Have you tried crafting with chalk paints yet? These paints are such a fun way to personalize your home decor. We’ve all seen photos online of the results of refinishing furniture with chalk paint, but that’s not the only use for this versatile medium.
You don’t have to take on a huge project like painting a bedroom dresser; there are plenty of smaller home projects that you can do with chalk paint. You could also do these same types of projects with milk paint if you wanted. Learn the difference between milk paint vs chalk paint here.
Here are examples of some fun projects you can do to decorate your home with chalk paint.
Chalk Paint Furniture Ideas
Painting furniture is probably the most common use for chalk paint. A coat or two of chalk paint, a little “distressing” from light sanding, and a light coat of wax sealant are all it takes to create a one-of-a-kind piece from an ordinary table or dresser. Different kinds of chalk paint can be better for certain projects than others. For this kind of project you’d want to make sure to use the best kind of chalk paint for furniture.
You don’t necessarily have to have an expensive vintage piece. Even furniture found at thrift stores or yard sales can be upcycled into a designer-looking piece with a little paint and imagination! My favorite is doing chalk-painted dressers.
If you find a piece that has a few knicks or scratches, don’t let that deter you from fixing it up. You can create a distressed finish with chalk paint and the knicks look like a design feature instead of a defect.
If your furniture has a glossy varnished finish, you just need to sand it lightly and the chalk paint should adhere nicely. Switching out hardware, like handles, knobs, or hinges, is another way to bring a new look to your furniture transformation.
Paint Brick Fireplaces and Walls
Do you have a brick fireplace or accent wall in your home that seems a little bit “dated”? If the bricks are the traditional red or brown colored, it can make that part of a room feel a little “heavy”.
You can brighten up the brickwork in your home so easily with chalk-style paint!
Painting with any shades of white, neutrals, or even light grays looks fabulous over bricks. You can also consider a color that is a complimentary accent shade to the rest of the room.
Because the bricks have a rough surface, some of the original brick colors will show through a little bit unless you want to apply two or more coats. If you want more of the original color to show through, you can dilute your chalk with a little bit of water.
This will give you a “white washed” look that is really popular right now in the farmhouse and cottage-core design schemes.
It’s important to make sure your brick wall or fireplace is thoroughly cleaned before you begin painting. Take the time to vacuum out the fireplace, then cover it with a tarp so no dust particles get in your paint.
Glass Vases, Jars, and Bottles with Chalk Paint
Somewhere in your home, you probably have a cabinet or shelf filled with empty glass vases of all shapes and sizes. You probably have a box somewhere with interestingly shaped bottles and glass jars, too.
It’s okay; these things are in the homes of everyone who loves crafts and DIY projects.
One of the easiest, but most satisfying methods to transform glass vases or bottles is with chalk-style paint. Even if you don’t have many glass containers stashed somewhere in your home, interesting bottles and vases are easy to find at thrift stores and yard sales.
The jars above were used to create a Christmas snowflake lantern gift.
Chalk paints adhere easily to clean, dry glass containers. All you have to do is brush it on! It will probably take two or possibly three coats of paint for even coverage. After the paint is fully dry, you can use some light sandpaper to distress any raised details for more contrast.
Once the paint is dry and you are done with any distressing, you’ll want to seal your piece with a matte acrylic sealer. Mod Podge brand has a good matte finish sealer that is available in both liquid and spray-on types.
Don’t put your painted glass containers in the dishwasher, or fully immerse them in water. To clean them, gently wipe with a damp cloth.
These glass containers can be painted to match your existing decor or to use as seasonal decorations for various holidays. Chalk-painted jars and bottles make charming centerpieces for outdoor parties, especially if your event has a specific color scheme.
Chalk Paint Wicker Baskets
Wicker baskets of all shapes and sizes are such wonderful home accent pieces. They look nice in almost any decor. You can make your wicker pieces really stand out by painting them with chalk-style paint.
Paint baskets the same shade as your chalk-painted furniture, or use a contrasting paint color to make them stand out in a room. A relaxing “beachy” look can be achieved by painting wicker in white or sandy-colored shades, then distressing just a little bit with some sandpaper.
Painted wicker baskets should be sealed with an acrylic matte sealer. Using a spray matte sealer is easier than trying to use a brush on baskets.
Picture Frames with Chalk Paint
You will be pleasantly surprised how a couple of coats of chalk paint can brighten up plain, inexpensive picture frames! Paint them to compliment the color scheme of a room, or to highlight the colors of the photo or artwork that is in the frame. You can lightly sand the chalk paint frames to bring out any textures, or leave them painted solid. Either way, a colorful, fresh looking frame is sure to make your photos or artwork stand out.
If you have a wall in your home with several framed photos, paint each frame in a different shade of the same color to bring a subtle pop of color to the room.
If you have ornate wooden frames, seal them with a wax sealant after the paint is fully dried. For a great effect, use a dark-colored or gilded wax sealant (after a clear wax coat) to really bring out the intricate details.
Chalk Paint Jewelry Boxes
Painting a wood jewelry box is another simple and satisfying way to use chalk-style paints. If you recently painted a bedroom dresser or vanity table, paint your jewelry box to match it for a bit of easy elegance in your bedroom. You can paint right over the hardware on the box, or put masking tape over it if you don’t want paint on it.
You can even replace the hardware to create an entirely different look. Standing armoire type jewelry boxes look especially pretty after getting a chalk paint makeover.
If you don’t have an old jewelry box to paint, inexpensive unfinished wood boxes are available at most major craft stores. They come in a large variety of shapes and sizes.
Chalk style paint is great for stenciling, too. If the jewelry box isn’t too small, you could stencil a pretty design on the top.
Jewelry boxes (or any wooden boxes) that have been painted with chalk style paints should definitely be sealed with either a wax sealant or an acrylic matte sealant. Since the box will probably be touched frequently, sealing it to protect the painted surface is a must!
Chalk Painting Tips
With any chalk paint project, there are a few tips you should keep in mind:
Always make sure whatever you’re about to paint is clean and dry. You can even use a can of compressed air to blow away any stray bits of dust and dirt. Because of the chalky matte appearance of chalk style paints, even the tiniest speck of dust in the paint will be obvious.
While you can get by without a sealant on smaller pieces, anything that will be frequently touched should have a sealant coat. Otherwise, your paint will be prone to chipping and getting scratched. Wax sealants are great for wood pieces, but there are plenty of acrylic sealants that do a great job, too.
Just be sure that any sealant you use has a matte finish! You don’t want to use a glossy top coat and lose the lovely velvety appearance of your chalk paint.
Sanding with very light sandpaper is an easy way to get a distressed appearance for anything painted with chalk style paint. Just be very careful to sand lightly, and over a small space at a time, so you don’t remove too much paint at once.
Chalk paint will work on almost any surface, usually with no sanding or primer coat needed. It’s so easy to use! The only exception to this is if you want to paint something with a varnished or glossy surface. You can still successfully use chalk style paint, but you’ll need to lightly sand it before painting. You don’t have to remove the glossy finish; just scuff it up a little so the chalk paint will stick to it.
Hopefully, this article has given you some fun ideas for using chalk style paint. You can probably come up with even more ideas once you start painting. If you never used chalk paint and found the idea of painting a piece of furniture intimidating, try one of the smaller projects first. You’ll probably be so pleased with your results that you’ll soon start planning bigger projects.