This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission from a sale used through a link in my blog. Please visit my Privacy Policy and Disclosure page to find out more.

How do professional chalk painters get that perfect finish with chalk paint? If you’re searching for awesome tips to take your chalk painting from amateur to a more professional level, you’ll want to read all about the great tips and hacks I have learned in my last two years of chalk painting!

how to get a perfect finish with chalk paint

Prep Your Furniture

I know this seems elementary, but making sure your furniture is prepped correctly will make all the difference. First and foremost, you’ll need to clean you furniture piece with mild soap and water. Make sure that all dust, dirt, spiderwebs, etc., are gone before you begin. You will then need to assess if any other additional work needs to be done.

Do you need to make repairs to the furniture piece before painting? Should you sand the whole piece down? Do you need to use a primer?

Related: How to Use Wood Filler and Save Damaged Furniture

Sand If Necessary

Sanding may be necessary depending on the condition of your wood. There are two instances where you should sand before painting.

Sand when the finish of the wood is oil based. Oil based finishes will not adhere well to chalk paint. You will have sluffing issues with your chalk paint and the finish will never be quite right. How do you know if the furniture piece is finished with an oil sealant? Rub the finish with an acetone soaked cotton ball. If the color of the finish or paint does not come off, it’s oil based and needs to be sanded.

Sand when the finish is chipping and uneven.ย It’s incredibly important to have a smooth surface before you begin painting. If the surface is chipping or is uneven, be sure to sand it to make sure that the furniture is smooth before painting.

Chalk painting sofa table before picture

Use a Primer

If you are painting a dark colored piece of furniture with a light colored paint, be sure to use primer to get the best coverage possible. Otherwise, you’ll be using three or more coats of white or light colored paint in order to get full coverage on the furniture piece.

If you are painting on a non-wood surface, you may need a bonding primer to ensure that the chalk paint will adhere correctly. This would be in cases of painting metal, glass or laminate.

Water Down Your Paint

Chalk paint is water based, and can dry out quickly. To get the cleanest coats, be sure to pour the paint into a separate glass container, and add a bit of lukewarm water. This will thin out your chalk paint and prevent clumping, dripping and uneven distribution of the paint. The coats will go on extremely well, although it may take up to three coats to get perfect coverage.

Use the Right Paint Brush

A high quality paint brush will allow you to achieve even brush strokes without clumping or losing fibers from the brush itself. You’ll want to use a quality oval brush for chalk painting. Invest money and care into your chalk painting brushes and you will be able to use them for years to come.

Related: How to Care for Your Chalk Painting Brushes

cleaning your chalk painting brushes

Sand Between Coats

Sanding between each coat will ensure a smooth finish and reduce streaks and brush strokes. The best way to sand your chalk paint is with a high grain sand paper, such as 400 grit. Lightly sand the entire piece. This isn’t always the easiest but your finish will appear smooth as silk.

Use High Quality Sealant

There are many ways to seal chalk paint. The most common is with wax. Use a wax that is high quality to ensure that your finished piece comes out looking great. Make sure to remember to buff the piece really well. This will prevent the wax from getting tacky, and will allow to furniture to truly have a beautiful finish.

There are many different kinds of sealant, whatever one you choose, be sure that it’s high quality.

chalk paint coupon for country chic chalk paint

Go Slowly

This probably goes without saying, but the more you rush a project, the more mistakes you will make. Chalk paint is forgiving and fixable. However, it’s a lot easier to do it right the first time than it is to have to go back and fix all of your mess-ups. Go slowly to ensure you get the perfect finish with chalk paint.

Related: Chalk Painting for The Beginner

how to get a perfect finish on chalk painted furniture