Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint

Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint

Have you ever considered painting your own kitchen cabinets yourself? There are a many different ways of painting cabinets and lots of finishes to choose from. If you’re a fan of chalk paint and have been wondering if it’s the way to go, this is the post for you!

Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint Painting Kitchen Cabinets: The Truth About Chalk Paint

JD and I moved into our very own house a little over a year and a half ago. (Check out my first time home buyer’s post!) The kitchen cabinets were brown, ugly ugly brown! New cabinets were definitely not in the budget so the next best thing was to slap a good coat of paint on them. I have chalked painted a few pieces of furniture before and was super pleased with the short prep time and the quick drying. Naturally I thought it might be a great choice for my kitchen cabinet venture. In fact, I found a lot of blog posts praising their great experience with chalk painting kitchen cabinets. My experience was less than desirable…


First things first was the color choice.ย  We absolutely love the color blue so it was a no brainer to go with two toned cabinets with blue and white. I went for Ultra White and Express Blue from Behr. The paint is affordable and I’m always pleased with the finished results. The prep work included cabinet door removal, hinge and handle removal, and a good wipe down of everything. Every cabinet shelf had lining that was gross and needed to be removed as well. A hair dryer, a razor blade, and many sore fingers later, it was all gone!


There are multiple companies that sell chalk paint, but they are pretty pricey. So being the DIY lady that I am, I found a way to make my own. I have always used the Plaster of Paris recipe:
1/3 cup cool water
1/3 cup Plaster of Paris (mix well)
1 cup of Latex paint (mix well again)
And it has worked well for me each time. I used this with the white paint for the upper cabinets. This mixture dries incredibly fast so you should only mix in small batches and work quickly. One of the many benefits of chalk paint is not having to prime your surface. However, as you may have already guessed, white paint over dark brown cabinets doesn’t cover too well without a primer. So when 2 coats were applied and there were still hints of brown peeking through, I knew had definitely made a bad choice. Thank goodness 3 coats were enough to get them to looking decent, but there are still some patchy areas that I’m not too satisfied with. It was also incredibly streaky. I don’t know if this was due to the color choice (I had never used white with chalk paint) or what, but it was not pleasant. Chalk paint requires some type of sealing, usually with wax. But for the kitchen cabinets, I went with a more durable sealant like the Minwax Polycrylic. It took two coats of this as well = 5 coats total just for the upper cabinets. Yikes.

I wised up and didn’t use the chalk paint concoction for the bottom cabinets. I primed, used 2 coats of the Behr Express Blue, and sealed with 2 coats of the Minwax Polycrylic. Overall the look is much more consistent and beautiful than the white chalk paint. The entire cabinet painting process took me 2 whole weeks because I pretty much went at it alone.


1. Know that painting your kitchen cabinets yourself is a huge undertaking, so make sure you’re aware of that before you begin. It was a nightmare during the process, but I love it now.

2. I would 100% not recommend using chalk paint for your kitchen cabinets. It was more difficult to work with and the application was not as smooth as the standard paint choice. The cabinets with chalk paint also chip more easily than those without chalk paint. It was much more of a headache than necessary.

My kitchen cabinets are not perfect, but I do love the outcome. It totally changed the look and brightened up our house! As someone who previously loved chalk paint, I wanted to let y’all in on the process and hopefully save you a headache or two.

What do you think about chalk paint? Let me know in the comments below.


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