Chalk painted chair seats and now cracking! What did I do wrong?

by Taylor
I’ve never used chalk paint - this was my first ‘mini project’ and I wanted to try painting the seats on my dining table chairs instead of recovering them in a fabric.

I finished two days ago and today I already noticed tiny cracks all over one of the seats. Any ideas what I did wrong? I dipped my brush into water And then into paint before applying the paint. I also had bleed thru on stains the first two coats so I bought some Kilz pray primer and then had to do two more coats to cover that.

Im not sure if it was too many coats or if I did something wrong in the application (I.e not enough water, not enough paint, sanded too much, too little, etc.) I sanded between coats and applied a creme wax because that’s what I was told to use at the hardware store.

Thanks! (sorry if this was long!)
chalk painted chair seats and now cracking what did i do wrong
  8 answers
  • Bijous Bijous on Sep 30, 2017

    If paint is applied over wax, it separates. When applying a faux finish to a wall, wax is used to preserve the finish as the last thing applied. I've never heard of using a wax between coats on a fabric that needs to be flexible. Since it's already cracking, I'd try to crack it as much as possible to see if it's going to flake. If not, you've got a very unique seat. Some mistakes can turn out great!

  • Taylor Taylor on Sep 30, 2017

    Thanks for the reply! I applied the wax only at the end. . you’re right though - if it doesn’t chip it may not look too horrible lol and it was days of work to worry about undoing. I can always use chair covers if it gets bad.

    Have you ever used chalk paint on upho before? I’m wanting to see if I did anything wrong since I had a few other things I wanted to try it on but if it’s goinf to crack again I don’t want to hahaha

    thanks again!

  • L. Creative L. Creative on Sep 30, 2017

    Wood expands and contracts so this is probably the reason although I can’t tell you the answer.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 30, 2017

    Sounds to me like you've got too many coats on, since I'm a professional painter I haven't used commercial chalk paint but the directions from Annie Sloan recommends you water down her paint by 1/3c to 1 Tbsp of water for first coat. Don't see any directions to dip a brush in water, never heard that one. Here are her tips...

    Personally, I would still use a primer first, this gives you good coverage and adhesion, I use Kilz for furniture.

    If your going for a country look you go for the chippy or crackle finish.

    • See 2 previous
    • Julia Julia on Oct 01, 2017

      I did it that way, it turned out great...Yes, u are 100% correct u need to spray with water and dilute your paint..I also used fabric medium as well and everyone is amazed its painted😂

  • AuntQueenie AuntQueenie on Oct 01, 2017

    I read or watched a you tube video about painting fabric. The person used

    Fusion spray paint. She used the same color, got a wet rag and worked the color into the fabric for full coverage. That's all I recall. It was cool though and she painted a velvet sofa. You could probably find it on You Tube.

  • Geeswonderland Geeswonderland on Oct 09, 2017

    Glue does this.. should've never used the spray paint.. your best bets to sand down and repaint unless you like the crackle look!!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 02, 2022

    Are the cracked seat the ones you have sat on? If so, sit on the others in turn , so they all get the aged look! Then if you wish you can accentuate the look by using a shoe polish on them (rub on and wipr off so the colour goes into the cracks) or do the same with a metal (Gold/Silver etc. Wax). I would embrace the look as do the Japanese!