Try this simple DIY tutorial for an easy way to chalk paint furniture in just three steps!
Like all good projects, this one started at Goodwill. I drop into our local store every so often to peruse the used books section for children’s books for my daughter. I also normally swing by the furniture section….because who knows what you might find!?
A couple of months ago, I had fallen in love with the Serena & Lily Tucker Chair, but at $198 there was no way that was going to happen. Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was having a really lucky Goodwill trip. You know what’s coming next… waiting for me in the furniture section of Goodwill was a simple wood child’s chair. I snatched it up on the spot.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it yet, but I knew paint would be the easiest way to transform it into something unique and functional. I’ve never chalk painted anything before, but I’ve always loved the look of it, so it didn’t take me long to decide to try it out on this chair.
What is Chalk Paint?
Chalk paint has been around for a while. If you haven’t used it before, the paint has a matte, almost chalky finish when dried (hence the name!) It gives furniture an older feel and a little bit of unique character. I am not a painting expert by any means, so this tutorial is truly the easiest way I’ve found to chalk paint a piece of furniture!
What you will need:
- Fine grade sandpaper
- A large garbage bag
- Krylon Chalky Finish Spray Paint
- A piece of furniture (ha;)
1. Before you start anything, make sure you wipe down whatever you’re painting thoroughly. You want to make sure there isn’t anything residual left on the finish that could affect the paint from adhering. In this case there were some crayon marks made by little hands all over the place.
2. Use your fine grade sandpaper to rough up the surface of the piece of furniture. This is especially important if there is any kind of finish or varnish on it, you want to make sure the paint has something to stick to. Once you’ve sanded everything, wipe it down with a damp towel to get any dust off.
3. Now it’s time to paint! Chalk paint has come so far in recent years. It use to be sold by only a few specialty stores. Now you can actually buy chalk paint as a spray paint. For smaller projects I love spray paint, the application is smooth and you don’t have to worry about brush strokes (a personal pet peeve of mine). Holding the spray can about 12 inches away, make long sweeping motions as you spray. Allow 12 hours of dry time between coats.
This is after one coat. I would recommend two coats for a nice coverage that’s going to hold up. Also, a lesson learned: if your furniture has a varnish/finish to it, make sure it’s all still on there evenly. If there are spots where it’s missing or rubbed off, you may want to either sand the entire piece down to bare wood, or refinish it before you paint it. Whatever you do, you want the wood you’re painting to soak up the paint in the same manner, otherwise you will end up with a splotchy, uneven paint job.
I’ve notice there seems to be a lot of debate over whether or not to wax/seal chalk paint with a protective coating. I chose not to seal this chair because I liked how the finish turned out and I figured I could always add it later if I needed to. The paint also takes about 30 days to completely cure, and I’ve notice that as that time has passed, the paint has hardened and become more stable. If you are painting a piece of furniture for a high traffic area, you may want to consider a sealer.
*Update: After a month the paint was still transferring when I wiped my hand across it. I sprayed a coating of shellac finishing spray over it and that took care of the problem (I used this kind).
And now, after a $5 Goodwill trip and a can of paint, we have a cute little chair that adds so much character and color to our home!
What about you? Have you done a paint makeover on any of your furniture lately?
Interested in more? You might enjoy these posts:
How I Shop At Goodwill ( & Find Good Stuff)
Make A Vintage Armoire Out Of A Thrifted Cabinet
How To Start A Vintage Silverware Collection
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