I’ve been using chalk paint for about 2 years now and it is my absolute favorite paint! I get a lot of questions about my chalk paint, how to make homemade chalk paint, and what techniques I use while painting. I hope that this blog post helps answer a lot of your questions as well as helps you out with a budget friendly way to make your own chalk paint. I am adding some affiliate links of the things that I use and for where you can find calcium carbonate to make your own chalk paint (in chalk paint recipe below). I painted all of my kitchen cabinets with my homemade chalk paint and they have held up so great and have yet to chip (see the process here). And no chipping?? That’s really something spectacular when I have 3 kids and a dog.
So here are some of the questions I get about painting and chalk paint… I will answer them the best I know how. I know everyone has differing opinions and ways that they do things. I’m not saying that my way is the only way, but this is the way that I do it. If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below in the comments and I will try to answer those as well.
1. One of the biggest questions I get about chalk paint is, “Do I have to sand prior to using chalk paint”?
The answer is no. Chalk paint can be painted over many surfaces including metal, wood, plastic, etc. with no sanding required. I do, however, sand pieces that have rough spots or if I just need to smooth out a surface prior to painting, but I never do vigorous sanding prior to painting.
2. What consistency should my chalk paint be?
You don’t want your chalk paint to be too thick but not too runny either. A goopey like consistency is good where it kind of runs off of your paint mixer a little too, when you pull the mixer up from stirring it.
3. What kind of brushes should I use.
This is a loaded question because everyone likes different brands and styles but I would say that you should always have a nicer brush on hand. I use the “cheap” brushes sometimes if I’m feeling lazy and I just want to throw it away afterwards, like if I’m painting frames, or a smaller project that I’m not as concerned about it leaving brush marks. The more “expensive” brushes leave less brush marks but are nice for large furniture pieces such as dressers, etc. You will always have some brush marks since you are using a brush but the nicer brushes leave less. Here is a link for one of the brands that I love to use and I know many people also like to use these. They are a little cheaper if you buy them online. Just make sure you clean them out right away to keep paint from drying on your brush and allowing for longevity of your brushes.
4. How do I seal my piece?
This is also preference. If I’m painting a piece that is going to be used a lot or have people sitting drinks or other items on it then I use a water based polyacrylic with a brush like this. I seal a kitchen table usually 5-6x with at least 4 hours in between for dry time and I usually seal dressers and other furniture pieces 2-3x. Make sure that you don’t get the polyacrylic on too thick or that it doesn’t pool in an area or that area may look yellowy. Water base polyacrylic is clear and is not supposed to yellow but if it pools it will. I believe there are some polys out there that they have tried to improve to keep this from happening. And if any of you are aware of what brands those are, I would love for you to comment with them below. When I am sealing small things such as frames, stools, or candle holders, etc, I use wax. Here is one of the waxes that I love to use.
5. What kind of sand paper should I use to distress.
When I am distressing a piece, I use 100 grit sand paper. Any brand will work. I sand the edges and along the places that a piece would “naturally” distress from age. If a big spot in the middle is sanded, it looks out of place.
6. What is your favorite color of white paint?
I love Dove White Benjamin Moore. Benjamin Moore can be pricey so a secret that I have for you is…I go to Home Depot and have them pull the color match for Dove White Benjamin Moore paint and they mix it right up for me. Behr paint is way more budget friendly and I love it just as much!
7. How many coats of paint will I need to use?
This all depends on your piece and how the paint is covering when you are painting. I usually use 3 coats of paint when I am painting with white with about 30 minutes to 1 hour of dry time in between.
8. How do I keep my piece from yellowing?
I have not had much trouble with this but I do see horror stories of how people paint their whole kitchen and it begins to yellow. When I painted my kitchen cabinets, I used Kilz primer prior using chalk paint to keep this from happening and there was and still is no yellowing. Primer helps to seal a piece prior painting and keeps it from yellowing after. I don’t usually prime my furniture pieces and have never had an issue, but I have seen times where people have had issues with a piece yellowing. So I guess if you want to make absolute sure that your piece will not yellow afterwards, then you should prime.
9. How do I get the matte look on my piece.
If you want to make sure that your piece has no gloss then you should seal it with wax. Even the Satin Poly leaves a little sheen. When sealed with wax, a piece will look more primitive than when sealed with poly, but most waxes are usually less durable.
10. Can I paint over a piece that is already painted?
Yes, some people do like to strip off the old paint if it is old or rough but you can absolutely paint over it if you desire.
Here are some photos of things that I’ve painted with chalk paint.
Bottom half of my patio table and these white chairs
This mirror and checker side table
This chandelier, bottom of the table, and chairs
MY CHALK PAINT RECIPE:
12 Tablespoons Calcium Carbonate ( I get mine at my local ceramics shop) to every quart of flat based paint. Calcium carbonate can be difficult to find at your local store so I’m linking it here for you to order your own if you would like.
Mix the calcium carbonate with warm water. I mix it with enough water where it is goopy not runny. Pour in water slowly so you don’t get too much
Then mix the calcium carbonate into your quart of flat based paint and stir well
Note: Some of the cc may settle to the bottom after left sitting for weeks so next time you want to use it just make sure to stir it well and get it off the bottom of your can.
Also, make sure you are using a flat based paint.
There you have it, it’s that easy and so budget friendly compared to other chalk paints. I’ve been using it for 2 years and I love it so much!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope that this helps you for your next painting project! Have a great day my friends!