Using Chalk Paint – Episode 2

Chalk Paint 2

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With the two colours of chalk paint applied and dry, Paul uses various abrasives to smooth the surface and selectively sand through to the base coat to give an antiqued appearance. He then applies a clear top coat which will be a durable protective finish for the project.


  1. nevynxxx on 14 July 2015 at 11:36 am

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this one.


  2. Dr. Ron Goldstein on 14 July 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I so enjoy your teaching. I now even watch some woodworking videos and say that I could do better with the sloppy dovetail joints one person did on YouTube. I don’t even have 1/4 of the workshop he had.

  3. Eddy Flynn on 14 July 2015 at 10:50 pm

    thanks for sharing these valuable techniques with us, they save us from so much hassle when we’re shown the correct way .

  4. david o'sullivan on 14 July 2015 at 11:44 pm

    love the red coming through looks 100 years old

  5. Farred on 15 July 2015 at 4:25 am

    Once again, where else can you get such a variety of instruction from someone schooled in the old methods? I almost feel like I’m cheating, not going through an on-site apprenticeship where the master whacks you on the back of the head with a stick.

  6. Jim Mount on 15 July 2015 at 5:46 am

    I have been playing with milk paint–very similar to chalk paint, but you mix it yourself. Its worth while to practice on scraps. I discovered that basic complementary colors work best: red/black, yellow black, red/blue, blue/white. But you can’t really know until you try it and see it. You can also add a third layer, either a third complete layer, or you can actually put on streaks with a semi-dry brush, as long as you sand over it. It’s very forgiving, and you can always just paint over any “mistakes.” It’s not just for antiques or old-looking pieces either. By playing with the colors at the sanding stage, you can create very subtle changes in color, so that one is not really sure what color it is. For example, Paul’s black and red combo could be evenly sanded until the red just begins to show through. You then have a black that seems to glow, but it is not obvious why it does. The effect can be very much like the Japanese lacquer work, some of which is mind bending. With three coats of shellac and multiple coats of wax you add depth to your illusion. I can hardly wait to try that water-based finish with a foam applicator. Thanks Paul

    • garnettmcmillan on 19 July 2015 at 4:54 am

      One idea that I’ve seen is to apply a base coat, then streak thin layers of Vaseline and then paint a second coat. Sanding or scrubbing with steel wool the top coat reveals an interesting ‘blotchy’ effect with the base coat. I’ve had mixed results, but it’s a neat idea!

    • rich olsen on 22 September 2015 at 12:17 am

      I’ve also used the type of milk paint that comes as a powder and that you need to mix (constantly) and strain before use. On one project, I simply left the finish remain in it’s soft, chalky appearance (subject to scuff’s, buffs and what have you. I finished a second project that had a table top (nightstand) with boiled linseed oil which darkened the color but left it with a very pleasing finish. To me (the novice) the application process was a little worrysome in that the first coat was very mottled and inconsistent. On both projects it took 3 coats and every bit of milk paint dust in the bag to get what I wanted.

      Paul, I wonder if you’ve had the occasion to try milk paints? I’m new here so I’ll search around for your comments if any.

      • mbullock48 on 24 August 2018 at 8:25 pm

        I recently painted a bed frame I made for my daughter using homemade milk paint. This was my first experience with milk paint. I’m very pleased with the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of room for improvement. Still, for a first try with something new I was impressed with how easy this type of paint was to work with. In my case, I made my own milk paint using casein power, hydrated lime, chalk, borax and powered pigment. There is a little more effort here than just ordering premixed powered milk paint, but it was fun experimenting with different variations. For example, clay can be substituted for chalk altering the texture a bit. I ordered a sampler set of powdered pigments for around 25 bucks. It is pretty easy to mix unique colors. Naturally, unless you get all scientific wit measurements you’ll never get the exact same color and consistency again. . . I applied my milk paint with a foam applicator similar to the one in the video. Put a sealer coat of shellac on before the milk paint and another coat of shellac on at the end to finish up. I’m definitely going to use milk and chalk type paints again in the future when they feel like a good fit for a project.

      • Philip Adams on 28 August 2018 at 2:23 pm

        Paul has indeed used milk paint. He wrote a few blog posts on it which you can read here:

    • David Alvarez on 24 October 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks, [email protected], your comments were very helpful. When I get to that stage, I’ll definitely keep your comments in mind.

  7. knightlylad on 16 July 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you for the lesson.

  8. garnettmcmillan on 19 July 2015 at 4:50 am

    Thank you, Paul. Beautiful work, as if you need to hear that from me!

    Do you use a new foam applicator between layers of water-based top coat?

    Also, do you apply anything to the interior, unpainted surface?

    • Philip Adams on 5 August 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Hello Garnett,
      You don’t need a new foam applicator between coats and applying the same finish on the inside helps to keep it clean.
      Best, Phil

  9. abtuser on 19 July 2015 at 7:44 am

    Like this technique. I’ve switched to microfiber cloths for wiping down all my stains, paints, top coats etc. Work great, pull lots of finish dust. Clean up in the washing machine.

  10. Jared Benicky on 15 January 2016 at 4:31 am

    I love this video and his way of teaching! However I’m personally not a fan of artificial antiquing things. I think it takes away from the “real” character and history of a piece of furniture or item. But! Thats my opinion and keep up the fantastic videos Paul!!

    Much love from the U.S.A

    • mbullock48 on 24 August 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Jared Benicky- I’m with you. I like to let things I make age on their own :). I also have a habit of scrubbing away the ‘fine’ patina that comes on some of the vintage tools I buy on ebay. Like you say, though, everyone has their own tastes. I’ve seen very lovely artificially antiqued pieces in other peoples homes. I’m also sure there are many people who’d cringe at the thought of making a vintage and possibly collectible tool look like new again. To each their own I say!

  11. mdraft1 on 14 June 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Great video! I really like the finish on the toolbox you made( beside you in the video). Can you tell me what paint and finish you used on the it?


    • Philip Adams on 14 June 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Hello Matt, Paul discusses the paint he used on the other chests at the beginning of episode 1.

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