What Topcoats Can You Use on Chalk Paint?

“Yeah but you have to wax chalk paint right?”

If I had a dollar for every time . . . Never mind no use is dwelling on that.  No. You don’t have to ONLY wax chalk and clay based paints. You can certainly do that if that is the finish and texture you are going for and you don’t mind re-waxing your furniture every few weeks.

I don’t choose to wax furniture.  

First, I don’t particularly like waxing furniture or relaxing furniture.  I think it looks streaky even when it’s done well and I don’t care for the texture.  Second, the last thing I want to set a hot cup of coffee or tea on my end table and have a nice big cup ring on my table.  

Really? Did I just hear you say to use a coaster?  Do you think the animals I live with are really going to use coasters?  No, my tables have to be life-proof just like my phone case.

And since I love my furniture pieces more than my phone (sorry Siri but it’s true) that means I want to take as much care if not more to protect these pieces from damage.

I use a water based clear coat on my furniture pieces.  It gives my furniture the durability it needs to survive an afternoon at my house.  Any water based clear will work and can be purchased at the hardware store in different clusters from matte to ultra shiny.  I like to play with the luster sometimes because I get the ease of use of chalk and clay based paints but the finish looks like acrylic or oil-based products.  

In the end, wax your furniture if you want but don’t feel that you have no choice in the matter.  If you have a life that doesn’t allow for re-waxing and you crave durability then go right ahead and clear coat your chalk paint.  

If you want a recommendation on what kind of clear coat works I like Varathane products because they are none yellow.  A lot of products on the market cannon make that claim so you have to be careful. Varathane matte is an excellent product and it’s available at any hardware store for a very reasonable price (especially if you wait for a sale).

Good luck and Many Blessing to You!


For other options check out the video below. I test a bunch of different types of clear coats on Annie Sloan paint to see if they work!

Leave a Reply