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How to Get a Smooth Finish with Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint tends to leave a porous and a “grippy” texture instead of a smooth finish. And not everyone likes that.

If you’re one of those people who hates the porousness it offers – then you’ll want to learn how to get a smooth finish with chalk paint.

We are going to teach you every step you need to take to make it happen. Whether you’re painting a piece of furniture or a wall – this guide will help you do so.

This process is the easiest and most effective. If you’re looking to get a smooth finish without wasting much of your time or effort – then this is your best choice. Keep reading to learn!

6 Steps to Get a Smooth Finish with Chalk Paint

As you can see, smoothing chalk paint is not too hard. But it still requires some effort and time. To make it easier – here are the steps you need to take:

1. Clean the Surface

First and foremost, clean the whole surface you want to paint. Even if you’re using chalk paint, the surface must be dust and debris-free.

You can use dish soap and water or a rag with detergent, a brush, or a wet cloth. Whatever you feel is the best choice to clean – do it. Just remember that cleaning the surface is the only way to apply the paint without problems. 

2. Prepare the Paint

The second step is to prepare the paint. 

Here, you will have to start by mixing the paint with water for the smooth finish. Add a few tablespoons of water into the paint and stir. Especially if it’s been seating for a long time without use – make sure to stir it well. Mix it for about 2 or 3 minutes until it gets the right consistency.

Water thins out the paint a little, getting a smoother finish once it dries on the surface. This removes some of the “gripiness” and porousness. 

Once you’ve successfully prepared the paint, then you can start applying it.

3. Paint the Surface

Painting the surface with a smoothed out chalk paint doesn’t take much effort. You can follow the same steps as if you were applying any other paint on any surface.

We recommend using brushes over any other type of utensil for the application. This makes it easier to apply and delivers a smoother finish.

You should apply the paint by wiping it towards one way across the surface. We recommend stroking in one direction first and covering the whole surface so you can stroke the other way in the second coat. 

This would be your first coat. You’ll have to wait for it to dry (usually 3 to 5 hours).

4. Apply a Second Coat

Once the first layer dries up – then you’re ready to apply the second coat. To get a smooth chalk paint surface, this second coat is a must.

What this second layer does is cover any protuberance or inconsistency on the surface. And it paints directly over the first coat – delivering a more even and smoother surface.

For the second coat, you may need to mix the paint in a little more water. But if the paint seems thin enough – then don’t worry.

To apply this coat, follow the same wiping process as the first one. But this time, wipe the opposite direction. This will make the paint adhere better and get rid of any inconsistency or unpainted spot. 

Once again, you’ll have to let it dry for several hours. We recommend leaving to dry for 24 hours for the best results.

5. Sand the Paint

Now that you’ve applied two coats of chalk paint, then it’s time to start sanding chalk paint for smooth finish.

The sanding process is not the easiest and may take a lot of time if you’re sanding a large surface. But it is critical for the whole smooth finish you’re looking for.

We recommend using a piece of 400-grit sandpaper for the best result. But anything over 220-grit sandpaper will work.

The whole process is to get rid of the porousness of the chalk paint that’s still left. Even after you’ve watered it down, the porousness is probably still there. By sanding the surface, you can get rid of most of it.

Remember to use a mask while sanding the piece. And if you’re sanding an object or piece of furniture and you can take it outside, then do so.

This process may take about 2 to 3 hours for a table. A wall may take about 5 hours. But a small object may take no more than an hour. 

Once you finish sanding, then you’ll feel how the paint feels amazingly soft and smooth. You’re ready to finish it. 

6. Seal the Paint to Finish

To give the chalk paint smooth finish, you may want to add a sealer to the surface. 

After the sanding, you will have an already smooth-enough surface. But because the paint is smoothed out with water, it won’t be as durable anymore. So sealing it with wax, oils, glaze, or polymers is your best option. 

Learning how to seal chalk paint can be a little problematic. But it is nothing out of reach. With enough work and time, you can do so in less than a day.

After you’ve applied the sealer, then you’ll feel how smooth the surface is. As most of these sealers leave a smoother surface, then you can now enjoy the matte look of chalk paint and a smooth texture at the same time. 

Finish by letting the sealer dry for a few days, and that’s it. You’ve successfully smoothed out chalk paint.

Bottom Line

There’s nothing more pleasant than smoothing out a type of paint that’s usually too porous. And when you learn the way to get a smooth finish with chalk paint using this guide – then you’ll enjoy it even more.

So, what are you waiting for? This is the best way you can get that chalky paint to feel a lot smoother. Take our advice and follow our guidelines. You’ll love how good it will feel & look!

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