How to Seal Chalk Paint?

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We get a lot of calls about chalk paints, usually from people who want to know which products are best for finishing chalk paint or sealing it. Although we don’t sell the paints themselves, we do stock the products to finish them. So we thought it’d be a good idea write about chalk paints, how to use them and what’s the best way to make sure your project stays looking great.

About sealing chalk paint

What is chalk paint?

Chalk paint gets its name from the lovely velvety matt finish it provides. It’s brilliant for decorating indoor and out, including furniture, walls, ceilings and even floors. It’s eco-friendly, containing extremely low volatile organic compounds (V.O.Cs) which have virtually no smell, and there are several manufacturers to choose from.

How to use chalk paints

Chalk paint is remarkably versatile. It sticks to more or less any surface including wood, concrete, metal, matt plastic and even ceramic. It dries super-fast, making it very easy to use. And it’s perfect for achieving decorative finishes like lime washes, antiquing and shabby chic looks, all of which means it’s extremely fashionable right now in interior décor circles.

Chalk paint is easy to work with. You rarely need to do any preparation. There’s no sanding or priming required, which is good news for those of us who love instant results! The colours are stunning – Autentico, for example, manufactures 130 different colours inspired by vintage décor styling. And you can even mix the paints together very easily to create your own unique colours.

It’s water soluble which means you can add water for a smoother surface, thicken it by leaving the tin open, and even add more water to transform it into the perfect product for creating beautiful lime wash effects; for example, bringing out the grain in oak. You can use more or less any kind of brush too, creating everything from a dead flat to a heavily textured finish.

You’ll find a couple of handy videos about how to use chalk paint here, there are also a number of other great video tutorials on how to use chalk paint on YouTube.

Which products for sealing chalk paint do we recommend?

You can leave your finish as it is, of course. But how do you seal chalk paint? If you’re into creative paint effects or want to give the surface a lovely sheen, here’s what we recommend…

Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish

Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish is wonderful stuff. It is designed to nourish and protect wood, whether it’s raw wood or has an existing finish like a water-based stain, solvent-based stain or French polish. It can also be used on top of a matt or satin varnish, lacquer and oil to increase the sheen level and provide a more traditional wax appearance. It’s ideal for any kind of interior wood and goes over chalk paint like a dream.
 

 

When might you use it? Say you’ve painted a bedside table with chalk paint and you want a shabby chic finish. Because the product comes in a range of colours, you can use a dark colour like Jacobean over the chalk paint, bringing out the patina and texture of the surface and making a feature of scratches and dinks for that classic shabby chic look.

Manns Classic Wax Polish

Manns Classic Beeswax Polish is such a treat to use, giving a beautiful sheen to chalk paints and acting as a protective layer. It’s a clear wax polish formulated to enhance surfaces by penetrating deep into them, helping to nourish and protect the finish. When you let it dry and buff it gently with a soft cloth, you get the most beautiful sheen.

Also see our full list of Wood Furniture Wax & Wax Polishes.

Its worth mentioning that when applying a clear wax or varnish over a chalk paint, it will likely alter the chalk paint colour to some degree. This is especially so with white finishes. Applying a clear coat over a white finish tends to make it turn yellowy, giving it an aged or Victorian look. Whilst this suits many down to the ground who are looking for an aged look, its not to everyone’s taste. For this reason, a test area of the base-coat and clear top-coat is highly recommended before starting any project.

Alternatives to Traditional Chalk Paints

Chalk paints are all the rage and massively popular with interior designers and shabby chic furniture makers who love the pastel colours and flat matt finish they produce. That said, there are some great alternatives that produce the same chalk paint finish but with better durability, meaning that it’s not necessary to seal them with a wax, polish or varnish.

Our top recommendations are Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint and Earthborn Eco Chic Paint. Both products do a great job of achieving that desirable chalk paint finish, but without the need to seal them afterwards.

Earthborn also produce a range of other eco friendly clay paints that are are suitable for furniture and other interior projects.

Any questions?

We’re always pleased to help – just call our wood finishing experts if you can’t find the information you need or want to talk to someone who really knows their stuff.

111 COMMENTS

  1. Hello
    We have just repainted some panelled wood with GraceMary chalk paint. (It had previously been decorated with a similarly coloured product). The surface had been cleaned and lightly sanded. After 2 coats it looked well, evenly covered and with a flat appearance. After several days of allowing it to dry, a coat of Polyvine wax finish (satin finish) varnish was applied by brush, and the result is very streaky and blotchy indeed with some distinctly lighter patches. Unsure whether to recoat with paint, as a second coat of varnish seems unlikely to help at this stage. Any advice would be appreciated.
    J Morris

    • Good Afternoon Judith,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. I am not familiar with the Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish, although I am aware that it can be mixed with paints I am not sure about application over the top of the paints. It may be worth contacting Polyvine directly to see if they have any advice on what the reason may be for the result you have achieved.

      I am sorry I could not be of more help on this occasion.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  2. Hi,

    Hoping you can help.

    I have sanded and painted a pine rocking chair with chalk paint and i’m Wondering whether to seal it or leave it as is.

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance

    • Good Morning Joe,

      Chalk paint is great for refreshing and adding colour to an item, its is very limited in it protection however. You are able to apply wax or varnish to chalk paint, wax will add some sheen to the surface but give a moisture repellent finish that will help prevent staining. Wax is also limited in its level of protection but it can be reapplied whenever you feel that it is needed.

      Varnish is a far more durable finish and will protect the chair from marks, stains and spillages. Manns Extra Tough has a range of sheens from Matt to Super Glossy. I would advice care when applying a varnish over a chalk paint as over working the varnish can pull the paint. Spray application is the better option and will give an all over even finish.

      Test areas are always recommended as these top coats may change the finished colour slightly.

      I hope that helps and if you need any further advice please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page or call and speak to one of our friendly team on 01303 213838.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  3. Hello!!
    I have a problenlm with chalk paint (and I’ve tried a few brands!) but I don’t know if it has something to do with the sealing…
    So you all say that chalk paint doesn’t need any sanding but I’m finding it hard to believe because almost everytime I paint something without sandind (and i had quite a few projects already) what happens is that everything seems perfect….until (after the wax, of course) i scratch, even gently, my nail finger and the pait comes off.
    Sometimes this doesn’t happen. But few times. Most of the times it doesn’t take much to get the paint off, even though it is sealed with lacquer or wax.
    I do clean the furniture before painting and all…but it just doesn’t work.
    So, what am I doing wrong?
    I want to paint my bedroom door and I’m affraid that later the paint will come off…

    • Good Afternoon,

      Thank you for your enquiry. It could be that the paint needs a little help with adhesion to the surface that you are applying it to and this can be done with a light sand or even a more intense sand. This will give the surface a key and aid adhesion. Good preparation is the key for any project to be successful, even with chalk paints.

      Generally speaking Chalk paints are suitable for use on most surfaces, it is not a durable product however and it more about getting aesthetics. And getting the look that you want.

      For a more durable paint you could have a look at the Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint it does not need sealing with a varnish or wax in the same way as chalk paint does.

      If you have any further questions at all please do let me know.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  4. Hi,

    I am painting a dressing table with Rustoleum chalk paint but when it’s dried if I rub my fingers over it it comes off. It’s like the paint is coming off.

    Any ideas why? Do I need to put something on top of it to seal it in? I thought you can just use the paint and it won’t come off.

    Thanks

    • Hello Maria,

      Have you applied it on top of an existing paint? Perhaps there has been a reaction. It could simply be the nature of the paint you have. Chalk paint, as the name suggest, is mainly made from chalk a powdery natural substance that gives the thick matt effect. For many people a sealer is required to add protection to the wood. You can use a varnish such as Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish to seal and protect the surface, care must be taken on application however to avoid pulling the paint.

      The most common option is to use a wax finish such as Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish

      Always try a test area first, I hope that has helped and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  5. Hello, I used chalk paint for the first time today – Rustoleum Antique White – and as the first coat has dried, it is tinged yellow. I can’t find any advice about this online! Could you please help? I’m painting a large pine built in wardrobe. The inside of the doors are absolutely fine, but they appear to have not been varnished with the stain that is on the outside. I think the chalk paint has reacted to the stain that was on the pine. Thankfully, I’ve only done one door so far (and only one coat) but I need to remedy it and avoid the other two doors and frame looking the same – nicotine stained! Is there a technique or product that you could recommend please?

    • Hello Samantha,

      If the paint has had a reaction to the existing finish then you will need to remove it before applying the chalk paint. Doing this will depend on the type of stain that you have on there. If it is a water based stain that is designed to give purely colour it could be removed by scrubbing with water.

      If it is a surface stain or varnish then you could have a look at using the Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover which is a gel like substance that makes the stain bubble up to be scraped off. Test areas are always recommended.

      Once you are back to bare wood then the paint can be applied and it is important to ensure that you stir it really really well. White pigments are the heaviest of all the colours and will sink to the bottom of the tin. Its also worth mentioning that applying a clear seal over the top will also result in a yellow tinge.

      I hope that helps and if you have chance its worth having a read of our Beautiful White Wood Finishes for Dreamy Interiors post to give hints about White Finishes.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  6. Hi I have spent days preparing an old pine kitchen dresser, masking out bits, making up my own chalk paint, painting and stenciling it. It looked fantastic then I needed to finish it by seLing it. I’d previously read online if you wax finish chalk paint then later want to change the colour etc it isn’t easy without stripping etc. So I bought a clear Matt varnish (it’s important to say we live in rural Spain’s not easy to buy some products). I’ve applied it to the top half of the dresser only so far. It’s a total disaster so very glossy. I could cry, is there any way I can move the varnish, perhaps with paint thinner and a rag or would I have to sand down and start again? Thanks in advance Lolly

    I forgot to say the colour is a very light grey. I’m worried about yellowing if I do redo the piece add a wax. How can I avoid that please? Lolly

    • Hello Lolly,

      I am sorry to hear that you have had a disappointing result with the varnish over the chalk paint. I would like to say there is a miracle cure for removing the varnish but ultimately whatever you do is likely to damage or remove the chalk paint also.

      Chalk paint is a great decorative finish but the durability is not great and so sealing it is required. Wax is common but again only suitable areas with limited use as it offers limited protection.

      When durability is needed then varnish is advised and to maintain that matt finish a matt varnish should be used. Due to the natural of varnish it could still have some reflective properties but the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a good option and I have had many customer use it over chalk paint with success. Care must be taken if applying by brush or roller not to over work the varnish as this will pull the paint.

      To avoid the yellowing effect of a clear of white or pale grey you could add a minute amount of White Dye not more than 5% dye to varnish and this will help to reduce any yellowing, but it needs to mixed very very well and test areas carried out first.

      I wish you every success with your project and if you have any further questions I am here to help.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  7. I have worked alot with chalkpaint and love them! I recently just painted a cabinet in rustoleum chalked linen white and followed with the rustoleum chalked matte topcoat. I’ve used both products before with good results, until today. After applying topcoat there was alot of yellowing. Maybe the type of wood?? Any suggestions of what i could use to seal that will not pull yellow??

    • Hello Emily,

      Applying a clear product over any white finish will nearly always result in a slight yellowing. I believe there are a few waxes on the market that are designed to prevent this, however we have not yet come across a totally successful one.

      The only other option that we sometimes recommend is too use a varnish with a 5% White Dye mixed in. The Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a good option and available in a Matt finish.

      Always try a test area first.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  8. I painted a kitchen table with Amy Howard white chalk paint. What do you recommend I seal it with to prevent marks from dishes, etc.

    • Hello Julie,

      Generally, Wax is recommended for application over chalk paint, however this offers limited durability and for a kitchen table if likely to mark easily.

      Varnish is the other option but application can be tricky. Over working with a brush or roller can pull the paint and so care must be taken or better still spray application will give a smooth finish.

      The other thing to consider is that clear products over white finishes will give a yellow tinge to the white. Test areas show always be carried out and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  9. I painted my wood table with chalky paint finish and then sealed it with sealing wax. However I was not impressed with the outcome because I have 4 children and I know it won’t last a week. The texture doesn’t seem very easy to wipe down after a meal. What should I do? Help please

    • Hello Kendra,

      Chalk paint and waxed finishes are not the most durable and tend to be more for aesthetic pieces. The Wax will offer some protection and can be topped up regularly to refresh however for a table that is to be used on a regular basis, such as a dining table, these finishes will not be the most durable, and I would recommend a Varnish which can be applied over chalk paint to give a more durable finish that is wipe able. Spray application is better as over working with a roller or brush can cause pulling.

      I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      All the Best Samantha.

  10. hi, i ve painted small wooden letter organiser in blue chalk paint and white chalk paint on top of blue. i have distressed a bit and it looks god but i am struggling with finisg. i cant leave it as it is because it leaves white chalk on hands. i ve aplied dark wax rustoleum and it totally changed the look to dark blue-brown colour and it is not nice. i ve tested also basic clear finish sealer but when dried it has some yellowing effect…no longer white. is there anything you recommend to use to get nice white colour ?

    • Hello,

      Applying a clear finish over a white finish will nearly always result in an off white or yellow finish. The clear finish will impact on how the light reflects off the white surface. The only thing that I can recommend is a varnish seal that is mixed with a minute amount of white pigment.

      So for example the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish with a 5% mix of White Dye. No more than that ratio as this impacts on the durability of the varnish. You can also water down the dye to dilute the colour before mixing with varnish.

      A test area is vital to ensure that this works for your project and take care not to over work the varnish on the paint as this will pull the paint.

      I hope that this helps and if you have any questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  11. Hello, last week I painted some lightly sanded (they had been painted) wooden panels with a chalk paint – these panels are in a bathroom and as you can imagine, it hasn’t worked… The paint will come off when rubbed but my question is can I paint directly over it with emulsion / eggshell or do I need to scrub the whole lot off to give the new paint something to stick to….. Am hoping I can just paint on top – for obvious reasons! 🙂

    Thanks!
    T

    • Hello Tara,

      I am sorry to say that it is unlikely that you will be able to paint over. If the chalk paint hasn’t adhered to the surface or had a reaction with the old treatment/paint that was previously on there, then this will still be likely to cause an issue when another product is applied. The chalk paint in between will continue to cause problems.

      Your best bet is to sand back to bare wood and use something like the Earthborn Eggshell Paint, which is an eco-friendly water-based paint that leaves a breathable finish to your wall panels.

      I know that’s not the answer that you had hoped for but it hope it helps.

      All the Best Samantha.

  12. Hi, Have done three pieces with Annie Sloan paint with waxed finish (one with gilding) and have turned out fine. My husband has painted a rocking chair with the left over paint, has run out with two coats on and wants to do a top coat using some exterior acrylic paint he has. Is this possible/advisable? Thanks

    • Hello Heather,

      I honestly could not say if it is viable or not. Your best option is to try a small test area somewhere inconspicuous to check for compatibility and adhesion. It is probably not something that I would recommend.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  13. Hi
    I’ve painted furniture white and want to protect it with no discolouration. Is annie sloan white wax best?

    • Hello Ross,

      I believe it would be a good choice, although I am not familiar with the product myself. A clear will yellow. Feel free to let me know how you get on.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  14. Hello! I’m painting my kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan pure white chalk paint and, under suggestion of an expert I’m finishing it with a water based topcoat (general finishes flat out flat). I’ve read of many people that use this combination successfully, mine is a disaster. After the topcoat dries it is cracking the paint in some spot! Does anybody know what could be the problem? I’m using a good foam brush and trying not to over brush. Heeelp!

    • Hello Caterina,

      This could be a number of things, such as something on the wood that is reacting with the varnish and the paint. It could be as a result of the paint not be left long enough before applying the varnish. A sudden drop in temperature during application or even the paint was to thick and it has reacted to the water based varnish. Test area are always recommended for such projects, to check for reactions like this.

      If you would like to email me we can discuss further and I would be happy to advice further on how to rectify.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  15. Hi Sam,

    Can you help? I have a varnished mahogany bathroom vanity which I would like to paint with chalk paint and also distress. How would I then seal this to make it water resistant while still trying to keep the authenticity of ‘old’ furniture. From what I understand, wax won’t make it water resistant enough to be in a bathroom but I love the finish dark wax gives?

    Thanks

    • Hello Laurie,

      Chalk paint is always a popular choice for giving your furniture a distressed look. However, its durability is not good enough to withstand the requirements of everyday use on such things as worktops or dining tables. For your vanity unit it should be fine if well protected and a wax will offer some protection in the form of water repellency, but little protection against knocks and scratches. Regular top ups with a clear wax after you have achieved the desired effect, will help.

      Many people are applying varnishes to chalk paints with success, but application can be difficult. When applying with a roller or brush, over working can pull at the paint and cause it to come away so spray application is adviced and this will give a smoother finish. I can recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish as a good option and a durable seal for the chalk paint. It is also available in Matt should you wish to maintain the matt effect of the chalk paint. It can not be use over a wax and I always recommend a test area first.

      Also if you are using a white chalk paint the clear varnish or wax can give a yellowed effect to the white white paint. I hope that helps and should you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  16. Hi. I’ve used rusteolium chalk paint on a kitchen dresser that I’m working on. I sanded and wiped down the dresser as it was old varnish on it. I used 3 coats of the chalk paint. I was sealing the finish with cabots ultra Matt water based polyurethane but it dried a horrible yellow colour and completely ruined the whole look. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it.
    Thank you very much for your advice.
    Regards, Carrie

    • Hello Carrie,

      Was it a white chalk paint? Over coating a white finish with a clear will nearly always result in an off yellow or cream finish and so if this is not the desired result then we would not recommend this combination.

      If you are able to confirm the colour and we can go from there, I can see that you also emailed us. I have responded asking for some more details. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  17. HELP!! I painted my mantle with Annie Sloan chalk
    Paint. Have just varnished it with water based varnish. One coat only. I have horrible brush marks. What can I do please? Thankyou.

    • Hello Jackie,

      You may find that applying a second coat with a roller will give a smoother finish, although I can not guarantee this. A test area should be done first. If this does not improve the look however then you may need to sand back and start again.

      Spray application over chalk paint is going to be the best way to apply varnish, it will avoid pulling and give a smooth even finish that can be built up to the required finish. I hope this helps and that you are able to rectify the problem. For more advice please feel free t call in and talk to one of our friendly advisers.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  18. Hi there,
    I painting an outside bar under a covered area with chalk paint. I have primer the area first then applied a coat of chalk paint.
    The bar need protection as same times due to the weather.
    I was going to use vanish but after reading the posts I feel that as it a big area it may be to hard to apply.
    The bar is antique white and who like to project it from get dirty marks etc.
    Would wax stop it marking?
    And protect it enough?
    There is a glass top to the bAr so top with but covered.
    Thank you, look forward to hearing your ideas , Maria.

    • Hello Maria,

      I would not advice Chalk Paint for an Exterior project, it will not give the durability that you need against the elements. Chalk paint is a water based product that is an aesthetic treatment with minimal durability and even for an interior bar it may get marked or damaged easily. Wax also gives limited protection, some water repellency and a seal to the paint but not really enough durability to protect a bar top.

      It is possible to apply varnish over chalk paints to give better durability, application is better if sprayed as this avoids over working with a brush or roller and pulling at the paint. And for an exterior Varnish you could have a look at Dulux Yacht Varnish which has not been tested over Chalk Paint and so I can not make any guarantees about its viability.

      If covered with glass this may make the project viable as the glass will give extra protection. However there are alternative exterior white products that may suit your project better and I will be happy to advice further if you wish to email me at wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Samantha

  19. Hi I’m working with chalk paint on a wedding sign and my question is … I have stained the wood with water based stain and the letters are with chalk paint. So is it best to apply to seal first with spray water based varnish then a water based outdoor vatathane with a brush ? I’m thinking the spray will seal it then I can work a good coat with varathane . Thank you

    • Hello Judy,

      Its not necessarily the products that I would recommend for an exterior sign, however as it is for 1 day use only the combination you have may be okay. My concern would be whether the water based varnish will be compatible with an exterior varnish and I am not familiar with the Vatathane products. Test areas should be carried out fist and car taken when applying the varnish to avoid pulling the chalk paint.

      I would be happy to offer further guidance if you wish to email me on wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Samantha.

  20. Hi, I have just painted a tv unit in rust-oleum chalk paint and in wondering what’s the best most durable thing to use to seal it and stop it getting scratched or damaged? I’ve read all kinds of things about was not being durable enough, varnish taking the paint off and acrylic spray not being even enough! I’m really confused what in best doing.
    Many thanks
    Nancy

    • Hello Nancy,

      There are two options when it comes to sealing a chalk paint, the first and most common is to apply a Wax. This offers limited protection to the wood and although it will seal the paint and offer liquid repellency it will mark easily. It is easy to apply with a lint free rag.

      The other option is to apply a Varnish. This is a more durable finish and will give longer lasting protection to the paint and the item of furniture. However it is difficult to apply, over working the varnish will pull the paint. You can use a small roller and if you ensure it is evenly covered in the varnish then take one pass over the paint with it, there is unlikely to be any problems. Test areas are strongly advised.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

      All the Best
      Samantha.

  21. Hiya, Can you please tell me if I can use wax over Polyvine dead flat matt varnish?
    I read an earlier reply of yours which said that varnish cannot be used over wax bit can it be done the other way round?
    I have a chalk painted table and I have distressed and varnished with Polyvine dead flat matt varnish. I now want to add some dark wax to give it a further dimension. Is that possible?
    Many thanks.

    • Hello Deb,

      Yes you are able to use a Wax over the varnish. It will add some shine and lustre to your finish. A test area is recommended, as always. And feel free to let me know if there is anything further that I can help with.

      All the Best Samantha.

  22. Hi
    We were lucky enough to buy an old French house a year ago. We have beautiful chestnut floors apart from in the tiny galley kitchen which was covered in Lino. We ripped it up and allowed it to breathe. We have dried it out and swept off years of old glue and varnish. Ideally it needs replacing with tile but as a short term aesthetic fix, I wondered about painting with a light wash of chalk paint and sealing with a heavy duty Matt varnish. I know varnish can pull chalk paint but was wondering if you thought it would be ok over a thin wash
    Thanks
    Melanie

    • Hello Melanie,

      Its not something I would recommend, as a finish for flooring. It may work perfectly for your needs but I could give no guarantees to the look or durability, especially if the wood you are applying it to may not be in the best condition.

      You would be better off considering something like the Ronseal Diamond Hard Coloured Floor Varnish, or the Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Paint for an opaque finish.

      If you have a read up of these and let me know if you have any further question, I would be happy to help. Always do a test area first.

      Many thanks, Samantha.

  23. Hi

    I have used a chalk paint with a dark furniture wax over the top, and despite lots of polishing a little bit of dark wax is still coming off on my rag. As it is part of a chair I don’t want it to rub off on clothes. Should I keep rubbing or try something over the top to seal it and stop the dark wax rubbing off?

    Thanks
    Liz

    • Hello Liz,

      Thank you for your enquiry. I would probably not recommend the use of wax on a chair for that exact reason, it is likely to rub off onto clothes. For a more durable finish over Chalk Paint I would recommend varnish, spray applied if possible. You will need to remove the wax first in order to apply a varnish.

      It can be applied by brush however care needs to be taken not to over work the varnish as this could pull out the paint, and test areas should be done, to ensure that you like the finish that will be achieved and to find an application technique that works for you.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  24. Can easy surface prep be used on French polished furniture, before undercoat and painting it. Rather than removing the French polish the usual way. I would be most grateful for your advice.

    • Hello Robert,

      My recommendation would be to remove the French Polish totally. It is likely to cause issues with adhesion for the paint even with a slight key. French Polish can be removed with Methylated Spirit and a Finishing Pad.

      You may need to carry out some sanding depending on the condition of the wood. I hope this helps and please do feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  25. Hi,
    I am thinking of lime washing below a dedo rail on a stairwell. I would like to seal to protect from marks. Is this possible and what would you recommend?
    Many thanks,
    Teresa

    • Hello Teresa,

      Are you able to send me a little more information via email to wood@finishes.direct and maybe some photos of the area you wish to white wash. So what type of wood you are applying to ? Is it already treated ? Do you want a subtle white wash or a more intense white finish ?

      I will be happy to advice further on the best products to use and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      All the Best Samantha

  26. I would like to use chalk paint on my beyond repair hardwood floors. What kind of tips might you offer? Also, what kind of sealant would you recommend.

    Thank you,
    Layla

    • Hello Layla,

      Its a difficult one to advice on, because yes chalk paints are suitable for flooring and I would recommend that it is sealed with a durable varnish, but it can be a troublesome way to finish a floor. With the right preparation and application then you will get a great looking finish. Sand and clean the wood, apply the paint evenly and in the direction of the grain. Seal with varnish by spray application, lightly sanding between coats to smooth and give a superior finish. Sounds easy but test areas are vital to ensure you are getting the finish that you need and like.

      Applying the varnish is the difficult part and I recommend spray application as over working the varnish on the paint has been known to pull the paint, destroying the finish. Depending on the look that you want to achieve and what the floor is made from and current has on it? There could be a better/easier finish to use. I would be happy to help further and you can email me at wood@finishes.direct. Feel free to send me some photos and further details of you project and I will be happy to help further.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  27. I’ve inherited a kitchen in the house we have bought. Instead of replacing it(lots of other things in the house to spend money on) I have thought of doing it up. The plastic coating on the doors and trims are peeling off to reveal MDF.
    Can I Annie Sloane chalk paint this and seal it with an extra tough interior varnish?
    Thanks.

    • Hello Susan,

      It is certainly possible to paint with the chalk paint and finish with a Varnish, however spray application is recommended for the varnish as often the chalk paint can be pulled when the varnish is brushed on. Test areas are vital to ensure that you like the finish that will be achieved and to ensure that there is no adverse reaction between the paint and varnish.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind regards Sam.

  28. Hi
    I’m planning to paint a table top with Annie Sloan Original then seal it with Fiddes Clear Seal for toughness. I’ve done a test patch and it looks ok so far. I used the Annie Sloan brush for the paint and a flat bristle brush for the varnish. No yellow issue yet.
    Do you have any experience with this combination of products please?
    Many thanks
    Ceri

    • Hello Ceri,

      We have not, but I would be very interested to hear the results of your project and the colour of the paint applied. It would be fair to say that although chalk paints need to be sealed with either a wax or a varnish, this can be problematic depending on the colour of the paint you are sealing. Good luck with your project and I look forward to seeing or hearing about the results. Feel free to email me at wood@finishes.direct.

      All the Best Sam.

  29. Hello!

    I just painted an old wooden coffee table with chalk paint. I painted the table black, but do I need to finish it with something? And if so what? I’ve read wax and what not, but I’m extremely new to chalk paint, so I honestly have no idea. Please advise & be specific 🙂

    • Hello Ashley,

      Wax is the most recommended for sealing the chalk paint. But you can use Varnish as well. Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish would need to be spray applied to avoid any pulling of the paint.

      Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish is the ideal product for your project. But which ever you choose its advisable to carry out a test area first. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  30. Can l use osmo oil over a wooden floor painted with an emulsion paint I have used this emulsion on a few pieces and waxed them successfully but want something more durable for floor please advise..

    • Hello Yasmin,

      The Osmo Polyx Oil cannot be used over a painted surface. The oil needs to be able to soak into the surface of the wood to work effectively, paints, varnishes or lacquers that create a seal will prevent penetration of the oil.

      It may be that you are able to apply a varnish over the paint, such as Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish, but I strongly recommend a test area first, to check for adhesion and reaction, and to avoid over working the varnish over the paint as this can pull. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  31. I have just purchased a wooden kitchen table and chairs that have been chalked painted and then sealed with beeswax. I want to change the colour as it is baby blue and I want to change it to white. I have purchased chalked paint from Benjamin Moore. First I sanded the chair seat, then applied the chalked paint. It’ scratches off. Then I tried another sanded seat and applied primer, it scratched off. I am being told that once a piece of furniture has been waxed with beeswax, no paint will stick to it. The beeswax goes right into the wood
    and can never be stripped off. Is this true? Can anyone help me with this problem. Is there anything I can do to take off the beeswax so that I can re chalk paint this piece in white?

    • Hello Claire,

      It is possible to remove wax, for sure. I would recommend trying Woodleys Wax and Polish Remover. This will help remove all the surface wax that is causing adhesion of the paint. Try a test area first.

      Ideally you should remove the paint as well but it is not essential if the new paint will go over the current with out issue. The one potential problem that you may find is after applying the white paint, waxing will give the white a yellow/creamy tone. Test areas are key to your finish and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      All the Best Sam.

  32. Hi, I am thinking about painting some wood panelling in my bathroom with chalk paint and sealing with wax. Will this stand up to the humidity or should I use something else to seal it?

    • Hello,

      I would not recommend this for bathrooms no. The paint is likely to flake after a while even with the wax applied it is simply not durable enough for this type of environment.

      We often recommend Osmo Country Colour for stronger colour finishes or Osmo Wood Wax Finish Transparent for something more subtle. With a basecoat of the Osmo Wood Protector which will keep the wood flexible and prevent it from getting brittle with the temperature change.

      These are oil-based products and will soak into the wood leaving it micro porous and flexing with the wood.

      Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  33. Hi,

    I’ve just finished waxing a piece of furniture that I have painted with chalk paint. The finish from the clear wax is a bit patchy. Looks rustic but I’m not sure if I’ve applied correctly? Can you advise?

    • Hello Sadie,

      It can be difficult to get an even finish with wax sometimes on a chalk paint, I know from experience and the colour can be a factor in this as much as the products them selves. If you have excess wax on the surface this can sometimes give a patchy effect and a little extra buffing with a cloth to even it out.

      Or you may find that another coat of the wax will even out the finishes result. And it can make a difference if you apply in circles or straight lines. Working with the direction of the grain can help even though you are waxing a paint. But essentially practice make perfect with projects like this and the more experience you get at applying wax the better you will understand how the product works.

      I would be happy to take a look at some photos if you would like to email them in to wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Sam.

  34. Hi, I’ve found the solution to the above problem with the Mann’s hard wearing varnish.

    My problem now is that the furniture is bowing through yellow where I have painted (just one chair so far). They were previously waxed, I have removed this with Mann’s wax and polish remover and then fine sanded them, but it’s still coming through yellow. Is there a base coat I can use to stop this from happening?
    TIA
    Jo

    • Hello Jo,

      Are you applying to a White finish? Applying a clear sealer over a white finish will nearly always result in a slight yellow tinge. This is difficult to avoid I’m afraid. We do have another Blog on White Finishes that it may be worth you having a read of and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind regards Sam.

  35. Hi

    I’m painting my cabinets, dining chairs and base of the table with a Matt finish paint (it’s for walls rather than furniture specific, but seems to be workin fine so far!). A patch test show that when I wipe with a damp cloth (as I will need to occasionally) it brings up a little of the paint too. I plan to wax seal it in, but I only seem to be able to find wax you buff to polish. Do I have to do this, or can I just leave it as a Matt finish?

    TIA
    Jo

    • Hello Jo,

      The paint is unlikely to with stand everyday use in a kitchen and with out a seal may start to peel and flake. I would recommend application of a varnish to seal and protect. Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a good option. Spray application would be better but if this is not possible then brush or roller application is possible, but care must be taken not to over work as this can pull the paint off. Test areas are vital and please do let me know if you have any other questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  36. I am thinking of using chalk paint and chalk ink to create a ‘rug’ look over old asbestos tile. What can I use to seal the picture (chalk ink on chalk paint) without causing it to run? After that I plan on using a polyurethane to seal it so we can walk on it.

    • Hello Denise,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I would only recommend the use of Wax or Varnish over Chalk Paint. Both would be suitable for floors but the Wax is not so durable and will need regular maintenance coats to keep it protected. Wax can also get slipper under foot. Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish is a more durable option but is better spray applied to avoid pulling the paint when applied. I hope that helps and if you have any questions or would like to share some photos, feel free to get in touch.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  37. I recently repainted an old wardrobe with a White chalk paint, i went to use the wax and its gave it a yellowy finish, i havent painted all of it as i tested a brush stroke first, its been a few days so its dried yellow, what can i do?

    • Hello Lauren,

      This is a common issue, when applying a clear finish over any white finish you will always get a yellow tinge. We do not have a wax that will counteract this as yet although we have spent a fair amount of time trying. I had a similar project recently which prompted the search for a wax that would not turn the white yellow.

      We do now have a product in stock that gives a chalk effect finish without the need for a coat of wax: Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint. Sorry I can not give a direct answer to the yellowing issue but do let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  38. Hi Sam, Thankyou for your helpful advice. I’ve chalk painted several pieces of furniture and it creates a lovely unified look from odds and ends of furniture without a huge £ outlay and a paler matt finish which I love. Where I need a more hard wearing surface I just wax the top regularly with beeswax furniture polish and leave the sides matt. My one piece of advice to share is that if you are going to wd40 the hinges, do it before you start as it permanently marks chalk paint. Also I’ve just discovered that you can use 1 part calcium carbonate powder (easy to get mail order) to 2 parts ordinary emulsion paint to mix your own chalk paint and it works brilliantly with as usual no need to prep. So I’m currently painting a tatty dresser using up leftover farrow and ball wall paint to make chalk paint then painting the top with their exterior eggshell (which I happen to have a bit of) in the same colour for a more hard wearing surface. It’s looking fab.

    • Hi Pam,

      Thanks for the great advice, with so many people using Chalk paint any helpful tips will go a long way.

      Many Thanks Sam.

    • Hello Diane,

      Chalk paint is not suitable for exterior use as far as I am aware. You could potentially try using an exterior Varnish, but I would not like to recommend something in this case as it is less likely to work effectively.

      I can recommend Osmo Country Colour as an alternative, it is not a chalk finish but it can give colour and protection and is suitable for exterior use.

      Kind regards Sam.

  39. Hi Sam I am going to paint an old cabinet (though I shouldn’t because it’s an Italian antique) but it’s an eyesore, anyway I am doing it in antique white chalk paint and adding some decoupage to it, the glue that’s used for this gives a lacquered finish apparently do you think it would be ok to cover the cabinet in it to seal it?
    Thanks

    • Hello Patricia,

      The best way to determine this is to try some test areas first. And it would depend on how much the surface is expected to be in use. Some lacquers can create a good seal, but this is not a standard type of protective finish and I would recommend considering a Varnish such as Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish. Spray application is the best option with Chalk Paint as over working with varnish can pull the paint.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      All the Best Ben.

  40. Hi I have made a pictire frame from a pallet for a friends wedding for their photo booth. I have used chalk paint and are goign to spray on the wedding date and Mr & Mrs. is it ok to apply the wax once I have finished spraying on the text? I don’t want to smudge the wording that’s all?

    Thanks in advanced!

    • Hello Gregg,

      Its difficult to say. Wax is used regularly over chalk paint with no problems but it is always best to do a small test area first. I am sorry I can not be of more help. But I would love to see how you get on, if you would like to send any photos to wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Sam

  41. I just painted my kitchen chairs with chalk paint. I’d like to seal them next. What can I use, besides wax, to get a scratch resistant surface? I have young kids that are rough on furniture and would just like a clear coat to protect them. Polyurethane? Clear top coat? Thank you.

    • Hello Theresa,

      The most protective product that you can use would be Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish to seal, and application would be better sprayed to avoid pulling the paint off.

      The only other product which is most often used on chalk paint is the Wax and this will seal and protect but not to a high level like Varnish will.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  42. Hi I’ve got a dark stained Welsh dresser which is in the kitchen . Just wondering what colour chalk paint would look good on the dresser des tresses look and can chalk paint be lacquered to seal the paint as May get bit greasy as next to oven lol cheers

    • Hello Keith,

      Thank you for your inquiry, The good thing about Chalk paint is that you can use it pretty much on everything with out too much preparation. That said I would always recommend both a test area and some preparation of the area that is to be painted.

      You can seal the Chalk paint with a Varnish but you need to be careful not to over work during application as this can pull the paint off. Spray application would be the best method. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      All the Best Sam.

  43. I have just painted my laminate floor in my bathroom with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I was going to use her lacquer but it says on the tin it is not suitable for bathrooms. Would you recommend a varnish instead?

    • Hello Catherine,

      Varnish and Lacquer are very similar and although varnish is suitable for careful use over the chalk paint, I am not convinced it is the right combination for a bathroom floor. It may be worth you contacting Annie Sloan directly.

      I would recommend the use of Osmo Wood Protector as a base coat and then the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints, two thin coats over the top for colour and protection. But the paint would need to be removed first. If you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind regards Sam.

  44. Hi,
    I am looking at buying some chalky paint from rainbowchalk.com. I was just wondering if furniture wax is waterproof as I am decorating a hairdressing salon so therefore the wax to seal the paint needs to be procected from water. I was wondering if you could recommend a great chalky paint that’s waterproof or a wax that is waterproof which could you layer up chalky paint for a shabby chic finish. Also which would be the best paint to buy for the job. Many thanks Jessica Mann

    • Hello Jessica,

      Unfortunately Wax and Chalk paint offer very little water repellency, and will mark and stain fairly easily. Although chalk paint is a popular product to use it is more suited to show pieces and and display furniture, rather than items that are likely to be in regular and prolonged use.

      For an alternative you could have a look at Osmo Wood Wax Finish Intensive which has some great colour and then finish with a Osmo Polyx Oil for durability and water repellency. Or even the Wood Stain for colour and the Polyx Oil over the top.

      I hope that helps a little and if you need any more advise you are welcome to give us a call.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  45. I want to put a water based durable varnish finish on my kitchen cabinets after chalk paint. Should I wait for the paint to cure first and if so, how long should I wait? Thanks for your interesting site.

    • Hello Rosemary,

      The Chalk paint dries fairly quickly and is ready to seal within hours (please see specific tin for details) the main thing you need to consider when applying a varnish over chalk paint is not to over work the varnish as it will cause the paint to come away. Use a Roller for application and apply in one stroke, to avoid damaging the paint. Spray application would be a better option if it is possible. – Sam

  46. I used chalk paint to paint tiles surrounding a fireplace. I’m not sure what to use to seal it. I think the wax will not work because of the heat. Any suggestions?

    • Hello Rose,

      Thank you for your inquiry, as far as I am aware Chalk paint can only be sealed with Wax or Varnish. It may be that the wax will soften and wear away quicker next to a fireplace, but this is not something I have come across before and so can not be sure.

      For Varnish, application can be difficult over Chalk paint as over working can cause the paint to come away, so spray application is better or very careful application with a brush or roller. Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish would be a good product for you to consider. Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions or how you get on.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  47. Hi

    I have a black stone – exterior grade – floor in my kitchen and didn’t seal it when it was laid, it is now grubby and resistant to general cleaning. I have tested a small area with blackboard paint and it is an amazing matt black. Before I continue the whole floor I wondered if it can be sealed using a silicone or wax/varnish? making it easier to clean in the future?

    thanks

    • Hello Julie,

      It may be possible to seal with the Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish but I would recommend a test area first. This is to ensure adhesion and no adverse reaction between the paint and the Varnish. The Manns Extra Tough is available in sample sizes and in a Matt finish. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  48. Hi I was just wondering about if it’s necessary to
    Seal chalk paint. I’ve never done it and I like how it looks as is with the the paint.

    • Hello Tristan,

      My apologies for the delay in getting back to you, interestingly I am having the same dilemma myself. I have recently painted some pine wardrobes in Chalk paint and love the matt finish that it gives. I have tested a small area with wax and although it still looks good I prefer the finish without. I intend to leave my wardrobes to see how I get on with out the wax for a couple of weeks, but my guess is that the paint will mark easily.

      I do think it will be very dependent on the item you are finishing, for example a table that will get regular use should really be waxed to protect it but a display item that will not be used to much may be okay. The only other option is to varnish, in Matt, but I would only recommend this if you have the ability to spray the Varnish on. Brush application can have disastrous results on chalk paint if not applied correctly.

      The other thing to be careful of it the colour of the paint, if you have painted white then a clear wax can cause yellowing, or on a coloured finish clear can cause a slightly streaky finish. Test area are imperative to get the right finish after all your hard work. Let me know if you have any other questions – Sam.

  49. I am working on an old kitchen set. I chalk painted the chairs with two coats. I want a very smooth, almost gloss finish when I am done. Should I apply sealing wax over the chalk paint and then apply polycrylic over the sealing wax? Will that get me the glossy finish I am looking for?

    • Hello Rose,

      You can use a Wax over the paint or a Varnish but not both. Generally speaking most people will finish Chalk Paints with a clear Wax and this can be buffed up to a shine, but as this is chairs that you are applying to there is the chance that the wax will come off on clothes.

      So I would recommend a Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish finish which although more durable can also be harder to apply to Chalk Paint. The best way to apply is to spray but many people won’t have this option and so the key to good application is to not over work the varnish with the brush or roller. If you get the right amount of varnish on the roller and try to do one stroke to apply and with a clean roller one stroke back to remove or even out. Over working the varnish will result in the chalk paint coming away from the wood. Please let me know if you have any more questions – Sam.

      Varnish

  50. Looking to seal my kitchen cabnets. Ive put two coats of chalk paint on an then sanded them to get the distressed look. My problem is that if i use the wax to seal it does that make it shiney. I want it to look old an not shiney

    • Hello Brandon,

      Thank you for your inquiry, we do advise that you apply Wax on top of Chalk paint this is the preferred choice of many customers, it will however give a slight sheen and the more you buff it the shinier it will get. It is possible to seal with a Matt Varnish but this is better done by spray application as varnish that is applied with a brush or roller can begin to remove the paint when over worked. You should do test areas with whatever product that you decide to go with to ensure both the right finish and also there are no adverse reactions between products. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions just let me know – Sam.

  51. hi i plan to mix my own latex paint with plaster of paris to make my own chalk paint. i have to mix my beeswax with oil according to instruction. sorry but i need to know in simple english, that its ok to seal my chalk paint surface with beeswax, right? just still very hazey in this.. appreciate so much your advice thanks

    • Hello Fara,

      Yes you can seal you Chalk Paint with Beeswax, do a test area first to ensure that it doesn’t have any adverse effect on the paint, but Wax does seem to be the best product for sealing Chalk Paints. We tend to recommend Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish for such projects. Hope that helps – Sam.

  52. Hi,
    I have made a headboard out of timber and have painted it using different chalk paints. I’ve sanded these colours down to get the distressed effect. However, now I’m struggling with finding something to protect it. I started using clear furniture wax but it’s taking the paint off. Do you know of anything that I can apply that won’t remove the paint? Thanks!

    • Hello Rebecca,

      The only sealer that you can use safely on the Chalk paint is a Wax. It shouldn’t be removing the paint and I’m not entirely sure why it would. I myself have just finished some shelves for my daughters room which had Chalk paint on them and I used the Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish to seal them.

      Is it possible that you are rubbing the wax on a little too vigorously as this may cause some of the surface paint to come away. To get the best results, apply sparingly working on small areas at a time. Leave the wax to dry and then buff to required shine.

  53. I’m painting chalk paint onto the top of a Wooden mobile bar. I think it’s pine. It was originally gloss varnished and so I have sanded it down to bring out a more authentic look. I’m painting a logo onto the top and will need to waterproof seal it with a Matt look. Can you recommend a suitable Matt varnish or wax to seal in the paint, bearing in mind the bar top will see lots of moisture. I have used waxes before and they have a tendency to rub off onto clothes when leaning on it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dan

    • Hello Dan,

      I’m sorry to say that using Chalk paint on a bar top is not what we would recommend. The reason for this is that only Wax is a suitable product to use over the top of it. Oils and Varnishes will have a detrimental effect on the chalk paint. The Wax will offer some protection but not an adequate amount for a bar top. I wish I could give you a better answer but chalk paint gives a beautiful finish but is limited with what products it works with. You would be better off using an emulsion or eggshell paint that is suitable for use with a Varnish finish. Sorry I could not give you the answer that you want but I hope you manage to achieve the finish that you want.

  54. Hello,

    I’ve sanded and lime washed some old pine floorboard. Looks great at present, but want to seal it. I’ve brushed it to remove any lime dust, and tested a corner with a single coat of ting oil. Very disappoint with how it dries on top of the wash. Could you recommend any other product to deal the floor? Thank, Richard

    • Hello Richard,

      Having spoken to our Flooring expert I believe that if it is the traditional Liming method that you have used then you are able to seal with a Varnish. However it would be necessary to do a test area first and you may need to add a little (approx 2%) pigment to the Varnish to avoid the yellowing effect that can sometimes occur when sealing white finishes. Putting a Varnish on the Lime wash may change the look and feel of the floor which is why a test area is recommended, to ensure you are happy with the outcome.

      One other product that you may consider is the Osmo Polyx Oil Raw. This is a protective oil that has a small amount of White pigment in it so you should not get that yellowing affect. Again a test area should be done. I hope this helps Richard.

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