Painting Over Chalk Paint

painting over chalk paint

Covering up chalk paint may be challenging, yet with the right information and approaches you can modify your chalk-painted item into something new and different. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps necessary to successfully paint over both sealed and unsealed chalk paint surfaces.

We’ll begin by assessing the current finish of your chalk-painted furniture to determine if it’s wax-sealed or not. Next, we’ll discuss how to properly remove any wax or residue left on the surface before diving into the cleaning process for unsealed pieces.

Once your piece is prepped and clean, we’ll explore setting up an organized workspace for optimal results during sanding. We’ll then cover bonding primer selection and application techniques that ensure a strong bond between your new layers of paint and the existing surface.

Finally, we will examine various types of paints suitable for painting over chalk paint along with factors to consider when choosing a new color. With our guidance on applying thin coats of paint for best results and achieving a smooth finish, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle this painting project confidently.

Assessing the Chalk Paint Finish

Before painting over chalk paint, it’s crucial to assess the finish of your piece. Determine if it has been sealed with wax or left unsealed, as this will dictate the necessary preparation steps for a successful update. Understanding the current state of your chalk-painted furniture ensures proper adhesion between old and new layers of paint.

Identifying Wax-Sealed Surfaces

If you notice a smooth and glossy surface on your chalk-painted piece, chances are it has been sealed with chalk paint wax. To confirm this, lightly scratch an inconspicuous area using your fingernail or a coin; if some residue comes off, then there is likely a layer of wax present.

Recognizing Unsealed Chalk Paint Finishes

  • Dull appearance: An unsealed chalk paint finish typically appears matte and lacks any shine or glossiness.
  • Rough texture: Run your hand across the surface – if it feels rough like sandpaper due to visible particles of chalk dust, then it is most likely unsealed.
  • No resistance to water: Dab a wet cloth onto an inconspicuous spot – if the color transfers easily without leaving behind any residue, then your piece remains unsealed at this time.

Once you have determined the current state of your chalk-painted furniture, you can proceed with the appropriate prep work to ensure a successful painting project. This may include light sanding with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any built-up grease or residue left from previous wax finishes. Clean the entire surface with soapy water to remove any sanding dust or other debris. If you’re painting over chalk paint with regular paint, spray paint, or milk paint, start painting once the surface is dry. If you’re using chalkboard paint or another chalky finish, you may need to apply a wax finish after painting.

Assessing the chalk paint finish is an important step in determining how best to proceed with painting over it. To ensure a successful outcome, removing any wax from sealed surfaces must be done carefully and properly.

Removing Wax from Sealed Surfaces

If your chalk-painted piece is sealed with wax, you must remove this layer before applying any new paint. This step ensures that the fresh coat of paint adheres properly to the surface and prevents peeling or chipping in the future.

Choosing Appropriate Cleaning Materials

To effectively remove wax from a chalk-painted surface, use mineral spirits. Mineral spirits are gentle on painted surfaces but strong enough to dissolve and lift away built-up layers of wax. Be sure to wear gloves while handling mineral spirits, as they can be harsh on skin.

Proper Technique for Removing Wax Without Damaging Underlying Surface

  1. Dampen a Clean Rag: Pour some mineral spirits onto a clean cloth or rag until it’s damp but not dripping wet.
  2. Gently Wipe Down the Surface: Rub the dampened cloth over your chalk-painted piece in small sections, following the direction of your original brush strokes. Apply light pressure so as not to damage the underlying paint job.
  3. Rinse and Repeat: As you work through each section, fold over or switch out rags when they become saturated with dissolved wax. Continue wiping down all surfaces until no more residue is left behind.
  4. Clean Up: Once all traces of wax have been removed, give your furniture one final wipe-down using warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before allowing it to dry completely prior to starting painting project preparations like sanding dust removal tasks mentioned earlier within this article’s content framework here today.

By following these steps, you’ll effectively remove the wax finish from your chalk-painted piece and create a clean surface ready for new paint application. This process ensures that your painting project results in a beautiful, long-lasting update to your furniture or decor item.

Removing wax from sealed surfaces requires patience and care, as improper technique can damage the underlying surface. To ensure a successful paint job on unsealed chalk painted pieces, it is important to clean them thoroughly before beginning your project.

Key Takeaway: 


To paint over chalk paint, you must remove any wax sealant first. Use mineral spirits to gently wipe down the surface in small sections, following the direction of your original brush strokes. Be sure to wear gloves and rinse thoroughly with warm soapy water before allowing it to dry completely prior to starting painting project preparations.

Cleaning Unsealed Chalk Painted Pieces

For pieces without applied wax over their chalk paint finish, cleaning is still essential but less extensive. Utilize TSP Cleaner (a degreaser) to effectively remove built-up grease and grime from previously painted furniture pieces before proceeding with further preparations.

Importance of Thorough Cleaning Prior to Painting

A clean surface is crucial for a successful painting project. Residue left on the surface can disrupt the sticking of fresh coats of paint, resulting in an irregular or flaking paint job. By thoroughly cleaning your unsealed chalk-painted piece, you ensure that the new layer of paint will adhere properly and provide a durable finish.

Using TSP Cleaner Safely and Efficiently

  • Mixing: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing TSP Cleaner with water. Generally, one cup of cleaner should be mixed into two gallons of warm water.
  • Safety Precautions: Wear gloves and eye protection while working with TSP Cleaner as it can cause skin irritation or burns if not handled carefully.
  • Cleaning Process: Use a sponge or cloth soaked in the solution to scrub away dirt and grime from your chalk-painted furniture. Pay special attention to areas where there may be built-up grease or stubborn stains.
  • Rinsing: After scrubbing down your piece thoroughly, rinse it off using clean water until no soapy residue remains on its entire surface. This ensures optimal results during subsequent stages involved in the given task at hand, namely “painting over chalk paint”.

Cleaning the unsealed chalk painted pieces is essential to ensure a smooth and even finish when painting over them. Sanding these surfaces down properly will help create an optimal base for applying paint, which should be done in a well-organized workspace.

Preparing Workspace and Sanding Process

Before you begin your painting project, it’s essential to set up an organized workspace that will ensure optimal results. Start by laying down tarps or drop cloths in the area where you’ll be working to protect your floors and surrounding surfaces from paint splatters.

Setting up an Organized Workspace for Optimal Results

  • Create a designated space for all tools and materials needed during the project.
  • Ensure proper ventilation is available if using paints with strong fumes.
  • Maintain adequate lighting to see details clearly while working on your piece.

Techniques for Effective Sanding

Sanding is a crucial step when preparing chalk-painted furniture for repainting. Using medium-grit sandpaper, lightly sand the entire surface of your piece to remove any loose chalk dust or residue left behind from previous paint jobs. This process helps create a smooth base that allows new layers of latex paint or other types of regular paint to adhere properly:

  1. Determine which areas need sanding: Focus on rough spots, uneven surfaces, and areas with built-up grease or soapy water residue.
  2. Select appropriate grit: Use medium-grit sandpaper (such as 120-150 grit) for this task; finer grits may not provide enough abrasion while coarser ones can damage the underlying finish.
  3. Remove sanding dust: After completing the prep work, use a dry lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe away any remaining sanding dust from your piece’s surface. This ensures that no particles interfere with primer application in the next stage of your painting project.

When painting over chalk paint, it’s important to note that the surface may have been previously treated with chalk paint wax. If this is the case, you’ll need to remove the wax finish before starting your new paint job. This can be done by using a light sanding technique or by using a degreaser to remove the wax residue.

Once you’ve completed the necessary prep work, you can start painting your piece with your desired paint type. Whether you’re using latex paint, spray paint, milk paint, or chalkboard paint, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

To ensure the best possible results, it is important to properly prepare your workspace and follow sanding techniques that are suitable for chalk paint. Applying a bonding primer correctly will help you achieve optimal coverage when painting over chalk paint.

Applying Bonding Primer

A bonding primer is necessary to ensure proper adhesion between the old chalk paint and new layers of paint. Apply the primer onto prepared surfaces, allowing it to dry completely before lightly re-sanding and wiping away residual particles left behind post second round light abrasion treatment.

Choosing a Suitable Bonding Primer

Selecting an appropriate bonding primer is crucial for achieving optimal results when painting over chalk-painted furniture. Look for primers specifically designed for use with latex paint or other types of paints you plan on using in your painting project. These primers will provide better adhesion than regular primers, ensuring a long-lasting and durable finish.

Proper Application Technique for Optimal Results

  1. Clean the Surface: Before applying any bonding primer, make sure that all sanding dust has been removed from your piece by wiping it down with a damp cloth or sponge soaked in soapy water.
  2. Mix Well: Stir the bonding primer thoroughly before applying it to your chalk-painted piece, as this ensures even distribution of its components throughout the entire container contents at hand here today concerning the topic under discussion, namely “painting over chalk paint.”
  3. Pour into Tray: Pour some of the mixed bonding primer into a clean paint tray or bucket, taking care not to waste too much during the transfer process.
  4. Apply Primer: Using a high-quality brush or roller, apply the bonding primer to your chalk-painted furniture in thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying additional layers as needed for complete coverage and optimal adhesion between old and new paint surfaces alike.

Applying bonding primer is a crucial step in painting over chalk paint, as it provides the necessary adhesion and protection for the new coat of paint. Selecting the proper kind of paint for application after a bonding primer can be difficult; yet, comprehending the advantages and disadvantages associated with different types of paints will help you decide wisely.

Key Takeaway: 


To paint over chalk paint, it is important to apply a bonding primer that ensures proper adhesion between old and new layers of paint. Choosing an appropriate bonding primer designed for use with the type of paint you plan on using is crucial for achieving optimal results. Proper application technique involves cleaning the surface, mixing well, pouring into a tray, and applying thin even coats with a high-quality brush or roller.

Selecting Paint Types

Once your piece is primed, you can choose from various paint types to achieve the desired finish. It’s essential to consider factors such as durability, ease of application, and final appearance when selecting a new color for your chalk-painted furniture.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Paints

Factors to Consider When Choosing a New Color

Beyond selecting the right type of paint, consider factors such as room size, lighting conditions, existing decor elements, and personal preferences when choosing a new color for your painting project. This comprehensive guide on “How to Choose a Color Scheme” will help you make an informed decision.

Selecting the proper paint is paramount for a successful painting job, so it’s critical to take into account all elements when picking your hue. Applying multiple thin coats can help you achieve an even and smooth finish on top of chalk paint.

Key Takeaway: 


When painting over chalk paint, it’s important to select the right type of paint based on factors such as durability and final appearance. Options include latex or regular paint, hybrid alkyd paints, milk paint, polyacrylic or polyurethane finishes, acrylic paint and oil-based paints. When choosing a new color for your project, consider room size, lighting conditions and personal preferences.

Applying New Layers of Paint

When painting over primed chalk-painted pieces, it’s essential to apply multiple thin coats instead of one thick coat. This ensures even coverage throughout the entire area being worked on and guarantees a professional-looking result for your painting project. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of applying thin coats and share some techniques for achieving a smooth finish.

Importance of Applying Thin Coats for Best Results

Thin layers are crucial when you’re painting over chalk paint because they allow each coat to dry more quickly and adhere better to the surface. Thick layers can lead to unevenness, visible brush strokes, or even peeling in some cases. By applying several light coats with ample drying time between them, you ensure that your new paint job will be durable and long-lasting.

Techniques for Achieving Smooth Finish

  1. Select the right tools: Use high-quality brushes or rollers designed specifically for your chosen type of paint (e.g., latex paint). This will help minimize streaks and create an even application.
  2. Maintain proper technique: When using a brush, always start at one end of the piece and work systematically towards the other end. Apply consistent pressure while brushing in long strokes along with wood grain direction if applicable; avoid going back and forth excessively, which may cause uneven distribution resulting in a poor overall appearance upon completion of final layer(s).
  3. Sanding between coats: Lightly sand surfaces after each coat has dried completely using medium-grit sandpaper; this will help remove any imperfections, such as brush strokes or drips. Ensure that all dust from sanding is cleared away with a clean cloth prior to the application of another layer.

When you’re ready to start painting, make sure the surface is clean and free of any built-up grease or residue left from previous use. Use soapy water to clean the entire surface and let it dry completely before you start painting. If you’re painting over chalk paint wax, you’ll need to remove the wax finish with light sanding or a special wax remover before you start painting.

For best results, use chalk paint® or chalkboard paint for your chalk-painted furniture. If you’re using regular paint, make sure it has a matte or chalky finish to match the existing chalk paint. If you’re using glossy paint, you may need to do some light sanding to create a surface that the new paint can adhere to.

By following these tips and doing the necessary prep work, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting paint job on your chalk-painted piece. Happy painting.

FAQs in Relation to Painting Over Chalk Paint

What happens if you paint over chalk paint?

If you paint directly over chalk paint without proper preparation, the new layer of paint may not adhere well and can result in an uneven finish or peeling. To achieve a smooth and durable finish, it’s essential to clean, sand, and apply a bonding primer before applying the new layers of paint.

Can you paint directly over chalk paint?

You can’t simply paint directly over chalk-painted surfaces as they require thorough cleaning, sanding, and priming for optimal results. By following these steps properly, your new coat of chosen color will have better adhesion and durability on the surface.

What is the best paint to use over chalk paint?

The best type of paints to use when painting over chalk paint are latex-based or acrylic-based paints that offer good coverage with fewer coats. These types provide excellent adhesion properties while maintaining flexibility during temperature changes, which prevents cracking or peeling issues.

How hard is it to repaint over chalk paint?

Repainting over chalk paint isn’t difficult but requires careful attention to detail through cleaning (removing wax if necessary), lightly sanding for better adherence between layers, followed by using suitable bonding primer prior to application, ensuring the desired outcome is achieved smoothly, avoiding any complications later on.

Do I need to prime before painting over chalk paint?

Absolutely. Applying a bonding primer before adding new layers of color ensures proper adhesion between surfaces, preventing future peeling or cracking problems from occurring. Additionally, this step helps create a smooth, even finish, enhancing the overall appearance of the final result.

Can you repaint over a waxed chalk-painted surface?

Yes, you can repaint over a waxed chalk paint surface. However, it’s crucial to remove the wax layer thoroughly before proceeding with cleaning, sanding, and priming steps. This ensures that your new coat of paint will adhere properly and provide a durable finish.


Painting over chalk paint can be a great way to refresh old furniture and give it new life. Assess the existing finish, take away any wax if needed, clean completely, sand properly, put on a bonding primer and pick your paint type before eventually putting on thin coats of paint for best results. Start by assessing the current finish, removing wax if necessary, cleaning thoroughly, sanding properly, applying bonding primer, and selecting your paint type before finally applying thin coats of paint for optimal results.

John Whitford
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