What To Seal Chalk Paint With

So, you've finally finished your chalk paint project and you're feeling pretty proud of yourself. You've achieved that perfect vintage look, and you can't wait to show off your masterpiece. But hold on a minute, have you thought about sealing your chalk paint? If not, you might find yourself dealing with some unpleasant surprises down the road.

Sealing your chalk paint is essential to protect it from wear and tear, moisture, and stains. It also helps to enhance the color and durability of your paint. But with so many sealers available on the market, how do you know which one to choose?

In this article, we'll guide you through the different types of sealers available, how to choose the best sealer for your project, and how to apply it properly to ensure your chalk paint stays looking great for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a sealer based on the desired finish type and level of durability.
  • Proper surface cleaning and primer application are crucial for a smooth and even finish.
  • Regular maintenance, including dusting, wiping down, and reapplying sealant, is necessary to keep the project looking its best.
  • Rushing the drying process may result in a less durable finish, so patience is crucial when sealing chalk paint.

Understand the Different Types of Sealers Available

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to sealing chalk paint, but understanding the different types of sealers available can help you make an informed decision on the best option for your project.

There are a variety of types of finishes to choose from, including wax, polyurethane, and varnish. Each type of sealer has its own unique qualities, so it's important to consider the look and durability you want for your finished project.

Wax is a popular choice for sealing chalk paint because it gives a soft, matte finish. It's also easy to apply and can be buffed to a shine.

Polyurethane, on the other hand, provides a hard, protective layer that is great for high-traffic areas.

Varnish is another option that gives a glossy finish and is perfect for furniture pieces that will be frequently used.

When choosing the right sealer for your project, consider the type of finish you want as well as the level of durability you need.

Now, let's consider the color of your chalk paint.

Consider the Color of Your Chalk Paint

When you've selected a color for your chalk paint, it's important to keep in mind how it will look once it's finished. Matching colors and considering color contrast can make a significant difference in the final outcome. If you are going for a more vintage or shabby chic look, consider using a clear wax or a dark wax to give your piece an aged appearance.

To help you better understand how to match colors and consider color contrast, take a look at this table:

Chalk Paint Color Best Sealer
Light Colors (white, cream, pale pink, light blue) Clear Wax
Dark Colors (navy, black, forest green) Dark Wax
Bright Colors (yellow, orange, bright blue) Clear Wax
Pastel Colors (mint green, lavender, baby blue) Clear Wax

By taking the time to consider the color of your chalk paint and the best sealer to use, you can achieve the look you desire. Next, we'll discuss how to determine the best sealer for your project.

Determine the Best Sealer for Your Project

Now that you've considered the color of your chalk paint, it's time to determine the best sealer for your project.

There are three main types of sealers: water-based, oil-based, and wax-based. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to know which one is best for your specific project.

In this discussion, we'll explore the differences between these types of sealers and help you choose the one that'll give you the best results.

Water-Based Sealers

Looking for a quick and easy way to seal your chalk paint? Try using a water-based sealer! These sealers are popular among DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike because of their ease of use and quick drying time. Here are some pros and cons of using water-based sealers and some application tips to help you get the best results.

Pros Cons Application Tips
Dries quickly Not as durable as oil-based sealers Apply with a synthetic brush or roller
Easy to clean up with soap and water Can sometimes cause brush strokes or streaks Apply in thin, even coats
Low odor and low VOCs Requires multiple coats for optimal protection Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next

While water-based sealers are a great option for many projects, they may not provide the level of protection and durability that some projects require. In the next section, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using oil-based sealers for your chalk paint projects.

Oil-Based Sealers

If you're after a sealant that offers superior protection and durability for your DIY project, oil-based sealers may be the way to go. Oil-based sealers have been around for a long time and remain a popular choice for many DIY enthusiasts.

One of the main benefits of oil-based sealers is their ability to penetrate deeply into the surface of the paint, providing a strong protective layer that is resistant to water, stains, and scratches. This makes them ideal for use on high-traffic areas, such as floors, tables, and countertops.

Another benefit of oil-based sealers is that they have a longer drying time than water-based sealers. This means that they have more time to penetrate deeply into the surface of the paint, providing a stronger bond. They also tend to have a higher solids content, which means that they provide a thicker and more durable protective layer.

However, it's important to note that oil-based sealers can be more difficult to work with, and they tend to have a stronger odor than water-based sealers.

When it comes to sealing chalk paint, wax sealers are another popular option.

Wax Sealers

Wax sealers, like a warm blanket on a cold night, offer a cozy and protective layer for your DIY project without altering the color or finish of the paint. Wax is a popular choice for sealing chalk paint due to its ease of application and durability. Plus, it gives your project a soft, matte finish that is pleasing to the eye and touch.

When it comes to the benefits of wax sealers, they provide a protective barrier that helps prevent scratches and stains on your chalk paint. They also offer a smooth, matte finish that enhances the look of your project without altering the color or texture of the paint. However, there are some pros and cons of using wax sealers. While they are easy to apply and give your project a soft finish, they require regular maintenance to keep your project looking its best. Wax sealers are also not as durable as other sealers, making them more susceptible to wear and tear over time.

To ensure your wax sealer is properly applied, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. This will help you achieve the desired finish and ensure the longevity of your project.

Apply the Sealer Properly

Now that you've determined the best sealer for your chalk paint project, it's important to know how to apply it properly.

First, make sure the surface is clean and free of any dust or debris before applying the sealer.

Then, apply the sealer evenly using a brush or roller, making sure to cover the entire surface.

Finally, allow for proper drying time as stated on the product label before applying additional coats or using the surface.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure a beautiful and long-lasting finish for your project.

Clean the Surface

Before you start sealing your chalk paint project, make sure to thoroughly clean the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Prep work is important to ensure that the sealer adheres properly and provides the best protection for your project. If there are any stubborn stains or grease on the surface, you may need to use a mild soap solution or degreaser to get rid of them.

To emphasize the importance of cleaning the surface, take a look at this table:

Surface Condition Result of Sealing
Dirty or dusty Sealer will trap the dirt or dust, resulting in a rough finish
Greasy or oily Sealer will not adhere properly, resulting in uneven coverage
Rough or bumpy Sealer will not fill in the gaps, resulting in a patchy finish

As you can see, proper surface cleaning is crucial to achieving a smooth and even finish. Once your surface is clean and dry, you can move on to applying the sealer evenly.

Apply the Sealer Evenly

It's time to spread that sealant evenly, ensuring your chalky masterpiece stays protected and looking fresh for years to come.

To achieve an even application, it's important to use the correct brush. A synthetic bristle brush is ideal for applying sealant to chalk paint, as it won't absorb the product and will distribute it evenly across the surface. Be sure to choose a brush that's clean and free of any previous paint or debris.

Before applying the sealant, it's also crucial to use a primer. This'll not only ensure a smooth and consistent finish, but it'll also add an extra layer of protection to your piece. Apply the primer using the same brush you plan to use for the sealant, making sure to cover the entire surface.

With the primer dry and the brush clean, you can then move on to applying the sealant. Remember to work in small sections, applying the sealant evenly in a back-and-forth motion.

Once complete, allow for proper drying time before moving on to the next step.

Allow for Proper Drying Time

Make sure to give the surface enough time to completely dry before moving on to the next step, so that the sealant can properly set and protect your beautiful piece of furniture. This step is crucial in ensuring that your chalk painted surface will last for a long time. Rushing this process may result in a less durable finish, and will not provide the protection that your furniture needs.

The importance of patience cannot be stressed enough when it comes to sealing chalk paint. Rushing the process can have adverse effects on the longevity and quality of the finish. Take note that the drying time may vary depending on the humidity and temperature of your environment. To give you an idea of how long you should wait, refer to the table below. Once the surface is dry, you can move on to the next step of maintaining your chalk painted surface.

Type of Sealant Drying Time
Wax 24 hours
Polyurethane 24-48 hours
Polycrylic 2 hours
Shellac 30 minutes to 1 hour
Lacquer 1-2 hours

Maintaining your chalk painted surface is just as important as sealing it.

Maintain Your Chalk Painted Surface

To keep your chalk painted surface looking its best, you'll need to regularly dust and wipe it down with a soft cloth. This will prevent dust and dirt from building up on the surface, which can make it look dull and dingy over time.

Additionally, you may want to consider using a mild soap and water solution to gently clean any stains or spots that may appear on the surface. Some other tips for touch ups and maintaining your chalk painted surface include:

  • Using a soft bristle brush to gently remove any loose or flaking paint that may appear over time.
  • Applying a thin layer of wax or sealant to the surface every 6-12 months to protect it from moisture and wear.
  • Avoiding harsh cleaners or abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the paint. If you do need to remove stains or marks from the surface, try using a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner like vinegar or baking soda.


Now that you know what sealers are suitable for your chalk paint, it's time to choose the best one for your project. Remember to consider the color of your chalk paint as this can affect the outcome of your sealer.

If you want to maintain the natural color of your chalk paint, use a clear sealer. On the other hand, if you want to enhance the color of your paint, a tinted sealer is the best choice.

One interesting statistic to note is that according to a survey conducted by DIY network, 72% of homeowners prefer to use a clear wax sealer for their chalk paint projects. This comes as no surprise since wax sealers are easy to apply and provide a smooth finish.

However, it's important to note that wax sealers require regular maintenance, which means you'll need to reapply them every few months. If you're looking for a low-maintenance option, a polyurethane sealer is a great alternative.

In conclusion, sealing your chalk paint is essential to ensure it lasts for years to come. By understanding the different types of sealers available, considering the color of your chalk paint, choosing the best sealer for your project, applying it properly, and maintaining your surface, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will withstand wear and tear.

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