Chalk Painting over Latex Painted chairs

**PLEASE READ: There is an important step missing in this post. This was our first project and we didn’t have these chairs very long before purchasing new ones for a larger table my husband built, so I am unsure of how they turned out long term. I chose not to prime because the paint was dark, but that was still a mistake.

Please see my post: Why You Should Prime BEFORE Chalk Painting Wood

Chalk painting our dining room chairs has been pretty easy, and very enjoyable.

Supplies I’ve been using:

I still haven’t decided which color combo I prefer on the chairs, with my table and open floor plan. Because our cabinets will all be white, and hopefully there will be white bead board on the walls and chair-rail height, I am thinking I don’t want them all painted in white with red seats. It will just be *so* much white, and Im not in the white farmhouse camp.  However, this is the prettiest combo at first glance…

I do plan to repaint the white on the one white chair I’ve done; I do NOT like how it looks distressed. I will re-wipe with Krud Kutter, cover with chalk paint, and re polycrylic. It just didn’t turn out how I thought it would distressed.

The red chairs with stained wood seats turned out with a beautiful finish; still debating if I will paint the seats white, or leave them dark wood.



My process for the chairs has been:

  • clean with wet rag and grease cutting dish soap (Dawn) to remove any food, fingerprints, dust, etc. from tiny humans and dog
  • wipe well with Krud Kutter all over, wip to dry
  • **Let sit and dry for 30 minutes** The Krud Kutter instructions say you can begin painting sooner, but I have found 30 minutes helps prevent the paint from repelling on the chair
  • wipe to remove any dust
  • begin chalk painting with chalk paint brush-YES a chalk painting brush makes a difference in application. Trust me! I wish I’d had them for the fireplace and built in hutch.
  • polycryclic with foam brushes (2-3 coats, one after the other as soon as first has dried).

The latex paint was peeling in some places, so on those areas I did a quick sanding with my sanding sponge. Not every chair had peeling; the red chair took the chalk paint just beautifully! I am so pleased with how it turned out. Once I finished the bottom, I was able to turn the chair over and begin the top. By the time the top was done, I could start on the 2nd coat of chalk paint on the bottom.

Chalk paint dries SO fast, so finishing a chair doesn’t take long. Polycrylic also dries quickly.

I am not done with the entire project; I still have 2 chairs to complete, and the white one to redo with fresh paint. I think I am opting to NOT distress any of the chairs. I like the smooth, polished, matte finish. They will probably get plenty of distressing from years of use from my 4 children, anyway. haha

I will share pictures of the final product(s) when all the chairs are done. I will probably sit on them a while (pun totally intended!) before I decide to paint the seats white, or leave them.

Have you chalk painted? Do you enjoy it?

This is by far my favorite way to do projects! I’d like to try waxing on a nicer piece soon (something that doesn’t get abused, and wiped frequently!)



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  1. Helen Martin says:

    With some of your chalk paint projects you have recommended to use an oil based primer before applying chalk paint as a water based primer will allow bleed to occur. In this case you haven’t used a primer. Is that due to using a dark coloured paint to finish off? I am chalk painting a hutch at the moment & was sold a water based primer by ‘Artisan.’ Should I ditch this and opt for an oil based primer? I was recommended a water based, acrylic top coat? Will this be suitable? Thank you

    • Meghan says:

      Thank you for your question- I should update this post. I didn’t use a primer because my chalk paint was a dark color, correct. I probably still should have … you can have your primer tinted at the store, so painting a dark color over it is easier than painting over a white primer.

      We didn’t keep these chairs long before purchasing new ones for a table my husband built, so I’m not sure how the color would’ve held up.

      For longevity, I would still 100% recommend priming; and to make that job faster/easier to cover, have the primer tinted at the paint counter at the store.

      Is the water based primer the bullseye brand? That one will be fine. Otherwise use an oil based.
      We just did our kitchen cabinets, and used the bullseye primer with great results, because it is formulated to block tannins, but it is the only waterbased primer recommended for wood.

      Let me know if that helps, and if you have more questions!
      Edit: I’m sorry I had a brain lapse! Do NOT use water based primer with chalk paint! It is okay with youre using something like a latex based cabinet paint. I’m sorry- my first reply was wrong. Use only an oil based with chalk paint! Because it is water based, a water based primer will allow bleed through.

    • Meghan says:

      Also, to clarify. The water based primer may not cause the bleed through to affect a darker color chalk paint, HOWEVER, it would still allow the wax or top coat you use to yellow/orange/change color. I would most definitely used oil based primer under chalk paint. =)

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