Can You Spray Chalk Paint


Last updated: October 5, 2023

Helping You Understand Whether to Spray Paint Chalk Paint and How to do it

Can you spray chalk paint?

Chalk paint can be a great way to give your furniture or surface a rustic and chic look that stands out.

With different ways of painting chalk paint, can you spray chalk paint using a paint sprayer?

Stick with us as we answer this question and provide actionable steps you can use for your next DIY project involving spraying chalk style paint. 

Can You Spray Chalk Paint

Yes, you can spray chalk paint. Spraying chalk style paint is faster than using a paint brush or roller. Spraying chalk paint will not leave stokes and lines as is the case with using a paint brush and roller. Due to this, you will get a better and professional-looking finish.

Can You Spray Paint Over Chalk Paint?

Yes, you can spray over chalk paint. This might be required if you want to apply a top coat (finishing coat) over the painted surface. In such a case, you can directly spray paint over chalk paint.

However, if you want to add more paint to an old chalk paint job, the best way is to first sand the old paint with a high-grit sandpaper or sanding block. 

Sanding is not always mandatory when using chalk paint, but it will still help you get better results. 

Can You Spray Chalk Paint in a Paint Sprayer?

You can spray chalk paints in a paint sprayer. It is the most recommended way to spray chalk-style paint, especially on large surfaces or painting projects.

When the surface is large, you will have to use several cans of chalk paint, which may end up costing more.

However, buying chalk paint, mixing it, and then spraying it with a paint sprayer is more economical.

Ways of Spraying Chalk Paint

There are two main ways to spray regular chalk paint. Each method can be effective for different situations. Let us briefly look at each.

  • Using chalk spray paint cans/aerosols

Using a chalk spray paint can is more straightforward since the paint comes ready to use – all one has to do is shake the can for a minute or two, and they are ready to start painting.

Since chalk aerosols do not have a big volume, this option is often more appropriate for one-off projects, especially ones with a small painting area.

  • Using a paint sprayer/spray gun

While using a paint sprayer might not be straightforward as spray cans, it is not complicated either. 

Sprayers have manuals with instructions on how to use them, and you  can learn how to properly use the sprayer in an hour or a few.

Due to a larger volume (compared to aerosols), sprayers are an excellent option for larger painting projects.

How to Thin Chalk Paint for a Sprayer

Since chalk paint is viscous and water-based, it is recommended that you thin the paint with water. If you are unsure of exactly how to thin any paint, look at the label for the instructions provided by the manufacturer on how to do it.

What to Consider Before Mixing Chalk Paint for the Sprayer

Before mixing chalk paint for your sprayer, there are a few things that you need to consider. These are:

  • Your type of sprayer

The type of sprayer you are using can determine a lot about how you will have to mix your chalk paint. 

The two common types of paint sprayers are airless and HVLP sprayers ( HVLP stands for high volume, low pressure).

If you use an HVLP sprayer, you must mix the paint to form a less viscous solution – a very thin, uniform mixture of the thinning agent and paint.

In the case of an airless sprayer, you can afford to use a slightly viscous paint mixture.

  • Type of paint and thinning agent

The type of paint will determine the thinning agent you will use when mixing your paint.

Make sure you use the thinning agent the paint manufacturer recommends for the chalk paint you want to spray.

  • The quantity required (how much paint for your project)

Knowing the rough estimate of the chalk paint you will require will help you when buying and mixing the paint.

If you mix too much, you might not use all the paint; if you mix too little, you will have to mix again.

Always try to estimate the amount of paint you will need in sq. ft. This will make it easy to determine the amount of paint required.

How to Properly Mix Chalk Paint for Your Paint Sprayer

Before going into how to mix the paint, let’s briefly outline the required supplies.

The Requirements

  • Stir stick.
  • Mesh filter.
  • Sprayer.
  • Chalk type paint.
  • Water.
  • Viscosity cup.

Step-by-step process of mixing the paint.

Before mixing your paint with a thinner, the first step should always be using a stir stick to stir and mix the chalk paint properly.

Use the mesh filter to filter out paint clumps as you pour the paint into your sprayer container. You can use disposable mesh filters or a custom filter (if your sprayer comes with one).

Now you can thin your paint using water. The paint’s manufacturer provides the first instructions you should follow.

Once you have thinned the paint, you can use a viscosity cup. You can buy a viscosity cup or use the one your sprayer came with.

You can determine how thick/thin your paint is using the viscosity cup. 

Usually, if you are thinning paint for a sprayer, dip the cup in paint and note the time it takes for thinned paint to run out.

The general rule is that if the paint runs out in 30 to 40 seconds, then the mixture is okay for a sprayer. We recommend you aim for a thinned paint mixture that runs out in 35 to 40 seconds.

If it takes longer than this, then the paint is too thick, and you should add more water. If it takes shorter, then add more paint. 

Ensure you stir when mixing the paint and the thinning agent (water).

Remember to adjust your sprayer setting after mixing the paint and test it on a box, piece of paper, or cardboard before spraying your surface or object.

How To Spray Chalk Paint Using a Paint Sprayer.

Let us quickly understand the requirements and procedure for spraying chalk paint using a paint sprayer.


  • Surface/object to be painted.
  • Mixing supplies as discussed above.
  • Cardboard, box, or piece of paper.
  • Safety gear-coveralls, masks, goggles, and gloves.


Step 1: Basic prep work for the project

Just like any other painting project, proper prep work is required. You have to clean, sand, and prime the surface in readiness for painting.

Also, you have to ensure that the work area is well-prepared, ventilated, and has all the required supplies and materials.

Next, put on all the required safety gear before you begin the painting. You should wear coveralls, a mask, gloves and goggles.

Even though chalk paint does not have as toxic fumes as other paints because it is water-based, you still have to protect yourself.

Step 2: Prepping the chalk paint and pouring it into your sprayer

You can use the process outline above in “How to Properly Mix Chalk Paint for Your Sprayer” to prepare the paint.

Always adhere to the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer and sprayer when mixing your paint.

Once done, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Choosing the correct sprayer setting

You have to choose the right setting depending on your sprayer.

For example, if you use an HVLP sprayer, select the correct airflow and paint volume setting.

When using an airless sprayer, the only thing you will have to adjust is the pressure level.

Because chalk paint is viscous compared to other paint types, you might have to choose medium or high settings for your painting project.

After selecting the right setting, you must test the sprayer on paper or cardboard to see if it is what you want.

If not, adjust the setting until you find the right configuration for your project.

Step 4: The best way to spray the chalk paint

When spraying, we recommend you hold your sprayer the correct distance from the surface you want to paint. This will help reduce overspray and paint wastage. 

The distance can be variable depending on several factors. 

In the case of an HVLP sprayer, you will have to hold it slightly closer to the surface than if you were using an airless one.

Hold an HVLP sprayer about 6-8 inches from the surface, while 10-12 inches from the surface should be okay for an airless sprayer.

It is important to note that no matter the sprayer, it is best to hold it at an angle of 90 degrees to the surface.

Step 5: Cleaning the chalk paint sprayer after use

When you are done spraying, it is crucial that you properly clean your chalk-style paint sprayer.

For specific instructions about how to clean your sprayer with dried paint, always follow what your manufacturer recommends. 

How Many Coats of Chalk Style Paint Do You Need?

In most cases, 2-3 coats will be enough. However, this may vary depending on several factors.

For example, if you are painting a non-porous surface, then 2 coats should be enough. However, if it is a very porous surface, you might require 3-4 coats, especially if you did not prime.

A primed surface will, in most cases, require 2 coats of chalk paint for a polished finish, while one that is not primed will require 3-4 coats of paint.

How Long Does Chalk Paint Take to Dry?

Most spray paints dry to the touch in about an hour or two. However, some paints can dry to the touch in as less as 20 minutes.

The time chalk paint will take to dry after spraying will mostly depend on several variables. 

One major variable is the type and brand of paint. Other variables may include weather conditions, the thickness of the coat of paint, and surface prep.

Pro-Painters Tips on How to Spray Chalk Paint Perfectly

  • Follow the paint and sprayer manufacturing instructions when mixing and thinning chalk paint for your sprayer.
  • Hold the sprayer at an angle of 90 degrees and a recommended distance of 10-12 inches for an airless sprayer and 6-8 inches for an HVLP sprayer.
  • Ensure you prep the surface to be painted and the work area before you start painting.
  • Always wear protective gear when spray painting.
  • If spraying multiple coats, let each coat dry completely before spraying the next one.

FAQs – Spraying Chalk Paint

Can you use spray polyurethane over chalk paint?

Yes. Polyurethane spray paint is a great way to seal your paint job, especially using water-based chalk paint. If it is fresh chalk paint, make sure you let it dry before you spray polyurethane paint. On the other hand, if it is a previously painted surface, ensure you prep it before sealing it.

Can you spray chalk paint with a Wagner sprayer?

Yes, you can use a Wagner sprayer to spray chalk paint. Just make sure you mix the paint well before and after thinning. Furthermore, always use the paint filter provided with the sprayer when pouring the paint into the sprayer to filter out any lumps that may affect the functionality of your Wagner sprayer.

How much water do you use to thin chalk-style paint?

The amount of water will depend on the paint brand you are using. There is no one size fits all answer to this. Therefore, you must follow the paint thinning instruction provided by the manufacturer if you want to get the best results.

Does Krylon have chalk paint spray paint?

Yes, Krylon has chalk spray paint. Krylon’s Chalky Spray Paint is a great option for a matte, chalky finish on your surface or object. The spray paint can be used on various surfaces such as wood, metal, plastic, etc.

Can I use chalk paint for painting furniture and raw wood?

Yes, chalk-style paint can be used to paint raw wood and furniture. Ensure you thoroughly prep the wood or furniture before you start painting. Also, sanding and priming is crucial if you do not want to use too much paint. All this will help your chalk-style DIY painting project have a great finish.

Content Summary – Spraying Chalk Paint

Spraying chalk-style paint using a paint sprayer is not as straightforward as using chalk paint aerosols. Nonetheless, it is still a simple process that anyone can master.

If you know how to mix the paint correctly and use the sprayer to spray chalk paint, which we have outlined above, then there is no reason you should not get the best results in your DIY chalk-style painting project.

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