Can You Paint Over Chalk Paint?

If you’ve chalk-painted a wall or piece of furniture and want to change the look, you’re probably wondering what kind of prep work is involved.

And that will depend on whether or not you used finishing wax.

If you didn’t use wax or another sealer, your chalk paint will act as a primer, and you can paint directly over it. However, if you waxed your chalk-painted project, you’ll need to take extra steps to prepare the surface for fresh paint.

Here’s how to paint over chalk paint.

How to Paint Over Chalk Paint without Wax

How to Paint Over Chalk Paint without Wax

People love chalk paint for its smooth matte finish. And because of this smooth finish, chalk paint with no wax or sealant works as a primer.

You can paint directly over it without doing any extra prep work. 

(The one exception is if you used a bold color. In that case, you may want to prime first.)

How to Paint Over Chalk Paint with Wax

How to Paint Over Chalk Paint with Wax

Most chalk paints recommend applying a finishing wax after the paint is dry. If you previously added wax, you’ll need to do a little extra prep work.

But don’t worry, the steps aren’t complicated.

Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Prep the Area

Since you’ll need to do some light sanding, start by prepping your work area.

Lay down a drop cloth and grab some safety goggles and a respirator mask.

Step 2: Scrub the Paint

Now give the area a good cleaning using an all-purpose cleaner. 

One of the best options is trisodium phosphate (TSP.) It’s a degreaser that easily removes grime and buildup from painted surfaces.

If you don’t have TSP, use an all-purpose cleaner or dish soap with water.

Step 3: Sand Away the Topcoat

Using 120-grit sandpaper, lightly sand the top coat of the chalk paint. You can use a sanding sponge, sandpaper, or even a palm sander, depending on what you have.

Use light, even circular strokes. Repeat this process until you can no longer see or feel a shiny coat on the paint.

Remember, you don’t need to take the paint off, just the wax, so don’t be overly aggressive.

Step 4: Prime

After sanding, wipe down the area to remove all dust. Once clean, apply a thin layer of your favorite primer.

Step 5: Paint

Your surface is now in the perfect condition for paint. Use whatever paint you’d like.

Frequently Asked Chalk Paint Questions

Can I paint regular paint over chalk paint?

Yes, you can cover chalk paint with latex paint. If you didn’t previously add wax, you don’t need to make any preparations before painting.

If you did add wax, sand off the wax and prime the area first.

Can you paint over chalk paint with eggshell paint?

Eggshell paint is perfectly fine to go over chalk paint. If you didn’t add a wax finish to your chalk paint, you can paint directly over it.

If you did wax, remove the topcoat and add a coat of primer before painting.

Can you spray paint over chalk paint?

Chalk paint on its own provides a smooth matte finish that is a great base layer for every type of paint, including spray paint. If you have waxed chalk paint, remove the wax with a piece of sandpaper before spray painting.

Can you paint over chalk paint without sanding?

If you’re working on a bare chalk paint surface (no wax or shiny top coat), you can paint directly over it – you don’t need to sand or prime. You only have to sand if you previously applied wax.

Final Thoughts

Chalk paint is great for DIY projects. It dries in a smooth matte paint finish, similar to a primer.

Because of this, you can use just about any type of paint directly over a chalk-painted surface without making preparations.

You only need to take extra steps if you previously added a wax topcoat or sealant to your paint job. If you did, sand the top coat off and prime the surface before repainting.