Top 10 Must Know Chalk Painting Tips
In this article I will talk about my top 10 must know tips for chalk painting, so that you can paint gorgeous and creative furniture!
There are some things that I wish I knew about the chalk paint world when I was starting out as a furniture artist, so I want to offer you panting hacks, tools guide and more!
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Find YOUR Paint
There are a tonne of different paint brands out there and also a tonne of people telling you that they are the absolute best! While they might be the best for their individual tastes, each chalk paint brand is made somewhat differently and I recommend trying a few different ones (to what your budget allows) so that you are able to find the right paint for YOU. I tried a few different paint brands when I started, including ones that I wasn't so keen on but thought I should be using because everyone else was telling me they were the best. Eventually I found Dixie Belle who I am now an ambassador for and haven't looked back since! Their paints are the perfect combination of pigments and texture for my creations and I am able to get very artsy with them. It took some experimenting, but I eventually find the right paint for me, and so will you eventually too.
2. Prep, Prep, Prep!
I can't begin to tell you how important it is to prep your pieces ready for painting. The most important part is cleaning, as this removes all of the old dirt and grime that could prevent your paint from adhering to the surface (plus it's kinda gross painting over all of dirt!) I like to use White Lightning, which really pulls all of that dirt off, ensuring my piece is ready to be painted. Whatever prep you do after that is totally down to what the furniture needs and what you plan to do. Sometimes a good scuff sand will suffice, but sometimes if a piece is prone to bleed through or is a teency weency bit whiffy, then a primer such as B.O.S.S will be required which includes a stain & odour blocker. If you are wanting to paint over something slippery such as glass or ceramic, then a primer such as Slick Stick will be perfect for that, as this is an adhesive primer which gives you the ability to paint over slick surfaces.
3. Always have Water to Hand
When I paint, I always like to have a Fine Mist Sprayer to hand. The reason for this is that water can help the paint move to create smoother looks and blends. It can also reactivate the paint if you start to feel the paint to pull or dry, allowing you a longer work time.
4. Use the Right Brush
Different brushes perform in different ways and do different things, so it is important to make sure you have the right one to hand. Different shapes will create different textures and same goes for the brush bristles too. Use Synthetic Brushes for a soft, brush stroke free finishes & smooth blending. On the other hand, use natural bristle brushes (the Premium Chip Brush range are my favourite) for textured look, by stippling, cross-hatching and dry brushing. There are also a combination of the two on the market such as the Best Dang Brush, which is made from both natural and synthetic fibres. This brush in particular is very large and round, which means not only does it hold a lot of paint, but it is also fantastic for creating blended smoky looks too.
5. Always Seal Chalk Paint
As chalk paint is porous and can be reactivated by water, it is important to always seal it. How you seal is down to personal choice. There are different mediums on the market from glossy to flat clear coats, waxes and hemp oil, each giving it's own finish. I am a big fan of waxes, especially decorative ones such as brown & white wax, because they help me take my looks even further, but have an experiment of which works for you!
6. Start with Familiar Colours If you have just started your chalk painting journey and feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the colour choices out there, then I would suggest starting out with colours that are familiar to you! That way you can take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the painting process. What colours are you most drawn to, what colour blends do you wear on a daily basis? Have a think about that and try to incorporate it into your chalk paint design.
7. Get Experimental
That being said, once you are comfortable with your current painting style, it's time to get experimental. Pick a style or colour you have never tried before, that way you are always growing as an artist and are never stuck in that boring old rut, none of us want to be in!
8. Don't go in too heavy-handed When you paint, it can be really tempting to go in there with LOTS of paint, because it looks so pretty right, plus wow that coverage?! But all you are doing is making life hard for yourself, believe me! It's important when using chalk paint to build up gradually, especially if you are wanting a smooth or blended look. It is much easier to add more paint, then it is to remove it... remember that!
9. Take Care of your brush & paints
Who has sometimes neglected their brushes and paints, hold your hand up? Yep, me too! While it might be tempting to put off cleaning those brushes until the next day, or leave the jar off the lid until you're finished up, this can be a bad idea as it can ruin the integrity of your brushes and paints. You might find that brushes start to shed and lose their shape, or paints start to build up clumps. So while it is ok to do this for a while, remember to clean up as soon as you can, especially if you want long-lasting brushes!
10. There are no rules - be a Maverick
As cheesy as this might sound, there are no rules in art! . Yes okay, there might be rules to certain techniques if you want the perfect blend for example, but there is nobody out there who can tell you whether or not a finished look is right or wrong! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.
I hope you enjoyed my top 10 chalk painting tips, which tip did you find the most useful? Also if you want to hear these tips in more depth then be sure to check out the video below.
As always guys, enjoy the process and happy painting!