I want to take a moment to share my love of chalk paint. I just really think this stuff is awesome. I realize that there are differing opinions on this type of paint, but as of now, I stand firm in saying that chalk paint is one of my favorite paints to use. It’s not meant for every project, and it’s certainly not meant to stand up to water. In fact, one of the biggest draw backs of chalk paint is that if something spills on it, it may not be able to recover. Likely, you will have to repaint the piece to cover spills and stains that penetrate the wax coating. For this reason, it’s typically best to avoid using it in kitchen or bathroom areas.
I’m a rule breaker, though–I have chalk paint in all three of my bathrooms, and I have had minimal problems. The problems that I did have were my own fault. For instance, I once painted a bathroom, but decided to shower before I had the wax coat applied. The steam from the shower caused drip lines down the cabinet that never went away–until I repainted. Another time, I had some issues with cracking paint, but I had used a different wax coating from what I normally use, and I believe that was the cause. Other than those problems, the paint has performed beautifully. Actually, it outlived our latex cabinet paint. You won’t get peeling issues with this paint. My mom has her kitchen island painted in Kilz Chalk Style Paint “Toasted Poppyseed,” and it, also, has held up very well (and looks great with her contrasting white cabinets). All of my bathrooms currently have chalk-painted cabinets, including the bathroom that my kids most often use (and they like doing a lot of water experiments in there)–the cabinets are still doing beautifully.
The best thing (in my opinion) about chalk paint is the fact that it is incredibly easy to use. It’s very forgiving during the painting process, and it is just so fast and smooth to to apply. Although recommended, you really don’t have to sand or prime prior to painting with it. You will always have a more smooth and professional outcome if you take the time to sand and prime your piece beforehand, but I have done chalk painting both ways. I really didn’t see much of a difference, so being the inpatient time-saver that I am, I tend to just go straight for the painting (unless there is some heavy stuff beneath that needs removed). Just roll or brush the paint on–no special technique or prep required. The last paint job that I did had a lot of latex beneath that wasn’t easily sanding or peeling in spots, so I had to take extra time to remove the latex coat because I didn’t want my cabinets looking chunky in those areas. The funny thing about this latex is that it was scratching and peeling off, but as I began removing the coats of latex, I noticed that the previous chalk paint was still in near perfect condition beneath. That particular coat of chalk paint was never trouble in itself. I just wasn’t fond of the color in that room. My point is: this stuff settles into your furniture, rather than just sitting on top. It also dries very quickly. I’ve had all three of my coats done within a few hours.
I’ve painted my bathroom cabinets over and over again since moving in. I’ve experimented a lot with different paints and colors, but I simply was never content with any of them. Most recently, I painted the cabinets in two bathrooms with the same Rust-Oleum “Aged Gray,” and I am very satisfied with the results. I found this shade to be perfect for my bathrooms–light without being a high-maintenance white, and neutral–so it blends well in most spaces. Chalk paint leaves a nice, matte finish, and feels more ‘lived in’ when compared to the shiny surfaces left by other paints. I’ve also used Kilz “Toasted Poppyseed,” and Rust-Oleum’s Chalked line in “Linen White.” I have so far been very pleased with how they all come out. I always apply 2-3 coats of chalk paint, followed by a wax. I prefer to use Kilz “Clear Wax.” Just wipe on with an old rag, or use a chalk and wax brush like this. As I’ve said, I’ve used chalk paint on cabinets, and also on furniture. I’ve revamped side tables in a time crunch with the easy application of this paint. One of my favorite furniture pieces that I’ve used it on has been an antique secretary desk that was passed down to me, that my son loves in his room. It would also be perfect for frames, chairs, benches, and the list goes on. Chalk paints’ potential is nearly limitless.
I just cant brag enough about how easy this stuff is to paint with. It does require some maintenance, in the sense that you will have to reapply wax over time, but I would absolutely, and plan to continue to use it in the future. I wouldn’t use this paint everywhere, but when used, it gives a look and finish that typical paint just can’t.