Stripping off A LOT of chalk paint

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I've had my first (of many, I'm sure) disastrous DIY project. I have covered my entire kitchen cabinetry with chalk paint and I hate it. It's streaky, it's cracking, the wood and oil is coming through from underneath, even though I prepped in the way they told me, it chips off at the easiest bump even though I waxed it. I followed all of the instructions the chalk paint lady told me. I'd love to sand it all off and start over fresh with real paint. There are some recessed crevices in the cabinet doors that will be nearly impossible to sand. What is the best (easiest) way to approach this? Will a stripper work? Do I need to sand all the recessed areas by hand? Please help!!!
q stripping off a lot of chalk paint, chalk paint, diy, kitchen cabinets, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  79 answers
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Dec 03, 2013
    Chalk paint and wax not good for high traffic... So strip it off. Lots of good strippers out there now that practically let you just wipe it away. Sounds like it's time to visit your local home store.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 03, 2013
    With wax you have to reapply it every few months, using cleaners and just the traffic of people will ware off wax..and you have to reapply. You could just reaply chalk paint then use poly over it. The Chalk paint will go over anything..but the poly will protect the surface..and no more streaks.

  • Carole Carole on Dec 03, 2013
    There is one paint stripper called Citristrip. As the name suggests it is citrus scented rather than strong chemical smell and a bit less toxic than the industrial strength strippers. I would see if your local hardware store stocks that brand or something like it. Chemical paint strippers are usually quite nasty to breath in (needing a chemical mask and also long chemical gloves as you don't want this stuff on your skin). The citrus ones are much less toxic, but should still do the job. Advisable to still wear protective gloves and work in a well ventilated area even with the citrus stuff. Hope this helps!

  • Carole Carole on Dec 03, 2013
    BTW, whatever you decide to do, I would just try doing one cabinet first and see how you go. Leave it a couple of days before doing the rest. If you try doing the whole lot and it looks even worse or does not come off cleanly and is still hard to paint over, it is a lot of work for a bad result.

  • Vicki Vicki on Dec 03, 2013
    I'm not sure and more than likely a stripper would do. I wanted to say that the cabinets in the picture are beautiful. Are you sure you wouldn't want to update the back splash instead of all that work? I understand though that a girl has to do what a girl has to do!! Show us when you are finished please.

    • Through the Dutch Door Through the Dutch Door on Dec 04, 2013
      @Vicki They do look lovely from far away. I love the color and sheen to it, but up close, they look terrible! What would you suggest with the backsplash?

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 04, 2013
    I have seen several "painted" cabinets in kitchens...some DIY and some done professionally. Not a single one of them holds up like sealing and varnishing does. Even the factory finish paint jobs can peel off. I have wanted my cabinets painted several times, but now I am sooooo glad I did not do it!

  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Dec 04, 2013
    I wouldn't change the backsplash you have. If you must do something, why not try beadboard wallpaper between the backsplash and cabinets only? Would look lovely with the white. (I hate the auto-correct on my 'puter! It made beadboard breadboard three times! And 'puter 'outer. Glad I caught the "corrections". Hope it didn't do anything I didn't catch.)

  • Sweet Pea Studio Sweet Pea Studio on Dec 04, 2013
    Maybe you could just remove the wax and add another coat of paint, then wax again. (If the cabinets are streaky it makes me think the cabinets need another coat of paint.) Also, in the photo the floor color and cabinet color don't seem to blend. Perhaps you are reacting to a color harmony problem and need a rug with mostly the cabinet colors and a touch of the floor colors as a visual bridge between the floor color and cabinets. I agree with Vicki that the cabinets look lovely.

  • Shari Shari on Dec 04, 2013
    I remember my mother used to strip wax off her terrazzo floors with ammonia and very hot water. Maybe you could just try wiping one door down with it first to see if it works. Then, before you paint again (with latex I assume?) I would use a liquid sandpaper/deglosser product. By using it, you could minimize or possibly even completely eliminate the need for sanding. In addition to preparing the surface for painting, liquid sandpaper/deglosser strips away any dirt and grunge (and in this case, hopefully residual wax the ammonia & hot water didn't get). Also, if you go the latex paint route, I would definitely suggest using a good primer made especially for bonding. Again, I would try all these steps on one door before you put all that work into the whole kitchen again. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with chalk paint. I haven't used the commercial chalk paint but I did try a homemade version and was not impressed at all. I also just tried milk paint for the first time last week and same story--not impressed. Even with multiple coats, I found the milk paint to be streaky too--very "rustic" or imperfect, which is not a good fit for my perfectionistic tendencies. I know they say you can paint anything with chalk paint and milk paint but I've been highly skeptical ever since I first heard that. I can't imagine doing a high traffic area like a kitchen with either of them and having it look good for the long haul. Personally, I'll be sticking to latex paint from here on out for all my painting projects. In my opinion, latex is tried and true.

  • Shari Shari on Dec 04, 2013
    I just had another thought regarding getting the wax off..... Perhaps a blow dryer would soften or even liquify the wax enough that you could wipe the majority of it out of the recessed areas. Then, as I mentioned above, a thorough wipe down with the ammonia and hot water would hopefully cut any remaining wax residue. ??? Worth a try.

  • Anna P Anna P on Dec 04, 2013
    Shari ,, great idea with ammonia and hot water , have to remember this!!... to fix the cabinets I would do Shari mixture to get the wax off, next step, apply thin coat of Shellac, this coat will block any more bleeding to the surface, next one more coat of chalk paint, and to finish and protect, two coats of water base poly. Poly will make the surface evenly finished.You can use any finishing product on top of chalk paint. But try this on one door and see any improvement before You strip everything. Good luck !!! let us know !!!

  • D Lawless Hardware D Lawless Hardware on Dec 04, 2013
    Unrelated...need some hardware for those cabinets? I'd love to give you some if we could use the pictures afterwords and share it on here and our other social media!! I'm writing you an e-mail!

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 04, 2013
    Even as simple as they make chalk paint sound it is really not that simple. Or any paint for that matter. With chalk paint sometimes it will just wipe off with hot water and elbow grease. It also depends on the brand you used. Is this Anne Sloan or CeCe's paint? I would take off one cabinet door only one, and try something else before going to all that trouble again I think your lacking definition and contour on your cabinets. If this is CeCe's paint you can paint over the wax. If your coat of paint isn't heavy enough add another coat. There are a lot of things you can do to make these cabinets pop beforipping them and starting from the beginning. A simple white wash would make them pop. Without stripping and re- painting. There are several sealers out there you can also use on wax. CeCe satin finish can be put directly over a wax. A white wash glaze would make those cabinets pop. Use a glaze and white paint or CeCe Vintage White, paint on wipe off let it get a bit tacky before you wipe off. Sealing a piece is also key to having furniture, cabinets you use. If they are waxed, waxed melts in heat. Also always consider what you are using the painted piece for so you know how to seal it. Her satin sealer can be put directly over wax. I would have used polyurhene Over the paint. But on the cabinets keep adding the glaze until you see some definition and I think you well be happier than stripping and starting over. You don't even have to put another coat on to do this. Practice first. Her sealer the satin isn't my favorite but it is long lasting, wipe able and it can be put over wax. I do it a bit different I sand using 220 grit sand paper in between and then out another coat on. Then it feels more like a poly sealer.

  • Z Z on Dec 04, 2013
    By what I understand the purpose of chalk paint is for the ease of distressing painted furniture. Which is why I've never tried it. If I take time to redo something I want it to look good and last a good long time. That being said, I found this info on AS's website that might help you save what you have so you can paint over it. Whether you want to redo it with AS is another big questions. "Q. I am painting a previously stained piece of furniture with Chalk Paint® and a yellow stain has appeared in my new paint layer. How do I cover it? A. If you see a yellow or pink stain coming through the paint on older furniture - typically pieces from the 1930s and 1940s - apply clear shellac, a natural non-toxic sealer. One or two coats of shellac applied with a cloth pad will stop this happening. There is no need to remove the stained coat of Chalk Paint® - you can apply the shellac directly on top. Shellac dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!" After reading the next quote I'm wondering if part of the problem is that you didn't allow the paint (and wax?) to cure long enough before using. "Q. How long will it take for my new finish to harden and cure? A. Chalk Paint® decorative paint is a water-based paint. Water-based paints take approximately 30 days to harden and cure, a chemical process that takes significantly longer than drying. Annie Sloan Soft Wax contains solvents that need to completely evaporate before it is hardened and cured. The curing process for this product may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks or longer. All finishes prefer warm, dry conditions during the curing process. Cold temperatures, high humidity, and application thickness will extend drying and curing time substantially." And this next question and answer might tell if you did anything wrong when cleaning your kitchen cabinets. "Q. How do I care for my new finish? A. Furniture painted with Chalk Paint® decorative paint and finished with Annie Sloan Soft Wax will stand up very well to everyday wear and tear. Treat your furniture with respect. Allow your new finish to harden and cure 30 days or longer before placing items that may scratch the surface. Avoid excessive water and sharp or scratchy objects. Use coasters under water glasses and placemats on dining tables. Clean with a soft cloth and avoid all liquid furniture polishes. To clean marks or stains, use a slightly damp cloth or chamois with a little mild soap. If you need to use a stronger cleaner, you may have to re-wax the area. Keep away from extreme temperatures or humidity. Waxes dissolve in alcohol, so using it on bars is not advisable!"

  • Through the Dutch Door Through the Dutch Door on Dec 04, 2013
    Thank you, everyone for your input! I appreciate each one of them. I do agree that they look lovely. I do also agree that the flooring is atrocious (okay, nobody said it quite that way, but I'm sure more than one of you was thinking that! :) ) We are putting in dark wood floors, but I made my husband wait until the kitchen was done. I think I'm going to leave them for now. I'm going to add some accessories. I like the beadboard wallpaper idea. I was going to beadboard wallpaper the inside of the recessed areas of the cabinet doors and thought against it. We'll see how it holds up and then in the near future, go from there. I think everyone's comments were extremely helpful!! Keep an eye out for finished pictures in the near future and we'll see how it looks then!

  • When sealing cabinets or heavily used furniture I use Benjamin Moore's Stays Clear. It is made for hardwood floors, so it's very durable and won't yellow at all over time. It is available in Gloss, Low Lustre, and Flat. I combine the Low Lustre and Flat one to one and get a beautiful sheen that looks a lot like a wax finish.

    • CC CC on Dec 05, 2013
      @Fabulous Finishes by Michelle Thanks for the info!

  • Julie J Julie J on Dec 04, 2013
    Maybe layer white paint over the grey, then lightly distress, wax or seal. I think it could come together nicely, especially with the countertop and grout. Dark floors would anchor the look. Then you could add some beautiful curtains, hardware and accessories. Message Marian at Miss Mustard Seed. She's an expert and very creative. http://missmustardseed.com/

  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Dec 04, 2013
    You might be able to pop off the backsplash tiles and put stainless steel ones on. This would highlight the greys and add a little reflective shine.

  • Barbara Gold Barbara Gold on Dec 05, 2013
    If you could seal the grey on upper cabinets and then just repaint lower cabinets with a complimentary color I think it could look nice and would be ale less work.

  • Barbara Gold Barbara Gold on Dec 05, 2013
    Also the upper cabinets probably get a lot less bumps and wear than lower cabinets.

  • Lane Harkey Lane Harkey on Dec 05, 2013
    you can take ASCP wax off with mineral spirits. The wax is used to harden the paint, but you should be able to sand after removing some wax.

  • Maine Country Home Maine Country Home on Dec 05, 2013
    Before you take off any of it and use mineral spirits etc, have you asked the store where you bought the paint. Is it Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? How many coats did you put on.? etc. I am pretty certain that there is an easier fix than stripping them all off.

  • Christine Christine on Dec 05, 2013
    I've removed waxes easily with a mineral spirits or amonia (Windex) wipe. Which is why I'd never use it in a kitchen -- learned the hard way! The chalk paint of any type should come off with hot water and a plastic scrubbie, used gently. If you made it yourself with a latex, I immediately recommend Citristrip. You can do this in place. Put something under the cabinets for drips, put the stuff on thick, press plastic grocery bags against it (to keep the stripper in contact with the wood/paint) and go to bed. I always give it 6-8 hours on antique doors to cut through years of oil paint, varnish, shellac, whatever. In the morning, you can use a plastic scraper to squeegie the goop off the doors easily. Anything left over comes off with (again) a plastic scrubbie and hot water. I have to tell you, this Citristrip makes stripping actually fun for me. The results are almost immediate, no space suit or flesh eating chemicals, just nice ribbons of paint coming off. When you're done and prep properly again, I STRONGLY suggest looking at the STIX adhesive primer and Cabinet Coat by Inslx (now owned by BM). It dries HARD as a rock and is made for cabinets and moldings. Since you're using a light color, you have lots of choices. Proper prep makes this stuff go on like butter. Love it, too. Good luck.

  • Karen DeCristoforo Karen DeCristoforo on Dec 05, 2013
    Check out BIN primer...it goes over everything, latex, oil, etc....It may work..Good Luck!

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 05, 2013
    There are good instructions on how to paint cabinets with ASCP by From MY Front Porch To Yours. You maybe able to salvage your hard work after reading what she has to say rather than start over! hope this helps!!

  • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Dec 05, 2013
    You do not have to strip all of your cupboards, if you choose not to try to fix the chalk paint, which you could but cleaning off a bit of the wax painting another coat and sealing it a polyurethane that will not yellow. this will keep the cabinets from chipping. Chalkpaint is meant to look distressed but I am guessing this is not the look you were going for. If your done with the chalkpaint, was the cabinets down with TSP cleaner and then when dry paint them with a primmer, then paint with a new paint that is meant for cabinets. good luck. You can contact Annie Sloan herself and she will help you if you want to save the chalkpaint look.

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    • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Dec 07, 2013
      @Terra Gazelle that is what I was telling her to wash off the wax not the paint. She did not like how it was chipping and distressing which is what chalk paint does. so if she takes off the wax, paints another coat of Annie Sloan and seals it with polyurethane it will not do this.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 05, 2013
    I understand believe me! : ) I have learned to practice everything and it has taken me a lot of practice with paint in general and a lot of books and lessons. Wished I lived closer I would help you strip them. I hate that for you! I have made tons of mistakes and re-painted a ton of stuff. let us know how your doing.

  • Denise Denise on Dec 05, 2013
    I do furniture and interiors for a living...and usually use chalk paint that I make myself; however, in the kitchen I have found that regular paint is superior and Ive done a lot of cabinets. I think your best bet, and simplest solution is to take the wax off (ugh) apply a really good coat of bin primer sealer. Then repaint with standard paint (there are two schools of thought for latex or oil base...both work) , usually three coats but may be just two in your case, and top with two coats of poly. Make sure to allow good drying time between coats, preferably a day and then you should have the cabinets you like. http://ourlakesidestory.com/2013/10/22/kitchen-cabinet-makeover/

  • Meem Kaplan Meem Kaplan on Dec 05, 2013
    Pocket knife and dremel are my go-to tools for nooks and crannies....

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Dec 05, 2013
    If you want to get into the crevices, try Dremmel. It comes with several heads. Ask Home Depot. Good luck.

  • Just a thought if you choose to sand. Kitchen cabinets, especially the more common non-custom made hard wood types, will fall apart if you start sanding with power tools. Often, the finish is just a very thin layer of laminate or even printed paper. The sublayer could be mdf and will gouge easily. As a long time kitchen designer, I've had numerous clients try the chalk painting to save money and most are happy with the results. The above suggestions to try to fix what you have instead of grinding it off with power tools are great ideas. I highly recommend that you try that first. Please post "after" photos...would love to see the results!

  • Penny Penny on Dec 05, 2013
    have you tried liquid sander? i redid all my cabinets in the kitched also....the liquid sander works really well.....even if it only takes off a few layers, it might be a good starting point to begin all over again...good luck!

  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Dec 05, 2013
    I think your best bet is to use a stripper..For the crevices try a nut pick or a dental pick..Some stains will bleed through any paint finish unless it is really sealed or primed with Killz sealing primer..I think chalk paint is kind of a soft finish for the kitchen..Its pretty but maybe paint or restaining and a few coats of polyurethene to seal it might be better

  • I second the liquid sander. It is one of my favorite products!

  • Linda Parker Linda Parker on Dec 06, 2013
    I am so sorry for the problems you are having but I am grateful for your post. I am about a month away from painting the kitchen cabinets for our new house. I think I will stick with milk paint or regular paint. Please post your progress. Best of luck.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 06, 2013
    Chalk paint is ok..just seal it with poly unless you are going to wax it every three months..

    • Lane Harkey Lane Harkey on Dec 08, 2013
      @Terra Gazelle You don't have to keep waxing with chalk paint. It's used to harden the paint not for shine.

  • Through the Dutch Door Through the Dutch Door on Dec 06, 2013
    So I distressed one cabinet with dark wax. What do you think of it now?

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    • Susan T Susan T on Dec 08, 2013
      Show us when you're done! :) @

  • Patricia Brining Patricia Brining on Dec 06, 2013
    Before you do anything try Awesome from the dollar store. If that doesn't work go to the hardware store and get the orange paint remover=I used it for an antique desk and an antique crank phone with excellent results! You can use it indoors no fumes and reuse it over and over! Good luck!

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 07, 2013
    The aging wax needs to be worked in a little bit. And it should make this whole piece pop. I had a very hard time using aging wax. I had to learn to work it in, I use stainless steel and a finishing sand paper. I would lightly sand around the inset on your cabinets so the wood will peak through. And then lightly very very lightly sand the whole door. This will help work in the aging wax. Don't be scared it is one door and it can be repainted. I use the stainless steel if I really want the wax worked in, on a really distressed piece. I posted a couple of pictures. Use the sand paper to go in the direction of the grain to work in the wax, if I spoke out of turn I apologize.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 07, 2013
    Yes...I will not use the wax, I have heard time and again how it is heard to work with and has to be redone. I poly over the chalk paint..you get the best of both worlds. The ability to paint without all the stripping and sanding and getting a paint that does distress nicely and I like the final appearance of and the sealer that takes all the abuse of a family. The Chalk paint will cover over anything also...which is worth using it.

  • Waysouth Waysouth on Dec 07, 2013
    waxing a chalk painted kitchen is fine so long as your servants don't mind the regular rewaxing.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 08, 2013
    Waysouth I had to laugh at that! My sevants are Me, Myself and I. They are very cheap labor and sometimes don't do it the way I want! Dang it!

  • Sara Sara on Dec 08, 2013
    I know this won't work for chalkboard paint, but for just plain painted cabinets I would use something called marine polyuathane. I know I spelled it wrong. It is what is used to seal the finishes on boats. It works great on cabinets and counters and of course is water resistant.

  • Lex263207 Lex263207 on Dec 08, 2013
    I wouldn't sand the recessed areas. They get very little contact from your hands. Even if after applying a second finish, the recessed areas start to show as before, it can be considered a character flaw and be quite attractive. After sanding the primary areas, I would use one of the following products before painting: Benjamin Moore Fresh Start, Glidden Gripper, Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3, or Zinsser (Brown Label) Cover Stain. All are water based products except the Zinsser Cover Stain which can be applied with sponges or cheap chip brushes to expedite clean-up. After applying one of these primers, you can paint with acrylic and/or latex interior paint. After drying, add a glaze (I like Valspar's Mocha). Finish off with an acrylic sealer. Spray is easy. Brush-on adds extra layer of protection.

  • Harlee Jenkins Harlee Jenkins on Dec 08, 2013
    http://www.dunnedwards.com/Portals/1/PDF/paint101/paintProblemsAndSolutions/Paint%20Problems%20and%20Solutions_Brochure.pdf Use this link to a paint company PDF that has HOW TO's on MOST ANY paint issues going ON/OFF...let me know if it helps. Harlee

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 08, 2013
    The wax creates a coating...with the oils from hands and cleaning will start to break down the wax. if you use the wax on cabinets that get handled all the time..I would use poly over the chalk paint. I like the look of the chalk paint but the wax is finicky But then all experiences may differ..

  • Tressa DeRose Tressa DeRose on Dec 08, 2013
    i think at this point I would be petrified to do anything. I do know with regular sanding one has to be careful, it may be the last time your cupboards can handle that. I want to krackle my cupboards....they are white, I LOATHE white. its such a dirty color in my home....with kiddo's....

  • French Potential French Potential on Dec 09, 2013
    If you wanted to use a regular paint instead, just use alcohol to remove the wax then paint straight over the chalk paint

  • Through the Dutch Door Through the Dutch Door on Dec 09, 2013
    Well, we are still working on a solution, but for now, they sit like that. They are not growing on me at all, so I will probably change them. I'm going to wait until after the holidays when I can focus 100% on fixing them. Keep an eye out on here, or on my blog because I WILL be posting progress pictures! Thank you for the feedback! I've read each and every one and I appreciate them all!

  • Niki Niki on Dec 10, 2013
    I would lightly sand the areas that are cracking and chalk paint again in another color. Remember, chalk paint goes over anything, even wax! Just make sure the wax has fully cured for at least 2 weeks then just lightly sand and paint again. If your cabinets were originally painted with oil based paint and you don't want to use chalk paint, you have no other choice but to sand the entire project or chemically remove the paint and start from scratch....yikes. Just lightly sand and chalk again in another color! But this time, seal with poly!!!

  • Melissa Johnson Melissa Johnson on Dec 10, 2013
    Hey, you live and learn. I admire the courage that took. Try, try again.

  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Dec 10, 2013
    'O geez-my sympathies on all the work you have ahead of you :o( I just hope you are planning on removing all of the doors before you sand strip and prime. It's a messy job and it will help if you have a garage to work in. If not you might wait until the spring to tackle this. I have tried many primers and aerosol Kilz is the best. You can prime the doors quickly but you'll have to do it outdoors. The frames could be primed with brush painted kilz. Chalk paint just does not hold up well around food. I have used it on a dining table top and it didn't work and I had to strip it off.

  • Judy F Judy F on Feb 04, 2014
    So sorry for all your hard work -- I want to paint some vinyl chairs with chalk paint and have nothing but good reviews on that type of paint. Was it a certain brand or do you think all chalk paints are like that?

  • Gail lichtsinn Gail lichtsinn on Feb 05, 2014
    marine paint and spar varnish will seal and waterproof but it also will turn amber or yellow and in time on light colors it will make them look dingy

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Feb 05, 2014
    Seems like a lot of work to try and remove the paint. I would wipe the cabinets with mineral spirits to remove the wax, if any was used, and then paint over using whatever paint and color you choose.

    • Katie Hoist Katie Hoist on Feb 21, 2015
      You could always use General Finishes Milk Paint and then use one of there sealers! They are super easy to use and look awesome!

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Feb 05, 2014
    Also, stain can be used instead of dark wax. Instead of wiping dark wax over the whole door, apply stain to highlight the recessed area's. I recently posted about using stain over chalk paint in place of wax. Good luck!http://www.hometalk.com/diy/paint/experimenting-with-chalk-paint-and-stain-2933851

  • Moxie Moxie on Feb 05, 2014
    After you get it fixed..apply several coats of polyurethane (the kind for high traffic wood floors in crystal clear) it wont chip and ding next time. I cant see the issues in the pic...your color is really pretty.

  • Pam Pam on Feb 05, 2014
    If it chips off easily I don't see how painting over it would solve that problem.

  • Katie Hoist Katie Hoist on Feb 05, 2014
    I would paint them a different color chalk paint.

  • Bruce N Dala Anbuhl Bruce N Dala Anbuhl on Feb 06, 2014
    A heat gun is the best way to strip lots of paint, in my professional experience. They are about $40 at the local hardware/big box store and have two heat settings, high and low. Most have attachments for scraping and can make quick work of large areas in a short time. Good luck!

    • Pam Pam on Feb 07, 2014
      Never heard of that before Bruce,I may give it a try my self

  • Three Sisters Design Three Sisters Design on Aug 01, 2014
    I am dying for someone to tell me how to strip chalk paint quickly/efficiently. Is the only option sanding? Wahhhh! So many bad paint jobs on nice furniture out there...tips? I just want to strip and repaint, but I like the wood underneath, not paint layer

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Aug 02, 2014
    Here is one you can try especially since it is chipping easy. Try turpentine not the green kind. Wipe off the wax. It will also take part of the paint off. Then get really hot soapy water. And a greenie and scrub the heck out of it. Since it didn't adhere to it adhere well it might be as simple as scrubbing it off. If not the heat gun, furniture stripper and sanding,

  • Darla Darla on Aug 02, 2014
    I would suggest getting a good quality satin or eggshell acrylic paint (I used Behr brand). Wipe down the cabinets well with mineral spirits to get off the wax, prime with a shellac-based primer, and repaint. Use a glaze rather than wax if you want that effect. Final coat is water-based polyurethane, which will not yellow as much as spar varnish.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Aug 18, 2014
    I do not think that using wax on anything that is used alot and cleaned allot is a good idea. I use Poly over it all and have not had a problem. In the heat and grease of the kitchen it breaks the wax down...and then there is no protection for the paint.

  • Alo875085 Alo875085 on Nov 26, 2014
    Did you ever figure it out. I noticed no one actually answered your question. "No sand" liquid sander will remove the paint and leave it with a surface that the next coat of paint will adhere to well.

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    • Linda Drummond Linda Drummond on Jun 17, 2015
      Thank you for your response....I will give it a try. I have painted my way thru 13 houses but this is the first time I did cabinets.....and what a disaster !

  • Michelle Fontenot Michelle Fontenot on Feb 11, 2015
    I just got through chalk painting my sons bathroom with a homemade chalk paint (plaster a paris and latex paint). I really loved the outcome but it didn't work out for me either. It chipped so easily, even after i added the wax. Then i read hours of different blogs and decided to use a polyurethane (Minwax waterbase) over it all but not until i sanded all the wax off!! Well, that didn't work either. The polyurethane wouldn't stick either. At first it looked great then i saw a glob of the polyurethane and tried to pick it out. It pulled off a sheet of the stuff! I just do get what i have done wrong. I even sanded before applying the chalk paint. I'm attaching photos; one of the doors before the poly started peeling and another afterwards. I'd like to try the ASCP but if this happens with that too I just may go postal...(not really, just a figure of speech).

    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 03, 2015
      @Michelle Fontenot I did two of my rockers on my front porch with chalk paint..they had been sitting on the porch for years the wood was dry and chipped and terrible..I chalk painted then sealed with polyacylic about three coats. After two years in the cold, damp and heat of Louisiana they still look great with my home made chalk paint.

  • Eric Turner Eric Turner on Mar 01, 2015
    Nothing sticks to wax, You need to sand down to the wood to be sure its all gone. If your original finish was oil based you can not use water based paint or poly. The oil in the old finish wont let the water based paint stick.

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    • Eric Turner Eric Turner on Sep 29, 2015
      @Cr180 If you sprinkle water on it and it beads up its either wax or oil based.

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Mar 03, 2015
    First off never use wax in the heat and humidity of a kitchen..its wax. Wax melts in the heat..Use mineral spirits to get rid of the wax..clean it off and reseal with polyacrylic. It will take about 3 coats of sealer, but it will protect the cabinets. I wish people would stop a minute and think what wax is...I do not use wax on the table tops that will get hard use.. I love poly. Use the matte finish and you retain the soft chalk finish.

    • See 3 previous
    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jun 14, 2016
      I think with cabinets you have to make sure that they are clean ..I use a deglosser which cleans and makes it easier for the paint to stick. It takes off all the shine..which then gives the wood teeth to hold the paint. Make sure you rinse the deglosser off..dry it...then paint. I have never had a piece which the paint chipped off. Love deglosser..or liquid sander.

  • Linda Drummond Linda Drummond on Jul 16, 2015
    I bought stripper to remove the chalk paint. It works but it is insanely messy and it takes forever. I am now using an electric sander to remove the paint....so much easier and even. Still time consuming but much easier:)

    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jul 18, 2015
      @Linda Drummond I have an old chifforobe that had a mess of thick ugly paint on it. I got Citrstrip(its non toxic and smells like oranges. ..and it all came off in a few hours and a quick rinse and dry..and it was down to its lovely base.

  • Paula Renee Tallon Paula Renee Tallon on Oct 11, 2015
    I did a bed frame and a dresser, no prep, and have wonderful results, homemade chalk paint and sandpaper, and wood floor wax. Im sorry that your results didnt come out as you expected, but yes a liquid stripper should do what you are looking to achieve. .

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Oct 20, 2015
    Laureen, Use Mineral Spirits...give it a good rinse and let it dry. Just make sure all the Mineral spirits is gone. I would sand lightly, repaint and then put a couple coats of Poly acrylic. It will last for ever..and you do not have to worry about heat or moisture. When you use Mineral Spirits put some one the cloth rub over the table..and get a clean part of the cloth..always use a clean side... it will wipe off the wax and then use a clean cloth to wipe off the mineral spirit. ..then rinse and continue.

  • Eva7412855 Eva7412855 on Jun 13, 2016
    We also painted our cupboards with a darker Brown chalk paint. We don't like it either, it chips way too easy. I'm looking for a quick and simple method it remove it.

    • @Eva.denis.ed If it's chipping that easily, then your surface wasn't properly prepared. If you waxed it (which I don't know why anyone would use wax in a kitchen!) use mineral spirits to remove the wax. Then sand off the chalk paint. Which chalk paint did u use? What prep did you do? Are they oak cabinets?

  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Nov 05, 2016
    To have a good result on any thing in the kitchen.. first use a degreaser...rince and dry. Then paint..a couple coats.. then do not use a wax to seal. Wax is well...wax and will melt in the heat and humidity of the kitchen. Do at least three coats of poly.. you can use a matte finish and keep the antique of shabby chic finish you want/. What kind of chalk paint did you use? Use a mineral oil to remove the wax... Citristrip is great for stripping paint. You can do it in the house, its very thick and does not drip and smells like citrus, It is natural, no chemicals. Give it a rince, dry and use a poly to seal.. Chalk paint is great, it should hold up for years.

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Nov 08, 2016
    This is just an FYI; According to my research and experience, it's best to read the label to ensure that you are getting the correct paint for the job before you start painting! From what I have read, when making your own chalk type paint, you should use flat latex paint. Perhaps that is why the homemade chalk paint didn't work out. Just a thought... I only use ASCP and the reason that I spend the extra money is because if you change your mind, you can paint over it wax and all! Mind you, that is using ASCP to repaint the item. Another thing I've learned from experience is that you definitely have to prime laminate furniture before using any type of paint, ASCP included! I hope this info helps as I know the feeling of disappointment when things don't work out as planned!

  • Chris mundrick Chris mundrick on Mar 26, 2017
    i painted a square of chalkboard paint on a glossy white painted door now i am moving and have to take the chalkboard paint off and leave the white paint. can i use paint remover or mineral spirits ? wouldnt that take off the glossy white paint too? help

  • Joyce Chapman Joyce Chapman on Mar 15, 2018
    Where can I buy ciitristrip

  • April Ape April Ape on Aug 06, 2018

    I was able to remove chalk paint by laying down a paper towel on the paint and pouring on 91 % alcohol and let it sit 5 minutes. It practically comes up by it's self.

    • Gina Lichtey Gina Lichtey on Nov 03, 2018

      Absolutely! Discovered this when I spilled some alcohol on my table...stripping it as we speak..lol

  • Nina Lola Nina Lola on May 13, 2020

    Acetone works but it takes forever to remove. you'll need lots of it and wear gloves. I just bought the citristrip stuff I hope it works. crossing my fingers