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Top Coat Protection Options for Chalky Painted Furniture

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Chalk Painted Furniture

If you're brand new to chalk paint, and are wondering what the hype is about and why you should even use chalk paint, I recommend you start by reading Chalk Paint 101, written for the chalk paint newbie, and Chalk Paint 201, a review of specific chalk paint brands. 


If you have already been using chalk paint to makeover your furniture and are interested in saving a lot of money, you can find out how to make your own DIY chalk paint in store sample paint pots for about $3.

Chalk paint is a fun and budget-friendly way to transform old, dated (even damaged) furniture pieces! 

Just think about it...Great Aunt Myrtle's dark and dated bedroom suite that has been languishing in your garage or basement for years can now be brought into the light with a chalky paint transformation! Or that piece you spotted in the thrift store that was a fabulous price but was covered in water rings and spots...not a problem when you cover it up with a couple coats of chalky paint!

But once you've painted it, now what?

Using a top coat or sealer is a hot topic in the chalk paint world! I get asked constantly if it's necessary to seal a chalk painted piece, what is the best product to use, what's the difference between poly and wax and when should each be used.

I haven't tried every option that's out there (that goes for both chalk type paints as well as top coat options). I wish I could say I've tried them all, but as you know, paint supplies are expensive and numerous, and I pride myself on being a budget-conscious shopper and blogger.

That said, I have tried several brands and I'm happy to share my experiences with you in this post. You might be surprised to find that there are so many affordable options to protect your painted furniture!

I'll be sharing my favorite chalk paint top coat options with you today, including why I like them, and the best use for them...because not all top coats are created equal, and different pieces require different protection.

Why do I Need to Protect My Furniture with a Top Coat?

One of the qualities that sets chalk paint apart is its matte, chalky finish. So you may be asking yourself why you would want to cover that up or potentially ruin it with a sealer or top coat.


You're absolutely right...we don't want to cover up that great matte, chalky finish with something super-shiny and lacquer-like! And there are products that you can use that retain that matte finish! We'll get to those in a sec.

But the real question is: do you really want to have to paint your furniture again in a year or two or five?A top coat is a sealant, it will seal and protect your chalk paint from being ruined by moisture or sticky fingers or even weather. Aside from protection, a top coat will further enhance the color of your chalk painted furniture. This is especially desirable for bright pieces or pieces with a lot of contrast.

There are instances when I don't think a top coat is necessary, and I'll share those in a little bit, but Most furniture that you've painted with chalk paint will benefit from a top coat.

In my 10+ years of painting furniture with chalk paint, I have found several affordable products that can be used to protect your chalk painted furniture by enhancing it and helping it to look its best!

Best Budget Top Coats for Quality Furniture Protection

Now that we know why the majority of chalk painted furniture needs the protection of a topcoat, let's take a look at the products to use. There are both waxes and polys, and there are times when you might want to use one or the other.


What is the difference between a wax and a poly top coat?

I figure you might be wondering this right about now. There are two main differences:

1. The first is durability. Poly top coats are hands down more durable and offer the ultimate protection for your painted furniture.

2. The second difference has to do with the application. Waxes are applied with a rag or brush and must be buffed; poly top coats are brushed on and allowed to dry and cure. No buffing! For the best protection, they do require multiple light coats.


To help you understand when to use a poly top coat, here's a general rule:
If your painted furniture will come into contact with water, food and grubby little hands on a daily basis, a poly top coat will give your piece the best protection!
Let's take a look at some of my favorite budget brands of top coats to protect your painted furniture. We'll start with the waxes.

Wax Top Coat Options

My Favorite Paste Wax
Minwax Furniture Paste
Available in both a clear and a dark wax, this is the product I used on every single piece when I first started painting furniture. It's inexpensive, easoily found, and does a fantastic job of protecting your chalk painted furniture.


I used Minwax paste wax on the following pieces (please excuse old cell photos!). 

The beauty of using wax is that the dark paste wax can be used over a clear wax when you want to age or antique a piece! I often use dark wax directly over black painted pieces because it helps to enhance the richness of the color, like on my black dining set.

black dining table and chairs

This product is a solid wax, so you need to apply it with a rag. You wipe it on in small sections and then buff it off (bonus arm workout! ūüí™).


Buffing works the wax into the chalk paint, and also gives the piece a beautiful sheen. Not shiny. Not highly polished. Not lacquered-looking. But a gentle, time-honored sheen. Buffing also removes any excess wax that you may have applied, allowing the product to cure and harden.

NOTE: When using dark wax, always apply a layer of clear wax first. That waxy clear layer will allow you to manipulate the dark wax and remove some if it's too much. The only time I don't follow this step is if the piece I'm waxing is already dark.

For right around $10, Minwax Paste Wax is a great option for chalky-painted furniture!

Other popular paste waxes that have been around for decades include SC Johnson Paste Wax  (I've used and like it, it is very inexpensive but it has a very strong odor), and Fiddes and Sons. Most chalk paint companies offer a paste-type wax as well.

Bottom Line I recommend a paste wax for items that will get minimal to moderate use. Chairs, benches, picture frames, lamps, decor that will hang on the wall, even cabinets. You absolutely can use wax on tabletops, but just keep in mind you will need to reapply it a couple times a year to achieve the best protection.As with all top coat options, a cure time of about two weeks is recommended for the ultimate protection (follow instructions on product).


My Favorite Cream Wax
DecoArt Americana Decor Creme Wax
There are liquid waxes as well, and they're creamy rather than solid. Rather than apply with a rag, you brush the cream wax on. It's a thick, milky liquid that quickly dries, and then you buff it (just like with the paste wax) to work it into the painted furniture and bring out that delightful sheen.

Cream wax is also easy to use and a little goes a long way. DecoArt also offers a range of dark waxes which I recommend for items that have lots of grooves and crevices (it's much easier to apply with a brush than a rag!)

Since first writing this post, I've noticed a lot of other waxes that are available. Just do a search on Amazon. There are stick-type waxes, gliding waxes, soft waxes, etc. It would take forever for me to personally review them all so I'm sticking to the basic, solids and cream waxes.

Which is best? Solid or cream wax? 
That is entirely personal preference and depends on you! Do you prefer to paint it on or would applying wax with a rag be easier? Keep in mind that both will require buffing...remember, buffing not only removes any excess wax you may have applied, but it works the wax into the chalk paint, giving it the best protection. The finished look is the same.

This stenciled coffee tablewas finished with creme wax.
turquoise stenciled coffee table
 

Bottom Line Cream waxes are easy to apply with a brush, although waxed pieces will still need to be buffed. They are another great option for pieces that will get light to moderate use. As with all top coat options, a cure time of about 2 weeks is recommended for the ultimate protection (follow instructions included on product). If your piece has a lot of grooves and decorative appliques that you want to paint, I'd recommend using a cream wax as a brush will get into those tiny spaces much easier than a rag!

I've used cream wax to protect painted home decor projects as well, like this hand-painted laundry room definition sign.  Although this sign doesn't really get touched, the wax brightened and enhanced the paint, and provides a smooth finish, making it easy to dust! You can CLICK HERE to view the entire laundry room makeover for under $200!
painted laundry room sign

Poly Top Coat Options

We're leaving the waxes behind now and moving on to the top coats known as polys. On the whole, they're a more durable product and able to withstand more wear and daily abuse. Sometimes you need the ultimate protection. I'm talking dining and kitchen table tops that are used multiple times a day. They get wet, food gets smooshed into the top and it simply needs to hold up to anything your kids can throw at it! That's when you want to use a poly top coat.

Insider Tip: When looking for a poly, it's better to use a water-based polycrylic rather than oil-based polyurethane on your chalky painted pieces! Polycrylics are much less likely to yellow, have less smell, and clean up is a breeze (hot water is all you need)!

My Favorite Polycrylic Top Coats

General Finishes High Performance Top Coat
I love this flat top coat by General Finishes! It's available in multiple sheens, from flat to glossy, depending on your needs. I used it on the top of this painted cabinetand it has held up tremendously! In fact, the heavy mirror recently fell off the wall, and landed on this painted and stenciled piece and it barely left a scratch!

Rustoleum Chalked Top Coat
This product by Rustoleum is another durable poly top coat option that is easy to find, inexpensive and durable. I used Rustoleum Chalked chalk paint on this pale blue chalk painted cabinet but opted not to apply the topcoat because this piece is more decorative and doesn't get daily use; however, I'm planning to go back and brush on the top coat to just the top of the piece, where I place decorative items. The top coat will protect it from scratches.

If you're still wondering if chalk paint can really transform a dated piece of furniture, this makeover will make you a believer! Go here to see the super ugly, dark and dated before!


Minwax Wipe On Poly
Many of you have been refinishing and restaining furniture, specifically dining tables. I decided to include this product by Minwax that provides top coat protection for your stained pieces.

I relied on Minwax Wipe-on Poly for my dining table makeover. This table was a real challenge, but in the end I love how it turned out.

This poly is applied with a soft, lint-free rag and multiple coats are recommended for the best protection. You must lightly sand between coats for the best possible outcome. This Minwax poly is available in both oil-based and water-based options, but I highly recommend the water-based!

For those of you who are refinishing pieces with stain, this is the product I recommend. It promises hand-rubbed beauty and poly protection.

Bottom line for poly top coats Use a poly top coat when you need the ultimate protection. This includes pieces that will be heavily used and come into daily contact with liquids and other messes. Multiple coats will give you the best protection so your painted or stained piece will look great for years! Please follow the manufacturer's directions on the product you choose. Choose water-based over oil-based, especially over white paint!

Another question I often get is this:

Can I ever get away with NOT applying any kind of top coat to my chalky painted furniture?

There may be those who disagree with me, but my opinion is that you don't always need to use a top coat! It really depends on what the piece will be used for and whether or not a top coat is necessary to protect your painted piece.

Here's an easy way to decide whether you need a top coat for your chalk painted furniture.
My rule of thumb is that if your chalky painted furniture will get daily wear and tear, it's best to protect it with a top coat!
I no longer have little kids at home, so I'm not too worried about the table legs or body of a dresser getting gross! I still thinks it's best to always use a top coat on the tops of pieces (remember my rule of thumb), but I often leave the base free of a top coat.

Furthermore, I don't always use a top coat on painted decor that is hung on the wall and rarely touched.

Bottom Line
If you paint a piece that doesn't get much daily use, you never put a wet glass on top of it, then top coat protection isn't necessary! This cottage white dresser has no protection. It's out of the way and doesn't get daily use so I didn't bother to apply a top coat.

white painted dresser
The other option with a piece like this is to wax or poly the top surface only, just so it has some protection from anything that gets put down on top of it. It's easier to dust and clean a piece that has a bit of a slick surface, like you get with wax or poly.

I know it can be very overwhelming to find the right product to protect your piece because there are so many to choose from!

I trust this post has provided some useful information and tips for those of you who are considering how to best protect your chalky painted furniture pieces, and when to use a wax or a poly.

Chalk Paint FAQs

Can I apply poly over wax?
No, unfortunately because there is nothing for the poly to grip onto, and it will never dry and cure. You can, however, apply wax over poly! Just remember that wax is last!

How long does it take for wax or poly to cure?
It can take up to 6 weeks for soft waxes to cure, slightly less for the hard wax I mention in this post. Poly will cure much faster than wax, but it's best to give your furniture about a week before you start using it! Wait for 30 days with furniture that you've waxed with a hard wax.

Can I paint over furniture that has a wax or poly topcoat?
Yes you can! However, for the best results I would recommend waiting for the wax or poly to properly cure before painting it again, otherwise you run the risk of peeling paint.

Can I sand furniture that has wax or poly?
Again, you can but it's best to wait until the topcoat has fully cured so you experience the best results! If you try to sand too soon, you'll wind up with a gummy mess! It's always best to distress or sand before adding a topcoat!

What about chalk paint yellowing? What causes that and what can I do?

That, my friend, is something that unfortunately we've all experienced. However, it's too complicated to share here and requires it's own post. Is this something you'd be interested in reading? Let me know in the comments!


Go ahead and PIN THIS IMAGE so that you'll have it for easy reference in the future!

white cottage dresser
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.


bringing beauty to the ordinary,
Sours: https://www.diybeautify.com/2017/01/top-coat-protection-options-for-chalky-painted-furniture.html

Watch the Two-Step Transformation

See how easy it is to transform a tired, vintage table into a modern showpiece with the simple, two-step application of BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint and BEHR Wax Decorative Finish.

Chalk Decorative Paint in 3 Easy Steps

Person's hand with paint brush painting blue paint on the wall

Blank space if empty.

Paint your base coat.

Person's hand using a rag wiping a blue wall

Blank space if empty.

Apply a wax finish to seal and customize your piece.

Bed with blue frame and red comforter

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Enjoy!

Aerosol Paint Colours

The BEHR Chalk Decorative Aerosol Paint palette includes 7 of the most popular and versatile colours, including clear.

Miniature RoseBCP02

Simple DIY Projects To Inspire You

Give your furniture new life with this simple, two-step application process. Browse through our chalk decorative paint project image gallery for further inspiration.

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BEHR CHALK DECORATIVE PAINT

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The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project.

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BEHR PREMIUM ALL-IN-ONE WOOD CCCC

The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project. Only available in store at Home Depot.

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BEHR PREMIUM ALL-IN-ONE WOOD CCCC

The 9 in. x 1/4 in. Polyester Adhesive Roller Cover has a hard texture, making it ideal for applying all types of adhesives to smooth surfaces. It can be used for stippling and applying sand paints.

The following product(s) is recommended when stripping is needed.

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About Interior Paint Sheens

Get the look you want and the protection you need for any room in your home.

A flat sheen has a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections.

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Applications:

Low-traffic areas; interior walls and ceilings



A matte sheen has a low-luster, reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well and also hides minor surface imperfections.

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Applications:

Low-traffic areas; interior walls

Areas:

Family rooms, living rooms, kids' rooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, ceilings



An eggshell enamel sheen has a soft, velvety appearance that resists dirt and grime, as well as mildew.

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Moderate-traffic areas

Areas:

Family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kids' rooms, hallways, dining rooms



A satin enamel sheen has a pearl-like finish that's easy to clean.

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All interior surfaces; moderate- to high-traffic areas

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Family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kids' rooms, hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, doors, windows, trim, cabinets, shutters, interior furniture



A semi-gloss enamel sheen is sleek and radiant resisting mildew, moisture and wear.

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Cabinets and trim; high-traffic, high-moisture areas

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Kids' rooms, hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, doors, windows, trim, cabinets, shutters



Hi-Gloss enamel sheens provide have a brilliant, shiny appearance and a durable, glass-like finish that allows dirt and grime to be wiped clean.

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High-use surfaces

Areas:

Kitchens, bathrooms, doors, windows, trim, cabinets, shutters, interior furniture

About Exterior Paint Sheens

Set the right curb appeal with exterior painting efforts that last.

A flat sheen is non-reflective, and easy to apply and touch up. It will minimize the appearance of minor surface imperfections.

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A satin enamel sheen creates a pearl-like finish that's durable and dirt-resistant. It will also resist moisture, fading and stains.

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A semi-gloss enamel sheen is sleek and radiant with a hard, durable finish. It is formulated to withstand wear, and will also resist moisture, fading and stains.

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Hi-Gloss enamel sheen have a brilliant, shiny appearance and a durable, glass-like finish that allows dirt and grime to be wiped clean.

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HERE'S HOW MUCH YOU'LL NEED

WALLS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


TRIMS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


DOORS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


CEILING

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


EXTERIOR WALLS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


DOORS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


TRIM

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


SHUTTERS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


GARAGE DOORS

0Gallons + 0Quarts

(Per coat)


DECKOVER STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


SOLID COLOR WOOD STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats recommended


SOLID COLOR HOUSE & FENCE STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats recommended


SEMI-TRANSPARENT WOOD STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


TRANSPARENT WOOD STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


PORCH & PATIO FLOOR PAINT

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


CONCRETE & GARAGE FLOOR PAINT

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


CONCRETE DYE

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


GRANITE GRIP

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


CONCRETE STAIN

0 Gallons (total)
0 Gal/Coat

2 coats required


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BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint and Wax

An easy way to create a unique and trendy look for your next paint project

Whether you're looking for an aged antique look or prefer more of a vintage modern flair, Behr Chalk Decorative Paint allows your personal style and vision to come to life.

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FEATURES

Soft and buttery formula for easy application

Dead flat sheen delivering a velvety smooth finish

Great adhesion on almost all surfaces

Great coverage and hide

Clean up with mineral sprits

Use with BEHR wax decorative finishes to create unique looks

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Choose from 3 formulations

BEHR<sup>®</sup> Chalk Decorative Paint

BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint

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BEHR<sup>®</sup> Wax Decorative Finish

BEHR® Wax Decorative Finish

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BEHR<sup>®</sup> Chalk Decorative Spray Paint

BEHR® Chalk Decorative Spray Paint

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BEHR<sup>®</sup> Chalk Decorative Paint

BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint

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BEHR<sup>®</sup> Wax Decorative Finish

BEHR® Wax Decorative Finish

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BEHR<sup>®</sup> Chalk Decorative Spray Paint

BEHR® Chalk Decorative Spray Paint

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Chalk Decorative Paint in 3 Easy Steps

why-choose

Paint your base coat.

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Apply one of our 3 wax finishes to seal and customize your piece.

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Enjoy!


Wax

Choose CLEAR for a lustrous, satin sheen.

Wax

Choose WHITE for a white-washed effect.

Wax

Choose DARK for an aged, antique look.

Simple DIY Projects To Inspire You

Give your furniture new life with this simple, two-step application process. Browse through our chalk decorative paint project image gallery for further inspiration. Find out more about BEHR CHALK DECORATIVE PAINT.

Chalk Decorative Paint How-to: Brilliant Chair Refinish

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Chalk Decorative Paint How-to: Easy Lighting Update

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Chalk Decorative Paint How-to: Picture Perfect Frame

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Chalk Decorative Paint How-to: Jewelry Box Makeover

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CHALK DECORATIVE SPRAY PAINT COLORS

The BEHR Chalk Decorative Spray Paint palette includes 7 of the most popular and versatile colors, including clear

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$100 Cabinet Makeover with Behr Chalk Paint in Rustic Taupe! $1,900 Bramble Shutter Cabinet Dupe

This post is sponsored by Behr Paint Company. All ideas and opinions are our own, always.

Here are some of our other favorite tutorials:

If you follow us on Instagram, you have seen our journey picking a new coffee table for Savannah‚Äôs living room. We partnered with Behr Paint to find the perfect piece for the space. You guys voted and it shows the round, yellow coffee table for us to paint with BEHR¬ģ Chalk Decorative Paint.

Coffee Table Makeover with Chalk Paint

Using chalk decorative paint is one of our favorite ways to paint furniture. Painting furniture has been a part of our DIY journey since way back in 2010 when we started our business. The best thing about BEHR‚Äôs chalk paint is that it‚Äôs incredibly easy to use and that it‚Äôs available at The Home Depot¬ģ in a variety of colors.

Decorative Chalk Paint

For this project we chose ‚ÄúTin White BCP08‚ÄĚ, which is a beautiful, crisp and clean, white finish. used BEHR¬ģ Wax Decorative Finish in Clear . We purchased this coffee table at a local antique store. We wiped it down really well and began painting.

TIP: if your furniture has a glossy finish you can sand the piece before you get started. Since our furniture was already painted, we did not have to do the step.

How to Chalk Paint Furniture

Time needed: 2 hours.

How to Chalk Paint Furniture in just a few easy steps!

  1. Shake the paint really well to mix the paint and open up the can.
  2. Begin brushing on a light coat of chalk paint. Allow to dry 2 hours in between coats. Repeat coats until you have your desired coverage.

    We did two light coats of the white paint letting it dry for 2+ hours in between coats. We saved our Instagram LIVE of this process so you can watch it by checking out our IGTV.

  3. After the paint is fully cured, apply a coat of wax using a soft cloth or an old T-shirt and buff in a circular motion to a shine.

This project was super easy and we love how it turned out! If you’ve ever been nervous about using chalk decorative paint or about painting furniture this chalk decorative paint is the way to go for beginners and experts alike!

Coffee Table Makeover
Easy Chalk Paint Tutorial

If you want to try BEHR¬ģ Chalk Decorative Paint for yourself, you’re in luck! We are giving away a $100 e-gift card to The Home Depot!

To enter for a chance to win:

*UPDATE* This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to the winner, Jessica!

Chalk Paint Colors

Pin for later:

Chalk Paint Furniture Makeover - Click for tutorial!
Sours: https://www.classyclutter.net/how-to-chalk-paint-furniture/

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Chalk Paint FAQs

Answers to the most common questions about chalk paint. canarystreetcrafts.com

We often get questions from readers about using chalk paint, and a few questions come up more frequently than others.  We decided to take our top 7 most frequently asked questions about using chalk paint, and put the answers right here in one post for you.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, click here.

First, let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way…

Can I write on it with chalk?   

Chalk paint is not the same as chalkboard paint. ¬†They’re two completely different products. ¬†If you want to write on it with chalk, you’re looking for chalkboard paint.

Do I need to sand and/or use a primer first?

Usually, no.  You can use chalk paint to paint right over bare wood or existing finishes.  There are some instances, however, when I use primer and/or sand before painting, so you really have to look at each piece individually.

Some examples of when I would sand first: ¬†The existing paint job is sloppy with drip marks that I want to remove. ¬†The existing paint is chipping. ¬†There are scratches or imperfections in the wood that I want to smooth out before painting. ¬†The existing finish is extremely shiny and slick (sometimes I like to rough it up with a quick run over it with my sander if it’s super shiny, even though it’s probably not always necessary). ¬†This is my favorite sander.

Some examples of when I would prime first: ¬†I’m painting over a wood that’s prone to bleeding, like cherry. ¬†I’ve noticed my paint seems to be easily scratched off¬†and isn’t fully adhering to the piece. ¬†I love all the Zinsser products, including the Bulls Eye 1-2-3, and Bulls Eye Shellac.

Just remember your paint job is only going to be as good as your base, so don’t get hung up on the “no prep”

Can I thin out the paint?

Yes. ¬†Chalk paint is pretty thick, and I almost always thin it with a bit of water. ¬†I do one of two things… I pour some paint into a cup and add water until it’s the consistency I need. ¬†Or sometimes I do it the lazy way and have a small cup of water next to my paint can, dip the tip of my brush into water then into the paint. ¬†There’s no right or wrong amount of water to use, but you really only need a little. ¬†The advantage of adding water is it makes the paint easier to brush on, and your finish will be smoother.

Do I have to seal my piece with wax?

No. ¬†You can choose to seal your piece with something else instead, and I often do. ¬†I absolutely love the look of a waxed piece. ¬†But in my opinion, wax is just not as durable as a poly. ¬†Plus, wax doesn’t last forever. ¬†Technically, you’re supposed to reapply it every so often and the truth is I have no desire to go back a few months, or even a year later, and reapply wax to pieces I’m finished with. ¬†I often use a water-based poly to seal my pieces. ¬†General Finishes Water-Based Top Coat¬†is one of my favorites, and I love that you can get it in a flat finish. ¬†If you decide to go with a poly, I always choose a water-based rather than an oil-based for sealing¬†chalk paint. ¬†Oil based will yellow over time, and water-based is¬†a million times¬†easier to clean up. ¬†So again, there’s nothing wrong with wax. ¬†I just don’t want you to think it’s your only option because it’s not. ¬†Use what works best for you and suits your piece. ¬†Most chalk paint brands say you can choose to leave it unsealed too, but I don’t recommend it. ¬†Chalk paint is very porous and will pick up stains and look a mess in no time if you don’t seal it with something.

I already put my first coat of paint down and now the stain is bleeding through the paint.  What do I do now?

Just¬†apply your primer right over the first coat of paint. ¬†Then when it’s dry, continue with your second coat of paint. ¬†If it’s just a tiny spot that’s bleeding, I usually just spray the spot with a couple coats of Shellac, but if you’re getting bleeding in several areas,¬†it’s best to just brush on a couple coats of primer on the whole piece before you continue painting. ¬†Again, I like the Zinsser primers mentioned above.

Do I have to distress it?

Absolutely not. ¬†Chalk paint distresses beautifully, and it’s my favorite paint to use if I plan to scuff it up. ¬†But you definitely don’t have to distress it and I’ve done lots of pieces that I didn’t distress.

If I am distressing, do I sand before or after I apply my top coat?  

First, it depends on what your topcoat is. ¬†If you’re using a poly, you definitely want to distress first. ¬†If you’re using wax, then technically you can distress before or after waxing. ¬†My personal preference is to always distress before waxing, and here’s a few¬†of my reasons why. ¬†First, I do a lot of graphics and multiple colors on pieces. ¬†I’ve noticed that when I sand after waxing, some of the paint color gets caught up in the wax. ¬†So let’s say I paint a piece that’s blue and white. ¬†I’ve noticed that some of the blue flakes of paint¬†will get caught up in the wax and smear onto the white part, and because the color is inside of the wax it’s pretty much impossible to remove. ¬†Secondly, I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of applying a top coat then sanding it off. ¬†How can the piece be protected if I just sanded off the top coat? ¬†And lastly, it’s just easier. ¬†I feel like I have more control over the distressing when I’m not trying to go through the wax layer. ¬†Oh, and I almost forgot, the wax completely gunks up your sandpaper. ¬†Just trust me, distressing before wax is the way to go.

I hope you’ve found this helpful, and as always, feel free to send us a message if you have other questions.

Happy Painting!

Amysig~

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Answers to the most common questions about chalk paint. canarystreetcrafts.com

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