When it comes to painting furniture, most painters have their favorite products. Truthfully there are so many product that I haven’t tried. But as I try new things and gain more experience with products I love, I want to share those products with you! And, I’d never recommend a product I don’t use myself! So I’m listing my go-to products here. If you have any questions about anything please let me know.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission but at no extra costs to you! And I appreciate your support so I can bring you more fun projects. And, I only recommend products I would use myself! For more details and full disclosure policy go here.
If you want a shorter list check out my blog post on my Top Ten Chalk Painting Supplies List here!
I also have an Etsy Favorites Shop Page that you can check out using this link! Did you know that you can find all of the best chalk painting supplies by top brands on Etsy? And many sellers offer fast free shipping!
Chalk Paint Brushes
- Dixie Belle Synthetic Brushes – Mini Angle This is one of my most used brushes. It’s just the perfect size, cleans up nicely and the bristles are so soft. It really works to give a smooth application of paint. The short handle makes it comfortable to hold when painting.
- Dixie Belle Synthetic Brushes – Oval Small and Oval Medium. These brushes are perfectly shaped to get into grooves and the bristles are smooth and soft, super flexible making them great for blending also.
- Cling On S50 (the picture below the brush on the left). This brush is just the bomb diggity. Love it and highly recommend it. It’s so comfortable to use and lays on paint just smooth as silk.
- Cling On S30 (see the brush on the right in the photo above) A smaller version of the S50 for working on smaller areas and in grooves and notches.
- Dixie Belle The Belle Brush This small brush has a unique shaped handle and natural bristles. It’s a great little brush for corners, crevices and grooves.
- Dixie Belle Premium Chip Brushes: Who would ever thought to recommend a chip brush but I just love these brushes. I use them often for applying topcoats and primers and sometimes I even use them to apply water-based waxes.
Other Accessories For Painting Furniture
- Misting Bottle is one of the most useful tools for chalk painting! You need one for sure. I got mine from Amazon quite a while back and you can find it here at https://amzn.to/3qDWfkU
- Blue Shop Towels : so many uses incl. messes, wiping away excess stain, cleaning.
- Lint-Free Cloths: great for applying stains and buffing wax.
- Steel Wool 0000 grade pads: to help buff topcoats once dry and to lightly sand/scuff pre-painting.
- 4 inch foam paint roller and foam refills – I love using a roller to apply shellac-based primer and some topcoats to large flat surfaces
- Sanding blocks in Fine Grit, Extra Fine Grit, and Medium Grit
- Flexible Foam Sanding pads assortment pack on Amazon. But so many painters are raving about the Surf Prep RAD Pads which is a set of flexible sanding pads recommended by Dixie Belle. You can find the Surf Prep RAD Pads here.
- For info on my choice of power sander, see my Shop My DIY Tools List.
- Painter’s Tape: It’s amazing how often you will use painter’s tape in your projects. I like to keep a few sizes on hand including thin blue painter’s tape, thick blue painter’s tape and delicate surface painter’s tape. The delicate surface tape works well over already painted surfaces if you are doing geometric or stripe type designs.
Furniture Cleaning & Prep
- Dixie Belle White Lightening Cleaner – This granulated product is so great for cleaning your projects before painting. It is a TSP based product and amazing how much dirt and grime it removes from your furniture surface! You need to try this stuff!
- Scrubby Soap Cleansing Bars: To clean brushes I just especially love The Scrubby Soap. This stuff smells amazing and works like a dream to remove paint from hands and brushes. And a bonus, it also removes pine sap from your hands at Christmas from decorating your tree!
- Brush Cleaning Comb: These are really helpful to remove bits of dried paint from your brushes. A handy tool to have for sure!
- Citristrip: is a paint stripping product that is non-odorous and safe to use indoors. It even has a bit of an orange scent. Now, stripping furniture is a very messy undertaking, but at least you don’t have to worry about terrible fumes with Citristrip. I have a helpful blog post if you’d like more info on using Citristrip.
To prime or not prime – that is the question. Well to answer that I’d say prime anytime you are painting a light colored paint over a previously stained surface that is a red tone, like cherry, mahogany, redwoods, cedar. Nothing worse than painting and then seeing those pinkish red spots coming through your pretty white paint job. Honestly if in doubt prime! And priming also helps with coverage so you don’t have to use as many coats of paint to get good coverage when going from dark to light finish.
So while there are quite a few primers to choose from, there are a few I use the most.
- Zinsser BIN Shellac-Based Primer (white tint): This primer is a thin white consistency and I find it easiest to apply with a 4-inch foam paint roller. It rolls on nicely and dries super fast, smooth and level. But you have to be cautious using this product. It is flammable and stinky so use in ventilated areas and avoid being around heaters, flame, anything flammable. And, any towels, brushes, or other items used need to dry out completely before being tossed in the trash and dispose of them carefully due to flammability. However, this is my favorite primer for white paint. It is top-notch at blocking tannin bleed through and provides good coverage too. You do need to use 2-3 coats but each coat dries in 15 minutes or so and with the roller application is quick.
- Dixie Belle BOSS Primer: If I need to apply primer in an area without ventilation or need to work around heaters or something, I use Dixie Belle BOSS primer, which comes in both white, clear and gray. BOSS is great. It’s thicker and I find it easier to apply with a paintbrush than a roller. But it has no odor and is water-based so brushes wash up easily.
Other Furniture Preparation/Slick & Laminate Surfaces
- Dixie Belle Slick Stick: Slick Stick is another great product that you can use to prep slick surfaces for paint. I have used Slick Stick on shiny metal, mirrors, glass jars and vases, slick resin items, and laminate. It comes in white. But if you plan to paint a darker color you can tint your Slick Stick with your paint to make it easier for coverage.
- Zinsser BIN BullsEye 123 Primer in White is another great primer that works on most surfaces. it is also water-based. And you can find it at your local hardware store most likely. I’ve used it on cabinets and other slick surfaces.
Great Topcoats & Waxes
Okay I know there is much debate about wax versus polyacrylic topcoats. And honestly they are both good options for different types or projects. If you’d like a little more detail on how to choose for your projects, I do have a blog post on that here.
- Dixie Belle Gator Hide & General Finishes High Performance Water-Based Topcoat (Satin): Theses are both super durable topcoats that go on very similarly. They have a similar satin finish. This is a great choice if your are top coating a table or high-traffic surface and need to protect it from water, scratches and stains. I also use Gator Hide on wood signs for my porch and outdoors.
- Dixie Belle Clearcoat in Satin: This is my go to for top coating surfaces that don’t see as much traffic as the tabletops mentioned above. I tend to use Satin clearcoat on the body of the projects and use Gator Hide on the top where things might be set. Dixie Belle Clearcoat in Satin also works great for covering/sealing furniture transfers on your project.
- Annie Sloan Wax in Clear: A good wax that gives a buttery soft finish to your project and enriches the color of the paint a bit. Wax is nice for paint projects where you want a really flat finish or want to distress and don’t want a hard seal that you might get with a clearcoat. I like to apply wax with the Annie Sloan Wax Brush.
- Dixie Belle Best Dang Waxes in clear and colors: I use these waxes mostly for fun, to help accent projects and add some character or to change the color up a bit. The thing I love the most about Dixie Belle waxes is that they are water-based and you can add them with any other Dixie Belle product such as paint, glazes, topcoats.
How to apply a poly topcoat:
- I use an applicator sponge or pad. The Dixie Belle Blue Sponge works great but it has a little learning curve to application that gives a thin coat and smooth.
- Another option is a staining pad which you can find here by Dixie Belle or here on Amazon (not DB brand). These also work good for applying topcoats. You can also use a small 4-inch foam paint roller or a very nice brush such as the ones mentioned above.
Extra Decorative Accent Items
- Dixie Belle Gilding Wax: Gilding waxes are thick pasty waxes that you apply with your finger or a small artist brush. They are fun to use on embossed, raised areas to accent designs and on hardware or applied strategically in areas to accent edges and such. They have a lot of sheen and come in several colors. Commonly you’ll see silver, gold, and copper. Gilding waxes are oil-based and thick. you may have rub off some to get the shine as you don’t want to apply too thick.
- Dixie Belle Gemstone Mousse: Gemstone Mousse is a new products similar to gilding wax but a lot more buttery smooth like creamy and spreadable and less pasty. And Gemstone Mousse is water-based, so works well with other similar water-based products. Metallic colors with lots of shine.
- Redesign With Prima Furniture Transfers: I love furniture transfers. While you don’t want to use them on every item, they can add some flair and creativity to your painted furniture. There are so many styles and designs to choose from! I tend to buy these on Amazon or from an Etsy seller who carries them. You can check them out on Etsy and Amazon. And here is a post on the basics of using these furniture transfers.
- Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint and Primer in One: This is my go to spray paint for hardware. I love the Satin Nickel, the Champagne Mist, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, and Aged Copper!
- Stencils: My favorite line of stencils is on Amazon by StudioR12. These are durable stencils that are perfect for making painted wood signs, adding accents to furniture, and I love the variety of stencils for tall porch signs.
- To apply stencils I use either a small paint roller with foam refill pads and/or stencil pouncers. The pouncers work great for small letters and the roller is good for large stenciled areas such a big letters on signs.
If you have looked around at some of my posts you’ll see how much I love gel stain. I’ll mention three types here that I use often.
- General Finishes Jave Gel Stain: This is my most used stain. It is oil based and gives a gorgeous java colored deep espresso finish.
- Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain: This is another favorite. I used Walnut and Espresso, both really nice but obviously different shades. These stains are also available in other fun colors, like gray and black and white.
- Voo Doo Gel Stain by Dixie Belle is a bit different in that it is a water-based stain. It dries super fast and no waiting needed to apply a water-based topcoat. I like this gel stain in Tobacco Road color. I use it a lot to make wood signs, to stain raw whitewood.
To apply Gel Stain
I use the same white applicator pads mentioned above.
And having a roll of shop towels handy is also a good idea.
Foam Paint Brushes also help to lay on the Gel Stain.
Other Products To Mention
- Dixie Belle Mud: This product is good for filling cracks, scratches and nail holes. I used it in white and brown. Dixie Belle Mud is also fun to use to do create a raised stencil effect.
- Elmer’s Stainable Wood Filler: Makes a good choice also for nail holes, scratches etc.
- Sea Spray by Dixie Belle: A texture additive. It is a powdery product that you mix it with paint to make a chunky textured finish.
- Dixie Belle Patina Paint Product Line: A really fun way to quickly age your painted furniture pieces. This is one of my favorite lines to play with for home decor painting. So fun! I really love the Copper paint and green spray combination. If you want some tips on using patina paint I have a few blog posts on that topic. For starters you may want to check out this post on using patina to create an aged finish.
- Big Momma’s Butta (Another Dixie Belle Product): Another product I’ll mention is Big Momma’s Butta by Dixie Belle. It is a waxy paste that smells fabulous and you can rub it into wood to renew it. Works great inside old dresser drawers to bring them back to life and help hide old odors.
- Dixie Belle MoonShine Metallic Paints: These are thin metallic paints by Dixie Belle and come in quite a few colors. They are really thin so a little tricky to apply but they are really beautiful and shiny and dry nice and smooth. However, several coats are usually needed over a primer coat to get good coverage. I use metallic paint in some projects in this holiday post.
Chalk Paint Recommendations
I’m going to talk about my favorite paint colors in another post/page. But I have used a few brands of paint and I recommend mainly two that I use most often:
- Dixie Belle Paint Company Chalk Mineral Paints – My usual go to for painting furniture. Love the colors selection, and the smooth finish. Also they blend nicely and mixing colors to create new shades is so seamless.
- General Finishes Milk Paint (not a true milk paint but an acrylic type paint that acts like latex). I used this product to paint my kitchen cabinets which you can read about here. I used Seagull Gray and love it! But this paint is great for furniture too. I used this paint to paint a vintage table which you can read more about in this post.
- Rust-Oleum Chalked Finish: I do use Rust-oleum Chalked Finish Paint also sometimes for projects where I’m not as concerned about getting that super smooth finish but instead just want coverage. I can find it at Lowe’s and Home Depot usually so that makes it easy. An example would be my red brick fireplace makeover if you’d like to check that out.
I hope this info helps you out on getting started with your chalk painting endeavors and DIY painting projects! Feel free to send me a message about any products or techniques.