A Quick How-to Guide on Painting Over Chalk Paint

Painting Over Chalk Paint
  • Author: Ivy Smith
  • Posted On: September 1, 2023
  • Updated On: September 13, 2023

Have you used chalk paint as a quick fix for an at-home DIY paint project and want to elevate your painted piece? Or have you stumbled upon a cheap thrift piece and want to fix the paintwork? Painting over chalk paint can do the job for you. 

It will not cost you much and you can do it yourself with just a few easy steps. Let’s discuss how to paint over chalk paint in detail. 

8 Easy Steps to Painting Over Chalk Paint 

Chalk paint is not chalkboard paint. It is actually a decorative paint with a matte sheen and will give your furniture a farmhouse style, old vintage vibe. 

If you are a DIY paint enthusiast, follow the steps outlined below to achieve a beautifully painted surface when freshening old chalk paint pieces. 

1. Prepare Your Workspace

A well-organized, laid-out workspace will help you reduce time spent fidgeting for supplies and ensure you get the best results. Keep this in mind whenever you start a DIY paint project. 

If your workspace is well-prepared, it will create a stress-free environment and allow you to feel relaxed. So, take out your paint supplies, and let’s get to work. 

Here’s a breakdown of the paint supplies you will need for painting over chalk paint:

  • Gloves
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Scrub Pads (Scotch Brite)
  • Primer
  • Paint of your choice
  • Cloth or rag 
Prepare Your Workspace

2. Consider the Finish of the Furniture Piece 

Take an assessment of the furniture piece to determine what kind of finish you want for it. 

Check if the piece has a sealant applied on top, such as clear wax. It is usually used over chalk paint to help protect it. Chalk paint has the advantage of giving a drip-free application. However, it requires a topcoat to last for long periods. 

If the sealant wax is fresh and hasn’t fully cured, the new paint may not adhere properly to the piece. 

You can check whether a sealant application is present on the piece you are working on. Simply conduct a water test by dropping a few water drops onto the piece, if the droplets get absorbed, there is no sealant. 

However, if the water glides right off, and does not penetrate the surface, you are dealing with a wax sealant. 

The best news is you can paint over furniture covered in chalk paint wax. You are good to go if the wax is not fresh and appears to be thoroughly dried. 

3. Sand the Piece 

The next step is to sand the furniture piece.

You can skip this step if the chalk-painted furniture has a smooth finish. If that’s the case, you can simply clean the furniture piece before repainting. 

If you choose to sand your piece, it will help ensure a smooth base for the new paint layer to sit on top of. Sanding also reveals imperfections that you can later deal with. 

4. Dealing with Furniture with Multiple Layers of Paint 

You will need to put a bit more effort if there are several coats of old paint over the furniture piece. It can become challenging, though. 

The best strategy is to use a power sander such as an orbital sander, disk sander, or belt sander to sand off your piece. 

If you want to repaint the piece, you don’t need to remove all of the paint Just ensure the entire furniture piece is smooth and ready to be repainted. 

5. Dealing with Minimal Coats of Paint 

If your chalk-painted furniture is in great shape, you don’t need to do a complete sanding. All you need is an update with a fresh coat of paint. 

To do that, grab some medium-grit sandpaper and rough up the furniture surface because the existing finish does not need complete removal. 

6. Dust and Clean the Piece 

Your furniture piece will be full of dust particles after sanding. You will need to clean the surface and the crevices. Use a dry, lint-free cloth to clean the surface and remove all dirt and debris. 

Follow up with a damp cloth to clean any grime. This step is crucial because old furniture pieces tend to develop greasy grime from usage. 

This grime may get built into a sticky layer, resembling a glossy topcoat. It will not allow the paint to adhere or allow you to achieve a smooth paint job. 

Mineral spirit will remove any oily substances you find on the surface. Before using it, read the instructions on the can for the proper use and best results. 

7. Prime Your Furniture Piece 

Priming your furniture with a primer is optional. It depends on what kind of color you choose for painting over chalk paint. 

If you are painting with white or another light color, you only need one to two coats of primer to save your paint job in the long run. 

If you have time, energy, and resources, using a primer for your furniture is a great way to set your canvas for painting. 

White primers also help the new paint layer to appear true to the color. However, if you don’t have much time and primer, you can skip priming when painting over chalk paint. 

One thing to keep in mind is the paint you apply may appear slightly different depending on the base color of the furniture piece. 

If you don’t have the primer, you can use the ceiling paint as a primer

8. Finally, Paint the Piece 

Finally, you have reached the painting step. You will need a good paintbrush at this point to minimize the brush marks. 

You can choose any paint of your liking. You can look through different types of paints and decide which color should go on the furniture piece.


  • Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint?
    Yes, you can easily paint over chalk paint. Just ensure cleaning the piece thoroughly and do the priming if needed.
  • What Paint to Use Over Chalk Paint?
    You can use the most common paints being used in household paint projects, such as latex and hybrid paints. However, these paints have a thinner consistency than the chalk paint so you might need to apply several coats of paint for a smooth finish.
  • How to Paint Over Chalk Paint That Has Been Waxed?
    Yes, you can definitely paint over chalk paint that has been waxed. Just make sure to sand the piece a bit for a smooth paint job.
  • Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint With Satin Paint?
    Yes, you can do that because satin paint has a very little sheen so it’s not a big deviation from the chalk paint.
  • Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint With Acrylic Paint?
    Yes, painting over chalk paint with acrylic paint is possible because matte chalk paint is a great base layer for acrylic paint to stick onto.
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Author: Ivy Smith

Ivy is a professional civil engineer and also provides her consultancy at ConstructionHow from the technical aspect. Her expertise entails home improvements and real estate. But the primary strength pins down to the construction sector. She began her career with a property management company cultivating more than 20 construction and real estate projects. She also contributes as a contractor to local and international commercial and domestic individuals.