Using a Roller To Apply Chalk Paint (How To Do it & Benefits)

You can apply chalk paint with a paintbrush and sprayer. But, can you apply chalk paint with a roller?

You can you a roller to apply chalk paint. A paint roller offers a smooth finish and helps you cover more surfaces faster. However, you must use the right type of roller for chalk paint.

Also, you shouldn’t over-thin chalk paint when using a roller. That’s because thin chalk paint will turn streaky on a paint roller and leave behind brush marks. 

Paint Roller vs Brush (For Chalk Paint)

Should you use a brush or a paint roller when applying chalk paint?

Depending on the surface type and size, you can use a paint roller or brush. A brush will offer better finish quality and coverage for small surfaces because you can paint the corners and hard-to-reach areas with a brush. Also, a roller can be too large for a small surface.

For large surfaces, using a paint roller is better. You can cover a surface faster with a paint roller than a brush. Also, a paintbrush soaks more paint in one go, so you can work longer without stopping. It will take longer to complete a painting project if you use a paintbrush for large surfaces.

Whether you use a roller or a brush, you will get the same finish quality. However, a paint roller can leave roller marks behind if you are inexperienced.

You can also use a paint roller and brush to apply chalk paint. Use the paint roller for the mid (or large) surface and the paintbrush for corners or hard-to-reach areas.

Related Read: Can Latex Paint Be Applied With a Roller?

Types of Roller To Use For Chalk Paint

There are many different types of paint roller available. So, what kind of roller do you use for chalk paint?

The best chalk paint roller is a high-density foam roller. This roller gives you a smooth finish and is easy to use. However, the roller must be large enough for the surface you will paint. 

Chalk paint has a thick flow, so you shouldn’t use ordinary paint rollers with low-density foam. A low-density paint roller has low absorption of paint, causes lots of paint dripping, and doesn’t apply chalk paint evenly. You must thin the paint with water to apply chalk paint with a low-density roller.

The paint roller head must be between 1/2 – 2 inches if you are painting delicate surfaces. If the paint roller is shorter than 1/2 inches, it can cause paint blisters or a rough finish.

You can also use a velour roller to apply chalk paint. 

How To Use a Roller For Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is easy to apply, but you must prep the surface and the roller before applying it.

1. Prep The Workspace

The first thing you need to do is to prep the workspace

First, prep the workspace. Remove nearby objects and cover the floor with a drop sheet. Applying chalk paint outdoors is best because it will dry faster.

Once the surface is clean, sand it. Sanding will remove imperfections from the surface and leave behind a smooth (and even) surface for the chalk paint to stick to. Also, sanding will remove the previous finish of the surface. 

2. Clean The Surface

To get better results, you should clean the surface you will paint.

Next, clean the surface. The chalk paint won’t stick properly if the surface is dusted or filthy. Also, dust and filth will show once the chalk paint dries.

To clean a surface before chalk paint:

  1. Mix soap with warm water or use TSP. 
  2. Apply the soapy water over the surface. 
  3. Use a soft brush to remove (or wipe) the dirt from the surface. 
  4. Remove the soapy water residue from the surface using clean water.
  5. Allow the surface to dry before applying chalk paint. 

3. Apply The Chalk Paint

Now, apply the chalk paint using a paint roller.

To apply chalk paint with a paint roller:

  1. Pour chalk paint into a clean paint container. 
  2. Dip the paint roller into the paint bucket and load it with paint. 
  3. Apply a thin layer in a single direction, and roll it back again in the same direction. 
  4. Do this until you cover the whole surface. 
  5. Once you apply the first coat, wait for it to dry. 
  6. Once the first coat dries, sand it with ultrafine-grit sandpaper. 
  7. Apply the second and third coats and allow the chalk paint to dry.
  8. If the chalk finish has roller marks, sand it with ultrafine-grit sandpaper. 

Optionally, you can seal chalk paint once it dries. However, the chalk paint shouldn’t have roller marks or imperfections, as it will show once the sealer dries. 

Removing Roller Marks on Chalk Paint

If you are inexperienced, avoiding roller marks is tricky. That’s because chalk paint has a dry, textured finish that reveals marks.

To avoid roller marks, dilute chalk paint with water with a ratio of 5:1 (5 parts chalk paint, 1 part water). This will thin (dilute) chalk paint and allows you to control the flow of the paint easier. The thinner the paint, the fewer roller marks the surface will have. However, don’t over-thin chalk paint as it can cause paint blisters.

You can also sand between coats of chalk paint to remove brush marks. Once the first coat of chalk paint dries, sand it with ultrafine-grit sandpaper. Sand every coat of chalk paint, including the final coat. Ultrafine-grit sandpaper will remove the roller marks but won’t remove or damage the chalk paint. 

Related Read: Does Chalk Paint Wash Off?


You can roll on chalk paint.  But, you must use a high-density foam roller or a velour roller to apply chalk paint. You shouldn’t use a low-density foam roller for chalk paint as it provides a bad finish quality. 

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