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How to Use Chalk Spray Paint; Is it worth trying?

Learn how to use chalk spray paint as I transform an old faux wood bookcase. I’ve shared the pros and cons of chalky style spray paint.

I think it’s obvious that I love to paint furniture.  From milk paint to acrylic paint, it seems that I’ve tried them all.  One type of paint I’ve been itching to try that I haven’t yet is chalk spray paint. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this stuff, so when I was trying to figure out what medium to use to paint an old faux wood bookshelf, I decided I would give a little chalky style spray paint a go!

Bookcase makeover with chalk style spray paint

The bookcase is made from particle board with a faux wood veneer. Because it’s not made of real wood but a plastic like material, I should have used a primer before I used the chalk spray paint.

Rookie mistake

That being said, five years later this spray chalk paint application has held up really well.

P.S. Hindsight I should have followed my “how to paint laminate cabinets and furniture” tutorial.

Let me show you a few before photos of this sad bookcase.

the book case before the makeover

Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post.

I’m not a fan of painting real wood, but when it comes to painting faux wood, anything is game! Since the finish on this bookcase was a cheap faux veneer, I was more than happy to paint it!

I’m going to be honest; I’m a bit of a lazy DIYer. When it came time to paint this bookcase, I pulled out the paint can but realized I didn’t have any brushes.

Then I remembered that I had a few cans of chalky style spray paint! YES!

Rust-Oleum Chalk Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum chalked ultra matte spray paint is my favorite chalky style spray paint to date.

Since I’ve heard mixed reviews about chalky style spray paint, I decided to use it on a bookcase that I wasn’t super attached to. This way if the end product wasn’t to my liking, it would be no big deal to refinish.

Note; if you’ve never used Chalk style paint before it would be a good idea to check out my post all about it before you dive into using the spray paint.

I love this product. I fell in love with grayish navy color. I felt like it would blend perfectly with the rest of my decor. You can purchase this at most hardware stores near the rest of the can chalk paint.

Also, since this post was written, I’ve painted a few more furniture pieces with it too. Check out my coastal style mudroom makeover where I spray painted the top of the mudroom bench AND the shelf with this chalk style spray paint!

budget friendly beach cottage mudroom makeover

How to apply chalky style spray paint

  • Lightly sand surface with a fine grit sandpaper if needed (not required)
  • Clean the surface and wipe down with a lint free rag
  • Shake the can of spray paint to ensure that you get an even mixture
  • Start spraying the surface with multiple thin coats and in long even strokes
  • I sprayed two full coats of chalk spray paint
  • Make sure both coats are completely dry
  • Finish it with a chalk wax or a clear coat. My personal choice is Minwax Polycrylic water based in Satin top coat.

You can use a furniture wax, but I have found that the furniture wax does not hold up as well to continued use with lots of little hands (my kids) touching it.

For those that want more details on how to seal chalk paint to last, check out my full tutorial here where I use Polycrylic instead of wax to seal a black chalk painted table top.

I love Polycrylic and I’ve even written a post detailing how I used it to seal furniture for a high traffic use.

For those of you that prefer a video, check out my YouTube video all about how to use Chalk Spray Paint.

Chalk spray paint versus real chalk paint

  1. Regular chalk paint does not have an odor and is safe to use inside. The spray chalk paint, however, needs to be used in a well ventilated outdoor area. Like any spray paint, it has a very strong odor and is quite toxic.
  2. Most of the spray chalk paint I’ve seen runs at least $5 per can. If you are planning on painting a lot of furniture, it would be more cost effective to buy regular chalk paint and not the spray can form of chalk paint.
  3. I do love not having to worry about using or cleaning paint brushes!
  4. Spraying the finish on was much quicker than painting it on!
  5. I think the spray chalk paint did create a little smoother finish than if I had painted chalk paint on to the bookcase.
  6. The spray paint did not seem as thick as the regular chalk paint. I do worry that this means that the paint will chip more easily. Time will tell.

Final thoughts when using the spray paint vs. the paint in a can

The spray chalk paint was a quicker, maybe smoother, method in comparison to using a regular old paint brush and can. The spray chalky paint is, however, more costly and doesn’t cover near as much surface area as one regular can of chalk paint.

I used three full cans of the spray paint to paint this bookcase.

how to use chalk style spray paint

It does look good though, doesn’t it!

spray chalk painted bookcase

I love the smooth, factory like finish.

finished bookcase with spray chalk paint

Final Thoughts about Chalk Spray paint

If you are painting a large surface area (like a piece of furniture), the can chalk paint and paint brush works best. My opinion is that Spray chalk paint is best for painting accessories like lamps and smaller decor items. If you want that spray painted chalk style finish, you might want to try using chalk paint in a paint sprayer!

how to use chalk spray paint

How to use Chalk Spray Paint

how to use chalk spray paint

Learn how to use chalk spray paint as I transform an old faux wood bookcase. I've shared the pros and cons of chalky style spray paint.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 10-50 dollars

Materials

  • Rustoleum Chalk spray paint in the color Charcoal
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Lint free cloth
  • Polycrylic clear coat
  • 2" paint brush

Instructions

  1. Lightly sand the surface with a fine grit sandpaper if needed (not required)
  2. Clean the surface and wipe down with a lint free rag
  3. Shake the can of spray paint to ensure that you get an even mixture
  4. Start spraying the surface with multiple thin coats and in long even strokes
  5. I sprayed two full coats of chalk spray paint
  6. Make sure both coats are completely dry
  7. Finish it with a chalk wax or a clear coat. My personal choice is Minwax Polycrylic water based in Satin top coat.

Notes

The spray chalk paint was a quicker, maybe smoother, method in comparison to using a regular old paint brush and can. The spray chalky paint is, however, more costly and doesn't cover near as much surface area as one regular can of chalk paint.

Thanks for stopping by y’all.

I’m always amazed by the power of paint.

Lindsey**

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  1. I’m sure one day I’ll come across the need to do a tub redo. It’s not on the list for now though, sorry!

  2. Katherine Lacoste says:

    Thank you for the tutorials. Even if we already know how, they are inspirational. Motivating!
    Help. I need a tub re-do !! The bottom of my ancient tub is worn through and is a dirty looking gray ! I think it’s finish has been scrubbed right off and a cheap fix is needed as I’m a renter and can’t replace it. 🤷‍♀️

  3. Katherine Lacoste says:

    Love these paint tutorials, thank you. Even if you already know how they’re motivating.
    Need to see a tub re-do !!

  4. […] I wanted to do something I normally don’t do…….add a little color to this modern vintage style furniture makeover.  Since I’ve been on a dark blue kick lately, I figured why not paint the chair base the same color that I painted that old bookcase. […]

  5. […] Wood Bookcase with Chalk Spray Paint – Repurpose and Upcycle […]

  6. […] those of you who like the convenience of a spray paint, you can find chalky spray paint in any big name […]

  7. I love the spray paint, but I have to say that I still prefer the regular annie sloan chalk paint.

  8. Fantastic makeover! Although I paint with regular chalk paint, Annie Sloan, I have never use a spray paint. The result if gorgeous. I think I must give it a try! Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party

  9. […] Repurpose and Recycle shared this wonderful bookcase refurbish makeover! […]

  10. […] How to Refurbish a Faux Wood Bookcase with Chalk Spray Paint @ Repurpose and Upcycle […]

  11. A Great idea and it looks brilliant. I wish I had an eye for these things. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  12. Wow, what a great difference! Love the results. Thanks for sharing at Party in Your PJs!

  13. When redoing furniture for a classroom, a colleague suggested spray paint. Such a timesaver. Look forward to trying the spray chalk paint. Thanks for the tips!

  14. laura70ak says:

    WHAT?!?! I had no idea chalk paint came in a spray paint!! That’s super cool.
    Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy-we appreciate you!

  15. Absolutely love the new look…what a difference!

  16. Wow! Didn’t that turn out well? Very impressed. I would have thought that the chalk paint would have just blocked the nozzle but it seems to have worked so well. Thanks for joining us at the #bigpinklink this week.

  17. Turned out gorgeous! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party! Pinned!!

  18. I think the spray chalk paint works very well in certain circumstances. The bookcase looks fantastic.

  19. Barrie says:

    That turned out awesome- I am officially inspired as I have a really ugly bookcase ready for chalk spray- so much easier than I thought!

  20. I’ve not heard of chalk paint in a spray before, but I’d happily pay a bit more to not have to clean brushes! It looks great too, I hope the finish lasts well for you. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  21. Jann says:

    It turned out very nice! I tried some from Lowe’s once. My only complaint was that it didn’t go very far at all. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  22. kage2015 says:

    Gray has become such a big hit for a color. Great DIY. Found you on Bloggers Pit Stop Link Party.

  23. Your bookshelf makeover looks great. I love the new color!

  24. Theresa says:

    This is one pretty upcycle. Love the colors, and how your styled the baskets, and other items.

  25. Very interesting – I have to admit I wasn’t aware that chalk paint was available in spray – who would have thought! I pinned your photo! (my pinterest profile is http://www.pinterest.com/seasonsincolour )
    #brillblogposts

  26. Looks great! Love it!

    Thanks for sharing.

  27. That turned out great! I have one that I would like to freshen up at home. Might have to give this a try!
    #Alittlebitofeverything

  28. Jess says:

    This turned our great!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  29. What a huge difference.
    Very good to know about this!

  30. Teresa says:

    It looks so much better now, you did a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing the transformation process at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  31. Mother of 3 says:

    That looks so lovely and I just adore that dark blue color. I would never have thought to use chalk spray paint but I am kicking myself that I never thought to re-paint some of the junky faux wood shelves and things we have around the house. I have so many units that have scratch marks from baskets or were colors I never even liked in the first place but bought because they were on sale. Pinning!

  32. Natalie says:

    Thanks for the review, that’s really helpful as I’m about to refurbish an old desk and am after all the help I can get! Your bookcase looks fab! #familyfunlinky

  33. Fancy says:

    You have skills! I love the bookcase. I would love to try it sometime #bigpinklink

  34. Ooo chalk spray! Interesting stuff. love the grey effect. Would love to do a bit of up cycling one day! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  35. Great! I hope you are pleased with the result, it was an easy furniture project! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

  36. Ok this is really cute!!! I have been too scared to do anything like this but what a nice way to make old furniture new again. You have inspired me. I am going to give it a try with an old book shelf. Baskets just add a certain sense of home. #bigpinklink

  37. Heather Keet says:

    very nice! #bigpinklink

  38. So far I like it! I’m still not sure how well it will hold up, but I’m hopeful it will be good.

  39. Thank you! Yes, it’s been on the market for a few years now and I’ve just mustered up the energy to try it!

  40. Interesting makeover. I’d never heard of spray chalk paint and I thought I had every type of chalk paint there was! Thanks for the info.

  41. Thanks for checking this out! I’ve wanting to try it but was waiting for someone else first – LOL. Looks great!

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