Did you know you can use chalk-stye paint in a paint sprayer, without thinning the paint? You totally can! I painted a nightstand with chalk-style paint, and my favorite paint sprayer with ease!
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There is no plan for design in our bedroom. Literally, nothing. We have been side-stepping erroneous pieces of nomad furniture and walking over the same laundry basket for 6 years. The walls still have the same beige paint from the builder, and all we have really, is a bed and mismatched nightstands that aren’t even nightstands. While we have mostly finished the rest of the house as far as decor goes (is anyone really ever “finished” decorating a house?), our master bedroom is forever last on the list.
The only thing we love in here, is a bench, doors, a ladder, and the bed Andrew made. I’ve been wanting nightstands for a while now. I started hunting on Facebook Marketplace and scored an Ethan Allen 3-drawer nightstand, and a mini dry sink type cabinet that I figured Andrew can use to hold all his watches (that’s all he has in his nightstand… literally 1,582 watches). Cut to the part where we decide after the finished painting and waxing, that we both actually dislike the dry sink. It will marinate in the garage until further notice.
They sat and sat all spring and summer in the garage after I stripped the hardware off and filled the holes. Collecting dust, spiders, and who knows what. I have been wanting to go with black or charcoal nightstands, and I chose Chalked by Rustoleum, in charcoal, while at the store last week. Because I am awful at painting furniture with a brush, I knew I was going to use my HomeRight Super Finish Max paint sprayer and spray shelter.
Airing Grievances on Chalk-Style Paint
My usual (personal) problem with chalk paint and wax are that the paint is very thick and it leaves brush strokes (both on purpose), waxing a bigger piece is hard to get evenly coated, long cure time, and buffing. Typically, I stick with chalk-style paint on small pieces and crafts. The biggest (and only) draw for me to even attempt using chalk-style paint on these nightstands, was the silky texture of the paint and wax. If I didn’t have a sprayer that could handle chalk-style paint, I would’ve went with some other type of paint.
Using the sprayer with all types of paint and stain is something we’ve done a lot of (like in my mom’s shed with latex, in the kitchen with cabinet paint, on a fireplace with latex, polycrylic on a bench, stain on a fence, and thinned latex on a chair), but I haven’t sprayed anything with chalk-style paint.
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The Secret Weapon
You don’t have to thin your chalk-style paint, but you can if you aren’t able to change the sprayer nozzle. I typically use the blue nozzle for mostly everything, but for this thickness of paint, I swapped it to the green instead. Don’t let switching intimidate you – use the tool provided with your kit or sprayer, and unscrew both pieces, then switch them. The Super Finish Max sprayer is by far, my favorite tool because it holds a LOT of paint (no refill of the cup needed for this project!), clean-up is a breeze (just rinse), and the nozzles are interchangeable (get every tech detail and more tips right here)!
Fill the paint cup with your paint, and screw the cup onto the sprayer with the tube pointing down to the front. Plug it in, and you’re ready to go!
Prepping and Painting
I sanded everything down after filling holes that were left behind by weird handles. After a good wipe down, I taped off areas I didn’t want to paint with my favorite painters tape and some kitchen trash bags.
It started to rain just after I finished spraying my drawers. They were dry enough that I rearranged everything inside, put the cabinet back in, and let them ride out the raincloud for a little bit. The medium spray shelter was the perfect spray area for these pieces to be sprayed and let dry in the breeze in the yard.
I like to spray everything with long, slow, even passes. I begin usually at the left (or the top), off the edge of the piece I’m spraying, and sweep to the right (or the bottom) and go off the edge on that side.
Save your sanity, and do not spray it like hairspray or spray paint. We all have sprayed a can of spray paint all willy-nilly… admit it.
Spraying this chalk-style paint was exactly like spraying any other paint or stain. The coats went on a bit thicker because the paint is thicker and nozzle is larger, but it took 2 even coats to fully cover the nightstand, with a few touch-ups after. The finish I got with the sprayer and Chalked is amazing. It’s not eggshell in texture, it’s just… smooth.
After the paint has dried (you’ll want to refer to your paints’ curing time), you need to seal it. You can spray it with Polycrylic (don’t do polyurethane because it will turn yellow), or wax. If you use a clear sealer, you’ll end up losing the chalk-paint texture. I did see a can of Chalked clear coat in the store, but I’m unsure what type of finish feel it will have. If you have tried it, I would love to know if it has the same silky smooth texture as chalk paints do! Whatever type of wax you use, read the label and follow the directions. I used a bottle of clear wax… and Andrew’s old sock, in circular motions.
Hardware is my favorite thing ever. A set of really great handles is like a really great pair of earrings or a good bracelet. The thing that pulls it all together. These cup pulls are perfect against the charcoal grey of the paint. And they’re way better than the old 1989 handles that were there. Once it is dried, go ahead and attach the handles you chose. These matched up with the existing holes, so I just used those. If you’re unsure, bring the old hardware to the store with you to check. There’s nothing worse than coming home with pulls… with holes that are the wrong width!
Once the piece has cured, start organizing your drawers!
And, if you’re like me, now you get to start looking for another nightstand for the other side.