It is absolutely no secret that I love painting, and painting old furniture has become somewhat of a hobby. I almost exclusively use chalk paint to paint furniture and have painted over 20 pieces at this point with different brands. I thought it was time that I put down what I love and also don’t like about chalk paint – because let’s be real: It is NOT for everyone, and some people just hate it.
Let’s discuss the pro’s and con’s in the context of the things that matter when you are painting and some questions that I have been asked frequently:
What can I paint with chalk paint?
Basically ANYTHING except for walls! I have used this on furniture, frames, vases.. any OBJECT. Walls and trim should always be painted with regular wall and trim paint.
How much prep do I need to do?
Typically if you were to paint any piece of furniture, you would need to use either a hand sander or an electric sander to sand down either the old paint or finish to make sure any paint will stick/adhere to it. Unless the surface is super shiny, you don’t need any prep! if it is super shiny, make sure to give it a light sand with a sanding block.Simply make sure the piece is clean by wiping down by a wet and then dry rag and get to work. I am an impatient painter so this is the biggest selling point for me.
What is chalk paints dry time & how many coats do I need?
I think I already said that I am an impatient painter. Chalk paint dries exponentially faster than regular paint, which means you can do multiple coats in less amount of time. Also, you are typically good with 2 coats of chalk paint for coverage (3 if the colour is light) and that is amazing!
What should I use: Roller or Brush?
You can honestly use either! I find that given how sticky and thick it is, a good quality brush (literally any!) works well! It also washes off well from brushes so I have re-used the same brushes over and over again. However, the one downside is that with chalk paint you are more likely to have minor brush marks. I think it just adds to the character of the piece… but others may disagree!
Do I need to seal the chalk paint?
Sealing a chalk painted piece is very similar to sealing a non-chalk painted piece. I would highly recommend this step either with a liquid sealant or a wax type sealant. I chalk painted this Ikea kitchen for Liyana and sealed it and it has held up great – but it doesn’t get MUCH use (see next point), which may also impact how it looks!
How durable is it? Will it scratch over time?
Here is where I think folks tend to not like chalk paint. The reality is that is it NOT very durable. It is really a fun way to upcycle furniture but I would never recommend it on heavy traffic pieces like kitchen cabinets, dining tables, or anywhere where there will be heavy use. Even if its sealed, chalk paint absorbs stains and they are difficult to remove. Further, chalk paint was really on trend when folks loved the distressed, chippy look of furniture – which means that it chips easily MOST OF THE TIME if it’s in heavy use. I have several pieces of furniture that have been in heavy use and chipped and thats okay with me – but I know most people are NOT okay with that. So be aware of this. Hence, I recommend it for more decorative pieces of furniture that wont be used multiple times a day such is this buffet butch in our dining room.
What brand of chalk paints are good?
These are the ones I have tried and love!
- BB Frosh Chalk Paint Powder – this is the FIRST chalk paint product I tried. I absolutely love this because you can mix the powder into ANY paint you have e.g left over wall paint and it will become wall paint! I used this for a long time, and one container lasts years! I purchased my first container in 2016 and it just ran out in 2020!
- Rustoleum – This chalk paint is widely available, affordable, and comes in a variety of colours!
- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – I have tried this variety only once given that it just came to Canada, but I know my American friends have been using this for years!
- Country Chic Paint – this is a Canadian only brand and honestly I absolutely LOVE the quality and finish on this paint. I had it on my old night stands and they lasted so well!
Okay… I didn’t read all that. Can you summarize?
- Use Chalk paint if you hate sanding and priming – all brands work equally well!
- Don’t use it to upgrade high traffic areas like kitchen cabinets, dining tables!
- Make sure you seal the paint and don’t freak out if it chips over time. Its not meant to be forever!
There you have it friends! A summary of why I love chalk paint and why others may hate it! You can decided what you want to do, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!
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