Asked on Jan 12, 2016

Chalk paint vs spray or brushed-on paint

Sheila D
by Sheila D
I am not clear on using chalk paint instead of spray paint or regular paints on projects. Is it a finished look or the process that determines which to use?
  12 answers
  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jan 12, 2016
    It really depends on the finished look of the piece. Almost any paint will work on any surface with the right preparation. Chalk paint is easy to use and requires the least preparation. I make my own chalk paint because it is cheaper and I can get the exact color I want. Spray & regular paint gives a smoother more modern look while chalk paint gives a softer more relaxed look (in my opinion). Reg. and spray paint needs a really good smooth surface and requires priming first. Although I usually prime anyway, chalk paint is more forgiving if your piece has dings or scratches. Other paints do not require a topcoat unless you just want extra protection, while chalk paint looks best with soft wax like the Annie Sloan soft wax. I have done a lot of painting using reg., spray, and chalk paint. If you want a really glossy or extra smooth finish, chalk paint is probably not what you are looking for. I am not an expert, but hopefully others will respond who know much more than I.
  • Diana of all Trades Diana of all Trades on Jan 13, 2016
    There are some advantages to using chalk based paint. First, you don't have to sand (unless there is loose paint). Second, most brands are no or low VOC so you can use them safely in an enclosed space. You are less likely to have paint drips with chalk paint because you put it on in really thin layers. Chalk paint should always be covered with a sealer. Annie Sloan may not have true sealers. Wax is not a sealer. So with Annie Sloan you would have to use polyurethane which is high VOC. Sort of defeats the purpose. You will not have as smooth a surface as using spray paint but chalk paint will be equally smooth as regular paint since it will be applied the same way (with brush or roller).
  • Janet metzger Janet metzger on Jan 13, 2016
    Hello Sheila, Annie Sloan paint does not contain latex which most other house paints do contain. Because of this it is virtually odor free and dries in 20 to 30 minutes and is extremely versatile and let's you be very creative. The look you will achieve depends on your application. With Annie Sloan paint you can have a very modern sleek look or you can have a beautiful textured country or shabby chic look. Half the fun is playing with Andy's paint and getting creative
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 13, 2016
    Chalk paint gives your project a different finish that other paints. Deciding on what to use to paint with should be based on the look you are trying to achieve.I found this for you to read to maybe help clarify . chalk Hope this will help.
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Jan 13, 2016
    If I could spray like a pro, I would probably use spray paint more often, but chalk paint is usually best, especially on surfaces you usually don't paint. Very little prep work, good coverage, and the ability to "accent", like distressing, antiquing, and other finishes make chalk paint more versatile. The wax finish on chalk-painted pieces is usually deeper, richer, and more long lasting (read chip resistant). The decision also depends a lot on what you are painting and how you will use it!
  • Int2363025 Int2363025 on Jan 13, 2016
    Depends on the outcome you want of your project. Junky, trendy, trashy, etc. with chalk paint. Professional finish: clean, clean, strip, sand, prime, spray or brush oil enamel. This is very time consuming but, when finished you have a timeless project that is well done. I know, others will not appreciate my input. This is for those that care about quality rather than quantity.
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Jan 13, 2016
    I've used pot spray paint and various brands of "chalk paint" including making my own. I like to use spray paint on very small projects , I'm nothe greatest spray painter lol. Chalk paint is easy to use, don't be mislead by the no prep hype. always wipe your piece down with a vinegar/water solution or any other non oily solution. I also always do a quick sand with a fine grit sand paper to give the piece some tooth to grab the paint. Don't go overboard sanding unless the piece is really bad to start with. I usually add a little water to some paint for the first coat. You don't need to prine first unless you are painting something white, a grey primer will help with not needing numerous coats of white. When I first started painting furniture for a living I used wax as my finish coat. Since then I have found that polyurethane and something called Polyvine give a better finish and holds up better than wax . You can also choose flat, semi or high gloss finishes depending on what you are trying to achieve. Chalk painted pieces always need a top coat of some kind. Chalk paint can give you whatever look you want, modern, shabby chic, sleek, layer colors etc. I done most of the different looks.
  • Linda Hunt Linda Hunt on Jan 13, 2016
    What homemade chalk paint recipe work the best for you my Hometalk friends???
  • LD LD on Jan 13, 2016
    As Debi53 said, it depends on the finished look that your going for. Personally, if you want to use spraying, I would recommend that you purchase one, for it can be use for horizontal or vertical surface application, and in the long run you will save money, for spray cans, you not only have to worry about the fumes, the limitation on colors, and the cost factor as well. The sprayer can also be used for applying your finishing protective layer as well. Just remember that no matter how or what you're applying, the prep work of the project is very important, for if you don't have a clean smooth surface to begin with, it will affect the final result. As far as to what kind of sprayer to purchase, I would take a field trip to your local paint store and ask for recommendations, for I have found that most of the people that work their recalls professional painters.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 13, 2016
    I am a professional artist /painter. This chalk paint fad is just that, a crafters fad. If you want to learn to paint 'projects' go to the basics, the standards, the masters. 1. surface material: wood, metal, porous, finished, raw...2. Desired fiinsh: soft, hard, glossy, textured, smooth, buttery, lasting, ...3. Exposure: wet, dry, odiferous, coated finish, natural finish,...
  • Carole Carole on Jan 14, 2016
    I took a $3.00 garage Queen Anne's side chair that was painted black with an oil base paint. I sanded it lightly and primed it with a can of spray paint. I gave it two coats of off white flat spray paint. I sanded the edges for a vintage look. When dry I rubbed it with wax that is used for chalk paint. I used the old material as a new template for the new fabric. I have looked at redone furniture that had been done with chalk paint. I can't tell the difference between using spray paint or chalk paint. Those cans of chalk paint are pricey.
  • Lisa House Lisa House on Jan 14, 2016
    It depends on what look you want, how much effort you are willing to put into the project, and use of the finished item. Have fun