Can You Use A Roller With Chalk Paint? (How-To)

Yes, you can use a roller with chalk paint. It provides a very smooth finish of paint over the surface. But, you need to be careful how much water you add and what type of roller you use.

Chalk paint is a popular choice amongst people who want their old wooden furniture to look new. The chalky finish makes it perfect on any surface, and they don’t damage any kind of surface. Chalk paint is a durable mixture made up mainly of calcium carbonate, talcum powder, and pigment.

Painters have two options when adding water to their chalk paint, diluting it or not. You should dilute the chalk paint because it creates more workable consistency, which makes rolling easier.

However, if you only want a light coat of color on your project, then mix in enough water until there are no lumps left in the mixture.

Is It Best To Use A Brush Or Roller With Chalk Paint?

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

Painters use both brush and roller depending on the situation. If you’re painting a small surface like a tabletop, for example, it’s best to use a paintbrush because there’s not enough room for the roller. But if you’re painting an exterior wall or ceiling, you should use a paint roller to cover more area in less time.

There is no set rule available to decide which one is better to apply chalk paint. Be it a brush or roller, professionals use both for different purposes.

Brushes are ideal for applying chalk paint over surfaces that are comparatively small in size. Chalk paint application through brushes is suitable for places like corner cupboards, chairs, stairs, moldings. And, other surfaces where using a roller is impossible.

Also, there are many pieces of furniture with carvings in them and have tight corners that only a brush can reach. Brushes come in various sizes, making them more ideal than rollers to put chalk paint over smaller surfaces.

Additionally, if you are working on bigger surfaces, using a roller will help you a lot. Brushes take more time to paint big pieces because of their smaller width.

A roller is wide enough to apply paint over that surface in much less time. Surfaces like walls, beds, dining tables, big shelves, etc., can be painted with chalk paint with a roller very easily.

Roller provides a much smoother finish with no brush strokes visible; it also prevents air bubbles in the final coat.

However, whichever way you opt to paint the surface, it is crucial to clean both brush and roller before using it.

Always remember to clean both before using to avoid mixing up dust particles with paint. Further, wash them with fresh water after completing your work to ensure the paint doesn’t dry on the brush or roller.

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

What Kind Of Roller Do You Use For Chalk Paint?

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

High-density foam rollers are best to apply chalk paint because they will give you the smoothest finish, and they are easy to use. Rollers come in various sizes, so be sure that it is large enough for the surface area that needs painting if you buy one.

Application of chalk paint is very easy, but sometimes it can become challenging to get a smooth finish. Most people still follow the traditional way of applying chalk paint which is using a brush.

But, brushes can not always provide a smooth finish; there can be visible brush strokes in the final coats. Therefore, keeping this brush strokes issue in mind, people started using rollers to apply chalk paint over bigger surfaces.

But, not any roller can do the job properly. There are various paint rollers available in the market, and each one of them provides different results. Thus, choosing a good roller is the first step towards achieving a highly smooth finish.

Chalk paint is considerably thicker than regular paints; using an ordinary roller with low-density foam is not ideal. Standard rollers don’t have high-density foam which causes low absorption of paint, discoloration of surfaces after it dries, light or dark color patches, and it also causes a lot of paint dripping.

Therefore, you should avoid using such rollers and only choose high-density foam paint rollers. A high-density foam roller is a professional’s choice as they provide a perfectly smooth finish and absorb the chalk paint adequately.

While applying chalk paint with a high-density foam roller, sand between the coats with 220-grit sandpaper.

It will ensure that any accidental air bubble, paint residue, or dust gets eliminated from the surface before the succeeding coat. Remember, apply appropriate pressure on the roller while rolling it on surfaces to spread the paint in an even and thin layer.

If you are working on delicate surfaces such as fabrics or wood, the roller head should also have a nap length between 1/2 inch and 2 inches. Any shorter than 1/2 inch is too rough on delicate surfaces, and it can cause rough finish or paint blisters.

How To Apply Chalk Paint With A Roller?

Chalk paint is an easy-to-use product that can be applied in many ways. It comes with a number of benefits, including being environmentally friendly.

However, when applying chalk paint, it is essential to follow the proper procedure to get the best results possible.

Two methods are available for using chalk paint for furniture or other items, brushing on and rolling on. But, the procedure is identical for both ways.

1. Prep The Workspace

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

As tempting as it may be, working on your paint project indoors is one of the best methods to make sure that you get a smooth finish.

Chalk-based paints are most durable when applied at room temperature and cannot stick well if they’re too cold or hot.

To protect any flooring nearby from pesky drips of chalk paint, cover them with newspaper and put some weights over newspapers, so it doesn’t fly away.

Detach all removable pieces such as cushions for easy cleanup later; don’t forget about hinges, knobs, shelves, drawers, etc.

2. Clean The Surface You Are Painting

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

Some people avoid prepping the surfaces before applying paint over them, but that is mostly a mistake because it doesn’t provide a smooth finish.

No doubt, chalk paints have excellent adhesion, but it is always better to be more assured. Sometimes people use very old paint, which may or may not have good adhesion, and preparation can make sure the paint sticks longer.

Therefore, always send off the original surface before applying the first coat of chalk paint. Use any sandpaper running from 150 grit to 320 grit based on the surface you are working on.

Also, wipe it down properly with soapy water and a soft cloth to ensure no dirt, debris, oil, or sanding dust present on the piece. Once finished wiping away all traces, there’s one last thing left before painting; let it dry completely.

3. Shake The Chalk Paint Can

Shake the chalk paint can

When purchasing your favorite shade of chalk paint, be sure to buy enough for the project you’re working on.

Before opening up the paint can put it upside down; it will ensure loosening of all the components. After that, shake the can strenuously so that the compounds are mixed perfectly.

4. Apply The Chalk Paint

Now, apply the chalk paint using a paint roller.

To apply the paint with a roller, you will need to pour the paint into a plain container. Load the paint in a high-density roller perfectly, apply a thin layer in a single direction, and then roll it back and then roll it again in the same direction. Follow this step of rolling the roller back and forth until you cover the whole surface.

Related Read: How To Paint Over Chalk Paint?

5. Sand The Chalk Paint After it Dries

Sand the chalk paint to remove any imperfections or roller marks.

After applying the first layer of chalk paint, sand it lightly with 220-grit sandpaper and clean all the dirt before applying the next coat. Mostly only two coats of chalk paints are enough to get a good finish.

But, if you are working on a piece with any visual imperfections, you may need another layer. Also, if you plan to give the product a radiant finish, you can add a light-colored (lighter version of the different or same shade) chalk paint layer over the first two.

Now that you’ve finished painting the accent, reinstall any hardware that was removed and let your beautifully chalked project shine.

Related Read: Can You Use a Roller To Apply Stain Paint?

Related Read: Can You Apply Varnish With a Roller?

How Do You Get Rid Of Brush Strokes In Chalk Paint?

Avoiding brush strokes when applying chalk paint can be tricky, but some tricks might help. Adding water to the paint or using a roller can help you in avoiding brush strokes.

You can try mixing water and color well before adding to the jar or pan. It will ensure that when you apply chalk paint with a brush, the flow of the paint remains smooth, and it spreads evenly.

Add water to only that amount of paint which you can apply, don’t mix it all. Also, don’t leave the lid open; it increases the thickness of the paint.

There is another way, keep your brush damp when painting. Mist the bristles with water using a spray bottle before dipping them into the paint. This will help you avoid possible strokes of paint on the surface.

Moreover, you can also use a roller to avoid brush strokes. Paint rollers are easy to use, and they also speed up the work as they cover more surface area in lesser time.

High-density paint rollers are the best for applying chalk paints. They give an even, smooth and durable finish.

Additionally, if you have already used a brush for the application and are now facing the brush stroke issue, you can quickly fix that.

Sand the affected areas, make them even and clean them properly with a microfibre cloth. After doing all this, apply an additional coat of chalk paint over it to get a smooth finish.

Related Read: Does Chalk Paint Wash Off?


If you try to paint a wall with just a brush, it can take much longer, and the result will likely be an uneven finish. For the best results, it is recommended to use a roller.

A foam roller provides even coverage and makes for easy cleanup. Roller also enhances the speed of your work as it can cover more surfaces in a shorter period.

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