So, you have decided on a paint brand and color for your furniture makeover, and next you have to decide how to seal the paint. Did you know that most chalk mineral paints need a top coat sealer?
Well, all chalk mineral paints except for the all-in-one paint formulas. So, now let’s talk about the best clear top coat sealer products for chalk mineral paint!
If you are new to using chalk paints check out: chalk mineral paint basics for helpful tips to get started.
I realize that other chalk painters may have different opinions about what the best clear top coat sealant products are. But in this post, I’m going to do a quick review of topcoat options and share with you my choices for the best clear top coat sealers for chalk mineral paints.
Now, first lets discuss if you really have to have a top coat sealer to protect your painted finish? Well, you don’t have to, but it is best to protect from scratches, stains, and general wear and tear. It is especially important on a high-use piece of furniture.
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My Best Clear Top Coat Products
For those that don’t want to read the details here’s the quick list of my favorites!
- Wax: Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in Black – for adding an aged antiqued look to painted furniture
- Furniture Salve: Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in Orange Grove – for reviving old raw wood inside drawers.
- Clear Top Coat Matte: Wise Owl Matte Varnish
- Clear Top Coat Satin: Wise Owl Satin Varnish
- Clear Top Coat Gloss: Dixie Belle Clear Coat Gloss – I mix this with Gemstone Mousse to enhance painted furniture
- Dixie Belle Gator Hide: Tough Non-yellowing Top Coat Sealer for Painted or Gel-Stained Table, Dresser or Furniture Tops
Types of Top Coat Products and Protective Sealants for Chalk Mineral Paint
- Hemp Oil
- Furniture Salve
- Clear Coat Top Coats – These come in matte/flat, satin, and gloss.
Protective Sealant For Chalk Paint: Wax
There are many types of wax for chalk mineral paints: clear wax, white wax and colored wax. Waxes also can be typical traditional oil-based waxes versus water-based waxes. I do like wax and my very first chalk paint project was painted with Annie Sloan paint and sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax.
Wax even comes in a spray on formula by Dixie Belle, called Easy Peasy Spray Wax. Most waxes are applied with a wax brush or a lint-free soft cloth. Apply the wax and then buff away excess. They leave a very nice sheen on the furniture and most waxes, at least the Annie Sloan Clear Wax, enrichens the color of the paint, deepening it a little.
I tend to use waxes now more for accenting, highlighting. For this I use most a dark wax, either Dixie Belle Brown or Black Best Dang Wax. I
apply the wax with a wax brush to the corners and edges or furniture to give it a more dramatic, more antiqued appearance. But this wax comes in several colors including white, brown, black and gray.
A helpful tip: If you apply to much wax and you want to get it off, use a clear wax or a salve on a lint-free cloth to remove the excess.
Protective Sealant For Chalk Paint: Hemp Oil
Hemp Oil and Furniture Salves really bring back life to old wood. You can use Hemp Oil, or oil-based salves, on painted furniture too, as long as it is not previously sealed.
The oil-based products need a porous surface to soak into. So usually these are applied with a thick brush, like a wax brush or a lint-free cloth, and then wipe away excess with a clean cloth.
Helpful Tip: Dixie Belle Hemp Oil is excellent to use on black painted furniture. It amazingly enrichens the color and sheen of the black chalk mineral paint. Wise Owl makes fantastic Furniture Salves that come in wonderful smells like Lemon Verbena. And similarly, Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in Orange Grove is amazing!
I tend to choose a hemp oil or a salve often for the inside of drawers also. And any other time that you want to revive it or refresh the wood grain and condition. And the lovely smells, fragrances add a special touch also!
Best Top Coats, Clear Coats, and Other Sealers for Chalk Mineral Paint
Now to get to the good stuff! Clear coats and top coat are pretty much the same in my book. They tend to be clear liquid water-based top coat products that are used to seal and protect chalk mineral paint. It is important to use a branded product that is no yellowing and durable. These come in varying strengths or durability and in varying sheens.
Which brand of clear top coat products do I use most? Which Top Coat is the Best?
Now the nitty gritty. Let me preface this by saying that I can only speak to the brands I have tried. And everyone has a different opinion. But I mostly use Dixie Belle Clear Coats and Wise Owl Varnishes.
You can buy polyacrylic top coats at hardware stores in both brush on and spray on varieties and I will use these in some instances for other types of projects.
But for furniture painted with chalk mineral paints I choose products made specifically for these types of paint that are non-yellowing. I like to buy those products made by the same companies that make the chalk mineral paints! This just makes the most sense to me.
Best Clear Top Coat For Chalk Mineral Paint: Sheen & Protective Strength
Clear top coats provide both a sheen and a protective durable finish on chalk mineral painted furniture and décor. The more shiny the top coat generally the more durable and strong the top coat.
So a glossier, shinier finish is typically stronger than the matte finish. But the shinier the top coat the more likely to streak so a bit more care with application is needed.
A few tips:
- If you want a natural, not shiny look, keeping the more matte or eggshell finish of chalk mineral paint, then use a Matte Clear Top Coat. My choice is Wise Owl Matte Varnish. A runner up would be Fusion Mineral Paint Matte Tough Coat.
- If you want a middle of the road finish, not flat but not too glossy, then go with Satin. Satin is my go to for most every project! It’s my favorite. My pick is Wise Owl Satin Varnish. And a runner up is Dixie Belle Satin Clear Coat.
- And for those times where you need glossy, extra shine use a glossy finish. I have only tried one and it is Dixie Belle Clear Coat Gloss. It is thick, shiny, and very durable.
How To Make Chalk Mineral Paints Waterproof? Use the Best Waterproof topcoat!
- For really tough top coat that is water resistant and highly durable I generally go to Dixie Belle Gator Hide A few coats will provide a very durable, tough protective clear top coat on your chalk painted furniture.
- Perfect for table tops, dresser tops, nightstands. Really any furniture that gets a lot of traffic could use Gator Hide. Gator Hide protects from scratches, water marks and water rings, and other disturbances to your painted finish.
How To Apply Clear Top Coats
There are several ways to apply clear top coat to your chalk painted furniture. While you can use a small roller to apply top coat for furniture I generally use a synthetic paint brush or a sponge. My picks:
- Dixie Belle Synthetic Brush in Flat Medium
- Dixie Belle synthetic Brush in Mini Angle
- Cling On S50
- Cling On S30
- Dixie Belle Blue Sponge
I like to pour out the amount of clear top coat that I am going to use in a paper plate and dip my brush or sponge in that. If you dip into the container you run the risk of introducing dust and fuzz into your remaining paint.
Tips To Avoid Streaking Your Best Choice Clear Top Coat
Let’s talk about how to avoid streaks with application:
- apply thin coats
- Don’t overload your brush or sponge. Clear Top Coats are thin and the product will run and drip if there is excess.
- most products require 2-3 coats for maximum durability
- keep a wet edge start in the middle and work outward both directions to spread the clear top coat across the surface in thin even coat.
- Don’t overwork the product. It dries quickly and over working, or going back over and over an area, will cause streaks
- Use a very light hand feathering outward, rather than dragging the brush or sponge across. Dragging creates streaks.
- Try different applicators, synthetic brushes and sponges both, to see what works best for you.
- You can buff your topcoat. Use buffing sponge, like the Dixie Belle Buffing Pad, to lightly increase the shine and smooth out the finish if needed.
SUMMARY: Best Clear Top Coat For Chalk Mineral Paints
Okay, so now we’ve reviewed all the different topcoat/sealant products for chalk mineral paint. There are so many to choose from. My most used topcoats are the Dixie Belle Gator Hide and the Wise Owl Satin Varnish and Dixie Belle Clear Coat in Satin. These are the ones I reach for the most. I pretty much only use wax to antique or add some highlighting details to a project.
I hope this helps you to understand more about sealants and top coats for chalk painted furniture. If you have any questions please let me know! And if you have favorites that you didn’t see listed here please let me know what you love about the products so that I can try them out also!
Other Posts To Check Out
So many people asked me about chalk mineral paint basics and all the tips and tricks so I created a post to help you out with all those things. It can be confusing getting started and I learned so much from reading other painter’s blog posts on various topics and products.
You can find helpful information also on the Dixie Belle Website. Check out the informational pages there for product tips also.
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Happy Painting Friends!