Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint? (With Different Paints)

After a while, chalk paint starts to fade off. So, can you paint over chalk paint?

You can paint over chalk paint if the chalk paint isn’t sealed with wax. Chalk paint is a water-based paint with a textured finish, allowing most paint to stick.

The finish of chalk paint is so textured that you can paint over it without sanding. However, you can’t use some types of paints over chalk paint. Which one? Let’s see. 

How To Paint Over Chalk Paint?

You can paint over chalk paint without doing too much prep work. All you need to do is to clean the chalk finish and a few other things. Let’s check them.

1. Inspect The Chalk Finish

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

First, inspect the chalk paint. If the finish is riddled with bumps or imperfections, you must sand it before painting over it, especially for oil chalk finishes. 

Chalk paint isn’t durable or moisture-resistant, so the finish is affected by moisture and handling. So, if the chalk finish is old, it needs some repairs. 

Also, check if the chalk paint is sealed with wax. Since chalk paint isn’t durable, it’s usually sealed with a wax coat to improve its durability.

To know if the chalk paint was sealed with wax, 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.

2. Sand The Chalk Finish

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

When painting over chalk paint, sanding isn’t required. That’s because the chalk paint has a textured finish that is rough enough to allow all paints to stick. However, you must sand off the top layer if the chalk paint is waxed.

The waxed layer of chalk paint is slick and shiny, which means new paints won’t stick well. In addition, the waxed layer will repel any moisture and liquids, including paint. If you paint over waxed chalk paint, the paint will slide off.

To remove the wax off chalk paint, sand it using medium-grit sandpaper. Once most of the wax is removed, sand with fine-grit sandpaper to scuff the wax, so the new paint can stick better. 

You can also remove wax from the chalk paint using a sanding 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?

3. Clean

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

Once you remove the wax layer over chalk paint, you must clean the finish. Chalk paint is prone to dust nibs, grease, grime, and stain. So, you must clean chalk paint to remove these stains. 

If you don’t clean the chalk paint, the grease and stains on the surface will affect the drying process of the new paint. The new coat also won’t adhere well, and the finish will have bumps. 

To clean the chalk paint:

  1. Use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or TSP. 
  2. Damp a rag with rubbing alcohol (or TSP). 
  3. Use the dampened rag to wipe off the stains from the chalk finish. 
  4. Wait a few minutes. 
  5. Clean the rubbing alcohol residue and chalk finish with warm water. 

The new paint won’t stick to the surface if you don’t clean the rubbing alcohol residue.

4. Apply The New Paint

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

Once the chalk paint is clean and dry, apply the new paint. You can apply any paint (or finish) over chalk paint.

To apply paint over chalk paint, use a paintbrush and apply 2-3 coats. You must wait until the first coat of new paint dries, sand it, and then apply the next one. 

Optionally, you can seal the new paint with a sealer such as polyurethane. 

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

Gloss Paint

You can apply glossy paints (or sealers) to protect the chalk finish. Glossy finishes, such as polyurethane or polycrylic, can be applied over chalk paint to give the finish extra protection. 

However, if the chalk paint is waxed, you can’t apply a glossy finish over it. That’s because the wax will repel moisture, preventing glossy paint from sticking. If you apply gloss paint over waxed chalk paint, the gloss paint will peel off after a few days.

To apply gloss paint over waxed chalk paint, you must sand the top layer or remove the wax using a solvent. Sanding will remove the glossy layer of the wax, and allow any type of paint to stick. 

Latex Paint

You can apply latex paint over chalk paint. Latex paint will stick to chalk paint because latex paint and chalk paint are both water-based paints. However, if the chalk paint was waxed, you must sand the chalk paint, 

Latex paint is the most fitting of all the paint types you can use over chalk paint. That’s because latex paint has impressive adhesive qualities, and like chalk paint, latex paint is water-based too.

However, the color shade of the latex paint must be similar (or the same) as the chalk paint. That’s because latex paint is thin and light, so the chalk paint underneath will bleed through. 

So, if you paint a light color of latex paint over a deep color of chalk paint, the deep chalk paint underneath will still be visible after latex paint dries. This will cause a clash of colors and make the finish look amateurish.

If the chalk paint isn’t waxed, you can apply latex paint over it without sanding. All you need to do is to clean the chalk paint and apply the latex paint. You can apply up to 4 coats of latex paint. 

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

Acrylic 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. In fact, chalk paint is used as a primer (or base coat) for acrylic paint. That’s because acrylic paint sticks well to unwaxed chalk paint. Since chalk paint has no glossy or sheen appearance, acrylic paint will stick perfectly.

To apply acrylic paint over chalk, sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper, clean chalk paint with TSP, and then apply the acrylic paint. Sanding will remove any bumps or imperfections on the chalk paint. Likewise, cleaning will remove any grime or grease on the chalk paint.

Related Read: Can You Apply Chalk Paint Over Wax?

Milk Paint

Milk and chalk paint are almost identical. So, you can apply milk over unwaxed chalk paint, but you must mix the milk paint first. 

Milk paint comes in powdered form and needs to be mixed before use. Once you mix milk paint, it’s difficult to tell the difference from chalk paint. Especially if both paint types have the same color. This is because both paints have the same features and finish. So, milk paint is the best paint to be used over chalk paint.

To apply milk paint over chalk, you must clean the chalk finish, sand lightly, and apply the milk paint. You don’t have to sand if the chalk paint is unwaxed and without bumps or imperfection.

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?

Oil-Based Paint

You can apply oil-based paints over chalk paint, but you must use a primer. That’s because chalk paint is water-based, and oil-based paints won’t stick to it well without a primer. Also, if chalk paint is waxed or sealed, you must remove the wax or sealer before applying an oil-based paint. 

Oil-based paints can’t stick to wax or sheen. That’s because the oil-based paint uses synthetic or natural oil as its solvent, and the waxed chalk paint has a slick surface. So, the oil-based paint will slide off the wax and won’t stick. 

To remove the sheen or wax from chalk paint, use mineral spirits and a wired brush. The mineral spirits will dissolve the wax, and the wired brush will remove it. 

To apply an oil-based paint over unwaxed chalk paint, sand and clean the surface, apply stain-blocking primer,  and then apply the oil-based paint. 


You can apply enamel paint over chalk paint, but you must first sand, clean, and prime the chalk paint. That’s because enamel paint doesn’t have good adhesive qualities, so priming is required.

Also, enamel paint is oil-based, and chalk paint is water-based. So, priming is required to prevent the mixture of solvents (oil & water).

However, if you use water-based enamel, you don’t have to prime the chalk paint. Instead, clean and sand the chalk paint lightly, then apply the water-based enamel. 

Final Words

Overall, you can paint over chalk paint with any type of paint or finish. All you need to do is; clean, sand, and prime the chalk paint before applying the new paint. 

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