How to clean Chalk Painted Cabinets?

Michelle Brown
by Michelle Brown

Previous owners painted the kitchen cabinets black (chalk paint) but I don't think they used a finish because grease & oils are showing. How do I clean this and is it too late to add a finish?

  4 answers
  • Brenda Brandt Deason Brenda Brandt Deason on Jul 28, 2018

    Usually you take a piece of chalk and rub it over the entire surface, then erase. Chalk would probably absorb the oil while you are at it. If you like the black dark, if you oil the entire surface, the oil spots should match when you’re done.

  • Laura Keenan Laura Keenan on Jul 28, 2018

    Wipe down with vinegar & water & a lint free rag first then you might need to touch up with more paint in spots. changing colors is easy too if you don't like the black chalk paint, just by a different color chalk paint. 2 coats if going alot lighter. :D

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Jul 28, 2018

    Hi Michelle,

    It sounds like you have chalkboard paint, not chalk paint. There is a difference. Chalkboard paint has a smoother finish and you don't see the brush strokes a lot. It's formulated to create chalk boards Chalk style paint is usually used to create a more distressed look and must be sealed or waxed on a regular basis. There are many people who have tried chalk style paint in the kitchen and decided to switch to latex paint. (To the chalk style paint lovers out there, I know you disagree). It really depends on the look you want. If you're going for shabby chic, the chalk style paint is what to use, but you will most likely have to shellac over the grease stains (even though it supposed to be no-prep). If you don't the grease stains will come through the paint.

    I personally would choose latex paint with a primer in my kitchen because I believe it's stronger and cleans easier. Click below to read another person's story and why she doesn't choose chalk style paint. Wishing you the best.

  • Zest it Up Zest it Up on Jul 29, 2018

    Have you tried using warm soapy water and a sponge or lint free rag? Once the oil and greases spots are gone, you can definitely add a finish!