Spraying chalk paints: It’s so easy with our tips

Would you like to use chalk paint but without the brush strokes being visible? No problem! You can also apply chalk paint with WAGNER paint sprayers. Read this guide to learn what chalk paint actually is and what you should pay attention to.

What is chalk paint?

Chalk paints are water-based mineral paints that get their colour from slaked lime and natural pigments. For this reason, they are considered to be more eco-friendly than other paints. With this in mind, some manufacturers also avoid solvents and use natural binding agents.
The chalk pigments give the paint a porous structure. This means it does not leave behind an impermeable, sealed layer after drying. It also does not penetrate into the surface, but merely lies on top of it. When the water evaporates, the chalk pigments remain as a colour layer. Chalk paint is water-soluble and easy to sand down, which is why it is often used to create colour effects on furniture. It has a powdery, matt finish with intense colours.

On which surfaces can chalk paint be used?

Chalk paint adheres to absorbent surfaces such as clay as well as to non-absorbent surfaces like glass and metal! This means you can use chalk paint to paint your furniture – and to decorate it with colour highlights.
A chest of drawers are popular pieces for a modern country house style. And inyour photos will have a very special impact inside "shabby chic" picture frames. As you've probably guessed, chalk paints are perfectly suitable for wood.
Chalk wall paint was also popular in the past. Currently emulsion paint is more commonly used for walls – but those who appreciate the particularly matt appearance and environmental friendliness of chalk paint are in luck. Because chalk wall paint is back in fashion! On mineral surfaces such as concrete or stone, chalk paint bonds with the substrate and is long-lasting – which is why it was often used for ceiling plaster work in the past. Some manufacturers have also started producing chalk paint for outdoor use. This has a different composition and offers the same finish with improved weather resistance.

Should you apply chalk paint with a sprayer or a brush?

You can use either a brush or a sprayer with chalk paint.
Note that chalk paint usually preserves the structure of the tool you used to apply the paint. So if you use a brush or a roller, the paint cannot be spread smoothly. Of course, this is not necessarily a disadvantage – for certain effects this may actually be desirable. If you want a stronger brush structure, natural hair such as pig bristles is ideal; plastic bristles create a more subtle pattern.

If you want a smooth, even application, chalk paint can be sprayed on. The material is applied to the surface without physical contact and dry faster thanks to the optimised material application. The process is also faster – spraying your chalk paint will save you a lot of time! Items of furniture in particular have many small corners and edges, which are difficult to reach with a brush and often result in the paint forming drips and runs. The paint from the sprayer, on the other hand is simply carried by the air flow onto these hard-to-reach areas.

Therefore, spray your chalk paint and save effort, material and time – so you can concentrate fully on achieving the desired effects on your furniture!

Instructions: How to spray chalk paints

In these 5 steps we will show you how to spray chalk paints quickly and easily – with even colours and perfect results.

Step 1: Personal safety and material preparation

Material preparation

Wear a dust mask and safety goggles when spraying, if possible. WAGNER paint spray devices produce minimal spray mist, nevertheless you should take precautions to ensure you do not inhale paint particles unnecessarily.

Untreated wood does not need to be prepared beforehand. However, if the wood is new, it may still contain sap. If resin leaks out, this will discolour the chalk paint. In such cases, it is best to apply a primer beforehand.

On previously treated surfaces, you can clean the surface with a little soap to remove dust and grease. Either use a small area to test whether the chalk paint adheres sufficiently, or roughen the surface directly with a piece of sandpaper.

Smooth, non-absorbent surfaces such as glass or metal should be briefly roughened beforehand so that the chalk paint adheres better and therefore lasts longer.

If spraying object inside, making sure to protect the surrounding area with film.

Step 2: Prepare the chalk paint and fill the device

Prepare chalk paint

First, look at your chalk paint and read the manufacturer's specifications. If it is very viscous, it is advisable to dilute it with water. This will allow the paint to be atomised and applied more easily, saving material.

Included with your paint sprayer is a stirring stick on which you will see some notches. These make it easy to dilute any material by 10% purely by eye. To do so, simply pour the chalk paint into the device's container and add water up to the next notch.

It's important to stir the chalk paint well so that the chalk particles are well distributed in the container and do not settle at the bottom. Next, simply screw the paint container onto the spray gun – and you're ready to spray!

 

Step 3: Adjust the device

Adjust the device

Which spray unit have you chosen?

On an HVLP device you can now set the material volume and the air flow; on airless units simply adjust the pressure level. Chalk paint is one of the thicker paint types, so you may need to select a medium or higher setting.

It's advisable to test the settings briefly beforehand on the test poster (included in the delivery), or on a box or a piece of cardboard.

Step 4: Spray on the chalk paint

Spray on the chalk paint

Chalk paint is rather viscous and tends to form drips if too much material is applied in one spot. Therefore, keep your movements even and maintain a constant distance to the surface. It's also best to spray at a 90° angle to the surface. Don't operate the trigger until you have already started moving. This will prevent you from applying too much paint on one spot when you start spraying.

Step 5: Clean the spray unit

Clean the spray unit

WAGNER sprayers are very easy to clean! If you have an airless device, simply place the suction hose in a bucket of warm water and switch on the device. The water is then pumped through the device, which cleans itself. You can disassemble the gun for both HVLP and airless systems and also wash them off with warm water.

What effects can be achieved with chalk paints?

 Matt finish

Matt finish

Chalk paint naturally produces a matt finish. Therefore, to create this look, the paint simply needs to be applied.

Vintage bureau
Interesting textures

Interesting textures

With chalk paint, the structure of the brushes and/or sponges quickly becomes apparent. This can result in an extraordinary look.

Living room in vintage style
Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

Thanks to its special colour texture, the "shabby chic" look can only be achieved with chalk paint. This effect lets you deliberately "age" your furniture in a controlled manner. Apply the chalk paint, let it dry and carefully sand off the corners and edges to achieve an antique look.

Shabby chic picture frame
 Two-tone look

Two-tone look

Chalk paints can be applied in layers. Once the first layer has dried, apply a sealing wax and then apply a second colour. When this has dried, you can sand down the second colour in certain places, allowing the base colour to show through.

Dresser in chalk paint
Wall decorations

Wall decorations

Chalk paint is often used with pattern rollers to create wall decorations. However, they can also be applied with stencils.

Wall decoration

Which paint spray system works best with chalk paints?

Do you want to use a handy, lightweight HVLP device, or a powerful airless device for larger areas? Both device types are suitable for spraying chalk paint.

Spraying chalk paints with our HVLP units

HVLP stands for High Volume, Low Pressure and describes how the device works. At WAGNER, we use a higher air volume and lower air pressure for atomisation. This reduces the spray mist as the material is atomised into larger droplets. For small to medium-sized projects, such as individual pieces of furniture, we recommend the following HVLP paint sprayers:

WallSprayer W 450

WallSprayer W 450

The lightweight paint sprayer for interior walls and ceilings

Universal Sprayer W 575 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 575 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 590 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 590 FLEXiO

The compact hand-held paint sprayer for interior and exterior use

Universal Sprayer W 690 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 690 FLEXiO

The universal paint sprayer for interior and exterior use

Universal Sprayer W 950 FLEXiO

Universal Sprayer W 950 FLEXiO

Effortless paint application on walls and ceilings

Spraying chalk paints with WAGNER airless devices

An airless device dissipates the material without using air – purely via the material pressure. These devices are ideal for ambitious DIY enthusiasts carrying out major renovation projects. If you need to spray chalk paints regularly or on a larger scale, we recommend the following airless devices:

Airless Sprayer Control 150 M

Airless Sprayer Control 150 M

The perfect gateway to WAGNER's world of airless paint spraying

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 M

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 M

Perfect control when spraying with Airless technology

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 M

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 M

Professional airless paint spraying with up to 55% less overspray and maximum control

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 R

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 250 R

Airless paint sprayer from the latest generation — user-friendly and precise

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 R

Airless Sprayer Control Pro 350 R

With the latest Airless spray technology for uniform and effective paint application