Painting over chalk paint

So you want to paint over that chalk painted furniture piece now is it? You know how everything seems hard at first until you actually do it and realize that it was not even as hard as you thought.

Well just like painting over white chalk. Now when you look at a chalk painted surface you think that it’s simple and you can just come with your topcoat paint and paint over it well that’s wrong. 

Doing that will lead to wastage of resources not forgetting a disappointed you afterward. So I am here today to help you learn and guide you through this process of painting over chalk paint. I promise this will yield good results if you follow through it properly and follow the instructions well enough. 

So we know that normally chalk paint has that matter style finish and that’s why people love it so much. It generally looks weaker than all the other paints and just by looking at it you feel like it is going to peel off any second and an hour but it doesn’t if done right.

So if you want to do it right then follow my lead, follow through with this article and I am certain at the end of it all you will love the results just as much. 

What you’ll need

  • Mineral spirits (optional)
  • A hard scrub and a soft one
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint
  • Floor covers
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Paintbrush or foam roller
  • Gloves and Face masks


Painting may seem easy for a lot of people. Be warned that certain processes during this painting phase might actually be harmful to you and the people are around you so to be safe please cover your face to avoid inhaling any dust and paint chemicals, make sure to wear gloves when painting as well as sanding the furniture to avoid paint stains and splinters. And be sure to cover the floor area you will be working on as you might end up with paint stains all over the floor. If all that is set I think we can now start. 

Stage 1

At this stage, we are going to check if your painted surface has been waxed or not. You can use a small knife or your nail and just scratch the surface a bit. If you find nothing under your nail or on the small knife that you have been using then there is no wax so you can move into the first stage. However, if you do find some wax on the surface then you will have to remove the wax. 

How to remove wax

So removing wax may be a bit daunting but if you have the right tools it’s quite easy. So you’ll have to take the mineral spirits and pour onto your sponge and scrub down the surface. You will start to see small amounts of the wax ball up on the surface of the piece you’re cleaning. 

Continue to scrub down with the mineral spirits and scrub sponge until all the wax has been removed. To test if all the wax has been removed just take the knife or your nail again and scratch the surface. If you see no wax then we move on. If you still find some wax then take your mineral spirit again and wax it down until there is not wax anymore. Let it dry out and move on.

Stage 2

So after removing all that waxy surface if there was any, we now move on to the next stage of our process which is to scuff sand the whole piece. By scuff sanding, we are making the surface capable to adhere with the paint we want to use on it. So get your sander or some sandpaper and just be sure to roughen up the piece a bit so that the paint can adhere to the surface. 

After scrubbing it down, take a tack cloth and remove the sawdust and particles that could leave out bumps when you paint over them. Make sure to use a spirit to clean over the whole piece and once you are done wiping it down and I mean from head to toe we move on the final stage. 

Stage 3

Now you are at the end of the journey. After you have wiped down your piece and you are certain that is is smooth the way you want it. After you are certain that you don’t have any splinters or reside that could make the paint uneven you can now take your paint and paint over it well. 

The trick here is to use a brush that is small enough or big enough. Likewise, you can make use of a foam roller if you are unsure. Make sure to use at least 3 coats to make sure that you fully cover the chalk paint. 

Depending on the instructions given by the paint container you will be using you can wait 4 to 8 hours for each coat to dry before applying the next coat. When you are done covering the whole piece dry and when it is dry you can either use a protective gloss finish or not. That will entirely be up to you. When you finish off with the protective finish you will be done entirely with painting over the whole piece. 

The reason why painting over chalk paint is easier than painting over a new surface is that the whole process you were supposed to go through would have been done just before the chalk paint was set over. So what you’ll be doing there is just finishing off on a few rough ends and a few rough surfaces. 

All in all the results come out as good as new. When you are certain that your piece is fully dry you can set it up in the room and take some lemon fresh oils and wipe it just so it has a better scent than that of the paint you were using. Apart from that, you will be done painting over the white chalk. So enjoy the experience and be sure to have fun. Want to make your own? See our DIY chalk paint recipe.

Elissa Smith
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