Asked on Feb 13, 2014

Chalk paint for kitchen cabinets?

Elaine Simmons
by Elaine Simmons
I am seriously considering using chalk paint for my kitchen cabinets but am so worried they won't hold up. Has anyone done this to their cabinets on a long term basis? My worry is they might look good the first year and then start chipping, etc. I would put water based varnish on them if I did paint them.
These are the cabinets I want to do.........lots of them!
  58 answers
  • Nora Nora on Feb 13, 2014
    Yes, Elaine, absolutely! I've been researching this same idea and plan to use Powder River Paint on ours: My understanding is that it's incredibly durable and beautiful on cabinets. They also have (or will have soon) an extra-durable top coat, which can be used instead of the usual wax if you want extra protection. This was developed by a couple in my own city--he's a builder and she grew up in her family's furniture building/restoration business and has continued and expanded the family tradition all these years. Check them out. I will post my project when it's done, but it won't be for another couple of months. Good luck with yours!
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 13, 2014
    Thanks for the link, Nora. What color are you doing?
  • Pat Dollar Pat Dollar on Feb 13, 2014
    Check out Nuvo Cabinet Paint - No sanding, No priming, No Hassle. Very nice color choices to compliment your floors and counter tops too!
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 13, 2014
    The paint might be ok but I looked at the video and they said you did not have to remove the hinges. I think in order to do a good job, it is imperative you remove the hinges.
  • Lex263207 Lex263207 on Feb 13, 2014
    I haven't done it myself, but I recently read a post by another girl who painted hers with black chalk paint. She said no regrets. I think as long as you seal them properly they'll be fine.
  • Vicki K Vicki K on Feb 14, 2014
    Miss Mustard Seed sells Milk Paint, not Chalk, but she paints right over her hinges and everything. Since no prep, the paint gets "chippy." That's why I was going for Chalk Paint, and preparing the surface first, I don't want chips. Polycrylic sealer will yellow some, so I wouldn't pick white or you will wind up with a dirty looking yellowy white. I'm thinking light pewter? Gray is new. Brown is out. White is on way out, I hear, yet so many people are painting white, so I don't know. You got me...
  • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Feb 14, 2014
    I have the same kind of cabinets,and I would like to paint them also,Hpoe you do yours and then you can teach me,lol.I think I would like milk paint.?????
  • 268742 268742 on Feb 14, 2014
    You can absolutely use Chalk Paint on the cabinets...just use the Annie Sloan Laquer to seal it for a durable finish: This laquer is used to seal Chalk Paint when used on floors, so it produces a HIGHLY durable finish! Good luck!
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 14, 2014
    Vicki, I don't think that waterbased poly yellows but oil based does. At least that has been my experience. I absolutely don't want milk paint, the chippy look has it's place but not on kitchen cabinets, in my opinion. Besides, I live in more of a contemporary home. The kitchen is open to the dining, living room and foyer. We have an extended patio out in the back of our home and although it is nice it does make the kitchen too dark. That is one of the reasons I was going for the white.
  • Kay Mount Kay Mount on Feb 14, 2014
    We make Powder River Paint™ and have used it and other chalk paints on kitchen cabinets for years with no problems. Because grease is inherent on kitchen cabinets, good cleaning and prep is a must. We use TSP and elbow grease. The results are well worth the effort. After painting, we seal the cabinets with Faux Effects' Varnish Plus. For more how-to's, visit
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 14, 2014
    Kay, there is no dealer near me. Do you have a color sample brochure you send to people? I wouldn't want to order without one. I agree, TSP and elbow grease is a great cleaner.
  • Pat Dollar Pat Dollar on Feb 14, 2014
    I use Krud Kutter professional. It is a liquid sandpaper/degreaser/deglosser that is a TSP alternative and works beautifully without all the work and scrubbing needed for TSP. You can buy it from Amazon if not available locally for you.
  • B.J. B B.J. B on Feb 14, 2014
    I have cabinets just like yours that I painted 2 years ago with a semi gloss Valspar paint in a taupe color. I hesitated to use chalk paint, which I love by the way, because I wanted a finish that was real easy to clean. We prepped the cupboards with Kiltz. Every once in a while there is a nick so I keep a glass jar filled with paint handy for touch ups. It took me years to get up the nerve to paint my cupboards. I just love them and wish I had done it sooner. I have used chalk paint on other furniture, though, and it seems very durable so far. I wish you luck in whatever you decide.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 14, 2014
    I have heard of that, will have to check into it.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 14, 2014
    Thanks BJB!
  • I painted my cabinets with Annie Sloan chalk paint about 2 years ago and they still look great. I finished them by waxing. They have held up really well in my very busy kitchen. I highly recommend doing it
  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on Feb 15, 2014
    I have been concerned about cleaning I do lots of canning, and jams and jellys try to be very careful but everyonce in a while a splash or splatter or spill happens. Will it clean as easily as my sealed wood cabinets?
    • Sherrie Sherrie on Feb 15, 2014
      @Cindy tustin Your right in the mark! Wax has to be reapplied. Or it doesn't hold up, heat also melts wax, you can still chalk paint but need to use a sealer.
  • Leslie Leslie on Feb 15, 2014
    I painted my cabinets in ASCP Old Ochre about a year and a half ago and they have held up beautifully. One suggestion might be to prime any cabinet that may hold the slightest bit of grease (even though you don't have to prime with ASCP). I had a bit of bleed through of grease on the doors closest to my stove even after cleaning well. Just a suggestion. The cabinets clean up well, using just a wet sponge. I used clear wax and slight distressing. I would definitely recommend doing this.
  • Linda Odom Linda Odom on Feb 15, 2014
    Is the chalk paint everybody is using now -- the same chalk paint that you use to make chalk boards? What's the difference with it than regular paint? Is it more durable or something?
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 15, 2014
      @Linda Odom No, it's not the same. Chalk paint can be used on anything, and requires no prepping. It is wonderful! I painted an old cabinet that had been spray painted by the previous owner and changed the knobs. One coat of wax, and I was good to go. I'd like to try my kitchen cabinets as well, but I am looking for an alternative to the wax.
  • Leslieb127 Leslieb127 on Feb 15, 2014
    I'm planning on doing the same thing and have been doing a lot of research on Pinterest. There are several bloggers who have done it with great success, including making their own chalk paint (which apparently is really easy). I don't have the names of the blogs at the moment but could look them up if you need. Just go to Pinterest and put in "painted cabinets" in the search box. You'll find tons of great advice!
  • Sabren Sabren on Feb 15, 2014
    I used black chalk paint on the top of my desk it looks great but I put three coats of gloss top coat on it. it is working out very good. I had these paints so that is what I used. didn't want to go buy more paint for the project.
  • Karyn Burch Karyn Burch on Feb 15, 2014
    Why on earth would you want to paint these gorgeous cabinets ? if they were were nasty like mine maybe if I thought they wouldn't look tacky when I finished I would paint & have thought about applying beadboard & new wood doors . Good luck .
    • Mary Davin Mary Davin on Feb 15, 2014
      @Karyn Burch I agree - I like the cabinets as they are, but I guess she wants a different look and is willing to put in the time and the mess.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Feb 15, 2014
    While I will agree you you can use chalk paint I think there are other paints that are better for it. Like paint and glaze and sealer. Regardless you still have to clean and seal certain woods or you will have a bleed through. And even Anne Sloan suggests you seal instead of wax your cabinets because of heat (It melts the wax). Anytime your painting a large blank area it is harder to control the brush and brush marks. And Anne Sloan is my favorite paint in the world. And is it cost effective because it is very expensive paint. If you decide to paint it I would suggest you practice on several older cabinet doors first. This way you will get the exact results you want. I use many different paints for many different ways of painting. You don't have to be stuck on one paint to get the exact results you want. And to me waxing isn't the best finish for cabinets. Anytime I do a table top I always use a sealer. And cure it. Because I want lasting results. And waxing it has to be re-applied and that's a very large area to reapply wax. Just my humble opinion!
    • See 3 previous
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 16, 2014
      Sine I live in an apartment, the water-based polyurethane seems like the way to go. I don't want to inflict my project on the neighbors. Luckily (?) I have these really crummy cabinets that the owner doesn't care about. She plans on remodeling each unit as the current tenant leaves, so i have free reign! Yay! I have ugly, many times repainted pressboard cabinets now, which I am thinking about adding mouldings to and painting and distressing, Annie Sloan style. Thanks for the information. I will definitely keep it in mind.
  • Linda Odom Linda Odom on Feb 16, 2014
    Thank you Cher.....where do I buy it and what do I ask for....if I ask for chalk paint will they give me the wrong thing? what brand is it? does it come in a variety of colors...Oh,yes what kind of wax...also? thank you in advance.
    • Karen Karen on Feb 16, 2014
      Hey Linda! You won't find chalk paint at home improvement stores. The different chalk paint manufacturers sell online or through specific retailers. A couple of brands are Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Maison Blanche Paint Company...I have used them both and love them both. There's also Webster's Chalk Paint's a chalk additive that you can add to regular latex paint. I haven't used this but have heard good things about it. I suggest doing a Google search for these companies and look at some before and after pics on their can also see where the paint is sold in your state or if you need to order online. Good luck!
  • Marcia P Marcia P on Feb 16, 2014
    I like your cabinets - you could change your look, update by refinishing the wall surfaces with either a brighter color or tiles.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 16, 2014
    I have never been crazy about a maple is only one step up from oak as far as I am concerned. I don't think it goes with my granite counter top either which is black with gray and silver in it. This kitchen is open to the dining and living room. Here is a more recent pic .....the walls that are red are not the best choice to go with this maple either. The bar area is a faux finish I did to sort of match the color of the cabinets. I am trying to post a problem ......the pic comes up but when I go to click on the comment button, there is none there...........and it won't let me scroll down. Frustrating! Finally I got it. I had to scroll before I posted the pic.
  • Vicki K Vicki K on Feb 16, 2014
    Why don't you faux finish with a wadded-up tee shirt, daubed on all over the cabinets, in a regular latex paint (after proper surface prep, as in thorough sanding, tacking the dust off)? You can play with the daubing and the color you chose, making it lighter or darker like the front of your bar kinda - a pewter gray is good right now, look nice with the red and your appliances and granite countertops. Daub and smear until you are satisfied. Let cure a few days. You can distress it if you want, as well. Then apply a clear polycrylic sealer. Let it cure a few days, maybe several coats, let cure in between. You get to eat out a lot!! I'm fighting with my cabinets too, not sure what to do with them...
  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 16, 2014
    This response has nothing to do with kitchen cabinets but thought that I would share it with you anyway... I was at a clients house and they painted the walls of the hall bathroom with chalk paint. Sound like fun until you have a party with guest that are drinking. I visited the week after a weekend get together and got to enjoy some of the funny comments added on the walls by their guest. I guess this could apply to your kitchen- be wary of your guest temptation to leave you messages on your chalk paint cabinets.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 16, 2014
    It is not chalkboard paint I am thinking of using, get that is chalk paint for furniture or wood.
    • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 16, 2014
      @Elaine Simmons I know. That is why I gave the disclaimer about the story that I was about to tell about a client. I was trying to be funny :)
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 16, 2014
    Thanks Vicki but I don't want to do a faux finish on my cabinets......I did that on the bar wall and besides, I want the cabinets to be plain.
  • Bev Bev on Feb 16, 2014
    Those cabinets look really nice and fresh to me , also. have you thought of just trying new hardware to perk things up? Maybe create a black chalk board you can make notes on the make the kitchen a bit more casual?
  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Feb 16, 2014
    If you removed the 4" back-splash and tiles the wall it would look completely different. This could be much cheaper that painting all of the cabinets. Here are some basks-plashes we have installed to pull the cabinet design together.
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Feb 16, 2014
    I washed and lightly sanded my wood cabinets, then applied a bonding primer (Lowe's). I finished with water based floor paint. I love the look and durability. Also easy to clean. I couldn't afford new hardware so I spray painted mine silver to match other decor. As an aside, you can make your own chalk paint. There are numerous recipes on the internet. I use it for furniture.
    • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 17, 2014
      @Sall I have made my own chalk paint and have painted a couple pieces of furniture with it but it doesn't get the same wear and tear that the kitchen cabinets would. That is why I am asking readers about long term wearability.
  • Lisa Lewis Lisa Lewis on Feb 17, 2014
    I sell Plaster Paint in Lubbock Texas and have had several do cabinets. Use two coats of paint and two coats of paste wax. Have info I can share. My cell is 806-891-2745. Just text me :)
  • Lisa Lewis Lisa Lewis on Feb 17, 2014
    Plaster paint - wash cabinets and start painting. 15-20 min dry time between coats. Can also paint hardware so you don't have to take off hinges :)
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Feb 17, 2014
    Elaine, Actually I Was recommending the bonding primer and the floor paint, as it is really durable and I love the finish. It comes in about any color now. I used white since I needed to lighten up the room.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 17, 2014
    Never thought abou using floor paint. Does it come in different sheens? What sheen did you use? I have always heard to use acrylic for the final coat.(if you are not using chalk paint).....was yours acrylic?
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 17, 2014
    Sorry, meant to direct that last question to Sue Salley
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Feb 18, 2014
    Elaine, I think it does come in different sheens. Mine is satin or flat I can't remember. It is really durable and I am so glad I did it. They can tint it any color. I got mine at Lowe's but I am sure any home store would have it. I am anxious to see what you do. It is quit a bit of work but well worth it.
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Feb 18, 2014
    Yes the water based is acrylic. I use a water based acrylic finish over my chalk paint BTW.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 18, 2014
    Did you mean you used a clear water based over your chalk paint? I didn't know the clear finish was acrylic. Did you use a pure white or an off white? That's a lot of questions isn't it? lol
  • Sue Salley Sue Salley on Feb 19, 2014
    No problem Elaine. In the floor paint for the cabinets I used white. I also painted my badly scarred bedroom floor with it, and a childs desk. It has a very nice smooth finish. I used polyrylic over my chalk paint on several pieces. I think it is Minwax brand. I used satin because that is all they had at the time. I think I would prefer flat. Lets us know and see what you decide and how it looks.
  • Patsy Price Patsy Price on Feb 21, 2014
    Thanks, Sue Salley
  • Laurie G Laurie G on Feb 21, 2014
    Sue and Elaine; This is SO exciting . Send me a picture when you aer done . I want to redo my cupboards also.. Just bought some chalk paint. Let me know if you used chalk paint or floor paint. I have sanded ( what a job!!..) and ready to begin,
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Feb 21, 2014
    What brand of chalk paint did you buy? I don't plan on doing it anytime soon. I have to talk myself into it first. Also, I live in AZ and once it gets hot, I probably won't be doing it then because I like to do at least some of the work outside. But if I do it, I will make sure I post it.
  • Laurie G Laurie G on Feb 22, 2014
    WOW...people tell me it gets VERY hot in AZ. I would wait too. Usually doesn't get to warm until July here in WA. State..We are not use to ANY hot weather..and IF we get some we are numb. LOL.
  • Sheila Gustafson Sheila Gustafson on Mar 10, 2014
    Check out Shabby Paints Chalked Paint online.. doesn't involve any waxing and VOC free.. Not toxic like the Annie Sloan chalk paint.
  • Heather Paulding Heather Paulding on Jun 23, 2014
    I have done it and yes it has held up well over the past year and a half! xo
  • Heather Paulding Heather Paulding on Jun 23, 2014
    Paint them
  • Burlap & Roses Burlap & Roses on Jun 23, 2014
    Try Websters Chalk Paint Powder. You can use it with your choice of quality paint and color. On cabinets or anywhere in the kitchen, you'll want to make sure the surface is free of any grease, dirt, grime. Wash with warm water and a mild soap. Once you've cleaned the surface well, you should be able to paint using chalk paint with no problems.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jun 23, 2014
    Heather, did you use the Annie Sloan paint or a homemade version?
  • Heather Paulding Heather Paulding on Jun 24, 2014
    Annie Sloan. For any major project it is the only chalk paint I trust.
  • Georgina Georgina on Jul 02, 2015
    Paint them, Recently I painted some of mine, using Annie Sloan Chalk paint, They are Beautiful, Have no regrets!!
  • Lisa Lisa on Jul 14, 2016
    I would say paint them. We used Annie Sloan chalk paint in pure white back in January with a paint sprayer and they turned out beautiful. We used varathane as our top coat. It does not yellow like some of them do. Good luck!
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 14, 2016
    I would use a really good self leveling paint then spray then then seal and glaze.
  • Beth Gold Roccia Beth Gold Roccia on Sep 16, 2016
    Can chalk paint be used on an old curio? I think it's laminate..thanks
    • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Sep 17, 2016
      I have not used chalk Paint,but do some reserch and ask lots of Questions before I did.The people above seeem to like it.
  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 09, 2022

    Hi Elaine, hope this helps you out,