How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint – [Quick Guide]


One of the things I realized throughout the years is that I want the space I am living in to have warmth and personal touch. Also, there is this never-ending struggle between the things I need, the things I want, and the things I can afford. 

That is where the DIY projects come in! Starting to make my own things and decorating them is one of the most transformative experiences in my life. Not only have I felt so proud every time I made something new and usable, but I also try to help to save the planet by reusing and repurposing old things.

Did you ever consider painting furniture with chalk paint? You should try it! It is the most efficient way to get yourself that color matching piece you need.

How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint

You can clean the dust from the old dresser in the attic and use it as a brand new edition for your bedroom. So many options!  

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Why paint Furniture with Chalk Paint?

best chalk paint for furniture,
how to paint with chalk paint

Why am I mentioning this in the first place? Well, the most expensive things in the house are usually big furniture pieces.

As your family grows, there is a good chance you’ll need an additional dresser, or a new bed, a changing table, and so on. The great thing about chalk paint is that even if you are a complete beginner – you can’t go wrong.

This is also a good opportunity to get some insights and tips on how to use chalk paint, what kind of tools you need, what chalk paint on furniture actually means, and how to get chalk-painted furniture as you wanted it. 

What to know before getting started!

chalk paint furniture before and after
painting furniture with chalk paint

One thing that is probably the main reason why chalk paint is one of the best choices is the fact you basically don’t need to prim or prep the furniture before painting. This thing alone saves you so much time and energy! (And I really mean that).

Another thing that you’ll find useful to know, especially if you are a beginner, is that you don’t have to have pro brush moves. There is a certain beauty in imperfections and chalk paint is especially good in pointing them out.

The one thing I’d like you to note tho is that you need to think about painting furniture with chalk paint beforehand. What I mean is that depending on the type of paint and size of the furniture piece/pieces you’d want to have different types of brushes.

When it comes to color, you should be aware that there are certain limitations when it comes to using chalk paint. This mostly refers to the color palette of the chalk paint on the market which is not as wide as some of the other paint types.

Since I am not a person who is satisfied with limitations (and thank God for the Internet – my knight in ‘’Google’’ armor’’), I found DIY chalk paint furniture options. I experimented a bit with them. What I found really helpful, and was already done by awesome Jenny, is a recipe for the DIY calcium carbonate chalk paint.

There are multiple ways to use it, and learning how to paint with chalk paint is something you’ll grasp in no time!

Tools Required

how to paint furniture with chalk paint,
using chalk paint

Keep in mind that this is a general list of tools for those who want to know how to paint furniture with chalk paint. You might need some additional tools, or perhaps you won’t need everything from this list.

Take your time to plan what you want to do before you start working. 

Materials needed for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint

  • Chalk paint – make sure you have enough
  • Wax of your preference (clear wax and dark wax are commonly used)
  • Drop cloth

Instructions: How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint

diy chalk paint furniture,
how to use chalk paint on furniture

Step 1 – Where to paint 

Although I mentioned that chalk paint furniture doesn’t need prep steps, there are a few things you have to think about beforehand. The first one is: where are you going to paint in the first place?

I warmly recommend doing this indoors if possible. It is easy to decide when you work with smaller pieces, but a chalk paint dresser is something you’ll have to find a suitable place for.

Another thing that is super important and it comes from experience – get some old clothes on. Also, you should really make sure that you have drop cloth on the spot. 

If you haven’t done anything similar before, know this – there is always a chance that some paint will end up on the floor. So if you can counter that on time, you’ll save yourself a lot of energy you’ll otherwise spend on cleaning. 

Step 2 – Cleaning the furniture

This is especially important when dealing with the stuff you didn’t use for a while. But in general, I would recommend thoroughly cleaning the furniture piece before applying paint. It will be easier for you when working, and ultimately, the paint will adhere better.  

I’d like to mention a thing on how to use chalk paint on wood. It is actually the sanding part I’d like to point out here since it is not something you always do. 

To be honest, you don’t have to sand furniture in most cases. Although it takes a bit of time, I do it whenever I can, since it makes the whole process smoother. 

Step 3 – Chalk painting

This is the part I love the most! It is so exciting just writing about it. As I mentioned, a lot of things depend on the size and the build of the furniture you want to paint. 

For example, you will use different types of brushes for applying chalk paint to a dresser and a stool. For some big surface areas, you might even want to use a roller. 

The idea is to use the best chalk paints, and have some fun while at it! Be especially careful if you don’t know how to paint wicker furniture with chalk paint as it takes a bit more detailing. 

Step 4 – The purpose of wax

One thing I’d like to showcase here is that some of these steps can be skipped if you really just want to have a quick fix and a bit of low-budget ‘’refresh’’ of certain stuff. 

But the point is that these simple DIY projects can really transform your furniture, and you can make it look like it was taken straight out the shop window.

Waxing is not really something that you can’t work without, but it is highly recommended to use it to seal the paint. There are two types of wax you can use. 

The first one is the clear wax and it is the one that doesn’t impact the color at all. The other one is so-called dark wax. The dark wax will influence the paint color, which of course means a change in the appearance. The easiest way to apply the wax you choose is by using a soft cloth. 

Step 5 – Managing the hardware

There are two ways to deal with the hardware. The first one is to simply remove it before painting and then return it afterward. 

If, however, that is something you don’t want to deal with, you can simply use the painter’s tape. Just protect the hardware with the tape before you start painting and remove it afterward. 

One piece of advice here, even if you tape a certain part of the area you want to paint around the hardware, you can simply use stencil brushes later on and ”patch up” the areas you skipped. 

Finishing Instructions 

best paint brush for chalk paint
how to use chalk paint on wood

Tip Nr.1 Brush tip – coverage before beauty 

There are brushes made specifically for brush painting. However, they are not always the cheapest ones so you might want to search for some alternatives. 

What you should know is that you’d need to use water and soap to clean the brush after use. This is why I’d say that the latex brush is the best paintbrush for chalk paint.

Tip Nr.2 Sanding for distressing 

One of the great ways to get that nice vintage look is to distress the furniture. 

This is where the sandpaper has great use! I’d recommend buying sandpaper sheets, especially if you are distressing big surfaces. 

Tip Nr.3 Let it dry

Leaving the paint to dry is very important. Depending on the style and the brand it can take up to a few days to put the furniture piece in one of the rooms. 

Note that the more layers of paint you have, the more time it’ll need to dry properly. 

Tip Nr.4 Be creative

Multiple colors, different prints, vintage looks, artistic decorations… These are just some of the options you can do once you figure out the freedom of making DIY your way of obtaining new things. 

When I did a DIY changing table with a hutch, I painted it yellow. Then when I got the second child, we looked at the baby cribs with changing table, but I really preferred changing table DIY, homemade changing table, so we stuck with it. 

Final thoughts

The best changing table dresser I had was the old one I got from my sister, and that is where I learned to paint furniture with chalk paint.

Later on, when I searched for the best changing pad for a dresser, or when I did a DIY changing table topper and DIY dresser drawers, I could simply use the best chalk paint for furniture (also the homemade one) and match it easily with the rest of the nursery.

In the past years, I’ve become a DIY person, and a lot of friends call me when they need a piece of advice. A friend called me to show her how to remove dresser drawers, and I ended up explaining to her about the farmhouse dresser DIY I wanted to do so badly. 

Not only did she liked it so much that she did it herself, but she also chalk-painted it to match her bedroom décor perfectly. The same thing happened in their other room as she did a DIY crate dresser shortly after.

The point is, you might not know how to use chalk paint on furniture at the moment, or you simply didn’t have the chance to see chalk paint furniture before and after.

But as soon as you figure out how it can provide opportunities while saving you the time and the budget – you’ll instantly fall in love.  

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