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Master the Art of Using Chalk Paint to Revamp Your Home Decor

Master the Art of Using Chalk Paint to Revamp Your Home Decor


You must know about chalk paint colors if you love to DIY, paint, or revamp furniture. It is a quick and easy way to transform household items into something unique. Chalk paint is ideal for people who love the distressed and vintage look. Since this water-based paint dries quickly and requires little preparation, many people have chosen it to create beautiful DIY projects.

Image credits: Hutomo Abrianto.

To help you get the best chalk paint ideas, we have compiled a list of ways to use it around your home. We’ve also added tips, tricks, and ways to use chalk paint effectively. Before we dive into all the incredible chalk paint furniture ideas, let’s first understand this unique decor option.

What Is Chalk Paint? Where Did It Come From?

Chalk paint is a water-based colorant that leads to a chalky, matte finish on furniture. Chalk spray paint is made with a fine powder such as plaster of Paris or calcium carbonate mixed with water. It was invented by the artist Annie Sloan in 1990 and trademarked. 

Image credits: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Annie Sloan’s chalk paint was invented because she wanted a paint that was easy to work with and needed less prep. When she couldn’t find one, she developed it and honed the formula. Although this paint has notably been attached to the Annie Sloan brand, other chalk paint brands have recently gained popularity. For example, Magnolia Home chalk paint, Behr paint, Rust-Oleum chalked paint, and Dixie Bell chalk color. You can try Home Depot chalk paint or make your own chalk paint for more affordable options.

Image credits: Anton Darius.

Since chalk paint sticks to almost anything and can create a rustic, shabby-chic look, it has quickly adapted to many decor trends. 

Types of Chalk Paint

The type of paint depends upon the additives used. Additives can determine its structure and composition.

  • It can have natural or synthetic resins like acrylic, silicone, or latex emulsion.
  • Some additives include linseed oil.
  • You can add metallic powder for the paint to get magnetic properties.

Regardless of the type or brand of chalk paint you use, it can help you make a flashy statement in a way that other home decor ideas might not be able to. Below, you’ll find how chalk paint differs from other paints.

Everything You Need to Know About Chalk Paint Versus Other Paint

  • Chalk-paint furniture will have a matte finish and smooth texture. Regular paint, however, leaves a glossy finish.
  • People prefer chalk paint for home improvement and decor because it requires less prep work than standard paint.
  • It is different from milk paint because it can create a more distressed design style.
  • This furniture paint is less likely to drip and cause a mess than compared to regular paint.
  • Once done, you can clean the chalk paint brushes with soap and water rather than mineral spirits since it is a water-based paint.

Image credits: Annie Sloan Australia NZ and Stefen Tan

Pro Tip: chalk paint can easily cover cracks and other layers of paint. Hence, you can get excellent coverage by applying just a few coats.

What Are the Drawbacks of Chalk Paint Color?

When using chalk paint for furniture, it can be easy to get carried away by its elegant look and ease of use. Before you jump into using this paint, here are some things you should consider:

1. It Can Get Expensive

Chalk paint costs more than acrylic and latex paint. It also requires special sealants for a protective topcoat that can give it a durable finish. Additionally, you’d need tools like a wax paintbrush because the paint is so thick.


Image credits: Big Blue Trunk.

2. It Takes a While to Dry

Chalk paint color, or spray paint, takes a long time to dry between coats. This might help you avoid creating a mess, but can also mess up your DIY project timeline. Still, the best way to get a good finish and ensure strong adhesion is to wait 24 hours for each coat of paint to dry. This doesn’t include the time it takes to seal or to cure.

Image credits: A Ray of Sunlight.

3. It Needs to Be Waxed

Although durable, chalk paint doesn’t have a tough outer layer. You need to apply clear wax as a protective topcoat to prevent scratches. Apply the wax with a stiff brush and buff it to wipe any excess. The wax takes 24 hours to dry and one month to fully cure.

What Are the Benefits of Chalk Paint?

When you paint with chalk color, it can be expensive or time-consuming. But there are specific reasons why it became the go-to decor option for so many DIYers.

1. It’s Easy to Apply

According to Reddit user Some_Mail_8983, “It’s self-leveling, doesn’t leave brush marks, water-based, no odor, dries fast and adheres to almost anything. I don’t seal mine with wax; I use a water-based satin. I love it; I painted my kitchen cabinets and bedroom set, old lamp, old vases, and my patio furniture.”


Image credits: Annie Sloan Australia NZ.

The best part about chalk paint is that you don’t have to sand, clean, or prime surfaces before painting. Since it adheres to most surfaces, you can easily apply the chalk paint on almost anything.

2. It Lasts Longer Than Other Paints

Chalk paint is thicker than regular paint and can last longer after application. With its wax topcoat, this paint could last for years without getting scratches or scuffs. Homemade chalk paint might be slightly less durable than original chalk paint. It depends on what materials you use to make it.

3. It’s Easy to Clean

It is the best paint to use since it has a water base with low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). You can easily wipe and clean any spills or drips if you make a mistake or create a mess. Even if you are new to chalk painting, you can’t go wrong with this fun option.

Now that we have covered everything you need to know about chalk paint, it’s time to see how you can transform your furniture or upcycle old things.

15 Chalk Paint Ideas for Furniture and Decor

These chalk painting tips and ideas will help you add light and color to many items around the house. It’s a good starting point for creativity. Let’s check out some of the objects you can start painting.


1.Playful Mason Jars

Mason jars have always lent an excellent canvas for design, and chalk paint is no exception. You can start painting them by mixing several colors. Chalk paint will add a matte and distressed look to the jar. You can then contrast the paint color by adding twine, fresh flowers, and patterns. 


Image credits: Philadelphia Handmade.

Add dots or stripes to make eye-catching designs. The chalk-painted mason jar will stand out with a plain metal or wooden cover. You can put cute love notes in the mason jar and gift it to someone you care about. Or you can keep it as a showpiece on your shelf.

2. Traditional Wooden Signs

Many people love to hang rustic wood signs in their houses. These signs might have sayings, powerful statements, or pictures on them. You can customize these wood items by painting them with white chalk paint. This color will serve as a solid contrast with the robust wood design. 

Image credits: MRS Decor.

If white is too bright, you can add subtle designs using dark colors such as olive green, maroon, or burgundy. Chalk paint will match the wood furnishing and smoothly cover any cracks or holes in the wood.


3. A Cozy Gallery Wall

You can make your picture frame wall pop by adding some chalk paint color to the frames. Pick blank frames that will act as a good base for the paint. Use a single color or mix the colors for a standout effect. Since chalk adds a soft and subtle finish, it won’t take away from the vibrance of your photos.

Image credits: t.l.underwood.

A little bit of paint goes a long way and can add depth and texture to the gallery wall. Once the paint dries, make sure to sand any raised areas, which will add a smooth look to the frames.

4. Decorative Shelves

Nobody wants to have boring shelves in their house. That’s why you can buy chalk paint and transform your wall shelves. You can start by sanding the surface if there are bumps. Next, use a stencil or directly spray the chalk paint color. 

Image credits: Carriage House Style.

Make sure to safely store all the items from your shelf because the chalk paint will take over 24 hours to dry. You can also use chalk paint to create a whimsical setting during holidays or events. For example, if you follow the elf on the shelf tradition, you can decorate the space with creative red and green Christmassy designs.


5. Glamorous Mirrors

Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror and instantly feeling bright and ready for the day! You can make this happen by adding some color to your mirror frames. Cover up the glass first if you want to paint your mirror with chalk paint. Although chalk paint is easy to clean, it’s best to avoid making a mess for no reason.

Image credits: Jeanie.

Wooden mirror frames benefit best from white or black chalk paint. A metal mirror frame will pair best with softer colors like pink, blue, green, or yellow. You can go wild and create spectacular designs to transform the mirror into a work of art.

6. Beautiful Flower Pots

Flowers are already so bright and cheerful that you might wonder if chalk paint could add to their brilliance. Well, luckily for you, it can! The smooth chalk finish provides a calm and elegant background for the vibrance of flowers or bouquets. If you have greens or blues in the flower pot, pair them with red paint.

Image credits: Waverly.

It doesn’t matter how much paint you use if you add at least one solid coat. You will probably have multiple flower pots in the house if you love plants. This is a great chance to go wild and paint many creative planter designs.

7. Solid Wooden Crates

The best part about using chalk paint on a piece of wooden furniture is that you don’t need to strip the finish before painting. Before painting, ensure the crate’s surface is clean and dry. If it isn’t, you can clean it with soap and water. Avoid furniture wax, which doesn’t mix well with chalk paint.

Image credits: Chalk and Mirrors.

Use a paint chip brush to create brushstrokes on the wooden crate. These brushstrokes should be in the same direction to evenly cover the object. Unfinished wood will require a more significant amount of paint. You can use this creative crate as a seat or for your pets to play with. Cats love boxes, so the wooden chalk-painted crate can be a perfect spot for your furry friend to plop down.

8. Unique Fabric Designs

Chalk paint is a versatile option for decor enthusiasts. You can use it on fabric and upholstery without any issues. If you have old accent pieces or furniture with worn-out material, then it’s time you tried chalk paint.

Image credits: Chiniotfurniture.

Chalk paint can change the texture of the fabric, but it gives the cloth a light and creamy finish. You can create many eye-catching designs to make your old fabric couches and chairs look brand new. However, avoid overusing chalk paint on fabric because it can feel chalky on the skin.

9. Dreamy Bookshelves

It’s time to create the mesmerizing bookshelves that you’ve always wanted. Chalk paint can immediately make your shelves look cozy and compelling enough that you’ll always be picking up books. The colors can be mixed to create a vibrant impact that will make your book jackets pop.

Image credits: Christina Anna.

If you are looking for a subtle design, go for white paint. It will create a vintage and distressed look that is perfect for a bookshelf. Your old-timey bookshelf will provide a fun retro feel to any room. Many creative bookshelf designs can be significantly enhanced with chalk paint color.

10. Chic Dressers

Give your old dresser a makeover with chalk paint. It can make a dated dresser look fresh and modern. The matte finish and chalky texture will change the look and feel of your furniture. You can even tint the chalk paint for a vintage look. This is the best way to upcycle an old dresser with minimal effort.

Image credits: Vintage Begonia.

11. Creative Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen is already a space of creativity where you can cook delicious dishes and wow your guests. You can add to the awesomeness of your area by making your kitchen cabinets stand out. Use chalk paint in your kitchen since it requires less prep work and will cause the most minor mess.

Image credits: Budget Girl.

Old and worn cabinets will benefit the most from the makeover because chalk paint can easily cover cracks, scratches, and scuffs. Go for classic colors like white, grey, black, or navy. If you want to embrace a contemporary DIY kitchen design, try green or yellow.

12. DIY End Tables

An end table is a small piece of furniture placed near a couch or a chair. Your end table should be colorful but not too bright that it takes away from the room’s decor. Paint your end table with light creamy chalk paint colors such as blue, white, yellow, lavender, or pink. Some premixed colors have a chalky, subtle finish perfect for end tables.

Image credits: restoredbyjillian.

You should remember some things when revamping your furniture with chalk paint. Reddit user PoppiesnPeas says, “Make sure you mix your paint really well; you can buy an attachment for your drill to mix it easily yourself or have the paint department put it in the shaker for a bit. Sponge roller or brush, more thin coats is better than a couple thick coats. Sand between coats. All these things will give you a better chalk surface.”

13. Gorgeous Antiques

Antiques are the perfect pieces of furniture to give a new look. You can make them look trendier or just add to their beauty. Take any beautiful old thing and paint patterns or designs with chalk paint. No matter how much paint you use, it won’t damage or change the surface of the antique. Paint with a water base is perfect because you can easily clean or remove it without affecting the furniture.

Image credits: Katarina Hernandez.

14. Quaint Baskets

Baskets are cute decorative items that you can use to store knick-knacks or keep fresh flowers. Whether you have hand-woven baskets or store-bought pieces, a little chalk paint color will go a long way. You can add the chalk paint directly or use stencils for this DIY project.

Image credits: Reform Goods.

Since baskets don’t have a smooth surface, you must use a small stiff brush to apply the chalk paint. Be careful and paint designs or add patterns like dots for a splash of color.

15. Elegant Tables

Chalk paint products are easy to use and don’t need a lot of prep work. Hence, you can undertake large DIY projects like painting tables without worry. Whether painting kitchen or hall tables, you must first clean the surface. Once it’s clean, add the chalk paint for a smooth finish.

Image credits: simplyfrenchsa.

You can keep the top of the table one color and paint the legs darker shades for more contrast. Use wax as a protective sealant. Reddit user auroraemberneko says, “Whenever I’ve painted using chalk paint, I’ve used wax as a kind of sealant. I’ll find out which wax it is, and it prevents yellowing nicely. Does require a bit of elbow grease to wax it, though!”

Now that you have so many options to chalk paint, it’s time to get started and dazzle everyone with your creations. Here are some valuable strategies that you can use when you are going to paint.

Bonus Chalk Painting Tips

Before diving into the process, you must know how to chalk-paint furniture without making mistakes. To do so, follow the instructions listed below.

Image credits: Annie Sloan.

1. Seal the chalk paint with a top coat so it doesn’t chip and flake. That’s how you can enjoy the paint for years.

2. Prime the surface of your furniture when using white chalk paint. Otherwise, imperfections and bumps will stand out.

3. Clean surfaces with soap, water, or a degreaser to ensure no dirt or grime before painting.

4. Don’t add more than three coats of chalk paint to a surface.

5. Apply the paint with long brush strokes, all in the same direction.

How to Make Homemade Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is the best way to give new life to boring furniture. That is why it’s incredible that you can make it in the comfort of your home. There are three methods that you can use:

Image credits: Our Upcycled Life

Plaster of Paris

You will need 1 cup of latex paint, four tablespoons of water, and 1/4th cup of Plaster of Paris. Mix the water with the Plaster of Paris and stir until there are no lumps. Then, mix the latex paint with this concoction and keep stirring. Once all the lumps are gone, your color is done! If it starts to harden, you just have to add some water.

Baking Soda

You will need 1 cup of latex paint, three tablespoons of water, and half a cup of baking soda. Put the water and baking soda in a bowl and mix till there are no lumps. Once done, add the latex paint and keep stirring till the mixture is smooth. Make a fire snake with baking soda and sugar if you have extra leftovers.

Calcium Carbonate

You will need 1 cup of latex paint, four tablespoons of water, and four tablespoons of calcium carbonate. Add the water and calcium carbonate to a bowl and keep stirring till the mixture is smooth. You may have to add more water until the calcium carbonate has dissolved. Lastly, add the latex paint.

Making chalk paint from scratch may seem like a laborious process. It can be. But don’t worry if making things from scratch isn’t your cuppa. There are many paint department stores where you can buy it pre-made.

How to Buy Chalk Paint?

You can go to any paint store and ask for chalk paint in any color. Check chalk paint reviews online to find a brand that resonates with you. You can opt for Rust-Oleum, Behr chalk, or Annie Sloan paint. 

Image credits: Annie Sloan.

Chalk paint costs around $23 per quart but can reach $40 depending on the brand. One quart can help you cover approximately 100 square feet with two coats of paint. A 12-ounce chalk spray paint can usually cost $8.50 but can go up to $15, depending on the brand. This type of spray can cover 20 square feet. The best part is that you can turn the old spray cans into fantasy creatures.

What’s Your Next Chalk Paint Project?

This trendy paint can potentially overhaul all your old and boring furniture and turn it into something extraordinary. Since it’s easy to use and doesn’t make a mess, you can dive into many craft projects. It’s time to create some incredible chalk art and bring color to your life.

Chalk Paint FAQ

How to Remove Chalk Paint From Furniture?

The easiest way to remove chalk paint once it has dried is to use a chemical paint stripper and then scrape it off. If there are any bits and blemishes left, you can clean them with soap and water.

How to Get a Smooth Chalk Paint Finish?

You need to clean and dry the surface you want to paint to ensure the final chalk paint layer is smooth. If you paint on wood, you can do light sanding to avoid bumps and cracks.

How to Dry Chalk Paint Fast?

Increasing the temperature is a simple way to speed up the paint-drying process. Using a heater to warm the room makes the paint’s water evaporate. Another way to go about it is to paint only one layer.

What Is So Special About Chalk Paint?

This decorative paint requires very little preparation. It is water-based, lasts long, and is easy to use. Its smooth matte finish helps it stand out from other paints.

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