Chalk paint spray paint -- does it work?

September 12, 2016

Hello there! How is your week going so far? I'm looking forward to things slowing down just a bit around here -- and I've started my fall decorating, which I'm kind of excited about. I am determined to do a fall tour of our house this year!

I was so excited to see this new spray paint, I knew I had to try it. And when I did, I knew I had to share the results with you! The chalk paint craze is still going fairly strong, don't you think? I don't see it going anywhere soon. I've used it before and will link to some of those posts at the bottom, but for now, I wanted to share this spray paint chalk paint: 
chalky finish spray paint

I got it a few weeks back and was excited to try it but wanted to wait for the right project. I ended up using the paint on a Goodwill tray I've had forever. It corrals a lot of our office supplies in the new loft (I shared the reveal last week): 
Goodwill tray with office supplies

It was a creamy white before, but I wanted bright white to go with the shiplap walls. I have to say, I wasn't thrilled with the product overall. It sprays funky, doesn't cover great and the final finish is pretty rough. I'll go into more detail in a minute, but I wanted to give it another try before I wrote to you guys about it. 

I had this ampersand from years and years ago -- I was going to sell it but decided to try this spray paint out on it to make it work in our home a little better: 
spray paint project

And I wasn't any more impressed with the paint this time, so boo. :) Here's the deal. If you use it keep in mind a few things:
  1. It sprays all over the place. Most spray paint is fairly easy to direct, but this blows out cloud of "chalk" with each spray. You definitely need to do this in a well ventilated area and a mask isn't a bad idea. 
  2. This is very much still an oil-based paint (hence the name "chalky" paint.) It is not chalk paint in a can, it just gives the finish of chalk paint…kind of. ;) 
  3. It does not cover well, which is quite the opposite of chalk paint I've used out of a can. It took four coats on this small item and still didn't cover well. 
  4. It leaves your piece feeling "chalky" -- thats the best way to describe it, but more so than the regular stuff. It doesn't come off on your hands, but it's rough feeling. I think that's what I like least about it. 
  5. It takes longer to dry than regular spray paint. 
Obviously you can tell I was not a big fan. :) I've also noticed there's a lot more "stuff" on the finish when I'm done, like dust and fuzz that I have to wipe off. I'm not sure if it's from the actual can or because of the way it sprays -- it may kick up stuff around the surface that lands on the item: 

chalk paint spray paint

Now this piece had a rough surface to begin with, so it's not a great indicator of that last one, but you can see there that even with all those coats it still didn't cover completely.

I also wasn't a fan of the can and how it sprays. On another item I sprayed (a light switch cover), the finish turned out horribly. It's super rough because it was spraying little drops. The paint also dripped all over the can (and my hands) so that wasn't ideal.

I DID like that it was so easy to distress, just like regular chalk paint. That part went easily: 
spray painting with chalk paint

With regular chalk paint you have to wax it to keep it from rubbing off. I'm not sure how these will do over time if they were being handled a lot. I'm thinking you'd need to spray a clear coat on them, but I can't speak to that just yet. 

Overall I wasn't thrilled with this product which is a shame because I think it could be great for harder to paint items! For smaller decor like I did, I'd say maybe try it out? But if you are trying to paint a larger piece or something you will want to touch often I would not recommend this. Stick to paint out of the can. :) This isn't reliable enough that I would recommend it for a larger piece. 

I could have grabbed a bad one, who knows! I'm not sure that I'd try this one specifically again. Have you tried the spray paint chalk paint? I'd love to hear your experience with it! 

Here are some of the items I've painted with chalk paint with more information about the process…

DIY bookcase under desk

This still looks exactly like the day I did it! 

And this dresser used to sit in our foyer. I've since moved it (and repainted it): 
Aubusson blue chalk paint

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  1. I have used the Krylon brand (available from Michaels here in Canada, not sure of availability in the States). It was fantastic. Used it to paint two trays similar to yours (prefinished, I sanded them down and cleaned them before painting) as well as a raw wood piece.

  2. I used the Rustoleum, purchased at Walmart in Canada. I hate spray paint but this was fantastic to work with.

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  4. Wait! What ? you repainted the dresser ? I loved the blue! I'm sure I'll still love it though :-)

  5. I would love to know your favorite chalk paint.
    There are so many brands now: Annie Sloan, Rustoleum, Amy Howard, etc. Please share what has worked best for you. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for the heads up Sarah. I will stick with what I know!:)

  7. Hi Sarah1

    I tried the Rustoleum brand of spray chalk paint. It worked great on a wicker vanity that was originally painted metallic gold. I sanded it to age the piece and then finished it with a dark wax. It now looks like a vintage piece. Maybe try the Rustoleum?

  8. You did great job with the painting!

  9. I have tried the Valspar chalk pain in the can and did not like it at all, so I am not surprised the spray paint didn't work well. I think I will just stick to the Annie Sloan.

  10. I love the Krylon brand of chalk spray paint. It's worked great on everything I've used it for (both furniture and other things, including a brass lamp) and it has dried smooth every time. Maybe give that a try!


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