Practical Advice for Painting With Chalk Paint® by RGC

By Barb Skivington for Real Girls Create

Use the following advice to help you express your painting style with confidence and ease:

  • Enjoy your painting, and don’t be shy with the brush. Some brush marks showing in the finish can be part of the look.
  • Chalk Paint® offers many creative ways to use it. Add water when needed for a smoother application, leave the lid off to allow the paint to thicken for more texture, or use it as a colored stain on raw wood.
  • Distressing is quick and easy. Most finishes are best when just a little bit of paint is rubbed away. This will be easier (and cleaner!) to do if Chalk Paint® Wax is applied first.
  • Shake, shake, shake! The “good stuff” can sink to the bottom. Before use, shake the can of paint for 30 seconds to mix. Then remove the lid and use a stir stick to get any remaining good stuff off the bottom. The paint should look smooth and creamy.
  • These finishes stand up well to “normal wear and tear.” Treat your pieces with respect. Allow the finish to cure (this will take anywhere from 5 to 21 days when left in warm, dry conditions) before placing items that could mark the surface. Avoid excessive water, alcohol, and sharp or scratchy objects. Use coasters under water glasses and placemats on dining tables. Clean with a soft cloth and avoid all liquid furniture polishes.
  • Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax are food safe and safe for use on children’s toys and furniture. Allow the finish to fully cure before putting the item to use.
  • Don’t panic if a yellow or pink stain appears in your new paint layer. This is known as “bleed through” and is most noticeable when painting with lighter colors. This can happen when the piece was previously finished with a non-colorfast stain (often found on pieces from the 1930s and 1940s) or was made from a wood with open grain and the tannins stored in the grain drained up into the new finish. You can easily correct this by wiping on one or two very thin coats of fresh clear shellac to block the staining action. There’s no need to remove the paint; you can apply the shellac directly on top. Shellac dries quickly and you can soon repaint.
  • Use the wax sparingly! Always apply Chalk Paint® Wax in thin layers, gently spreading it over the surface using a brush or cloth. Work in manageable sections and remove the excess wax with clean absorbent cloths as you go. Change to a clean cloth frequently as an old one can become clogged with wax and become ineffective. Allow the wax to dry before buffing. This can be as little as 10 to 20 minutes, but 2 hours or even overnight can sometimes be best. You'll know when the wax is dry when the surface no longer feels cool or damp to the touch. Once dry, buff with soft cotton cloths.
  • Always apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax before applying a darker wax. This will prevent the pigments in the darker Chalk Paint® Waxes from staining the underlying paint and making the darker color difficult to soften or remove later.
  • Condition a new natural bristle brush before use.This will help to avoid unwanted bristles showing up in your paintwork. Begin by slapping the bristles against your hand several times and then slap them against a hard edge to loosen any rogue bristles. Pull out any loose bristles that pop up with your fingers. Then wash the brush with mild soap and warm water and it’s ready for use.
  • Store your paint in room temperatures. Avoid putting it in the attic or garage (they get either too hot or too cold, depending on the season). After use, wipe away any buildup of paint from the lip of the can and replace the lid so it forms a tight seal.
  • Chalk Paint® was designed to revitalize old furniture, walls, ceilings, and floors.Remember that Chalk Paint® is a decorative paint, not a “cure all” for every surface, and needs to be applied intelligently.

Permission to publish this article given expressly to 3PaintGirls by Barb’s estate.