Finishing Chalk Paint a New Way

I “discovered” a new way to seal chalk paint, instead of using wax or oil. Will I use this method every time? No, but sometimes the way you typically do things doesn’t work out… For example, this beautiful French chest over chest. Looks good doesn’t it?



Well after a coat of CeCe Caldwell’s clay and chalk paint in Pittsburgh Gray this is what it looked liked after it dried!!! WHAT! I had cleaned it really good what is this that is happening? It was EVERYWHERE too! I fooled around with a few options, but what I found that worked the best for me is Rustoleum’s matte clear spray, this stuff works like a charm for sealing wood so stains don’t show through. In the end it helped even out the paint finish so you didn’t see any of the crap “imperfections”.


I also had this pretty Dixie nightstand, while this is not a matching set to the chest the lines are similar enough that the pieces look great together.

Here they are after a couple of coats of the Pittsburg Gray and sealed with the Rustoleum Matte Clear spray. I used about 2 1/2 cans of the spray and applied 3 coats to both pieces.

French chest and nightstand painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

All of those weird spots just disappeared and the final finish is super smooth too.

French chest painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

I cleaned up all of the original hardware and sprayed it with Krylon Gold, my favorite gold spray paint, I just love the way the handles pop against the dark grey background.

Dixie nightstand painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

A pretty close up…

Refinished chest of drawers

I’m very happy with the final results!

Refinishing painting chest of drawers

Refinishing painting nightstand

I took this set to Orange this morning and while I was there I snatched up this awesome “Richmond” lumbar pillow for my office chair.

Cool pillows at Orange in Carytown

Thanks for visiting, I hope you come back soon!

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About Susan @ Uniquely Yours or Mine

Hey there! You want to know more about me? Well here's a little bit... I'm the lucky wife of a Super Awesome Husband (SAH) and a mother of 3 wonderful girls. We moved to Louisville, KY in 2013 from Richmond, VA where I was refinishing, repairing and painting furniture as a serious "hobby". Since moving I have been spending most of my time designing and updating our new-to-us home, but I do enjoy getting out and exploring my new town as much as possible!

Posted on June 26, 2013, in Furniture refinishing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. hi there! looks wonderful. i would have freaked out if i saw all those stains coming through, too. do you know if the rustoleum will work over annie sloan chalk paint as a sealer as well? also, i’m wondering what you used to clean up those handles? thanks.


  2. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    You are a great problem solver! Those pieces look just gorgeous now! … And I totally feel your pain. I’ve had some serious “spots appearing before my eyes” issues with that paint as well!


  3. I’ve never had that happen–but I’m so glad I know what to do now if it does! I would have thought I’d ruined that beautiful piece and cried! Thanks for the tip!


  4. Wow, they look great! I’ve never had that happen either. I will have to remember this. I have used it to seal the wood instead of using a primer. Thanks for sharing. You always have beautiful pieces.


  5. This sure proves that necessity is the mother of invention. Great job!


  6. hope it’s not too late for you to see my comment. please?? repeat your paint steps, I’m just a lil confused. it sounds like you painted the chest with annie sloan paint and it bled thru, then you sprayed clear rustoleum paint over all?? then painted 3 coats of annie sloan? then spray painted with clear again? actually, spraying first with clear..would help adhere annie sloan paint better? thx Susan for info….I love those pieces you did, good job!!!


    • Hey Karen, My point in that post was that the matte Rustoleum clear spray is not only a great sealer, for bleed through, but also provided a beautiful matte finish for the chalk paint. If I were doing that piece again I would spray it with the clear sealer, paint a couple of coats of paint, then spray 2-3 coats of clear spray as a top coat. The spray doesn’t help the paint adhere better it just keeps the mahogany from bleeding through the paint finish. Hope this helps! and have fun!




  7. Hi! I need some advice/suggestions.. I painted my kitchen table with 2 coats of brown chalk paint and i dont know what to deal it with.. I have 3 young boys and home and my kitchen table goes through a lot so i need something that will really seal the paint AND keep a nice, matte finish like the chalk paint

    Thanks!! Paulina


    • If it were me I would use wax because if the do damage it a wax finish is very easy to repair. However, if you want a hard sealed product Rustoleum does make a Clear matte spray that is nice and truly Matte, but other than that I have not used any non was or oil products that would keep the sheen matte.


  8. Thanks for the tips ! I have been fighting with some issues as well with the chalk paint tried a varnish sold for that purpose and I was horrified to see it simply start lifting off all my hard work ! I do detail work with my pieces . Harder with chalk paint than with acrylics . So when this happened if room me hours to get back to where I stated from ! Now that I gave the two drawers ready to finish I wax afraid to attempt the sealing . A must for durability ! I am going to get some of the spray you talked about ! Can it be found in hardware / paint stores or in art stores ! ?


  9. Thanks- that really helped!


  10. hi, can you please tell me if you used the spray before painting to seal the wood or after painting.. Tks


  11. Which Krylon gold did you use??


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