Chalk Paint & Furniture… Lessons Learned

Posted in Furniture Makeover
green chalk painted furniture
Chalk Paint & Furniture... Lessons Learned

Hello creative friends! Today I’ll be sharing my honest opinion of “chalk paint.” I’ve been painting furniture for a long time and have used many brands except for this one. Shocker right? I’m sure I am the last furniture painter on earth that hasn’t. Especially since this chalk paint has been around since the 90s. I was still stuck on latex back in the day, and it wasn’t until years later that I started playing around with mixing my own budget-friendly chalk paint recipe. Now that I’m all grown up (insert eye roll), it’s time to try it and see.

*This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

This post contains a few affiliate links to help you find the products I use.  You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for more fun projects! To see my full disclaimer, click here!

Lessons Learned Using Chalk Paint

Before chalk paint... first time using.

Always Prep Before Painting

I don’t care what the chalk paint manufacturers say; I always start my furniture makeovers with the proper prep needed to ensure a beautiful finish. Been there and done that failure one too many times. Lessons learned the hard way. Sanding is just one of the steps. CLICK here to learn more about the prep before painting. This one needed it!

No matter what the manufacturers say about no-prep, I always prep before painting.

And before we get started with chalk paint, I wanted to share this new paintbrush I found. It’s called a Wooster. LOL, I like saying that. The price for this one is $6.39 on Amazon. Great price! Perfect for furniture painting and general all-purpose use. CLICK HERE to add it to your stash too.

Check out this paintbrush I found! It's called a Wooster, LOL.

Chalk Paint… First Time Using

Let me start and tell you I need to get out of the house more but doing what I do, I tend to stick with what works. It just so happened my client requested this specific color and isn’t it gorgeous? It’s called Olive. I tried mixing a few colors to see if I could get close to the color she wanted with my current brand. It just wasn’t happening, so I decided to splurge and purchased 1 Qt of the “Chalk Paint,” and I’m so glad I did! Chalk paint is chalk paint. Huh, that’s what I thought.

This chalk paint is super creamy and thick. I can't wait to try it out for the first time on my furniture.

I’m excited to try this brand of chalk paint. So, here we go! I opened the can and stirred the paint with my tongue depressor, AKA craft stick… until it was mixed well. The paint is very smooth and creamy and sticks well to the brush. So far it’s very nice!

Right away, I notice that this chalk paint is a bit thicker than what I prefer, but that’s no biggy. The new paintbrush seems to be working well in the cut-in areas, and it stuck right where I put it. No drips or running with this paint. Yay!

This chalk paint really stays where you put it. No runs or dripping.

Stirring The Paint Well

One of the first things I noticed was that the chalk paint needed to be stirred pretty often while painting. The pigments were very visible when allowed to sit for a short period. After the first coat of paint was applied, I allowed it to dry. I know that chalk paint always looks different when dry, and it was a good way to judge how many coats would be needed for full coverage.

Be sure to stir this paint well while painting between coats. The colors tend to separate.

Chalk Paint Coverage…

Before applying the second coat of chalk paint, I decided to tackle those brush strokes. I can fix that! So, I pulled out my trusty spray mist water bottle using the trick I know that always works on the brush strokes. WRONG! I tried a couple of different ways. The first attempt was to spray over the painted area with a fine mist of water and blend the chalk paint into it. This is my blending technique.

The second attempt was to use a damp brush and apply the paint. Neither of these worked. As you can see in the picture above, the water changed the color of the paint. What I should have done was to add water to the whole can to thin it (as directed on the can 🙄) before painting. This chalk paint can not be altered outside of the can. Note to self, read the labels first.

My blending technique is not recommended on this brand of paint. It dilutes the colors. Good to know.

3 Coats of Paint To Cover

It took 3 coats of paint to give full coverage, and that’s all I have to say about that. Why is my arm so dang tired? I have to admit that this chalk paint was a little more difficult to work with. Maybe because I should have thinned it before, at this point, I was hoping for a miracle because the beautiful Olive green color was… well, not one color. I was getting a little nervous.

My experience with chalk paint.

Smoothing Out The Brush Strokes

Great news! This chalk paint sands very easily, so that’s what I did. I used a hand sanding pad (220 grit) and gave it a once over. It was a lot of sanding to get it as smooth as I would have liked, but brush strokes give it character. Right?😮 The dust was everywhere, and I decided to leave a few! Looking back, I should have worn a mask.

I hooked up the shop vac and cleaned up the paint dust the best I could. I used a damp paper towel to wipe down any leftover dust from the sanding of the chalk paint on the furniture. After the sanding, I was a bit worried that I screwed up! The paint was all kinds of colors… but it was pretty. Like I could see the different pigments used to create the Olive green. But then again, I like unusual finishes, but this was my client’s piece, and she wanted OLIVE GREEN.

Wax and chalk paint are meant to go together with this brand. Lessons learned...

Sealing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

It is recommended that Annie Sloan’s chalk paint be sealed with wax. I did know that. Unlike the chalk mineral paint that I prefer, it does not have to be sealed. Both paints have a chalky matte finish.

Adding wax over this brand of chalk paint is a must. It enriches the colors and makes everything cohesive. Lessons learned...

It Was PURE magic!

Guess what happened when I applied the wax over the paint? The chalk paint Gods released their miracle. AMEN! The uneven colors richened, and my OLIVE green came back. Glory, glory! I didn’t know. As for the paintbrush strokes, I’m calling it good cause pretty sure that was my bad for not reading the can. And come to think of it… I probably should have used a chalk paintbrush instead of the Wooster. I’m blaming it on the Wooster! That’s what you get when you have a name like Wooster. LOL

Adding wax over chalk paint on furniture changes everything. Lesson learned...

Lessons Learned From Using This Chalk Paint Brand

  • Always read the instructions on the can.
  • Not all chalk paints are the same.
  • If you love your brand and it works for you, that’s all that matters.
  • All chalk paints take time to master use.
  • Blending with a brush and water doesn’t work well for a one-color finish.
  • Don’t be afraid to try other brands.

So, the question is… would I use this chalk paint again? I would have to say no for a couple of reasons.

  1. Almost $40 for 1 quart (that’s a lot of $$ in my opinion)
  2. It took the whole quart to paint it. (that’s a lot of paint)
  3. The brush strokes are an issue for me. (thick paint)
  4. It has to be sealed. (that’s even more money on another product)

I’ll stick with my tried and true Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint. It works well with my style of furniture painting. Sometimes you gotta try other products to know what’s out there. Testing the waters is always good, and you don’t know what you don’t know.

The End Results Of Chalk Paint On Furniture

Olive Green Chalk Painted Cabinet
This olive green chalk paint on this cabinet looks gorgeous paired with the chartreuse accents.
Fall is all about olive green and chartreuse accents in my home decor.
Olive chalk paint and chartreuse accents make this cabinet a winner for sure.

Wow! It sure is a step up from before. All in all, it turned out great. Isn’t this Olive chalk paint a gorgeous color?! And can I get an AMEN for those chartreuse pillows that I paired with it? I found them on Amazon for $10. Adding pops of color (pillows) in a home is a great way to spruce up the look in a hurry without breaking the bank. Especially if you have Amazon Prime. *wink *wink

Want to share your feedback on this makeover? I’d love to hear. Or say HEY to let me know you were here in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping.

Until the next project… xo, Do

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80 Comments

  1. Thank you SO MUCH for taking me on this journey with you- I learned a lot – Always with you! ❀️❀️Love you girl😜

  2. I have only used this brand and assumed all chalk paints were the same. I’ve had the same issues with brush strokes when I didn’t use the chalk paint brush. next project I will try the Dixie Bell brand.
    thank you so much for enlightening me

    1. Hello Renee! The color was just too dreamy not to try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Dixie Belle’s paint. Let me know what you think. πŸ™‚ Do

  3. Thank you for your experiment !!! I was always curious about that brand but never liked the price!!! And, also, thank you for saying stick with what you know if it works for you! Always enjoy your creativity with your projects. 😊

  4. Thank you so much for confirming my love of Dixie Belle. I’m fairly new to chalk painting but have tried 3 brands and Dixie Belle is my favorite. I’m currently tackling two end tables makeovers for my son’s first house. Trying to do a driftwood look. 2 colors in (off white & gray brown color) and trying to decide on 3rd color (medium dark gray or dark gray) and whether to dry brush it with chip brush or use thinned out paint and wipe thru afterwards. Any suggestions? Not planning to seal it with wax since using Gator Hide. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    1. Hi, Lynn! For the driftwood look, I prefer to use the dry brush method. Practice on a board until you get the look you want. Dixie Belle paint is fairly inexpensive. You could even try both methods together! That just might be your answer. Let me know how it works out. πŸ™‚ Do

  5. Hi Do! This piece is gorgeous! I’m trying to get up the guts (and the room) to try and paint a small desk. Watching your videos and reading your blog is an inspiration!
    Thank-you!
    Lori

    1. Hi, Lorraine! You can DO this. I just know it. We all started with that very first piece. Set a time that you will start this project and tell your friends. Then you have to do it. Sometimes it takes a push out of the nest to fly. Soon you will be soaring. πŸ™‚ I believe in you. πŸ™‚ Remember, everything is DOable. xo

  6. I really liked how you were able to correct the issues with the various shades while trying to get the look you were after. The chest turned out very pretty and I am sure your client was very happy with the results. Thanks for sharing what worked and what did not. Very helpful tips!

    1. So happy to hear that, Sue! Fingers crossed that she will love it too. Now I want to paint an Olive piece for myself. Happy to share my experience with you. πŸ™‚ Do

  7. Good lesson today, Do! My experience in furniture painting has been your opposite. I started with trying different brands thinking they were all the same and finding out that Dixie Belle Paint definitely stands out as my #1. Now that I use ONLY DIXIE BELLE, I’m experimenting with all the different paints, gels, glazes, waxes, and finishes. I found out that there IS a difference in (e.g.) metallic PAINT and GLAZE as I was painting an antique doll cradle for my granddaughter’s Christmas gift. Working on small pieces such as children’s and doll furniture helps me to learn how to use DBP and see the many variations/choices I can use on furniture. Watching your videos has given me inspiration and knowledge to β€œtackle” my next piece(s). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Exactly, Mary!
      I love to experiment with other products on small DIY home decor projects. Its a win-win and I don’t feel likeI’m wasting products. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m always happy to share. πŸ™‚ Blessings Do

  8. This turned out amazing! I love the color. Great job! Thanks for sharing your experience with a different brand of chalk paint.

  9. Love that Olive color! What a pretty piece. I would have used my spray bottle as well! Who knew? Oh well, πŸ˜† live and learn! Thanks for sharing and letting us learn along with you.

  10. I thought about trying a different brand of paint, and this brand was the next one on to try out. I have only use Dixie Belle since I started paint furniture. Thanks for sharing this post…

  11. A beautiful piece of furniture – and that color is WOW. You are so gracious to share your knowledge with others. I’ve learned many things from you, and love all your work. Keep on keeping on!

  12. Im so glad to know the difference in Annie Sloan and Dixie Belle chalk paints. I’ve only used Annie Sloan up until now…I’ve already been online to look up Dixie Belle retailers near me and..YEA… I’ve found a retailer not too far away. Definitely can’t wait to try out Dixie Belle and no waxing!!!!
    Great to check out your posts and see what I can learn!πŸ‘

  13. I started with Annie Sloane paint several years ago. I had nothing to compare. I have several pieces of my own and custom for others. Don’t think I had any particular problems with the paint. Is expensive sort of but I have done several pieces with a quart. When it gets thick you do add a bit of water. When I started using Dixie Belle and saw that you could mist your brushes and or your piece of furniture I was intriqued. Interesting thing is that for the years I used AS paint they never misted or sprayed their pieces and certainly did not do blending. So I wonder why they started using DB techniques. Seems like they either changed their formula or was copying from DB. I still have AS paint left over and will use if needed for something. I watched lots and lots of tutorials from AS and they never ever misted their furniture!

    1. Hi Paula,
      It is very interesting. I’m certain that I should have added water but I still like being able to blend. It’s good to try new things for sure. Glad you’re loving DB. It’s my favorite. πŸ™‚ Happy painting, xo

  14. My first chalk paint was Annie Sloan and I thought it was great. Then I tried Dixie Belle and now I say Annie Sloan WHO???? I will only use Dixie Belle paint now and forever. I’m hooked on Dixie Belle!!

  15. Thank you for sharing, I too have thought about trying that brand but the cost has always been a little more then I wanted to spend to “experiment” with. Love your talent and never stop creating!!!

  16. I adore your work, when I can see it. I have a complaint – your site is so full of advertising and pop ups that I can’t delete that it’s so frustrating and I don’t even look. I realize that’s how you get paid and I know you have a β€˜club’ but I can’t afford to pay what you want. I’m just saying… and asking if there is a less expensive alternative to just see your pieces and an occasional tutorial ?

    1. Hi Judie,
      Thank you for the feedback. I am a blogger and yes this is my business. Everything on my Blog is free to my readers. However, the cost of running a blog isn’t free. Ads allow me to give you free content there. Without them, I could not afford to share what I love.

      I do have free videos on Youtube as well as many other furniture artists. That might be a better option for you. Blessings to you. πŸ™‚ Do

  17. Hola….. Soy de ARGENTINA ,,Buenos Aires, y me encanta todo el avance y resoluciones que tienen Usa, los Americanos para los proyectos. Todo tan avanzado, quesi tuviera muchos a;os menos me iria a vivir alla, porque conozco algo su Pais y ME ENCANTA TODO… /su estilo de vida, su adelantos en todo sentido y me senti tan comoda que me apenaba cuando tenia que volver… Que tristeza hablar asi de mi Pais, pero me senti tan comoda en todos los aspectos que siempre fue mi anhelo volver…..Bueno vayamos a este tema,,, ya probe la pintura * obvio que aca con otro nombre y es Fantastica… hace ilagros con todo lo que toca y estoy aprendiendo mucho con Ud. Muchisimas Gracias

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Marta. I pray that someday you can return. I do love my country and have been truly blessed. I enjoy sharing with others all over the world. This avenue allows me to meet so many. It’s like travel without the hassle. Wishing you all the best in your furniture painting endeavors. Stay safe my new friend.

      God bless. πŸ™‚ Do

  18. Hi Do! Well, your advice on “blending” when using only one color came too late… I used white chalk paint for kitchen cabinets and like you, tried blending the brush strokes away….😠 There’s 5 coats of paint and I must add: You CAN “blend” easier after the 3rd or 4th coat of paint. Cabinets are now completely done…..BUT now onto those 32yr old nasty oak cupboards…. THANK you for being here for all of us; you are DEFINITELY an inspiration for projects in theCatHouse!
    πŸ’žπŸ’—πŸ˜»πŸ’—πŸ’ž

    1. You are my hero! I would have given up after 3 coats, LOL. I appreciate the kind words and it is my pleasure to share with you. I also learn a lot from others and it’s how we should be. Always helping others. God bless πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I have used water-based poly over chalk paint with good results. However, the poly tends to yellow with time so if you’re working with lighter colors, beware. Good luck. πŸ™‚

  19. Funny, I have the opposite reaction. I used AS paint first, but since the nearest stockists is over 100 miles from me, I have tried Dixie Belle on several pieces. The major complaint for me is that the paint does not stick to furniture as well as AS. After sanding and cleaning, I painted a large dresser with Dixie Belle paint. Coverage, for me, was the same as AS. The dresser was allowed to cure before use, however, the paint has scratched in several noticeable place. This is an issue I have not had with AS and is an issue with a second dresser painted with DB. Again, because of the distance, I will try Fusion paint on my next project.

  20. I have to say this piece is simply beautifull!!! Olive green or really any green for that matter is my favorite color. I have used Anne Sloan before and is not one of my favorite because of the price.

  21. Love the color as well! I’ve always mixed water with the chalk paint. It’s not so thick and I don’t have brush marks. The wax pretty much takes care of any imperfections that chalk paint is known for. I’ve ordered the paint brush for my next projects. I did my kitchen cabinets and loves the results!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thinking back, I should have thinned the paint in a container first and not used a spray mist bottle with water to blend it. It is a beautiful color. πŸ™‚

  22. Hey Do, I always use a roller on my furniture with chalk paint even in the nitty gritty corners I’ll use a small artists brush then run the roller over. Also found that using a lint free rag for my wax is best. Living in Canada and working in a garage -temperature matters most. Too cold and you get lousy coverage and wax is impossible. Too hot and everything just melts. So spring and fall are my favorite refinishing times. Thanks for your pointers -gonna try a few … cheers Paula

    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for sharing those great tips. Back in the day, I always applied my wax with a lint-free cloth. I don’t know why I stopped doing that. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings xo πŸ™‚

  23. I have only used Annie Sloan chalk paint on several pieces of furniture. I am planning to paint my bedroom furniture Annie Sloan Ducks egg blue chalk paint. I love the refreshing color. I had seen it recently on a piece of furniture on my local buy and sell site. When I asked her what color wax she used, she said she used 3 coats of minwax polyacrylic in matte and then a light sanding. The effect was beautiful. I thought you had to apply a clear wax to all Annie Sloan chalk paint, but I will try using the minwax polyacrylic instead.

    1. Yes, you can use other top coats but be careful. Some tend to turn yellow over time. It’s a great option if you don’t want to wax.

  24. I make my own chalk paint and constantly tinker with it. My last one was phenomenal. 3 parts Plaster of Paris, 1 part calcium carbonate. To increase coverage,add 1 part cornstarch. Then I take my liquid mix (3 parts water, 1 part fabric softener, 1 part floetrol. Fabric softener thickens it up, do no drips, floetrol eliminates brush strokes. They disappear as the paint dries. Takes longer to cure, but very hard when done.

  25. Lol. I have never used ASP, either. Love my Dixie Belle! Have you ever mixed Collars Greens and Farmhouse Green? I start with FHG and then add CG to get the shade I want. I have also added a bit of Driftwood to mute it down a bit. Not sure if you would get an Olive, but I was able to get a pretty sage green.glad I know a bit more now about using ASP, will help me when I talk to people about why I love DBP!

    1. Hi Janet! I haven’t, but I’m going to try your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it. I love that we can learn from each other, making creating much more fun. πŸ™‚ xo Merry Christmas!

  26. Hi. Newbie here. Going to tackle first piece. I been reading everything about chalk. Thank you for this! My question is, what do you think of Fushion Mineral Paints? I am torned between that, Dixie Belle or Annie Sloane. Help! I am making my head spin!!

    1. Hi Sandee!
      I’m so glad you found me. My preference is Dixie Belle paint. It’s a chalky-based paint, somewhat like Annie Sloan. Fashion mineral paint is a little different but still a good quality paint. It all depends on the look you want to achieve. I have many tutorials on my blog and in my private subscription video library using chalk paints. You can learn more about them here. https://members.dododsondesigns.com/join-the-art-of-painting-furniture-subscription-group/
      I would say to try one and see what you like. For ease of use, I would have to say, Dixie Belle. And yes, head-spinning is a part of the creative process with painted furniture. πŸ™‚ xo

  27. Hi Do! I just recently found your work and I’m a o glad I did! So I have 2. questions gor you. Which paint do you like best of Dixie Bells. The mineral paint or the silk paint. Question 2 is what do you think of the Allinone paint by Heirloom Traditions?

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I’m so glad you found me too. I have so much to share with you. I can’t say I like one over the other because they are two different paints. The chalk mineral paint is best for blending and artistic designs. The All-In-One Silk Mineral Paint is fabulous for beginners and is “all in one.” No need to seal or a topcoat. So I guess my answer is it depends on what you want to accomplish. I love the Silk line of paints and recently shared my first experience here. https://dododsondesigns.com/silk-all-in-one-mineral-paint/ Here is a post on the chalk mineral paint. https://dododsondesigns.com/chalk-paint-review/

      I haven’t used the Heirloom Traditions because I love the Silk. I hope this answers your questions. Have a great weekend. Keep on painting! πŸ™‚ xo DO

  28. What a beautiful piece!! Did you apply black wax also for the shading? Love it! Always wanted to try Annie Sloan but was turned off by the price. Have used Dixie Belle all-in-one and what a dream this paint is..I would also love to know if you can share what you did to your wall behind this piece? Wow!! Also so gorgeous. Thank you!

  29. Your work is beautiful. I read through the comments to see if someone else asked about the shading and I got my answer. I was impressed by the way you handled each person with such respect. Especially the commenter that offered feedback on the ads from your site, you accepted them with grace and took the time to explain why then offered another solution. Bravo!! I love kind people like you.

    1. Awwwwwwe, you made my day, Tava! It’s hard to sit behind a keyboard, but we all must remember that someone is on the other end. I value the information shared with me. The good, bad, and the ugly. Always more good than bad. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you will come to revisit me. I have lots to share. Have a fantastic rest of your week. πŸ™‚ xo

  30. Thanks for this review, great tips and advice Do! Also, I’m super curious about the Surfprep sander, I’ve heard great things! Have a super day, Denise XOXO

    1. Hey friend! I appreciate you stopping by. Yes, I LOVE my Surfprep sander. It has saved me many times and just recently on our home renovation. All that wood! I’m considering purchasing the orbital sander too. Have a great week. πŸ™‚ xo

  31. Beautiful piece. πŸ™‚
    I do love this color. The dark wax shading gives it wonderful depth. Your work is beautiful !
    I’ve mainly used AS chalk paint – love the colors – and unlimited colors with mixing them. Sadly, it is pricy.
    However, I’m not a fan of waxing. I used General Finishes – both flat out flat and satin. Easy to apply and durable.
    I’ve recently been following sites using Dixie bell, and the results are gorgeous, and seems to be easy to use.
    I hope to try some soon. πŸ™‚ Painting technology has evolved sooo much. Isn’t it wonderful to try so many options.
    Thanks for sharing – I’m happy to see much more of your work.
    p

    1. Hello Prex! I’m so happy you stopped by. Thanks for sharing your insight. I’ve heard of the flat-out, and I guess I need to order it now. Yes, paint has evolved, which is why I like to try new brands too. You never know. Have a great week. πŸ™‚ xo

    1. Hi Nette! I’m so glad you found me. LOL, I had to look up the meaning of candor. How’s that for honesty? Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚ xo

    1. You are so welcome, Leslie! Take your time and have fun. Ask a lot of questions and do some research before starting. You got this! πŸ™‚ xo

  32. I’m loving the olive, but I like the streaky colors too! Happy Denise shared this makeover and I will be sure to follow you!

  33. Hello I used another chalk paint on a kitchen table, I’m not sure if I should wax or use a water based polyurethane?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      A tabletop will need a durable finish. Wax is beautiful (not as durable) but if it gets daily use, I would go with an acrylic topcoat. You can use a poly but it tends to yellow over time on lighter colors. I hope this helps.

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