How to Chalk Paint a Table Top to Last
Everyone knows that one of the easiest types of paint to refinish furniture with is chalk paint or chalky style paint. I love chalk paint. It’s so easy to work with, and it’s also so forgiving. The biggest question is does it withstand a lot of traffic, toddlers, dinners, kid snacks, and basically life? If I wax the table top will it withstand the abuse of the daily routine? There are so many questions that you need to consider when preparing a surface like a table top. Does a chalk painted table top hold up well? Let me show you how I used chalk paint to refinish my moms table top and how I sealed it. Spoiler alert; I didn’t use wax.
LET ME SHOW YOU THE TABLE BEFORE I ADDED ANY CHALK PAINT TO IT.
This is a beautiful old Pennsylvania House Queen Anne Cherry table that had seen better days. My mom loved the look of the wood, and everything still looked ok but the table top.
Her decor style is more of a British colonial style with pops of vibrant colors. The color palette in her home consists of mainly black, cherry wood and cream.
WE DECIDED TO USE VALSPAR CHALKY FINISH PAINT MIXED IN A BLACK COLOR. SHE WANTED A TWO TONED TABLE WITH A BLACK TOP.
You can see in the BEFORE picture that mom had already taken blue painters tape and wrapped the edges with it - first step to any paint project!
After you've got the tape in place, lightly sand the top if you want to smooth the finish. (This step is not necessary.)
Clean the table top thoroughly and make sure it's dry, then paint one layer of chalk paint and let that dry. Lightly sand each layer of chalk paint before you add another one.
Paint a second layer of chalk paint for even coverage and then give it a light sand.
If you are pleased with how it looks then continue with sealer.
Apply one layer of Polycrylic sealer and let it dry. Apply a second layer of sealer and lightly sand if you want a smoother finish.
Here is where I ran into some issues. Not all my projects are cupcakes and rainbows and I always try to be real with y’all. Let me show you what happened after I applied the first coat.
I said before I wasn’t going to use wax. In my opinion, wax does well for sealing chalk paint (which is it’s sole purpose) but not necessarily for repelling water or holding up to high traffic.
I’ve written an entire post with lots of sources and products on how to seal furniture for a high traffic surface. This is where I opted to use a Polycrylic sealer from Minwax instead of wax. This is my go to sealer for a more durable finish.
This wasn’t a new can of sealer. Apparently it crystalized at some point and this is what it looked like after it dried.
Ugh, I should have thrown that can away before I used it. Note to self (and all my furniture flipping friends); if the can doesn’t have an absolute seal on it, throw it away!
Back to the drawing board….or should I say sanding board.
We sanded it down with an electric sander down to the layer of black chalk paint.
Finally looking better! Now it’s time to add a coat of NEW sealer.
We added two coats of sealer and decided to stop there. I always suggest at least two coats for a table top or surface that gets a lot of traffic.
READY TO SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL QUEEN ANNE TABLE FINISHED WITH CHALK PAINT?
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Karissa Kendall on Jun 21, 2022
Great 👍🏻 project!!!
I want to do this to my old kitchen table but do it in as happy grey/ white. I’ve never painted anything so I’m a bit nervous. Do you use fine or extra fine sand paper? To make it look more shabby would I sand more?