I love using Chalk Paint to paint furniture, and just about anything. So today I’m sharing the 5 top ways to seal Chalk Paint (plus pros and cons of each)!
I’ve had a long love affair with Chalk Paint.
I’ve been painting and refinishing furniture (and just stuff) for so many years, I can not even count.
So when I first heard about this Chalk Paint stuff, I had to try it out. That was at least 8 or so years ago.
I mean, how fun is it to try something new when you’ve been using the same ole, same ole for years?
So much fun.
Well, the Chalk Paint led into so many brands and types, which then led into Milk Paint and so on and so on. But today it’s all about Chalk Paint.
However, these tips for how to seal Chalk Paint can also go along with sealing Milk Paint, too.
So keep that in mind if you are a Milk Paint lover. I never really got on board with that much.
I do have a few pieces on my blog that are milk painted but I didn’t fall in love with it.
Although, I do still plan to do a few more pieces with it! (I have more samples to use over here and want to try a few things)
Of course I started out using wax to seal Chalk Paint because that is how I was told to do it.
I quickly, very quickly, decided to try poly instead. I had good luck with it (and at the time, wasn’t even sure if it was supposed to work or not because I hadn’t really seen anyone using it as a sealer for CP)
Wax and I have not always had a love affair. ;)
It’s a love/hate relationship, for sure. And for many reasons.
As I go through the top 5 ways to seal Chalk Paint today, I’m also going to give the pros and cons of each, that I’ve found along the way, plus a few product options.
You’ll find there is no “perfect” sealer. They all have pros and cons.
It just depends on the look you are after, the durability you are after and the amount of work you’d like to put into it.
I hope this post will be helpful to you in your future makeover adventures!
I finished 5 boards with Chalk Paint and the varying sealers so you can see (somewhat anyway, it’s hard in photos) what the different finishes look like. (AND how the different finishes change the look of the paint)
I really should be calling this 6 but one is not an actual sealer that I’m sharing today but it can be used as such…if you accept the cons that go along with it.
5 Ways To Seal Chalk Paint
Isn’t it amazing how each top coat gives the paint a completely different look?
That is something else to keep in mind when deciding on a top coat for your project.
By the way, I used Duck Egg Blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) on the sample boards.
1 – Wax
Well, you know we had to start there, right?
- gives a beautiful, unmatched sheen and lustre
- feels so smooth
- paint can be added for a variety of color options
- resists water
- fairly durable wear
- usually won’t yellow over time
- takes a bit of “elbow grease” to apply and buff
- more time consuming to apply
- needs touch ups and repeat applications over time
- not impervious to heat
- can not be repainted over, except with more Chalk Paint
Some waxes to try:
- Dixie Belle Wax
- Americana Decor Creme Wax
- FolkArt Home Decor Wax
- Annie Sloan Wax
- Miss Mustard Seed’s Wax
2 – Polyacrylic
I’m going to be talking about water based poly, not oil based. Oil based is similar but it has more of a tendency to yellow over time so I don’t use it often.
You can use polyacrylic sprays or liquids.
- multiple finish options, shiny to matte and even flat
- very durable
- you can spray, brush or roll the product
- quicker application time
- paint color can be added to create an array of finished looks
- can be painted over
- even though it’s water based, it can yellow over time changing the color of your paint
- stains can sometimes appear in the underlying Chalk Paint
- might need more than one coat
- brush strokes are possible, if using a brush
Some polys to try:
3 – Glaze
Glaze is a fun finish if you want to change the color of your project, subtlety.
- a variety of colors are available
- similar to apply as poly but a brush or rag can be used
- adds dimension and interest
- can be painted over
- doesn’t give as durable a finish
- glazes are usually colored, (white, brown, black, etc) so the color of the glaze will affect the final finish color
Some glazes to try:
4 – Oils
Oils work well with Milk Paint but they can also be used with Chalk Paint. I don’t really use oils to seal Chalk Paint but it is a popular choice.
It works well on reviving old wood too!
- similar sheen as wax
- not as durable as wax or poly
- less toxic to use
- easy application
- can add extra coats for more sheen, durability
- painting over it can be a problem
- doesn’t have the same smooth, finished “feel” as wax and poly
- the color of the oil can impart color onto your painted piece
- oil can “age” over time and yellow
Some oils to try:
5 – Rustoleum Matte Finish
I gave this one it’s own category because I find it to be a bit different from the other polys I’ve used.
To me, it’s more of a blend, not fully poly-like.
- easy application
- nice sheen, more like wax
- quick dry time
- although durable, it doesn’t seem quite as durable as regular poly
- nice matte finish
- additional coats may be needed
- the jury is still out on whether this yellows over time
Get it here >>> Rustoleum Matte Finish
And last, but not least, number 6 which doesn’t really count as it’s not a “sealer”…but I’m including it anyway. ;)
6 – Buffing
Say what? Just buffed?
Yes, buffing. Not adding a sealer at all. Did you know that Chalk Paint buffs up really nicely without any top coat??
It creates a lovely, buttery soft sheen when buffed.
- easy to do
- buffs to a soft sheen
- more suited for outside items, weathered, etc.
- keeps the color of the paint more “pure”
- not suitable for daily use
- not durable like wax or poly
So there they are. The 5 top ways to seal Chalk Paint (or Milk Paint too).
I hope that you find this information helpful!
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I’m working on getting back into my “back to basics” series I started last year. So be on the lookout for a few more in this series in the coming weeks/months.
I’ll be adding these links to each post like this below so you’ll be able to find them easier.
More posts in the “back to basics” series:
- How To Create Faux Verdigris (and video)
- How To Create Faux Patina (and video)
- How To Dry Brush
- 26 Different Types of Chalk Style Paint
- Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint For Furniture
- 5 Top Ways To Seal Chalk Paint(you are here!)
- How To Chalk Paint Furniture & More!
- How To Transfer Images
- How To Import Images Into Silhouette
- How To Restain Wood Without Stripping
- How To Use Gel Stain
I’ll be adding to these links as I add posts in this series.
I have at least 3 more planned as of now. So stay tuned!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy painting! (and sealing! ;) )
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