How To Refinish Furniture With Chalk Paint


Learn how to refinish furniture with chalk paint. This tutorial Includes instructions on homemade chalk paint and important tips for painting furniture.

Hello, Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® readers! I’m Pam from The Birch Cottage and I am so excited to be here today sharing one of my favorite DIY projects with you: How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint!

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

When the seasons change, I always get in the mood to spruce things up around my house. Summer is no exception and it always makes me want to brighten up my home and de-clutter. So, to help you brighten up your home, I thought I’d share with you the technique I use to chalk paint furniture.

For another easy furniture project to DIY, try making a side table from a wire basket!

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

I attempted and completed my very first chalk paint project just a few weeks ago. I so much enjoyed painting with my homemade chalk paint and the finished look of my “new” piece of furniture that I couldn’t wait to try it again. You know, the more I use chalk paint, the more I like it. It’s inexpensive, it mixes easily, it dries quickly, a little bit goes a long way and it’s easy to distress.

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

Chalk paint finish just says “clean and fresh” to me, plus it gives furniture that cottage feel.  What’s there not to like? The key, however, to a great finish is in the mixing of the paint, plaster of paris and water. If you want a smooth, satiny finish, then you’ve got to mix well.

Just follow these few easy steps and you’ll be chalk painting everything in sight! So, let’s get started.

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

Supplies Needed

  • Flat latex paint (any color)
  • Polycrylic
  • Small plastic containers for paint
  • Plaster of Paris (buy at Home Depot, Lowes or any home improvement store)
  • Stir sticks
  • Plastic measuring cups (do not reuse for food)
  • Water (cool, not warm)
  • Paint brushes (buy good quality paint brushes)
  • Damp cloth to remove any dust or residue.


  1. Mix up the plaster of paris and water in a plastic container:
    • 1/3 cup plaster of paris
    • 1/3 cup cool water
  2. Stir the plaster of paris and water until completely smooth. Remember earlier when I told you the secret to a smooth, satiny finish? Yep, this is an important step. Make sure you have thoroughly mixed the plaster and water. Once you’re satisfied it’s mixed thoroughly and has a smooth consistency, you can go on to the next step.
  3. Add paint to the plaster mixture:
    • 1 cup latex paint
  4.  Mix the plaster mixture and paint until completely blended and smooth as silk.

Now you’re ready to paint!

With your paint brush, you’ll apply one coat of paint, starting at the top of the piece and painting with the grain. You’ll want to apply a nice thin even coat. Wait for the first coat to dry and apply a second coat of paint. If necessary, apply a third coat.

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

This may sound like a time-consuming process, but like I mentioned, the paint dries super fast. In fact, by the time you get finished painting your piece, almost your entire piece will be dry.

Once you’re through painting, you’ll want to sand your piece to remove any bumps or non-smooth spots. Also, if you’re going to distress your piece, now is the time. I used a block sander and just sanded the spots I wanted to distress until I got the look I wanted. Don’t worry, you really can’t go wrong with this step.

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

Once you’re satisfied with the sanding/distressing, you’ll want to wipe down your painted piece with a damp cloth again to remove any dust. Once dry, you’ll apply a thin coat of polyurethane. Just be sure to keep your coats thin and watch out for any drips.

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

Unfortunately, the poly does take some time to dry. Typically, a couple of hours between coats. You’ll also want to apply two or three coats of poly. On heavily used pieces, you may even want to apply five or six coats of poly.

So, to recap the process, you’ll want to:

  1. Select your piece of furniture to be painted and wipe down to remove any dust.
  2. Gather your paint supplies.
  3. Mix your chalk paint.
  4. Apply two or three coats of paint, allowing the paint to dry between coats.
  5. Sand/distress your piece.
  6. Wipe down your piece to remove any dust from the sanding.
  7. Apply two or three coats of polyurethane (allowing 2 hours dry time between coats)
  8. Enjoy your newly painted piece of furniture!

If you’d like to share this idea, you can pin this photo:

How to Refinish Furniture with Chalk Paint

So, there you have it! A simple recipe for homemade chalk paint and an easy to follow tutorial on how to refinish furniture with chalk paint. Thank you so much for having me here at Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® today!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out a couple of my recent projects below.

DIY: Repurposed Wood Tray

DIY Repurposed Wood Tray

Recipe: Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

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  1. The secret recipe for Chalk Paint revealed! Genius! Thanks for the insider info and the lovely makeover!

    1. Thanks, ladies! If you haven’t tried making your own chalk paint, you should really give this a try. I’ve been painting everything in sight (or so it seems)!

  2. I really like the transformation with this little table. And, making your own chalk paint was clever as well. Thanks for sharing the idea and all of the wonderful pictures.

    Glad to find your site. Came over on the Friday Flash Blog link up.
    Followed you on Pinterest as well.

  3. This looks so cute now. I bet it’s cheaper to make your own chalk paint. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

    1. Vickie, it is a lot cheaper and more convenient as you just mix however much you need for your particular project. Thanks for the visit and feedback!

  4. I love chalk paint and use a very similar recipe to make mine. Your table turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing such a great tutorial at Share It One More Time. Cathy

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