Do you desire to use chalk paint for your house but are skeptical about it, especially if you are unsure whether it is waterproof?

Chalk paint is not waterproof and should not be used outside or on surfaces having constant contact with water. It requires a lacquer sealer if the surface is prone to water contact.

What is chalk paint, and where can we use it? Let’s find out in this article.

Is Chalk Paint Waterproof

What is Chalk Paint?

I’m sure you might be thinking chalk paint is the same as that, which goes on chalkboards probably because of the way it sounds. However, it is different. Chalk paint, a material invented by British artist Annie Sloan refers to the paint’s matte finish. You can easily purchase the original one via Annie Sloan’s website

Uses & Properties of Chalk Paint

The common use of chalk paint is to paint furniture. People use it to create texture or thin it out for a smoother surface. However, chalk paint isn’t for furniture alone. You can also use it for floors and the entire house.

About its properties, many handypersons prefer using chalk paint because:

  • It does not require sanding or priming before you can apply it
  • It has thick consistency; thus, it drips less
  • You do not need to strip the furniture before you paint it
  • You can use it practically on any surface. It could be concrete, metal, wood, and brick.
  • After use, you can easily clean the brushes and other tools with soap and water.

Is Chalk Paint Waterproof?

Now to the question, “is chalk paint waterproof?” Well, chalk paint is not a waterproof material. However, it can still be used outdoors, although it’s not the best for outdoor use. Chalk paint is water-resistant but not waterproof.

A water-resistant material can resist water up to a point, but for waterproof materials, water does not have any effect on them regardless of the quantity. If you are thinking of using chalk paint, you can take note of the following:

1) Furniture and surfaces inside that might have contact with water can be left unsealed. However, you can also seal them with wax.

2) Outdoor surfaces that will have contact with water may require the application of lacquer or sealer depending on what and where it will be used.

3) Any material/equipment, including things that are sure to have water contact, will require the application of lacquer, shellac, or varnish.

Can I use Chalk Paint for Outdoor Furniture?

If you have a piece of outdoor furniture that you want to do some refinishing on without stripping off the old paint, that is not a problem. Chalk paint cures well, and you can use it for outdoor furniture without fearing water ruining it. The orientation determines whether you protect the surface with sealer or varnish. You can find an explanation of this below:

Lacquer Is Not a Necessity on Outdoor Furniture

Please don’t get it mixed up. Yes, lacquer is not necessary for outdoor furniture, but only if the surface you are painting is vertical or standing. However, if the surface is horizontal, it would be best to have a coat of lacquer on it. Although light, significant UV rays can damage paint, water does far worse. You can’t paint your house with chalk paint without lacquer and expect it to hold up.

Varnish is Necessary For Horizontal Surfaces

If you are sure of water sitting on the surface of an outdoor surface, it would be best if you applied varnish on the surface. If you want to paint your house, a lacquer may not be necessary; however, if the surface is horizontal or might need to be susceptible to frequent contact, lacquer may be required. You can get one with UV protection to protect it against UV rays.

In addition, ensure to cover all surfaces of a piece to avoid water damage. For example, let’s consider the underside of a bench. The bottom of a bench could easily get moisture damage if you don’t paint it. Thus, it’s necessary to do so. I will explain to you the Dos’ and Don’ts’ you need to consider. Kindly take a look at the table below:

To ensure that the whole piece receives coverage, use two coats of lacquerPainting when rain is forecast or expecting the paint to dry before it rains
Painting when there are several weeks of warm weatherNever sand or prime the surface except to clean it
Seal rusted metal furniture before painting itPainting on wet surfaces

How to Waterproof Chalk Paint

It’s possible to make chalk paint waterproof, and I will be explaining to you three ways by which you can do that. These three methods add a protective waterproof layer to your outdoor furniture and other surfaces with chalk paint.

 However, all three methods have their advantages and disadvantages, with the acrylic coating method offering the best levels of waterproofing to a great extent while also being easier to apply and cheaper. Note that you may find one of these methods suitable, but depending on your specific needs and situation, it might be better to go with none of the options. These methods include the following:

  • Waterproofing your chalk paint using an acrylic coating
  • Waterproofing your chalk paint using polyurethane
  • Waterproofing your chalk paint using wax

1) Waterproofing Your Chalk Paint Using Acrylic Coating

The easiest and cheapest way to waterproof your chalk paint is by using acrylic sealing on top of your chalk paint on a surface once it gets dried. Although these products offer excellent waterproof protection to your chalk paint, however, it essentially creates a barrier above the chalk paint so that the unique chalk paint feel does go.

However, it can be beneficial depending on the type of paint that you use, as chalk paint can transfer to your clothing when you sit on chairs, tables, or benches with chalk paint, for example. You can apply a single coat of acrylic sealant above your chalk paint or two, depending on the brand and instructions on the label.

The spray application acrylics are much easier to use, especially on furniture that has many different angles that require protection. To apply the waterproof layer, first, wait for the chalk paint to dry. Afterward, hold the canister around 30cm away from the surface and spray an even coat over it.

2) Waterproofing Your Chalk Paint Using Polyurethane

It’s possible to waterproof chalk paint with polyurethane; however, this method is the least ideal. Although some individuals claim that polyurethane sealant offers chalk paint waterproof protection, it’s, however, not conclusive as it could also be a result of the natural water-resistant properties of the chalk paint.

The polyurethane products create a barrier similar to the acrylic sealant products on top of the chalk paint. The barrier prevents the flaky chalk paint from transferring to clothing when touching the surface, providing that benefit.

If you live in an area with heavy rain, this method might not be the best option for you as the actual level of waterproof protection polyurethane sealant provides is yet to be determined. Thus, if you use it in an area having heavy rain, it may get washed off by heavy rain.

Spray polyurethane products are available in markets. However, they tend to perform poorly, so it’s best to go with an applied product using a brush. It is because such products tend to perform better despite being slightly more complicated and time-consuming to apply. Once your chalk paint is dry, apply the product on top of it, using a brush, in a relatively thin layer, and allow it dry.

3) Waterproofing Your Chalk Paint Using Wax

Most people who use wax top coats on top of their chalk paint live in areas having minimal rainfall, as these wax coats are for general protection and not specifically for waterproofing chalk paint. For those living in areas having heavy rain, it is best to go with an acrylic sealing product instead, as they provide better protection.

The main benefit of the wax top coat products is that they provide better all-around protection, including heat protection with better UV protection that acrylic sealing might not offer.

 Although some wax topcoats can be applied using a brush, it is best to use a spray-based product instead. This is because they are easier and faster to operate with you holding the canister around 30cm away from your dry chalk paint and spraying an even coat over it.


Chalk paint is water-resistant but not waterproof; thus, it’s not suitable for outdoor use. However, you can make it waterproof, and three ways you can achieve this have been explained in this article, with the acrylic coating method emerging as the best. Note that the wax and polyurethane methods are not ideal for areas having heavy or constant rainfall.

You may love the look of chalk paint but are unsure whether to use it because of its properties. If you are skeptical about using it because of its water holding capacity, you can apply a seal of lacquer if the surface could experience standing water, such as a tabletop or a bench. Chalk paint gives an attractive wall as long as it has sufficient time to cure properly.


What can make chalk paint come off?

Your chalk paint can start peeling off if you did not clean the surface properly and there is something on it preventing the paint from adhering correctly.

Should I brush or roll my chalk paint?

It depends on the size of the object you are painting. You might need to use a brush, roller, or spray gun, depending on what you are painting. If you are using a brush, use a natural-bristle brush with long, flexible bristles to obtain a smooth, uniform finish.

Is sanding necessary before using chalk paint?

No, it’s not. You can use chalk paint without priming or sanding. You only need to clean the surface properly.