How To Effortlessly Remove Chalk Paint

Have you got a piece of furniture that has layers of heavy chalk paint? Are you dreading trying to remove it? Well, I got you. I will show you how to remove chalk paint from a piece of furniture easily.

Chalk paint can give a rustic distressed look to a piece of furniture. It is great for achieving a distressed finish, and it has many benefits. Chalk paint became popular in the up-cycling community a few years ago. Also, it was one of the first paints I used to upcycle furniture.

However, at the chalk paint workshops that I attended, I didn’t learn how to remove the paint. Over time, some of the pieces of furniture I painted with chalk paint began to discolour. I also noticed bleed-through and grime on top of the wax. So, I decided to use different pains for my up-cycle projects.

I am going to share an easy way to strip chalk paint from your piece. Second-hand sites and charity shops are full of gems, but you might overlook a piece of furniture because of its paint job. I hope you get inspired to consider them and strip them and save them from landfill.

Mid century wood unit, stripped from chalk paint.

Stripping Chalk Paint With Bio Strip

If you were to use sandpaper or an electric sander on the chalk paint, it would quickly clog your sander. It would create a lot of dust and take forever to remove. 

I normally use a heat gun to remove other paint such as satin, gloss and eggshell. However, I don’t recommend using a heat gun to remove chalk paint. 

Autentico Bio Strip is an eco-friendly paint, varnish and wax stripper. You can also use it to remove tough oil-based paints. I did use this on a satin paint finish, and it wasn’t as good as the heat gun. However, when it came to removing chalk paint, it was amazing.

I wanted to stay away from the more potent chemical paint strippers. Those type of paint strippers smell strong and need to be used outside in a well-ventilated area. That is why I decided to use the Autentico Bio Strip. 

Autentico Bio Strip

Stripping Chalk Paint With Bio Strip

  1. Application

    Before use, make sure to stir well. Wearing protective gloves, apply a thick layer of Autentico Bio Strip. Leave the product to do its magic for 30-45 minutes.Autentico bio strip for removing chalk paint

  2. Scrapping

    The paint will start to crack and bubble. When you notice this happen, you can use a scraper to remove the old paint. Have a bag ready to put the paint scrappings inside. I found this to be the messiest part of removing the old paint. A plastic scraper is best to protect the wood from scratching.How to easily remove chalk paint

  3. Washing

    There will be a sticky residue remaining from the paint stripper. You can use a scrubbing sponge and soapy water to wash the residue off. Washing removed any remaining chalk paint. However, if you still have stubborn patches of old paint, you can let it dry and reapply the Bio Strip.How to remove chalk paint using bio strip

Can you paint over chalk paint instead of removing it?

You must remove any wax from an existing chalk painted piece before applying new paint. To remove wax, use mineral spirits on a damp rag. Please be careful, as this will be very strong. I recommend using any mineral spirits outside in a well-ventilated area.

Latex paint and primer won’t stick permanently to wax. I am always banging on about giving a piece of furniture a good prep before painting. I have been disappointed in the past by misleading advice given by certain paint brands, and I don’t want you to get disheartened.

So, if you would like to read more about my tips for painting a piece of furniture, click here.

Chalk paint became popular a few years ago in the upcycling community. It was marketed cleverly as a quick no prep, no sanding paint. So, you could quickly flip a piece of furniture. It was a great way to explore your creativity and a great community to be apart of.

All paints have their lists of pros and cons. I disappointingly had many issues and mistakes when using chalk paint. I had pieces of furniture bleed through because of the misinformation regarding no prep. These pieces of furniture discoloured over time compared to latex.

Chalk paint claimed to be a cheaper alternative and low VOC. However, it ended up being more expensive for me. The waxes were expensive, and it cost me a lot of time trying to repair paint jobs. It is also much harder to remove compared to water-based latex.

A good water-based latex paint brand will also be low in VOCs. People get confused between oil-based and water-based. Water-based is generally lower in VOCs. You can find the VOC rating on the side of a paint can.

How to easily strip chalk paint

Can chalk paint be removed easily?

My short answer is yes, but you will need elbow grease. When researching options for removing chalk paint, using a stripper seemed like the easiest option. I found the bio strip got 95% off the old chalk paint off. I then used warm soapy water to remove the residue and the last of the old paint. This process took me roughly three hours.

Chalk paint claims to reduce the tie you spend on a project, except when you need to remove it! So far, it has been the hardest paint I have removed.

Rustins danish oil

Using Danish Oil

To add some moisture back into the wood after stripping the old chalk paint. I applied two layers of Danish oil. Before I gave the furniture a coating of Danish oil, I sanded my piece of furniture.

Using medium grit sandpaper, I evenly sanded the piece of furniture. I then used a cloth to apply a coat of Danish oil. Let the Danish oil sit for approximately 20 mins before wiping away any excess Danish oil.

Rustins Danish oil
Rustins danish oil

As you can see, I still have some work to do on this piece. There is some small damage to the veneer, and I can’t wait to give it a proper restoration.

I hope you found this post valuable and useful for any projects you need to strip off chalk paint. Don’t let it turn you off a second-hand piece of furniture. With some elbow grease, you can bring it back to its original state.

Let me know if you are working on any pieces at the moment. Comment below or tag me over on Instagram. I will pop my YouTube video below if you want to see how I stripped chalk paint from my piece. Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine.

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  1. daintydressdiaries
    March 24, 2022 / 1:35 pm

    Hi Jessica, Could you use some wire wool, maybe apply some more stripper, let it work, then use some wire wool in the nooks. I haven’t done intricate work, but you might find some furniture restorers on YouTube with more tips.

  2. Jessica
    March 22, 2022 / 12:53 am

    Hey! I found this post helpful, I’m trying to remove chalk paint I layered on top of latex paint on a dresser I’ve had for over 15 years, it means a lot to me. I’m using a citrus stripper, it’s my first time. The dresser has a mirrored, curvy top. It’s proving to be a bit difficult to scrape the old paint off and I am wondering if you have any tips for removing paint from small cracks, curves and intricate wood carving. Thanks!

  3. daintydressdiaries
    July 12, 2021 / 12:29 pm

    Im so glad you found this post useful x

  4. Miriam
    July 8, 2021 / 3:08 pm

    Yes thank you for this information. I had no idea how different it is to strip chalk paint on furniture.

  5. daintydressdiaries
    June 7, 2021 / 9:00 am

    Hi Tammy, you could try warm soapy water, it will take longer though x

  6. Tammy
    June 3, 2021 / 10:26 pm

    Thank you for the information. Is there a way to remove chalk paint that has not been sealed, with a wax, without damaging the original furniture finish underneath?

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