Chalk Painting TechniquesChalk Painting Techniques

To get your creative juices started, here are a few of our favourite basic chalk painting techniques

Chalk Painting Techniques Distressed Finish

Starting with a clean decorator item, mix your powder & paint as per our Chalk Furniture Paint Recipe. Apply one or two coats of chalk paint, moving your brush every which way. For a distressed finish, once your paint is dry, remove a little paint from your chosen areas. Edges are particularly good & places where there would be normal wear & tear – i.e. around handles and tops of drawers). Great news! If you get a little carried away with the sandpaper, retouch with your paint!
Apply a neutral soft Wax or use a dark wax to achieve an aged finish. We do recommend you read our Applying Dark Wax post if you are not experienced using dark wax.

Allow your wax to set, an hour or so.  The wax will still feel tacky. Then buff, buff, buff with a lint free cloth!

Chalk Painting Techniques Two Colour Distressed Finish

Starting with a clean decorator item, mix your powder & paint as per our Chalk Paint Furniture Paint Recipe. Apply two coats of Chalk Paint, using your brush every which way. Use two complimentary colours, applying the first coat more thickly than the second, allowing each coat to dry!
For a distressed look, remove a little paint using fine or medium sand paper until your first coat appears through your second coat. Or until you expose the wood underneath in areas, whatever makes you happy. Remember, if you over do it, you can always pop another coat of paint over!
Apply a neutral soft Wax or use the dark & light wax for a more antique/aged look.
Allow your wax to set, an hour or so.  The wax will still feel tacky. Then buff, buff, buff with a lint free cloth!

Chalk Painting Techniques

Chalk Painting Techniques Rustic Country Finish

Starting with a clean decorator item, mix your powder & paint as per our Chalk Furniture Paint Recipe.  Apply two or three thick coats of complimentary colours.  Allow each coat to completely dry. Using a hair dryer along the way you can achieve some really cool crackling in the paint! (More about Crackle Finishes)
When its dry, use sand paper to remove some paint, or to reveal under colours (or use the chip, knock theory – very lightly with a small headed hammer – be careful)
Apply a neutral soft Wax or use the two waxes to achieve a more “aged” finish.
Allow your wax to set, an hour or so.  The wax will still feel tacky. Then buff, buff, buff with a lint free cloth!

Chalk Painting Techniques Wet or Dry Distressing?

All the above Techniques will distress your designer project to allow a little of the original timber finish to shine through.  It is your decision whether you want this style or whether you would prefer to use a ‘wet distressing’ method. This method will only allow your various paint colours to shine through.

There are two main types of distressing, wet and dry.  Wet is done with a moistened lint-free cloth and dry is with sandpaper.

Which should you choose?  We usually try wet distressing first. If your project isn’t suited for wet distressing you’ll realise it almost immediately. Here are the differences. Wet takes less elbow grease, so if you suffer from carpel tunnel or arthritis as many people do, you may want to try wet distressing.  Also, wet distressing is less mess! Finally, it’s easier to control.

Sanding can take you down to the raw wood easily, and sometimes you may not really want this. You can’t get the beautiful old wood finish back if that happens. Wet also gives you a smoother finish.  You can easily create any level of distressing simply by controlling the amount of pressure. To do the wet distressing technique get your lint-free cloth, put it around your finger in a tight hold, dip into water and rub the areas you would like to expose your under colours.

Chalk Painting Techniques Smooth Finish

If your decorator piece is not already smooth, you will need to remove any residue old flaking paint with medium grit sandpaper, or an electric sander, to remove any obvious textures.
Starting with a clean decorator item, mix your powder & paint as per our Chalk Paint Recipes & apply one or two coats of your Chalk Paint smoothly and evenly in the direction of the grain using a good quality paint brush, although with larger areas, i.e. dining table tops…., we recommend a good quality roller for a smoother finish.

Apply a neutral soft Wax as per the Waxing Furniture techniques above or use both waxes to achieve an aged look!
Allow your wax to set, an hour or so.  The wax will still feel tacky. Then buff, buff, buff with a lint free cloth!

Chalk Painting Techniques Waxing Furniture

We are absolutely head over heels in love with the soft sheen on waxed chalk painted furniture!  Wax is one of the easiest ways to achieve a beautiful finish without professional tools and equipment.  As far as the different types of waxes, we use, stock and recommend proudly Australian made U-Beaut Traditional Wax because it’s 100% natural (you can eat off it – well, should you want to?), easy to apply and it’s smooth as butter.  Plus, we love the colour options you can use for an Aged or Industrial look.

What you’ll need

U-Beaut Traditional Neutral Wax (or a SOFT clear wax), brush (optional) and clean lint free rag or t-shirt

Wax should be applied in a thin, even coat with a flat ended soft brush (to get into all the nooks & crannies) or a lint-free cloth. Apply sparingly. Always use less wax than you think is needed. It is best to apply several thin layers than one heavy layer. Wipe away excess. After 2 – 4 hours, the surface should then be thoroughly buffed with a dry cloth or finishing pad. For more sheen, simply add another thin layer and buff, buff, buff!.

To clean brushes after use with wax, soak in mineral turpentine 🙂

Your painted, waxed project requires approximately 5 to 10 days (depending on humidity and temperature) to fully cure. Freshly waxed surfaces should be kept free of moisture and heavy use for about a week or so. For continued shine and protection, re-apply the clear wax every 6-12 months under normal conditions.

Chalk Painting Techniques – How to achieve an aged look using dark wax?

U-Beaut Traditional Walnut wax is used to achieve an Aged or Industrial look. Apply sparingly with a soft brush or lint free cloth working in small areas (say 6cm x 6cm).  As you apply your Walnut wax, immediately wipe the area with Neutral Wax which will clean off the excess Walnut wax leaving an “aged” look on your project. Wipe away any excess Neutral wax and complete your project the same way you would using the Neutral wax (above)

If you are completely new to applying a Dark Wax it can either make or break your designer project.  So, until you are completely confident with the application of Dark Wax and know exactly what to expect, please go to Applying Dark Wax

Quick Wax Tip – apply wax sparingly ensuring all areas are evenly covered.

Ah, we know what you are thinking! You’re thinking, ‘None of this hard waxing yakka for me – I’m going to use an acrylic or oil based sealer’ – Can you?

On whites and white based cream Chalk Paint we ONLY recommend our Marilyn’s Chalk Furniture Paint Clear Sealant (this product is non-toxic and 100% environmentally friendly) it will dry with a soft sheen and will not alter the colour of your paint.

We only recommend this product as 99.9% of timber sealants available are designed for timber, 99.9% of sealers have a yellow tint which is great if you are using it on timber but we’re sure it’s not really the look you are trying to achieve on your beautiful new white decorator item?  (PS, if you know of the 0.01% that leaves a truly clear finish when painted over white, please let us know, coz we were going broke testing them!)

On deeper creams and darker colours where you think a yellow tint will not affect the colour of your finished item, feel free to use any sealer you choose, although to avoid disappointment, we do suggest doing a test sample first to make sure.

Aged or Industrial Chalk Paint Finish

Starting with a clean decorator item, mix your powder & paint as per Chalk Paint Recipe above & apply a really thick coat of paint to your item, texturing, dabbing, pushing & pulling your paint every which way until your item is covered to the max with buckets of texture happening.
When completely dry, apply the dark and neutral wax as per the Waxing Furniture techniques to achieve a really aged/industrial finish!

Allow your wax to set, an hour or so.  The wax will still feel tacky. Then buff, buff, buff with a lint free cloth!

Applying dark wax can either make or ‘break’ your decorator item, please go to our detailed instructions for the application of DARK WAX

We highly recommend reading our FAQ’s page as well!

To chalk paint like a pro and learn some of the secrets, simply register for one of our Chalk Painting Workshop Classes held at North Tamborine, Queensland, once a month

To finish off…………….

Marilyn's Chalk Furniture Paint Powder

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Chalk Furniture Paint located at Gold Coast , Tamborine Mountain, Australia . Reviewed by 118886 Chalk Powder Painters rated: 9.5 / 10