like the first results, you can rectify this by putting another coat on the first one or can quickly wipe it off with a damp cloth and start over. So, if you have treasured piece of furniture that is looking old and dull, roll up your sleeves and get ready to paint it using chalk paint. Sit back and admire the fruits of your first excellent paint job.

Cost of Painting Furniture Using Chalk Paint

Chalk paint comes at a higher cost as compared to latex paint. However, it’s worth noting that chalk point comes with a host of benefits and a little extra cost goes a long way. A quart of chalk paint goes for an average cost of $38. It covers an area of about 150 square foot which is an equivalent of several pieces of furniture.

You will also require a sealer after painting your furniture using chalk paint. The wax is usually available in dark or clear tone and goes for about $18 for a small container or $28.97 for the large container. If the piece of furniture you plan to paint has a smooth laminate surface, you might need sand it to allow the chalk paint to adhere better. A sand block goes for about $3.97. You can sand the chalk paint if you want to achieve a distressed look.

If you are planning to chalk paint furniture through DIY, the costs you will incur are minimal. The costs include the cost of the chalk paint, wax, paintbrush, and maybe a sanding block. However, if you choose to hire a professional to chalk paint your furniture, they will charge you an hourly rate of $40 per hour.

You might also incur dropping charges if the professional has to pick and drop the furniture at their workshop. The drop off fee will depend on the distance and location. If you live at a closer distance to the professional’s workshop, you will be charged approximately $25 to $40 or even more depending on the number of pieces of furniture to be transported.

DescriptionAverage cost
A quart of chalk of chalk paint$40
Small container
Large container
Quality paintbrush $11-$15
Sand block$3.97
Professional chalk painting$40 per hour

DIY Tips

As mentioned earlier, painting your furniture using chalk paint is relatively an easy DIY task. Chalk paint can transform old furniture to look as good as new or to achieve an antique finish. In fact, chalk paint is majorly known as furniture paint even though it can typically be used on other types of surface.

Chalk paint adheres well to furniture, and it’s highly suitable for refurbishing old furniture. If you have an old piece of furniture, you can revive it by chalk painting and then distress it to have a beautiful worn out look. You can do this and many more styles with chalk paint, more so through DIY.

However, before you gather your tools and start painting that treasured piece of furniture, you need to read through the following DIY tips. The highlighted tips will enable you to achieve excellent results for your chalk paint job.

Decide On the Look

Before you start your chalk paint job, it’s essential to decide on what kind of look you want the piece of furniture to acquire. This is the first decision that determines how you will go about the whole process of painting. Do you want a smooth and flawless finish? Or are looking for a worn and distressed look? Whichever the case, making this decision will enable you to assess your piece of furniture and determine the best look to give it.

Assess Your Furniture for Repairs

Even though the process of painting your furniture using chalk paint may not require any prep job like primer or sanding, the state of your furniture might necessitate for some prep work. In most cases, quick cleaning or wiping is all that is needed.

However, you might need to do a little bit of prep work to some pieces of furniture before you proceed to paint them. When refurbishing used furniture, it’s likely that the piece has seen better days and mostly has undergone the normal wear and tear. The piece of furniture could be broken, scratched, peeling on some parts or it’s dirty and stained.

If your piece is in such a condition, you may not achieve the best result if you pick your brush and start chalk painting right away. You will likely end up with an unsatisfactory work and a piece of furniture that is still not usable or appealing as you had hoped. For this reason, we will discuss a few things that you should probably do before you paint some of the furniture pieces.

Fixing Rough Surfaces

With time, it’s normal for a piece of furniture to develop deep scratches, have an uneven finish or gouges especially if the piece is frequently used and the surface exposed to some form of abuse such as cuttings. If your piece of furniture has such a surface, then it will need to a filler and sanding to have an even surface before chalk painting it.

Chalk paint, usually, it’s a thick paint that can actually cover some imperfections and slight unevenness in the finish. However, if the surface is severely damaged and uneven, you will end up having a rough finish that looks unsightly after chalk painting.

If the surface has deep scratches, you can fix using wood filler. Look for wood filler that has a smooth consistency, dries quickly and it’s easy to work with. Fill in the scratches, let it dry and then sand the area smooth. You can now you can proceed to paint your piece using chalk paint.

If the piece of has a big surface that is rough, or it was previously painted badly with drip marks, or it’s flaky, you will need to make the surface smooth and even. Use a power sander to even out and smoothen the surface. This way you achieve a smooth surface, easy to paint and the results will be much better.

Fix Loose, Peeling Veneer

Some pieces of furniture are covered with veneer on the surface. Before you start chalk painting, it’s essential to check if the piece of furniture has veneer and if it’s loose or peeling in some parts. If this the case, you have to fix or remove the loose veneer before you chalk paint that piece of furniture.

If some parts of the veneer are missing, you can use a wood filler to fill in those areas and then sand the filled area smooth. However, if a large part of the veneer has peeled off or its way too much loose, you can completely remove it.

You will find that majority of pieces of furniture have solid wood underneath the veneer. To get rid of the veneer, pull it off at the loose or peeling section. If some pieces of the veneer remain stuck on the surface, you can place a damp cloth on them to loosen the glue and pull it off. Once you manage to remove the veneer off completely, you can choose to sand the surface a bit if it’s uneven and then proceed to paint your piece of furniture.

Wood Bleeding Through the Paint

Some types of wood tend to bleed through the paint. In most cases, you might not know that the piece of furniture is made of wood that is a bleeder. However, you should not fret if the wood is a bleeder. If you notice this problem in small parts of the surface you are painting, you can spray a primer on the particular spot that is experiencing the bleeding.

If you have already painted the whole piece only to see stain seeping through, you do not need to worry either. You can still use a primer over the first coat of chalk paint, let it dry and continue with chalk painting the furniture piece. It’s recommended that you do two coats of primer or even more if the piece of furniture is a bleeder.

Furniture Surface Is Oily and Shiny

If the piece of furniture you are planning to paint over using chalk paint has an oily shiny surface, the paint may not adhere well. You can try wiping the oily surface with mineral spirits to allow the paint to stick. Or, if the surface is shiny or slick, you can clean it first and then apply several coats of primer. If the surface still proves to be difficult to work on, you can sand it down till you get to the raw wood.

Damaged or Damaged Hardware

Since you are dealing with used furniture, it’s possible to find that the piece has missing hardware that has left an indentation on the surface. You may have to change the hardware especially if it’s missing or damaged. As you replace, you might have to work on the indentations to smooth them out. If you leave them, they will be visible around the new replaced hardware, and they might look unsightly after painting.

If you are planning to fix the existing hardware or the new hardware is big enough to cover the indentations you do not need to through the process of filling the indentations. However, if the hardware change leaves some part of the indentation out, you can sand the spot or use wood filler to cover it. It’s recommended that you fix hardware issues before you start painting. If there are any marks left after fixing the hardware, you can sand them down or cover them up using wood filler.

Working with chalk paint can be an easy process. However, your finished piece will only look good if you go an extra mile and fix your furniture problems before you paint. If your piece of furniture is in a good state, then you can go ahead and enjoy the paint job without any of this prep procedures. Taking your time to make sure make sure that the piece of furniture is ready for chalk painting will guarantee you beautiful and a professional finish.

Use Quality Paint Brush

Another DIY chalk painting tip is to make sure you use quality paint brushes. A poor quality brush is likely to disappoint you by shedding bristles as you paint and leaving unsightly brush marks on the surface. Quality paintbrushes may come at an extra cost, but they will guarantee you a smooth finish. They also last longer.

Keep A Distressed Look Natural

If you are planning to create a distressed look for your piece, it’s essential that you keep it as natural as possible. It should not look forced or out of place. Focus on the areas that are likely to naturally experience the normal wear such as on the corners, edges, raised decorations, and on the drawer fronts.

How to Paint Furniture Using Chalk Paint- DIY

Chalk paint is one of the easiest paint to handle and most suitable for refurbishing old used furniture. Since it doesn’t require you perform a lot of prep work, the process becomes possible even for a beginner. You do not need any special skills to use this paint. All you need is time and a piece of furniture, and you are ready for DIY adventure.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Shop towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chalk paint
  • A can of wax
  • Wax brush

Step One – Clean the Furniture

Pick up the piece of furniture and clean it with soapy water. Unless the piece has deep scratches or oily and shiny surface you do not need to sand it or clean it with mineral spirit. Additionally, you do not need to strip off anything such as old paint or existing finishes.

It’s also advisable not to try using furniture wax to clean the piece. This is because the wax constituents for a majority of furniture polishes usually does not go well with chalk paint.

After cleaning the item, place a drop cloth underneath the piece of furniture to avoid splashing and staining your floor with chalk paint. However, chalk paint is easy to clean. In case it splashes on your carpet or floor you can easily clean it out with water and dish soap.

Step Two – Paint Your Piece of Furniture

Using a paintbrush, start painting your piece. The good thing about this particular paint is that you do not need to be careful with your brush strokes, neither do you need to paint in one direction to get total coverage. In fact, you do not need to have an even coverage or paint every corner or crevice if you do not wish to. Just brush over the surface, and the paint will work itself without much effort from you.

Step Three – Sand the Surface to Create a Distressed Look

Use fine grit sandpaper to achieve a perfect distressed look for your piece. Remember, rough sandpaper will leave the surface with deeper grooves all the way to the wood; therefore, use the fine one. The sanding should just go beneath the layer of paint, not through the wood.

Also, you should note that a distressed look is supposed to appear as naturally possible and complement the piece of furniture. Do not sand in odd places where wear is unlikely to occur and make your piece look artificial and out of place.

However, the distressed look you want to achieve will be based on your preference and how you want the furniture to look afterward. In case you realize that you have sanded a particular spot too much, you do need to worry. You can always paint another coat of chalk paint color. That’s how easy it is to work with chalk paint.

Stage Four – Wipe the Sanding Dust Off

Pick up the shop towels and dampen with water. Wipe off the surface carefully to remove the dust left after the sanding process.

Stage Five – Apply Wax

Let the chalk paint to dry before you apply the wax. Chalk paint does not have a sealer like the other types of paint. This is why you need wax to seal the painted surface to prevent the finish from getting damaged by water and debris.

Use a wax brush and apply the wax on the surface. Apply it generously and make sure do so in small sections at a time. As you apply the paint, use the shop towels to wipe off any excess wax on the surface. Keep waxing the piece till you cover the whole painted area and make sure any excess wax is wiped off.

After this let the wax dry. If you wish to darken the painted color, you can apply the dark wax. This, however, is optional. The dark wax, apart from darkening the color, it also makes the furniture piece appear more aged. To apply dark wax, use a separate wax brush. Repeat the same process you used to apply the regular wax.

Allow the wax to dry. The dry time, especially for a piece that will frequently be used such a coffee table is about 2 to 3 weeks.

(This Is Optional) Create a Modern Finish

Some people might not be into the distressed look. If you do not want your piece of furniture to show its age (normally achieved by leaving some of the old colors showing), you can give it a modern look instead. You will achieve this by applying three coats of chalk paint instead of one coat. During the painting process, you will allow longer drying time before applying the next coat. As for the wax, make sure you wax generously to give your furniture piece an excellent finish and sheen.

Video Resources


Painting furniture using chalk paint is a practice that is becoming rapidly popular. If you have an old piece of furniture, you can transform it into a gorgeous masterpiece using chalk paint. Chalk paint adheres well to furniture; it’s easy to work and typically requires no prep work such as priming or sanding. It is a perfect DIY task and even as a beginner you can achieve stunning results.

Chalk paint gives your furniture a beautiful matte finish, and you can as well achieve any look you want. The paint comes in a color palette that enables you to paint your furniture to any style you want. You can paint your piece with a white color and several coats and give it a nice smooth finish or; you can paint one coat and distress the piece to show signs of aging. Whichever your style is, chalk paint got you covered.

Let us know what you think of the information provided in this article.