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Is Chalk Paint Good for Kitchen Cabinets?

Chalk paint for kitchen cabinets

If you’ve never seen or painted with chalk paint, you’re missing out! Chalk paint can transform the appearance of your kitchen cabinetry, injecting refreshed life into your culinary space.

Continue reading to discover the advantages of using chalk paint to renovate your kitchen, a couple of disadvantages to consider first, and some smart tips to help you achieve professional-grade results.

Are you excited now?

I Am – Let’s Do This!

PRO TIP 1: Even on small paint jobs and other DIY tasks, always remember that Safety First is more than just an idea. It matters, every time! Be sure to wear protective gear and clothing.

Although chalk paint is water-based and contains few volatile organic compounds (VOCs), it’s always wise to wear a respiratory device when painting or staining anything. You can’t overprotect yourself!

PROs of Using Chalk Paint on Kitchen Cabinetry

Painting the cabinet with white chalk paint.

In 1990, Annie Sloan invented chalk paint because she wanted a coating that was simple and fast to use, without the need for extensive prep work like priming and sanding. She also designed it to be versatile, so that it could be applied on just about any surface – and with tough durability built in, so it could be used for interior and exterior projects alike.

The various attributes of this multipurpose decorative paint include:

  1. Chalk paint can be used to coat just about any surface, and in most cases, requires very little or no prep work. You can use it on wood, metal, plastic, melamine, tile, flooring, fabric, and even glass!
  2. Water-based chalk paint dries quickly relative to latex paint and oil paint. With adequate ventilation, chalk paint dries to the touch in about an hour, and can be recoated within 2 – 4 hours.
  3. You don’t have to apply a primer before painting with chalk paint. This thick type of paint goes on heavily and does an excellent job at concealing minor flaws or defects that would show through latex and most other types of paint.
  4. Because of its water base, chalk paint is easier than most other types of coatings to clean up after. It effortlessly washes out of brushes, roller knaps, and other painting equipment with warm, soapy water.
  5. Although chalk paint requires a wax sealant to maximize its durability, it cures hard and can withstand years of abuse. Adding the wax increases its strength and resilience even more.

Chalk paint cures with a matte finish that can be sanded smooth, left as is, or manipulated to create a distressed, vintage look. Now, let’s look at some (sort of) disadvantages linked to chalk paint.

PRO TIP 2: If you want to use chalk paint, but aren’t thrilled about the matte finish it yields, note that you can always follow-up with an acrylic wax or other sealer that yields a glossy finish.

What Are the Disadvantages of Chalk Paint?

Round brush over a gray chalk paint.

While chalk paint is fairly awesome in almost all respects, there are a few low-power drawbacks associated with it as well, including:

  1. As mentioned, chalk paint dries quickly to the touch and is typically ready for a second coat, if needed, within 2 – 4 hours. However, it cures slowly compared to some other types of paint, taking up to 30 days to fully cure. Even so, light usage is fine after about 24 hours.
  2. Chalk paint needs to be coated with a wax sealant in order to maximize its durability. Without it, the paint stands at risk of chipping and flaking with time. The wax is especially important if the workpiece is located outdoors.
  3. While it’s true that chalk paint is pricier than most other coating mediums, the extra expense is offset nicely by the fact that, typically, there’s no need for priming and sanding before using it.
  4. Because chalk paint is loaded with pigments and additives that make it thick, it is easy to leave brush marks with. If you’re painting kitchen cabinetry, it’s best to use a paint spray gun to achieve pro results.

So, now that we understand the pros and cons associated with chalk paint, let’s go over some step-by-step instructions for painting your kitchen cabinets with it.

PRO TIP 3: It’s very smart to elevate whatever you’re painting so that you aren’t constantly bending, stretching, and otherwise risking soreness and injury. Place your cabinets on a workbench or saw horses to get them up where you can work with more accuracy and ease. You’ll be glad you took the time to do so when you see how much simpler it makes your life!

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Kitchen Cabinetry with Chalk Paint

Woman painting cabinets in the workshop.

OK, now we are ready to jump into some sequential steps involved when painting kitchen cabinets with chalk paint. No worries, it’s easy, fast, and fun!

  • Step 1: Ensure that the cabinet is clean and dry.
  • Step 2: Use a paint sprayer or a brush to apply a first coat of chalk paint.
  • Step 3: Ensure proper ventilation and allow it to dry for 2 – 4 hours.
  • Step 4: Apply a second coat of chalk paint.
  • Step 5: Allow it to dry for 24 hours.
  • Step 6: Apply a coat of chalk paint wax with a brush.
  • Step 7: Wipe the workpiece down with a lint-free cloth to remove excess wax.

And Step 8 is to stand back and enjoy the beauty that you’ve created! You see how easy it is to use chalk paint on kitchen cabinets? It couldn’t be much easier! No prep. No sanding. No priming. Just paint!

PRO TIP 3: Always remember that painting is an artistic expression. Take your time with each spray or brush stroke to ensure the best results. Stay attentive for runs or drips that can detract from your work’s quality levels.

It’s better to not make a mistake than to go back and fix it later. Enjoy your art and dedicate a little extra thought and effort to every phase of your kitchen cabinet painting projects.

My Closing Thoughts About Painting Kitchen Cabinetry with Chalk Paint

Using chalk paint on your kitchen cabinets is an excellent way to upgrade their ambiance with a lot less work required relative to using latex paint, stain, or another coating medium. You won’t need to spend money on a primer, and you’ll not need to sand in between coats. It adheres to just about any material and is super-durable after being sealed with a quality wax.

Thank you for your time and attention today and I hope that the information presented helps you to progress through your kitchen cabinet painting projects more efficiently and with better results. Always remember to slow down when painting, and appreciate the experience. You’re creating a work of art, a work of self-expression, a work of beauty that others will witness for many years to come.

Enjoy the Paint!