Help! Disaster with chalk paint!

by Lori
Some of you may remember a while ago I posted a question about painting vinyl with chalk paint, did it work, how to do it, etc. After a lot of research and investigating, I bought AS chalk paint, her brush, got up my nerve a did it today. It was a dismal failure and I am so disappointed I wish I'd never even heard of AS chalk paint. Everyone loves it so I'm not blaming the paint, it has to be me or what I painted. Look.....
This is my first piece and I was so excited. When it dried I put on the second coat and when I came back a couple of hrs later, this is what I found.
It's like this all over, sides and top.
I washed it with Dawn before I started, it was dry, what did I do wrong? Was it too shiny, the vinyl?
  22 answers
  • Lindylou Lindylou on May 04, 2016
    All the posts I've read on painting vinyl used spray paint, one in particular on the blog Upside of chaos who painted 2 vinyl chairs white, She used Rustoleum, Heirloom white. Hope this helps, good luck
  • Nikki Nikki on May 05, 2016
    =( Oh no you poor thing!!!! I just painted my outdoor bench cushion that wasn't even bad it was red and I honestly painted it only because I wanted it to be black and it is awful, Nothing like the things I read with all the good outcomes. Hopefully you can get that off enough to try the spray paint on it? Maybe just enough so it doesn't leave a chunky mark where it was peeling. Or you could maybe cover it with fabric and a staple gun? I see a lot of cute things covered with inexpensive drop cloths too. Oh I wish you the best of luck!
  • Eloise Eloise on May 05, 2016
    How disappointing! If you come up with a workable solution, please post pictures.
  • Elaine Elaine on May 05, 2016
    Did you stir the paint REALLY well? I bought a different brand of Chalk Paint and it didn't cover at all. I had stirred well - I thought but when I stuck a stick way down, there was about a good inch of thick, really hard stiff sludge. I knew that was the chalk. So I started stirring VERY well. Still no luck. I found I had to scoop up the sludge with a spoon and squeeze it between my fingers to break it up. Took about a good hour just to break up all the stiff clumps. After that, I still found that I needed a good two coats. I've never painted material or vinyl. I was painting a very slick/shiny wooden article. I really wish you good luck and hope there is a solution!!!
  • Lori Lori on May 05, 2016
    Thanks everybody. I really did stir it well, all that thick stuff at the bottom and stirred again before the second coat. I am going to try sanding it off which will destroy the vinyl completely if it isn't already destroyed, it looks greyish and dull under there. My plan B is to recover with some really new modern and bright material, I want some "happy" in that room.
  • Crafting4carol Crafting4carol on May 05, 2016
    I don't have an answer. But thanks for the visual warning. I will research more before I try it on my chair. Best laid plans...
  • Drprof Drprof on May 05, 2016
    Since it is done with chalk paint and I am assuming that you have not put wax or any sealer on it, it should come off when wet. Chalk paint is porous. Why don't you try by placing a very wet towel on it and then wait. This may take many tries but you should be able to get it off little by little. Good luck. I have been thinking about your couch. I have seen beautiful slip covers made from canvas drop cloths, looks like a Pottery Barn couch. It would work in both a casual or more formal room depending on the style of slip covers that you make. Good Luck. I also have not had the best luck with chalk paint....
    • Lori Lori on May 05, 2016
      Thank you, I will try that. I sanded it by hand, the rotten spots, and washed it off but will go lay a wet towel on it and see.
  • Marjo Marjo on May 05, 2016
    Being that its an ottoman it could very easily be recovered with some nice material and a staple gun. Painting vinyl really is difficult. What do you think about making a jean patchwork cover?
    • Lori Lori on May 05, 2016
      Thanks Marjo, my plan B is to do that but the blue jeans idea would be too casual for this room. I've seen them though and they are cute.
  • Sandy Hartnett Sandy Hartnett on May 05, 2016
    I use vinyl paint for vinyl. Hugs
    • See 3 previous
    • Nikki Nikki on May 05, 2016
      @Lori I Agree! I'm crossing my fingers for you. You can always cover it later if need be, but vinyl paint would be a much faster fix and also would give you the original look you wanted. I have never used it myself but being that it is made for vinyl I don't think you could go wrong with it. I believe every time I saw that vinyl spray paint was right in the isle with the other spray paints at walmart and home improvement stores.
  • Liz Liz on May 05, 2016
    That sounds like the simplest idea that Marjo cover it with a pretty fabric/staple gun to match your decor. Cut a piece of thin foam the size of the top of your ottoman and then stretch your fabric over that. Recovering would save you all the hassle of trying to get that chalk paint gunk off. Good luck!
  • Flossie Flossie on May 05, 2016
    Please don't blame yourself, anything I have painted with ASCP has been a disappointment, I find it much too thick and never get away with one coat, I always have to add water to my brush and go over the piece again and again with wax. I am no novice at up cycling furniture and would suggest an egg shell if you ever choose to paint your wood. Good luck with your project.
  • Lori Lori on May 09, 2016
    Although I tried to remove the paint it was futile and I just wanted to warn people to be wary of painting vinyl with chalk paint. It DOES NOT always work out as planned though admittedly there are many success stories. I am going to cover my ottoman/coffee table in fabric.
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Aug 31, 2020

    Wow, I actually think that white looks great! I hope you figured out a solution and came up with something you like!

  • Lori Lori on Aug 31, 2020

    Hi Holly, I did come up with a fitted slip cover that did the trick and then I gave it away. I will never attempt that again. :( 😁

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Dec 10, 2020

    Maybe the paint was put on too thick? I've seen success with it using a very light coat then another when it dries. I'm sorry you were disappointed with it. I think it depends on the fabric too.

  • Simon Cochrane Simon Cochrane on Feb 12, 2021

    Vinyl is essentially a polymer called Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which is used to make a range of products from records to drainpipes and guttering. Flexible vinyl has plasticisers added to make it bend and flex which is why it can be used for clothing and faux leather. Two of the properties of PVC are wear resistance and chemical resistance so any paint that you want to stick to it would need to chemically react with the material to obtain proper adhesion. Chalk paint does not have chemicals that react with PVC and is designed to form a thick coat. As it dries very quickly, this coat will crack when the vinyl bends, which seems to have happened. Chalk paint simply does not have the flexibility to coat shiny surfaces like vinyl. It can be used on fabrics, but that's because the fabrics absorb the paint into the fibres.

    • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Feb 15, 2021

      Thank you for explaining what I’ve been saying for years-

      chalk paint is not the solution for most things.

      It is not for kitchen cabinets, which need a scrubbable latex modified enamel paint.

      It is not for upholstery- vinyl or cloth.

      And the fact that you’re supposed to wax chalk paint- says volumes to me.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 12, 2021

    Hello. Thank you for posting your project- it is a good learning experience for me.

    I’m sorry this happened and I hope that your fabric cover application exceeds your expectations and helps you forget about your upsetting situation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 12, 2021

      I have saved some ottoman slip cover Pinterest ideas too. I am hesitant.....more scared of my sewing abilities than my painting abilities. Why do I have to be so timid smiling.

      Congratulations your accomplishment thank you for taking the time to educate us about difficulties that can be experienced with chalk paint applications. I am fairly new to chalk paint-use. Have a nice weekend.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Feb 15, 2021

    For the next time, buy an automotive Vinyl spray “paint” at an auto parts store.

    With proper prep cleaning and application, it will last a decade on car seats.

    Ive even used it on oxidized vinyl automotive trim.

    • Lori Lori on Feb 15, 2021

      Thank you, I will remember that for sure if I ever need to attempt it again. I wish I knew this before but that's my fault for not investigating. :)

  • Sandie Sandie on Apr 14, 2021

    They have leather spray paint. I don’t think it looks bad. The spray paint may come in matte, semi gloss and gloss

  • Lori Lori on Apr 14, 2021


  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2021

    paint stripper will help

    • Lori Lori on Sep 29, 2021

      Thanks Agnes but it is long gone. I don't know how to take old projects off of here.

    • Lori Lori on Nov 01, 2022

      Sorry, but as stated, it's been gone for a long time now. The issue is as resolved as it's going to be. The thing I need help with is how to get my questions off this site. 🙂