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Can you use chalk paint as a primer for conventional topcoats

This was a great question from Sarah P.

Any ideas, seeing as chalk paint will adhere to almost anything, why not apply it on to a dodgy surface, let it dry and then paint away with your acrylic or oil systems? :o

Despite its ability to stick to almost anything, per se, chalk paint on its own has no protective properties, so it has to be combined with other coatings that do have durability. So it works well when overcoated with wax because it adopts the properties of the wax, ie the wax absorbs into the chalk paint and creates a wipeable “tinted wax” surface.

And then there is varnish over chalk paint which, as was pointed out in a recent article about painting vinyl flooring, the floor lacquer will work in tandem with chalk paint to create a surface you can walk on.

And I know Colin down in Cornwall applies lacquer to the Colourman chalk paint before waxing.

So on that basis, I’m not sure there is any logical reason why you cannot successfully apply for example Zinsser BIN over the lacquered chalk paint, and taking it further, no logical reason why a thinned coat of high adhesion acrylic latex, oil or maybe even BIN primer acting as a bonder coat, wouldn’t stick well direct to chalk paint, and carry on from there with your undercoats and topcoats?

No logical reason, but I don’t know anyone talking about this option! If its a surface tension issue, Blackfriars Problem Solving Primer is zero tension, as is 123…

To be honest, with Krudkutter Original there is not really a problem cleaning old wax or grease with very little elbow grease. And with ESP and Krudkutter Gloss Off, you can wipe on the liquids on lacquer and laminate, leave to dry and paint as per normal. But for zero prep on any surface, does this idea have any merit?

I haven’t investigated this chalk paint as primer option before, but I have some bare chalk paint samples from way back that will have thoroughly cured, so I will report back.

If anyone has put this creative thought into practice, lets hear what you found, or think.


having started using our own chalk paint on furniture we have used this to great effect as a base primer and it really does give a good base on everything we have tried it on and then applying coats of Little Greene water based eggshell as normal. we have yet to try on a piece that would be waxed so will set to work and try and let you all know.



Slightly OT but is KK still the best solution for prepping a waxed antique pine dresser before priming? Have you tried the chalk paint priming yet Andy?

KrudKutter original is a good reliable solution, worked every time so far. Been talking to a manufacturer with a big range of cleaning products for decorators and there might be alternatives, but so far, the bar is set high with KK.

Pass, on the chalk paint primer test, not got round to it, but will have a bit of feedback before the anniversary of this suggestion. Work fast.

This company was @Fluxaf and the Pro Clean is indeed a very good user-friendly cleaner, cuts through kitchen grease mixed 10 parts water to 1 part Pro Clean, (Kevin Mapstone video)

and more relevant here, when used neat or slightly diluted with a rough green kitchen cloth does remove wax equally well.

courtesy of @MartinGuest

I have used some chalk paint recently, it passed on the tape adhesion test but failed on a finger nail scratch test. This was without the suggested soft wax top coat of course. Good opacity though