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

Learn how to use chalk style 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!

chalk sprayed book case

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.

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

the book case before the makeover

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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!

My favorite Chalk style spray paint

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 paint before it would be a good idea to check out my post all about it before you dive into using the spray paint.

Below is the can of paint that I used. 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.

How to apply chalk spray paint

  • Clean the surface and wipe all surfaces down with a lint free rag
  • Lightly sanded it with a fine grit sandpaper if needed (not required)
  • 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.

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

And that’s it!

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

Spray chalk 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

Thanks for stopping by y’all.

I’m always amazed by the power of paint.


Katherine Lacoste

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

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. 🤷‍♀️

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Wednesday 1st of September 2021

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!

Katherine Lacoste

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

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

[email protected]

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Thank you!

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