Tips and Tricks for Using Chalky Finish Paint

Article Posted By: Gwen Hefner

of The Makerista

Old Chair Restored Using Chalky Finish Paint

Chalky finish paint is an ultra-matte finish paint that’s getting a lot of attention from designers and DIYers. This is not chalkboard paint, by the way. That’s something totally different. Chalky paint is made for giving furniture or decorative pieces a high-end, professional finish. The Home Depot’s Americana® Decor™ chalky finish paint is great for giving new life to old pieces you might find at a flea market, or giving a luxe look to discount store furniture.

We wanted to find out what DIYers could do with our chalky paint. So we sent Americana Decor chalky finish paint to some of our favorite home improvement bloggers for our Paint Style Challenge.

Gwen Hefner is the creative mind behind The Makerista. She used The Home Depot’s chalky paint to rescue an old homeless chair she found. She shares a few tips on using the chalky finish paint to its full effect.

I’ve heard so much about chalky paint and been curious to try some myself, so I was thrilled when The Home Depot sent me a box of chalky finish paint to put to the test. As any good thrifter and DIYer, I had a large collection of projects stacking up (much to my husband’s chagrin) and several of them got a fresh coat of paint thanks to the samples I received.

The Home Depot’s Americana® Decor™ chalky finish paint samples

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I opened the box to find quite the array of colors to choose from. They were all really lovely, but I thought it might be fun to mix two of them for something a bit different.

I’ve been seeing plum in fashion a lot lately and traces of it in the fall leaves the last few weeks. Mixing the Romance and Treasure colors together created a nice, saturated result; so I filled a cup with 1 part Romance and 1 part Treasure and mixed it well with a spoon. I found this chair on the side of the road a few months ago, and had already given it some white primer, originally thinking I would do something lighter with the finish.

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An old chair restored using chalky finish paint

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I’ve read great things about the staying power and coverage of chalk paint. I figured a dark, rich color over a white primer would really test those claims. The first coat showed a lot of the primer, but that’s pretty normal with any paint.

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Old chair after one coat of chalky finish paint

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As it dried, it did start to smooth out.

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Chalky finish paint smooths out after two coats

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And after two coats I had complete coverage and this pretty finish with lots of character.

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Adding wax to chalky finish paint on old chair

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I thought some wax would add another dimension to the piece, so I tested out the Brown Creme Wax on a scrap piece of wood and liked the results.

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 Brushing on wax finish to old chair restored with chalky paint

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The key here was to not use too much. I gently used the wax brush and brushed in the direction of the paint’s brushstrokes, then let it dry for about 30 minutes. Then I took a rag and buffed the finish a bit, helping to remove any excess wax. I came back in with my sanding block and lightly took some of the wax off to bring back touches of the original color.

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Old chair restored with chalky finish paint.

I’m really happy with the end result. The color is rich and sophisticated, yet the matte finish feels relaxed. The wax and paint strokes add depth and character.

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I topped off the chair with some lilac ikat fabric. You can find a tutorial on simple bench and chair upholstery on my blog. Along with the chair, I added some of the Carbon color to the base of a dresser I just refinished and a Beethoven bust I snagged for 10¢ at an estate sale.

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I really love the contrast of the high gloss, white paint from Rust-Oleum and brass knobs with the matte black base.

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Tips and Tricks for Using Chalky Finish Paint

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I would highly recommend this paint to anyone looking for a low odor, quick-drying, matte finish with some character. I can’t seem to stop using it, even painting the plastic pot of this little Christmas tree!

Gwen calls herself a “Jane of all trades,” who enjoys making just about anything. She lives with her husband, two children and black Labrador in Missouri. Read her tips and tricks for decorating, entertaining and living on her blog The Makerista.

Our whole line of Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is available online at The Home Depot. Download this brochure to learn more about this furniture and decor paint. You can also read more about chalky finish paint in our Paint Style Challenge series. And be sure to follow our All About Paint board on Pinterest.

 

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