How to paint furniture with Chalk Paint.

How to paint furniture with Chalk Paint.

Here's a step-by-step guide to using Newtons Chalk Finish Paints, that will get you painting and DIY'ing your home decor in no time!


  1. Make sure you have the right equipment to ensure the best results. We have a top quality, Italian paint brush and roller kits range at our online store and we highly recommend you use these. Good quality brushes and equipment make all the difference in your painting projects.
  2. In hotter weather the Chalk Paint thickens, you are able to add a small amount of water to the Chalk Paint, if it's too thick. Rather than adding the water to the tin, pour some paint off into a seperate container and a small amount of water and mix well until you get a smoother consistency.
  3. Clean the furniture ensuring you remove any grime or dust etc. It's preferable to use a non toxic cleaner such as an eco dish wash liquid but some of the grime may need Jif or similar to remove it effectively. Once the grime is removed wipe over with a cloth soaked in warm water to remove any chemical residue.
  4. If the piece needs repairing, fill and sand any lumps or bumps.
  5. Remove handles and hardware and fill the screw holes if you are changing them to a different style/size. We have a stunning range of knobs and handles in our online store see here. Changing the knobs and painting your piece will transform it!  If you are putting the old handles back on, remember you do not need to fill the screw holes.
  6. If the handles are not easily removed you can either try to mask them with masking tape and paint around them or up cycle them by painting straight over them with our Chalk Paint. This also creates a lovely base for applying our Metallic paints or our Metallic waxes. This will freshen them up and give them a whole new look.
  7. Apply one coat of paint all over your piece. If you are wanting the vintage, textured, rustic finish, paint in all angles, this is sometimes called cross hatching.
  8. If you want a smoother look, paint on in the same direction - usually vertically. Or use our rollers on the flat surfaces, using a brush first to coat  the hard to reach, tricky areas.
  9. Between coats, gently fix any imperfections or buildups of paint with fine sandpaper approx 180 grit or higher.
  10. Gently clean over with a slightly  damp cloth to remove any sanding dust.
  11. Apply the second coat and when dry (usually only about 1-2 Hours) and if need be apply a third coat. How many coats you will need depends on the furniture surface, age and condition.
  12. On your final coat, you can water your paint down slightly by adding a small amount of water at a time, mixing well and testing how it flows. This will help give you a smoother finish, if this is your preference.
  13. The paint can take up to 3 weeks to fully harden and cure, treat the finish very gently up until this time.
  14. The crowning glory of creating your Chalk painted projects is in the finishing. We suggest sealing with our Newton's clear Lavender Beeswax Polish. This can be lightly brushed on with one of our Chalk Paint Wax Brushes or applied with a lint free rag. Buff of lightly when dry for a gorgeous soft natural looking sheen. Or for sealing heavy duty areas such as Table tops, Children's Furniture, Kitchen cabinets etc we suggest sealing with Newton's Varnish Sealer. Apply with our Varnish Brush or our Varnish Roller. Apply very sparingly, especially on to our darker colours, otherwise you will get a patchy result. If unfamiliar with this product we suggest doing a trial on piece of chalk painted wood to ensure you get the results you are after.
  15. Distressing your piece to give it a shabby chic look can be done before or after waxing. Use fine sand paper 180g or higher or a sanding block. Sand off gently in areas that would normally get bumped and worn over time, like the edges, around the handles and raised details. If you sand too much paint off or if you decide you don't like the look after distressing, you can simply touch up the wrong bits with the Chalk paint. I find an artists brush handy for this. Alternatively if you prefer to start again, you can paint straight over the whole thing with Chalk Paint, even if it has been varnished and waxed! Chalk paint is very forgiving.

​1 The beauty of using Chalk paint is that there is no need for messy sanding which is particularly useful if your furniture is not able to be moved outside for sanding! If you want to sand though, go ahead, as this is going to give the paint extra grip and better durability in the long run. Sanding is especially recommended when painting over smooth surfaces like veneers, glazed pots, metal etc as any roughing up of the surface that you can do will help its longevity. 

2. We recommend you use our especially designed Chalk paint brushes to create an optimal finish. Our Chalk Paint rollers are perfect for flat surfaces and make for a quicker job! When using a roller, brush the corners and edges where the roller can't reach first, then use the roller to blend and coat.
3. When painting with any sort of paint be mindful not to over brush the paint. This means just doing one coat and not going back over the already painted bits before the paint is fully dries. If this is done it can cause the paint to lift and give a patchy lumpiness to the finish.

4. There is sometimes, though very rarely, a phenonemon called 'bleed through" when painting over wood. If you notice that patches or marks are showing through the finish, this will likely be" bleed through". This can occur when
 timbers expel natural oils and saps. It is unpredictable if this will happen. Some people like to apply a stain blocker as an insurance policy, prior to painting. Our Newton's Primer acts as a stain blocker and is fully compatible to use as a first coat before Chalk painting your piece, if you wish.
If the staining does come through after applying the paint, simply apply a coat of Newton's Varnish or Shellac over the patches or the whole piece. Then continue painting as normal and it will no longer bleed through.
 Most of all enjoy the process! It is art and we don't always get it right at first. Keep on working at it until it is pleasing to your eye! 
Ali Newton
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