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Unique and Different Ways to Use Black Chalk Paint Around Your Home

Chalk paint has become a staple in the DIY world since the Annie Sloan company first introduced it in the 90s. This unique and versatile style of paint can be used to create any look you desire with minimal effort on your part. From distressed and shabby chic, to modern and sleek, people have been finding different ways to adapt this paint to fit their décor styles.

And one color that is often overlooked by many when thinking about decorating the home is black. Why? We don’t know. But black chalk paint is one of the most versatile paint colors around because it can go with any color scheme and can be used to add class to a room, or used to create depth and range in a room.

Black chalk paint is the way to go for modernizing furniture or to create a dominant vintage look for a piece of furniture. It is also a very easy paint to use and can be painted onto any surface, without much preparation being necessary.

can of black chalk paint with supplies

Using black chalk paint

Because black is a dominant color, you will want to be strategic with how you use it in the home. It is a color that is designed to draw attention due to its dark, bold palette. And using black chalk paint will help you achieve this affect.

Even though chalk paint is a relatively thick paint, you will still need to use two to three coats to achieve a truly solid look, especially if you are hoping for a full coverage effect.

When you apply the paint, use light, even strokes, so that the paint is spread evenly over the surface. To get into small corners, or around some small features of the piece of furniture, don’t dab or press the brush, rather use a smaller brush and keep the strokes small and even.

If you want to make sure that the painted surface is smooth and the coating is even, you can sand it lightly after the second or third coat of paint. This will not change the whole quality of the painting but will get rid of some roughness and remove any brush strokes that really stand out.

Then, of course, there is the way you finish the paint. You can choose to leave it without a seal, which means it will have a matte, chalky finish. However, if you are painting something that will get a lot of traffic and use, sealing is really your best option for longevity.

Brands of chalky-style paint

Chalk paint is a name given to the paint created by Annie Sloan, but there are chalky-style paints on the market.

Apart from the Annie Sloan original, some other black chalky paints are the Retique It Chalk Finish paint, Krylon Chalky Finish and Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Mate Interior, just to name a few

If you use the Retique It Chalk Finish paint, you will find that it creates a silky finish and is particularly suited to use on wood. It is a very thick paint, though, and can tend to clump. It is also not suited to use with a spray gun and so you will need to make sure you spread the paint evenly with the brush.

The Rust-Oleum black chalk paint is suited to just about any surface, including wood, metal and ceramic. Each can gives excellent coverage, but does not sacrifice the depth of the color. It is also suited to use with a spray gun.

Krylon Chalky Finish is a versatile paint that is available in a wide range of colors, with Anvil Gray being the name of their black paint. Krylon has a fast dry time and comes in both a spray and brush on version, so you have different options for application.

As a particular shade of chalk paint, Annie Sloan’s Athenian black chalk paint that apparently reflects the images of people featured in a frieze on Ancient Greek ceramic articles. To achieve this look, the paint will need to be waxed, because chalk paint itself has a matte finish and this type of look is more shiny and reflective. This shade is really suited to use with furniture.

Different looks with black chalk paint

With black chalk paint, don’t assume it will cover the surface consistently and adequately to get rid of all the color underneath just because it is dark. You are most likely going to need to use at least two coats. If you want a really dense black matte look, then three may be better.

If you are going for a shabby or vintage look, chalk paint can be distressed very easily and effectively to give you this appearance. And black is a color that contrasts attractively with just about any color, so you can create an original look for your furniture by still allowing elements of the original color to be visible in places when painting.

The most conventional way of distressing furniture is to paint it with two or three coats of black chalk paint, so that the surface is uniformly black. Then sand the corners and other areas that would take some batters and scrapes in the normal course of events and sand those down a bit with medium-coarse sandpaper.

You can also experiment with distressing the paint.

Cover the piece of furniture with the two coats of black chalk paint, then sand down some areas with quite a coarse grain sandpaper to expose some underlying color. This can produce an interesting contrast.

For another look, if the furniture is already painted in quite a bright color, or white, paint the furniture quite lightly with one coat of black chalk paint. This should let some original color seep through. Finish the piece with wax or a polyurethane sealant.

Similarly, with a light-colored piece of furniture, paint it with a single coat of black chalk paint and then sand some areas with medium-coarse grain sandpaper to expose quite a lot of the original color quite clearly. This can create a piece with interesting exposure and contrasts.

vintage card catalog painted with black chalk paint

Another look for black chalk paint

Chalk paint can be finished with chalk paint wax. One of the options is to use black chalk paint wax. It can be used over any color chalk paint and will bring out some texture of the actual painting. Black chalk wax paint makes the underneath color richer and gives the surface a polished look.

If you use black chalk paint wax over black chalk paint, it will create an intense, rich black that will shine like polished stone.

Black Stain vs Black Chalk Paint

So, this is the situation: you have an old wooden table you would like to revamp. Changing the color to black will really bring it into the 21st century. What do you do: stain the wood, or paint it with black chalk paint?

Both of these options will give your table a new, updated look, but there are points to take into account about each option.  

A black stain is thinner than paint and can look almost translucent. This can be a great option, as you will keep some sense of the wood through the stain. Black chalk paint is quite thick, so the final look of the table will be more solid. This means that you will lose the idea of the grain of the wood, but it also means that you will change the look of the table almost completely.

A black stain can be completed in one step but does usually take a few days to be absorbed completely into the wood and be strong enough to be finished properly. Black chalk paint dries quickly. Even with a wax or liquid sealant final treatment, it can be finished within a day, which means you can go ahead and use the table almost immediately.

Because a black stain is absorbed into the wood, it remains a solid color and will stay that way. Black chalk paint is soft and can be distressed easily, which means that it can be treated to create an interesting and unusual finish. If you leave the table unsealed or waxed, then you can even distress it after a while, as you grow into the new color and want to change the look.

One advantage of both a black seal and black chalk paint is that they can both be applied on top of almost any surface.

To give your table a sleek, modern look, but with the option of changing it to shabby chic, if you want to, black chalk paint is the best option to take.

Ideas for black chalk paint

We all think of black as a strong color that can stand out in a room or house. If black is used too much in one space, though, it can make the room dark and unattractive. However, black can be used as a very effective contrast, or feature, with most other colors.

To achieve attractive features and interesting contrast in your home, then black chalk paint is the way to go.

One thing we know about black chalk paint is that it is very suitable to use on any surface, without much preparation. It seems to be used most regularly on furniture, but don’t think this is where black paint in your life begins and ends.

Black chalk paint can definitely be used on just about any piece of furniture, but also on walls, cupboard doors, wainscoting, cornices, pelmets and even the ceiling.

Here are a few ideas on ways to use black chalk paint in your home.

Kitchen Cabinets

White is a popular color that is often used in a home, and we see it used even more often in kitchens these days. It is literally light and bright, but can also be quite uniform and clinical. To break up this possible blandness, you can make a bold and beautiful statement by painting your upper cabinets black. Using black chalk paint will give the space a unique look, and once sealed, they will withstand the wear and tear that comes with daily use.

cabinets painted with black chalk paint

Accent Wall

If you are looking to make a bold statement in your home, consider using black chalk paint one wall in a room. This creates a dramatic effect when used in contrast with bright, airy colors. Using black chalk paint to create a feature wall that contrasts very clearly with the rest of the room will add an element of depth and style to an otherwise drab space.

black accent wall in a blue bedroom

Wainscoting, Cornices, and Molding

Alternatively, you can use black chalk paint to create an elegant look by painting cornices and wainscoting. This will create an elevated, elegant look to your room while adding some detailing and depth to the space. This can also be done to the accent wall mentioned above. You can easily transform a plain wall into an elegant, wainscoting wall easily prior to painting.

wainscoted wall painted with black chalk paint

Alternatively, create a diagonal line across the wall, or paint a line around the wall about a foot (30cm) below the cornice, to mimic a picture rail. If you combine this with furniture painted with black chalk paint and then distressed, you will give the room a clearly vintage feel.


And of course, transforming an old or outdated piece of furniture with black chalk paint is an excellent DIY project you could tackle in a weekend. There are so many options, from updating a dresser or chest of drawers, to a sofa table, there are so many options. You don’t even have to paint an entire piece of furniture black.

Take a coffee table for example. If you want to change the look of your coffee table, consider painting the legs/base white while painting the table top with black chalk paint. It creates a look that fits with both the farmhouse and modern décor styles.


Black chalk paint is possibly the most interesting chalk paint to use, specifically because black is such a dominant color and creates an extremely clear contrast with just about any color. Whether you paint a feature wall, outline the wainscoting and cornices, or even transform a piece of furniture, you will definitely be able to use black chalk paint to revamp a room quite easily and effectively.

Let us know if you try any of these ideas, or have a few of your own to share. We love hearing all the ways you craft and create in your home.

chest of drawers painted black with updated handles