How To Use Chalk Paint Like A Pro


In my Just Ask category I receive dozens of questions about painting furniture and I love sharing ideas and tips that have been passed down in my family. Recently the questions pertain to chalk paint so I wanted to share how I like to use it and exactly what it is for my readers that are just learning about it.


What is chalk paint- Often confused with chalkboard paint which it is not. Chalkboard paint is also a favorite but you use it to create a chalkboard that you can draw on with chalk. Chalk paint is a velvety smooth, matte finish paint that is easy to use with just about no priming necessary and can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

Select Your Color- I adore Annie Sloans Chalk Paints, her colors are exquisite and feel fabulously antique and French. You can’t go wrong if you have a basic idea of the design aesthetic you are looking to achieve.

Select Your Finish- Which finish fits your design aesthetic best; sleek and smooth, a vintage distressed feel or a wash that allows the wood grain to show through.

Create A Smooth Finish- For a smooth finish add a little water to the chalk paint and use a flat brush. It is easy to apply and the results are always consistent.


Create a Distressed Finish- For a vintage feel thicken up the paint by leaving the lid off and apply with a bristle brush. Once fully dried I use a hand sander to distress the areas where natural wear would take place, sand paper also works.

Create A Wash- For a finish that allows the wood grain to show through with subtle color add more water. Don’t be afraid of mixing chalk paints or adding water, it is a very forgiving product to work with.

Protect Your Work- Use a clear wax to protect the finish, Annie Sloan has one or Minwax Clear Wax also works well.

The best part of chalk paint is that you can use it on wood, plastic and even metal. You can easily revitalize an old piece of furniture, increase your curb appeal by painting your shutters or give the floor a fresh feel, you are going to love it!


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  • Kate

    I’ve used this product and love it. Annie Sloan nails the colors, all her shades of color are fantastic.

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      I think so to :)

  • Lisa Goulet

    Thank you for featuring my diy chalk paint hutch makeover. I will be doing the matching buffet, which I’m using as a console, shortly. Come back to my site to check it out.

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      Lisa you are super talented, love this project. I will visit again soon :)

  • Tracey

    That blue side table is probably the nicest project I’ve seen painted with chalk paint ….. and believe me, I’ve seen a ton! You should check out a friend of mine’s chalk paint that she has opened up a store for and ships all around the world. It’s called FAT PAINT and the owner’s name is Victoria Lambert.

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      I just recently used Fat paint and had excellent results, thanks for visiting Tracey :)

  • Whitfields Home

    Can you use chalk paint on laminate? Do you have to do anything special first>
    For the smooth finish, what do you mean by a “flat brush”?

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      You can I actually have, I did not use a primer and it still looks great. Other designers I know use primers but I didn’t. A flat foam brush. Thanks for visiting today :)

  • Colleen Bruce

    Can I use chalk paint on top of previously stained wood? or do I need to sand and strip the piece?

  • Michael Ashton

    Does anyone know what color the first picture of the dresser/side table is painted?