Can You Use a Roller To Apply Chalk Paint (Benefits!)

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

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

Also, you shouldn’t over-thin the paint because thin paint will turn streaky 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. because it covers surfaces better. 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 it. 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?

Which Types of Roller Can You Use to Apply Chalk Paint?

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

Use a high-density foam roller to apply chalk paint. 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 the paint evenly. You must thin the paint before using it.

The roller head must be between 1/2 – 2 inches if you are painting delicate surfaces. If the roller is shorter than 1/2 inch, 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 the paint outdoors is better 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 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. If you don’t remove them, dust and filth will show once the finish dries.

To clean a surface:

  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.

3. Apply The Chalk Paint

Now, apply the chalk paint using a paint roller.

To apply chalk paint with a paint roller:

  1. Pour the 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 finish to dry.
  8. If the finish has marks, sand it with ultrafine-grit sandpaper. 

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

How To Avoid Brush Strokes In 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 the paint with water with a ratio of 5:1 (5 parts chalk paint, 1 part water). This will thin (dilute) the paint and allow 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 it as it can cause paint blisters.

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


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

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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