How to Incorporate Chalk Paint Into Your Next Project

Chalk paint is all the rage for that cozy richness it gives to furniture, décor, and even walls. The matte finish adds a softness to bold colours and a thickness that covers even the most worn-down surfaces. 

Home decorating moguls love chalk paint, and now you can, too – here’s the lowdown on why, where, and how to use chalk paint for your next DIY decorating project!

What Is Chalk Paint?

First of all, what is chalk paint, and what makes it different from other types of paint? Artist and creative Annie Sloan developed this DIYer’s dream in the early 1990s and originally intended to use it for painting furniture. Sloan even has this handy beginner’s guide to painting with chalk paint on her website. She says it’s the perfect paint for DIYers of any experience level!

Chalk paint is a thick, versatile paint that goes on without any surface prep and can cover everything from wood and glass to metal and flooring. The “chalk” part refers to the matte finish that might call to mind coloured sticks of chalk.

These days, other paint giants also have versions of chalk paint you can buy at your local hardware store.


Photo: blackCAT via

What Colours Are Available?

Chalk paint comes in a whole spectrum of colours! While you might initially think of a palette of whites and greys to achieve your farmhouse style, you might want to accent it with some farmhouse red, Scandinavian pink, or cobalt blue. 

Why is Chalk Paint So Popular?

One of the biggest draws of chalk paint is that you don’t need to prime or sand before using it. Those rough, worn legs on your antique wooden chair? It’ll paint right over them, no problem. The texture and thickness add an antique, well-used feel popular in decorating trends right now, a la Magnolia Home.

The matte finish of chalk paint maintains the warm, aged feel of a piece or the style of a room where other, glossier paints would completely change the atmosphere. Although it lends itself to creating a textured, distressed look, chalk paint can also be coated with a glossy sealant for a little more shine.

Don’t be put off by the slightly higher price point for chalk paint, either – it will take fewer coats to get the same coverage.

How Do I Use Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is incredibly versatile. Use it to paint your usual suspects like wood dressers, tables, chairs, and picture frames, or use it to paint accent walls, floors, and upholstered furniture (even your couch!). 

For projects that require thinner paint, simply water down your chalk paint, and for projects that could use a heavier covering or more texture, leave the paint open a while to let it thicken.

No need to sand or prime anything – although you can if you’d like. This will ensure a smooth finish when your chalk paint is applied.

After your chalk paint is dry, you can leave it as is or seal it. Wax is the most popular option for sealing chalk paint. You can use paste or cream wax, depending on your project needs, and then let it cure. 

The versatility of chalk paint truly makes it the perfect tool for your next redecorating project. You can use it for functional and decorative accents, high-use or eyes-only pieces, and on surfaces from floor to ceiling. All that’s left is to pick up a can of chalk paint and get started!

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