How to Chalk Paint a Dining Room Table Set for a Vintage Look

Bob Thomas


Breathing new life into an old dining room table set can be easily achieved by using chalk paint.

It's a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts looking to transform their furniture with a vintage, distressed look.

In this article, we'll guide you through the entire process of chalk painting your dining room table set, even if you're a complete beginner.

Quick Summary

To chalk paint a dining room table set, follow these steps: 1) Gather your materials, 2) Clean and prep the surface, 3) Apply the chalk paint, 4) Distress the furniture (optional), 5) Apply a clear wax, and 6) Buff the wax for a smooth finish. Follow these detailed steps to achieve a beautiful, vintage look for your dining room table set.

Gather Your Materials

Before starting the project, make sure you have all the necessary materials:

  • Chalk paint (e.g., Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)
  • Clear wax (e.g., Annie Sloan Clear Wax)
  • Medium-grit sandpaper (120-150 grit)
  • Fine-grit sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Paintbrushes (one for paint and one for wax)
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Drop cloth or newspaper (to protect your floor)

Clean and Prep the Surface

  1. Remove any dirt, dust, or grease from your dining room table set using a damp cloth.
  2. Lay down a drop cloth or newspaper to protect your floor.
  3. Lightly sand the surface of the furniture with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or old paint.
  4. Wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust.

Apply the Chalk Paint

  1. Stir the chalk paint well before use.
  2. Dip your paintbrush into the paint and apply a thin, even coat to the surface of the furniture.
  3. Allow the first coat to dry completely (usually about 1-2 hours).
  4. Apply a second coat of paint for better coverage and let it dry.

Distress the Furniture (Optional)

  1. If you want a distressed look, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the edges and corners of the furniture where natural wear would occur.
  2. Wipe away any sanding dust with a lint-free cloth.

Apply a Clear Wax

  1. Dip a clean, dry paintbrush into the clear wax.
  2. Apply a thin layer of wax to the painted surface using a circular motion.
  3. Work in small sections, ensuring the wax is evenly distributed.

Buff the Wax for a Smooth Finish

  1. After the wax has dried for at least 24 hours, use a lint-free cloth to buff the surface in a circular motion.
  2. Continue buffing until you achieve the desired sheen.

Pro Tip: For a more durable finish, apply a second coat of clear wax after the first coat has dried for at least 24 hours. Buff the surface again for a beautiful, long-lasting result.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Can I use any type of paintbrush for applying chalk paint?

  A: It is recommended to use a high-quality, synthetic bristle paintbrush for chalk paint application. This ensures smooth and even coverage.

Q. Do I need to prime the furniture before applying chalk paint?

  A: One of the benefits of using chalk paint is that it typically doesn't require priming.

However, if your furniture has a very dark or glossy finish, you may want to use a primer to ensure better adhesion of the chalk paint.

Q. How many coats of chalk paint do I need to apply?

  A: Generally, two coats of chalk paint are recommended for full coverage. However, the number of coats needed can vary depending on the color and condition of the furniture.

Q. Can I use a roller instead of a paintbrush for chalk paint application?

  A: Yes, you can use a foam roller to apply chalk paint.

A roller can provide a smoother finish and cover larger areas more quickly, but you may still need a paintbrush for smaller details and hard-to-reach areas.

Q. Can I use chalk paint on laminate or veneer surfaces?

  A: Yes, you can use chalk paint on laminate or veneer surfaces. Just make sure to clean and lightly sand the surface beforehand to ensure proper adhesion.

Q. How long does it take for chalk paint to dry?

  A: Chalk paint typically dries within 1-2 hours.

However, drying time can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and the thickness of the paint layer.

Q. Can I use chalk paint on outdoor furniture?

  A: Although chalk paint can be used on outdoor furniture, it's essential to apply a suitable outdoor sealant to protect the painted surface from the elements.

Q. How do I clean chalk-painted furniture?

  A: Clean chalk-painted furniture with a damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they may damage the finish.

Q. Can I mix different colors of chalk paint to create a custom shade?

  A: Yes, you can mix different colors of chalk paint to create a custom shade. Make sure to mix the paints thoroughly to achieve a consistent color.

Q. How long should I wait between applying multiple coats of chalk paint?

  A: It's recommended to wait at least 1-2 hours between coats of chalk paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.


Chalk painting your dining room table set is a simple and effective way to give it a vintage, personalized look.

By following these detailed steps, you can achieve a professional finish that will impress your guests and add charm to your dining room.

Suggested Products:

  1. Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint: This high-quality chalk paint offers excellent coverage and adheres well to various surfaces, making it perfect for your dining room table set transformation. With a range of colors available, it's easy to find the perfect shade for your project.
  2. Wooster Silver Tip Angle Sash Paintbrush: This synthetic bristle paintbrush ensures smooth and even chalk paint application, allowing you to achieve a professional finish on your dining room table set.
  3. Gator Finishing Fine Grit Sanding Sponge: This sanding sponge is ideal for lightly sanding your furniture before painting, ensuring proper adhesion of the chalk paint and a smoother finish.
  4. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer: In case your dining table set has a glossy or dark finish, this primer will help the chalk paint adhere better and provide a consistent base for your paint job.
  5. Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish: This water-based, clear protective finish is perfect for sealing your chalk-painted dining room table set, protecting it from spills, scratches, and daily wear.
  6. Purdy White Dove Roller Covers: These foam roller covers are suitable for chalk paint application, ensuring a smooth, lint-free finish and making it easier to cover larger areas of your dining room table set.
  7. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape: Use this painter's tape to protect any areas you don't want to be painted, such as hardware or glass inserts, ensuring a clean, professional finish on your dining room table set.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}