What’s the big deal about chalk paint?

Chalk paint works so much better than ordinary paint on furniture. We love that it’s so versatile and forgiving. We love that it eliminates the need for sanding and priming most of the time. We love that you can use it as a chalkboard or use it to create a time worn look on furniture.

What can you paint with chalk paint?

As you can see from the photos (coming soon) on this page, you can paint all sorts of things! You can paint furniture, true, but did you know you can also paint walls, frames, signs, lamps, message boards, brass chandeliers, silver plated platters and even glass. Laminate can also be painted but requires the few extra steps of sanding & priming.


How do you mix the paint?

See Mixing Websters in Paint here.

What kind of paint can you use?

You can mix Websters Chalk Paint Powder with latex paint ~any brand, any color! Flat, semi-gloss, satin & eggshell all work great. High gloss not recommended. Sample sizes are about 1 cup and just right for most projects. (We love using sample paint sizes from lots of different companies – they’re usually around $3.00!)


What if it’s too thick or thin?

The type of paint you use may affect the thickness of the chalk paint.  If you prefer it thinner, add a tiny bit of water. Do not use less powder – you’ll lose the “chalkiness”. Add lots of water if you want a “wash”. If it’s too thin, you can add a little more powder (another teaspoon or two is fine).


Does the powder alter the color of the paint?

No. The powder is white, but the original color of the paint doesn’t change.


Do you need to prep the piece before you paint it?

The piece you are about to paint should always be cleaned. If it has grease, oil or furniture polish on it, you may even want to use a heavy duty de-greaser. Chalk paint makers often boast that no sanding is needed, but if it’s a slick surface like a laminate, you would be advised to sand. Some really difficult surfaces may need to be primed.


How many coats of paint will you need?

Many colors will cover fine with just one coat. Light colors may require two coats. Every now and then you run across wood that bleeds through mysteriously (no matter what paint you are using). A good oil-based primer is recommended for those. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often.


Which is best – thick coats or thin?

If you apply the paint too thickly, it will crack. Some people do this intentionally to produce a crackle effect. You can even use a hairdryer to encourage more cracking. Thin coats are just fine. You may need more than one coat. Medium coats are recommended.


What can you paint with 1 cup of paint?

Chalk paint goes further than regular paint. One cup is enough for 1 average piece of furniture. You may even have some left over.


What if you want a distressed, shabby look?

Sanding here and there produces a great distressed look.  How much do you sand? The first step in giving your piece a time worn look is to take off some of the paint by sanding. Take a look at the distressing on different pieces of furniture. Find the pieces you like and note how much they distressed (sanded) and where. This is totally a matter of preference. You may only want some edges sanded off. You may want lots of paint sanded off, even on the flat areas. The good news is, if you sand off too much, you can repaint the area. Can you use more than one color of paint?  It’s fun to put a layer of one color on top of a layer of another color. Then when you sand, you reveal bits of the first color underneath.


 How much can you make with 1 bag of powder?

One bag will make a quart of chalk paint. Or it can make 4 sample sizes. That means you can do 4 (or more) different projects in 4 different colors.


 Do you have to use wax?

No. If you just put on a coat of chalk paint, you have a chalkboard! If you want a surface that will show wear and become weathered, you can leave it unfinished.


What does the wax do?

The wax seals the finish. It provides the protective layer to hold the paint in place and provides a waterproof barrier. Depending on how thickly it is applied and how much buffing you do, it’s mostly dry within an hour. After that it continues to harden for about 30 days. At that point it is considered to be “cured”. You don’t have to wait that long to use it. We usually start using our pieces a day or two after they’ve been waxed, but we try to be a bit gentle with them.


How many coats of wax do you need?

A chalkboard needs no wax.  A lightly used piece needs 1 coat of wax. Some pieces which will be in heavier use might need 2 or even 3 coats. More than that is not recommended. If you have a piece which will be treated roughly, you might prefer to finish with a good, reliable brand of polyurethane.


Will any brand of wax work?

No! Some waxes have too much of this or that and can actually act like a stripper on chalk paint. Do not ruin your paint job by trying to use the wrong wax! Use a soft paste wax especially designed for painted surfaces. Waxes intended for wood can ruin your project (we know).


Is wax the only way to seal the paint?

No. As mentioned before, you can also use polyurethane. If you have a piece that’s going to undergo really heavy use, that might be a good choice. Poly finishes are also good for surfaces you are likely to want to use cleansers with (like a kitchen table top). Some people like to use a glaze.


How do you use the wax?

You can use a rag to rub it in. If your project has lots of carving and details, an old paintbrush with the bristles cut short will probably be best. Work the wax into the paint. Work it in good. Wipe off excess. After about an hour, you can buff if you wish. After wax is applied it feels a little tacky and has a bit of a haze. Buffing takes away the haze and leaves a smooth protective finish. Some people don’t bother with this step.


When do you use clear and when do you use brown?

If you love the color of your paint and just want to seal it, use the LIGHT – it’s clear. For a subtle bit of color, apply a layer of clear and then a layer of brown. If you want a dramatic antiqued look, you can use only the brown. When using the brown, you can wipe off as you go. If it’s too dark and not rubbing off enough, apply clear on top – it’s almost like using an eraser.

The clear (Light) is a must to have on hand. Of the tinted colors, Rugger Brown was our favorite. Tip: You can mix a tiny bit of any color paint with the clear wax to tint it to any color you want. It’s very nice! The paint bottles at the craft store work fine for this technique. You can create any shade you want!