Can You Use Chalk Paint In A Sprayer? 17 In Favor FAQs


The clear answer to this question is yes, you can use chalk paint in a sprayer; however, there are certain things that should be considered.

The first thing you need to check before using the paint is if it has an actual label on it saying “This product must not be used in a spray application.”… If the paint does not say that, then you can most definitely use it in a sprayer.

You will also need to do research on the brand of paint and sprayer you plan to use, as they each have their own set of instructions for use.

Chalk paint is fairly new on the interior decorating scene, so there isn’t much information regarding using it in sprayers.

One thing that is important for you to know, however, is that chalk paint should not be thinned with water before using it. This will cause the existing ingredients to separate and not work properly. You can use a bit of water if you are trying to clean out your sprayer after using the paint; otherwise, do not add water to the paint.

Can you use chalk paint in a sprayer
Can you use chalk paint in a sprayer?

There really isn’t anything that you should need to know before using chalk paint in a sprayer; as long as it can be used, it will work both efficiently and effectively. Anyone who has ever used chalk paint knows how well it covers and adheres to surfaces; all you need is a steady hand and a sprayer.

As long as you read the instructions for use of both the chalk paint and the sprayer, there should be no problems using chalk paint in a sprayer. The only thing you may need to figure out is what size tip to use on your sprayer, which varies depending upon your specific model.

If you happen to buy a can of Chalk paint that says "This product must not be used in a spray application" on the back, then you shouldn't use it in a sprayer.

You should always do your research before using any new paint or tool for the first time, as there may be certain things that you need to know before using it.

However, there really isn’t anything that you need to know before using chalk paint in a sprayer; as long as it can be used, it will work both efficiently and effectively. Anyone who has ever used chalk paint knows how well it covers and adheres to surfaces; all you need is a steady hand and a sprayer.

How Does It Work?

Chalk Paint is an amazing new paint that does not require extensive prepping, sanding of the surface to clean or any priming.

It comes in the form of dry powder, which needs only water added before it can be used. This allows for very easy application and minimal mess.

The dry powder is not in an ordinary paint can but is in a bag inside the can. You simply cut open the top of the bag with the sprayer attached and pour it in.

You then fill your sprayer with water, push down on the release button, shake well to ensure proper mixing of ingredients, and you are ready to go.

One of the best parts of Chalk Paint is that it dries very quickly!  Depending on humidity, temperature and other conditions it can dry in as little as an hour (usually 24 hours for a complete cure). What You Need To Know About Spray Painting With Chalk Paint Can you use chalk paint in a sprayer.

Some people have found that Chalk Paint works best with a sprayer if it is thinned out to the point where it runs off the surface.  This means that not as much paint coats your protector, but you can still get full coverage.

So now that you understand what Chalk Paint is and how to use a paint sprayer with it, you may be wondering if it works well on different surfaces. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve found:

  • Wood surfaces –  works well with no thinning required.
  • Plastic/vinyl – works best when sprayed through a mesh to avoid clogging in the sprayer, otherwise, you need to thin it down quite a bit for it to work.
  • Cement or masonry – this type of paint is not designed for use on bare cement so in most cases you will need to prime it first.
  • Painted surfaces – in most cases it works best if the paint is very lightly sanded to create a rougher surface for painting.
  • Fibreglass – this type of soft material clogs sprayers so isn’t recommended. Also, you get the best finish when this is painted on by brush.

****Can You Spray Paint Fiberglass? How? 17 Useful FAQs

General notes - this type of paint is not best for larger items, so you want to stick with smaller pieces until you've gotten more comfortable with the application process. Also, remember that you need to use water-based paint if your sprayer has Teflon or comes in contact with it.

If you have questions about whether your surface will work with this paint, just ask a professional near you before purchasing!

Can you use chalk paint sealer in a paint sprayer?

Yes, you can use chalk paint sealer in a painting sprayer. You can also spray latex paints and oil-based paints with any coating to your heart’s content!

Can I use the same sprayer for both oil-based paint and water-based paint?

It is possible but not recommended to use the same one for both types of paint. Water-based and oil-based paints both have different characteristics that need to be taken into account by a professional painter. Mixing the two types of paint can result in a less than optimal coating on your walls, and cause more problems than they’re worth.

Can I use latex paint in my sprayer?

Yes, you can use latex paints in a sprayer. You should be careful to adjust your mixture to the correct ratio for spraying purposes since latex paint is thinner than oil-based paint.
How To Clean Dried Latex Paint From Paint Sprayer In 7 Easy Ways?

Can Rustoleum chalk paint be sprayed?

Can You Use Chalk Paint In A Sprayer

The short answer is yes, but it can be difficult. Chalk paint in a sprayer is a little trickier to use compared to regular latex or acrylic paint.

Spray paint any type of chalk paint is not as easy as just naturalizing the ingredients and going to town. 

Chalking occurs when moisture from the air reacts with the paint to create a dried powdery form on top of the paint.  This is different from your typical dried dries because it actually becomes part of the paint and creates an additional layer. This can be removed by simply wiping away but you run the risk of removing parts of your painted object too so we suggest using a block sander or sanding block.

If you want to try your hand at spray painting chalk paint is a great way to save some money. Just like with regular paint, the rule of “you get what you pay for” applies and cheaper isn’t always better.  We recommend using Rustoleum’s American Accents because it comes in an array of colours and is widely available in most home improvement stores.  It will be a bit more expensive but won’t cost you $30 plus per can like other brands such as Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint do.

Of course, there are many ways to paint your project with chalk paint and this just happens to be one of them.  You can always brush your chalk paint on or use a sponge to apply it.

This tutorial was done on a wood board that we found at IKEA but you can apply this technique to any surface.

There are many ways to spray paint with chalk paint and this is just one of them. You can also brush on the paint or apply it with a sponge.

This tutorial was done on a wood board we found at IKEA but you can use any surface to do this technique.


Rustoleum American Accents Chalked Paint: We chose Lt. Blue and Lt Grey for our project board and handle respectively, which we mixed together to make this pretty grey.

Spray Paint: We used Rustoleum in Satin Finishing but as we mentioned earlier, choose whatever brand and type of spray paint you prefer.

Wood board: This is one section from IKEA’s RIBBA series measuring 18×18 inches.  We chose a simple square shape for our board along with a handle for easier carrying.

Sand Paper or Block Sander: This is to sand down the edges of your board if necessary.  We didn’t feel this project warranted it but you may want to sand down your wood before applying chalk paint depending on your desired outcome.

Paint Tray: Any disposable container can be used.  We simply used a paper plate because we didn’t want to clean any dishes afterwards so it’s optional.   

  • Clean and prep your surface: wash your board with soap and water and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step if necessary.
  • Shake can of spray paint thoroughly for 30 seconds before using.  Hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from your surface and spray in a smooth back-and-forth motion, slightly overlapping each stroke.
  • Wait about an hour for it to dry completely before applying chalk paint because you don’t want to ruin any previous work!
  • Using an old (or unused) sock or sturdy cloth, apply the chalk paint to your project working in thin coats.  If you are using a sponge, ensure that it has been wrung out thoroughly before use.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely (best overnight) and then give it another coat or two if necessary making sure that each layer is completely dry before applying another.  This is important to allow the chalk paint to set.
  • If desired, use a wood-burning tool with chalk paint by applying your design and then using an eraser (a damp cloth works too) to clear away excess dust and residue before it fully sets and hardens.
  • Spray your project with finishing spray if desired.  We used Rustoleum’s satin-finish spray paint but again, this is optional.
  • You’re finished!

You can apply these steps to any surface that you want to paint with chalk paint!

Why Is My Chalk Paint So Thick?

When I put a portion in my sprayer, it’s so thick that not even air gets through. Is there anything I can do to thin it?

No, you shouldn’t use chalk paint in a sprayer. Chalk paints are made with very fine particles of chalk and pigment which makes them designed to be applied by brush or roller only. Spraying chalk paint would destroy the entire purpose of using chalk paint.

Although you can’t use it in a sprayer, you should still be able to get good results with a roller or brush. You’ll just need to take your time and go over it very gently so that the excess dust from the paint doesn’t kick up too much.

Good luck!

How much water does it take to thin chalk paint?

A gallon of water is good enough to thin 4 quarts of chalk paint. This makes the paint easier to use, but it also dilutes the intensity of colours and finishes. Some painters choose not to thin their chalk paint.

How much wax should you add to your chalk paint if you don’t plan on distressing it?

Rather than wax, you should add a sealant to your chalk paint. This is an essential step that protects the paint from dirt and moisture. Alternatively, you could leave your chalk paint untreated, but it will lose its lustre over time.

  • When do you use distilled water?

Distilled water should only be used when mixing up the chalk paint. Tap water contains various impurities that can interfere with the adhesion and curing of your chalk finish.

  • When should you use a sprayer?

Using a sprayer makes it much easier to apply chalk paint to furniture and large surfaces. It’s also good for quick touch-ups and small projects like cabinet doors, drawer fronts and small shelves.

Can you use chalk paint in a sprayer?

Yes, but only if the sprayer is designed to work with latex paints. A paint thinner can damage many of these devices.

What is an agent for adhesion? What is its purpose?

An agent for adhesion will help your paint stick to your furniture or other surfaces. This is particularly important for chalk paints because they tend to be more absorbent than standard latex or oil-based paints.

How long does it take for chalk paint to dry?

Most chalk paint finishes will dry within an hour, but this can depend on your climate and the thickness of your application. The longer you wait, the harder the paint will be.

What does boiling water do to chalk paint?

Boiling water may damage certain types of chalk paints, especially those that are mixed with plaster or other additives. When in doubt, use cold water!

How to dilute chalk paint for sprayer?

Do you need to dilute the paint prior to putting it in your sprayer?

If you’re using a small drop-in paint cup on an electric airless sprayer, you’ll likely want to thin the chalk paint just a smidge with mineral spirits or water to help ensure that paint is atomized and exits the gun in droplet form. This should help reduce the number of roller marks you might see in your finish, but it will also decrease the adhesion properties of your paint.

“You can use any brush for Chalk Paint®, but you will get the best results if you use a china bristle brush, also called an ‘oil’ brush. They come in various sizes and shapes, some flat-shaped like the one shown on right (the blue one), or round (one is included with each can of paint). The bristles should be stiff enough to stand up straight. Most of our customers use bristle brushes with 1 ¾ inch to 2-inch bristles. A natural bristle brush will retain its beautiful shape better than a nylon bristle brush.”

What about ventilation?

When you paint with traditional oil paints, you need to maintain adequate ventilation as the oils give off some pretty gnarly fumes. But since chalk paint is water-based, you need not worry about this. In fact, it’s best if you don’t use your sprayer in an enclosed space or with a respirator on. The paint will dry faster and more thoroughly if there’s good air circulation.

Can you spray chalk paint with a Wagner?

Yes, you can use chalk paint in a sprayer.

I have used the Wagner Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer to spray dozens of projects with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. I went through three different cans of sprayer paint before I could find one that worked well with the ASCP®. After two years and 45-50 projects later, my sprayer finally gave out on me. I was really sad to see it go because it got a lot of use and saved me so much time!

A good way to test any paint for compatibility with chalk paint is to do an acetone wipe test. I always had great results with the Wagner HVLP sprayer and ASCP®. I used a small piece of wax paper and wiped acetone over it to test the paint for compatibility with the sealer and topcoat. It is definitely preferable if you can spray the whole piece in one go, but I did find that you can get by spraying two coats of paint on smaller pieces if necessary.

I have seen other tutorials on the web about using a sprayer for chalk paint, but none of them mentions that you should use a compatible sprayer. I hope this information helps someone else who wants to save time and effort while achieving beautiful results!

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