Review: Chalk Style Paint

Review: Chalk Style Paint

I had been looking for a second-hand, solid wood dresser to complete our bedroom for quite a while but I wasn’t having much luck finding the right size.  I finally found a dresser at a garage sale a few weeks ago.  The paint on the dresser when I found it was, well, unfortunate looking.  I had a specific color that I really wanted for our bedroom dresser, so I was willing to take on the challenge of trying to save this poor dresser.

After doing a little bit of what I call “Pinterest Research,” I discovered that many bloggers were recommending using "chalk style" paint for refinishing furniture.  I had never used chalk style paint before so I was excited to try it out.  Now, after completing my dresser project, I, too, would definitely recommend using chalk style paint to anyone doing this type of project. 

Finished Dresser

Why I Liked Using Chalk Style Paint:

  • This paint is thick and covers well.
  • Dries very quickly.
  • Easy clean up with just warm water and soap.
  • Low odor.

Some Words Of Advice For Using Chalk Style Paint:

  • I recommend investing in one of the oval shaped chalky paint and wax brushes that are made specifically to be used with chalk style paint.
  • Since the paint dries so quickly, work at covering small areas at a time.
  • Have all your surfaces ready to paint at the same time.  If you set your brush down to go do something else, the paint will start to dry and then when you try to paint again you might end up with little clumps of dried paint sticking to the surface.
  • Protect your painted surface from moisture (or really anything) until after you have applied the final wax layer.  A surprise burst of rain left little rain drop marks all over my drawer fronts so I had to repaint them.
  • You may have trouble finding the exact color you want.  I had a very specific pink that I was looking for.  I went to the hardware store with the assumption that I could just have any color I wanted mixed up for the Valspar Tintable Chalk Style paint.  Turns out there are about 40 colors you can choose from and none of them were what I wanted.  I recommend checking online what color options various manufactures offer before heading out to purchase your paint.  I ended up ordering my paint online from Target ((I know! I know! I (again) broke my own Magnolia Home boycott…)).  I normally don’t recommend ordering something like this without seeing it in person first because screens don’t give accurate representation of color.  (I have since discovered that there are paint stores that are also carrying the Magnolia Home paint line so you can avoid shipping costs.)    

Easy Steps For Using Chalk Style Paint:

1. Sand your surface, if needed.  If the surface is in decent condition (not glossy), my understanding is that you don’t even have to sand before using chalk style paint.  For this dresser project, sanding was very much necessary and ended up taking quite a while to complete.  Not only was there the ugly paint we could see, there was another equally hideous previous paint job below that.  We used a course grit (80) to strip off the 5 layers of existing paint.  Then I went over it with a fine grit (220) to smooth out the wood surface.

2. Clean your surface.  Wipe down with a damp, lint-free (this is key) cloth.  If you had a lot of sanding dust to get off, like I did, you might want to get yourself some tact cloth.

3. Tape off the areas that you don’t want to get paint on.  This makes the painting step go even faster.

4.  Apply your chalk style paint.  This paint is really easy to work with so no special painting instructions.  Just complete small sections at a time since it will dry quickly.  I really liked how the wood grain was slightly visible through a single layer of my light pink paint but there was past damage to the dresser that I wanted to cover so I ended up applying a second layer.  Painting the whole dresser twice only took an hour total.  You are probably supposed to wait longer between coats but… who’s got time for that? 

5.  Let your paint dry completely overnight.

6.  Apply a thin layer of the protective wax.  I used the same brush that I used to paint with.  The wax dries quickly as well.  You can then use a lint-free cloth to buff the wax the get a velvet texture, if you’d like.

That is it!  Super easy.  Chalk style paint is also the type of paint that you can create the “antiquing” effects with.  I didn’t experiment with any of that for this project.  I did change out the drawer pulls to fancy the dresser up a bit.  I found these antiqued glass pulls in the clearance section at World Market Imports for just $2 a piece.  You can also find awesome affordable pulls at second use building supply stores.

I used the  clear coat wax  instead of an antiquing dark wax.

I used the clear coat wax instead of an antiquing dark wax.

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