Chalk paint furniture and let them shine
When you notice your old dresser’s finish is fading, getting scratches and dings or the coffee table no longer works with your current style, chalk paint is the best that can happen to you and your wooden furniture! Chalk paint is the alternative for replacing it, because it gives wooden furniture the style you are looking for, whit a matte chalky finish. Who is a fan of any renovation shows, has seen the transformative power of chalky paints. Decorators and DIYers alike love chalk paints for upcycling old furniture and fixings, providing a vivid finish that can be modified to any interior or theme.
This articles enables you to chalk paint furniture, and shows how to get started and which brand is the best chalk paint in New Zealand. You need tips and tricks for a perfect finish from your wooden furniture chalk paint? We give you a rundown of some of the most valuable tips concerning chalk paints on wooden furniture.
Chalk paint: instant vintage in a pot
What was the height of style one year may be dark and blocky the next. But well-made, useful pieces will last forever. With chalky paints, furniture can be revived and renewed while creating a vintage feel or keeping its vintage charm. The finish of chalk paint is matte, the surface is chalky, that’s where the name comes from. But there are multiple finishes possible: Once sealed with wax or varnish dullness can be mellowed out. The constant hype on chalk paint has several more reasons, at least these 5:
- It’s fast drying → You can complete a project within 24 hours, doing the undercoat on Saturday morning, the second coat Saturday afternoon, and sealing coat or wax on Sunday. Remember to give the piece 3 to 5 days to really cure before being too rough with the newly chalk painted furniture.
- Applying is no hassle → Chalk paint goes on opaque and covers very well by brush. You might want to brush on two coats for full coverage – just to make sure –, but there is no need for thinning or anything tricky, unless you want to play with the finish, of course!
- Prep work is minimal → One of the reasons chalk paint is so popular is because of its almost “no prep necessary” claim but be aware that there are two camps – those who prep and those who don’t. Chalk paints adheres well to most surfaces like wood without a primer and all you need is to make sure they are dry and clean. If your surface however is very smooth and has a gloss or varnish on it, it is recommended you sand it down beforehand just to be sure.
- Eco-friendly, safe to use → Chalk paints consist of minerals, pigments and water. Most chalk paints therefore are completely free of harmful toxic substances and are considered toy safe for children. Always check the ingredients and safety data sheet of the product though. Another non-toxic paint is milk paint, made of casein.
- Versatile finishes → The chalky matte finish of chalk paint will retain brush marks which is part of its appeal. With chalk paint you can easily give a worn, vintage look to furniture by playing around with a sanding block or steel wool. That’s how shabby chic furniture is made. Using different colors for base and top coats can provide a layered look, thinning chalk paint before brushing on can make it seem more like a stain or wash than an opaque colour. It’s up to you!
Best way to use chalk paint on wooden furniture
The most typical image of shabby chic furniture is the wooden piece enhanced with white chalk paint. But there are endless chalk paint colours to choose from. If you found the right colour but struggle with how to best use it, here are the best tips and tricks, for newbies and intermediates alike, for getting the perfect chalky paint result:
- If nervous, start small: Get your eye in with a smaller or simpler project, a flat surface or something you won’t mind not getting perfect. Practice your brushstrokes on a surface that isn’t so visible – the side or even underneath – so you feel more confident and know what to expect when you tackle the more important surfaces.
- Do not skip the cleaning: Though you may not need to sand the whole piece, you definitely need to clean it. Wash it down with mild soapy water and make sure to get any oil and grease spots. Do sand out or fill dings and scratches that you don’t want to show through your final finish.
- Brushstrokes: long and even: Go with the wood grain and apply the paint in long sweeping strokes. Chalk paints dry fast so work quickly and try to make your brush stroke stretch over the whole length of the surface you are painting. If the paint is too thick you can thin it with a little water.
Don’t give up after the first coat! – The first coat won’t look great. In fact, you may have a moment of panic. Fear not! The second coat will go on more smoothly and you will see what everyone is talking about.
- Sand 2nd paint layer for smooth finish: Using very fine sandpaper (about 220 grit), lightly sand the surface of your paint. Don’t wear through the paint, just leave with a smoother finish than the chalky matte that will still work with the waxing or sealing.
- Chalk paint colours in layers = interesting finish: If you use two different chalk paint colours for first and second coat, the distressing sanding will reveal the underlying chalk paint colour, giving the wooden furniture piece a worn (shabby) and layered appearance.
- Shabby chic: For the shabby chic look, sand down the dried white chalk paint. Focus mostly on edges and drawers that would be more likely to get knocked and worn to give it an authentic feel of a used look with the distinct cuteness chalk paint colours come with.
- Don’t overdo wax finish: Don’t stick your wax brush directly into the wax. You need to control the amount you use so you don’t overdo it – put some of the wax on a tray and work from there. Apply the wax in very thin layers, it really doesn’t take much.
Gotten excited? Ready, steady, brush! Unsure which brands are available in NZ? Here is a chunk of available chalky paints:
Chalk paint brands in New Zealand beside Annie Sloan chalk paint
With the ongoing popularity of chalk paints it is no surprise that you can now find it everywhere. But what are the best products? Below we have outlined some of the top chalk paint brands available in New Zealand.
Newton’s Chalk Finish Paints – NZ crafted chalk paints
Founded in 2014 by Ali Newton, Newton’s chalk finish paints are taking over the DIY segment form New Zealand. Their paint brand aims to crate chalky paints that don’t require stripping with toxic products, therefore are eco and affordable. When you feel the “ChalkPaint bug” bites you too, you can choose from a 33 colour range to create the soft authentic feel. Newton’s is available in selected stores in NZ.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: innovator for chalk paints
Annie Sloan chalk paint was the first marketed chalk paint; the chalk paint that started the hype. Developed as a furniture paint that was versatile and easy to use, Annie Sloan chalk paint quickly took off. Annie Sloan also produces the waxes and lacquers for sealing their products. The Annie Sloan chalk paints come in an exciting range of 42 chalk paint colours, including exotic as well as contemporary shades. Their chalky paint waxes come in clear, dark, white, and black.
Porter’s Chalk Emulsion – Chalk paint colours en masse
Porter’s Chalk Emulsion is an Australian made chalk paint, available in New Zealand, with a soft chalky finish designed for painting furniture. What sets it apart is the sheer size of their colour range: over 200 colours in every shade means you are certain to find what you are looking for.