Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint? (How-To)

I wanted to repaint my drywall. I had previously used chalk paint on the wall and I wasn’t sure if I could paint over the chalk paint. So I did a bit of research and here is what I found out.

You can paint over chalk paint as long as wax wasn’t applied over the chalk paint initially. Chalk paint is very textured and it allows different types of paints to stick without sanding the surface first.

So if you want to retouch a surface previously painted with chalk paint, you can paint over the chalk regardless of the paint you want to use.

But this is just a snippet. This post reveals more about this topic including the steps involved in painting over chalk paint. So let’s dive in.

Can You Paint Gloss Over Chalk Paint?

You can paint gloss over chalk paint to protect the chalk finish. Glossy paints like polyurethane and polycrylic can be painted over chalk paint to give the finish an extra protective sheen.

However, you need to ensure the chalk paint hasn’t been previously waxed before painting over it with a glossy finish. If the chalk finish has been waxed, you will need to sand lightly or strip off the wax to allow the gloss paint to sit tightly.

Glossy paints are popularly used as topcoats for various finishes. Glossy paints can also be used on chalk paints or chalk-painted surfaces without sanding. This is because the chalk finish is textured enough to allow glossy paints to sit firmly without sanding.

However, if the chalk paint or finish has been waxed, you will need to do a bit of sanding before painting over it with a glossy finish. This is because you can’t apply glossy paint over a waxed surface. There will be no grip and adhesion will be tough if you use glossy paint over a waxed chalk finish.

The paint will also begin to peel off after a few days.

Now you know that you can paint over chalk finish but how do you paint over chalk paint? Let’s find out below.

How To Paint Over Chalk Paint (Made Easy)

Painting over chalk paint is an easy step. In most cases, it doesn’t usually need much prep work. All you need to do is just ensure the chalk finish is clean and ready to accept the next coat of paint.

Let’s check out how to paint over chalk in detail.

Inspect The Chalk Finish

The first thing you need to do when painting over chalk paint is to inspect the chalk finish,

The first step is to inspect the chalk paint or finish. If the finish is riddled with bumps or imperfections, you might need to do a bit of touch-up before going ahead with the task. This is even more important with old chalk finishes.

Chalk paint isn’t very durable and is easily affected by moisture and handling. So if it’s an old chalk finish, chances are you will have a few dents that will need touching up.

You also need to check if the chalk paint was previously sealed with wax. Chalk finish as stated earlier isn’t very durable so the finish is usually sealed with wax to protect it. If the chalk paint was sealed with wax, then you need to take the next step.

To know if the chalk paint was sealed with wax, you can try to scrape the top of the wax finish with a metallic putty knife. If you can see scratch marks on the chalk or if you see a build-up of wax on the putty knife, then the chalk has been waxed.

Sand The Chalk Finish

You have to sand the chalk finish to help the other paint stick better.

Normally, when prepping to paint over chalk paint, sanding isn’t required. That’s because chalk paint is textured and rough enough to allow the new coat of paint to sit firmly regardless of the type of paint it is.

However, if the chalk finish has been waxed, sanding is compulsory to allow the new coat to sit tightly.

When chalk paint is waxed, painting over it is difficult because you aren’t painting over the chalk finish directly. Instead, you are painting over a waxed surface, and wax unlike chalk finish isn’t textured.

Waxed chalk paint usually has a slick and shiny surface which means that the new coat of paint wouldn’t sit well.

So you need to sand with medium-grit sandpaper and then fine-grit sandpaper to abrade the wax so the new coat of paint can adhere properly.

You can also strip off the wax by using a sanding sponge or a wire sponge and mineral spirits. The mineral spirits will soften and dissolve the wax making it easier for the wire sponge to strip it off.

Related Read: Can You Tint Chalk Paint?

Clean The Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is prune to dust. Before you apply the other paint, you have to clean the chalk paint with rubbing alcohol.

The next step is to clean the chalk paint. Chalk paint when dry has a dust-like appearance. The chalk paint is very prone to dust nibs, grease, grime, and stains. So cleaning is very important to get rid of the stains on the chalk finish.

If the grease and stain are left on the chalk finish, it would affect the curing process of the paint that is applied to it. The next coat wouldn’t adhere properly and the stains might still be obvious after the new paint has dried. Especially, if you use glossy or clear coat finishes.

To clean the chalk paint, you will need rubbing alcohol or isopropyl. Gently spray the chalk paint with rubbing alcohol and then scrub lightly. After, you can wipe the chalk surface with a damp rag. This will clean the chalk finish.

Related Read: Is Chalk P

Apply The Paint

After you have cleaned the chalk paint, it's time to apply the paint.

After the chalk-painted surface has dried, you are ready to paint. You can apply any type of paint or finish on chalk paint. As long as you have prepped the surface correctly, the new paint coating will adhere well.

Apply two or three coats of the new paint on the chalk finish. Ensure to sand between each coat to guarantee proper paint adhesion. After applying the new coat of paint to the chalk finish, you should let it dry.

Related Read: Should You Use Latex Over Oil-Based Paint?

Can You Put Latex Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can put latex paint over chalk paint. Latex paint will adhere properly to chalk paint because latex paint and chalk paint are both water-based paints. However, you will need to strip off and sand the chalk finish before applying water-based paint if the chalk finish has been waxed.

Of all the paint types that can be used over chalk paint, latex paint is the most fitting. This is because latex paint has good adhesive qualities and just like chalk paint, most latex paints are also water-based.

However, you have to ensure that the color of the chalk and that of the latex paint are the same or at least, similar. This is because latex paint is not thick. Most latex paints are thin and light.

So if you paint a light color of latex paint, say sky blue over a deep color of chalk paint, say brown, the brown chalk finish underneath will still be visible after the overlapping latex paint has dried. This will cause a clash of colors and make the finish look amateurish.

You might also need to strip and sand the chalk finish before applying latex paint over it. This is even more important if the chalk finish has been waxed. Applying latex paint over a coating of waxed chalk finish would give you anything but a clean and durable finish.

However, if the chalk wasn’t waxed, you don’t need to strip the chalk. All you need to do is to clean the chalk finish with rubbing alcohol and then sand lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper. When the chalk is dry and smooth, you can apply up to 4 coats of latex finish over it.

Related Read: Can You Mix Chalk Paint With Latex Paint?

Can You Put Acrylic Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can put different paints over chalk paint. But, can you put acrylic paint over chalk paint?

You can put acrylic paint over chalk paint. Many painters and DIYers even use chalk paint as a primer or base coat for acrylic paints. This is because acrylic paints will adhere well to chalk as long as the chalk is lightly sanded and hasn’t been waxed or coated with a sheen.

As stated earlier in this article, virtually any type of paint or finish can be used over chalk paint. This goes for acrylic paints as well. This is because chalk paint doesn’t have any glossy appearance or sheen. This makes it easy and possible for acrylic paints to sit on chalk perfectly.

To paint acrylic paint over chalk, all you need is a light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper over the chalk paint. This sanding is primarily to remove any bump or imperfection in the chalk. You don’t even need to sand to improve adhesion because the acrylic paint will stay on the chalk with or without improving adhesion.

You will also need to clean with rubbing alcohol. This is to get rid of any grime or grease on the chalk finish because chalk paints are easily affected by grime.

As long as the chalk is clean, you can paint over it with acrylic paint.

Related Read: Can You Apply Chalk Paint Over Wax?

Can You Put Regular Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can put regular paint over chalk as long as the chalk paint has been waxed or coated with a glossy topcoat. If the chalk paint is not waxed, all you need to do is clean the chalk and sand lightly before applying regular paint over it.

Regular paints like water-based latex paint, matte paint, eggshell paints, and even flat paints can all be used over chalk paint. All that is usually needed is a bit of prep work. Clean the surface with a degreaser or mineral spirit, sand the chalk lightly, vacuum the dust, and then paint over the chalk with the regular paint. It’s as easy as that.

Related Read: Can You Apply New Varnish Over Old Varnish?

Can You Put Milk Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can put milk paint over chalk paint because both paint types have the same qualities and finish. Milk paint will once be mixed will adhere properly to chalk paint.

Most DIYers believe that milk paint is the same as chalk paint. This shows you how similar both paint types are. However, they are a tad different. Milk paint comes in powdered form and will need to be mixed properly before use. Chalk paint on the other hand doesn’t need to be mixed and it doesn’t come in powdered form.

But when you properly mix milk paint, it will be very difficult to tell it is different from chalk paint. Especially, if both paint types have the same color. This is because both paint types have the same features and finish. So if you want to paint over the chalk with any finish, milk paint is one paint type you can’t go wrong with.

In most cases, you might not even need to sand the chalk before applying the milk paint except the chalk finish is dirty or very rough.

To use milk paint over chalk, you just need to clean the chalk finish to get rid of grime. Then sand lightly and apply the milk finish. To get the best results, use the same color of milk paint as the chalk paint underneath.

Related Read: Can You Use Chalk Paint on Plastic?

Can You Put Oil-Based Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can put oil-based paint over chalk paint but you might need to prime the chalk paint first. This is because oil-based finishes usually require a bit of priming on the surface to adhere well.

Also, if the chalk paint was previously waxed or a shiny topcoat was applied over it, you will need to remove the wax or sheen before applying the oil-based finish.

Oil-based paints can be applied over chalk paint. But before you apply the paint, you need to first check if the chalk paint was waxed or coated with a sheen. Chalk paint is not very durable and it’s easily affected by grime and grease. So chalk is usually coated with wax or sheen to protect the chalk finish.

While this wax or sheen will help to protect the chalk, it wouldn’t let oil-based paint stick to the surface. This is because oil paint uses synthetic or natural oil as the solvent and the waxed chalk also has a slick surface. Painting oil paint over waxed chalk finish is like painting applying oil over grease and expecting it to stick.

So you need to first remove the wax or sheen by using mineral spirits and a wired brush or sanding sponge. The mineral spirits will dissolve the wax making it easier for the wired sponge to remove it.

If the chalk wasn’t waxed, you can sand the surface lightly and then clean it with a degreaser. When the chalk is fully prepped, you can paint over it with an oil-based finish.

Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint With Enamel?

You can use enamel paint over chalk paint but you need to clean, prime, and sand the chalk paint before applying enamel over it. This is because enamel paints don’t have terrific adhesive qualities so priming first is required.

Enamel paints are also oil-based while chalk paint is water-based. So cleaning, priming, and sanding will help to improve coat adhesion so the enamel paint can stick well.

Enamel paint can be used over chalk paint but you need to do more prep work when using enamel over chalk than when using other types of paint.

If the chalk is also waxed, you need to remove the wax coat first before painting enamel over the chalk. This is because enamel is oil-based paint and like most oil-based paints, enamel wouldn’t stick well to a waxed surface.

Final Words

Overall, you can paint over chalk paint with virtually any type of paint or finish. You just need to do enough prep work and ensure the chalk paint is clean. Then apply the needed paint and leave it to dry.

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