Learn how to paint a chair with chalk paint. Ever since I attended a class at James T. Davis in Lynchburg, VA, I’ve wanted to try Good Bones Paint on a furniture project. Their product advertises “NO SANDING. NO PRIMING. NO SEALING.” making it “a truly a one-step furniture paint.”

Personally, I did opt to prep my chairs because they were old, IKEA furniture. My parents had purchased them as part of a set in the 1980s. I remember the little white table and chairs as one of my first crafting and coloring stations.

Colors from Good Bones Paint

Over time, they had become chipped with a rough surface. Since my son is likely to give them heavy use, I opted to sand to even out the rough edges. If I were doing a purely decorative, or lower use piece, I probably would not have sanded.

Also, for the paint perfectionists, this paint does a good job of filling in dips and spots. For example, it nicely filled in a nail hole. However, you probably won’t get a perfect covering unless you start with a perfect surface. It just depends on the level of smoothness you prefer.

Close up of my seat’s texture. I chose “Break.”

How to Paint a Chair with Chalk Paint

I opted to clean, sand, and paint these on separate days.

Time: About 3 hours over several days

Cost: $60 for the paint, sandpaper, and brush


  • Sandpaper
  • Good Bones Furniture Paint
  • Polyurethane (Satin)
  • Tarp or Drop Cloth
  • Damp Rags


  • Paint Brush
  • Screwdriver and hammer (to open and close paint cans)

NOTE: I independently selected these products and don’t receive any compensation for mentioning them.

1.Prep Your Chairs

Since my chairs were well-loved, I started by giving them a good scrub with soap and water. This helped remove all the dirt and grease that had collected on them over time. Next, I sanded them down, taking special attention to level all the peeling parts. These tended to be in high-use areas like the bottom of the legs and the seat.

After I finished sanding them, I rinsed them off and wiped down with a damp rag. This helped clean away all the dust from sanding.

2. Apply the First Coat

I carefully applied the first coat. The paint is pretty thick and fills in bumps and holes well. I watched to make sure it didn’t run.

This paint does dry fast (about 30 minutes). So, I was able to paint them continually by swapping my time between chairs until I covered all of the surfaces.

3. Apply Second Coat

I decided to apply a light second coat, taking special note of the “thin” areas. Essentially, i was just leveling out my first paint job. If you like a shabbier look, you may even be satisfied with a single coat.

I let this dry for about 2 hours, out of the sun under my deck.

I opted not to sand because the paint didn’t drip. No thick spots to even out!

4. Apply Wax or Polyurethane

Depending on the look you want, you can apply a way or polyurethane to seal the piece. I opted for a satin poly because my son will be using these. That is much easier to wipe clean.

Paint a Chair with Chalk Paint

I let the coating dry overnight. You could probably leave these uncoated if you don’t mind scuffs.

What I Love About This Project

While I don’t like matchy-matchy furniture, I can see using this paint with different finished on a couple different projects. If you want a light wash look, you can try a white wax. A dark wax would create a more antique finish.

Paint a Chair with Chalk Paint

Some surfaces I’m considering include:

  • Vintage Toybox (Family Piece)
  • Train Table Base (Yard-Sale Find)
  • Rustic Candlesticks — I may try a dark wax on these for a more antique look
  • A beachy tray or crate — I could imagine using a white wax with this paint color to create an outdoor accessory like a tray or crate to use as a caddy during the summertime.

Don’t be surprised if you see this color pop up again soon.

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